Defence & Diplomacy

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the changing migration context and new development policies have led to the emergence of a migration-development nexus, where migration is seen as stimulating development through economic remittances. As mass migration and refugee movements have become a new symbol of loss of national identity, we can also observe the development of a new form of identity politics. Separatists movements have grown, with various regions eager to break away and acquire autonomy.

Throughout the first term, we will be focusing on Minorities and Breakaway Regions. Whilst borders have stabilised over the last century, there remain various regions striving for independence. Separatist movements range from small cantons to entire regions. Their reasons for wanting to break away are diverse, ranging from cultural and historical differences to economic justifications. For example, Catalonia’s drive for independence caught the public eye in October 2018 when an unofficial independence referendum sparked regional, national and international controversy and concern over the feasibility of independence of breakaway regions. Hong Kong and Kashmir serve as two recent examples of former independent provinces that have been under the aegis of central governments for the past few decades but are now willing to exercise their national sovereignty. While Hong Kong has had an autonomous government since 1997, its autonomy is limited and the mainland Chinese government highly present in its politics. The anti-extradition bill protests led to a major political crisis and displayed the island’s determination to redefine its relationship with mainland China.

Our policy centre will study the trend of breakaway regions and minority groups, and the ways in which these are redefining borders around the world.

In the second term, our policy center will focus on the utility of foreign development aid. Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has positioned itself as the leader of the free world and has hence strongly contributed to the economic development of third world countries. Despite aiming to reduce poverty in developing and poverty-stricken countries, development aid can also create a pattern of dependency between donors and recipient countries. Thus, we can question whether foreign development aid necessarily leads to long-lasting improvements. Moreover, we will study the deployment of foreign development aid as a political tool. This allows us to analyze whether long term foreign aid reduces the effectiveness of local government and subsequently loses its positive impact on the population.

We will study how developing countries have been affected by foreign aid and how this aid can be made more efficient.

If you are interested in our policy center and want to contribute through participation in policy papers or events, please do not hesitate to contact us at We look forward to hearing from you!

Camille Lalevée
Director, Defence and Diplomacy Policy Centre

Our Policy Centre:

Camille Lalevée


Hi everyone! I am a fourth year European Studies student. I have been working with the KTT for the past three years and I am passionate about conflict resolution and international development.

Matias Salo


I am a second year International Relations student. I am most interested in the global governance system, especially regarding peacekeeping and conflict resolution.

Jack Barrett


I am a fourth year History and French student. I am interested in international peacebuilding and conflict resolution, particularly in asymmetrical warfare.

Our Working Group:

Matthew Hii

Hi, I am a third year Law student. My areas of interest are international agreements and national security.

Femi Ivan

Greetings, I am a second year International Relations student. With a keen interest in the rising nationalist ideologies moving into populist trends and the issues surrounding immigration, I’m looking forward to research and discuss such issues.

Nicolo Vertecchi

I am a second year History and International Relations student. I am mainly interested in transnationalism and the relation of dependency between the core and the periphery of the world system.

Juliette Renaut

Hi everyone! I am a Master’s student in International Peace and Security. I am most interested in post-conflict reconstruction, foreign affairs and policymaking.

Alex Wagner

Hey, I am a postgraduate International Relations student focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the political economy of the Middle East.

Archishman Goswami

Hi everyone! I’m a first-year student in International Relations. My areas of interest are geostrategy, intelligence, security and the activities of terror groups in Asia and North Africa- given the different ways in which these fields interact to drive international politics in the modern age.