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Thomas Jackson BA, MPhil

Thomas Jackson BA, MPhil

PhD Candidate

I am a political geographer researching diplomacy in the Russian Federation. My PhD draws on a 'critical geopolitics' perspective to examine how Russian regions have developed international activities (also known as paradiplomacy). Specifically, I am interested in how the often contested practices of diplomacy interact with wider geopolitical representations to play a significant role in state and region formation.

Career

  • 2016-present: PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge
  • 2015-16: MPhil in Geographical Research, University of Cambridge
  • 2012-15: BA in Geography, University of Oxford

Qualifications

  • MPhil in Geographical Research (Distinction), University of Cambridge,
  • BA in Geography (1st Class), University of Oxford

Research

My PhD research, funded by an ESRC studentship match-funded with Trinity Hall, explores practices of diplomacy in the Russian Federation. Specifically, it examines 'paradiplomacy' which refers to the international activity of sub-national regional governments. The project is situated in the broad field of critical geopolitics and builds on its on-going endeavour to unsettle dominant theorisations of the state, sovereignty, and international politics. It draws on the productive integration of practice theory with diplomacy studies but shifts the traditional analytical focus from the scale of the state to regional diplomacy. Three case studies based on multi-site fieldwork form the empirical underpinning of the project. The Republics of Karelia and Tatarstan as well as the city of St Petersburg are used to explore not only the quotidian practices of regional diplomats themselves but the sites and materials of paradiplomacy. The project asks how these performances are guided by, (re)produce, and challenge wider geopolitical representations which both constitute and undermine established notions of the region and the state.

Publications

Peer reviewed

  • Jackson, T. (2018). Paradiplomacy and political geography: The geopolitics of substate regional diplomacy, Geography Compass, 12 (2), https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12357.

Conference and seminar presentations

  • Plenary talk: Paradiplomacy and the nexus of political and economic geography, International Conference in honour of K. Arseniev, Petrozavodsk, Russia, 2018
  • Paradiplomacy in the Russian Federation: A Critical Geopolitics Perspective, Graduate Forum, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, 2017
  • Unpopular Geopolitics: Deconstructing self-representations of the Islamic State, MPhil Presentations, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, 2016
  • Mapping in Political Geography: Critical Geopolitical Cartographies of the Islamic State, Society, Markets, States Research Group Seminar, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, 2016
  • Mapping in Political Geography: Critical Geopolitical Cartographies of the Islamic State, Warwick Political Geography Graduate Conference, 2016

Teaching

  • Supervision: IA Geopolitics and Political Geography
  • Demonstrating: Part IB Human Geography Research Skills - Discourse Analysis and Coding
  • Part IB Copenhagen Fieldtrip 2018

Funding awards

  • Philip Lake II Fund, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (2018)
  • ESRC Fieldwork Grant (2018)
  • Fieldwork Grant, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge (2018)
  • ESRC Difficult Language Training Grant (2017)
  • Department of Geography, University of Cambridge Transferrable Skills Fund (2017)
  • ESRC/Trinity Hall PhD Studentship (2016-2020)
  • Hawks Trust Charitable Grant (2016,17)
  • Trinity Hall Aula Club Grant (2016, 2017,2018)

External activities

  • Societies, Markets, States Research Group Co-convenor 2016-17
  • Cambridge University Blues Hockey Captain 2016-17