Year In Review
Smoke and Mirrors: Deconstructing Russian Foreign Policy Objectives in 2015

Smoke and Mirrors: Deconstructing Russian Foreign Policy Objectives in 2015

‘We all know that after the end of the Cold War – everyone is aware of that – a single centre of domination emerged in the world, and then those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think that if they were strong and exceptional, they knew better and they...
2015 Saudi Arabian Municipal Elections: Human Rights in Action?

2015 Saudi Arabian Municipal Elections: Human Rights in Action?

On 12 December 2015, the world witnessed Saudi Arabia fulfilling the promise of its late king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. For the first time ever, Saudi women were granted the right to vote and even run as candidates in the country’s only recently implemented municipal elections. Whether or not this most recent election actually...
War and Terror: The Removal of Dictators in the Twenty-First Century

War and Terror: The Removal of Dictators in the Twenty-First Century

10 September 2001 was a relatively normal day. The Mayor of Campinas in Brazil, Antônio da Costa Santos was murdered as he drove home,[1] American rapper DJ Uncle Al was shot dead,[2] and Charles Ingram cheated his way to winning £1 million on the British quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.[3] Two days...
Sub-Saharan Africa and China: A Fairy Tale Match?

Sub-Saharan Africa and China: A Fairy Tale Match?

It seems that 2015 has been the year of Africa: Africa rising and Africa not rising. Yet, as the public is hearing more about the continent from news outlets, the discourse often centres on China and its role in Sub-Saharan African countries (Table 1). Although this conversation tends to split into two main camps, where...
Year in Review: The European Defence Industry

Year in Review: The European Defence Industry

Successively monopolised by the Greek debt crisis and massive migrant influx, the European Union (EU) had little time in 2015 for important announcements concerning its defence policy and weapons industry. Nevertheless, recent terror attacks in Paris combined with external pressure on France’s southern and eastern borders should remind European Union (EU) leaders of the necessity...
The Battle for Afghanistan: a New Contender?

The Battle for Afghanistan: a New Contender?

Just as the term of US ambassador James Cunningham was coming to a close in Afghanistan, ISIS announced the start of theirs. In the summer of 2014, ISIS trumpeted their arrival by hanging 12 Taliban commanders in Nuristan Province. A 17-minute video soon after appeared online, confirming the validity of rumours. The film, produced by...
Love Won? LGBT Rights in 2015

Love Won? LGBT Rights in 2015

‘If you all agree with the question then we’ll have nothing to discuss.’[1] Thus spoke a bemused David Dimbleby on BBC’s Question Time in Belfast in January when faced with the exceptionally rare occurrence of a studio audience applauding in support of an issue almost unanimously. The topic in question was one that even a...
Chaos in Calais – The Value of Bare Necessities in the Jungle

Chaos in Calais – The Value of Bare Necessities in the Jungle

2015 was undoubtedly the annus horribilis of the modern-day migrant crisis. Epitomised by the harrowing image of three-year old Alan Kurdi, who drowned alongside his family on their way to Europe in September, the desperation to flee war-torn countries has reached an all-time high. Increasingly violent fallout from the Arab Spring and trepidation over worse...
Birds of a feather? Burundi and Rwanda: the dangers of ignoring Africa’s Great Lakes Region (again)

Birds of a feather? Burundi and Rwanda: the dangers of ignoring Africa’s Great Lakes Region (again)

In 1994, the world stood and watched as Rwanda burned. Granted, there was little that the international community could have done to stem or prevent the violence, short of travelling back at least several years, if not several decades, to avert the pre-cursors of the violence. The international community vowed to never let such a...
Climate Security for Whom?

Climate Security for Whom?

From 30 November to 12 December, the eyes of the world were on Paris as international leaders negotiated a strategy to address climate change. The resulting agreement, signed by all the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was widely hailed as a success. Tim Palmer, Royal Society research professor in climate...
The EU in Duress: How the Refugee Crisis is Generating a Trend of Isolation

The EU in Duress: How the Refugee Crisis is Generating a Trend of Isolation

Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War thousands of Syrians have fled their war torn country in search of peace in a democratic Europe.[1] Between January and November 2015, more than 886,000 people reached Europe via the Mediterranean, a significant increase from previous years. This journey for refugees is one of great danger and...
Dangerous Year in Reproductive Health

Dangerous Year in Reproductive Health

When China renounced its notorious one-child policy in October, it seemed like draconian family planning rules were a thing of the past.[1] One of the most powerful countries in the world had finally decided to relax its tight grip on family planning and women’s health, relinquishing a policy that had frequently placed it at odds...