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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)

Dr Peter Dixon illustration

Dr Peter Dixon

Course Director, Undergraduate Diploma in International Relations

Why should people study your subject?

To understand the reasons why governments and others find it so hard to develop cooperative solutions to global problems like climate change, pandemics and violent conflict.

What is your academic or professional background? 

I seem to be in my third career, so perhaps I’ll never retire. I spent thirty years as a Royal Air Force officer. It was very international work, including tours of duty at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado and in the German Defence Ministry in Berlin. When I left the RAF, I was invited to develop a non-profit organisation building peace through dialogue, mostly in Sudan and South Sudan. Alongside this, I joined as a student on the part-time Cambridge MSt course in International Relations. That was so rewarding that I moved on to a VERY slow part-time PhD and the teaching that I now do on the International Relations courses at the Institute of Continuing Education.

How is your subject relevant to our current world? 

There has never been a time when understanding the principles underlying relations between nations and peoples was not important. Today more than ever, though, we need the skills and knowledge to see through spin and fake news.

What do you love about your subject? 

I find it fascinating to marry up the experience of history with what is going on today. 

What books have you published? 

In the International Relations field, I have written a book called Peacemakers: A Christian View of War and Peace, as well as chapters in three edited volumes: on locally led peacebuilding, on the nexus between peacebuilding and religion, and on the peace process in Sudan and South Sudan. My other interest, though, is WW2 undercover operations, and I am currently working on my third book on the Special Operations Executive.

Who or what has inspired you? 

Seeing the professional or academic development of those I have taught or trained.

What's the most rewarding part of teaching?

As the Institute’s undergraduate courses are taught online, people of all ages, all occupations and from all over the world can have the opportunity to pursue the learning they might previously have missed.

What's the best study advice you've been given? 

There are no stupid questions!

What do you like to do outside of work? 

I enjoy almost all kinds of music, especially jazz, and I love hiking and spending time with family. 

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