2014 AGM

Minutes of the Political Geography Research Group (PolGRG) AGM, held in the Council Room, Royal Geographical Society, Friday 29th August 2014

Committee members present: Adam Ramadan (AR), Daniel Hammett (DH), Kerry Burton (KB), Alasdair Pinkerton (AP), Sara Fregonese (SF), Andrew Burridge (AB), Matt Benwell (SF)
Apologies for absence: Sean Carter (SC)


– Minutes of 2013 AGM were presented and adopted by the meeting.


– Matters Arising from 2013 AGM:

Political Geography Awards:
The 2013 AGM meeting asked the committee to explore possible awards that the group could bestow. The committee had discussed a number of variants, including an Early Career Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Book Prize. The committee favoured an early career bursary, in the form of financial support for the presentation of a conference paper (following similar lines to the HGRG) and an annual book prize, which were adopted by the meeting. In conversation with editorial representatives from Political Geography Journal (James Sidaway and Phil Steinberg), it was felt that there is scope for collaboration between the PolGRG and the journal in respect of the book prize. Action point: Agreed to take this forward; The committee will now move forward on this and KB to enter into book prize discussions with Jo Sharp (as reviews editor) and other members of the Political Geography Editorial Board.

Joint event on impact:
Alistair Pinkerton organised the PolGRG input to the workshop and gave feedback on the event, which took place on Tuesday August 26th and was jointly organised with EGRG, DARG and SCGRG. Around 160 people, representing academic and non-academic institutions, attended the workshop. The PolGRG committee wish to thank Alex Hughes for taking the lead on an effective and highly constructive event.


– Treasurer’s Report

DH reported that the balance reported at the last AGM was £1532.40. Income: We received a subvention of £350 on 30 December 2013 (a reduction of £25 from the preceding year) and accrued £2.96 net interest. Expenditure: In 2013 the Undergraduate Dissertation prize committee decided to award the prize jointly to two students, as a result we paid out a total of £150 (2 x £75 prizes) to the winners of these prizes on 5th December 2013
The balance currently stands at £1735.36.


– Conference Report

SF reported that the group received 20 requests for session slots and had sponsored 8 full sessions and co-sponsored 2 sessions. 2 guest passes were requested and granted to non-academic participants. It was noted that any early career bursary would be in addition to current existing scheme for free guest passes. It was reiterated that the RGS currently allows the PolGRG a total of 6 x 1 day passes, which can be granted as 3 consecutive days to cover whole conference if desired.


– Mid-term Postgraduate Workshop

No workshop had been organised in the past year, the last one being 2012 in Exeter. AR proposed that POLGRG hold a workshop in spring 2015 on the theme of ‘field work’. The group appreciated the broad theme and the meeting supported this and proposed a provisional date of April 2015. The meeting will be held at the University of Birmingham and organised by AR, with support of KB. Political Geography Journal (represented by Phil Steinberg and James Sidaway) indicated an interest in sponsoring part of the workshop; keynote talk and publishing roundtable were suggested. Action point: AR and KB to take forward.


– Elections to the committee

Three post were vacant: Treasurer, Communications Officer, and Postgraduate Representative. Officers elected at the 2014 AGM are as follows:
– Treasurer (3 years): Marco Antonsich elected – Jason Dittmer nominated, DH seconded
– Communications Officer (3 years): Matt Benwell elected – AP nominated, AR seconded
– Ordinary Member (3 years, to fill post vacated by Matt Benwell): Noam Leshem (Durham) – AR nominated, AP seconded
– Postgraduate Representative (1 year): Joe Thorogood (UCL) elected – AR nominated, AB seconded


– Undergraduate Dissertation Prize

2 prizes were awarded in 2013, which were decided following the previous AGM. These were:
Serkan Birgel (Royal Holloway) Hybrid Sovereignties in Contested Cities: Examining Nicosia’s Buffer Zone
Antonio Ferraz de Oliveira (Cambridge) Space of Exception (?) – Christiania’s Alternative

As of the 2014 AGM, the awarding committee (AP, SC and Phil Steinberg) had not made any decisions on a winner but commented that 10 good quality dissertations had been put forward for the prize.


– Any other business

Having elected the new committee the meeting was able to decide who would judge the next undergraduate dissertation prize. Dan Hammett (Sheffield) and Jeff Garmany (KCL) kindly volunteered.

The outgoing committee were thanked for their tireless dedication.


Kerry Burton (Secretary), UWE Bristol, 7 September 2014