In collaboration with my friend and colleague Sebastián Bitar of Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, I have been awarded a “Researcher Links” grant from the British Council. The grant will fund research and workshops in Colombia over the next year to explore how the end of the conflict with the FARC (though of course tremendous challenges remain) might affect Colombia’s international role.
The plan for the project (from the application summary) is below:
“This project will establish collaboration between the University of Reading and the University of Los Andes to investigate Colombian foreign policy as the country emerges from decades-long civil conflicts. Colombian foreign policy has long been closely linked to aspects of the conflict. How will the end of internal conflicts create new opportunities, constraints, and incentives? The visit will produce an exchange between two leading, early career experts on Latin American foreign policy. Together, they will lead a workshop with academics and policymakers and conduct interviews with current and former officials. The applicant will benefit from the opportunity to work with top Colombian scholars on issues of international relations, political violence, internal conflict, and transnational crime. The host university will provide entrée to the Colombian policy community. The visit will establish grounds for greater cooperation, both personally and between the two universities.
“The visit will create a partnership on Colombian foreign policy in the post-conflict era. Together, we will carry out discussions and exploratory research during the grant period. This will include one workshop and one academic presentation. The exchange will lay the groundwork for additional research, articles in English and Spanish, and a grant application to expand collaboration to additional academic staff at both universities.
“I will collaborate with scholars at Los Andes to open investigation into a transitional era of Colombian foreign policy. We will hold two events and conduct exploratory research. A workshop will bring Colombian scholars and officials together for a discussion on opportunities for Colombian foreign policy. This will orient exploratory research, including interviews with current and former policymakers, conducted by myself and Dr. Bitar. At the conclusion, I will organize a workshop with academics and individuals from the policy community to discuss preliminary findings.”