One only needs follow some of the ongoing ping-pong between the Americans and the Russians regarding Ukraine to understand how defunct International Organisations are and how present the role of the state is. A few questions have arisen with renewed strength and added to a long line of enquiry, such as:

– What is the purpose of the United Nations?
– Why is NATO still around when the Cold War is well over?
– How much can the European Union achieve without hard power (that is an European army of some shape)?


I tend to support those arguing that a globalised and strongly interdependent world cannot rely on the role of nation states alone and that strong International Organisations have a pivotal role to play. In the first instance, they ensure that smaller states are represented, whereas if we lived in condition of anarchy, only the strongest states would benefit. Secondly, in negotiating treaties and treaty reforms, International Organisations can balance out the interests of weaker states against those of hegemonic such. This is especially relevant to better (scarce) resource allocation and distribution in order to attain larger objectives, such as poverty eradication, global health outreach, global access to education, and greater gender equality, cultural, ethnic and religious tolerance. Precisely the reforms required of International Organizations in order to better respond to such challenges are studied in depth in the Summer School course ‘Global Governance: International Organisations in Crisis’. We focus squarely on key institutions, which are however dated in the context of the new millennium. The United Nations is a prime candidate for reform by unanimous consent. Founded on the principle of inclusion at the end of the Second World War, its present fabric is no longer consistent with the shift in power East and South. In the fourth wave of globalisation, which we are living through today, we ask the following questions amongst others: Is the Security Council viable? Under what conditions may either of India, Brazil, Germany or Japan gain a seat? Is Ukraine a testimony to the return of hegemonic stability or symptomatic of the emergence of a new global order about which we know very little? What is the place of regional organisations, such as the European Union in this?

London is uniquely suited to exploring such topical issues, being the seat of a vibrant diplomatic community and many think-tanks dedicated to research and debate of these key themes. It further houses the headquarters of the United Nations IMO, which students will have the opportunity to visit. Furthermore, it is in close proximity to those international organisations and institutions situated in Paris (OECD) and Brussels (EU). In previous years the course has undertaken trips to Paris and Brussels.

Dr. Diana Bozhilova AKC
Visiting Research Fellow
Centre for Hellenic Studies
Tutor, Summer School and International Programmes
King’s College London
Strand WC2R 2LS

‘A History of Revolutions: From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring.’

This is my first year to work with the Summer School. Although I have taught Modern European History for four years at King’s College, I am very excited at the prospect of teaching a truly global module with the course ‘A History of Revolutions: From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring.’

Myself and my colleague, Giuditta Fontana created this course with an international audience in our minds. Too often revolutions are studied separately in different academic departments, yet we felt that it is time that a course addresses the contemporary phenomenon of revolutions since we are living in historic times where revolutions and insurrections from Egypt to Ukraine are common day appearances in the news. Each of our international students will be able to contribute to the course by sharing the history of the country they come from, thus making it truly global.

KINGSSS13_ 041We are lucky that our course will take place at the Strand Campus, a prime location in London. With this advantage, we have access to the Imperial War Museum, the British Library and the extensive historical archives in King’s College. Both myself and Giuditta are very excited to announce our collaboration with the Archives Centre at Kings: they are helping us to develop a workshop on revolutionary propaganda, including exclusive access to documents on the British Fascist movement and India’s transition to from colonial rule to national independence.

This is a wonderful time to be studying the underlying causes of revolutions and their course in historical and contemporary perspectives. We will be examining the politics, culture and society of Europe and the Middle East over the past two centuries, and how revolutions have defined the unique development of these two diverse continents. Whether you want to understand the Russian revolution or the Arab Spring, we hope you are ready to take up the challenging and complex world of revolutionary history.

I look forward to meeting you all.

Gillian Kennedy

“London always comes alive when the weather gets warm and sunny”

London always comes alive when the weather gets warm and sunny, and this is making me excited for my upcoming Summer School course, ‘London and the British City: Past and Present.’ The sunshine and long Spring days lend themselves to walking around this historic city, and each walk reveals a new layer and a myriad of surprises, even on streets that are familiar. hafezahviewStudents on the upcoming course will be encouraged to find their own surprises and hidden corners of London to claim as their own, as so many have done in the past. They will walk the streets of kings and queens, Dickens, Wilde, and Shakespeare. London has long had the ability to bemuse and inspire; to perplex and also trouble. London challenges and sometimes makes one uncomfortable, with history and a loud, sometimes jarring contemporary city existing side by side. Each walk through London is rife with contradiction and paradox: Ferraris and Ferragamo next to homeless sleepers; pollution next to pristine parks; glassy, new spaces of the modern economy next to shabby, forgotten landscapes and pubs. A bus full of 50 people, each from a different country, speaking a different language. Unable to communicate, perhaps, but Londoners, each one. Such is the wonder, and complexity, of modern London.

Spring is also a great time to venture beyond London and explore Britain’s Green and Pleasant Land. When one leaves London, it can be like leaving one planet and entering another. There are towns and villages little-changed since the industrial revolution, left behind by contemporary life. There are inventive vibrant provincial cities like Manchester and Leeds, able to reinvent themselves, while just miles away stand abandoned mills and ghostly smokestaks. Beyond the Borders lies the land of Scotland, at once crucial to Britain’s modern and historical identity and yet immediately different, facing a crucial juncture as voters there prepare to determine whether (yes) to become independent, or (no) to remain in the Union with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. danny4

What an exciting summer, then, for students to come to King’s College London and learn about British cities and the role they play, have played, and must play in the world. London will be, in Shakespeare’s world, a stage – and all of its inhabitants like players, for students to observe and (for a short time), become a part of.

I look forward to welcoming students to London and with them, beginning our three week exploration.



Jason Luger


London and the British City: Past and Present (Leading, Inventing and Reinventing).