Leicester Exchanges

From one of the UK’s leading universities comes a new way to make real progress on some key issues that shape our society. Join some of Britain’s leading academics and highest-profile opinion formers as we seek answers that could change the way we live for the better. So, the floor is yours; will you make the most of it?

England and the World Cup: not a marriage made in football heaven

John Williams

By John Williams, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Leicester.

After months of rampant speculation, disturbingly detailed media stories about alleged FIFA corruption, accounts of the deaths of workers on multi-million stadium construction projects in Brazil, a shoal of violent local street protests, documentaries about the problems of poverty and Brazilian child prostitution, and millions of words spent on describing the world’s best players and coaches, the football World Cup finals are finally upon us.  Our feted South American hosts are up against Croatia tonight (Thursday 12 June) and England will soon be pitted against old rivals Italy, up in the heat and humidity of the Brazilian Amazonian tropics.

Read More »

Whisper it, but Tony Blair might be the man to save Europe.

Dr Oliver Daddow

By Dr Oliver Daddow, Reader, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester

The momentous success of Eurosceptical and anti-establishment parties at the May 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections has thrown the longstanding aim of generating “ever closer union” among the peoples of Europe into severe disarray. The shorthand description given to this continent-wide convulsion has been “populist earthquake”. The upheaval centres on the rise or return to prominence of a series of parties, principally but not exclusively on the right of the political spectrum. The national and regional repercussions look set to be felt for many years to come.

Read More »

The Postcard: Wish you were here?

Dr Sarah Hodgkinson Staff Photo
By Dr Sarah Hodgkinson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Criminology, University of Leicester

The postcard, a friendly hello from a far away place – or is it? Dr Sarah Hodgkinson from the Department of Criminology examines the evolution of dark tourism, and questions the moral implications of opening up tragic sites for mass consumption.

Read More »

Malaysian MH370: The importance of perspective

Simon Bennett

By Dr Simon Bennett, Director, Civil Safety and Security Unit, University of Leicester.

Following the 8 March, 2014 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 a respected aviation journalist said: “Catastrophic things do not happen to modern aeroplanes. They just don’t”. Well, they do. Since 1948 around eighty aircraft have been declared ‘missing’ where not a single corpse, skeleton or scrap of metal has been found. Aircraft can fall from the sky or vanish for many reasons.

In the 1950s metal fatigue – at that time an unfamiliar failure mode – destroyed several Comet airliners. In September 1970 the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked four commercial passenger jets to Dawson’s Field, a remote desert airstrip in Jordan. Read More »

Live event catch up: Social mobility – realising ambitions

Mark Riley Cardwell reports on the Leicester Exchanges live debate, which took place at the national office of charity Teach First, in London, on Thursday 13 March 2014. The topic under discussion was how both higher education and graduate employers can help push social mobility further, giving everyone the opportunity to realise their ambitions.

Many talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds still believe top graduate jobs are simply not open to them, experts warned at an event to discuss social mobility in graduate recruitment.

Speakers from leading graduate employers said it was up to organisations to spark the aspirations of children from non-privileged backgrounds early on to prevent them “self-selecting” themselves out of high-flying jobs. Read More »