Bloggers of the Week

Welcome to the Saving Humans blog! Watch out for our daily posts from Birmingham academics reflecting on topics as varied as global access to reproductive rights, the Kindertransport movement, conflict and co-operation, climate change, cancer research, development, deforestation and the Nobel Peace Prize.

In addition to the blog we will also be providing links to useful resources relating to our posts.

To mark the first week our theme leaders, Professor Paul Jackson, Professor Nicholas Wheeler and Professor Heather Widdows will share their thoughts. Here’s more information about our bloggers of the week:


  • Professor Paul Jackson

Professor of African Politics, Director of the International Development Department

Paul Jackson is a political economist working predominantly on conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. A core area of interest is decentralisation and governance and it was his extensive experience in Sierra Leone immediately following the war that led him into the area of conflict analysis and security sector reform. He is currently Director of the GFN-SSR which engages him in wide ranging policy discussion with donor agencies engaged in these activities, including various European Governments, the EU, the UN and the World Bank as well as the UK Government.

In addition Paul was also Head of the School of Government and Society till July 2010 where he managed five academic departments and some 200 staff across political science and international studies, local government studies, sociology, Russian and European studies and international development.

Paul also works in several overseas locations including Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Butan, India and China amongst others, and is an experienced aid evaluator as well as governance and conflict analyst.

  • Professor Heather Widdows

John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics, Head of Research for Philosophy, Theology and Religion

Heather Widdows is a well-known international researcher and in 2005 she was awarded a visiting fellowship at Harvard University, where she worked on issues of moral neo-colonialism. She has led a number of funded projects on issues of property in the body; reproductive rights; human tissue; war on terror and ownership and governance of the genome.

Heather serves as a member of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council) and is also on the REF Philosophy Sub-Panel. She is Head of Research for the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion.

She has published widely in these fields including two books in these areas Global Ethics: An Introduction (Acumen 2011); The Connected Self: The Ethics and Governance of the Genetic Individual (Cambridge University Press, 2013) as well as edited collections on Global Social Justice, with Nicola Smith, (Routledge, 2011), The Governance of Genetic information, with Caroline Mullen (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Women’s Reproductive Rights with Itziar Alkorta Idiakez and Aitziber Emaldi Cirión (Palgrave, 2006). She has also published numbers articles in bioethics and global ethics.

  • Professor Nicholas Wheeler

Professor of International Relations and Director of the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation, and Security at the University of Birmingham

Nicholas J. Wheeler’s publications include (with Mlada Bukovansky, Ian Clark, Robyn Eckersley, Christian Reus-Smit, and Richard Price), Special Responsibilities: Global Problems and American Power (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2012); (with Ken Booth) The Security Dilemma: Fear, Cooperation, and Trust in World Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); (edited with Jean-Marc Coicaud) National Interest Versus Solidarity: Particular and Univeral Ethics in International Life (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2008); (with Ian Clark) The British Origins of Nuclear Strategy 1945-55 (Oxford: Oxford University Press).  He is the author of Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) and is currently writing a book provisionally entitled Trusting Enemies.  This is a key output of a 3-year ESRC/AHRC Fellowship on ‘The Challenges to Trust-Building in Nuclear Worlds (awarded under RCUK’s ‘Global Uncertainties: Security For All in a Changing World’ programme.  He is co-editor with Professor Christian Reus-Smit of the prestigious Cambridge Series in International Relations. Professor Wheeler is also principal investigator (with Professor David H. Dunn and Professor Stefan Wolff) on an ESRC project to investigate “The Political Effects of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on Conflict and Cooperation Within and Between States”.

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