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London School of Economics

A journey through time and across borders

Kristalina Georgieva's picture

Thirty years separate these two photographs. When I returned to the LSE to give a lecture the memories flooded back of my year at the university as a British Council scholar. Still there, close to the main entrance, was the local branch of the NatWest Bank, the first bank where I ever opened an account.

The circumstances of my arrival in London were all down to perestroika. Gorbachev was urging the eastern bloc to open up to the world. Suddenly we were allowed to apply to study overseas, beyond the Iron Curtain. My first hurdle was to learn English – I have the BBC World Service to thank for accomplishing that task in a very narrow timeframe. Added to my PhD in environmental policy — a relatively rare subject for an east European at the time — got me a British Council scholarship and an entry into life on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Illuminating the Path to Peace: Public Opinion Research in Darfur

Antonio Lambino's picture

Colleagues have previously argued on this blog that public opinion is a critical force in conflict transformation and peace building.  It makes intuitive sense that serious assessment of the viability of peace processes requires taking stock of various societal forces -- not just the political will of elites but also the public will comprised of the preferences of various stakeholder groups.