The Modi Problem

The Modi Problem

To cheering crowds and a sycophantic introduction by the British Prime Minister in London’s Wembley Stadium, the Narendra Modi who was introduced to Britain last week was not much different from the Modi who stormed to victory last May as Prime Minister of India.  The audience was served the regular...
Pragmatism and Corbyn’s Security Crux

Pragmatism and Corbyn’s Security Crux

“Serious events do not form character in politics; they reveal it.”[i] The past week has been marked along with the very darkest days in European history. The events in Paris, unsurprisingly, came to dominate the weekly exchange between the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn, which ended in a frosty accusation...
The Myanmar Jade Trade: Illegal, Dangerous, and Corrupt

The Myanmar Jade Trade: Illegal, Dangerous, and Corrupt

On 21 November, nearly 90 jade miners were thought to be dead after a landslide in the northern Myanmar state of Kachin. Reports show miners were camped under a 5000 foot-high pile of waste soil when the deadly event occurred.[1] For two days, police slowly recovered more bodies from the...
A Dirty Duel Indeed: The Debate over Dirty Bombs Detonates

A Dirty Duel Indeed: The Debate over Dirty Bombs Detonates

In the wake of the tragic events in Paris and across the Middle East, it is unsurprising that fears of further attacks on targets such as the United States and United Kingdom have intensified. What is surprising, however, was the strange episode in the debate over dirty bombs that played...
Rise of the Right After Paris Attacks

Rise of the Right After Paris Attacks

During the terrorist attacks in Paris on the night of 13 November, France witnessed the most bloodshed on French soil since World War II.[1]  The attackers, who have been linked to Islamic State, were not targeting specific individuals during the attacks, but rather innocent civilians.  The massacre at the Bataclan...
Russian Military Involvement in Syria: Muddying the Waters of an Already Murky Conflict

Russian Military Involvement in Syria: Muddying the Waters of an Already Murky Conflict

In September of 2015, the Russian Federal Council gave their unanimous approval for the use of military force in Syria. This vote comes years after Russia blocked the Western-backed United Nations Security Council resolutions that would have given military support to the rebel forces fighting against the army of Syrian...
The Case for Opening the “Golden Door”: America and the Syrian Refugees

The Case for Opening the “Golden Door”: America and the Syrian Refugees

The House of Representatives voted 19 November in favor of passing a piece of legislation that would greatly increase the difficulty for Syrian refugees to migrate into America. The vote passed with a vote of 289 to 137. The bill has yet to make it through the Senate, and President...
‘I’ve never felt Chinese in the first place’ – Hong Kong Identity and What Comes Next

‘I’ve never felt Chinese in the first place’ – Hong Kong Identity and What Comes Next

From the top of Victoria Peak, you are afforded perhaps the greatest view Hong Kong has to offer. The first thing you notice through the flora is the mass of skyscrapers on the Island itself. It was ceded to the British Empire following the First Opium War in 1842. Turn...
Visions of the Future: a Look at the Sustainable Development Goals

Visions of the Future: a Look at the Sustainable Development Goals

Images were recently circulated on social media of paintings on cigarette cards from the year 1900 that imagined life in the year 2000. Some of the predictions managed to hit not far from the mark – for example, automated farming machines and a helicopter. Others, such as underwater civilisations and...
International Arms Transfers: Explaining Rafale’s (Belated) Success

International Arms Transfers: Explaining Rafale’s (Belated) Success

When France slammed the door of the multinational Eurofighter program in the early 1980s, everyone expected to see the French paying the hard price for their notorious obsession about sovereignty. Paris wanted a next-generation multi-role fighter-jet suitable for carrier use and nuclear deterrence, and entirely designed by national companies. As...
In Defence of His Holiness: the Pontifical Swiss Guard and the Islamic State

In Defence of His Holiness: the Pontifical Swiss Guard and the Islamic State

They stood solid. Their red, yellow and blue coloured uniforms remained resolute in the face of a vast and vicious enemy. Desertion to the surrounding countryside and escaping with their lives was an option, but they stayed, pledging unswerving allegiance and giving their lives for the safety their shepherd, their...
Catalonia’s Vote for Secession: Worth It?

Catalonia’s Vote for Secession: Worth It?

A resolution to secede from Spain passed in the Catalonia regional parliament with 72 to 63 votes on Monday the 9th of November. Put forth by a coalition between the Together for Yes and CUP parties, the resolution calls for several radical steps to be taken in the 30 days...
#PrayForTheWorld Movement: The Suicide Bombings That Shook the World

#PrayForTheWorld Movement: The Suicide Bombings That Shook the World

In the last month and a half alone, 7 October 2015 to today, six suicide bombings, claimed by the Islamic State (IS) have occurred. A female IS suicide bomber detonated herself October 7 in a mosque in Sana’a, Yemen, killing seven and leaving three wounded. Just three days later, two...
Al-Sisi and Putin: Two leaders who found each other?

Al-Sisi and Putin: Two leaders who found each other?

The crash of a Russian plane 31 October in Sinai was a horrific act of terror[1] with ongoing political repercussions. After initial reluctance, Russian President Vladimir Putin called to cancel all flights to Sharm el-Sheikh while trying to get Russian tourists out of Egypt[2]. Putin succumbed to the Western narrative...
Democracy in Myanmar?

Democracy in Myanmar?

On 8 November, millions of citizens of Myanmar flocked to the polls in the country’s first democratic elections. Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy (NLD) faced incumbent president Thein Sein, head of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the party of Myanmar’s military junta which...
The Illiberal Art: Erdogan’s Recipe for Electoral Success

The Illiberal Art: Erdogan’s Recipe for Electoral Success

To the world of pundits and experts, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political career was dead in the water. The ousting of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) from their seemingly invincible parliamentary majority in June was hailed as a watershed moment for Turkey, an opportunity for a peaceful transition...
Save the Elephants, End Terrorism

Save the Elephants, End Terrorism

The recent attacks in Paris have left the international community with one important question: how could this happen? More importantly, how can we prevent it from ever happening again? To begin to answer this question, we need to ask where terrorist organisations are receiving the funding to carry out such...
From #FeesMustFall to #FeesHaveFallen

From #FeesMustFall to #FeesHaveFallen

“If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government.” – Nelson Mandela to South Africa’s trade union congress, July 1993[1] In October South Africa faced the biggest protests since the end of...
USA vs. the World ft. Gun Laws

USA vs. the World ft. Gun Laws

While a lot of attention has been given to examining the relationship between gun regulations and gun violence in the United States alone, it is eye opening to compare the resulting figures and facts the world over to see how they equate. Faced with a gamut of numbers, with the...
The Hidden War in Yemen

The Hidden War in Yemen

‘The children have a game called “One two three airstrike” in which they all fling themselves to the ground.’ These are the words of MSF emergency coordinator Karline Kleijer following her recent trip to Yemen. By the start of 2015, tensions in Yemen had been mounting for months between the...
The Manama Dialogue 2015: Security in the Middle East

The Manama Dialogue 2015: Security in the Middle East

The capital of Bahrain hosted the International Institute of Strategic Studies’ (IISS) annual forum to discuss the most prominent security issues threatening the Middle Eastern region. Directed by former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sir John Jenkins, the dialogue saw governmental delegations from over twenty countries come together to share...
Waiting on the World Wide Web to Change: Reflections on Power in the Digital Age

Waiting on the World Wide Web to Change: Reflections on Power in the Digital Age

The development of the Internet has been characterized as the defining moment of our generation— but for whom? Despite its name, the web is far from worldwide. Half of the world’s population is ‘offline’ [1]. As of 2014, there were an estimated 4.4 billion people in the world without Internet...
Suffrage in Saudi Arabia: What does the vote really mean for women?

Suffrage in Saudi Arabia: What does the vote really mean for women?

On 12 December, women in Saudi Arabia will enter polling booths throughout the Kingdom for the first time to cast their ballots in the municipal elections. This will make good on the promise King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud made to Saudi women at the culmination of the most recent...
Russia Today, the Legacy of Mikhal Lesin

Russia Today, the Legacy of Mikhal Lesin

Over 4,500 people die in Washington D.C. every year, but most of them are no Mikhail Lesin. Lesin, found dead in a Dupont Circle hotel room 5 November, was the Russian Mass Media Minister from 1999 to 2004, a Putin aid, and an executive of Gazprom-Media. Perhaps more importantly, Lesin...
Frontex and the Politics of Counting Migrants

Frontex and the Politics of Counting Migrants

The Europe Union’s immigration agency, Frontex, was operationalized in 2005 to ‘improve the integrated management of the Union’s external borders and enhance cooperation between national border authorities’.[1] The agency manages external European borders, coordinating surveillance and ‘rapid-response’ protocols. Recent figures released by the agency calculated that more than 710,000 migrants have crossed into...
The Two-Child Policy: Too Little Too Late?

The Two-Child Policy: Too Little Too Late?

In October, China announced the abolition of its highly controversial one-child policy. The Walt Disney Company was among the first to express commendation at the news, aware of the potential benefits and revenues their Hong Kong and Shang Hai strongholds will reap. Shares for baby and children products such as...
Child’s Play: Why LEGO Isn’t Keen on Being a Building Block in Chinese Politics

Child’s Play: Why LEGO Isn’t Keen on Being a Building Block in Chinese Politics

It started with a greyscale Instagram post of a toilet filled with toy building blocks and has turned into an embarrassing campaign for free speech against the world’s largest toy manufacturer. As unusual as this sounds, that’s the basis of the Chinese dissident artist Ai Wei Wei’s turning on the...
Sons of Liberty International: A Possible Solution to the Problem of Military Contractors

Sons of Liberty International: A Possible Solution to the Problem of Military Contractors

The Rise of Private Security Firms Much has already been said about the consequences of the proliferation of private security contracting firms in today’s security climate. This is by no means a new phenomenon, and mercenaries have played a role in conflict for much of the world’s history. Today’s conception...
An American Bull in a China Shop: Can the United States Create a Winning Team in South-East Asia?

An American Bull in a China Shop: Can the United States Create a Winning Team in South-East Asia?

The United States under President Obama has taken a much greater interest in China’s rise, both economically and militarily, than previous administrations, which also involves increasing its influence in the region as a whole.[1] Unilaterally this can be observed by the United States’ progressively more frequent naval drills and patrols...
“A New Scramble for Africa?” India vs. China

“A New Scramble for Africa?” India vs. China

On 30 October, the third India-Africa Summit formally concluded, representing one of the largest landmark events in the history of relations amongst emerging powers. With 54 heads of state and government officials from across African nations descending on New Delhi for what promised to be the most comprehensive summit since...
Right to Say Sorry? Tony Blair on Iraq

Right to Say Sorry? Tony Blair on Iraq

Arguably one of the most controversial decisions our generation may ever see, the Iraq War is still hotly contested; rife with disagreeing claims and tense emotions. Last week, as part of the upcoming CNN documentary, Long Road to Hell: America in Iraq, former Prime Minister Tony Blair was interviewed about...
Egypt Purchases Mistral-class Assault Ships: Problems and Possibilities

Egypt Purchases Mistral-class Assault Ships: Problems and Possibilities

Back in 2011, French shipbuilders DCNS and the Russian corporation Rosoboronexport signed a deal which would have sent two French-designed Mistral-class assault ships to the Russian navy. That deal would have been completed this year. However, after Russian action in the Crimea, and later in the Eastern Ukraine, France cancelled...
'If You Wanna Know what China’s Gonna Do, Best Pay Attention to the Shi San Wu'

‘If You Wanna Know what China’s Gonna Do, Best Pay Attention to the Shi San Wu’

The run-up to the Chinese Communist Party’s thirteenth ‘Five-Year-Plan’ bore witness to a flurry of forecasts projecting likely outcomes; yet few, if any, quite expected the bizarre manner in which it would be announced. The first update from state-controlled Xinhua news agency on the plan was an animated English-language promotional...
Mixed Signals: The Changing Nature of Finland’s Non-Alignment and its Relationship with NATO

Mixed Signals: The Changing Nature of Finland’s Non-Alignment and its Relationship with NATO

In Finland, the election of a new centre-right coalition government in this past April’s parliamentary elections brought renewed debate over Finland’s position as one of the few remaining European Union states without membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Led by new Centrist Party Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, the...
Polish Elections: What the Victory of the Right Means for the EU and Russia

Polish Elections: What the Victory of the Right Means for the EU and Russia

The victory of Poland’s conservative Law and Justice party (also known by the acronym PiS) in the general elections on 25 October marks a milestone in the country’s post-communist political history. For the first time in 26 years, a party could form a government without coalition partners, simultaneously creating Europe’s...
What Fuelled the Cuban Thaw?

What Fuelled the Cuban Thaw?

US Secretary of State John Kerry formally reopened the American embassy in Cuba on 14 August, a momentous occasion in relations that mark an end to one of the last residual conflicts of the Cold War. Relations between Havana and Washington had been suspended for more than half a century...
Brexit: An Economic Catastrophe

Brexit: An Economic Catastrophe

David Cameron’s promised referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union represents both a turning point and return to the past in the British electorate’s attitude towards ‘the continent’. Nonetheless, the economic consequences of ‘Brexit’ would be substantial, potentially costing the British economy 2.2% of its gross domestic...
Britain Doesn't Need Saudi Anymore. It's Time to Move on.

Britain Doesn’t Need Saudi Anymore. It’s Time to Move on.

The attempts of the British government to justify the UK’s political, economic and military relations with Saudi Arabia are becoming ever more groundless and unconvincing. With the news that David Cameron is scrambling to rebuild British-Saudi relations after they took a recent dip, one would be forgiven for assuming that...
Palestine: The Forgotten Refugees

Palestine: The Forgotten Refugees

This article has been written as a supplement to the 2016 St Andrews Foreign Affairs Conference, whose focus this year is on Migration & Displaced Peoples. Through this article, we hope to delve deeper into the diverse and far-reaching effects of conflict and the freedom of movement in areas such...
Scandinavian Responses to the Refugee Crisis: How Denmark and Sweden Differ in Their Approaches

Scandinavian Responses to the Refugee Crisis: How Denmark and Sweden Differ in Their Approaches

This article has been written as a supplement to the 2016 St Andrews Foreign Affairs Conference, whose focus this year is on Migration & Displaced Peoples. Through this article, we hope to delve deeper into the diverse and far-reaching effects of conflict and the freedom of movement in areas such...
The Tampon Tax, or 'a Grimm Tale on Equality'

The Tampon Tax, or ‘a Grimm Tale on Equality’

Throughout the economically developed world, the ‘Millennial’ generation is the luckiest to date. Women’s rights and the feminist voice has been pushed to the forefront of much political and social debate. Education on matters such as consent and everyday sexism, as well as the growing expression for former ‘taboo subjects’...
Halted American Troop Withdraw in Afghanistan: A Response to a Confused Identity Abroad

Halted American Troop Withdraw in Afghanistan: A Response to a Confused Identity Abroad

On 16 October, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would be extending its military engagement in Afghanistan by lessening the cutbacks in combat personnel that were scheduled for the next few years. Saying that although he continues to oppose the idea of “endless war,” President Obama went on...
Search for Next UN Secretary-General Brings Gender Issues to Fore

Search for Next UN Secretary-General Brings Gender Issues to Fore

Earlier this month, the British outpost of women’s lifestyle magazine Elle released a video showing the juxtaposition of scenes from the entertainment industry, politics, sports, and the military as they are versus with the men removed from the photo. Unsurprisingly, the military photo depicted only one or two females left...
‘Don’t Kill Africa’ ? UN COP21 and the Post-Kyoto World

‘Don’t Kill Africa’ ? UN COP21 and the Post-Kyoto World

Following the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, —the official meeting of UN COP17— local demonstrators and climate change advocates around the world erupted into protest.[1] Despite initially high hopes that the conference would result in an international agreement regarding the future of the Kyoto Protocol,...
The EU Referendum: An Interview with Rector Catherine Stihler

The EU Referendum: An Interview with Rector Catherine Stihler

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”[1] This is the provisional wording of the question UK citizens will find on their ballot papers before the end of 2017. In their manifesto for the general election of May 7 2015, the Conservative Party...
Election 2016: Understanding the Foreign Policy of America’s Long, National Nightmare

Election 2016: Understanding the Foreign Policy of America’s Long, National Nightmare

For many unfamiliar with the American election process, the current Presidential primary campaigns for both the Republican and Democratic parties can appear confusing and occasionally bizarre. The sheer diversity of opinion (not to mention personality) is staggering, especially when it comes to foreign policy. This handy cheat sheet outlines the...
Feeding North Korea: An analysis of the hermit kingdom’s gunboat diplomacy

Feeding North Korea: An analysis of the hermit kingdom’s gunboat diplomacy

On 23 January 1968, an intelligence ship from the United States, the USS Pueblo, was targeted by a North Korean (DPRK) sub-charger as it sailed in international waters. A few hours later, President Lyndon Johnson woke to the news that the US Navy ship and its eighty three crewmen had...
Hillary Clinton: Human Rights Defender or Political Opportunist?

Hillary Clinton: Human Rights Defender or Political Opportunist?

As the world’s most influential voices gathered in New York to ring in the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly gathering this past September, a rather unlikely candidate took center stage. Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton sent a tweet that created something of a media maelstrom, shaming Chinese President...
Geopolitics of Arctic Climate Change and an Arms Race on Top of the World

Geopolitics of Arctic Climate Change and an Arms Race on Top of the World

The Arctic has, on the whole, played a relatively insignificant role in political history. Until recently, the region’s impenetrable frozen climate made any attempts at long-term engagement impractical, if not downright impossible. However, the dramatic receding of its icy borders has already begun to uncover waters whose ownership has never...
Inter-Americas Immigration Ignored in Debates Over Trans-Pacific Partnership

Inter-Americas Immigration Ignored in Debates Over Trans-Pacific Partnership

Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States, famously said, “All my economists say, ‘on the one hand…on the other’. Give me a one-handed economist!” Truman’s frustration seems especially relevant in the wake of long-awaited agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international free trade agreement so far-reaching, complex,...
Microcosm of Radicalism: Foreign Volunteers in Donbas

Microcosm of Radicalism: Foreign Volunteers in Donbas

With the conflict in Ukraine seemingly settling into a frozen state, countries will have to be vigilant as fighters try to return home as they quickly discover that a war, which was not theirs, is winding down.  More than an annoyance for the authorities in their home countries, these volunteers...
Jamaica and the Case for Reparations

Jamaica and the Case for Reparations

David Cameron travelled to Jamaica earlier this month with an agenda to discuss trade. His talking points however, were quickly pushed aside by Jamaican calls for reparations. Citing Britain’s principal role in the slave trade, the Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller aligned herself with the MP’s urging Cameron to address...
ISIS’ Looting Economy: Financial and Cultural Implications

ISIS’ Looting Economy: Financial and Cultural Implications

The Islamic State (or, alternatively, ISIS or ISIL) is considered to be the richest terror organization in the world; as of June 2014, it was estimated they held approximately 2.4 billion USD in assets.[i] A February 2015 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Report identified its primary source of income as...
Butterflies and Bubbles: A Review and Forecast of Global Markets

Butterflies and Bubbles: A Review and Forecast of Global Markets

Ever since the last financial crash in 2008, we have successfully avoided another big financial tumble, and have had a relatively strong bull market since then. However, in the words of London based State Street Executive Vice President Michael J Wilson, it has been a very unloved bull market, as...
Australian Foreign Policy: A Turn(bull) for the Better?

Australian Foreign Policy: A Turn(bull) for the Better?

On 14 September, 2015, Malcolm Turnbull defeated Tony Abbott in a leadership spill within Australia’s Liberal Party. For much of his tenure, Abbott was not a popular politician; according to The Age, the Abbott government had the worst opinion poll start for a new government in 40 years. Now, despite...
The Resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan

The Resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s northern city of Kunduz is currently in limbo. On the 28 September, the Taliban attacked and took control of the area.[1] Later on 1 October, the Afghan government and military launched a counterattack to try to regain control of the city.[2] There is no clear indication of who has...
The UN at 70: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The UN at 70: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

“The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.” – Dag Hammarskjöld Over the last seven decades, the United Nations (UN) has been both criticised and revered in its operations around the world, and the celebration of its 70th birthday in October this...
The Lure of the Diaspora: Is Modi Magic Enough?

The Lure of the Diaspora: Is Modi Magic Enough?

Thousands of supporters swarmed the streets in San Jose, California, carrying signs, holding banners and chanting in unison. An 18,000-strong crowd amassed last year at the Madison Square Garden arena in New York City alongside singers, dancers and even high-speed painters to give the man whose face was plastered on...
How Has Chinese Aggression in the South China Sea Affected Relations with ASEAN?

How Has Chinese Aggression in the South China Sea Affected Relations with ASEAN?

China and ASEAN states have clashed in the resource-rich South China Sea for decades and despite a cooperation pact signed in 2002, recent developments such as China’s land reclamation and military build-up in the region has alarmed onlookers worldwide. Undoubtedly, ASEAN-China relations have taken a hit. A joint statement released...
Rapprochement with Assad

Rapprochement with Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech to the United Nations 28 September was, in many ways, both a triumph for his regime and vindication of his strategy in Syria and the Middle East at-large. Putin expounded a vision for the international system emphasizing state sovereignty and, more narrowly, providing support for...
Putin’s Prolonged Pivot to China

Putin’s Prolonged Pivot to China

Russia and China have not made any secret of their seemingly budding romance in recent months. Speaking ahead of a visit to Beijing 3 September commemorating the end of World War II in Asia, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Russian-Chinese ties as having “probably reached a peak in their entire...
Mozambique and Mines: Some Lessons for the Future

Mozambique and Mines: Some Lessons for the Future

On 17 September 2015, Mozambique triumphantly declared itself mine-free, becoming the first of the ‘most mine-contaminated states in the world’ to achieve such an objective. Landmines had been a terrible legacy from decades of conflict in Mozambique, since the war of independence beginning in 1964 through the subsequent civil war,...
Eastern Europe: United in Opposition to Refugee Quotas

Eastern Europe: United in Opposition to Refugee Quotas

Eastern Europe: United in opposition to refugee quotas After three weeks of heated negotiations, on 22 September European Home Affairs Ministers finally approved the proposal of the European Commission concerning the relocation of  120,000 refugees from Italy and Greece within two years. Although described as ‘a historic moment’1 by Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU...
Left out in the cold? What Jeremy Corbyn’s Foreign Policy Would Mean for the UK

Left out in the cold? What Jeremy Corbyn’s Foreign Policy Would Mean for the UK

On 12th September, left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was elected as the Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition in a move described by Prime Minister David Cameron as a ‘threat to national security’[1] and a ‘radical breakthrough in British politics’ by the Russian Ambassador to London[2]. His distinct – some may...
The Question of International Law During Europe’s Refugee Crisis

The Question of International Law During Europe’s Refugee Crisis

Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War four years ago, over 400,000 Syrians have risked their lives traveling to Europe with the hope of receiving asylum.[1] The journey to a better future in Europe, however, has been arduous for many and is often a case of life or death....
Gaddafi’s MANPADS: History and Histrionics

Gaddafi’s MANPADS: History and Histrionics

2011 was an optimistic time for the Middle East. The Arab Spring was in full swing and it looked as if Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Libya were on a path to democratic reform. The victory of rebel forces over Libyan Dictator Muammar Gaddafi was the crowning achievement of the international...
Japan’s New Military Role: Troubling but Inevitable

Japan’s New Military Role: Troubling but Inevitable

On September 19, the Japanese Parliament passed a bill authorizing Japanese troops to fight overseas. This marks the first time since the end of the World War II that Japan will have the ability to place troops outside of their own country. With 148 votes for and 90 against, Prime...
“Ultimate Jackpot” – the Façade of the Korean Peninsula

“Ultimate Jackpot” – the Façade of the Korean Peninsula

By May 2015 North Korea’s leader had executed or disposed of every pallbearer at his father’s funeral bar himself. His uncle had been fed to attack-dogs, while his Defence Chief was brutally executed with an anti-aircraft gun in front of hundreds of spectators. Kim Jung Un had started the year...
KANT and the Prospect of a European Defence Industry

KANT and the Prospect of a European Defence Industry

For the international observer, the recent history of the European defence industry is undoubtedly characterised by failed attempts. Despite having around 400 ongoing bilateral and multilateral projects in 2015, military production in the European Union (EU) remains stuck with ad hoc cooperation, fragmentation and slow rates. Transnational programs like the...
Slide to the Left: The Corbyn-Sanders Experience

Slide to the Left: The Corbyn-Sanders Experience

The left-wing protest movements of late fifties and early sixties in the US and UK are often used as a point of comparative judgement for activists today. As the modern historian David Steigerwald succinctly notes, the decade of free love combined ‘the emerging temper of nonconformity and alienation… with the...
What was Said (And More Importantly, What Wasn’t) at the 70th UN General Assembly

What was Said (And More Importantly, What Wasn’t) at the 70th UN General Assembly

In Obama’s address to the 70th meeting of the United Nations general assembly (UNGA), he reminded the member-state delegates, “Nowhere is our commitment to international order more tested than in Syria.  When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one...
Fanning the Fire for LGBT Rights

Fanning the Fire for LGBT Rights

Regular readers of the US website Army Times will know that it recently included a small article on the nomination by President Obama of Eric Fanning as Secretary for the Army. To those of us not au fait with American military jargon, suffice to say this is one of the...
An Introduction to the 2016 St Andrews Foreign Affairs Conference: How Will Migration Change the European Union?

An Introduction to the 2016 St Andrews Foreign Affairs Conference: How Will Migration Change the European Union?

One year ago, I wrote an article for this publication about refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa paying thousands to human smugglers to charter rickety boats in Libya with hopes of reaching the shores of Europe. I wrote about the shipwrecks, the overcrowded asylum centers, and the chronic...
Latest entries

Matthew VanDyke: Activist, Film-Maker, Warrior

Matthew VanDyke is an activist, film-maker, and the founder and head of Sons of Liberty International, a non-profit security group helping to train Assyrian Christian groups in the Nineveh Plains region of Syria to defend themselves against the growing threat of the ISIS in the region. A graduate of Georgetown University, VanDyke travelled after his...
The Tactics of Trudeau

The Tactics of Trudeau

Canada, despite the international identity it possesses as the USA’s younger, less-powerful sibling, has always been more progressive than its downstairs neighbour. They were the first country in the G8 to legalise same-sex marriage. Their laws regarding the smoking of cannabis are amongst the most relaxed in the world, and it looks likely a total...
Angus Deaton: Who is he and Why Does he Matter?

Angus Deaton: Who is he and Why Does he Matter?

On 12 October, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (colloquially just the Nobel Prize) for 2015 to Angus Deaton. Broadly, committee awarded Deaton the prize for his work revolving around three central questions: how do consumers distribute their spending among different goods,...
The Beginning of the End for Putinism

The Beginning of the End for Putinism

In the centre of Donetsk, the capital of the rebel-controlled territories in eastern Ukraine, the authorities have recently taken the unprecedented step of installing three massive portraits in the main square of the former Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin.  The portraits are adorned with a quote from the former tyrant declaring, ‘Our cause is just. The...
Syria's Brain Drain

Syria’s Brain Drain

This article has been written as a supplement to the 2016 St Andrews Foreign Affairs Conference, whose focus this year is on Migration & Displaced Peoples. Through this article, we hope to delve deeper into the diverse and far-reaching effects of conflict and the freedom of movement in areas such as state interaction, internal politics,...
Egypt’s Opposition-Free Democracy

Egypt’s Opposition-Free Democracy

“Celebrate the choice of representatives and make the right choice!” announced former army chief and now President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. “Plant with your votes the hope for a bright tomorrow for our new Egypt.” President Sisi was referring to the national elections for a new unicameral parliament, an ostensibly democratic move considering the...
The Bahá'í Community: Battling Religious Intolerance

The Bahá’í Community: Battling Religious Intolerance

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) recently held the “largest annual human rights and democracy conference[1]” from 21 September to 2 October of 2015. The conference was called the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, and its purpose was to focus on “combating racism and xenophobia” and “discrimination against religious communities[1].” The Brussels Office...
‘When the time calls we cut off our chains’ – Catalan independence and why Catalonia won’t be like Scotland

‘When the time calls we cut off our chains’ – Catalan independence and why Catalonia won’t be like Scotland

The idea of European separatism has been banded around a lot in the wake of Scotland’s 2014 referendum and the country that appears top of the billing for potential statehood is the Catalan region of Spain. So what makes Catalonia special? Scottish independence failed, and anyone who knows me knows that I came out strongly...
Balance of Power in Eastern Europe: Russia and the Baltic States

Balance of Power in Eastern Europe: Russia and the Baltic States

Rarely do European Union (EU) officials put aside their neutral tone. But the annexation of Crimea by Russia, formalized by a referendum on “self-determination” the 16 March 2014, changed the mood. Convoked by the European Parliament for a plenary debate on the “invasion of Ukraine by Russia”, European commissioner Stefan Füle defined the referendum as...
West Africa’s Coastal Problem: Foreign Trawlers

West Africa’s Coastal Problem: Foreign Trawlers

From Senegal to Sierra Leone, illegal fishing has been a consistent blight on coastal communities along the Atlantic Ocean. The perpetrators of this illegal, unrecorded and/or unregulated (IUU) fishing activity are factory trawlers, industrial fishing boats that capture fish by dragging large nets behind them as they sail through ocean waters. These foreign trawlers, often...
Coming to grips with the Soviet past: Donetsk, Stalin and Putin.

Coming to grips with the Soviet past: Donetsk, Stalin and Putin.

Since 2006, Ukrainians have commemorated the Holodomor on the fourth Saturday of November. This year will mark 82 years since the 1932-33 famine that occurred, in the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, ‘without drought and without war.’ The commemoration comes with the knowledge that the devastating famine was more than a naturally occurring event – it...
The Events at Joseph’s Tomb: the media’s role in propagating the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Events at Joseph’s Tomb: the media’s role in propagating the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Both unfortunate and sadly unsurprising, the seemingly endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict has re-erupted in a notable way in recent weeks. From the beginning of the month to 24 October, 56 Palestinians and 8 Israelis have been killed and over 2000 Palestinians and 83 Israelis have been injured as a result of this recent outbreak of violence....