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Academic Spotlight: Professor Karen E. Smith


Academics at LSE are dedicated to making sure their research can be used meaningfully in contexts that extend far beyond academia. Hear how they are transforming the world with their valuable work.

Students come from all over the world, and bring their different perspectives on some of the cases we study (from the Holocaust and Rwanda to Syria and Myanmar) which enriches discussion

Professor Karen E. Smith, International Relations

 

 

 

Professor Karen E. Smith is a Professor of International Relations at LSE and has been on the faculty since 1997. Her main area of research is the “international relations of the European Union” and she has written extensively on common EU foreign policies.

Professor Smith is very much dedicated to ensuring that her research interests are both utilised and nourished effectively. One way of achieving this has been through her role as Director of the European Foreign Policy Unit (EFPU), which exists within LSE’s International Relations Department.

The unit acts as a focus for research and teaching and attempts to create a collective European foreign policy. Her work here holds a great deal of contemporary relevance, as the EFPU has been advantageous to the BREXIT debate, aiding the British government’s need to consider the UK’s new position outside of this global power structure – and how to deal with the UK’s concurrent loss of influence.

"These are testing times for multilateralism, and EU-UN relations have much to teach about how the challenges and opportunities that cooperation among international organisations present."
Professor Karen E. Smith, Professor of International Relations

Multiple faculty members from the International Relations department are working on the EFPU and are linked by their work in European foreign policy. Together, they share the priority of disseminating their research findings as widely as possible and contributing to policy debates. The EFPU host workshops and conferences, publish their working papers online, and host a lecture series so that students can get involved, learn more and hopefully feel driven to similarly direct their studies in a way that can transform the world.

"I’ve taught the Summer School course on Genocide for three years now and every  summer I’ve been energised by the deep interest that students have shown for the course: it’s somewhat surprising because the topic is a difficult and challenging one, especially to study during the bright days of summer."
Professor Karen E. Smith, Professor of International Relations

Professor Smith teaches the Summer School course IR202 Genocide: History, Theory, Prevention, and her research in this area extends far beyond academic circles, as she co-chaired the Task Force on EU Prevention of Mass Atrocities from 2012 to 2013. As the prevention of genocide relies on the implementation of policies by international organisations such as the EU, Professor Smith’s work in the field holds direct value to her delivery of the course. She has also written an academic text, Genocide and the Europeans, which takes a look at Europe and the EU’s distinct position in tackling and reacting to international acts of genocide.

Her interdisciplinary approach remains loyal to her key research interests, which continue to run throughout her work. She demonstrates that LSE is not only a valuable learning environment where knowledge can be passed onto students and where academic work can flourish, but academics such as Professor Smith also remain in keeping with LSE’s founding principle: “for the betterment of society.”

"We spent a year talking to EU and EU member state officials, NGO representatives and academics, to identify strengths and weaknesses of EU mass atrocity prevention efforts, and make recommendations to strengthen the EU’s capacity to prevent mass atrocities. Since our report was published in spring 2013, the EU has made some improvements in this area."
Professor Karen E. Smith, Professor of International Relations


 

The academic community at LSE is full of students and lecturers who are dedicated to making their research worthwhile on a broader scale. By tapping into the concerns of contemporary sociopolitical debates, lecturers and students alike will have the chance to make a meaningful change in the world.

 

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Summer School Mailing List

  • Which course subject area(s) would you like to know more about?
  • Your privacy
    The details you give on this form will be stored on a secure database. LSE Summer School will use your data to send you relevant information about the School and to find out about your experiences of applying to LSE. The data on the form will also be used for monitoring purposes and to track future applications. LSE will not give or sell your details to any other third party organisation. Your data is subject to the LSE website terms and conditions and our Data Protection Policy. You can withdraw from our lists at any time by using the 'unsubscribe/manage email preferences' link that can be found in the footer of each email, or by contacting summer.school@lse.ac.uk.