Academic Staff: Rhiannon Vickers
Dr. Rhiannon Vickers, B.A., Ph.D. (Warwick)
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1694
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 1717
Room: 1.30 Elmfield
email : R.M.Vickers@sheffield.ac.uk
Dr. Vickers was awarded her PhD from the University of Warwick in 1998. She was a Lecturer at the University of Leeds for six years before joining the Politics Department at Sheffield in 2001. She has been a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University, Washington D.C. She is Deputy Head of Department.
Dr Vickers’ principle areas of research and teaching are International Relations and foreign policy. She has recently published the second volume of a two-volume study of the political history of the Labour Party’s Foreign Policy. She has also published on the foreign policy of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, on New Labour’s foreign policy, and on Blair and the invasion of Iraq. In addition to this she has an ongoing interest in public diplomacy and public perceptions of foreign and security policy. Her most recent research has been on the British response to the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, and she is developing an interest in British maritime security.
In my teaching I encourage students to critically engage with current issues and debates in International Relations and foreign policy, while placing them within a broader theoretical and historical context. My goal is to stimulate the students’ enthusiasm about the subject matter under discussion, to encourage them to go beyond the contents of the module outline and to feel enabled to conduct their own independent learning and research. In my seminars I use a range of methods such as group work and student presentations in order to promote inquiry-based learning and the development of students' analytical, communication and transferable skills.
POL 219 Contemporary International Affairs
This module investigates contemporary trends in international affairs and corresponding debates in IR literature. It examines the nature of foreign policy, in particular US grand strategy since 9/11 and the ‘war on terror’; ideas about sources of world order and disorder; and debates about the changing nature of war, humanitarian intervention, and sources of conflict. The module also addresses the development of non-state actors, the role of the media, and the threats posed by terrorist and criminal networks. The module highlights the nature of the state, international society, sovereignty, human rights and globalisation.
POL383 Foreign Policy: Power and Persuasion
This module examines the nature of foreign policy, the goals that a state’s officials seek to attain abroad, the values that give rise to these objectives, and the means or instruments used to pursue them, such as diplomacy, sanctions, aid, and the use of force. It then examines the ways in which governments seek to communicate their foreign policy through targeted persuasive techniques such as propaganda and public diplomacy.
POL 384 Foreign Policy Project
This module involves supervised research on an agreed topic arising out of work done on the taught module POL 383, Foreign Policy: Power and Persuasion. Students will meet their tutor individually, undertake individual research and be assessed on the basis of a 7,000 word essay. Students are expected to design, organise and execute a research plan, and in doing so will manage their own learning, reflect on it critically, and seek and use constructive feedback.
POL6970 Theory and Practice of International Relations
Rhiannon co-teaches this module with Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya.
This module offers an advanced level appreciation of the theory and practice of International Relations. In addition to providing a detailed understanding of the rival theoretical perspectives and the issues that divide them, it poses the question of whether it is possible to overcome the main disagreements between these competing approaches. In the second part of the module we examine a range of important issues in contemporary international politics and use these to unpack the limits of our theoretical imagination.
Professional activities and recognition
Assistant Editor of the journals Political Studies and Political Studies Review, June 2006 to June 2011.
Dr Vickers has recently completed a two-volume study on The Labour Party and the World. These books describe and analyse the Labour Party's foreign policy from 1900 to 2010. She is currently working on the British response to the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
- The Labour Party and the World, Volume 2: Labour’s Foreign Policy 1951-2009 (Manchester University Press, 2011)
- The Labour Party and the World, Volume 1: The Evolution of Labour's Foreign Policy 1900-1951 (Manchester University Press, 2004)
- ‘Labour Traditions of International Order and the Dilemma of Action towards Iran’, with Chris Kitchen, British Journal of Politics and IR, vol. 15, no. 2 (April 2013).
- ‘Harold Wilson, the British Labour Party and the War in Vietnam’, Journal of Cold War Studies, vol. 10, no. 2 (Spring 2008), pp. 43-72
- ‘“Blowback” for Britain: Blair, Bush and the War in Iraq’, joint authored with Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, Review of International Studies, vol. 33, no. 3 (July 2007), pp. 205-21
- 'The New Public Diplomacy in Britain and Canada', British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 6, no. 2 (Spring 2004), pp. 182-94
- ‘The Con-Lib Agenda for Foreign Policy and International Development’, in Simon Lee and Matt Beech, eds., The Cameron-Clegg Government: Coalition Politics in an Age of Austerity (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011), pp. 203-17
I currently supervise students in the areas of US foreign and security policy, British foreign and security policy, the governance of security, and humanitarian intervention.
Areas of present supervision:
- The Politics of the Responsibility to Protect: Why States are not Implementing R2P, Shazelina Zainul Abidin
- European Energy Security and Azerbaijan’s Prospective Role as an Alternative Energy Supplier and Transit Route, Faig Abbasov
- The Role of Energy in Azerbaijan’s Foreign Policy, Gunay Bayramova
- Domestic Actors and Russian Foreign-Energy Policy towards the Near Abroad, Nuray Aridici
- Constructing Identify in British Foreign Policy towards Iran after 9/11, Chris Kitchen
Areas of past supervision:
- Religious Discourse in the War on Terror. Awarded April 2012.
- Counterterrorism Strategies: the Effectiveness of Military and Civilian Strategies in Liberal Democracies, Dr Eddie Tembo
- Genocide and its Threat to International Society, Dr Adrian Gallagher
- Rethinking Peacekeeping and Peacemaking: The Implications of Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo, Dr Jae-Seok Huh
- From Belfast to Basra: Britain and the Tripartite Counter-Insurgency Model (while registered at Sheffield), Dr Andrew Mumford
- Clausewitz Redux: Formulating a Modernised Trinitarian Theory of War for the Twenty-first Century (while registered at Sheffield), Dr Tom Waldman
- US-China Strategic Relations (1989-2000): Analysis of the ‘Cooperation-Competition’ Perspective, Dr Joseph Chiu
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States Post 9/11, Dr Abdullah bin Odah