UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Lise H. Andersen - PhD Candidate

Second-year PhD Candidate working under the supervision of Professor Madeline Carr, Professor of Global Politics and Cybersecurity

Can you briefly describe what your research project is about?

An increasing number of issues with complex scientific or technological basis are entering the international sphere requiring diplomatic solutions. Diplomatic processing of these types of problems requires a comprehensive grasp of the best and most up-to-date knowledge available. For this reason, it is important to understand the flow, exchange and management of knowledge within the setting of diplomatic multilateral negotiations. By studying several international multilateral negotiations, this project aims to identify and describe approaches to knowledge management throughout such diplomatic processes and if possible, identify best practices. 

How is it different from other research projects in the topic and what do you find exciting about this project?

This project is unique in that it sits at the intersection of two strands of literature that have had relatively little interaction in the past. That of the business literature and work on diplomatic practice. 
My interest in pursuing research in this area was gradually built up as I completed my previous university degrees. As I undertook my Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, I gained a strong interest in climate change diplomacy. This interest further manifested itself in my dissertation Climate Change Negotiations 2015: Potential for an Effective Agreement? which I completed whilst studying for my Master of Science in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford. In my analysis of the positions of the five key parties in the 2015 climate negotiation, I duly noted that several major political parties around the world were ignoring, ignorant of or questioning the objectivity of important research in the natural sciences. Without a commonly accepted basis of facts, diplomacy tends to struggle. I believe that knowledge management as a technical discipline will gain increased importance in years to come within the multilateral diplomatic context due to accelerating knowledge growth. I hope to uncover concepts from business literature applicable to diplomatic scholarship. The phenomenal knowledge growth, especially in the last 50 years, is constantly accentuating the need for interdisciplinary cooperation in many issues of a transnational nature.

What are you working on now to prepare for the next stage of the project?

I am currently working towards the completion of the PhD pilot study. This involves testing proposed methodologies and theories, investigating initial case study choices and presenting preliminary results in the form of a report and presentation to members of the department.