Recent disclosures of classified documents have illustrated the ever present danger of accidental nuclear missile detonation and Chernobyl and Fukushima have shown the risks of nuclear power generation. At the same time the US/UK Mutual Defence Agreement binds the UK to permanent involvement in nuclear armaments. Kate Hudson is a political activist and academic and has been General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament since September 2010. She is a leading anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigner nationally and internationally and is author of several books including ‘CND Now More than Ever: The Story of a Peace Movement’. and ‘The New European Left: a socialism for the twenty-first century?’ She examines some of the moral, strategic and legal questions engendered by nuclear hazard
The issue of the use of armed unmanned vehicles drifts in and out of the news cycle as individuals are targeted and eliminated in areas of conflict under the mantle of the War on Terror. A number of civilians have also become victims of the snipers in the sky. Chris Cole, speaks and campaigns widely on behalf of Drone Wars UK of which he is Director. They aim to be a source of information on the growing use of armed drones and particularly of British drones in use in Afghanistan since 2007. He examines some of the moral, strategic and legal questions engendered by a growing deployment.
A vast country with immense economic resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the theatre of particularly bloody and intricate conflicts for most of the last two decades, causing an estimated 5.4 million deaths and an ongoing humanitarian crisis. The Congolese wars are also infamous for the widespread use of rape as a weapon of war. The recent signing of peace agreements between the Congolese government and the M23 rebel group has brought the conflict back into the spotlight. For once the general mood seems to be one of cautious optimism: are we seeing the beginning of a lasting peace process in the Eastern part of the country? Dr Phil Clark, a political scientist and lecturer at SOAS, will give an overview of the history of these conflicts and shed an informed light on the present-day situation. Dr Clark specialises in conflict and post-conflict issues in Africa and has written for several leading newspapers. He is also the author of “The Gacaca Courts, Post-Genocide Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda: Justice without Lawyers” (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and “Doing Justice during Conflict: The International Criminal Court in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo” (forthcoming).