New extraordinary chair for the study of the United Nations: United Nations Studies: Peace and Justice

As of 1 September 2018 Leiden University and The Hague University of Applied Sciences have an extraordinary chair for the study of the United Nations. Professor Alanna O'Malley will for the next three years, set up and lead the research group UN Studies: Peace and Justice both at Leiden University as a Professor by special appointment and at The Hague University of Applied sciences as a lector. On Tuesday 20th November Prof. O’Malley will present the research agenda for the Chair and give a talk entitled: ‘The United Nations, From Blue Helmets to Blue Skies.

Professor O'Malley will be working within with the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs at Leiden University for 0.3 FTE (full-time equivalent) as well as within The Faculty of Public Management, Law & Safety for 0.3 FTE at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. This extraordinary chair is part of the Honours Programme and was created by educational institutions in honour of Jozias van Aartsen former mayor of The Hague. With its many international courts and non-governmental organizations, The Hague, international city of Peace and Justice, is a very important city for the United Nations, and thus a more than logical location for this research docket.

"I am delighted! This extraordinary chair will help realise my wish to pay more attention to the importance of the United Nations and the role that the city of The Hague has as an international city of peace and justice," says Van Aartsen.

The Hague, City of Peace and Justice
The Hague hosts around 200 intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, Europol and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Education and research in The Hague directly contributes to these international organizations. The proximity of these UN-related organizations is of great value to students and researchers at both Leiden University and at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

About Alanna O'Malley
Alanna O'Malley is a historian specialised in the history of the United Nations, decolonization in Africa, Congo, the Cold War and international cooperation. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and History (2006) and a Master's in History of International Relations (2007) from University College Dublin. She completed her PhD at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence from 2007 to 2012. Her first book examined the diplomacy of decolonisation at the UN during the Congo crisis 1960-1964. She has also recently given a TEDxFulbright talk on these themes, shortly available on the TED Youtube channel.
In her positions as professor by special appointment and lector, she will focus on:

  • Giving (guest) lectures and organizing activities in the UN Studies field;
  • Create awareness among young people and students about the principles, goals and current role of the United Nations;
  • Encouraging young people in the boroughs of Schilderswijk and Transvaal (in the context of the so-called Schilderswijk and Transvaal University) to take part in UN-related activities, for example through an essay competition;
  • Organizing an annual lecture, preferably in the Peace Palace, where scientists, students and talented young people are invited;
  • Bridging the academic world with the field of UN Studies as well as with the city of The Hague;
  • Organizing joint events for Leiden University and The Hague University of applied sciences students

O'Malley: "I consider this an opportunity to bring together the strong UN community (including academics, practitioners and social organizations) that exists in The Hague around a clear agenda. I hope that this will lead to strong and sustainable partnerships. The UN has an image problem, we have to change it. "

Institutional positioning of the extraordinary chair
The extraordinary chair will be positioned within the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs at Leiden University, in The Hague, more specifically within the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA). At The Hague University of Applied Sciences, it will be a new research group (UN Studies: Peace and Justice) within the Faculty of Public Management, Law & Safety.