David Davies of Llandinam Research Fellowship

in the Department of International Relations


The David Davies of Llandinam (Dinam) Research Fellowship at the International Relations Department, London School of Economics was set up by an endowment provided through the winding up of the Dinam Charity (1926-2006), originally founded by David Davies. The aims of the research fellowship are to support the founder's vision by furthering the understanding of international relations among academics and practitioners, particularly those actively involved in the field, and in policy-making. The fellowship is intended to give practitioners in the field of international politics and policy an opportunity to undertake sustained research in an academic environment. The first Dinam Research Fellow was appointed in 2008.


The aim of the Fellowship is to bridge divisions between theorists and practitioners and support the study of international relations which directly links the application of expertise in international relations to policy development and execution (see further details below). It is to advance understanding between academics, policy-makers and practitioners and thus ensure that studies are rooted in the real world and concerned with practical, actionable outcomes. It will offer practitioners a period of reflection, during which, with access to leading academic analysis and thought within a stimulating and supportive environment, they will be able to develop a richer and more considered approach to their work.

Dinam Research fellows 

2016-17 Scott Jerbi

Dr. Scott Jerbi was the 2016 David Davies of Llandinam (Dinam) Research Fellow in the LSE’s International Relations Department.

As the 2016 Dinam Research Fellow, Scott studied the role of public-private partnerships as a central element in strategies to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted by world leaders in September 2015. Many of the SDGs, including on decent work, industrialization, taxation and energy will require active and responsible business engagement to be achieved. However, the process to agree the new global development agenda saw limited debate concerning core expectations for business conduct that aligns with the vision set out in the SDGs as well as the necessary terms for effective collaboration between states, business and civil society.

While some states increasingly pursue partnership oriented governance strategies, many continue to see such approaches as potentially threatening to state authority as well as limited in tangible impacts. Scott’s research will seek to identify where common ground may exist among states and other actors concerning public-private partnerships to advance sustainable development objectives, including how they should be established and evaluated and how core principles of the responsible business agenda may be integrated into implementation plans.

Biographical information:
From 1997 to 2002, Scott Jerbi worked in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights where his duties included leading the development of the Office’s policies and interactions with the private sector. From 2002 to 2010 Scott served as Senior Adviser to former UN High Commissioner and former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson. He is currently a Senior Adviser to the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), which works to advance corporate respect for international human rights standards. Scott holds a PhD in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Scott Jerbi’s publications include:
The International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Academy Briefing No. 4, August 2013. 

Assessing the roles of multi-stakeholder initiatives in advancing the business and human rights agenda”, International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 94, Number 887, Autumn 2012, pp.1027-1046.

Business and Human Rights at the UN: What might happen next?”, Human Rights Quarterly, Johns Hopkins University Press, Vol. 31, Number 2, May 2009.

"The UN can save itself by working effectively with outside partners", The Conversation, 28 February 2017

2014 Jeroen Merk

Jeroen Merk holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Sussex, Brighton. Between 2003- 2014, he has also been a research and policy coordinator at the International Secretariat of the Clean Clothes Campaign, a labour rights NGO with branches in 15 European countries and an extended network of partners in production countries. Among other things, he was responsible for coordinating, planning and publishing research on the impact of private governance instruments on labour relations and working conditions. He has closely collaborated with trade unions, labour NGOs and researchers, mostly from South and South-East Asia, on these topics. From 2008 till 2014 he was a representative of the Clean Clothes Campaign at the Steering Committee of the Asia Floor Wage campaign.

As the David Davies of Llandinam Research Fellow (2014-2015), he studied the participatory/democratic dimension of global governance instruments within cross-border production networks. This includes exploring the conditions under which social movements, trade unions and networks of NGOs are (re-) framing common sense understandings of global governance institutions, agendas and priorities. He will do so by closely studying two real world cases to discuss possible ways to reinvent corporate accountability, namely, the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh concluded in May 2013 and the Protocol on Freedom of Association in Indonesia concluded in 2011.

His research interests lie at the crossroads of international relations, political economy, social movements, and the governance institutions of global industrial relations. I have been particularly concerned with analysing the shifting nature of worker-employer relations within local, national and global (supply-chain) contexts; the role of ethical standards as embodied in codes of conduct and other voluntary instruments in regulating transnational corporations; and the combined (but uneven) emergence of cross-border networks of NGOs and trade unions keeping businesses accountable for labour rights violations. His publications on these topics include:

Merk, J. (2014) ‘Global Outsourcing and Socialisation of Labour—the Case of Nike’, In: Van der Pijl, Kees (editor) The International Political Economy of Production, Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series (forthcoming)

Egels-Zanden, N. & Merk, J (2013) ‘Private regulation and trade union rights: Why codes of conduct have limited impact on trade union rights’, Journal of Business Ethics, [Published online August 9, 2013.]

Merk, J. (2011) ‘Production beyond the Horizon of Consumption: Spatial fixes and Anti-Sweatshop Struggles in the Global Athletic Footwear Industry’, Global Society, Vol. 25 (1), pp.71-93.

Merk, J. (2009) ‘Jumping Scale and Bridging Space in the era of Corporate Social Responsibility: Cross-border labour struggles in the global garment industry’Third World Quarterly, Vol. 30 (3), pp. 599-615.

2012 David Spence

Until 2011 David Spence was Minister Counsellor with special responsibility for human security and disarmament at the European Union delegation to the United Nations in Geneva. Until his move to Geneva in 2003 he was the Commission representative in the G8 and EU Council Terrorism Working Groups. In 2006 he was seconded by the European Commission as senior political advisor to the Special Representative of the United Nations for the Elections in the Ivory Coast. His career at the European Commission had previously included: secretary of the task force for German unification, head of training for the Commission's External Service and policy adviser for European Security and Defence Policy, counter-terrorism and relations with NATO.

David Spence was educated at the Strand School, London. He trained in export marketing and business management at Bremen's Chamber of Commerce, then studied politics and international relations at Sussex University, St. Antony's College, Oxford, Nice university and Sciences-Po (Paris). Before joining the European Commission in 1990, he was lecturer in politics at the Sorbonne and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, adviser to Wilton Park, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office conference centre, then Head of European Training at the UK Civil Service College. As a hobby he ran two restaurants in South London in the 1980s.

He has published widely on European affairs. In addition to various articles on the Commission and the EU, on CFSP, and on effective multilateralism, he is the editor with Brian Hocking of Foreign Ministries in the European Union: integrating diplomats, Palgrave, 2006, The European Commission, Harper, 3rd edition 2006, The EU and Terrorism, Harper, 2007 and The EU and Security Sector Reform, Harper, 2008. His most recent publications are 'EU Governance and Global Governance' in 'Global Governance and Diplomacy: worlds apart' published by Palgrave in 2008, and edited by A. Cooper, B. Hocking and W. Maley; Days of Dogs and Roses: the European Commission between foreign policy and external relations in Revue des Affaires européennes 2009-2010/1; Deconstructing EU Governance: how the European Commission constructed EU governance policy and how it attempts to export it in J. Wunnerlich and D. Bailey, The EU and Global Governance, Routledge, 2011.

Most recently he published The Early Days of the European External Action Service: A Practitioner’s View, in the Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 2012. He is currently working on a contribution to a book on the French critical sociologist, Luc Boltanski, in which he and Professor William Outhwaite of Newcastle University reflect on the relevance of the theoretical frameworks of Bourdieu, Boltanski and Georgeakis to the analysis of the EU.

His research project at the LSE focussed on the changing nature of European Diplomacy. He is the organiser of a major conference on the European External Action Service to be held in London on 22nd November and a related book to be published in 2013.

See below for details of the conferences on the European External Action Service in 2012 and 2013.

2010-11 Elizabeth Iskander

Elizabeth worked as a Middle East analyst in various capacities for ten years. She writes for publications in English and Arabic, including World Politics Review, al-Majalla, EA Worldview, Roz al-Yousef, Oxford Analytica and the Economist Intelligence Unit. She has also coordinated a number of research projects on Middle Eastern politics, religion and law for non-governmental organisations.

From 2003-5 she coordinated a project on Islamic law and international parental child abduction for Reunite. This project involved researching laws pertaining to child custody, guardianship, marriage and nationality in 40 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Elizabeth wrote up the findings and created a database which is now used to advise families, the Foreign Office and lawyers on key legal, cultural and religious issues.

Between 2005-2010 Elizabeth completed her doctoral studies in Middle East politics. Her thesis is entitled, "Coptic Media Discourses of Belonging: Negotiating Egyptian Citizenship and Religious Difference in the Press and Online". During this time she tutored undergraduate students in Middle East Studies and from 2008-10 she also worked as director of research at the Next Century Foundation, a conflict resolution think tank engaged in track two diplomacy and research on the Middle East region with an emphasis on Iran.

Elizabeth has a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge, an MA in International and Comparative Law from the London School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA in Arabic and Politics from the University of Exeter.

Elizabeth's programme of research was an analysis of Arabic media discourses concerning Iran and particularly Iran as a potential source of conflict for the Middle East region. The project built on her research into media representations of sectarian conflict and her policy work on Iran and Middle East security. She explored how Arabic media constructs potential regional conflict between Iran and Arab. The research focussed on understanding the role of identity politics in Arab-Iranian relations, with an emphasis on examining whether there is an increased tendency to represent regional tensions and security challenges as a clash between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims. The objective was to contribute to a nuanced understanding of the position of the Arab world vis-à-vis the current tensions between Iran and the international community and the role that religious sectarian discourses could potentially play.

Elizabeth's papers included:

See Conference and Annual Report below.

2009-10 Ben Shepherd

From 2004-2009 Ben was the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) specialist on the Great Lakes region of Africa and African conflict, with a primary focus on Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). His work included frequent research visits to the region and short postings in Eastern DRC, Kinshasa, Kampala and Paris. He was previously (2002-2004) the researcher and co-ordinator for the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes at the UK Houses of Parliament. He holds a BSc in Politics and Sociology from the University of Bristol and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. He can work in English and French.

Ben's program of research examined the policy choices of state actors in addressing conflict involving non-state armed groups in areas of weak or non-existent state control, including the dynamics of seeking negotiated settlements and state-building as a conflict resolution tool. Research focussed on a number of case studies, to include Somalia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and the DRC, through the lens of UK foreign policy decision-making. Ben maintained a secondary focus on contemporary events in Central Africa.

Ben's papers included:

See annual report below.

2008-9 Elizabeth Stubbins Bates

Elizabeth Stubbins Bates was the first David Davies of Llandinam Research Fellow from 2008-9. From 1 October 2009, Elizabeth was a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Law Department, while she completes a book on counter-terrorism and international law for the International Bar Association.  Publication took place in spring 2010. Elizabeth presented the book's preliminary findings at a panel discussion at the International Bar Association Annual Meeting in Madrid in October 2009.

In 2007, Elizabeth was a consultant expert in international humanitarian law for the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University (HPCR).

In 2005 and 2006, Elizabeth was a Legal Adviser to three regional programmes and to the Darfur Crisis Team at Amnesty International. Also in 2006, Elizabeth held an Arthur C. Helton Fellowship from the American Society of International Law (ASIL), and monitored human rights violations against children and young adults with mental disabilities in Bulgaria.

Elizabeth has an LL.M. (Master of Laws) from Harvard Law School and a BA in Law from Oxford University. She can work in English and French, and speaks some Russian.

Her research on state practice in counter-terrorism detention led to a collaboration with the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute. Elizabeth wrote a book commissioned by the International Bar Association entitled Terrorism and International Law: Accountability, Remedies and Reform  (ISBN 978-0-19-958918-0) which was published by the Oxford University Press in February 2011. The book was overseen by the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute Terrorism Task Force.

In addition to her work with the International Bar Association, Elizabeth researched and drafted three articles for publication during the David Davies of Llandinam Research Fellowship. The first, 'From Assertion to Methodology in Customary International Human Rights Law' (© ASIL) was published in late 2010 in the Proceedings of the American Society of International Law Annual (ASIL) Meeting 2009, having been presented at the Annual Meeting's Research Showcase. The second article, 'Examining Lex Specialis: Detention and the Co-Applicability of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law', will be submitted for publication in the summer of 2009. The third article, 'Customary International Human Rights Law and Detention in the "War on Terror"', was presented at the LSE Department of International Relations IR500 Seminar for Staff and Research Students in April 2009.

See conference and annual report below.

Dinam fellow conferences

Reinventing UN and private sector cooperation to implement the 2030 development agenda - 9 January 2017

A growing array of multi-stakeholder partnerships and advocacy platforms have been launched in recent years aimed at convening and catalysing governments, the private sector and civil society to help achieve shared development objectives. New partnerships are being developed by and in cooperation with the United Nations in response to the 2030 Development Agenda agreed by world leaders in September 2015. As a recent UN report on partnerships puts it:
“The achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals will require all hands on deck. It will require different sectors and actors working together in an integrated manner by pooling financial resources, knowledge and expertise.”

What more should the United Nations system be doing to advance effective multi-stakeholder development partnerships, including on issues such as setting overarching principles, performance standards and governance arrangements?

How can the UN system more strategically convene the right actors at international, regional and national levels and support efforts to develop trust, capacity and effective governance and accountability mechanisms for such initiatives?

What roles should the UN play in evaluating the impacts of partnerships on the lives of intended recipients?

This expert workshop seeks to contribute to ongoing debates in this area and draw on lessons from existing initiatives led by or involving UN actors, including ongoing and new partnership and global advocacy platforms. The aim is to reflect on where partnership efforts have succeeded and fallen short to date as well as explore possible pathways forward for improved governance and performance.

• Susan Bissell, Director, "Global partnership to end violence against children"
• Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer, "Sustainable energy for all"

Reinventing corporate accountability after Rana Plaza - 23 June 2015

The Rana Plaza collapse - which resulted in a death toll of over 1100 victims, and leaving more than 2,500 workers people injured - is the deadliest garment-factory disaster in history. For many observers, the collapse revealed the moral bankruptcy of private regulatory initiatives, including codes of conduct and their monitoring systems, set up to address substandard working conditions within global production networks. This one-day workshop will bring together experts to discuss alternative strategies of regulating corporate behavior throughout global production networks. It will debate the role of (transnational) social movements and solidarity in keeping lead firms accountable; explore the role of initiatives that put labor agency central; and debate possibilities for keeping corporations legally accountable for substandard working conditions.

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European diplomacy post-Westphalia and the European external action service: taking stock and looking forward - 19/20 November 2013

A conference at Europe House organised by the London School of Economics, with the support of EC Representation in the UK and the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES) .

The 2013 event will build on the success of the 2012 EEAS conference, inviting participants back to examine the significance, impact and prospects of the European External Action Service in particular and European diplomacy in general. It will discuss contributions by a selection of last year’s speakers to a dedicated edited volume. The second day will see debate on the future of the EEAS, examining questions such as how well equipped the EEAS is, in the words of the High Representative, to “add value” by serving as “more than a foreign ministry, by combining elements of a development and of a defence ministry.”

The conference is extremely timely, following in the footsteps of the EEAS review and contributing to the current lively debate in both policy-making and academic circles on the impact, nature and future of one of the newest and most important institutional innovations in the EU’s external role. The conference will enhance these debates by bringing together a wide range of experts and practitioners with direct experience of the work of the EEAS. The conference will contribute to better understanding of the Service and issues associated with it. The edited volume resulting from the conference will be one of the most comprehensive and informative sources of information and analysis to date on the EEAS.

Download abstracts [PDF]

The European external action service: changing the nature of diplomacy or old wine in new bottles? - 22/23 November 2012

A conference at Europe House organised by the London School of Economics and the Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust

Diplomatic adaptation to the existence of the EU has largely focussed on broad trends of reform in foreign ministries arising from membership. New arrangements have evolved for the conduct of foreign affairs by EU member state governments, fostering the emergence of procedures and norms for EU coordination. In fact, the adaptation has been partly driven by global rather than merely EU-specific changes. Yet, importantly, national foreign ministries have authorised the creation in the EU of a system of procedures for coordinating the workings of national diplomatic systems and creating EU institutions and procedures parallel to national arrangements. The key issues now are whether the result is enhanced European policy-making, whether the EU’s institutional arrangements have become more effective than the product of the EU’s component parts and whether the EU has created a basis for foreign policy making of relevance to other regional organisations.

Both the European Commission and the Council of the EU saw a growth in competence, agenda and staff in the field of external affairs and foreign policy long before the Lisbon Treaty. These were forerunners of the new European External Action Service, which was supposed to decrease administrative complexity and bureaucratic rivalries and form a key step in the creation of what might become a `EU diplomatic system’ – a collection of institutions and organizations managing relations between the EU and its member states and mediating between the EU, third states and international actors, whether governmental, non-governmental, regional or global. Yet ‘competence’ has remained essentially contested. Many have argued that competing mindsets within the EEAS have continued the pre-Lisbon turf battles, which so lamed the workings of CFSP - and were supposed to disappear.

This conference involves several levels of analysis: conceptual shifts in the organization of diplomacy in the EU, practical adaptive processes, new structures and enhanced professional standards, structural developments (integrative or regressive?) in the Commission, the Council and the EEAS. The conference poses the question of whether the European External Action Service and the High Representative, perhaps a EU ‘foreign minister’ in all but name, actually form a new diplomatic system. The conference also looks at emerging patterns of EU diplomatic representation in third states and international organizations. Underlying the analyses is a question relating to the continuance (or not?) of member states' national arrangements for representation, most usefully viewed in terms of costs and benefits of retaining or creating national diplomatic structures, a potential corollary being the conceivable removal of some tasks away from national foreign services to a new ‘supra’ national diplomatic service, questioning the ‘Westphalian’ model. The conference also covers personnel and training issues, for these may prove to lie at the heart of successful promotion and achievement of a new form of non-state diplomacy.

Finally, the hypothesis is that, overall, incentives to reform diplomatic services are not the ‘intellectual property’ of the EU, but are relevant worldwide. ‘Europe’ may nonetheless prove to be the most successful example of resulting diplomatic change – and potentially a model for other regional organisations.

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Arab-Iranian relations: discourses of conflict and cooperation conference - Wednesday 7 September 2011

Relations between Iran and its Arab neighbours have been marked by a complex ebb and flow of tensions, suspicions and alliances. Now, in the midst of the Arab uprisings, these relations have been thrown into greater flux and this uncertainty has severe implications for the whole Middle East region. This timely conference will feature leading academics and journalists who will explore the impact of recent events on the future relations between Iran and Arab states.

The conference is organized around four panel discussions:

  • Iran and the Arab World Post-2003

  • Reporting Iranian-Arab Relations: Media, Ethics and Conflict

  • Ethnicity, Religion and Nation

  • National Security, Regional Stability: Prospects for Arab-Iranian Conflict and Cooperation

Keynote speaker: Professor Gary Sick, Columbia University

Listen to speech
Listen to session [MP3]

Download briefing [PDF]

Read programme [Word]

Symposium on detention & rendition in the "War on Terror" - 6 May 2009

On 6 May 2009, the LSE Department of International Relations held a Symposium on Detention and Rendition in the "War on Terror", organised by the first David Davies of Llandinam Research Fellow. The Symposium comprised four panel discussions, each of which included academics in International Law and International Relations, and a representative of a human rights non-governmental organisation. The programme for the Symposium and audio files of the day's discussion can be found below.

Dowanload programme [PDF]

Listen to session 1 [MP3]
Listen to session 2 [MP3]
Listen to session 3 [MP3]
Listen to session 4 [MP3]


Dinam fellow annual reports

Further details

This is a fixed term fellowship held in the International Relations Department at the LSE, normally held for a period of one or two years. It is intended for practitioners in the field of international politics, broadly conceived, rather than as a post for someone pursuing an academic career.

Responsibilities / duties

To pursue a research project, which should normally involve collaboration with international, governmental or non-governmental organizations (including civil society groups and private sector enterprise). The project may relate to any area of policy in the field of international politics, including for example: international human rights; corporate responsibility and accountability of international corporations; international trade; international finance; the environment; war and peace; diplomacy and foreign policy; conflict resolution and new security challenges.

  1. To disseminate research to academic and non-academic outlets through publication and contribution to relevant conferences and seminars.

  2. To organize at least one seminar/conference at the LSE on the theme of the research project, building bridges between academic and policy communities, in each year of the fellowship (see Conferences above).

  3. To report regularly to the David Davies of Llandinam Fellowship Committee at the LSE, and at least once a year to report to, and meet with, the Donor.

Application process

The Fellowship is advertised nationally and internationally.  Recruitment normally takes place during spring/summer each year with the appointee's term running from September for one academic year. Details of the application process for the next Fellowship will be advertised in due course.

David Davies of Llandinam


David Davies of Llandinam (1880-1944) was a businessman, politician and international campaigner.   A Welshman with a wide range of interests and commitments, he was profoundly influenced by the 1914-1918 war and throughout his life devoted much of his considerable energy and thought to the search for a new approach to international relations.

In 1919, he endowed the first chair of international politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, for the study of "those related problems of law and politics, of ethics and economics".   In 1931, he conceived a new society "The New Commonwealth" to seek a new international order between states, which became a major vehicle for his campaigning on the international stage. His approach to international relations had at its core a profound commitment to democracy, a recognition that ordinary people paid the price for failures in relations between states, and a belief that people everywhere should wake up to the fact that the "world is our concern".

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