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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Interview: Ben Gidley on London’s Diaspora Communities

12249599_670502763092886_1394241603932128199_nIn November 2015 Birkbeck University’s Dr Ben Gidley gave a lecture at CIRIS on Christian, Muslim, and Jewish diaspora communities in London. Here CIRIS research associates Margot Dazey and Chris Moses ask Gidley about the state of diasporic research, his own research on diaspora groups within London’s famously diverse East End, and the policy implications of such research.

CIRIS: Can you tell us about the main aims of the Oxford Diasporas Programme, as well as those of your specific project?

Gidley: I think there’s been a big turning towards the concept of diaspora across a number of disciplines recently and the term had sort of spiraled off into all sorts of different meanings. So, part of the intention of the Oxford Diasporas Programme—which has been running for almost five years now—was to take stock of the state of play and have a bit of conceptual clarity around the concept.

Another part was to take a number of different disciplinary and methodological approaches—ethnographic in particular but many others—and to develop case studies of diaspora in a number of different contexts, in particular ones which have been less researched or which have pushed the concept a little bit. Within that, our project at COMPAS was about East London, and diasporic associational politics, looking at three faiths from 1880 to the present.

CIRIS: Why did you start in 1880?

Gidley: 1880 is a significant moment. The last two decades of the Victorian period are when the East End as we know it now really came into being. In the 1880s we saw the Jack the Ripper killings, a whole series of investigative reports on white slaving and child labour and so on in the East End. And that coincides with mass Jewish migration, which began at the very end of the 1870s and picked up rapidly through the 1880s. By the end of the 1880s, the East End was seen as a kind of Jewish quarter.

CIRIS: What would you say have been the main religious trajectories of the East End since 1880?

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CIRIS Releases Report on Eastern Christianity and Ukraine

11 Jan. 2016 – CIRIS is pleased to announce the release of a new policy report by Aston University’s Lucian Leustean, Eastern Christianity and Politics. In the report, Leustean explores the tensions within Eastern Orthodoxy, particularly with reference to the geopolitical situation in Ukraine, as the world anticipates an historic synod of the Orthodox Church in 2016.

Screen shot 2016-01-11 at 10.05.36 AMThis report was commissioned by CIRIS on behalf of the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy (TPNRD). CIRIS’s role as the secretariat for the TPNRD is a partnership with George Mason University and is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Lucian Leustean is a Reader in Politics and International Relations at Aston University where he has been teaching since 2007. From 2011 to 2014, he was the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Programmes in the School of Languages and Social Sciences. He studied international relations, law and theology in Bucharest and completed his PhD at the London School of Economics. 

News & Events

8th Dec 2017

CIRIS Co-sponsors 2-day Workshop on ‘Islam and Space in Europe’

CIRIS Research Associates Tobias Muller and Chris Moses organised a workshop, “Religious? Secular? Re-thinking Islam and Space in Europe”,  together with Adela Taleb (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). CIRIS was one of the sponsors of the two-day event, which brought together twenty scholars from a diverse range of fields, including anthropology, political science, music, architecture, geography, sociology, criminology, […]

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Publications

13th Jul 2017

CIRIS Research Associate Tobias Müller Contributes Chapter to Report on Muslims in Europe

13 July 2017 – CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Tobias Müller recently contributed a chapter in a report on Muslims in the UK and Europe published by the Centre for Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. Müller’s chapter, ‘Constructing Islam and Secularism in the German Islam Conference,’ argues that beyond the intentions expressed by government officials, the aims of the […]

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Our Work

Equipping academics

At CIRIS, we aim to equip students and scholars in Cambridge and beyond with a robust and nuanced appreciation for the role of religion in international politics that they will take with them into their future research and/or practice around the world. To this end, we host public lectures, academic seminars, and other events. We are also pursuing research projects that draw on the contributions of Cambridge-based academics.

Engaging the public

We use our platform at Cambridge to influence the public conversation on matters of faith and politics—in the UK and around the world. CIRIS enjoys strong links to key governments, media outlets, religious groups, NGOs, civic leaders, and scholars. We want our website and social media platforms to provide a dynamic space for disseminating and discussing the contributions of our staff, associates, and partners.

Supporting diplomats

CIRIS serves as the secretariat for the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy (TPNRD). We facilitate communication, coordination, and collaboration among this community of diplomats from Europe and North America who have a responsibility for religion-related issues within their respective foreign ministries. The work of the TPNRD secretariat is generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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