The University Senate approved the establishment of a new Professorial Chair in Geopolitics in its meeting on 15th June, 2014. The first incumbent will be Prof. David Newman, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and founder of the Department of Politics and Government at the University, who recently stepped down as the chief editor of the International Journal of Geopolitics, the leading international journal in this field, after 15 years as editor.
The establishment of the new Chair comes shortly after Prof .Newman was honored for his contribution to Geopolitics at the World Congress of the Association of Borderland Studies (ABS) conference which was held the previous weeks in Joensuu Finland and St Petersburg Russia. The largest conference of its kind to date, some 450 border and geopolitics scholars from around the world were in attendance at a special plenary session dedicated to revisiting a paper published by Newman and his Finnish colleague prof Anssi Paasi back in 1998 and which has become one of the seminal and most cited papers in the field of border studies.
The presentation was made by the incoming editor of the journal, Prof. Virginie Mamadouh of the University of Amsterdam, along with Prof. Paasi from Oulu Finland and Prof. Victor Konrad from the University of Carleton in Canada.
The new Chair will be inaugurated at an international conference to be held at BGU in December 2014 as part of the FP7 Euroborders project, an EU research project consisting of 21 European and neighboring universities in a research consortium, in which Prof. Newman and BGU are one of the partners. The conference, entitled “Borders at the Interface: Europe, Africa and the Middle East”, will be jointly sponsored by the Political Geography Section of the International Geographical Union (IGU) along with the Geopolitics Section of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), as well as by the three Faculty research centers – the Haim Herzog Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Tamar Golan Centre for African Studies and the Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society (CSEPS) and will bring together Geopolitics and Border scholars from throughout the world. This is a rare case where the IGU and the IPSA will come together, crossing their respective disciplinary boundaries, to jointly sponsor and participate in an international conference of this kind.