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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded solutions to enduring geopolitical problems
Irish border

Hosted by the Centre for Geopolitics & Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge

Convened by Dr Barry Colfer & Prof Eugenio Biagini


More than twenty years after the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and a century following the partition of Ireland, the Cambridge seminar on the future of the island of Ireland invites leading figures from the world of politics, culture, academia and civil society to reflect on the future of the island of Ireland. This happens as the implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU continue to play out and to reorder relations between the peoples and governments of these islands.

The meetings take the form of hour-long meetings over Zoom with an intervention on a theme by a speaker followed by a semi-structured conversation with an academic before moderated questions and answers with attendees. The seminar forms part of the European Orders strand at the Centre for Geopolitics, led by the Director, Brendan Simms.

Upcoming events in 2021 (registration available soon):

Monday 20 Sept 6pm – Sir David Lidington, former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office (Conservative Party) & Prof Eugenio Biagini, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge

Monday 4 October 6pm – Claire Hanna MP for Belfast South (SDLP) & Prof Nicholas AllenUniversity of Georgia, USA

Monday 18 October 6pm – Bertie Ahern, former Taoiseach (Fianna Fáil) & Dr Barry Colfer, St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge

Monday 25 October 6pm – Eileen Weir (Shankhill Women’s Centre) & Prof Bronwen Walter, Anglia Ruskin University

Monday 8 November 6pm – John Bruton (Fine Gael) & Prof Kalypso Nicolaides, European University Institute, Florence, Italy

 Monday 15 November 6pm – Lord Robin Eames (former Archbishop of Armagh and Anglican Primate of All Ireland)

 Monday 22 November – Matt Carthy TD (Sinn Féin)

 Monday 29 November – Ivana Bacik TD (Labour)

 Monday 6 December – Doug Beattie MLA (Leader of the UUP)

Recordings of previous meetings are available below:

Jim O’Callaghan, Fianna Fáil TD/MP for Dublin Bay South, party spokesperson on justice;

Neale Richmond, Fine Gael TD/MP for Dublin Rathdown Constituency, party spokesperson on European Affairs;

Lucinda Creighton, CEO of Vulcan Consulting, former Irish Minister for European Affairs (2011-2013)

Naomi Long MLA, Justice Minister of Northern Ireland on ‘The future of Northern Ireland’

Ian Marshall, the only unionist elected to Seanad Éireann (2018-2020), former Ulster Farmers’ Association President (2014-2016), and community activist on ‘Beyond Identity Politics: Building Bridges and Uniting People' (coming soon)


To hear about upcoming events, join the Centre for Geopolitics mailing list.  You'll receive an invitation to every event, as well as a monthly eNewsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you prefer to only hear about events in this series – or if you any questions or comments relating to it- contact Dr Barry Colfer on