Global Britain, contested spaces, and the UK Overseas Territories

Event type: Conference / Symposium
Address: Online |
Event dates: 9 – 10 March 2023 | 9:30AM – 3:30PM
Email only

Reserve a Spot Here (This is a free Event)

Since the decision of the UK to leave the EU, the UK Government has established and promoted the idea of ‘Global Britain’. Perhaps the clearest, but still largely unrecognised, manifestations of Global Britain are the UK’s Overseas Territories. They are scattered across the globe, and include thousands of small islands, vast areas of ocean, but also, in Antarctica, land six times the size of the UK. The territories provide the UK with significant global reach. However, the UK’s sovereignty over several of the territories is contested. This hybrid workshop brings together these two strands to consider how the UKOTs can support and enhance Global Britain, but also how the UK can best mitigate international tensions to effectively secure its global brand. The workshop takes place over two days and involves several keynote presentations and a range of plenary and smaller group discussions considering issues such as political and constitutional relations, social policy, security, the economy, and the environment. Chatham House rule will apply.

The workshop is kindly supported by the British Academy & Leverhulme Trust, and the AHRC.


Prof. Godfrey Baldacchino(Opens in new window)

Godfrey Baldacchino PhD (Warwick), BA (Gen.) (Malta), PGCE (Malta), MA (The Hague) is Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology at the University of Malta, Malta. He served as an Island Studies Teaching Fellow, UNESCO co-Chair and Canada Research Chair in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Canada, between 2003 and 2020. He is founding Executive Editor of Island Studies Journal (ISSN:1715-2593), and since 2018 founding Executive Editor of Small States & Territories journal (ISSN:2616-8006). He served as Visiting Professor of Island Tourism at the Universita’ di Corsica Pascal Paoli, France (2012-2015). He was Member and Chair of the Malta Board of Cooperatives (1994-2003) and core member of the Malta-European Union Steering & Action Committee (MEUSAC). In 2008-2010, he was Vice-President of the Prince Edward Island Association for Newcomers to Canada. In 2014, he was elected President of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA). In June 2015, he was elected Chair of the Scientific Board of RETI, the global excellence network of island universities. In 2021, he was appointed (thematic) Malta Ambassador for islands and small states. He served as Pro-Rector for International Development and Quality Assurance (2016-2021) during the first Rectorate of Professor Alfred Vella at the University of Malta.

His research interests include: island studies, small state studies, political geography, sociology of work, international relations, island tourism, entrepreneurship, brain rotation, immigration, labour relations, human resource management, adult education, worker empowerment and the development of cooperatives.

He has (co-)authored or (co-)edited some 50 books, reports and monographs; and has authored, since 1993, some 160 peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters.

His work has appeared in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Swedish (and apart from English and Maltese).

Benito Wheatley(Opens in new window)

Benito Wheatley is Special Envoy of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Government and the Premier’s Advisor on International Relations, with a particular focus on the United Kingdom (UK), European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN).

He was formerly the BVI Representative to the UK and EU during which time he served as the Territory’s chief diplomat and Director of the BVI London Office, as well as Senior International Strategist for the Premier’s Office with responsibility for UN and the Commonwealth.

During his tenure from 2014-2018, Benito was the BVI’s Sherpa for annual ministerial meetings and Brexit discussions between the OTs and the UK and ministerial meetings between the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and the EU. He was also the Co-Chair of the OCT/EU Financial Services Partnership Working Party in Brussels and the Territory’s spokesman on financial services in the UK and Europe. In 2016/2017 he represented the BVI at the OECD’s Phase 4 Examination of the UK’s implementation and enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

From 2016-2018, he represented the BVI as a Vice President of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC) which is the permanent Caribbean subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

In 2016, he served as the Chairman of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) in London on behalf of the BVI. Prior to this in 2014/2015 he served as the Chairman of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) in Brussels, also on behalf of the BVI, during which time the BVI hosted the 13th OCT–EU Forum, as well as the EU-Caribbean Regional Conference and OCTA Ministerial Conference.

Prior to becoming the BVI’s UK and EU Representative, Benito was Deputy Director and Political Officer at the BVI London Office from 2011-2014. He was also formerly an Analyst in the International Affairs and Services Department at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in Washington, DC.

Benito is a member of the prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and AMLP Forum—The Financial Crime and Corruption Association.

He holds a Master of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Strategy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Morehouse College.

He has represented the BVI in numerous international fora on a range of subjects such as financial services, climate change, biodiversity, hurricane recovery and constitutional relations, among other things.

© BVI London Office. All rights reserved.
British Virgin Islands London Office