Confronting comfort zones with Jean d’Aspremont
Chair in Public International Law, School of Law (now part of School of Social Sciences)
The road to publishing research is synonymous with ‘challenging’, but what if you put yourself in the way of being challenged?
Jean d’Aspremont believes that taking yourself out of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to pluralism is how you push your work further, and the best way to achieve this is to take your work to another country.
“I had a European background but then I flew to New York University after my PhD and that changed everything,” he explained.
It's about stepping out of your comfort zone. And of course it's something very counterintuitive to do.Jean d’Aspremont / Chair in Public International Law
“Later, I kept on being challenged by teaching and conducting academic work with colleagues from all over the globe”.
Going abroad, especially outside the Western world and allowing himself to be challenged is what Jean credits for motivating him to work harder and think more broadly.
“I think an open mind can be pushed further,” he said. “It's about stepping out of your comfort zone. And of course it's something very counterintuitive to do.”
The open-ended nature of international law allows for stimulating debates and encourages lateral thinking, something many may shy away from, but Jean hopes his students will embrace, inviting their thoughts to be challenged with the same enthusiasm.
“It’s important that young people have faith in themselves and in education. I think if you go to university and take a degree like international law, you will be confronted with conflicting views, conflicting interpretations, conflicting theories, conflicting visions of the world. Experiencing pluralism of thought is key in the development of a young mind.”