Press Release

22 October 2012

Dr Mark Ledwidge, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and American Studies, has been appointed Vacation Visiting Research Fellow at the prestigious Rothermere American Institute (RAI), University of Oxford.

Dr Mark Ledwidge
Dr Mark Ledwidge

Dr Ledwidge, who is also a founding member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Network on the Presidency of Barack Obama, will focus his research on the relationship and impact of African-Americans on US foreign policy. It will provide a unique insight into the effect race and ethnicity has had upon US foreign policy, as well as highlighting how race has been relatively excluded from mainstream theories in international relations.

Dr Ledwidge said: “Although the election of Barack Obama has amplified racial issues within the global context, foreign policy analysts have not constructed conceptual ideas consistent with what is happening in contemporary politics.

“This is an under-researched area of study in international relations and foreign affairs, with inadequate coverage of race in leading journals and existing publications.

“Mainstream accounts of US foreign policy imply that US racism stops at the water’s edge. However, I credit race as a factor in the construction and application of US foreign policy.

“My proposed research project will provide a cutting edge insight into the impact race and ethnicity has on America’s foreign affairs. This includes evaluating the US security policy from a perspective that acknowledges how domestic influences such as multiculturalism, religious diversification, demographic and identity re-alignments, and the war on terror, are challenging America’s security profile. The research will extend the parameters of international relations and US foreign policy literature to include race and ethnicity as significant factors in 21st century politics.”



Notes to Editor

  •  The University of Oxford created the Rothermere American Institute in 2001 with a clear mission: to promote within and beyond Oxford greater public and academic understanding of the history, culture and politics of the United States. It has become the foremost academic institution beyond America’s shores for teaching and research in US history, culture, and politics.


  • The AHRC Research Network on the Presidency of Barack Obama was set-up with the aim to bring together scholars, students and leading specialists from outside the academic community to examine the first African-American President of the United States. The project will look at the challenges Obama’s administration faces, and the significance and impact its policies have had on America and the rest of the world; in particular focusing on racial politics, foreign policy and war, and the economic crisis.


Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2011 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
  • 2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:15:00