By Christian Oliver
It would surely be an understatement to deem Brazil’s political climate leading up to the October general election to be anything but dramatic and unpredictable. Presidential nominees have been stabbed, convicted for corruption, imprisoned, and have called for violent attacks on the opposition; all as a by-product of a corruption scandal bigger than ‘Watergate’.
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’.
By Emma Temple
Broadly accepted connotations of Eastern Asia are likely but not limited to ideas of a technological hub, a catalyst for global progression not least on an economic level but also in terms of military and material power. There is not in political practice, however, an in depth understanding of the cultural nature of the area, and the roles that individual domestic cultures have in shaping foreign policy as well as global outlook.
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.
By Peter Marshall
ONLY A SITH DEALS IN ABSOLUTES
-Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
There comes a point when using the wholly academic Wikipedia to make a point becomes as bad as the Reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy (saying “Yeah, but Hitler thought/did that”). Mr. Ivlev wrote a Despatch Box article on the 9th of March criticising identity politics (or the politics of the “Social Justice Warrior”) and how it is neither left or right, but a liberal agenda. The intention of this article is to go through the article and criticise the wholly inaccurate portrayal of the many concepts Mr. Ivlev explores.
By Daniel Atherton
Comparing the demise of the European Union to the collapse of the Roman Empire.
“A rising power on the peripheries in the North East, an overreliance on imported labour, a faltering economy, the rise of an inhumane enemy from the Levant, overexpansion, political instability, corruption within constituent members, the loss/lack of a uniting identity, mass migration including refugee influxes, and the weakening of central authority.”
Evan Andrews, The History Channel
You’d be mistaken for presuming that the above text is describing the demise of the European Union. You’d be wrong – but forgivably so.
By Emma Temple
If there is one thing that binds together humans, politically or otherwise, it is a resounding fear of the unknown. Fear is the ultimate mechanism for control and as such is a primary feature of the discourse both within international relations and domestic politics. To combat this requires a significant overhaul of not only the way in which political debates are conducted, but also the way we as individuals choose to prioritise our political concerns.