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75th Anniversary Department of International Relations

The Department of International Relations celebrated its 75th anniversary during the year 2002-2003.

From 10 November to 19 December 2003, the Library hosted a display of documents from LSE Archives in the Library lobby. These documents chart the Foundation and History of the International Relations Department.

The subject was taught at LSE in various forms before 1927, mostly in the context of international law, but it was only with the founding of the Department, and then the sponsoring of Philip Noel Baker's chair by Montague Burton from 1930 on, that it became truly established. Three quarters of a century later the Department now has 28 full-time staff, plus two Tutorial Fellows, and hosts nearly 500 students each year, as well as teaching many others from related departments. Relations with the Departments of Government and International History, plus the European Institute and the Development Studies Institute are particularly close.

We celebrated our anniversary in various ways. In particular, it was a pleasure to welcome the annual conference of the British International Studies Association to LSE for the first time on 16th - 18th December 2002. Past members of the Department such as Geoffrey Goodwin and Susan Strange were heavily involved in establishing BISA in the early 1970s, and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to display our wares on this occasion, both in terms of our excellent accommodation in Clement House and an intellectual contribution through convening thirteen panels and participating in many more.

During Michaelmas Term 2002, we also mounted two special Anniversary lectures at the School. On 26 November 2002 Christopher Hill spoke on the title What is to be done? Foreign Policy as a site for political action - this arising from his recently published book, The Changing Politics of Foreign Policy (Palgrave). The lecture was also published in International Affairs March 2003, Vol 79, No2. Then on 10 December 2002, Professor Peter Katzenstein of Cornell University - with whom we have long-standing links - spoke on 'A World of Regions'.

A notable but also sad aspect of the Anniversary has been the publication of two books by our distinguished colleague Philip Windsor, who died prematurely in 2000. Two of his ex-students, Mats Berdal (who took up a chair at King's in January 2003) and Spyros Economides (a current member of the LSE Department) worked hard to ensure the appearance this year of Philip's last book Strategic Thinking: An Introduction and Farewell (Lynne Reinner: IISS Studies in International Security) and his collected essays Studies in International Relations (Sussex Academic Press). A reception to mark the publication of Strategic Thinking was held at the BISA conference.

Millennium: Journal of International Studies has been a particular source of pride to the Department ever since Fred Northedge and his research students founded it in 1971. The outgoing editors, Elisabetta Brighi and Harry Bauer, have produced a special issue which centres on the Department and its history. In the great traditions of the journal this is wholly a matter for its student editorial team, even if staff are always available to provide help, advice and occasional submissions (which are far from having an inside track to acceptance!) and we awaited its appearance with much curiosity - and gratitude.

One very constructive product of the Anniversary has been our decision to create two Anniversary Scholarships, given to students we thought worthy of entry for ESRC awards but who proved unlucky in the lottery of that competition. PhD students living in London are especially hard-pressed, yet they are a vital part of the Department's future. Accordingly we wish to do as much as possible to relieve their financial pressures, even if, with over 130 research students, that is an uphill task. After this year the Anniversary Scholarship will be renamed the Michael Leifer Research Scholarship in honour of our well-loved and distinguished scholar of South-East Asian international relations, who died early in 2001.

The Department is, indeed, undergoing a period of some change. Apart from the deaths of Philip Windsor, Michael Leifer and (in 1998) Michael Hodges, we have lost to retirement Michael Banks, Michael Donelan and Geoffrey Stern, while James Mayall, Justin Rosenberg and Erica Benner have moved to other universities and research projects. In the next four years retirement will also claim Michael Yahuda, Paul Taylor, Margot Light and William Wallace. The extent of this turnover would represent a challenge to the scholarly base of any department. Yet we are fortunate in being able to attract - both helped and hindered by 'the London factor' - some outstanding replacements. In recent years we have welcomed Chris Alden, Chris Hughes, Chris Brown, Katerina Dalacoura, Dominique Jacquin-Berdal, Steve Woolcock and David Stasavage. Robert Falkner and Barry Buzan joined us in September/October 2002, and Mick Cox and Kim Hutchings in January 2003. New people, new ideas, new chemistry - but all taking place in the context of an historically unique Department which has grown ever stronger over the years. Over the next quarter century we intend to promote the study of International Relations world-wide with the vigour and expertise that has come to be associated with 'IR at LSE' over the last seventy-five years.

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