Professor Michael Clarke

10 July 2012

Left to Right: Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of Aberystwyth University, receives Professor Michael Clarke as Fellow of the University.
Left to Right: Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of Aberystwyth University, receives Professor Michael Clarke as Fellow of the University.

Professor Michael Clarke, Director of the Royal United Services Institute and a graduate of the Department of International Politics, was honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University on Tuesday 10 July.

Professor Clarke was presented by Professor Len Scott from the Department of International Politics.

Professor Clarke is a former Deputy Vice-Principal and Director of Research Development at King's College London, where he remains a Visiting Professor of Defence Studies.

From 1990 to 2001, he was founding Director of the Centre for Defence Studies, from 2001-2005, founding Director of the International Policy Institute and between 2004-05, Head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy at King’s.

He was appointed as Professor of Defence Studies in 1995.

Presentation of Professor Michael Clarke by Professor Len Scott.

“Vice-President, I have the pleasure this afternoon of presenting to you for an Honorary Fellowship of this University Michael Clarke.  Professor Michael Clarke is currently the Director of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) based in Whitehall. Until July 2007 he was the Deputy Vice-Principal and Director of Research Development at King's College London, where he remains a Visiting Professor of Defence Studies. He was the founding Director of the International Policy Institute at King's from 2001-2005 and Head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy at King’s in 2004-05. From 1990 to 2001, he was the founding Director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King's being appointed Professor of Defence Studies in 1995.

“Professor Clarke’s academic career began here in Aberystwyth in the Department of International Politics in 1968. After graduating in 1971, he spent two years as a postgraduate before becoming a research officer from 1972 to 1975, and in 1974 a teaching assistant. As someone who began teaching the subject at the age of 22 he was a forerunner of the way that the department seeks to develop its research students as active teachers.

“From Aberystwyth he went to the Department of Government at Manchester in 1975 and from there to the Department of Politics at Newcastle in 1979, before his appointment at King’s College London.

“He has made his mark in the academic discipline as a scholar and a teacher. Beyond that, however, are his outstanding contributions in engaging with policy-makers in the fields of defence and disarmament. Academics are now increasingly judged by the impact they have on society. In the realm of international security, Professor Clarke has been a leader in speaking truth unto power and facilitating the spaces in which policymakers and academics can engage. He has shown that universities are not ivory towers but providers of independent as well as critical analysis, capable of challenging as well as informing government policy.

“He has been a Guest Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, and a Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London. He has been senior Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee since 1997, having served previously with the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. In 2004 he was appointed the UK member of the UN Secretary- General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. And in 2009 he was appointed to the Prime Minister's National Security Forum in pursuit of the then National Security Strategy launched in 2008. Some of you may have heard him only last week on Radio Four’s Today programme explaining some of the thinking behind the government’s latest reforms of the defence budget. As Director of RUSI he has helped transform the organisation into one of Britain’s pre-eminent think tanks. Most recently he was a founding member of the Chief of Defence Staff's Advisory Panel.

“In short, Professor Clarke has been one of the key voices in helping shape the security policy of the United Kingdom since the end of the Cold War.  It is a great honour to introduce, and welcome back, one of the Department of International Politics’ most distinguished and successful of graduates and colleagues.”

Eight new Fellows are being honoured by Aberystwyth University at this year’s ceremonies which take place between Tuesday 10 and Friday 13 July.

The title of Fellow is awarded to honour distinguished people who have a close association with Aberystwyth University or who have made an outstanding contribution to professional or public life in Wales.

The 2012 Fellows are the actor Michael Sheen, TV presenter Alex Jones, Professor Michael Clarke, Director of the Royal United Services Institute, Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose, Dr Jan Jaroslav Pinkava, Oscar winner, Rev. John Gwilym Jones, Former Archdruid of Wales, Caitlin Moran, Broadcaster, TV critic and columnist, and Judge Sir David Lloyd Jones.

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Arthur Dafis
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