Steven is course leader for the BA programmes in Diplomacy and International Relations, Diplomacy and Law, and International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies. He lectures on the following modules: Approaches to International Relations and Foreign Policy, Diplomacy Old and New, Peace and Conflict in Theory and Practice, and Public Diplomacy and Global Communication. He is also convenor of the successful London Met Summer School on Diplomacy and Global Governance.
Steven has been awarded a number of prizes and titles in recognition of his innovations and research in learning and teaching. In 2010 Steven was awarded the Political Studies Association’s Bernard Crick Award (New Entrant) for Outstanding Teaching; in 2011 he won the prestigious award of a National Teaching Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), of which he is also a Fellow.
In 2014 he was awarded, along with his co-authors, the inaugural Politics Learning and Teaching Prize for the best pedagogical article published in the journal in the preceding two years. But the title which means most to Steven was the award of Overall Best Teacher at London Met in the university’s first Student-Led Teaching Awards in May 2012.
Between 2011 and 2014, Steven was the national discipline lead for politics and international studies at the HEA, building on his previous roles as discipline associate for politics and international relations and chair of the Politics Reference Group at the former HEA subject centre C-SAP.
Since 2010 Steven has been co-opted onto the Executive Committee of the British International Studies Association (BISA) as an expert on learning and teaching in the discipline and he is the chair of BISA’s Learning and Teaching Committee. He is co-founder and co-convenor of the BISA Learning and Teaching Working Group and sits on the editorial board of the journal Politics.
Between 2005 and 2008 he worked on The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which developed new models of placement learning for the disciplines of politics and international relations. In addition to research funding, Steven has generated income for London Met as a paid consultant on learning and teaching issues, including to the University of Warwick on the pedagogy of placement learning.
Steven graduated with a BSc in Economics and Politics (with first class honours) and an MSc in Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy (with distinction) from the University of Bristol in the early 1990s and taught at Brunel University and Coventry University before joining London Met in February 2007. He is external examiner for the MA in Diplomatic Studies and International Relations at SOAS and the Professional Development Placement module at the University of Birmingham.
Steven’s research in education feeds directly into his teaching at London Met. For example, he makes extensive use of practitioner engagement in his teaching, both on and off campus, while students on his diplomacy modules record their reflections and support each other’s learning on publicly accessible group blogs and through Twitter. In 2009 Steven supervised a team of students who won C-SAP funding to research the use of blogs in educational contexts, which resulted in a jointly authored book chapter.
Although he has written on the subject of diplomacy and world politics more generally, over the past decade Steven’s main research activity has been in the area of innovations in the learning and teaching of politics and international relations. He has been project leader or a team member on projects totalling almost half a million pounds in funding.
- A. Blair and S. Curtis, Global Politics: An Introduction (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming).
- S. Curtis and J. S. Rofe (eds), Does the Medium Matter? IT-Assisted Learning and Teaching in International Relations and Politics (Birmingham: C-SAP/Higher Education Academy, 2011).
- S. Curtis and A. Blair (eds), The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics: Placement Learning, Citizenship and Employability (Birmingham: C-SAP/Higher Education Academy, 2010).
- A. Blair and S. Curtis, International Politics: An Introductory Guide (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009).
Articles and book chapters
- S. Curtis, ‘Pedagogies of Diplomacy’, in Costas Constantinou, Pauline Kerr and Paul Sharp (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Diplomacy (London: SAGE, forthcoming).
- A. Blair, S. Curtis, M. Goodwin and S. Shields, ‘The Significance of Assignment Feedback: From Consumption to Construction’, European Political Science, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2013.
- A. Blair, S. Curtis and S. Shields, ‘Is Peer Feedback an Effective Approach for Creating Dialogue in Politics?’ European Political Science, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2013.
- A. Blair, S. Curtis, M. Goodwin and S. Shields, ‘What Feedback do Students Want?’ Politics, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2013.
- S. Curtis and C. Jaine, ‘Public Diplomacy at Home in the UK: Engaging Diasporas and Preventing Terrorism’, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2012.
- S. Curtis, ‘How Relevant Are Other Ways to Learn?’ in C. Gormley-Heenan and S. Lightfoot (eds), Teaching Politics and International Relations (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012).
- S. Curtis, ‘Politics Placements and Employability: A New Approach’, European Political Science, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2012.
- S. Curtis, ‘Learning in Public: Connecting Politics Students with Practitioners in “the Edgeless University”’, Political Insight, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2010.
- S. Curtis and A Blair, ‘Experiencing Politics in Action: Widening Participation in Placement Learning and Politics as a Vocation’, Journal of Political Science Education, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2010.
- S. Curtis, S. Bharvaney-Daswani, H. Fajembola and E. Putik, ‘Writing in Public: Reflective Blogging on the New Diplomacy’ in G. Pleschová (ed.), IT in Action: Stimulating Quality Learning for Undergraduate Students (Opladen and Farmington Hills, MI: Barbara Budrich Press, 2010).
- S. Curtis and A. Blair, ‘The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics’ and ‘Rethinking Placement Learning for Politics and International Relations’ in S. Curtis and A. Blair (eds), The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics: Placement Learning, Citizenship and Employability (Birmingham: C-SAP/Higher Education Academy, 2010).
- S. Curtis, B. Axford, A. Blair, C. Gibson and P. Sherrington, ‘Placement Blogging: The Benefits and Limitations of Online Journaling’, ELiSS: Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2009.
- S. Curtis, B. Axford, A. Blair, C. Gibson and P. Sherrington, ‘Making Short Politics Placements Work,’ Politics, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2009.
- P. Sherrington, B. Axford, A. Blair, S. Curtis, R. Huggins and C. Gibson, ‘Research-Led Placements in Politics: A New Approach?’ European Political Science, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2008.
- A. Blair, A. Bromage and S. Curtis, ‘Teaching Politics in UK Universities: A Survey of the Profession,’ LATISS: Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2007.
- M. Lee and S. Curtis, ‘British Aid to Overseas Legislatures: A Report on the Adaptations Made Since 1989 to Events in the Former Eastern Bloc,’ Birkbeck College, University of London, Sociology and Politics Research Paper, No. 5, 1993.
Selected conference papers and presentations (since 2010)
- ‘Impact and the Teaching of IR: The Missing Dimensions Explored’ (with John Craig) at The Impact of IR as a Social Science conference, Coventry University London Campus, London, 23rd January 2015.
- ‘“Now I Know What My Degree is For”: Towards the Teaching of Practice in Political Science’, invited keynote address at Teaching Politics and IR, seminar in honour of lecturer Tarja Seppä, Tampere, Finland, 20th August 2014.
- ‘Academic Study and Practical Skills Acquisition in Political Science: The Case of Diplomatic Studies’ at Teaching Politics and International Relations to the Next Generation of Students, The 1st European Conference on Teaching and Learning Politics, IR and European Studies, Maastricht, 26th-27th June 2014.
- ‘Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Debating Relational and Integrative Models of Diplomacy’, roundtable panellist at the British International Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Dublin, 18th-20th June 2014.
- ‘Convening a BA in Diplomacy with Practical Intent’ at the British International Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Dublin, 18th-20th June 2014.
- ‘Teaching the Practice of Diplomacy: Five Interventions and their Evaluation’ at the American Political Science Association Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Philadelphia, 7th-9th February 2014.
- ‘Diasporas, Diplomacy and Security: The Securitisation of Migrant Populations in Theory and Practice’, invited speaker at Workshop on Security and Diasporas: Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Meaning of Securitization for Diasporas in the 21st Century, University of Kent, 6th December 2013.
- ‘Teaching International Relations as if it was a Practically-Relevant Subject’ at the 6th annual Political Studies Association-British International Studies Association Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Westminster, 9th-10th September 2013.
- ‘Writing in Public: The Benefits of Blogging for Assessment in Diplomatic Studies’ at the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, Bordeaux, 4th-7th September 2013.
- Invited speaker on panel on ‘Internships, Social Mobility and Employability for European Studies Students and Graduates’ at European Studies: Teaching and Learning with Impact workshop, UACES annual conference, University of Leeds, 1st September 2013.
- ‘Evaluating the Dimensions of Practitioner Engagement in Teaching International Studies’ at the British International Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Birmingham, 20th-21st June 2013.
- ‘New Dimensions of Experiential Learning in Politics: Revisiting The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics Five Years On’ at the Political Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Cardiff, 25th-27th March 2013.
- ‘Working for Peace in Situations of Conflict: Embedding Practical Experience in the Study of Conflict Resolution’ at the American Political Science Association’s annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Long Beach, California, 8th-10th February 2013.
- ‘Feedback on Assessment: An Issue for the US?’ (with Carolyn Shaw) at the British International Studies Association-International Studies Association joint conference, Edinburgh, 20th-22nd June, 2012.
- (Chair) ‘Addressing the Employability Agenda in International Studies’, roundtable at the British International Studies Association-International Studies Association joint conference, Edinburgh, 20th-22nd June, 2012.
- ‘Learning About Public Diplomacy in Public: Web 2.0 and Sustainable Assessment and Feedback’ at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Diego, 1st-4th April, 2012.
- ‘Web 2.0, Dialogue and Learning on The New Diplomacy: Blogs, Wikis and YouTube’ at the American Political Studies Association annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington DC, 17th-19th February, 2012.
- ‘Preparing Graduates for the Changing World of Work: British Perspectives on Addressing the “Employability” Agenda in Political Science’ (with A. Blair, J. Craig, J. Parker and M. Wyman), workshop at the American Political Studies Association Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington DC, 17th-19th February, 2012.
- ‘Securing the State through Dialogue at Home: The Foreign Office’s Outreach Initiatives to Counter Islamist Extremism’ (with C. Jaine), invited paper at the ‘Domestic Side of Public Diplomacy’ workshop, Clingendael: The Netherlands Institute of International Relations, The Hague, 18th November, 2011.
- Invited discussant at the Clingendael-University of Southern California workshop ‘European Public Diplomacy: Soft Power at Work’, Clingendael: The Netherlands Institute of International Relations, The Hague, 23rd-24th June, 2011.
- ‘Feedback: A Teaching Circle’ at the British International Studies Association Annual Conference, Manchester, 27th -29thApril, 2011.
- ‘Supporting Learning and Teaching in Hard Times: Promoting Pedagogical Innovation in Politics and International Relations in the Twenty-First Century’ at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference, London, 19th-21st April, 2011.
- ‘Learning and Teaching in the Community’, invited speaker at the HEFCE-sponsored conference 'A Pedagogy of Civic Engagement for Higher Education' at Royal Holloway, University of London, 15th April, 2011.
- ‘Securing the State Through Dialogue at Home: The FCO’s Domestic Outreach Initiatives to Counter the Radicalisation of British Muslim and Pakistani Communities’ at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, Montreal, 16th-19th March, 2011.
- ‘It’s Good to Talk: Improving Feedback to Students Through Dialogue: A British Perspective’ (with A. Blair), paper at the American Political Studies Association Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Albuquerque, 11th-13th February, 2011.
- ‘Programme Assessment: Lessons from the Literature and Practical Experience’ (with J. Parker, A. Blair and J. Craig), workshop at the American Political Studies Association Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Albuquerque, 11th-13th February, 2011.
- ‘Writing in Public: A Comparative Exploration of the Use of Web 2.0 in Developing Students’ Academic Writing’ at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Annual Conference, Liverpool, October 19th-22nd October, 2010.
- ‘Web 2.0, Dialogue and Learning in “the Edgeless University”’, paper at the 3rd Annual Political Studies Association Teaching and Learning Conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, 14th-15th September, 2010.
- ‘Research-Based Politics Placements and Employability’ (with Anna Walker), paper at the CETH conference Employability in the Curriculum: Beyond the Bolt-On?, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 22nd-23rd June, 2010.
- ‘Differentiated Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences’, invited speaker at the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, Birkbeck, University of London, 25th May, 2010.
- ‘It’s Good to Talk: Feedback, Dialogue and Learning’ (with A. Blair), paper at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 29th March-1st April, 2010.
- ‘Institutions that Support Teaching and Learning: A European View’ (with J. Craig, J. Parker and M. Wyman), workshop at the American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference, Philadelphia, 5th-7th February, 2010.
Between 2009 and 2012 he was the London Met lead on the HEA-funded project It’s Good To Talk: Feedback, Dialogue and Learning, which explored more effective modes of giving constructive feedback to students of IR, politics and history on their essays, seminar presentations and examinations.
Head of Student Experience and Outcomes
Associate Professor of International Relations and National Teaching Fellow