Britannia Fellowship

Main campus building of the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, England.
September 15 - 19, 2021
The Cotswolds, Cirencester and Malmesbury, England

The Britannia Fellowship is a five-day-long intensive seminar series that explores the foundational principles of European civilization and a free society.

Intended for recent graduates, graduate students, and young professionals from the United Kingdom, Europe, and North America who have demonstrated achievement in their profession or field of study, the Britannia Fellowship focuses on grounding future leaders in the early stages of their academic and professional development in the ideals of responsible liberty.

Convened at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, England and other locations in The Cotswolds, including Sir Roger Scruton’s family home at Sundey Hill Farm, the Britannia Fellowship provides an opportunity for participants to explore the interrelationships among liberty, prosperity, and beauty while acquiring the necessary tools to further their education and become effective leaders in their respective communities and career fields.

 

During the program, fellows will explore topics such as:

  • Civic Engagement and Volunteerism
  • First Principles of Liberty
  • Constitutionalism, Law, and Democracy
  • The Nature of Human Rights
  • Economics, Free Enterprise, and Voluntary Exchange
  • Foreign Policy and National Sovereignty
  • International Affairs and Security Issues
  • Religion and Society
  • Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Leadership Virtues and Skills
  • Green Philosophy and Conservation
  • Musicology and Art

2021 Britannia Fellowship Faculty

Ms. Katharine Birbalsingh is the founder and headmistress of Michaela Community School, a free school (charter school) established in Wembley Park, London. She has been identified as among the twenty most influential figures in British education, and was awarded the Contrarian Prize. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours.

Dr. Anthony Daniels is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal who is also known by his pen name, Theodore Dalrymple. He is a retired physician who, most recently, practiced in a British inner-city hospital and prison. Denis Dutton, editor of Arts & Letters Daily, called Dalrymple the “Orwell of our time.”

Prof. Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a member of Common Sense Society’s Council of Trustees. He has previously been a professor at Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and New York University. Ferguson was previously named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon is a senior fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization in Clinton, New York. For many years, she was a professor of politics and culture and director of the Center for Culture and Security at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. She is author of eight books and over 200 articles on international affairs and philosophy.

Prof. Dr. habil. Ferenc Hörcher is Head of the Research Institute of Politics and Government of the National University of Public Service, Hungary, and a senior research fellow of the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary. He published four volumes of poetry, all in Hungarian and has also published a volume of essays on 20th century Hungarian prose writer Géza Ottlik.

Dr. Samuel Hughes is a research fellow at the University of Oxford and a senior fellow at Policy Exchange. He has spent time as a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of Notre Dame. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and has particular interests in architecture and urbanism, philosophically, historically, and in terms of public policy.

Mr. John O’Sullivan is the President of the Danube Institute, a think tank based in Budapest, Hungary and a member of the board of advisors for the Global Panel Foundation, an NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world. O’Sullivan served as vice president and executive editor of Radio Free Europe and was editor of the Australian monthly magazine Quadrant.

Dr. Pythagoras Petratos is a lecturer at the SAID Business School at the University of Oxford. He is a visiting fellow at Buckingham University and a visiting professor at the University of Thessaly. One of his main research interests lies in defense policy and economics and particularly the economics and financing of information security.

Dr. Roger Pilon is the founding director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, the inaugural holder of the B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies, the founding publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review, and vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute. Prior to joining Cato, Pilon held five senior posts in the Reagan administration.

Dr. Aaron Rhodes is the President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe, an independent nongovernmental organization, and a senior fellow at Common Sense Society. Rhodes previously served as the executive director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights. He is the author of The Debasement of Human Rights: How Politics Sabotage the Ideal of Freedom.

Dr. László Stachó is a musicologist, psychologist and musician working at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. Over the past decade, he has been involved in a countywide planning of music education curricula across Hungary. Stachó is a pianist and chamber musician and conducts chamber music coaching sessions and skills training workshops at conservatoires and music festivals in Europe, the U.S., and Israel.

Dr. Michael Ward is senior research fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, and professor of apologetics at HBU. Ward was resident warden of The Kilns, Lewis’s Oxford home, from 1996 to 1999 and is also the author of the award-winning Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis. He studied English at Oxford, theology at Cambridge, and has a Ph.D. in divinity from St Andrews.

Meet Our 2021 Britannia Fellows

Ms. Amanda Achtman is a student of Judaic studies and Jewish-Christian relations at the Gregorian University in Rome. She works on issues of religious freedom, foreign policy, and public bioethics, and most recently served as the senior adviser to a Canadian parliamentarian working to prevent the expansion of euthanasia to persons living with a disability or mental illness.

Mr. Nathan Alli is a political risk analyst examining sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia Pacific. He has worked at the American Enterprise Institute, the United Nations, and the U.K. Civil Service. Nathan holds an M.A. in politics and religion from University of London and has studied international security and intelligence at the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Judson Alphin is a military historian turned executive and entrepreneur. He presently assists with administering operations and academic programs at the Oxford Study Abroad Programme and is a co-founder and CEO, and a co-founder and CMO, of a visual marketing startup and remote medical diagnostics startup, respectively. Judson holds a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.

Mr. Enrique Altimari is a Venezuelan technology consultant who has lived in London since 2015. He holds an M.A. from King’s College, London and studied law at Monteavila University in Caracas, where he became a student leader during nationwide protests in 2014. Since his exile, Enrique has contributed to the democratic forces in Venezuela as a human rights activist and international dissident.

Mr. Benjamin Bilski is a senior strategy adviser in the U.K. Department of International Trade and a doctoral candidate at the University of Leiden. He is also the executive director of the Pericles Foundation, a research charity devoted to bringing ideas to a wider audience and developing new leaders. Benjamin has co-authored seven books and specializes in strategic design for major institutions.

Ms. Gabriella Fernandes is a communications advisor to Ontario’s Minister of Labour, having previously worked for the Conservative Party of Canada and a Conservative M.P. She holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto and chairs a professional women’s committee where she organizes intellectual and cultural events to help women recognize their personal worth and strengthen their character and professional commitments.

Ms. Caylan Ford is an international affairs specialist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. She holds a B.A. from the University of Calgary, an M.A. from the George Washington University, and an M.A. from the University of Oxford. In 2012, Caylan began working as a senior policy advisor with Global Affairs Canada, with responsibilities for policy coordination, internet governance, and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Ms. Isabelle Heinemann is a graduate student in intellectual history at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford where she is working on developing a genealogy of the twin ideas of universal empire and peace in the Western tradition. She has previously studied politics in London, Istanbul, and Washington D.C., and has organized Model United Nations conferences domestically and internationally.

Mrs. Chelsea Rennhoff is chief of staff at Inktel, a global customer solutions technology company, focused on the HR and business development functions. Formerly, she was the head of HR at Soho House. Chelsea is a chapter leader for the American Enterprise Institute’s Enterprise Club, having formerly co-founding the first international chapter in London. She is currently founding the first Carolinas chapter.

Dr. Paola Romero is a post-doc research assistant at the Department of Philosophy in Fribourg University. She holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. Her work explores the relationship between individual freedom and the state. Born and raised in Venezuela, Romero has voiced demands for freedom for the democratic sectors in her native country.

Mr. Ernst Tonisson is a civilian officer with the European Union Advisory Mission, posted in eastern Ukraine. Previously, he has held postings with prominent international organizations in zones of conflict and post-conflict communities, including the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Operations Afghanistan in the NATO Headquarters, and in the International Organization for Migration in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Ms. Gabe Whitbread is a doctoral candidate in justice, law, and criminology at American University, studying political philosophy and criminal justice. She also serves as program coordinator for both the Political Theory Institute and the Lincoln Scholars classic texts program. Her research centers on liberal theory and punishment as a political institution, especially as it reflects liberalism’s evolution.

Mr. Logan Williams is an incoming Master of Public Policy student at the University of Oxford. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. in quantitative economics, specializing in water markets and resource provision. Logan is a nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy and will be headed to nuclear power school after his time at Oxford.

Questions regarding the Britannia Fellowship can be directed to Vice President of Education Dr. Murray Bessette at murray@commonsensesociety.org.

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