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As part of Durham Global Week, we were delighted to welcome distinguished alumnus, Lord Darroch of Kew (Hatfield College, Zoology, 1972-75), to our School of Government and International Affairs.

The UK's former Permanent Representative to the EU, National Security Adviser, and British Ambassador to the United States joined Dr Patrick Kuhn, Associate Professor in Comparative Politics and the Deputy Head of School (Education), to share his views on three of the most influential political situations of recent times, Brexit, Trump, and the War in Ukraine.

During this in-person and virtual event, Lord Darroch gave us an insight into the current state of Western Democracy, in the aftermath of Brexit, the Trump presidency, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Drawing on his extensive experience navigating complex global affairs, Lord Darroch provided valuable insights on the difficulties and uncertainties facing democracies today and the role of diplomacy in addressing these challenges.

Lord Darroch of Kew with Dr Patrick Kuhn

The event began by discussing the ongoing War in Ukraine, the most significant threat to the international status quo since the second world war or the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Lord Darroch discussed the possible reasons behind the Russian intervention, from creating a protective group of nations around Russia, concern over growing NATO power, to a desire by President Putin to restore the international respect and admiration from the Soviet era.

Dr Kuhn and Lord Darroch went on to discuss the possibilities and permutations around the potential of Donald Trump running for a second presidency and finally moved on to views around the Brexit agreement and the recent agreement, particularly relating to Northern Ireland.

The session was fascinating and could easily have lasted much longer - whether you are an international relations scholar or simply interested in current events, this conversation offered a fascinating perspective on the state of democracy in the 21st century. A recording of the event will be available soon.


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