Oxford Q-Step Centre

Arun Frey

I started my BSc in Media Studies and Sociology with the intention of becoming a filmmaker. I quickly realised that I (a) was much more fascinated by the field of sociology and (b) did not know a thing about film-making. Career prospects changed soon after. During my Masters at Oxford, I studied protests to understand why some people engage in collective or violent action to bring about social change while others choose not to. Survey data on social movements are sparse and rarely comprehensive, so researchers have to be innovative to find sources that are at once accurate, reliable and interesting. Through statistics and quantitative methods, social scientists can increasingly capitalise on the rise of the Internet and its ever-growing amount of valuable and untapped data. This prospect is what brought me back to Oxford after my first excursions into work life at the United Nations and the European Parliament. As part of my DPhil in Sociology, I will analyse the relationship between political language and collective action – focusing specifically on violence and extremism. In my free time I enjoy hikes, art galleries and films (watching, not making them).

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Javier Perez Sandoval

I am a second year DPhil in Politics candidate based at Wolfson College. Before the DPhil, I completed a Master in Comparative Government and before coming to Oxford, I got my BA in Politics and a Research Methods Diploma back in Mexico City. I am passionate about regime change, subnational politics, presidentialism and socio-economic development. Methods wise I’m an advocate for ‘theory-grounded eclecticism’ but strongly believe that quantitative literacy is fundamental. In learning and teaching ‘metrics, I encourage a hands-on and problem solving approach. I’ve previously taught the Latin American Politics tutorial to undergrads at the University of Oxford and I’ve also worked as an Associate Lecturer at Brookes University for a similar course. Beyond my keen interest in Argentinian, Brazilian and Mexican political dynamics, I’m also a sci-fi, coffee and cinema aficionado.

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Nicholas Martindale

I am a third year DPhil candidate in Sociology at Nuffield College. My main areas of interest are in the organization of work and possibilities for collective action. My current research focuses on the impact of privatization on public sector workers and unions. I completed my undergraduate degree in Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge before studying for a year in Japan as a Tsuzuki scholar. I later completed an MSc in Political Sociology at LSE after training as Maths teacher in the Teach First programme and working in south London schools for five years.

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Patrick Tiney

In wanting to study the ‘world’ I turned to geography, and covered diverse topics such as peasant ecotypes, extra-terrestrial erosion, and boreal ecology over the first year of my Oxford degree. Finding that my core interests were in fact political and historical I switched to History and Politics, which then contained no quantitative component. Since then, an MSc in Security Studies from UCL, two years as a renewable energy consultant, and especially three-years as a graduate student at the University of Maryland, have shown me the power and pitfalls of statistics. I am currently a DPhil International Relations student at St Antony’s researching the tripartite strategic interactions of rising powers, great powers, and subordinate states, and the implications this has for war and peace.

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Tuuli-Anna Huikuri

Coming from a remote village north of the Arctic Circle in Finland, one might wonder why on earth would I be interested in international relations. I however wanted to study international relations from very early on, and finished a BA in International Politics at King's College London. I have since studied at Hong Kong University, volunteered at the refugee camps at the Thai-Burma border, and worked at the International Security Department at Chatham House. I got introduced to statics at an undergraduate course, and though a Q-Step scholarship to the Essex Statistics Summer School - which at first seemed like a lot of maths! But I found that although sometimes challenging because of the kinds of phenomena studied in international relations, statistics can give an innovative student powerful analytical leverage. I am currently doing a DPhil in International Relations at Nuffield College, researching global governance in the international investment regime.

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