University of Edinburgh: New hub to harness expertise on global affairs

A new forum for global affairs was officially launched today (Wednesday, 27 April).

The Scottish Council on Global Affairs (SCGA) will provide a non-partisan hub for world-leading expertise on international issues.

It will support ambitious research projects aimed at informing public policy and promoting public discussion. In pursuit of these goals, it will forge partnerships in the UK, Europe and beyond to amplify the global reach of Scottish expertise.

University partnership
The SCGA has been set up by the University in collaboration with the Universities of Glasgow and St Andrews.

As well as being a think tank for academics, it also plans to bring in other people with expertise to contribute from civil society, business, journalism and politics.

Ambitious initiative
This is a significant first step in marshalling the considerable expertise in global affairs in Scotland’s higher education sector. The SCGA will be a centre for exciting, high-quality policy-relevant research, debate and dialogue on global issues, such as international conflict, peacebuilding, climate change, economic development and cooperation, and global health. The ambition and scope of this new centre is immense and by harnessing expertise from across the United Kingdom, and beyond, it will have a real and positive impact on the world and how we engage with it.

Professor Juliet Kaarbo
Chair of Foreign Policy at the University of Edinburgh
Government support
The SCGA’s creation as a fully independent institute of international affairs has been supported by all major political parties and was in the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party manifestos at the last election.

The Scottish Government committed to back the Council in its Programme for Government and has supported its establishment.

The new Scottish Council on Global Affairs, Scotland’s first global affairs institute, will be marked by its academic freedom. It will develop critical thinking on international issues and Scotland’s place in the world, using the excellent expertise, researchers and universities that Scotland already has. Although the Scottish Government warmly welcomes and supports the establishment of the Scottish Council on Global Affairs – as committed to in our latest Programme for Government – this initiative is independent, supported as it is by parties across the political spectrum, making it truly non-partisan.

Angus Robertson
External Affairs Secretary at Scottish Government

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