By Theo Larue
Nearly 7 years have elapsed since the Syrian Civil War began. 7 years during which half a million people found their untimely death, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. To this horrific number must be added the 7 million Syrians that are currently internally displaced, and the 5 million Syrians that became refugees, with demographic consequences seen as far as Germany. It would be unreasonable to attempt to make sense of this tragedy as of yet, however I will underline some of the lesser known contributing factors to the conflict, and try to shed some light on the confusing peace process that has occupied a preponderant spot in the media recently.
By Jennifer Amspacher
Though the United States has been noted as gradually decreasing military aid and involvement in Latin American countries, there has been an increase of Special Operations Forces missions in the South American continent since 2010. These missions have increased threefold.
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.
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.
By Peter Marshall
In our academic lives we will undoubtedly find new and exciting ideas that open our minds. I had this in reading Herculine Barbin, the diaries of a 19th century French intersex person by the same name, with the introduction written by Foucault. Foucault, however, is par for the course in political theory. Whilst being relatively theoretically radical, after this year I will have been taught about him for three years in a row. There are, of course, key thinkers to study in politics (Plato, Wollstonecraft, and Marx, to mention but a few), but what of the voices of those rarely heard? That is the idea of this article (and hopefully subsequent articles), to briefly explore the ideas of non-conventional thinkers and hopefully inspire you to read some of these texts once you have the time (as my 50+ unread books can attest to my not having time), as I hope they will broaden your intellectual horizons.
By Vladimir Ivlev
“I want to look at politics with an eye unclouded by philosophy.”
Hannah Arendt, “Zur Person”
It is way too easy for people swept in the typhoon of cultural change to keep themselves occupied by the surface level contradictions found within said paradigm shifts. Those who consider themselves to be in the trenches of the culture war often amass previously heard arguments into their political arsenal to avert themselves from experiencing the excruciating stigmata of self-doubt that losing an online argument often leads to. Either that or succumb to a self-destructive ideological leap of faith. But rarely do you find someone trying to embrace political ideologies that directly scare them or break their trance of idle conformity, for the sake of greater knowledge and self-actualization. I am however not putting myself on a pedestal by proclaiming that I fully comprehend the far-reaches of modern feminism, as it is just as ridden with sectarianism and surreal escapism as left-wing authoritarian philosophies (which is why more often than not they go hand in hand). But, by engaging with its advocates, I have pinpointed a certain underlying trend that not only justifies but necessitates their tactics of antagonism. This is not a conversion moment, I have not become a born-again intersectional feminist. In no way am I defending their tactics. But understanding the necessity of them provides insight into dealing with modern political discourse.
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’.