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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems.
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Letter from the Directors

In 2022, the Centre for Geopolitics – launched in 2015 – reached the next level in its mission to become a world-leading centre. Pivotal to this success was the support of the Ax:son Johnson Institute for Statecraft and Diplomacy (AJI), which provided funding for three postdoctoral researchers and three PhD students to join the Centre. AJI is a collaboration with King’s College London, the Stockholm School of Economics, Johns Hopkins University, and the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit, and is part of the Centre’s flourishing international networks. We were also joined by our National Army Museum/Queens’ College Fellow working on 18th Century military history, giving us a total of five postdoc researchers working to provide historically grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems.

The Centre’s events continue to be a defining strength. We emerged from the coronavirus pandemic with a much larger in-person programme – lectures, panels, book discussions, town halls, colloquia, roundtables and simulations – than before the lockdowns, but also a full offering of online events. As one might expect, there was a huge surge of interest in our work after the Russian (re-)invasion of Ukraine. This was most evident with respect to our well-developed Baltic Geopolitics Programme but the Indo-Pacific Strand also held events looking at the Asian response to President Vladimir Putin’s attack. Our ‘emergency’ panel in the vast University Babbage Theatre was attended by more than 350 people in person and the same number online (our biggest event so far); the video has been viewed more than 25,000 times. We also co-sponsored a ‘Ukraine Teach-in’ at the Cambridge Union.

The Centre’s increasing profile on the world stage has contributed to a very good year for fundraising. Our trip to the United States brought in a substantial donation and we held our first ‘City fundraising breakfast’, which has already borne fruit with sponsorship. With the ongoing support of our generous donors, there will be further young academics joining the team in the year ahead.