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Isabel Oakes

Isabel Oakes graduated from St George's in 2015...

I am currently a Doctor of Philosophy student at Oxford University's History Faculty looking at the intellectual roots of the ‘eco-social market economy’ in post-war Germany.

In 2022, I was selected to be a Europaeum Scholar, which enabled me to connect my research on the history of environmental policy in Germany to policy-making in the European Union. It is a two-year policy and leadership course for the most talented, energetic and committed doctoral candidates from within the Europaem network. It is multi-disciplinary, multi-university and multi-locational, and focuses on contemporary European policy.

I am also currently a Hanseatic Scholar, which allows me to finish my research in Germany where I am affiliated with the SCRIPTS Cluster of Excellence at the Freie Universität Berlin, while still doing my PhD at the University of Oxford. I am also a research assistant for the Oxford Martin School. After my studies I would like to continue working on climate policy, either within academia or the policy world.

What drove me to this path was a desire to understand how to the world works and find ways to make it a better place. To me, many of those answers are to be found in studying history, which was inspired by the great history teachers I had at St George's. Going forward, I am still trying to figure out how to best implement change and come up with alternative economic systems. 

The specialised attention I received from my teachers at St George's and the small class sizes allowed me to explore my interests and receive tailored advice.