Power, Conflict and In/Securities Research Group

The Power, Conflict and In/Securities research group has interests across a range of significant fields of social science: cultural representations of and the impact of wars and militarisation; prisoners of war; the construction of public and governmental perceptions of in/security and the processes and power relations underlying these; public understandings of the nuclear industry; risk, (in)security and protection; Arab/Israeli conflict; peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention; and political violence.

Much of the group's research is conducted in collaboration with colleagues at other institutions and internationally. The group is home to PhD and postdoctoral researchers who are carrying out research within the field.

The group seeks to enhance the consideration of Power, Conflict and In/Securities and it is open to anybody with an interest in this broad and important field. All are welcome.

Current and recent funded research

Securing the future of nuclear power through heritage-making (2015–)

Coordinator: Dr Egle Rindzeviciute

Heritage institutions such as museums are crucial sites where the modern de-industrialising society seeks to develop viable governmental frameworks for governing both the past legacies and futures of the nuclear industry.

This process is explored in Dr Egle Rindzeviciute's (PI) research projects, such as the international research networking project "Nuclear Cultural Heritage: From Knowledge to Practice" (funded by UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2018–2021) and the international research development project "Nuclear Spaces: Communities, Locations and Materialities of Nuclear Cultural Heritage (NuSPACES)" (2021–2024), funded by a grant from the European Union's Joint Programming Initiative for Cultural Heritage and the AHRC.

These projects extend further Dr Rindzeviciute's work (as a Co-I) at international research project "Atomic Heritage Goes Critical: Community, Waste and Nuclear Imaginaries" explores the making of nuclear heritage. Funded by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Sciences (2018–2020) and 'Nuclear Legacies: Negotiating Radioactivity in France, Russia and Sweden' (the Baltic Sea Foundation, 2015–2017).

The military in our midst (2018–2020, funded by a Leverhulme research grant)

Coordinator: Professor Vron Ware

The project analyses the complex dynamics of an embedded military presence in Tidworth, a historic garrison town on the edge of Salisbury Plain, and explores the impact of the military footprint in a locality shaped by more than a century of continuous war-preparation.

The politics of military loss in Europe (2014–2015, funded by the Swedish Research Council)

Kingston Coordinator: Professor Vron Ware

This project is a Swedish Research Council-funded feminist study of the impact of military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. This comparative project examines how deaths of European soldiers in Afghanistan are given societal meanings and justifications and how these losses have been politically framed and handled.

The project proceeds from the idea that these new military deaths transform established understandings of national belonging. Professor Vron Ware, in collaboration with colleagues from six countries with different war histories, geopolitical positions and gender regimes, analyse media narratives and parliamentary debates to investigate two issues. First, how the losses in Afghanistan restructure relations between war, national identity and gender. Second, how these reshaped national identities influence democratic discussions and practices.

The research was published in the book: Gendering Military Sacrifice: A Comparative Feminist Analysis. Cecilia Ase & Maria Wendt. (eds). Routledge, 2019

Professor Vron Ware co-edited a special issue of Critical Military Studies: Delori, Mathias, and Ware, Vron. "The Faces of Enmity in International Relations. An Introduction." Critical Military Studies 5.4 (2019): 299-303.

Preservation, accessibility and use of WW1 Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) records (2014–16)

Coordinator: Dr Sue Hawkins

Hawkins's project produced a database from 250,000 membership cards relating to members of Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs), now accessible via the British Red cross website. The information on the cards provides invaluable insight into the British Red Cross volunteers during the war effort. Through the construction of the database, Hawkins' research has had an impact on the knowledge and awareness of the public by massively increasing the accessibility of an important archive. It has led to the creation of a volunteer network of over 800 people, establishing networks of interested participants beyond the academy. It has also informed work in the heritage sector, as the resources of the database have been drawn on by a number of museums and galleries. BRC educational materials, built from and using the records, to commemorate the WW1 Centenary have been downloaded over 2,000 times. Eight museums have made use of the resource in their own WW1 projects.

Recent events

Splitting the Atom (September–October 2020)

Dr Rindzeviciute initiated and consulted the international contemporary art exhibition, Splitting the Atom, curated by Virginija Januskeviciute and Ele Carpenter, the Contemporary Art Centre and the Energy and Technology Museum, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Association of Critical Heritage Studies Biennial Conference (26–30 August 2020)

Dr Rindzeviciute convened and chaired a discussion panel "The Futures of Nuclear Cultural Heritage: Taking Cultural Policy Beyond Residual Governance" at the 5th Association of Critical Heritage Studies Biennial Conference, at UCL, London, UK.

(Re)Placing Chernobyl (18 May 2020)

(Re)Placing Chernobyl, convened and chaired by Dr Rindzeviciute, was an online webinar discussing the cultural legacies of the Chernobyl with participation of Johan Renck, the director of the HBO Chernobyl miniseries, Simon Evans, the head of the EBRD Chernobyl shelter project, and engineering and social and humanities scholars. In cooperation with the SSEES-UCL and the Embassy of Lithuania in the UK. Live streamed by Art and Media Programme at the MIT, USA, and the Environmental Humanities department, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.

Nuclear Cultural Heritage (12 March 2020)

On 12 March 2020, Dr Rindzeviciute gave a public lecture – "Nuclear Cultural Heritage" – for Visaginas City Council, Lithuania.

Nuclear and Social Science Nexus (12–13 December 2019)

Dr Rindzeviciute was a member of scientific committee of the international workshop The Nuclear and Social Science Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities for Speaking across the Disciplinary Divide, organised by the Nuclear Energy Agency, OECD Headquarters, Paris, France.

Atomic heritage (24–27 October 2019)

Dr Rindzeviciute convened and chaired "Atomic Heritage: Assembling Atomic Cultures, Communities and Knowledge, Sessions 1 and 2" and "Cybernetics: Past and Future," the Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), Milan, Italy.

Collecting: assembling nuclear cultural heritage (January and March 2019)

Dr Rindzeviciute convened and chaired three workshops bringing leading heritage practitioners and scholars of nuclear science and technology. Collecting: Assembling Nuclear Cultural Heritage took place at Kingston University on 25 January and 15 March 2019, and at Thurso in Scotland in September 2019. There was participation from representatives of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd, Dounreay Ltd, Nucleus Archives, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Science Museum in London, Deutsches Museum, the National Museum of Scotland, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, the Khlopin Radium Institute Museum in Saint Petersburg, the Cultural and Historical Centre of Rosatom in Moscow, the universities of Edinburgh, Exeter, Goldsmiths, the UCL and others.

War, technology and law: the future (November 2018)

Dr Peter Finn organised the interactive workshop, ‘War, Technology and Law: The Future' with Camilla Molyneux, Researcher for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drones.

The PhD and the powerful: a BISA postgraduate workshop (November 2018)

Read about this workshop, held at Kingston University in November 2018.

Dr Finn, one of the co-organisers of the workshop together with Dr Cerella, later published The PhD and the Powerful.

Futures of sacrifice (30 November 2018)

Dr Antonio Cerella organised with Lancaster University this international symposium.

Lithuanian nuclear history exhibit (March 2018)

Dr Rindzeviciute, with Jonas Zukauskas, designed and presented an exhibit on the Lithuanian nuclear history at the exhibition Baltic Material Assemblies, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architectural Association (AA), London, UK. The exhibit ran from 1 to 25 March 2018.

The urban knowledge and non-knowledge infrastructure (8–13 July 2017)

Dr Rindzeviciute designed this week-long session of tutorials – an international artist residency in relation to the exhibition "Trauma and Revival", curated by Peter Weibel, supported by the EU Culture Programme and consortium, based at Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, Latvia.

Nuclear heritage: from knowledge to practice (6 July 2017)

Dr Rindzeviciute convened and chaired this pilot workshop, bringing academic researchers and museum practitioners, at the Science Museum, London, UK. There was participation from Rodney Harrison (UCL), Susan Molyneux-Hodgson (Exeter), Alison Boyle (Science Museum), Sandra Kemp (Imperial), beki Pope (Caithness Horizons Museum), James Gunn (Dounreay Site Ltd), and Ele Carpenter (Goldsmiths).