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PIR welcomes five new colleagues in September 2013

Posted on 03/08/2013

We are pleased to welcome five new permanent members of staff to the department from 1 September 2013: Dr. Michelle Bentley, Dr. Antara Datta, Dr. Anja Jakobi, Dr. Kaat Smets, and Dr. Cristian Vaccari.

, who was a temporary Teaching Fellow in the Department this past year, has now been appointed as a permanent Lecturer in International Relations. She completed her PhD at Southampton University in 2012 and has research and teaching interests in the areas of US foreign policy and international security.  She previously worked as a freelance political journalist for both broadcast and news media. Dr Bentley has a forthcoming monograph, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Foreign Policy: The Strategic Use of a Concept, and (with Jack Holland) a forthcoming edited book, Obama’s Foreign Policy: Ending the War on Terror, both with Routledge.

, also a Lecturer in International Relations, comes from the University of Reading, where she was a Lecturer in History, but she also previously worked in our Department in the department from 2010 to 2012 as a Teaching Fellow and later as a temporary Lecturer. Dr Datta works in South Asian history and politics, with a particular focus on refugees, migrants, and diasporic peoples, and on the 1971 crisis in East Pakistan. Her first book, Refugees and Borders in South Asia: The Great Exodus of 1971, was published by Routledge in 2012. Antara’s current research examines the Indian diaspora in Burma from 1930 to 1960 and focuses on questions related to citizenship and belonging during the decolonization of the subcontinent.

has been appointed as a Senior Lecturer in International Relations.  She joins the Department from the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, where she was a Senior Researcher and Project Director at the Cluster of Excellence ‘Normative Orders’. She has also held visiting positions at Stanford University, the University of Bristol and several German universities.  Dr Jakobi's teaching and research focuses on transnational crime governance and non-state violence. Previously she worked in the area of international and comparative education policy. Her latest monograph, Common Goods and Evils? The Formation of Global Crime Governance has just been published by Oxford University Press.

, a Lecturer in Politics (Quantitative Methods), was previously a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Siena, where she was responsible for the methods curriculum at the Graduate School of Political Science. Her research has focussed on political behaviour and comparative study of the ‘age gap’ in national elections in different countries. She has also worked on the development of political interest during adolescence and young adulthood in both the USA and Europe. Her ongoing research involves civic education, electoral competitiveness and deliberative polling. Dr Smets's work has appeared in Electoral Studies, Acta Politica, Parliamentary Affairs, and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties.

Finally, comes to the Department as a Lecturer in Politics from the University of Bologna, where he is maintaining a dual appointment in the Department of Political and Social Sciences. He has researched and published extensively in the area of online political communication. His Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study, forthcoming with Johns Hopkins University Press in November, 2013, offers the first large-scale and cross-national comparative study of digital politics as carried out by parties, candidates, and citizens across seven Western democracies, including the USA, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In addition, Dr Vaccari is the Principal Investigator of a three-year research project titled "Building Inclusive Societies and a Global Europe Online: Political Information and Participation on Social Media in Comparative Perspective" (http://www.webpoleu.net/|) that the Italian Ministry of Education has awarded more than 900,000 Euros in funds. The project investigates the role of social media in citizens' and politicians' practices of political communication in Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom from 2013 until 2016.


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