Thursday February 20th 2020, 5:45pm – 7pm,

Oakeshott Room, Berrow Foundation Building, Lincoln College, Oxford.



Jody LaPorte is a Gonticas Fellow and Tutorial Fellow in Politics & International Relations at Lincoln College. She completed her undergraduate degree at Yale University, and her MA and PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to coming to Lincoln, she was a lecturer at the Blavatnik School of Government and Oxford’s Department of Politics & International Relations, and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a leading think tank in Washington, DC. Her research investigates the dynamics of politics and policymaking in post-Soviet Eurasia. Her work seeks to identify how domestic and foreign pressures—such as historical legacies, patterns of corruption, and contemporary human rights norms—shape political outcomes in non-democratic contexts.


David Goodban is the Interim Head of the Children and Young People’s Programme at Mental Health Foundation. His professional background includes teaching, social work, and family therapy. Since graduating from Lincoln College in the 1970s, he has worked clinically in learning disability, mental health and young people’s services as a manager and development consultant. He was for several years the regional development lead for the NHS’ Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services program in southwest England. Mr. Goodban has traveled widely and has worked in Libya, South Korea and the Gulf monarchies; he recently spent several months in the West Bank. He is interested in how state diplomacy can be driven by past events and historical legacies, and especially in what it means to be on the “receiving end” of such diplomacy.


Heather McTaggart is currently working towards a DPhil in History, having completed an MPhil in British and European History here at Lincoln. Before coming to Oxford, she received her BA Hons at the University of Toronto in History and Renaissance Studies. Her research focuses on Anglo-Spanish diplomacy in the Elizabethan period, and the nature of Iberian ambassadorship. She hopes to bring a historical angle to the topic by examining the foundations of resident ambassadorship and some traditional enemies from the Early Modern world to see if Early Modern ambassadors have any lessons for modern diplomacy.



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