'Yugoslavia: lessons for Syria conflict resolution' by Lt Gen Jonathon Riley and Prof Richard Caplan

Past Event

24 February 2016, 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Adobe Stock Conflictblackboard Alexandre Nunes
© Adobestock/AlexandreNunes

This is a joint event between the Oxford Martin School and The Oxford International Relations Society (IRSoC)

Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley, author and historian, and Professor Richard Caplan, Professor of International Relations, will discuss how the lessons we learnt from the conflict in Yugoslavia can be used to resolve the conflict in Syria.

The panel discussion is free and open to all and will be followed by a drinks reception for members of IRSoc, membership is available on the night.

About the speakers

Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley's distinguished Military career spans over 40 years and drawing upon his experience and knowledge gained, he has become an accomplished author, speaker and historian, having written a total of 15 books to date (not including contributions), with a further two to be published in 2015.

His contribution in "British Generals in Blair's Wars", comes from his testimonials as a senior ranking Military Officer and gives a real insight into insurgency and counterinsurgency and the challenging yet changing operations during his time in command in both Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, has seen the launch of his latest book, "The Last Ironside: The English Brigade in Portugal, 1662 - 1668s".

In his years of service, Lieutenant General Riley completed six tours of Northern Ireland, five tours in the Balkans, two operations in Iraq, one in Afghanistan and one in Sierra Leone. Other peacetime tours of duty over that period of time, included Cyprus, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Kenya and the USA.

Retiring from the armed forces in 2009, Lieutenant General Riley continues his work as Military Technical Advisor, external examiner at Cranfield University and as a visiting lecturer on Military History and Campaign Studies and visiting professor to King’s College London, War Studies. In addition, he is Chairman of the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum and a Trustee of RUSI, (the Royal United Services Institute).

Today, Jonathon Riley is on the UK Register of Expert Witnesses, and has become a patron, with BBC's Huw Edwards, of LINKS 6. More recently, he was also invited to join the WW1 Commemoration advisory group, under Sir Deian Hopkin, advising the Welsh government on the centenaries and is also to Chair the British Army's group supporting these events in Wales.

He has also become a Patron for The Motivational Preparation College for Training (MPCT). The MPCT has a huge impact on recruiting with over 500 enlistments to the Royal Welsh and 1750 enlistments to the Army. MPCT also continues to employ exclusively from the Military where over 100 members of staff are Ex-Servicemen and Women.

Richard Caplan is Professor of International Relations and Official Fellow of Linacre College. His principal research interests are concerned with international organisations and conflict management. His current research is focused on post-conflict peace-and state-building. He recently completed a project on 'Exit Strategies and Peace Consolidation' that examined the empirical experiences of, and scholarly and policy questions associated with, exit in relation to four types of international operations where state-building has been a major objective: colonial administrations, complex peace operations, transformative military occupations and international administrations. (For details, see: http://cis.politics.ox.ac.uk/research/Projects/consolidation_peace.asp)

Professor Caplan is currently engaged in research on how the principal peacebuilding actors within the United Nations system differ in their understandings of the characteristics of and requirements for a consolidated peace, and the implications that these differences have for the formulation and implementation of coherent peacebuilding strategies. The project will focus on the technical, organizational and political challenges of devising operational measures of effectiveness, in particular measures of progress towards the achievement of a consolidated peace.

Professor Caplan has served as a Specialist-Advisor to the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs in the UK House of Commons; a Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS); Editor of World Policy Journal; and New York Director of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR). He has also served as a consultant to the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and to various national governments. From 2009-13 he was a UK representative on a European research consortium examining new challenges to peacekeeping and the EU's role in multilateral crisis management, and from 2009-11 he was a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Fragile States.

About IRSoc

Oxford International Relations Society is one of the most active and dynamic societies at Oxford. Its remit is to educate students about the opportunities and challenges in global affairs, including international law. Their events are widely anticipated as highlights of Oxford’s calendar and they are building an exceptional reputation among our members and throughout the wider student body. (http://www.oxirsoc.com/)