SOAS students and experts to take part in international show which analyses the US Presidential ...

21 October 2020

The University of South Wales (USW) is hosting a 24-hour online show which will give experts and students from across the world the chance to debate and analyse the US Presidential Election.  The project is being run in collaboration with 3PH Group Production and media professionals and is being sponsored by the British International Studies Association, City University and the University of South Wales.

We are delighted that SOAS will be taking part in this unique broadcast that will bring students together from across the globe to engage with a project around one event – an election that will have far reaching impacts.  The students from the Centre of International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) will produce a segment which will focus on Race and Ethnicity: Power and Privilege.

Involving students and academics from 12 universities in total, ‘Decision 2020 – Academic Live Review’ will give renowned experts and students from the institutions the opportunity to provide analysis on aspects of the election, which will decide whether Donald Trump will win a second stint in the White House, or if Joe Biden will take over the reins.

The UK institutions involved in the live show will include Birmingham University, the University of East Anglia (UEA), the University of Stirling; City, University of London, Loughborough University, and SOAS University of London. Their experts will comment on US foreign policy and NATO, the role of religion in elections, the implication of the election result on global security; and power, privilege, race, and ethnicity.

University of Otago in New Zealand will focus on climate change, the environment & the Pacific.  Australia’s University of Sydney specialists will look at the mechanics of voting and media coverage of elections, those at Pune University in India will focus on Senator Kamala Harris, who is standing for the position of US Vice-President; University of São Paulo experts will look at the election’s impact on Brazil, and Cameron University of Oklahoma academics will analyse the impact of the outcome on USW foreign policy.

Professor Bela Arora from the University of South Wales, is the academic lead on the project, who has brought together the institutional partners.  Susanne Weber, who has worked in international broadcasting for the BBC for over 20 years, is taking on the role of Executive Producer and skills development lead.  Harrison Castle, of 3PH Group is an events production expert who will take the role of technical production lead.

“Each contributor and their teams will be working remotely from their own institutions and given a 90-minute segment in the show to comment on their particular subject and expertise,” Prof Arora explained.

“This can include videos to introduce themselves, one-to-one interviews, a panel discussion, and possible pre-recorded pieces with an individual talking a key theme of the election.”

As with any election the possible outcome is uncertain.

“Throughout the event we’ll be keeping an eye on international rolling news coverage and looking for responses to the breaking headlines from those involved,” Susanne Weber said.

“It’s possible there’ll be a confirmed winner, or there could be no result and counting of mail ballots could make it impossible to name a victor until the end of November.”

“It’s even possible that one candidate could declare himself winner in spite of losing or ‘no result’, which could potentially lead to protests and counter-protests.”

The project team said “Whatever happens, it’s going to be a great opportunity for experts and students to join forces to analyse an event which will have a huge impact on many millions, even billions, of lives across the globe.”

For further information, contact:

J Simon Rofe - sr56@soas.ac.uk - @drjsimonrofe