CEFEUS Submits Two Pieces of Evidence to Parliament

From our students – Christian George, David Turner and Noora Eveliina Virtanen 

Since we both started working our respective RED internships, we’re helping Professor Amelia Hadfield and the Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS) prepare evidence submission to two enquiries currently underway by Committees the House of Commons and House of Lords respectively.


EU UK Security Treaty Evidence

On the 25th May CEFEUS submitted evidence to the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee inquiry on Brexit and the proposed UK-EU security treaty. This marks the 8th evidence the Centre has submitted and was written with the assistance of CEFEUS Research Assistants Noora Virtanen and Fennel Wellings.

The submission highlights the key components that are under a threat after Brexit if a suitable deal is not negotiated. These components included maintaining access to information sharing, such as the SIS II, and police cooperation through Europol and Eurojust. The submission also highlighted the opportunities of negotiating bilateral treaties, such as the 2018 Sandhurst Treaty between the UK and France.

Putting together evidence is a rewarding process. We started with collecting information from the EU and the UK official databases and reading existing treaties. Once we had put together a draft version of the submission, we were lucky to be able to interview a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing at CCCU to find out their insights on the the inquiry, and add them in. All in all, writing the submission required close attention to detail but was a very rewarding experience. We were able to learn about the topic in great detail which will be useful in the future.


Brexit Freight Evidence

Then on Wednesday 6th June, CEFEUS submitted evidence to the Transport Committee on Freight and Brexit, marking the 9th submission by the Centre. It was written with the assistance of Christian Turner and Lucas Pierce. The inquiry is looking into the impact of Britain’s departure from the European Union will have on the freight industry, in addition to the proposed ‘Road Haulage and Trailers Permit’ Bill currently being debated in the House of Commons.

The submission draws upon CEFEUS’ work on a proposed report on the Border, which has involved meetings and evidence gathering from a range of sources at local, national and international level. The evidence submission itself focus on ‘The Kent Imperative’; namely issues that will affect the county of Kent. Over 16,000 HGVs travel through the county each day and any potential delays can have an egregious effect on the county. Port of Dover recently estimated that an extra two minutes processing per vehicle would result in 17 mile queues in both the UK and France. Finally, the submission concludes with some suggested solutions to the issues outlined, such as membership of the Common Transit Convention (CTC) and a Kent Brexit Bill.

Both pieces of evidence will now be considered by the committees in relation to their inquiries. Often, written evidence is subsequently published online, and in some cases, you can be asked to appear before the committee to present oral evidence in order to answer any questions the committee may have. This occurred most recently in December 2017 when Amelia Hadfield was asked to appear before the Communities and Local Government Committee on their inquiry on Local Government and Brexit. Finally, the committee will publish a report based on their inquiry, and the evidence submission may be formally cited in their observations.


All in all, it has been an exciting and helpful exercise that may help bring about meaningful change in policy at national level and we are grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on the submissions.

CCCU Faculty PhD Scholarships


We welcome applicants for full-time PhD scholarships (a stipend of £13,000 p.a., tuition fee waiver for three years and an expense allowance of £500 p. a.). In some subject areas part-time PhD scholarships will also be available (tuition fee waiver for five years and an expense allowance of £300 p.a.)

For details of the types of scholarship available in Politics and International Relations or for academic queries please contact our Director David Bates.

For further information and application details: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/postgraduate-research/phd.aspx

Closing date: midnight 20 June 2018.

Registration date: 1st October 2018.

For queries about the application process, please email: graduateschool@canterbury.ac.uk

Call for Papers: Marx After 200 Years

Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ)

University of Nottingham


Marx After 200 Years


A Workshop to be Held at the University of Nottingham,

17th-18th September, 2018


Call for Papers


To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, the Marxism Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association of Great Britain and the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, in the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham, are organising a 2 day Workshop, to be devoted to any and every aspect of Marx’s thought. Papers devoted to the history of Marxism after Marx, or discussing the relationship between theory and practice are also welcome.


The Workshop will be held on the University Park Campus at the University of Nottingham, on Monday 17th- Tuesday 18th September 2018.


If you are interested in presenting a paper,  could you please submit a proposal, containing title, abstract and brief biographical details, including any relevant publications to Tony Burns, CSSGJ, University of Nottingham, tony.burns@nottingham.ac.uk, copying in David Bates, Canterbury Christ Church University, david.bates@canterbury.ac.uk and Mark Cowling cmcowlinguk@gmail.com


The Workshop is open to all. Postgraduate research students, in particular, are invited to attend.

It is anticipated that a publication of some kind will result from the workshop, possibly a special issue of the journal Studies in Marxism.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 30th June 2018.


Tony Burns

David Bates

Mark Cowling

In Memoriam – Professor Dr Michael Burgess (1949-2018)

I first met Michael when I started my Masters’ degree at the University of Kent in September 2005. I had just arrived in the UK, my English was poor, and I was very uncertain if the choice to come to the UK (and Kent) was the right one for me. As part of my Fresher’s week at Kent, we met all academic staff one evening at a drinks reception. Michael was always surrounded by students, and what surprised me was how easily accessible and approachable he was. Of course, back then I did not know how senior of an academic he was, I just really liked him as a person. He was speaking to all students, he was interested in their background, and what touched me most – he was passionate about his own work on federalism, and strongly promoted his modules on federal theory and federal countries. I did a Masters’ degree in International Relations, so choosing Michael’s two classes on Comparative Federalism and Comparative Federations was not a natural choice. I chose them, because I found him so open, friendly and motivated. The classes did not disappoint and before long, I became deeply interested in the field of federalism, decentralisation and devolution.

The conditions of studying at Kent at the time were great. Michael arrived in January 2005 after many years at the University of Hull to set up a new James-Madison Trust funded Centre for Federal Studies. This Centre would turn into an elite research institution, and it would produce many fine scholars (and myself of course).

What Michael did during the years I worked with him is guide me in the direction of the kind of academic I wanted to be. His ability to take his work extremely serious, but not take himself too seriously in the process, remains an inspiration until today. His motivation and inspiration in his Master classes resulted in my decision to write my MA thesis on federalism in Bosnia. A topic widely ignored in the substantial academic literature on post-war Bosnia, it would take me an additional three years and a PhD thesis under Michael’s guidance before I had at least some clue of understanding Bosnia as a federal model. But these three years were some of the best of my life. Working as a PhD student on a scholarship, teaching as a seminar leader for Michael’s undergraduate EU class, and using every opportunity I had to discuss aspects of federalism, daily politics and general life with him contributed to my thorough enjoyment of my PhD years. What is more, I got to study with some great people, friends who became academics and scholars in their own right. And I got to see the Centre for Federal Studies grow, as a research centre with many publications (between 2006 and 2012, Michael published a book every year or two), and as a training centre for the next generation of Federal Scholars (and again, myself). Michael and his wife Marie-Louise, who worked as an Administrator for the Centre, made every student’s life at the Centre enjoyable, fun and rememberable.

When I graduated in 2010, I had already left the Centre – and academia – to work with asylum seekers, something Michael supported (he knew how tough it was to get a job in academia at the time), but something that he always said should be time-limited and he pushed me to keep applying for academic jobs, always referring to “the right time, the right place and the right person”. When I finally got my first academic job at Canterbury Christ Church University, he was delighted. With his career coming to an end, and the Centre winding down with Marie Louise leaving and him retiring shortly afterwards, he was thrilled for me.

And I was thrilled to be able to include him in some of my work at Canterbury Christ Church University. He taught in our summer school on federalism for many years (and always got the best student evaluations – not that he cared!), he spoke at an event about federalism and populism in Europe that we organised, and he met and discussed with many of my own PhD students.

There is no doubt that his academic legacy will live on. His 2006 book on Comparative Federalism remains probably the leading study in the field, and his 2012 book on the Federal Spirit has opened up a whole new research agenda on new federal models and the role of federal political culture in established federations. His work on European federalism, particularly when first started in the 1980s in Thatcher’s Britain, remains second to none, and everyone who wants to understand the deeper meaning behind the evolution of the European Union must read his book on Federalism and the European Union.

I was lucky enough to show my admiration for him when I edited the book “Understanding Federalism and Federation” together with Alain Gagnon, his long-term friend from Montreal, and Sean Mueller, another former PhD student of Michael, which was published in 2015. In it, we collected papers from some of the finest minds on federal scholarship, and the appraisal they had of Michael’s work at times brought me close to tears. The good news is that the book brought Michael close to tears as well, I remember when Alain, Sean and I told him about the project and how surprised and honoured he was about it. Funnily, we could only tell him about the book once we had signed the contract and all authors were on board, because we were afraid he would not let us go ahead with the project otherwise (and he indeed tried to convince us that it was not necessary).

In recent years, both his health and the political developments have taken their toll. He has been ill for most of the last three or four years, but he was a fighter. He fought prostate cancer, despite a terminal diagnosis, he fought a severe lung infection, he fought internal bleeding as a result of the radiation from the cancer treatment. He truly was a fighter.

One fight he did not win was with his own country. Michael was more than an academic, when it came to examine the British relationship with the rest of Europe. He saw it as his mission to educate the British about the EU as a federal peace project, a Kantian utopia that came to life. That battle he lost, but he did not lose his humour, as the picture demonstrates.

He will be remembered for this, as a fighter, as an inspiring academic, teacher and mentor. And as a funny and joyful friend.

Michael Burgess passed away on the 4th of February 2018. He is survived by his wife Marie Louise, his son Adam, and a whole generation of scholars that he trained, motivated and inspired.

Farewell my friend. Farewell my mentor, Farewell my professor!

Dr Soeren Keil completed his PhD under Michael Burgess’ guidance between 2007 and 2010. He is now a Reader in Politics and International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University.

New House of Commons Briefing by CCCU academic Dr Mark Bennister

Yesterday, British Prime Minister Theresa May made her second appearance before the Liaison Committee, a year after her only other appearance. These sessions with the Prime Minister have occurred since 2002 and have now become an established part of the scrutiny mechanisms available to Parliament.

Dr Mark Bennister, Reader in Politics at Canterbury Christ Church University and one of only 5 Parliamentary Fellows in the House of Commons, has now produced a briefing with the House of Commons Library that sets out the background to the evidence sessions. You can read the full briefing by clicking here or on the cover page below.