Press Releases

Sovereign State? – University of Reading

Release Date : 09 March 2004

With the fallout from the war in Iraq and the Hutton Inquiry still dominating the newspaper headlines, the final speaker in the 2004 Reading Town Hall lecture series, Caspar Melville, will ask how the conflict has affected the United Kingdom's national interest. Mr Melville, who is executive editor of, an online magazine for global debate on politics and culture, will address this question in his lecture at the Town Hall on Monday 15 March at 7.30pm. With contributions from writers as diverse as politician Shirley Williams, playwright Ariel Dorfman and novelist John le Carré, presents arguments from across the political spectrum and across the world. In his lecture, Mr Melville will examine issues of democracy raised by the war in Iraq and the global prosecution of the 'war on terror'. He will ask whether the UK is a sovereign state or a satellite state in the light of the government's strong support of the United States. "We need to ask how the emergence of one dominant superpower – the US – has affected the balance of global power," says Mr Melville. "I will also talk about the resolution of global conflict and the reinvigoration of the idea of justice, human rights and democracy on a global scale." He will also address the role that the UK, with its multi-cultural society, might play in a global community. Caspar Melville began his career as a music journalist, working on a range of specialist publications, before moving to San Francisco for six years where he founded On The One jazz magazine. He currently teaches media and communications part-time at Goldsmiths University where he is completing his PhD on London's black music cultures. In addition to his overall role as executive editor of, Mr Melville co-edits items on the Media & the Net for the website. Other key areas of interest on the website include arts and culture, democracy and power, ecology, globalisation, migration and science and technology. Membership is free. 'Sovereign State' is the final lecture in the series of five under the general title 'United Kingdom?' organised by the University of Reading's School of Continuing Education in association with Reading Borough Council and the Town Hall. Tickets (£7) can be purchased in advance through the Hexagon Box Office (0118 960 6060) or bought at the door on the night. End For media enquiries or a photograph of Caspar Melville, please contact Craig Hillsley, Press Officer, University of Reading. Tel: 0118 378 7388 Email:


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