RHUL PIR Society
We are the Royal Holloway Politics and International Relations Society, focussing on providing exciting and thought-provoking discourse and discussion around campus. Established in 2004, the society has hosted many key speakers such as Rt. Hon. Phillip Hammond, Baroness Catherine Ashton.
By Thomas Sherlock
Last week the Government of the United States of America shutdown. This is a very odd concept from a British perspective but it’s one made possible by the complex system of checks and balances imposed by the constitution. Most of last week was spent with politicians pointing the finger at the other faction, however the real cause of the shutdown may lie in much broader problem: political partisanship. Continue reading “Shutdown: Has Partisanship Closed Down A Country?”
Julia Ebner’s ‘The Rage’, provides an extremely interesting insight into the inner workings of Islamist and Far-Right extremist groups, and the mind of the extremist themselves. She combines on the ground experience of such groups, with an outside online and statistical view in order to gather a multi-dimensional perspective of how these groups work, both within the UK and internationally.
The main point of this work is to show that there is a circle of ‘rage’ between both Islamist and Far-Right extremists; when one group acts in some way, it has an effect on the other, causing a kind of reaction from them. The reaction, Ebner argues, can be sometimes violent or non-violent but still extreme, in a way, they both rely on each other for their continued existence, Far-Right groups will use examples of Islamist extremism to claim all Muslims are at war with the west; whereas Islamist extremists will use examples of Far-Right extremism to claim the west is at war with Islam, both sides use the other as a form of justification for their beliefs. She also puts forward the idea that Islamist and Far-Right extremists are two side of the same coin, in that they both have similar desires for a future conflict between Muslims and Non-Muslims, believing that the two are somehow incompatible with each other. Continue reading “What We’re Reading: ‘The Rage’ by Julia Ebner”
By Sarah Jasem
The Paradise Papers are 13.4 million leaked documents spanning the period between 1950 to 2016, which reveal the extent to which the assets of corporations like Facebook, and wealthy public figures from the Queen to Harvey Weinstein, are held offshore where they can be unregulated and untaxed. Almost 7 million of these documents are related to a law firm called ‘Appleby’, filled with lawyers who specialise in registering trusts and companies in overseas jurisdictions with little to no tax rates such as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Mauritius. The leaks were passed on from German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ. Similarly, in 2016, the same newspaper leaked 11 million documents to the ICIJ where the tax avoidance was orchestrated not be Appleby but by Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in Panama, hence the 2016 leak being marked, ‘The Panama Papers’. Continue reading “The Paradise Papers: Central to Society”
By Thomas Sherlock
Currently passing through the Committee Stage is the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which is proving, somewhat unsurprisingly, controversial. Alongside the actual contents of what will be one of the most important components of Brexit, the Bill has provoked a wider debate on what exactly Parliament’s role should be in Brexit. Should Parliament be actively trying to shape Brexit and holding the Government accountable, or should it be taking a backseat and allowing the Government a freer hand?
As with everything to do with Brexit, this is not a clear-cut debate. Fundamentally this division relies on a problem inherent with referendums, what is the role of representatives in implementing a decision made by direct democracy?
Continue reading “European Withdrawal Bill: What Role Should Parliament Play in Brexit?”
By Sophie Minter
After nearly 1,000 days of conflict, the crisis in Yemen has resulted in one of the largest hunger crises in human history, claiming an unprecedented number of lives, and made worse by a cholera outbreak. Now, 27 million people, equal to over 1/3 of the population of Britain are in urgent need of aid. The only accurate imaginable comparison is with fictional District 12 in the third Hunger Games film (unimaginable suffering and destruction, for those unfamiliar with the franchise). With all this turmoil in one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, it would be logical to have seen some form of international response; but what if anything is being done about this quickly escalating crisis? Continue reading “Yemen: Caught in the Crossfire?”
By Sarah Jasem
I sat with a room full of strangers, listening to the formal and consoling hum of the news in the background of a surgery waiting room in rural Australia. Small talk radiated like warmth throughout the room due to the close-knit nature of people in small rural towns. Many of them had lived in the same town throughout their lives; a travel time of two hours to get necessities meant they never had a need to leave. I felt little alienation because we were all listening to a popular news channel in Australia, so the fact that I was merely a visitor and not part of the community did not affect me. When the news is on, there is an assumption that we all feel quietly sympathetic, outraged, confused and worried by the same things uniting us in the quiet knowledge that we are all members of the same public body. Continue reading “News In Colour”
By Ovais Malik
In contemporary political discourse, doctrine and reality tend to be radically divorced from each other. We often hear from the New Right about the alleged glories of private enterprise; the wonders of the “free market”; and the incompetence of government intervention. When it comes to reality, however, sinister hypocrisies pervade this rhetoric. Continue reading “The New Right: Fictitious Yesterdays and Fabricated Tomorrows”