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 Vladimir Ivlev
“The ultimate difference between a truly radical emancipatory politics and populist politics is that the former is active, it imposes and enforces its vision, while populism is fundamentally re-active, the result of a reaction to a disturbing intruder.” – Slavoj Žižek, “First As Tragedy, Then As Farce” (2008)
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the overreaching Soviet social and political structure was replaced with swift liberalization of the markets and a bright promise of democracy. Yet, ironically, the Soviet structures of corruption and authoritarianism remained, giving the elite free reign over the new national civil and economic playgrounds. Two countries, Ukraine and Egypt, both having history in socialist policy, revolted against corruption at more or less concurrently. Continue reading “Comparing ‘populist’ revolutions: Ukraine and Egypt”
By Daniel Atherton
The 2015 General Election, British Referendum on the EU, and 2016 US Presidential Election all displayed conclusively that polls simply can’t be trusted. And yet, Prime Minister Theresa May is basing her newest attempt to gain a greater majority in the House of Commons, and as such a more secure route to passing post-EU legislation, in the strength of her party, the Conservatives, in the most recent polls. Continue reading “Should Theresa May Trust the Polls?”
On the 18th of April, just before 11am, Prime Minister Theresa May surprised the nation when she announced her intention to hold a general election on the 8th of June. “The country is coming together, but Westminster is not” were her words and she made clear her reasoning for a 2017 general election being the disunity in Parliament, and a general feeling against Brexit by other political parties. These are the Despatch Box’s writer’s thoughts and feelings on this event, as well as their predictions on what will happen, and what the future holds for the political parties of the UK.
Continue reading “Commentary – May’s GE2017 Speech”
By Malick Nythern Doucoure
The Trump administration hits its 90 day landmark this Thursday and a quick glance at its scandals and achievements reveal deep divisions that will scar American politics for the next four years and unfortunately, the same could be said for the next few decades. The US Legislative branch’s de facto policy of Bipartisanship has been a major driving force behind the success of countless committee hearings, bills and senate approvals, thus one cannot emphasise enough the importance of bipartisanship for the maintenance and continuity of the US political scene. 90 days ago, political commentators were writing on the importance of Bipartisanship. Now, political commentators are writing obituaries for it. Continue reading “The Death of Bipartisanship”
By Malick Nythern Doucoure
In one of his widely acclaimed works – Politics – Aristotle Insists that man is a political animal because man is a social creature with the power of speech and moral reasoning. When contextualised in the world of today, one may argue that man politicises everything, from grammar schools to what curry we should order for dinner. This unfortunately includes climate change – a topic that if politicised, and it sure as hell is, could see work and efforts to tackle the issue severely delayed, which poses a detrimental risk to human beings across the planet.
Continue reading “The Politics of Climate Change”
By Yury Polyakov
Russian Domestic Politics is probably the most boring subject for all enthusiastic researchers in Russian Studies. Russian people view Vladimir Putin as the new Brezhnev because his style is similar to Brezhnev’s tactics over the Zastoy days. In other words, you can sum up Putin message as ‘Sleep tight, my beloved country’. In 2000, Vladimir Zhirinovsky argued that Putin’s era would be calm and stable. In effect, the LDPR’s leader was right when he said that, as the TV was no longer a debate platform. Likewise, Ex-Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov made another decisive statement when he described Duma as the place which does not exist for political discussions. Personally, I believe that these were obviously gloomy. There have been moments when awful things as the Second Chechen War, Kursk, terrorist acts, Beslan, and several other sad events have occurred in the 2000s. Continue reading “What Has Motivated the Russian Youth to Protest Against Medvedev?”
By Gavin Davies
Humanitarian efforts have saved countless lives, but have been accused of making bad situations worse. The impact of this duality has grown after the end of the Cold War, when the USSR and the US removed support from their respective spheres of influence and left a power vacuum. With no interest or support coming from other states, individuals organized means for assistance much like that which they had done for local charities. The internationalization of charity work spread, and now there are nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) for every need and occasion for relief and development all over the globe (Michael, 2002, p. 4). But as NGOs proliferate, what effects does this have on the world? Continue reading “NGOs and Their Role in Human Security”