To Professor Jack Spence’s retirement, Professor Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-Principal KCL, the Department of War Studies, and the African Leadership Centre, King’s College London, and ASEN are hosting a drinks and nibbles reception with a few brief contributions from some of those with whom he has worked, or whom he has mentored and influenced.
Professor Jack Spence OBE has been one of the leading figures in International Relations for several decades. He has been awarded 3 honorary doctorates and 4 honorary fellowships, one from King’s College London. His work has covered theory and practice, with focuses on international politics as a field, diplomacy, nationalism, Africa, war and defence education, and poetry and literature. Born in South Africa, he came to Britain for postgraduate study at the LSE.
His eminent academic career spanned academic posts at the University of Natal, University College, Swansea, and the University of Leicester, where he was appointed Professor and Pro-Vice Chancellor. From 1991-1997, he was Director of Studies at Chatham House — the Royal Institute for International Affairs, and subsequently, Academic Advisor at the Royal College of Defence Studies, where he edited the Seaford House Papers. In 1997, he joined the Department of War Studies at King’s, where he is Professor of Diplomacy.
Among his many other roles, he served as Chair of the British International Studies Associ-ation, President of the African Studies Association, and Chair of the David Davies Memorial Institute, as well as Chair of the International Advisory Council of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism. In 2003, he was awarded the OBE for services to military education in the Jubilee Honours.