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PPR Research Seminar

Date: 6 December 2010 Time: 4.00-6.00 pm

Venue: Frankland Colloquium LB1

Nicholas Coombs

Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University


In his wide ranging talk, Nicholas Coombs (a UK Diplomat with over 20 years of diplomatic experience in the Middle East) will explore the concept of the 'devil' in diplomatic discourse with the Middle East. Using a juridical logic humans often choose to depict as devils those who cause us suffering and who enjoy a power we recognise but cannot control/defy. For example, the UK is often labelled as the "Little Satan" in Tehran. What does this imply and where do we place the devil and its associated meanings in our engagement with the Islamic world and beyond?

More fundamentally, what does this imply for the fundamental meaning of diplomacy: what is it and what is it for? What does it mean in the Islamic world? If we (citizens of the UK) believe we are at "war" with some parts of the Islamic world then what is the role of diplomacy in those areas? Lastly, what is the role of diplomacy in the relationship between modernity and Islam and how does our perception of that relationship shape international relations and UK diplomacy?


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Politics, Philosophy and Religion PPR


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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