Baylis and Smith Prize

Every year we award the Baylis and Smith Prize to the best overall student in POL20010 International Relations and Security Studies. The prize is named in celebration of the leading text The Globalization of World Politics, which has become a standard textbook for international relations students. The winner gets a $150 Oxford University Press book voucher and a certificate. This year we are thrilled to announce that Adam Harris is the 2019 recipient. We asked Adam for his thoughts about security and international relations when he came in to show us the certificate (and endure the cheesy photo op!). Well done, Adam!

You’ve won this prize for POL20010 International Relations & Security Studies – so what do you think are the biggest security problems we face today? 

Having undertaken this unit, I probably feel more uncertain or rather, have more questions surrounding what our biggest security issues are within the international context. Although there are bigger, overarching global security problems we covered in the unit, my interest is pointed towards the shifting dynamic of powerful and emerging nation states. I believe the implications of this shifting dynamic will have an impact well and truly beyond the defence and economic concerns often associated with it.

What was your favourite topic in this unit, both theory-wise and in terms of case study?

My favourite topics covered in the unit would be Social Constructivism in week 5 as the theory element and also looking at the role of technological advancements in both security and insecurity in week 10. 

Although I’ve somewhat cemented myself into the more traditional theories of IR throughout my degree, Social Constructivism really stood as a theory that in my opinion, can benefit strategists and policy makers.

What books do you have your eye on from the OUP catalogue?

There’s a few books I have my eye set on from the OUP catalogue. One is Strategy in the Contemporary World by Baylis, Wirtz and Gray. Another that looks really interesting is Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law by Marco Roscini. I think they’ll be my two choices.

What are you plans next? 

Further study is definitely an option I’m considering. As far as career options are concerned I’m hoping to enter either the government or defence sectors in some capacity. Having come from an electrical background, any new role I end up in will be new and exciting I’m sure.

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