Page 1

Ramtin Hajimonshi

Linnéa Strand

Angela Buensuceso

Alvina Hoffmann

Eric Klopfer

Fernanda Águila-Marín

Maria Ferraz

Jonathan Han

Gustave Kenedi

Lorin Raychinova

Naomi Roba

Clare Dodd

Helene Løken Eiklid

Tom Wilkinsson


Content Editor (Americas) & Creative Editor

Content Editor (Middle East)


Content Editor (Americas)

Creative Editor

Managing Editor

Content Editor (Asia)

Creative Editor

Vice President

Content Editor (Debate)


Content Editor (Americas)

Creative Editor

Introducing the 2014/15 Politics Society Committee: Executive Committee: Angela Buensuceso, Irina Dihanova, Gabriela Jordan. Dialogue: Christina Anagnostopolous, Zoé Canal-Brunet, Clare Dodd, Javier Espinoza, Sonia Gaman, Carl Giesecke, Farah Goutali, Anisha Hira, Tamara Juburi, Gustave Kenedi, Raymond Lee, Charlotte le Maignan, Naomi Roba. Events Team: Ryan Austin, Rebecca Gregg, Aneta Kanturkova, Anisah Lokat, Adam Yee, Hoyeon Yoo. Treasury: Amelia Coleman-Straw, Angus Wood. Media: Niccolò Aliano.

New beginnings. Four standard issues and two special reports have been released this year. Dialogue has for the first time been available in print on campus and our last online issue has been read over 4000 times. I could never have envisioned this huge success when Dialogue was founded almost two years ago. This is my very last contribution as Editor-in-Chief and I would like to give thanks to the people who have made this journey worthwhile.

First, our readers and contributors. Professionals that have believed in what we try to achieve, but also students from numerous countries and disciplines that have proven that the political apathy often ascribed to youth is grossly overstated. Dialogue has sought to be a platform for discussing pressing political issues and without your engagement this would not have been possible. Second, the wonderful people to your left, the editorial team. All are extremely talented individuals that have dedicated a huge amount of time towards making Dialogue ever better. Most of the team is graduating or moving on to new things, but they have all left a lasting mark on student involvement at King’s. Our last issue of the academic year features the upcoming European Parliament elections as the cover story. On that we have Dr. Marek Dabrowski discussing the European economy and the risks that still lies ahead. Andreia Ghimis from the Migration and Diversity Programme at the European Policy Centre dwelves into the heated topic of immigration and Dr. Alexandre Afonso outlines the dilemma of the radical right. Elsewhere an exclusive interview with Richard Lapper, director of LatAm Confidential and former Latin America editor at Financial Times, gives insight into the developments in Latin America. We have an informative debate on the legalization of cannabis and a photographic piece highlighting the challenges facing people with disabilities in Kenya as well as much more! Happy Reading!

In this issue... 9

Cover story Europe:


Avoiding a Stagnation Trap



European Immigration Policy at a Crossroads

The Economic Dilemma of the Radical Right


Americas 19

Returning to Grand Strategy: How U.S. Foreign Policy Should Change Post-Afghanistan

Human Rights, Norms and Historical Memory in US-China Diplomacy Our Oldest Ally: The Obama Administration and France

Narcos vs the Mexican State: Why Mexico is Losing its war?


17 19 21 23 25

Richard Lapper on Latin America’s Development


Brazil’s Economic Development:


Keeping up With the Asian Tiger

Debate Cannabis Legalisation: A Policy Whose Time has Come

Cannabis Legalisation: Medicine or Poison?


29 32

Europe The Constitutional Future of Scotland:


It’s the Economy, Stupid

UKIP and the European Elections: Rhetoric vs Data

Spain Does not Want to Defeat ETA Strasbourg Sentence as Example

37 39

Asia 41

Samba with the Dragon: Are Latin America and China Good Dancing Partners?


The Reality of US Drone Strikes in Pakistan


Hope for Kashmir


India’s Culture of Servitude

Middle East


The Nuclear Issue and Sanctions

The Year of Palestinian Reconciliation: Time for the EU to Step in

African Asylum Seekers in Israel: Between Jewish Historic Obligation and Political Zionist Militancy

Africa 55 57 61



49 51



La Sape: An Elegance That Brought Peace in the Midst of Congolese Chaos

Photographic Piece: Challenges Facing People With Disabilities in Kenya

Rising Anti-Gay Sentiment and the Ongoing Shift Towards China

Dialogue is published with the generous support of the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. It is a unique interdisciplinary enterprise – it is the only academic department of its kind in the UK. The university has the largest concentration of Politics and International Studies researchers in Europe and one of the largest concentrations in the world.

Webpage Contact us Twitter KCLPolSoc Facebook KCL Politics Society


By Dr. Marek Dabrowski


he European economy faces difficulties in overcoming consequences of a double financial crisis: the global crisis of 2008-2009 and its European phase, which started with Greece’s sovereign insolvency in early 2010. In popular opinion, it was the crisis and dysfunctions of the financial industry which led to its eruption and should be blamed for the current low or negative growth rates and record-high unemployment.

Part of the declining growth trend can be attributed to demographics. Since the 1990s Europe’s population (including its working age cohorts) began to stagnate before effectively declining. Hence, GDP-per-capita has continued to grow at its previous pace. Nevertheless, even more favorable GDP-per-capita statistics cannot mask the serious structural and institutional challenges most European economies face on their road ahead.

While accepting the negative impact of the financial crisis and the importance of its resolution, one cannot forget that Europe, especially its largest economies, experienced a slowing growth trend long before the 2008 crisis started (see Figure 1). Even in years of global financial prosperity (2003-2007), their growth was rather modest. The EU growth rate was enhanced by the better performance of smaller countries, including new member states, which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. High growth rates in the so-called emerging Europe, however, proved shortlived and came to the end in 2007-2008.

Crisis of a Welfare State

Figure 1: Annual growth of real GDP in the EU and biggest member states, in %

For several decades, countries of Western and Northern Europe were proud of their well-developed social welfare programs, which were claimed to guarantee social peace and security. However, they succeeded in doing so only to a certain extent. This is because steadily increasing government expenditures (Table 1) and the resulting high taxation gradually undermined European competitiveness. The new members of the EU from Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, having the advantage of lower costs, were able to compete with older EU members for only a limited period of time. Quickly and prematurely, they copied the same social model at a lower level of economic development and productivity, and now face even bigger financial constraints. Consequently, they lost their competitiveness in many sectors in favor of producers from the developing world. Furthermore, as many social programs (especially public pension and healthcare systems) involved substantial intergenerational transfers, the shrinking demography and rapidly aging population made such programs increasingly unsustainable.

Note: the dotted line illustrates long term growth trend of the EU Source: IMF World Economic Outlook database, October 2013

As result, the whole of Europe now faces a politically challenging task of overhauling their social welfare systems and downsizing public obligations to meet the requirements for fiscal constraints. The necessary changes include: increasing the statutory and actual retirement age, decreasing the replacement rate in public pension systems, rationalizing costs of public healthcare, introducing mandatory co-payments for health services, limiting coverage and duration of unemployment and family benefits, and the elimination of numerous socially motivated tax exemptions — just to name a few.

Table 1: General government total expenditures as % of GDP, 2003-2012

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook database, October 2013

Danger of Sovereign Insolvency In most EU countries, the high costs of the welfare state led to gradual increases in public debt well before the 2008 crisis. When the crisis hit, the fiscal situation further deteriorated as a result of counter-cyclical fiscal policy and financial sector rescue programs. Both proved wrong to some extent; most countries did not have sufficient fiscal room to launch stimulus policies (and their effectiveness remained doubtful) and some bank bailouts involved excessive costs for taxpayers (especially in Ireland). Consequently, the level of public debt grew rapidly (Table 2). Between 2007 and 2012, it increased by 27.5 percentage points of GDP in the EU (reaching a level of 86.8 percent of GDP) and by 26.5 percentage points of GDP in the Eurozone (up to 93 percent of GDP). At the end of 2012, half of the EU member states recorded public debt well above the Maastricht limit of 60 percent of GDP. Apart from “Southern” countries in fiscal troubles, this group also included a number of “Northern” countries popularly considered

Table 2: General government gross public debt, in % of GDP

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook database, October 2013

fiscally prudent: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The sovereign debt crisis must be considered as the key obstacle to economic recovery in the short-to-medium run. This is the main source of “toxic” assets in European banks and the main cause of consumers’ and investors’ uncertainty, which translates into weak private demand. The high public sector borrowing requirements crowd out credit to the private sector. Postponing fiscal consolidation only makes things worse; it cannot return market confidence and leads to even higher debt burden. Making Markets More Flexible Fiscal prudence is a necessary but insufficient condition to return to a sustainable growth path. Increasing growth potential in the medium-to-long term will require comprehensive reforms in microeconomic and institutional spheres. The labor market reform seems to be an absolute priority in most European countries. Unlike in the US, excessive legal and

economic protection of insiders (those who are already employed) generates high unemployment rates, especially among the young generation. In such a rigid regulatory environment, enterprises face problems to adjust themselves to rapidly changing market conditions and are thus reluctant to invest and hire new employees.

It will also require serious reform in education systems on all levels, as too often schools and universities produce graduates who are unemployable. Additionally, reform of universities is important for increasing innovation in the European economy, in which the EU permanently lags behind the US in this respect.

“Dual labor markets, with over-protected insiders and under-protected outsiders, lead to inequality and social exclusion. The high costs of running welfare programs add to the problem; high mandatory contributions to pension, health and other social insurance funds further increase costs of official employment.”

Goods and services markets also require deregulation in most European countries, which can ensure greater competition and innovation. The bureaucratic “red tape” remains a serious obstacle to doing business in many EU member states.

Dual labor markets, with over-protected insiders and under-protected outsiders, lead to inequality and social exclusion. The high costs of running welfare programs add to the problem; high mandatory contributions to pension, health and other social insurance funds further increase costs of official employment. To avoid these costs, employers often prefer informal labor arrangements. Thus, increasing labor market flexibility will require not only a reform of labor law, but also the rationalization of welfare programs.

More Europe but on a Sound Basis While labor market regulations and welfare programs largely remain in the domain of national governments, product and service markets are regulated to a substantial degree on the EU level. The Single European Market rules contain a large body of EU directives and other regulations, which are sometimes too detailed and intrusive, adding unnecessary burden to the aforementioned “red tape.” Despite their comprehensiveness in some aspects, these regulations remain incomplete in other important areas. The common market project remains unfinished for many services (including financial ones) and infrastructure activities; this is a serious gap

that should be closed as soon as possible. There have also been attempts in some member states to limit the intra-EU freedom of movement of people, which must be resisted.

“(…) the new European Parliament and European Commission should complete building the Single European Market by removing existing trade barriers between member states, especially in respect to services, which play an increasing role in EU economies. ” Thus, the new European Parliament and European Commission should complete building the Single European Market by removing existing trade barriers between member states, especially in respect to services, which play an increasing role in EU economies. On the other hand, it could contribute to economic growth by easing EU regulatory burdens, especially in the agriculture and food sectors. Going beyond Single Market regulations, there are several other policy domains where pooling resources, increasing competency of EU governing bodies, or at least better coordination of national policies, could either offer increasing returns to scale or help address cross-border externalities. For example, this may concern financial market regulations and supervision, pan-European deposit insurance, resolution mechanisms in the case of bank failures, common defense and security policy, protection of EU external borders, common consular services, environmental policy, and many others. These are the issues for debate both for the newly elected European Parliament, newly appointed European Commission and EU member states who have decisive say in the possible changes to the Treaty. “More Europe,” however, is not always a good method for improving the functioning of the economy and public life. Firstly, any proposal to move additional competences and pool resources on the EU level should be the subject of functional analysis based on the theory of fiscal federalism, which helps us understand which functions and instruments can be best centralized and which are best placed in lower levels of government. Second, the EU has been historically built around the principle of subsidiarity enshrined in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union, according to which the functions of higher levels of government should be as limited as possible and should be subsidiary to those of lower levels. Third, any pan-European solution cannot create perverse incentives to national or sub-national governments by encouraging their irresponsible behavior or “free-riding” at the cost of others. The latter became a serious challenge in the context of the European debt crisis when the principle of “no bail outs,” as de-

termined in Article 125 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, and the ban on debt monetization by the European Central Bank (Article 123 of the same Treaty) have been replaced by the policy of conditional bail outs of member states in trouble. Some proposals, like Eurobonds, are going even further in this direction, threatening to build a kind of dysfunctional fiscal union and undermine stability of the common currency. More External Openness Finally, the EU must be more open to the external world. At first glance, such a call may sound surprising as the EU is engaged in several bilateral and multilateral free trade negotiations and its external customs tariff for industrial goods remains relatively low. Despite this, however, the EU is less open in cases of agricultural trade and its trade negotiation position sometimes becomes a hostage of interests of very narrow groups of agriculture producers. The same occurs in services, especially when their provision requires the right of employment of foreign labor forces. Looking ahead, attitude to external incoming migration is the policy area which requires the most revolutionary changes in the entire EU, in spite of its high political and social sensitivity. Taking into account population decline and aging, many more legal migrants from outside the EU will be needed to keep the European economy growing, ensure continuity of basic public services, and ease fiscal sustainability challenges faced by the public pension and health care systems. Dr. MAREK DABROWSKI is a Fellow at CASE – the Centre for Social and Economic Research in Warsaw. Since the late 1980s, he has been involved in policy advising and policy research in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He has also worked on international research projects related to monetary and fiscal policies, currency crises, international financial architecture, EU and EMU enlargement, European integration, European Neighbourhood Policy and the political economy of transition.

By Andreia Ghimis


he Lampedusa tragedy caused the death of more than 300 migrants attempting to enter the European Union. This event highlighted not only one of the major challenges to which the EU is confronted in terms of immigration, but also the tragic consequences of an imbalanced immigration policy. The mixed migratory flows reaching the territory of EU border countries on a regular basis represent a huge challenge for the EU. The boat travelling from Libya to Italy in October 2013 was carrying more than 500 people; most of them seeking asylum, others hoping for better living conditions. None of these aspirations can be condemned, however, the diversity of motivations leading migrants to leave their home country, the different levels of migrants’ vulnerability, their different nationalities, etc. make such migratory flows particularly difficult to manage. Yet, strongly attached to their prerogatives in terms of immigration, EU Member States have blatantly permitted the development of an asymmetric security-driven immigration policy. Speaking at an EPC Policy Briefing on February 4, 2014, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General 1, characterised it as being a “policy of deterrence, not a policy of protection.” In the

aftermath of the Lampedusa tragedy, civil society has been very vocal in calling for the reform of European immigration policy and insisted on the need for more intra-EU solidarity and additional channels for legal migration. Commissioner Malmström2 hoped that the Lampedusa wake-up call would motivate Member States to take action and engage in the development of a more balanced immigration policy. However, the conclusions of the October 2013 European Council and the results of the task force for the Mediterranean remained unsatisfactory as they didn’t propose fundamental changes to the policy. Still, the second half of 2013 has brought immigration issues high on the political agenda, and this trend is expected to continue in 2014. This article will focus on the two major events that will determine the future shape of the European immigration policy this year. Firstly, it will tackle the strategic guidelines on the future of justice and home affairs policies the European Council is expected to adopt in June 2014. Secondly, it will discuss the influence the EP elections campaign and results will have on the political rhetoric around immigration topics.

The Future of Justice and Home Affairs Policies: What to Expect from the European Council The definition of the new strategic guidelines for the justice and home affairs policies will be decisive for the future orientation of the European immigration policy.

and the new European Commission even though they will not have been able to provide input regarding their content. On the other hand, rescheduling the adoption of the strategic guidelines would allow civil society to provide a more structured and forward looking contribution to this debate concentrated around issues which will have a strong impact on the everyday lives of EU citizens.

A Short Time Frame for Developing Long-Term Strategies The European Commission contributed to this process via two communications (one from DG Home Affairs3 and one from DG Justice4) in March 2014. In order to make a valuable contribution, the European Commission launched a consultation process in which various stakeholders have participated.

Nevertheless, the chances that the adoption of the strategic guidelines will be postponed are very slim. Therefore, this process will be led by the European Council with participation of the Barosso II Commission and limited contributions from the European Parliament, EU agencies, and civil society. The Nature and Content of the Future Strategic Guidelines

The ideas put forward in terms of immigration policy during the consultation process were very diverse and, at times, disorganised yet, beyond any doubt, pertinent. For instance: 

The EU Fundamental Rights Agency5 suggested the adoption of a more horizontal approach by taking into consideration the existence of migrants in an irregular situation throughout the development of all EU policies.

Amnesty International6 advocated a human rights based approach to cooperation with third countries in terms of migration management.

The European Council on Refugees and Exiles7 proposed the adoption of an Action Plan on Mediterranean Sea crossings, which would have saving lives at sea as first priority and recommended the adoption of a clear target for the EU to resettle 20,000 refugees per year.

”Member States appear to be focusing on security-driven issues and not much on rethinking the European immigration policy.” Although very useful, this consultation exercise has been done without clear indications from the European Council as to the nature and content of the future strategic guidelines. Yves Pascouau, Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre, highlighted8 that, for a deeper reflexion on the future of justice and home affairs policies, both EU institutions and civil society representatives would need a longer time frame. Therefore, he suggested postponing the adoption of the European Council’s strategic guidelines to December 2014, or even June 2015. The arguments put forward are self-explanatory. On the one hand, June 2014 will be a moment of high political instability due to the newly elected European Parliament and the end of the current European Commission’s term. Furthermore, the strategic guidelines adopted in June 2014 will bind the new European Parliament

For the moment, the nature and content of the guidelines to be adopted in June 2014 are unknown. For instance, as Article 68 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is silent on this aspect, it is uncertain if the future orientations in the field of justice and home affairs will be adopted for five years – as the previous Tampere, The Hague and Stockholm programmes – or more. However, a note9 related to the discussions on the future of home affairs policies, sent by the Greek Presidency to the Coreper representatives on February 17, 2014, indicates that Member States plead for the time frame to be synchronised with the Multiannual Financial Framework (seven years). Concerning the nature of the future strategic guidelines, the European Policy Centre (EPC) suggested10 that they should be concise, highly political and forward looking. However, the only indication we have from the European Council on this aspect is contained in the above-mentioned Greek Presidency note. In this document, it is stated that a large majority of Member States agree that the next planning and programming document should be more concise than the Previous Stockholm programme, and that it should be centred on a political and prioritised approach. Analysing the note of February 17, in terms of the strategic guidelines’ content, Member States appear to be focusing on security-driven issues and not much on rethinking the European immigration policy. For example, a majority of Member States call for a stricter enforcement of the fight against irregular migration, including an effective return policy in all its dimensions. The Smart Borders Regulation has been mentioned as a priority by a great number of governments. However, despite the costs of border management mechanisms (SIS, VIS, Eurodac), specialists are not unanimously convinced of their legitimacy and proportionality.11 Furthermore, in their contributions, national governments have put a strong emphasis on readmission agreements with third country nationals.

If some Member States ask for more burden-sharing mechanisms, others insist on the effective implementation of current rules before considering such mechanisms. In the field of migrant integration, an increase in EU funding has been mentioned. Member States also demand better linking of migration and integration policies. Nevertheless the measures envisaged in the field of integration are non-binding. Consequently, due to the diversity of views in terms of intra-EU solidarity and migrant integration, the European Council might be tempted to settle for the lowest common denominator on these issues. It is too early, however, to draw definitive conclusions. Currently, the European Council is purely reflecting upon these issues. On March 11, the European Commission published its two communications and brought new perspectives into the debate. The Directorate-General for Home Affairs insists on the need to attract global talent to the EU in order to address labour market shortages. Furthermore, it pleads for more resettlements, the creation of channels to grant protection outside the EU territory, and the opening of new ways for legal migration. The DirectorateGeneral for Justice structured its document around three major areas: trust, mobility and growth. It remains to be seen how the European Council will take up these topics. Speaking at a press conference in March, Commissioner Malmström expressed her hopes that the Heads of States and Governments will demonstrate political courage and stand up for the EU’s core values in a time where nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise. The Campaign for EP Elections and Beyond The European Parliament elections might also have an impact, even though different and certainly more limited, on future European immigration policy. European Immigration Policy: a Campaign Tool? Immigration is generally a sensitive topic, easy to manipulate in times of economic crisis. The idea of controlling the numbers of foreign nationals coming to their countries is often presented by populist parties as a solution for tackling record-high current unemployment. Some politicians will use the “cap on immigration” argument in order to attract voters. Nigel Farage, the British UKIP leader, has already expressed his intention to place immigration at the centre of his party’s political campaign for EU elections.12 Equally, the French National Front puts a lot of emphasis on stopping both regular and irregular immigration and on strengthening what they call the “French identity.”13 Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom also wants to “curb immigration.” 14 More worryingly, influenced by the success of some right wing populist parties, a number of mainstream parties seem to develop a less radical, but still similar, discourse based on the “fear of immigration.” Indeed, immigration reform is a flagship policy for David Cameron’s conservative party. Furthermore, a group of

UMP French politicians have recently asked 15 for the immigration policy to be at the heart of their party’s electoral campaign, suggesting the introduction of quotas on immigration. Given their reaction on February 9, right wing populists are nevertheless more likely to use the results of the Swiss referendum as a campaign instrument. Highlighting the example of the Swiss population who, according to them, has been the first to vote in favour of “stopping mass migration,” Eurosceptics will most likely use the Swiss referendum card to plead in favour of renationalising European competences and denounce the deepening of the European integration project. However, this comes as no surprise. Although a completely different policy from immigration, intra-EU mobility has been under attack throughout 2013. Despite the limited 16 number of EU citizens who actually exercise their right to freedom of movement (only 14 million out of the total 500 million), political presssure on this subject will most probably increase during the campaign. Populist Parties in the Future EP: What Capacity do they have to Influence Immigration Policy? Certainly, the structure of the future European co-legislator is still a mystery. However, several opinion polls indicate a moderate upswing of right wing populist parties as a consequence of the economic, social and political crises the EU has gone through in recent years. For example, the National Front (France), UKIP (UK), Party for Freedom (The Netherlands) and People’s Party (Denmark) are expected to score slightly higher than in 2009. Recent opinion polls show that support for some of the right wing parties (UKIP, National Front) is nevertheless dropping. 17 A moderate increase in the number of anti-immigration voices in the European Parliament is to be expected. Besides the numbers, other factors will limit the possible impact of far right populist parties on the agenda of the Strasbourg assembly.

”(…) Eurosceptics will most likely use the Swiss referendum card to plead in favour of re-nationalising European competences and denounce the deepening of the European integration project.” According to Yves Bertocini18, director of Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute, due to their nationalistic and sometimes xenophobic discourses, populist parties have very limited internal cohesion and capacity to forge coalitions with other parties. Furthermore, Corina Stratulat and Janis Emmanouilidis are not convinced19 by the idea that politicians belonging to populist par-

ties would start focusing on designing laws, and therefore influence the European legislative process. According to the two authors, these politicians will continue to concentrate on gaining media attention and electorate by using the European Parliament as a platform. However, in addition to the symbolic changes engendered by a bigger far right community in the EU’s only democratically elected institution, we will also witness a boost in the frequency with which anti-immigration narratives will be heard in the European hemicycle. These narratives have three main, potentially dangerous, characteristics in terms of immigration. Firstly, they present immigrants (with no distinction between EU mobile citizens and third country nationals) as “the others,” “the foreigners” who threaten national identity and move in order to “steal jobs” and/or “abuse social welfare systems.” Secondly, the anti-immigration rhetoric goes hand in hand with the demand for tighter border controls. Thirdly, populist politicians ask for the re-nationalisation of competences, especially in the field of justice and home affairs. Concerns over the devolution of powers to the EU are also displayed among national parliaments. For instance, the Austrian Nationalrat and Bundesrat, the Czech Senat and Poslanecká, the Dutch Eerste Kamer and Tweede Kamer, the Polish Senat, the UK House of Commons and House of Lords have all drafted reasoned opinions regarding the subsidiarity principle in relation to the Seasonal Workers directive 2010/0210(COD). In such a Eurosceptic climate we might witness a shift in the debate at the European level from the left wing–right wing logic to a pro-EU–anti-EU discourse. This could produce consequences in terms of immigration by lowering ambitions from developing new policies to conserving what has already been achieved. Therefore, several questions arise: will the EU make any

progress in terms of legal channels for migration? Will there be any steps taken to develop a more balanced immigration policy? So, Where to from here? The long-term future of the EU immigration policy is still unclear. However, this year, a combination of factors will influence it. On the one hand, the European Council will define strategic guidelines on the future of justice and home affairs policies. Half-way through the process, national governments do not seem to envisage a rethink of the immigration policy. Nevertheless, negotiations are at an incipient phase and the Commission’s input is too recent to have already had an influence. On the other hand, immigration topics will cast a large shadow in the campaign for EP elections. However, a moderate increase in the number of anti-immigration MEPs is expected to have limited influence on the work of the Strasbourg assembly. Due to rising Euroscepticism, it is nevertheless still unclear whether the new political and institutional contexts will allow the significant paradigm shift civil society is asking for. ANDREIA GHIMIS is a Programme Assistant in the Migration and Diversity Programme at the European Policy Centre, an independent, non-profit think tank committed to making European integration work. The EPC is a leading organisation that provides its members and the general public with eminent information and analysis on the EU and its global policy agenda. To keep up to date on the EPC’s activities, please follow their Twitter account @epc_eu and Andreia’s at @afghimis.

By Dr. Alexandre Afonso


et us take a short trip Back to the Future. Step into The Doc’s tead, the Tories have chosen to form a coalition with the party DeLorean modified time machine, fasten your seat belt, greet that made a true electoral breakthrough: Nigel Farage’s UK IndeMarty McFly in the back seat, and set the destination to 2016 Bripendence Party. What kind of policies can we expect from such a tain. We accelerate to 88 miles per hour, and after a loud “bang,” it coalition, and would it be viable politically? Would UKIP and the only takes a few seconds to land after the next general election. Conservatives agree on issues such as welfare, pensions, taxation There are no flying skateboards, the weather is still miserable and and social benefits? the Royal Family is still reigning, In many ways, a Torybut we have a new government. “In Britain, UKIP is a serious electoral UKIP coalition in the future is Just like in the last 2010 election, contender, and its impact on government not completely science fiction. none of the two big parties manaUKIP – as well as a number of ged to gain a majority in the Compolicies can already be felt.” other Eurosceptic, antimons. Due to poor electoral straimmigration parties throughout Europe – is bound to make consitegies, Labour did not profit from David Cameron’s failures in derable advances in the upcoming elections for the European Pargovernment, and the Tories have come out of the elections with liament. A poll conducted in January by the Independent on Sunday the biggest number of seats once again. However, their former revealed that UKIP was the most favourably-regarded party in allies, the Liberal Democrats, have suffered a severe electoral setBritain with 27 percent of favourable opinions, even if voting inback, and no longer have enough seats to secure a majority. Ins-

UKIP as a Working-Class Party Aside from institutional barriers to access constituted by the electoral system, UKIP and the Conservatives would need to reconcile the preferences of their respective electorates. If this does not look like a huge problem when it comes to issues such as immigration control and relationships with the European Union, it would certainly be more problematic when it comes to public spending, welfare, pensions, taxes and the like. This is essentially because UKIP and Conservative voters tend to have different socio-economic profiles, different interests and different preferences.

tentions still placed Labour and the Conservatives ahead. However, UKIP seems indeed to have overtaken the Liberal Democrats as the main alternative to the two big parties: Labour was first with 35 percent, the Tories were at 30 percent, UKIP was at 19 percent and the LibDems at 8 percent.1 While European elections are often considered "second-order" events, where voters are more likely to sanction governments and bigger parties because they are presumably less important, EP elections still showcase the strength of the different political forces that will matter for future national elections. In Britain, UKIP is a serious electoral contender, and its impact on government policies can already be felt. The government’s tougher line on immigration control, or the promise to hold an “in-out” referendum about the European Union, are without doubt targeted at voters tempted by Nigel Farage’s party. Some Tory politicians have already evoked potential alliances between the Conservative Party and UKIP.2 Hence, such a coalition cannot be ruled out in the future, even if the first-past-the-post system obviously constitutes a severe hurdle for parties outside the Labour/Conservative duopoly. In first-past-the-post, what matters is not only how many voters parties have, but also how they are distributed geographically, and UKIP still seems to be lacking in this second criterion.

On the one hand, recent research has shown that UKIP has the most working class electorate of all British parties.3 For some time, many believed that the typical UKIP voter was the disgruntled anti-EU middle-class Tory in the Southeast. However, it appears that the UKIP electorate is in fact similar to that of other populist radical-right parties in Western Europe: working class, “pale, male and stale.” The core electorate of UKIP is constituted by blue-collar workers, predominantly male, older, with low formal education levels, who feel threatened by immigration and economic change, and loathe a political class composed of what they perceive – not without reason – as a bunch of posh, privatelyeducated middle-class Oxbridge graduates. Sociologically, UKIP voters would have been the social groups that used to vote Labour in the 1960s and 1970s, but they have been forgotten by New Labour in its drive to appeal to urban middle classes. This phenomenon is by no means a British exception; in countries such as France, Belgium or Austria, the populist radical right is now the most popular party family amongst the native working class (after abstention), while left wing parties essentially source their voters in the new middles classes (teachers, public sector workers, healthcare workers and professionals). After Tony Blair’s drive to the right, managers are now as likely to vote for Labour as for the Conservatives, and the days of old Labour seem long gone.

“This phenomenon is by no means a British exception; in countries such as France, Belgium or Austria, the populist radical right is now the most popular party family amongst the native working class(…)” Interestingly, the preferences of UKIP voters in terms of economic policies also tend to be more left wing, even if they intend to vote for a party often considered on the far right. Research on the US also shows that supporters of the Tea Party, which can be considered as Washington’s equivalent of UKIP, also often rely on federal welfare programs while supporting a party that wants to scrap them. Hence, there is often a wide gap between the preferences of the voters and the agenda of the party elites in these domains. A recent Yougov poll showed that 73 percent and 78

percent of UKIP voters supported the nationalisation of railway and energy companies respectively.4 Corresponding figures were twice 52 percent for Conservative voters, and 79 and 82 percent for Labour voters. Hence, UKIP voters tend to be closer to Labour voters when it comes to socio-economic issues and state intervention in the economy, while Conservative voters prefer market-based solutions, a smaller state and lower taxes. Accordingly, austerity policies and cuts in public spending pushed by the Conservative party can be thought to hurt the UKIP electoral base, as lower-educated working-class people also rely to a larger extent on public services than those with higher incomes and can purchase services privately. A ConservativeUKIP coalition would inevitably run into this kind of dilemma, and UKIP is conscious of this. At first, its electoral manifesto promised both lower taxes for all and more spending, for instance by scrapping the bedroom tax,5 or establishing a 31 percent flat tax rate for all.6 This is feasible in opposition, but more problematic when a party accesses government and needs to fulfill its nonrealistic promises. Eventually, however, UKIP ended up disowning its whole 2010 party manifesto until after the EP elections, claiming that all its policies were now “under review.”7 It has been shown that populist right wing parties such as UKIP are particularly prone to “blur” their positions on economic issues in order to solve these dilemmas.8 Betraying Voters, or Betraying Other Parties? In a forthcoming article in the European Political Science Review,9 I show that once right wing parties take part in government coalitions, however, blurring their position becomes more difficult, and they need to make a choice between office and votes when it comes to socio-economic policies. On the one hand, as argued above, they appeal to a large segment of working-class voters who are supportive of state intervention, and obviously those from which they benefit directly. This includes traditional social security schemes such as old-age pensions. On the other hand, in Western Europe – things are a bit different in Central and Eastern Europe – these parties have only been able to form government coalitions with Conservative or Liberal parties who are more likely to retrench these very same welfare programmes, and who can even be rewarded electorally for cutting public spending. If populist rightwing parties choose office and want to maximise their coalition potential, they may support retrenchment measures in exchange for concessions in immigration control, but at the cost of betraying their working-class electorate and facing substantial electoral losses at the next elections when cuts in public spending bite in. If they choose votes and seek to protect their electorate from retrenchment, they jeopardise their participation in government by betraying their coalition partners, who often cooperate with them precisely in order to pass austerity measures with little opposition. For this analysis, I have carried out fieldwork in the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland, three countries where the radical right took part in government at some point in time, and where pension

reforms were put on the agenda. In all three countries, the tensions between office and votes outlined above were visible, and can serve as interesting signposts for the problems a ConservativeUKIP coalition might face.

“these reforms soon led to a revolt within the FPÖ, precisely because they were hurting the very electoral base of their party, which just like UKIP, was composed of older, male, blue-collar workers.” In Austria, the Conservative ÖVP chose to form a coalition with the radical right FPÖ in 2000 as a way to curtail the left and trade unions, and push retrenchment reforms that had been impossible to carry out with the social-democrats in government. Accordingly, the FPÖ went for office and basically subscribed to the retrenchment agenda of its coalition partner in exchange for a tightening of immigration rules. While reforming welfare had proved extremely difficult in the past, this allowed for a number of swift welfare reforms to cut public spending, notably by increasing the age of retirement. The problem was that these reforms soon led to a revolt within the FPÖ, precisely because they were hurting the very electoral base of their party which, just like UKIP, was composed of older, male, blue-collar workers. A number of internal dissensions led to the creation of a splinter party, the BZÖ, and Jörg Haider, the party leader, heavily criticised its own ministers for hurting the “small people” the party was claiming to represent. In the end, the Conservatives of the ÖVP chose to drop the FPÖ and got back to forming a coalition with the social-democrats, whom they considered more reliable. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’s Eurosceptic Party for Freedom (PVV) similarly committed to support a minority coalition formed by the Liberals and the Christian Democrats in 2010. In the run-up to the elections, Wilders had said that he would do everything he could to keep the retirement age at 65 for “Henk and Ingrid,” the typical hardworking, “squeezed middle” Dutch voters that he sought to appeal to. Accordingly, he had said that the retirement age at 65 was a “breaking point” in any coalition negotiation with other parties. One day after his party obtained its best election result ever, however, Wilders said that the retirement age was “no longer a breaking point,” and agreed to support a coalition government between the Christian Democrats and Liberals determined to pursue a harsh austerity agenda, with some concessions regarding immigration and healthcare. However, unwilling to explicitly betray an election promise, the PVV systematically refused to support any attempt to increase the retirement age, forcing the government to seek support from smaller parties. Eventually, after the Netherlands entered a recession in 2012 and was forced to carry out even harsher spending cuts, Wilders pulled out of the government, arguing that he could not support austerity measures that would hurt “Henk and Ingrid.”

Finally, in Switzerland, the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) consistently pushed for retrenchment in welfare programmes as a way to fight “abusers” of social assistance taking advantage of “honest taxpayers’s money.” The SVP notably also pushed for an increase in the age of retirement without any compensation in an alliance with the Liberals and Christian Democrats against social democrats and trade unions. In this sense, the Swiss radical right diverged slightly from parties in other countries by adopting a clearly more neoliberal profile, similar to UKIP when it doesn’t seek to “blur” or conceal its socio-economic positions. However, in Switzerland as well, the contradictions between office and votes were also visible, as its electoral base was also constituted by large working-class segments. Hence, in the referendum votes called by trade unions and the left to challenge these reforms, a majority of the electorate of the Swiss People's Party disavowed the party elites by refusing an increase in the age of retirement. Conscious of these internal contradictions, the party subsequently contributed to torpedo another reform where its internal conflicts between a neoliberal elite and protectionist voters would come out once again, this time in the run-up to a new election. This was another strategy to blur and conceal the contradictions of its economic agenda.

In general, parties such as UKIP, which build their entire electoral profile on an anti-establishment agenda, have a hard time being in government, especially at the very core of the establishment. The interesting thing about their economic impact is that they do not emphasise economic issues as their prime area of competence, and voters do not vote for them primarily because of their economic positions. However, this is precisely what makes them expedient allies for Conservative parties, since they may be more willing to subscribe to austerity in exchange of a tightening in their domains of predilection (immigration and law and order), hoping that their own voters won’t see how austerity affects their own interests. Oftentimes, however, these calculations tend to be marked by overconfidence, and to bite them back at election time.

Dr. ALEXANDRE AFONSO is a Lecturer in Politics at King’s College London.

By Alexandra Chinchilla


or the past 13 years, US foreign policy operated largely within the context created by September 11, which prompted two prolonged wars, overseas contingency operations, and domestic intelligence efforts aimed at combating terrorism. But in 2014, the United States will withdraw from Afghanistan. So the question arises: how will American strategy change in the post-Afghanistan world? This spring the new National Security Strategy and the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) – both strategic documents published every four years – will be released. This is a chance to readjust American military strategy, but more importantly, the military’s role in a better-defined American grand strategy. Military strategy and grand strategy are related but distinct concepts; military strategy dictates how the military fights, and grand strategy uses political, military, and economic tools to achieve national political goals. US grand strategy from 9/11 until the Obama administration was defined by the “global war on terror” (GWOT). The GWOT was flawed as a strategy because it was too broad. Its broadness masked the costs of military interventions in situations where US interests were dubious and political ends were poorly defined. The replacement for the “war on terror” has not been much better. Critics argue that the United States currently does not have a grand strategy, pointing to the following: its indecision over military intervention in Syria, Putin’s diplomatic outmaneuvering, the poorly-named “pivot to Asia” that worried allies in Europe, and other concerns. They have a point; the Obama administration has provided some compelling arguments for not using American military force. However, its hesitations and inconsistencies have done little to create a new American grand strategy for the 21st century. In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama acknowledged the importance of strategy, particularly grand strategy: “We must fight the battles that need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer from us – large-scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extremism….in a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of

our power – including strong and principled diplomacy [emphasis mine].” These words underscored the essence of grand strategy: it is a plan to achieve defined and selective national goals, using diplomacy and persuasion coupled with military and economic tools. To date, however, the Obama administration has struggled to define the “battles that need to be fought.” Future American foreign policy should once again emphasize grand strategy in light of the following aspects. The Counterinsurgency Era is Over The United States will avoid another politically and economically untenable nation-building conflict like Iraq or Afghanistan for a long time. The 2014 QDR considers this, stating that American “forces will no longer be sized to conduct large-scale prolonged stability operations.” Although the military plans to retain institutional knowledge of counterinsurgency and stability operations, it will shift into normal peacetime mode of relying on the Special Forces to maintain irregular warfare capabilities. Furthermore, the military will inevitably downsize in absence of an active conflict that requires spending on high personnel levels and immediate combat needs. Making these cuts will force the military to plan strategically. Geopolitics is Back With large-scale counterinsurgency operations no longer consuming significant political and economic capital, future strategy will likely reflect traditional great power concerns of alliance building and countering other large states. Russia’s intervention in Crimea has highlighted again the strategic importance of US involvement in Europe. More importantly, China’s recent grandstanding with Japan over islands in the South China Sea is pushing US strategic thinking in the direction of traditional geopolitical concerns. Although territorial disputes in the region are not particularly new, China is investing in a blue-water fleet and AntiAccess/Area Denial (A2/AD) technologies that could undermine US interests in the region. The QDR recommends increasing the

military’s ability to navigate a potential A2/AD scenario successfully, but strategic thinking in this area is often structurally flawed. Typically referred to as Air-Sea Battle (ASB), it marginalizes ground troops and leaves the political ends vaguely defined. In the long term, the intertwined political, economic, and military complexities of the US-Asia relationship will require the United States to develop a coherent grand strategy.

“The answer is not complete reluctance to use military force, but rather better strategy.”

complex system which requires coordination to create and achieve policy goals. Yet, individual agencies create much of American strategic thinking, and plans are often short-term and geared toward surviving the next budget cycle. Although predicting the future is impossible, the United States can get smarter about long-term inter-agency strategic thinking that will allow it to do more in terms of security planning, than simply respond to crises. As President Dwight Eisenhower once said: “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” Expecting immediate changes is optimistic, but perhaps developing trends post-Afghanistan will create the space for renewed attention to grand strategy.

A Successful Foreign Policy Requires Grand Strategy To meet the challenges of today’s multipolar world, the United States needs a successful grand strategy that incorporates all instruments of national power. The high costs and uncertain results of military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan proved that choosing the right political ends and tools is crucial. The answer is not complete reluctance to use military force, but rather better strategy. Developing a successful US grand strategy will require long-term, whole-government planning. The US government is a

ALEXANDRA CHINCHILLA is a third year International Relations and Security BA student at Georgetown University.

By Pablo de Orellana


he US has long promoted basic normative principles in the international arena — applying both to domestic governance and international comportment. China stands accused of violations of human rights, the rights of minorities, LGBT, religious groups and democratic governance. Recent trends, however, point to greater preoccupation in Washington with China’s respect of international trade, free-trade agreements, intellectual property and its military development. The early 1990s saw the last major multilateral effort to hold China accountable for human rights violations in the wake of Tiananmen, with a coalition of states imposing sanctions and trade embargoes until the mid-1990s. Efforts to promote human rights and democratic norms have been largely symbolic since and often focused on the well-known pet issue of Tibet. During the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to the White House, President Obama “vowed 'strong support' for the protection of Tibetans' human rights in China.” The meeting was held in the Map Room, which in White House protocol means it was sort of an official state visit.1 Norms and historical memory are related in enabling the Communist Party of China (CPC) to utilize nationalist discourse to legitimize their rule. Furthermore, historical memory plays a crucial role in constituting Chinese perceptions of foreign powers and thus the norms they advocate and seek to export. This article explores the selectiveness of Chinese acceptance of US-advocated norms and queries and in particular, the role of historical memory

and one of the ways in which the US and Europe undermine the promotion of their own message: our acceptance of this selectiveness and the prioritization it implies. Choosing your battles The CPC’s approach to domestic dissent, rights and calls for democratic governance in the aftermath of Tiananmen was conjugated into a single approach to economic and social change to provide a national-level solution. The struggle for a China that would enter the capitalistic game came to a head in 1991-92 with the strife between retired leader Deng Xiaoping and incoming premier Jiang Zemin, decisively settled by Deng Xiaoping’s 1992 tour of China’s then-gestating economic powerhouses of Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Shanghai. His catchphrase became the new CPC mantra: “To get rich is glorious" (“致富光荣”). China has since been willing to engage with the US and other partners on a raft of international norms surrounding trade, joining the GATT (and subsequently the WTO) and ASEAN as well as other free-trade agreements. Whilst China’s absorption of former colonies Hong Kong and Macau in the late 1990s under the promise of “One Country, Two Systems,” has made Guangdong a global economic powerhouse, its respect for their democratic and judicial norms as well as its institutions has been limited, effectively violating the treaties that returned the two cities to China. Stiff interventions into these two cities as well as the latest rounds of crack-

down in Xinjiang and Tibet make it clear that the “Two Systems” and regional autonomy settlements are not meant to introduce non-economic international norms such as freedom of speech or human rights.

“US diplomacy will need to find a way of mediating these issues with its allies and China, if it is to blunt their vast social power within China.” Despite feeble Western protestations of repression in Xinjiang and Tibet or the heavy-handed management of Hong Kong’s democracy and rights, China refuses to engage on these subjects. When US norms are alluded to it is often in the context of accusations of hypocrisy. For instance, recent Chinese media coverage decries US hypocrisy in the wake of the recent stabbing attack in Kunming railway station, with CPC newspaper People’s Daily lamenting that “Western media coverage of Kunming's terror attack shows sheer mendacity and heartlessness,” and an independent Hong Kong agency writing that the US government’s response to the attacks was “pale and cold in terms of both content and form compared to [their past reactions in] other terrorist attacks.”2 It is clear that Western promotion of norms is effective only on economic issues. US-supported normative frameworks concerning human rights and democracy are completely failing to shape US-Chinese dialogue. History, nationalism and memory China’s spectacular economic growth since the 1990s and military modernisation in the 2000s has been interpreted as a resurgence of an aggressive “state” nationalism.3 This appears to have been confirmed by China’s recent dispute with Japan over territorial claims and WWII crimes. This bluntly ignores social and historical factors of relevance. It is not a resurgent state-led nationalism that we are witnessing, rather a case of still-extant statemanaged nationalism and memory, one that survives in the national anthem,4 and communist slogans like “never forget national humiliation.”5 This use of history and memory plays two vital roles for CPC: firstly, it helps to manage vast internal dissent by focusing on Japan, and the social media responses over the recent crises with Japan make it obvious that it is a successful rallying call; secondly, it proves by contrast, (helped by lavish media projects like recent movies 1911 and The Founding of a Republic) just how welloff, peaceful, powerful and respected China is under CPC leadership. Issues of historical memory are not going away. Their powerful resonance would persist regardless of CPC utilisation, but especially in the case where the Party needs them to manage increasingly virulent dissent over issues of unequal economic success, demographic problems and frustration about corruption and the environment. The Party cannot abandon this position easily

because of its domestic audience, and this comes before consideration of the international implications. Ironically, these historical grievances are principally articulated in terms of the human rights of victims.6 US engagement This is not, however, necessarily a problem for US-China relations. It is a challenge because US engagement with China and SE Asia is to some degree conditioned by steadfast allies Taiwan and Japan, the subjects of those unpleasant histories. US diplomacy will need to find a way of mediating these issues with its allies and China, if it is to blunt their vast social power within China. This is all the more important if the promotion of human rights, democracy and other norms is to feature in US-China diplomacy. In any case, US-Chinese dialogue as to norms is currently reduced to trade.7 Beijing seems adamant to continue refusing to engage on other rights and norms, and the US and Europe have tolerated this since the late 1990s. From recent diplomacy it is clear that the promotion of norms bears no relevance besides utterly ineffective occasional symbolic protestations. I do not suggest that the US and Europe should stop advocating human rights and norms in China, but it seems clear that a serious reconsideration is in order. It should not be surprising to find reticence to the import of foreign norms and ideas, and not just in China. The historical memories associated with foreign "civilising missions" are not only alive and bitter, but they are still present as a delegitimizing force countering efforts to advocate human rights and norms. This is the role of historical memory in this conundrum, and one that ought to be addressed. The complete acceptance of the economic norms advocated by the international community is symptomatic of our own priorities. Unlike 1990, the US and Europe are currently unwilling to risk trade with China for the sake of promoting human rights and norms. With economic stakes higher now than ever, this becomes dangerously subsumed into convenient assumptions that more trade will eventually make China democratic. This evidently enables the continued selectiveness of norms – not that we have done anything to contradict this notion in what appears constant Western deference to the paramount importance of economic diplomacy. It is a poor reason not to do more. PABLO DE ORELLANA is a doctoral researcher at King’s Department of War Studies. His research focuses on political identity in diplomatic communication. Pablo is the founder and former Editor-in-Chief of StrifeBlog and Strife Journal ( and is currently administrator of the KCL Research Centre in International Relations.

By Keith Sonia


s the United States and the United Kingdom geared up for war in Iraq, then-Congressman Robert Ney, the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, which oversees the day-to-day operations at the US Capitol Building, expressed his displeasure in France's opposition to the war in the only way the limited amount of power bestowed upon him allowed: he ordered that three US Capitol cafeterias rename the French fries available to Congressional staff and the public at large to “Freedom Fries.” The incident, which was mocked almost immediately by diplomats and by American late-night comedians, was the most public, and absurd symbol of declining French relations during the run-up to the Iraq war. While diplomats and other representatives from each government were quick to note that nothing was going to seriously come between the alliance of the French and the US, the fried potato incident dominated the media coverage of the FrancoAmerican alliance. With the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, playfully dubbed “Sarko the American”, the relations between the US and France quickly turned a corner. Though elected during the presidency of George W. Bush, an American president despised by the public in most corners of Western Europe, Sarkozy - a conservative - addressed the US Congress in 2007, offering full-throated support for the US.

“(…) Hollande has been everything but a thorn in Obama's side; arguably, he has been his strongest partner on a litany of foreign issues.” With the election of Barack Obama, who Sarkozy dubbed “his buddy”, the troubles of the Bush administration and of “freedom fries” were left behind. With Obama's shift in foreign policy, at least rhetorically, there was much that the two nations saw eye to eye on a break from the chilliness during the Chirac/Bush years. Sarkozy, to make this renewed foreign policy agreement official, reintegrated France into all aspects of NATO, a course reversal over four decades in the making, bucking the trend set by Charles de Gaulle. This was a move received warmly by the Obama administration, though it was met with critiques in many French political circles. Sarkozy argued that if French troops were to participate in NATO missions, then France should have a seat at the table when planning those missions in the discussion.

Following that decision, France has often provided critical cover to the Americans when military operations are deemed necessary; and following the expansion for the American-French alliance, military operations have, indeed, been deemed necessary on multiple occasions. This is seen as politically beneficial by an American government scarred by the last decade of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. With the justification of the 2003 US/UK invasion of Iraq the US has been mindful of the perception that it embroiled itself in a quagmire, and that the invasion of Iraq represented a low point in international views of America. When the international community forged ahead with plans to assist rebel groups in the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the US provided air support, but was quick to turn the operation over to a French-led European force. Perhaps it was, again, that perception of the US as desperate to avoid being seen as the sole catalyst for the ouster of another leader, coupled with Obama's concerns about domestic political ramifications, that compelled Washington to lean on Paris and Sarkozy and, in this case, London and David Cameron. Operation “Harmattan”, as it was known in France, was seen at the time as a victory for interventionist policies, and for the alliance between the US and Europe, particularly France.

support to the French if it meant a push-back against fundamentalism in yet another corner of the globe. With revelations that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was indeed guilty of using chemical weapons on civilian target in the ongoing Syrian civil war, Assad crossed the proverbial red line in the eyes of the Obama administration. It seemed a certainty that some form of military action was set to commence in the region, led by American involvement. As more intelligence was gathered on the state of the Syrian rebellion, notably who, if anyone, was in charge, and what the political makeup of the splintered revolutionaries was. As Obama sought allies, he was dealt a harsh blow by the other partner in the “special relationship,” when David Cameron could not rally a Tory-led parliament to support military action. When the rubber met the road, though, Hollande was quick to announce that France would be a willing partner in any military action undertaken against the Assad regime. This provided Obama with some cover, but the politics of the situation were clearly too great, and the rebellion clearly too splintered and quite possibly guilty of similar atrocities, and Obama failed to win congressional authorization for action. That being said, France's willingness to join another military campaign with the US clearly indicated that the freedom fry era was clearly over. Indeed, it prompted the francophilic American Secretary of State John Kerry to declare France to be America's “oldest ally,” a title usually reserved for the UK.

In 2012, despite the success of the Libya campaign, Sarkozy became the first one-term French president in more than three decades, having been defeated by his Socialist party rival, Francois Hollande. With campaign pledges to remove France's 3,000-plus troops from Afghanistan, initial reports thought that Hollande would not necessarily have brought American-French relations to 2003 levels, but that he would most certainly be less receptive to the demands of Washington than his vanquished, pro -American rival. Hollande pledged to assert French independence without being a thorn in the side of Obama. Following the reelection of Obama, Hollande has been everything but a thorn in Obama's side; arguably, he has been his strongest partner on a litany of foreign issues. In Mali, Hollande decided to intervene in the conflict against Islamic extremist rebels following a vote in the UN, and with the support of many European allies, as well as the US. Here, the US and Obama supported Hollande's decision to prosecute a war against what they saw as “terrorists and violence Islamic extremists,” and were likely delighted that France and Hollande stepped up in an area with a Francophone past without the need for the US to send in troops of their own in an area ravaged by the conflict. Obama was all too happy to provide intelligence and air

Recently, Obama welcomed Hollande for an official state dinner in Washington. Considering that the Obama administration has only feted a handful of dignitaries with an official state dinner and considering that this was the first official state dinner in honor of a French president since the Clinton administration, it is quite clear that American-French relations have not been this cozy in some time. In a symbolic act, Hollande toured the famous home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello. Jefferson is seen very positively in France, as Marquis de Lafayette is seen very positively in the US. The moment was clearly not lost on Hollande, and as the American-French relationship has grown closer under his and Obama's respective presidencies, he remarked “We were allies in the time of Jefferson and Lafayette. We are still allies today. We were friends at the time of Jefferson and Lafayette and will remain friends forever.” KEITH SONIA is an International Relations MA student at King’s College London.

By Mauricio Mejia


n December 2006, Felipe Calderón decided to change the direction of Mexico’s anti-drug policies by launching a doomed to fail military action with more than 50,000 effectives. The war started in Michoacán, the state where the present insurgency of the so-called “autodefensas” is showing a weak state full of dangerous power vacuums. Can the Mexican State win this war?

coherent and credible discourse, especially because the PRI has not changed its corrupt political roots and old vicious manners. EPN is absolutely not "Saving Mexico" as the very out of context cover of Time Magazine stated, but that is another subject.

Moreover, truth be told, the capture of Joaquin Guzmán Loera’s (aka “El Chapo”), leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and the After years under a PRI-PAN strategy of negotiations and most wanted criminal in the US, showed a better use of the intelliturning a blind eye to the real situation, Felipe Calderón responded gence agencies and stronger cooperation between Mexican and US with a strategy based on cartel decapitation. This strategy focused agencies. It can be considered the first clear success of the antion dismantling cartel leadership structures by targeting its public drug war led by EPN and the US, and it gives Peña Nieto legitimaleaders. From 2006 to 2012, the Mexican media was bombarded cy and positive public opinion favouring the war that now seems with the drug kingpins’ A-list to have some positive recaptures, giving the impression “By 2011, the 6 cartels that existed in 2006 had sults. This, however, does not that the war was running ac- split into 16 different organizations, showing mean that the Sinaloa Cartel will cording to plan, and that the be dismantled or weakened that the war was not the great success the since, if we consider Mr. Guzstate had control over the cartels. But was this really the case? man as a CEO, there are at least government pointed it out to be (...)” Not at all. Calderón’s cartel two VPs (Ismael “El Mayo” decapitation strategy provoked a Hydra effect inside each cartel. Zambada and “El Azul”) in the succession line. We have to wait By 2011, the 6 cartels that existed in 2006 had split into 16 differ- for the upcoming judgment process. Whether it is in Mexico or in ent organizations, showing that the war was not the great success the US, it has to be effective and transparent, something that the the government pointed it out to be. It fostered cartel fragmenta- PRI is not used to do and that reflects the main problems the tion and promoted violent conflicts between them. The exact Mexican State has to face. number of deaths during this war are unclear, but some journalists and state officials count between 71,000 and 150,000 deaths. The Carcinogenic Symptoms of an Absent State. only thing evident is that this strategy has led Mexico to an unIn the last decade, Mexico has shown symptoms that irrevprecedented case of violence and has undermined governability. ocably demonstrate a power vacuum and a lack of strong instituIn 2012, the almighty and ruling party of the “perfect dicta- tions that represent a vicious circle within the attempt to fight torship” returned to power with a promise to tackle the violent criminals. The Mexican state is, institutionally speaking, weak and and hopeless panorama. The PRI's candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto fractured. It is now and it has been since the decay of the PRI (EPN), promised to shift away from Calderón’s strategy towards hegemonic rule. Corruption, at all levels and in all circumstances, an intelligence-led war. It is still not very clear if Peña Nieto has has been metastasizing, allowing criminal organizations to infiltrate really shifted the strategy or if at least there is one. In the first year and gain territory within the Mexico. Corruption is present in the of his presidency, the death toll stood at more than 17,000, show- judiciary, legislative and executive branches of power, as well as in ing that the government war continues, the intra-cartel war has not the military, the navy, the police, in the private and public sectors, stopped, and the violent and unsafe panorama is still present. EPN and so on. To sum up, corruption is everywhere. Corruption is in has failed to fill the vacuums left by his predecessor; he lacks a the presidential campaigns, in the privatization processes, in the

unions and in the streets. Corruption is at the heart of the failing education system, the unproductiveness of Pemex and the rise in inequality. Corruption should be public enemy number one, but it is not. Using an example to show the magnitude of the problem, in 1996 Ernesto Zedillo’s government appointed General Guitierez Rebollo as the head of the country’s war on drugs. The move was backed by the US as the army was considered less corrupt than the police. It turned out that General Rebollo was on the payroll of the Juarez Cartel and the drug busts were directed against the rival Tijuana cartel. Corruption, as exemplified before, in addition to other factors such as a failed federalist system, an inefficient education system, a lack of infrastructure and an arbitrary judiciary and penitential system, are creating power vacuums in Mexico. What do I mean by this? I mean that where the Mexican state is weak, or corrupt, or just terribly inefficient, a lack of rule emerges. As with any vacuum, someone will want to fill it. It is in this context that the Narcos are replacing the state in functions such as security, criminal punishment and infrastructure (even if in a very archaic and arbitrary way). For its part, the state is trying to fill those vacuums with plans of infrastructure and with the enforced presence of soldiers in the streets. The victor of the war has to win the “hearts and minds” of the citizens, and both sides are trying very hard. If the state wants to win the war and hence dismantle the cartels and

the criminal gangs, it has to rebuild itself over strong, democratic and transparent pillars. It is only if the state is able to fill the remaining vacuums and hold a strong and reliable apparatus that we will then be able to talk about legalization and other alternatives. The Mexican state should not and does not have to fight this war alone; it is an international issue. It is a US problem because the drugs are fulfilling its internal demand and their arms are filling the illegal market. It is also a US and European problem because the cartels are laundering money in their countries and through some of their banks. It is a Latin American problem because drugs are coming from countries such as Colombia and Bolivia. And finally, as part of the Mexican society, I believe it is our responsibility to stop letting corruption rule in our country. It is our duty to ask our government to be accountable for its mistakes and its lack of responsibility. Otherwise, how will the Mexican State face the war against criminals if it means to fight against its own structure? MAURICIO MEJIA is a third year Political Sciences and Latin American Studies BA at Sciences Po Paris.

By Maria Victoria Ferraz


ith the newly discovered Pre-Sal oil reserves, Brazil is becoming what most would call an “oil country.” This, however, has always been the case for countries like Venezuela. How do you think this particular resource impacts the geopolitical and economic development of the region? Venezuela’s economy developed on the back of oil. Its entire welfare system is also based and reliant on oil. Venezuela’s policies during the 2000s of expanding welfare to the entire population would not have been possible without it, especially since doctors had to be brought in from Cuba; funding this process would hardly have happened in any other manner. This situation is, however, unsustainable. Chavez initially intended Cuban doctors to train Venezuelan nationals, but this did not happen.

economic policy. Looking from a European perspective, Brazil is surprising. I studied Cardoso, and Cardoso was a Marxists. I don't see him as a conservative, in the way he is seen in Brazil, I see him as a social democrat. The “PSDB” has similar characteristics to New Labour; they experiment with market mechanisms. Privatization in Brazil had, for instance, the simple goal of making public companies work, and for this to happen they had to be sold. Even though they went from private monopolies to public monopolies, those telecommunications and energy companies simply did not work.

The key difference between Venezuela under Chavez and Brazil under Lula is that all these left-wing experiments in Latin America intended to promote social inclusion. The economies in Cuba’s strategies of exporting doctors is an Venezuela and Argentina are not working very well. In Brazil, and “extraordinary culture” which emerged in its historical and ecoeven more so in Chile and perhaps nomic development; it is sui generis and “The economies in Venezuela and Peru, they are promoting social incannot be expected to repeat itself in Venezuela. There is a lot of selfArgentina are not working very well. clusion through various policies, from targeted benefits to credit exinterest and fraction within the political elite; the social momentum is cur- In Brazil, and even more so in Chile and tension — this is more sustainable. rently week. Thus, Venezuela is not a perhaps Peru, they are promoting social The way they have attempted to do this in Venezuela is conflictive and model of economic development to inclusion through various policies, from leads to tremendous instability. be followed. The significant lack of discipline with regards to public targeted benefits to credit extension — How do these different scenarios spending cannot continue. this is more sustainable.” impact economic cooperation? If we consider the Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance as efforts The Brazilian model has problems, but it is much more to move towards the establishment of agreements similar to viable. It also has a much more sophisticated society and a strongthe political and economic cooperation present in the Euroer private sector. Its fundamental wealth is in its comparative adpean Union, what are the main obstacles to its full complevantage in agriculture, mining, and certain service areas. Its power tion? is not reduced to oil — neither is Mexico’s. “Chavismo” was never an option in Brazil. It is pure coincidence that Dilma Rousseff is now also bringing doctors in from Cuba. Lulas’s economic model, inherited from Fernando Henrique, had important elements in the search for macroeconomic stability and the fight against inflation. The state should be involved in development through investments in infrastructure. Under Lula, however, there was a more nationalistic approach to

The Mecosur is obviously motivated by the European Union. The EU has had a long period of breaking down trade barriers and promoting free trade before moving into the further stages of political integration and institutional apparatus, the creation of a Parliament, and finally a common currency. This takes a long time. In Latin America, it began in 1994 and they tried to move too fast. Initially the intention was to promote trade and

investment relations between Argentina and Brazil. This was very positive; I remember writing about the Mercosur in the 1990s and there were a lot of connections between the two. Rather than build on that, however, they tried to impose new policies. The political developments were laughable. In Europe there are decades of democratic development within the countries, which is reproduced at the level of the European Parliament. Latin America still has a democratic system that is imperfect. Politicians are still not accountable to constituents. Elites capture all political influence and use it in their favor. Latin America is a very new democracy. This is, of course, less true in some cases. Political integration does not work if it comes from the top; it is an organic integration. Having established freer trade, in the case of Mercosur, there are so many exceptions that they become meaningless. A free trade and labor movement could work very well if it was not imposed. I think the Pacific Alliance between Chile, Peru and Ecuador is more realistic, based on real connections and previous bilateral agreements between the members. The concept of the BRICS was created because a pattern of remarkable growth amongst the group of developing nations was identified. Rapid economic development has now ceased and many policies in Brazil are now justified in terms of recovering the level of annual GDP growth Brazil was experiencing at the time. Do you consider this a real issue and a goal to be pursued? The term BRICS was initially developed by an investment banker as a marketing device to attract capital into these countries. They do represent big markets, and large amounts of resources and people. Their levels of economic development and urbanization are crucial elements of comparison. When Brazil was undergoing massive urbanization it was growing at 10 percent a year, since urbanization has now ceased the growth level is taking a corresponding setback. This is also true for China to a large extent, considering they are still at a much lower level of urbanization. These countries still have scope for growth and Brazil needs to find alternatives. The BRICS is about China, India, Russia and South Asia in general, and the impact this has on the emerging world. A lot of the scope of development in Brazil is still in agribusiness: the very large quantities of water and crucial natural resources. Despite the successes in economic policy, there are still steps to be taken before Latin America and the BRICS can be considered fully developed nations. What do think those are? How can the process be started? There is a route towards development — that route is social inclusion. Japan and South Korea are great examples. Within South America, Chile is becoming a fully developed nation through the policies of the Concertación. There is a belief on the right that Chile is now successful because of Pinochet. I think

Chile is successful in spite of him. It is significant that social democracy played a big part in all government since 1990. Bachelet has now been re-elected — the place is clearly developing. If you go to Santiago there is a decent network of public transport. Reflections of this are also seen in Brazil. Until Brazil has considerable national infrastructure it cannot complete its development process. There are many particular areas where this is already occurring. There are and have been interesting experiments with development in the emerging world. The public sector needs to be present in addition to having a dynamic market. You need both. The old Cuban model is unsustainable. You need mixed economies. RICHARD LAPPER is the director of LatAm Confidential and former Latin America editor at Financial Times.

By Joanna Sakalian


razil, like the rest of the BRICs and many less economically developed countries (LEDCs), has an economic development model that is inspired by the one used successfully by the four Asian states, Hong-Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea, known as the Asian Tigers. Yet, Brazil cannot expect the same outcomes. The export-orientated strategy combined with an outward look aimed at attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) has left Brazil at the mercy of external factors upon which much of its economic growth now depends. The result: a series of boom and bust cycles that do little to serve the wide range of domestic issues faced by the South American giant. A recommended model Following the debt-growing tactic of import-substitution, many hailed the export-led policy when the Asian Tigers experienced incredible growth rates from the 1970s to the early 1990s along with ensuing development.

From then onwards, LEDCs have been encouraged to follow in the Tigers’ footsteps, which means more neo-liberalism, and zero state interference. Indeed, development policies over the last 60 years have been dominated by the mainstream approach, embedded in liberalism and, more recently, neo-liberalism, focusing on growth only.1 This is a misguided conception of the characteristics of the East Asian model. More than once the international community has dismissed the "Asian Miracle" as the result of a set of Asian cultural and institutional values that could not be replicated elsewhere.2 But essentially, their model for economic development is state-led. That is not to say that high investment is not important or does not account for the high levels of growth but redirecting that investment towards key industries is the model’s core. The Tigers made good use of FDI, investing in key sectors whilst protecting others from the volatile nature of foreign investment. Domestic political conditions are crucial to the success and legitimacy of state-led

the favelas remind us of the weakness of the Brazilian government whose democratic legitimacy lies within the illusion of its promises to the millions living on the margins of society. 13 Although it is the world’s seventh largest economy,14 the 2013 protests, the largest demonstration movement since 1992 against increases in price transportation and later, high levels of government corruption as well as the huge spending on the upcoming World Cup and Olympics, underline the huge socio-political issues the Latin American country has. States of contrast

growth.3 The political economist, Francis Fukayama, points out that the entire experience in LEDCs is flawed from the outset by very different initial institutional starting points: you either have the right conditions or you do not.4 The right conditions Investment in education has been praised as one of the most important aspects of the Asian model. In contrast with Hong -Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea’s highly-educated work force, Brazil ranks 54 in mathematics out of 57 countries and 48 out of 61 countries in reading abilities according to an OECD survey.5 Following the same tendency, the quality of primary education was ranked 119th in the world.6 In contrast, Pearson — a major company in the educational field — ranked South Korea as number two in terms of education system, while Hong-Kong, Japan and Singapore ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively, 7 a trend which the OECD’s latest PISA survey confirms. 8 Although currently high-ranked in terms of competitiveness, Brazil’s future international competitiveness will depend on a political decision to spend public resources to transform its lower class and lower-middle class9 — in other words, putting to good use the remainder of its labour force that is currently being wasted. As an example, more than the one million lives in the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro alone, where the absence of the state is keenly felt.10 This leads us to the subject of the role of the state in development. As previously discussed, the East Asian governments reached deep down into society. In turn this created wellstructured interest groups, reliability on efficient civil services and it also minimised political opposition.11 An ambiguous approach to democracy is another right condition in which development bloomed in the Asian Tigers.12 Although authoritarian, these governments were strong and stable. Brazil, in contrast, struggles with a weak form of democracy, with educational deficits, violence and insecurity still plaguing many of its cities, and the intractability of

Brazil is the largest state in terms of area and population in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and the world’s fifth largest country. This highly contrasts with the small and less populated states of East Asia. It has an ethnically diverse population, especially when compared to the relatively homogeneous and highly cohesive societies15 of the Asian Tiger countries, and has higher income and integration disparities between different race groups. As a result of these contrasts, attempts to apply the East Asian development package model can fail to produce growth and ironically, generate chronic corruption and economic disaster. Although growth has not been so much of an issue for a country as rich in natural resources as Brazil, its high levels of government corruption and the Brazilian debt crisis are testimonies to these underlying problems that cannot be ignored. That is not to say that Brazil has not made remarkable progress. Brazil has weathered the economic crisis better than others and ever since the new millennium; 13 million have escaped poverty and 12 million, extreme poverty16. But Brazil cannot depend on following the Tigers’ economic development model, for high investment as a source of growth is unreliable and the country does not have the political conditions required to be able to use the model for fruitful development. The country may be on its way to becoming a global player but it remains the 3rd most unequal Latin American country and 10th most unequal in the world with over 4,600 people dying in 2008 in criminal, drug, militia and police-related violence in Rio alone.17 So whilst Brazil rises on the international scene straddling along a wealthy elite, it leaves behind a non-negligible part of the population living on the edge, excluded from the fruits of this growth and that will remain marginalised until the government reaches out. JOANNA SAKALIAN is a third year European Studies BA student at Kings College London.

By George Murkin


he issue of cannabis legalisation has moved decisively from the margins to the mainstream of political debate. Last year, Uruguay and two US states, Washington and Colorado, decided to legalise cannabis for non-medical use, becoming the first jurisdictions in the world ever to do so. As these reforms demonstrate, there is now a growing recognition that the prohibition of cannabis is a counterproductive failure and that alternative approaches should be explored.

ket is hardly surprising; squeezing the supply (through enforcement) of products for which there exists a highly inelastic demand dramatically increases their price, creating an opportunity and profit motive for criminal entrepreneurs to enter the trade. Retail expenditure on cannabis – which forms a significant part of this trade given its status as the world’s most widely used illicit drug – is estimated to be somewhere between €40 billion and €120 billion, providing a vast, untaxed income stream for criminal profiteers.3

The Failures of the “War on Drugs” Prohibition and the so-called “war on drugs” have not only failed to achieve their stated aims of reducing or eliminating drug supply and use, they have also actively caused harm. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the very agency that enforces and oversees drug prohibition worldwide, has itself acknowledged that punitive, enforcement-led drug policies are generating a range of disastrous “unintended consequences” (although given how well documented they are, they cannot really be called “unintended,” they are simply the negative consequences of prohibition).1 The first and most significant of these consequences, according to the UNODC, is “the creation of a lucrative and violent black market.”2 That prohibition would produce such a mar-

“Through the policy of cannabis prohibition, governments have, in effect, gifted control of a lucrative and risky market to organised criminals (…)” Aside from being used to corrupt institutions and fund other forms of organised crime, this money fuels violence and conflict, as rival gangs fight for a greater share of the market and clash with law enforcers who try to curtail their operations.4 5 In the same way that alcohol prohibition in the US gave rise to gangsters like Al Capone, the prohibition of cannabis (and other drugs) has empowered and enriched cartels and other criminal networks. In some producer and transit regions, such as Latin America, these groups have the power and resources to act with

impunity. Through the policy of cannabis prohibition, governments have, in effect, gifted control of a lucrative and risky market to organised criminals – in other words, to those least qualified or likely to manage it responsibly. Abdicating control of the cannabis trade in this way creates not only crime costs, but health costs too. Cannabis is, in relative terms, a low-risk drug. A widely publicised study by Professor David Nutt and colleagues ranked a range of drugs – both illegal and legal – according to their health and social harms and concluded that, overall, cannabis is significantly less harmful to users and society than both alcohol and tobacco (and many other drugs).6 However, no drug is risk-free, and prohibition magnifies these risks by ensuring that drug production is unregulated, conducted without any responsible oversight. Under prohibition, producers of cannabis do not test for levels of pesticide, mould, bacteria or other microorganisms that can be harmful to health, and the market is driven by economic processes that encourage the creation and use of more potent – and therefore more profitable – strains of the drug.7 (Again, this is comparable to how, under alcohol prohibition, consumption of beer and wine gave way to sales of more concentrated, profitable and dangerous spirits – a process that went into reverse when prohibition was repealed.8) Moreover, those who purchase cannabis from illicit dealers can have no reliable knowledge of what it is they are actually consuming, and without health warnings and information on likely effects, novice users are at greater risk of having adverse experiences. Cannabis users are put at further risk by criminalisation. In the US, for example, 750,000 people are arrested every year for cannabis offences, with roughly 90 percent of those arrests for simple possession.9 Those convicted can find their employment opportunities severely restricted, be denied benefits, housing, food stamps or student loans, and have their driving licence suspended. 10 By criminalising a consensual activity performed by millions of people around the world, cannabis prohibition therefore promotes social exclusion and marginalises individuals based on a personal lifestyle choice. The criminalisation of cannabis possession appears all the more pernicious when one considers the discriminatory and disproportionate way in which the law is enforced. Cannabis prohibition has, in many places, been used as a means of targeting certain populations – in particular, ethnic minorities. Indeed, recent research has revealed that, across London, black people are charged for possession of cannabis at five times the rate of white people, despite rates of cannabis use being significantly higher among white people. 11 Taken together, the costs of cannabis prohibition make a convincing case for legalisation. Removing penalties for cannabis possession and permitting some form of legal supply of the drug would hugely reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the problems outlined above. But for some there is still a degree of apprehension about embracing such reform. This is, in large part, due to misunderstandings about what legalisation actually entails.

Legalisation: From Theory to Practice Firstly, the term “legalisation” itself is not particularly accurate or instructive. Legalisation is merely a process – essentially, of making something illegal, legal – but what most drug policy reform advocates wish to see is “legal regulation.” Legal regulation is the end point of this process, referring to a system of rules that govern the product or behaviours in question. Consequently, just calling for the legalisation of cannabis could reasonably be mistaken as a proposal for minimal or no controls on the production, supply and use of the drug. In contrast, “legal regulation” gives a better, more accurate indication that, once legal, cannabis will be subject to a range of strict controls.

“The available evidence demonstrates that criminalisation has, at best, a marginal impact in deterring people from using drugs.” Nevertheless, legal regulation is still sometimes perceived as a radical step, or a dangerous leap into the unknown. But the legal and historical evidence demonstrates that, in fact, it is prohibition that is the radical policy. The legal regulation of drug production, supply and use is far more in line with currently accepted ways of managing health and social risks in almost all other spheres of life: extreme sports, the consumption of fatty foods, various sexual practices and countless other activities all carry risks – sometimes greater risks than illicit drug use – yet we do not criminalise those who engage in them. Instead, governments regulate (to varying degrees) such activities, and when they wish to dissuade people from taking excessive risks or encourage them to make healthier or safer lifestyle choices, they do not embark on a programme of mass arrests – they use public education via a range of institutions and media. Almost one third of all adults in England and Wales have used cannabis at some point in their lives.12 The notion that it is desirable, let alone practical, to make criminals of all these people in order to communicate to both them and future users of cannabis that their use is risky or unacceptable is absurdly misguided. The potential harms of cannabis use can be communicated and managed far more effectively within a legal regulatory framework. Since such a framework is, in conceptual terms, far from a radical idea (and is in fact the norm), devising an appropriate system of a cannabis regulation is actually a rather prosaic task. It involves consideration of, among other things, licensing requirements, tax rates, production processes, potency limits, product packaging and marketing controls – the kind of mundane details that have to be decided for any trade. In December last year, the organisation I work for, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, produced a 248-page guide that analyses and offers recommendations on precisely these – and

other – elements of the cannabis trade.13 The result is a concrete vision for how cannabis can be legally regulated in a way that promotes public health and wellbeing. We wanted to build on the lessons learned from alcohol and tobacco. The industries that produce and supply these two legal drugs are profit-seeking entities that see their respective markets from a commercial rather than a public health perspective, primarily because they rarely bear the secondary costs of problematic use. Quite naturally, their primary motivation – and their legal fiduciary duty in many countries – is to generate the highest possible profits. This is most readily achieved by maximising consumption, both in total population and per capita terms, and by encouraging the initiation of new users. Public health issues only become a concern when they threaten to affect sales.

mate concern, but one that is often overblown. The available evidence demonstrates that criminalisation has, at best, a marginal impact in deterring people from using drugs. Instead, rates of drug use are more likely to rise and fall in line with broader cultural, social or economic trends. This is the conclusion that research consistently comes to – that a country’s rates of drug use are influenced by factors other than its drug laws.15 16 17 How harsh those laws are does not seem to make much of a difference.

Transform – and in fact most drug policy reform advocates – think this is a mistake, and that drug policy should serve the interests of public health and wellbeing, not business. Hence rather than go down the same route as alcohol and tobacco – which have historically been subject to minimal regulatory controls (although in many places this situation is changing with regard to tobacco) – our analysis led us to conclude that cannabis should be strictly regulated, with governments taking an active role in managing any legal market for the drug. Thus contrary to some characterisations of this type of reform as a “liberalisation” or “relaxation” of the law, legal regulation is in fact the opposite: it is about bringing the cannabis trade within the law, so that strict controls – which are currently absent – can be applied. Transform’s research suggests that such controls should include the following kinds of measures: a comprehensive ban on all forms of cannabis advertising, promotion or sponsorship; price controls to ensure the price of cannabis remains at or near current illicit-market prices; higher tax rates for higher-potency products; restrictions on the types of cannabis products that are made legally available; strongly enforced age-access controls to prevent under18s purchasing cannabis; limits on the volume of cannabis that can be purchased per transaction; and a ban on sales of any other drugs (including alcohol and tobacco) via cannabis outlets. We also concluded that these controls should be applied within an overarching “regulated market model,” whereby a dedicated government agency acts as the bridge between licensed cannabis producers and vendors.14 Producers would compete to supply the agency with raw materials, and the agency would then distribute the cannabis to licensed retailers, under the kinds of conditions listed above. This model therefore allows for competitive commercial interaction at the point of production and supply, but crucially eliminates any incentives for profit-motivated efforts to increase consumption. The threat of such an increase is one of the most commonly heard objections to legal regulation. The argument is that legal regulation will increase availability, and without criminalisation to act as a deterrent, use will rise significantly. This is a legiti-

It is also instructive to note that over the past 30 years rates of tobacco use have declined significantly in many countries – in England, for example, the number of tobacco users is now half what it was in 1980.18 This reduction has been achieved without criminalising smokers; it is the result of health education and other measures taken under systems of legal regulation. Conclusion The clear benefits of legally regulating cannabis do not, therefore, have to come at the expense of dramatic increases in consumption. Reductions in crime and violence, improvements in health, fewer otherwise law-abiding citizens criminalised, significant financial savings, and many other gains are all within reach for governments that decide to reclaim control of the cannabis trade. And with more and more political leaders beginning to recognise these benefits, the question increasingly being debated is not whether we should legally regulate cannabis, but how and when. GEORGE MURKIN is the Policy and Communications Officer at Transform Drug Policy Foundation.

By Peter Stoker


hen the news first came that two American states were intending to legalise the so-called ‘recreational’ use of cannabis, defying Federal law against the notion, the automatic reaction was to look for the new research or practical experiences that justified such a radical departure. Surprisingly, it became clear that no such research or experience had entered the equations. The inescapable conclusion was that science did not warrant this change – the shift was instead based on cultural conditions and actions in the political arena. The cannabis campaigners had somehow achieved a striking sea change, albeit narrowly based, and quite unrelated to the health of the nation. This change of direction was based on the needs and wants of cannabis users and their apologists, and the particular definition of health of this minority. How minor are they? Measurement of prevalence of cannabis use around the globe indicates that less than 5 per cent of the world population uses cannabis, whilst the figure in Europe and the Americas is little more than twice this figure.1 This is not to suggest that all laws must serve the majority, to the exclusion of minorities, but what sets this law change apart from the general rule is that changes normally have to demonstrate that there is no adverse effect on society as a whole. In this respect, as in many others, cannabis law relaxation miserably fails to clear the bar.2

Users’ harms should be minimised, and users’ human rights should of course be advanced, but under this proposal the consequent harms suffered by the rest of society, and the human rights of the rest of humanity – the 90 per cent who do not use cannabis – are in effect dismissed as of no consequence. Moreover, since legalisation advocates have long asserted that ‘the biggest harm with cannabis is that it’s illegal’ it becomes for them a moral imperative to change the law. Most calls to legalise speak of ‘18 and over’ – yet it is below this age that most cannabis use starts, and where exacerbated harms occur. Professor Robin Murray of the Institute of Psychiatry has published tellingly on this.3 The UN is explicit on the need to protect the young from drugs – vide Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.4 It bears emphasis that any legalisation age limit leaves those below that age in the hands of the Black Market. Meanwhile, many parents feel that they have lost what little power and influence they once possessed. 5 One might suppose that this initiative could be attributed to a popular uprising by society, but there is more to it than that. The UK has always had its share of radicals, and in the 1980s, Liverpool was the crucible of radical drug policies. At that time activist Peter McDermott said, in a surprisingly candid moment:

“As a member of the Liverpool cabal who hijacked the term Harm Reduction and used it aggressively to advocate change in the late 1980s, I am able to say what we meant when we used the term. Its real value lay in its ability to signify a break with the style and substance of existing policies and practice. Harm Reduction implied a break with the philosophy that placed a premium on seeking to achieve abstinence.”6 McDermott went on to say that Harm Reduction must retain its ‘political kernel’, so as to maintain its potency. His statements make at least two things crystal clear: the aim was and remains to destroy the notion of abstinence, and the whole action was and remains rooted in politics. An ever-increasing body of evidence testifies to cannabis harms, but only seems to galvanise legalisers to renewed efforts. The media are a key factor in this dialogue. Harmfulness of cannabis use is rarely presented in the popular media in an orderly or balanced manner, the drive coming from (a) what gets the most readers or viewers, plus (b) the inherent leaning of the media towards liberal outlooks, and (c) the attraction of knocking whatever the government policy of the day is.7 It follows from this that articles espousing a change of law will get more air time than factual articles about the health consequences of cannabis use – which get even less traction since cannabis kills very few people by toxic ingestion (as distinct from traffic accidents).8 9 We are in a debate, not in a scientific discourse, and anything goes. Two of the current seminal and symbiotic aspects of drug policy deliberation are Harm Reduction and Human Rights. As applied to drug liberalisation, Harm Reduction is taken to enshrine and promote the theme – or meme – that ongoing use of drugs is acceptable provided harm is minimised, while Human Rights should recognise drug use as a ‘right of behaviour’. So-called ‘medical marijuana’ has long been a legaliser gambit, giving pot ‘a good name’. But there is no need to resort to crude cannabis for medical benefit. A British company, GW Pharmaceuticals, have developed extracts of cannabis to address medical conditions.10 Not surprisingly, GW products do not find favour with the recreational cannabis lobby, since they are not smoked and they don’t get you high. A compendium of cannabis harms would fill many pages more than allotted to these remarks, but extensive UK collections will give you some idea. Visit websites research and – two objective collections of factual cannabis research. Such studies, running to hundreds of pages, describe harms in physical, mental (including I.Q.), social, spiritual and environmental respects – elements commonly accepted by WHO and others.

So, how is it in Colorado and Washington State? Too soon to say with any authority, but early data includes a threefold increase in fatalities from ‘DUID – Accidents occurring while Driving Under the Influence of Drugs’.11 It is necessary to put Colorado and Washington State into perspective, not least in their relations with the White House. Unlike all previous administrations, President Obama has so far declined to oblige these states to comply with Federal law, and to recognise that America is party to the UN conventions on drugs. He is in direct contradiction with his Office of National Drug Control Policy. Until he reconciles this, he leaves national policy holed below the waterline. 12 What, then, of other nations? In Britain, drug use has for several years been in decline13 – as confirmed by independent sources such as the European Monitoring Centre (EMCDDA) Country Overview 2012 – and it has dismissed legalisation as negative and unjustifiable. The Netherlands has long been trumpeted by legalisers as the epitome of how to handle the issue, but it is important to remember that they have now closed large numbers of ‘cannabis cafes’ after bad experiences (including the selling of other drugs) and, in a poll of the general population, more than 70 per cent wanted the liberal laws rescinded.14 In current dialogues, another country has achieved a certain prominence, and that is Portugal. Claims that it had ‘broken the chains of prohibition’ and created a mecca of liberalism turned out to be falsely based. 15 One of the older but still deployed gambits by liberalisers is that alcohol and tobacco harm more than cannabis, so let’s legalise cannabis. In brief, were alcohol and tobacco to be invented today, they would be Class A illegal drugs, but their existence in Western

society centuries before UN Conventions emerged means that a more pragmatic approach has to be taken. However, if a society already has two troublesome drugs to cope with, this hardly represents a valid argument for adding a third.16 17 18

“(...) one way specific to cannabis is that it does something alcohol does not: it causes permanent brain damage, including lowering of I.Q.” It is not just argument but money that talks – when it comes to legalisation, no one can match the money that Hungarian billionaire George Soros has put and is still putting on the table. As long ago as 1997, Soros gave an interview to Time magazine, in which he calculated he had to that point invested over $90 million in “weakening American drug laws.”19 The current cumulative total is likely by now to be several times that. Through his interestingly-named Open Society, he exerts his influence, from top to bottom of society. Peter Schweizer20, author of Do As I Say (Not As I Do), speculates on the possible reasons underlying Soros's support for drug legalization: “One very possible answer is that he hopes to profit from them [drugs] once they become legal. He has been particularly active in South America, buying up large tracts of land and forging alliances with those in a position to mass-produce narcotics should they become legalized in the United States. He has also helped fund the Andean Council of Coca Leaf producers. Needless to say, this organization would stand to benefit enormously from the legalization of cocaine. He has also taken a 9 percent stake in Banco de Colombia, located in the Colombian drug capital of Cali. The Drug Enforcement Administration has speculated that the bank is being used to launder money and that Soros's fellow shareholders may be members of a major drug cartel.” Pro-cannabis advocates like to claim that the ‘War on Drugs has failed’. What is true is that outside of enforcement, it has hardly been prosecuted – with pitiable sums spent on superficial primary prevention. Their convenient definition of ‘failure’ is that less than 100 per cent of objectives have been achieved. Less than 100 per cent success in curbing alcohol and tobacco harms (likewise cannabis) is no basis for surrender, any more than it is with, say, burglary or violence. The aim in all aspects is simply to facilitate the best of all possible worlds. And that best of all possible worlds must accommodate the health and human rights of non-users as well as the users – both groups must be addressed,

for that 90 per cent or more who are non-users includes the partners, spouses, friends, workmates and employers of drug users. Yet this majority group so often becomes the victims of the users’ lifestyles, in a variety of ways – one way specific to cannabis is that it does something alcohol does not: it causes permanent brain damage, including lowering of I.Q.21 Consequences range from parents who buy their children’s’ drugs to minimise their risk of arrest, through to the mobilising of ambulance, fire, police, social, medical, treatment, justice and custodial systems, religious orders, and political systems at local and national level. The total costs to society are mind-boggling.22 The question which is repeatedly omitted from the dialogue advanced by the supporters of cannabis legalisation is ‘What is the net benefit to society of legalising drugs of misuse?’ It doesn’t take advanced maths or sociology to realise that the supposed benefit would have a very large minus sign in front of it. 23 And whilst the principle of balancing the rights of an individual with the rights of society should be a given, the outcome of any objective analysis which includes the Harms to everyone and the Rights of everyone, then legalisation is emphatically a non-starter. If this seems radical, that is because it is, insofar as it goes to the very roots of the debate.24 So, is the legalisation steamroller unstoppable? International Narcotics Control Board President, Raymond Yans, thinks not. At the end of March, informally reflecting on a week of debates in Vienna in the United Nations fifty-seventh session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, involving NGOs amongst others, Yans commented: “All the legalizers were there, but frankly they met little support among most delegations. […] all (but Uruguay and Ecuador) called for the maintaining of the drug control system and the good work of INCB.” If not legalisation, then what alternative? To paraphrase Drug Free Australia, the aim should be a balanced, evidence-based and humane drug policy covering all members of society according to their needs and rights, built around primary prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.25 Condoning or facilitating drug use has no place in this. PETER STOKER is the Director of the NDPA, has worked for more than 30 years with problem drug users and those around them, as well as in education and training, following an extensive and successful career as a Chartered Civil Engineer. He is a member of Drug Watch International and the International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy.

By Gareth Brown


uch of the recent polling data concerning Scotland's constitutional future, in advance of the referendum in September, suggests that the economy is the single most important issue amongst voters. The campaigns have not let them down, in terms of how much the economic debate has featured in the media. However, these economic arguments and debates have been presented in a very peculiar way from both sides, which has resulted in confusion and frustration among many voters. Interestingly, recent polling data also suggests that there is significant support for devolving a substantive package of fiscal powers to the Scottish Government, a so called "devo max" option. This has placed considerable pressure on the antiindependence parties to consider an alternative vision for a devolved Scotland beyond that of the status quo. Unsurprisingly, the big economic debates have centred around pensions, currency, North-Sea oil revenues, and fiscal autonomy. However, the political forces are proving to be very unhelpful, in equal amounts, in terms of how they are communicating their alternative economic visions to the point where their narratives are almost misleading. This article attempts to strip away the politics and discuss the economics of the constitution of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

UK Fiscal Federalism: comparing apples and oranges A cornerstone of the debate about devolution and independence concerns the level of Government, which in this situation means Westminster or Holyrood, at which decisions about taxation and spending should be made. In economics, this is the study of fiscal federalism. Fiscal Federalism carries a rich body of literature spanning over many decades. Although it addresses more traditionally federal countries such as the US, Germany, Spain, Canada, etc, there has been increasing attention on the UK as devolution has developed and matured. The traditional economic theory of fiscal federalism is concerned with the provision of public services at the appropriate level of government and the assignment of proper fiscal instruments. Fiscal federalism therefore, concerns the design of fiscal institutions that satisfy the twin objectives of Pareto efficiency and equity. In its earliest years, first generation fiscal federalism, as advanced by Richard Musgrave, advocated that the three functions of the State, and thus the role of fiscal federalism, was to ensure the efficient allocation of public services; redistribution; and macro -economic stabilization. More contemporary theories of second generation fiscal federalism, advocated by thinkers such as Barry Weingast, emphasise the importance of how fiscal federalism structures influence the incentive for sub-national government to be efficient.

Where both theories agree, is that decisions about taxaCould Scotland be an independent country? Of course it tion and spending should be taken at the level where they have the could. The national fiscal deficits as shown by consecutive Govgreatest effect. This is where the UK sits rather uncomfortably. ernment Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) reports could Although the devolved nations have considerable spending pow- be turned into surpluses if the Scottish Government could successers, they are only responsible for raising a very small amount of fully grow the Scottish tax base through appropriate fiscal policy. this expenditure themselves. From the point of view of fiscal fed- Could Scotland be in a currency union with the UK, assuming the eralism, this is highly undesirable. Adherence with these principles UK Government agreed to it? Of course it could. It would entail is difficult for the UK, even as forfeiting a significant degree of devolution has matured, because economic sovereignty, not only in “Scotland has historically done well from of horizontal fiscal imbalances. exchange rate and monetary poliBarnett, receiving considerably more public cy, but also in fiscal policy to Horizontal fiscal imbal- expenditure per head than needs assessment ensure the stability of the a curances occur when there is a sigrency union. The advantage of exercises would suggest (...)� nificant disparity in the tax bases currency union is that it avoids of each of the sub-national govexpensive transition and transacernments. It is quite obvious that the South East of England can tion costs, as well as the inevitable questions about confidence in a raise significantly more tax revenue, for various reasons, than new Scottish currency which would have implications for public Northern Ireland. Therefore, there is a need to pool tax revenues borrowing. Whilst exposing Scotland to the fluctuations in public and redistribute expenditure equitably to ensure that each citizen finances like any other independent country, it would provide an of the UK has access to the same level of public services whilst opportunity to fundamentally reshape its tax structure and welfare paying the same in tax and national insurance. state aligned to the preferences of the Scottish people. From the very early days of administrative devolution, the Barnett formula was used to redistribute tax revenues to the devolved nations; this has continued to be the case. It allocates expenditure based on a population adjusted share of changes in spending in England. Scotland has historically done well from Barnett, receiving considerably more public expenditure per head than needs assessment exercises would suggest, as has Northern Ireland. So, not only does the UK fit very uncomfortably into fiscal federalism discussions, but any discussion of the economic fabric of the UK is complicated given the unique economic, cultural and political history. Discussions about untangling this fabric are problematic. Scottish Independence: two alternative futures The very initial sentiments of Scottish Nationalism, from an economic and public finance perspective, was to challenge this status quo; Scotland would be better off as an independent country given its rich natural resource base and the wider range of fiscal powers at its disposal. Opponents contend that if Scotland left the UK, it would be worse off financially given that it has been in a national fiscal deficit (as tax revenues are mostly estimates at a devolved level) for a significant majority of the years post devolution, even taking into account their geographical share of North Sea oil revenues. Opponents also claim that the pooling tax revenues and the equitable distribution of expenditure across the devolved nations is a key strength of political and economic union. However, any economist will tell you that it is not as straightforward. There are too many variables to definitively present the arguments in this way.

As for maintaining the status quo, there are obvious advantages and disadvantages. Presently, the pooling of tax revenues and the redistribution of expenditure reduces the burden of recession on each of the devolved nations. Political and economic union has advantages in terms of the co-ordination of wider macroeconomic policy objectives. The increasing narrative about "devo max" presents an interesting future opportunity and direction for devolution, but some form of hybrid federalism and fiscal devolution entails risks as well. Even without significant tax raising powers, each of the devolved regions can bring about economic growth through investment in the supply side of the economy. Ironically, the Scottish Government has been the most successful of the devolved regions in this regard. There are no clear-cut answers when it comes to the economics of devolution and Scottish Independence, largely because we are in difficult and untested waters. There are no zero sum arguments, and trying to present the arguments in this way is misleading. There are many scenarios and variables, many "ifs", "buts" and "it depends". However, there are two alternative futures, both of which carry advantages and disadvantages. It is about the preferences of the Scottish people, and the economic and public finance arguments should be presented by both sides in a way which allows them to make that choice. GARETH BROWN has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and a MA in Legislative Studies from Queen's University in Belfast. He is now living and working in Edinburgh.

By Jonathan Andrews


KIP is going to win the European Elections hands-down and thrash all opposition. They’ll probably even win a majority of seats, I reckon. How do I know this? Well, I don’t. And I don’t believe it either. But it’s startling how common rhetoric like that is – whether in the media, from UKIP itself, or even the general public – when it flies in the face of the data. UKIP has grown exponentially since 2010, there’s no doubt about that. But since their mid-2013 surge, they’ve been more or less flat-lining in polls for both General and European Elections, and no poll for almost a year has suggested they’ll win the European Elections. So, why are data and rhetoric so mismatched? I would argue this is down to UKIP’s unique expectation management style, where the party is keen to overstate their chances of success while other parties downplay theirs. In terms of setting the narrative, this has been phenomenally successful; the media are enthralled with UKIP too, widely predicting a European Elections victory for them. Yet I would also argue that this strategy is ultimately counterproductive and will only harm them in the long-term. UKIP’s media strategy has long involved playing up their prospects of victory in upcoming elections. Before the 2013 Eastleigh by-

election, there was much media talk of a “UKIP surge” in the constituency. This turned out to be accurate, since they leaped from their 2010 result of a distant fourth place with just 1,933 votes (3.6 percent) to second place with 11,571 votes (27.8 percent). But UKIP couldn’t resist going further with triumphant rhetoric, declaring that they would win the seat, which failed to happen. Shortterm, this over-egging of the pudding didn’t hurt them much; UKIP still came out of Eastleigh on an upward trajectory. But this was because their almost-win was, at the time, still a shocking change to established politics. UKIP had finished second before in by-elections: as early as March 2011, UKIP’s Jane Collins had snatched second place from the Conservatives in the Barnsley Central by-election. She did the same in the Rotherham by-election on November 29, 2012, as did Richard Elvin in the Middlesbrough byelection on the same day. But they’d never come a close second before. Labour won Barnsley Central with 14,724 votes (60.8 percent of votes cast), while UKIP won only 2,953 (12.2 percent). Middlesborough was almost identical, Labour winning 10,201 votes (60.5 percent), UKIP only 1,990 (11.8 percent). Rotherham was a bit closer, but Labour still overwhelmingly won, by 9,966 votes (46.46 percent) to

4,648 (21.67 percent) – over twice as many. There was no serious prospect of UKIP victories here as there was in Eastleigh. Even though that victory wasn’t achieved, the fact that it had almost occurred was news enough, and they still managed to cause significant political disruption. The same is not true now. Not since November 2012 has UKIP failed to finish second in a by-election (excluding Northern Ireland’s 2013 Mid-Ulster by-election, in which no major parties stood). UKIP has achieved second place in the 2013 South Shields by-election and 2014 Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election, and this state of affairs has become so commonplace that the Wythenshawe results went almost wholly unreported by the media. Even when it was, UKIP’s phenomenal increase in votes since 2010 wasn’t the story – instead, its failure to win was. Mostly because during the campaign, UKIP had presented themselves as “the only real alternative to Labour,” and both UKIP and the wider media purported that victory was possible when it wasn’t.

“(…) they may well come first, if they can successfully manipulate events to their advantage – by, say, seizing upon the European Union’s recent green light to the accession of Ukraine, and warning of a hypothetical future immigration wave.” By contrast, established parties tend to focus on “playing down expectations,” pretending that their chances aren’t quite as good as they really are. In the 2012 council elections, for example, the Conservatives openly fretted about being poised to lose over 1000 seats while their own private polling suggested their losses would be less, around 700. Their hope was that after the election, they could then frame Labour’s victory as a failure because it didn’t reach the higher bar they’d set. But by predicting guaranteed first place for themselves, UKIP have set themselves the highest bar possible; victory is expected of them now. A UKIP first place won’t be shocking, it’ll be business as usual, and anything less will be seen as a failure. Their rhetoric is so overblown that it tarnishes their legitimate achievements, making them seem tiny by comparison. What’s more, expectations of a UKIP win will be even harder to match because its triumphant rhetoric is at odds with polling data. Every poll taken has put UKIP in second or third place, with the exception of one, a ComRes poll from May 2013 which put UKIP narrowly first. However, this was taken in the midst of mass media frenzy following UKIP’s performance in the 2013 council elections, and has not been repeated since. Every subsequent poll has reported a Labour lead, sometimes by as much as 13 percent. Additionally, as recently as February 2014, an ICM poll put UKIP in third place, losing out on second place to

the Conservatives. Data-wise, their trajectory is a downwards one, yet the media rhetoric still does not bear this out. There is now, it must be stressed, far more recognition that UKIP may not win the European Elections. Even the party has stopped treating this as inevitable. They now say they “could” win, not that they “will.” But there remains a pervasive media complacency that UKIP will come at least second, despite the most recent poll suggesting otherwise. Third place for UKIP is not guaranteed – their poll could be an outlier, or they could bounce back – but it is a possibility, and should not be dismissed out of hand. Of course, I don’t claim to know for certain the result of a future election. The recent poll may be an outlier, and UKIP may still be comfortably on track for second place. They may well come first if they can successfully manipulate events to their advantage – by, say, seizing upon the European Union’s recent green light to the accession of Ukraine, and warning of a hypothetical future immigration wave. Ofcom’s recent decision to improve the party’s TV representation in the run-up to the elections should also boost their chances. Furthermore, it is true that in past European Elections, the party has surged in support close to polling day due to increased media exposure, which may happen again (though the fact that UKIP is now highly visible in the media anyway suggests it won’t). But these are hypothetical possibilities. Media narratives should be based on factual evidence and scientific data such as polls, not gut feelings and possible outcomes of possible events. Right now, the data suggests that UKIP isn’t going to win; should the data change – were UKIP to surge in the polls, for instance – we’d have reason to suppose a UKIP victory. At the moment, however, the data and the rhetoric just don’t correlate: one points towards second place at best, the other towards second place at worst. Certainty of victory may be an indulgence leading up to the election, but long-term it does UKIP no favours to believe it if it’s not eventually realised. Only embarrassment, recriminations and party instability will follow if that happens. JONATHAN ANDREWS is a second year English Literature and Language BA student at King’s College London.

By Eduardo Llarena


or a long time ETA has been presented as a separatist group. However, it is just a terrorist group. This has been clear in Spanish society until now. But there is no longer a compromise to defeat ETA. The situation is devastating as Salvador Ulayar claims on his twitter regarding the favors conceded to ETA. The terrorist group murdered his father in front of him at the age of 13. “The man stopped three meters in front of him. First he shot three times, then two. It sounded like fireworks. Finally my father fell down.” Some years later, he witnessed how the killer was assigned the post of psychologist in the public school that his nephews were attending. The tragedy Jose María Múgica experienced is equally devastating. He was coming back home when he saw two people from the ETA shooting his father from behind. It is unimaginable

to conceive what it must be like to see your father’s body lie in the street. However, in reality a large part of the Basque society does not condemn his brutal murder. One of his killers was Valentín Lasarte, a terrorist who has enjoyed the Nanclares path for “reintegration” of ETA members into society. It is meant to foster a peace climate, but should be understood as not serving full jail time. Lasarte was also involved in the murder of Gregorio Ordóñez, the promising politician who strongly believed that the State should not negotiate with terrorists. The ETA terrorist Josu Bolinaga was pardoned due to having terminal cancer. He was guilty of imprisoning and locking up Ortega Lara in a hole for (532) days. When the police arrested him in 1996, Ortega Lara was still being held captive. Bolinaga refused to co-operate with the authorities, willing to let his hostage die from starvation. The forensics whom signed Bolinga’s medical form and exempted him from imprisonment were not renowned

oncologists and they did not even run a physical examination on him. More than a year and a half later he is still alive in his home. If a government no longer acts as the bondsman of freedom it becomes a house of cards for the nations’ sovereignty. A situation like this could potentially be solved, but if the public opinion fails to give sufficient attention to the problem, then society is broken. The most plausible explanation of this social indolence is the Spanish inherent tendency to centralize decisions and socialize losses. This attitude has been eroding Spanish people’s sense of responsibility and commitment.

“It is cheap to kill in Spain if one considers scale economies. ” Because of a recent verdict of the Strasburg Human Rights Court against the Parot doctrine there has been a massive release of terrorists from prisons in the fall of 2013. The doctrine refers to the Spanish Supreme Court decision by which remissions of sentence for work done in detention were to be applied to each of the individual sentence, rather than to the thirty-year maximum term as previously. The Parot doctrine was put in place to ensure that terrorists like Inés Del Rio Parada, responsible for 24 murders, could not be freed after only 26 years in prison. This equates to just a little more than a year per murder. It is cheap to kill in Spain if one considers scale economies. Therefore, in theory the more one kills the less time one spends imprisoned per victim. This verdict against the Parot Doctrine has however been executed with an unusual promptness never seen before. It is in sharp contrast to the response to the constant warnings from the EU to the Spanish Kingdom for deliberately delaying the transposition of European Commission directives. For example, in 2002 the Spanish Supreme Court denied the execution of an ECHR sentence stating: “following art. 94 of the Spanish Constitution the decisions of this court [ECHR] were not binding.” And they took more than a year to resolve it. There were precedents relating to the enforcement of ECHR verdicts that could have kept her and other terrorists in prison. Instead she was released in less than 24 hours. In addition, it is vital to note that the European Court of Human Rights only specifies the verdicts’ substance fairness –the scope- and if the law applied is according to certain general principles or not. The ECHR does not touch on the issue of enforcement as the application of the verdict is considered to be a matter for the State to resolve. The Parot doctrine wasn’t a retroactive application of the law but an updated interpretation of the sentence execution. Furthermore, this has made ECHR break away from previously established principles. In 2004 they accepted the Kafkaris case in Cyprus which was very similar to the Parot doctrine.

The ECHR sentence for Del Rio Parada should have been applicable exclusively to her case. When the ECHR intends to extend a sentence for multiple cases because they appreciate a structural problem, they launch what is called the pilot-judgment procedure under their art. 61, but they didn’t. Now, more than sixty ETA members are free, although it would have been possible to delay this from happening in a case by case basis approach. This can only be understood as a change of policy towards the ETA. Until 2004 the Spanish counter-terrorist strategy was firm. The ETA was successfully shut out from institutions such as the Basque parliament and local councils. Police efforts to manage the group were outstanding. It led to their operational capacity being very low and it was the result of applying the law without any concessions. If conflict resolution is merely seen to involve forces pulling in opposite directions, and one which has to find the overall optimal net result; then some may argue that the recent verdict concessions were necessary – regardless of the ETA’s terrorist actions. However, the truth is, the ETA got what they wanted: institutional recognition. Today they are running local councils and are therefore managing taxpayer’s money. In other words, this game ends with the victims paying their executors. If they cease carrying out blood crimes or handing out some old pistols, it is only because they are closer to their objective and so ultimately, Spanish national unity is at risk. How is it possible that the political arm of a terrorist group can be legal? The Spanish Constitutional Court, which is not part of the judiciary, banned the evidences accepted by the Supreme Court to illegalize ETA as a political party. This February we saw a similar episode in a BBC video in which ETA performed an exercise where they put a number of weapons out of use. Evidence has shown the exercise to be theatrical as the ETA kept some of the weapons. It would perhaps have been comical if we did not take into account the 829 people killed. Spain has an excess of politicians and a desperate need for State persons, so it is not surprising that this strategy of reintegrating the ETA has a short-term focus and is looking for a fictitious end. EDUARDO LLARENA has a MA in Defense Logistics and is currently undertaking another MA in Peace, War and Security Studies (UNED) at King’s College London.

By Dr. Gaston Fornes

“If every Chinese person eats a banana from Ecuador each day, then our foreign relations problems will be solved” - President Gustavo Noboa of Ecuador at the start of a state visit to China, March 2002 (Agence France Presse, 2009)


t is difficult to contest that the growing importance of emerging markets is mainly due to the re-emergence of China as one of the world’s largest economies after around 150 years of political and economic changes. This new relative position of China in the world has inspired temptations to dance with the dragon, but this has also led to a question with a difficult answer: Where can the dragon take you? In the case of Latin America, relations with China seem to have benefited most of the region so far, although there are many questions about the future. One of the main concerns is China’s current currency policy; for example in Brazil (which is probably similar to other neighbouring countries), exports to China of value -added goods from 2007 started to noticeably decline. This drop in exports coincides with the financial crisis which led to the devaluation of the US dollar and the Chinese renminbi, and an apprecia-

tion of the Latin American currencies which has led Brazil’s new government to raise its voice and advocate for a change. China has been resisting the pressure (especially from the USA) to change its currency policy, but at the same time, it needs Latin America on its side to continue feeding its economic growth and also as a destination for its products. To avoid difficult times with its Latin American partners, China will probably continue offering bilateral agreements to improve the access to some value-added products from Latin America as it is currently doing with Brazil. It does not look likely that Latin American countries on their own have the muscle to make China change the value of the renminbi. Another concern is regional integration in Latin America. The relationship with China is not benefiting all players in the region equally. Flows of trade and investment from China are likely to continue at similar levels which will surely unveil Latin Ameri-

can firms’ weaknesses; while at the same time, China’s companies are strengthening their competitive position in the region. In addition, it has been argued that China’s bilateralism can hinder Latin American efforts to increase their economic integration and gain more weight on the world stage. In other words, China is set to stay in Latin America, and it is not clear how inside (Latin American countries) or outside (mainly the USA, the EU, and Japan) players will react, or more importantly, if they have the strength to react and compete with China.

“Flows of trade and investment from China are likely to continue at similar levels which will surely unveil Latin American firms’ weaknesses (…)” The growth of trade with China, along with its reemergence as an economic hegemon, have flooded the treasuries of Latin American countries with US dollars coming from increased economic activity and especially from the big jump in the price of commodities. This led most countries to run fiscal surpluses which were then used to increase the welfare of the citizens. In general, however, this positive economic wave has not been enough to affect a change in the Latin American economic and development model; this has been mainly due to political reasons and the short-sighted vision of many of the governments. The only exception may be Chile. The country has set up a sovereign fund based overseas where the excess income coming from the high price of copper will be invested in the long-term development of a new economic model; Brazil is currently attempting to do something similar. This raises the question about the model Latin Americans want for the growth and development of their region: do they want to continue relying on the exports of primary products or are they going to use this opportunity to add more value to the abundant resources in the region? In this sense, a good option for Latin American countries may be deepening economic integration in the region. It is clear that the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) needs Mexico and Mexico needs UNASUR, as well as needing to increase the trade between them; some evidence of this seems to be appearing but this recent trend needs to be sustained in the long term. To do this, Mexico faces a dilemma over whether to strengthen links with its neighbours in the South, or to capitalise on its NAFTA membership. The former would give Latin America a much stronger weight in the world stage and also give it better access to the growing middle-class markets in the South for Mexican companies. The latter would make Mexico a platform for Chinese companies to set up facilities to manufacture parts of their products in the country which are to be re-exported to the USA or Canada; an example of this is the planned “Dragon Mart,” a US$2 billion complex funded by Chinese companies to create a manufacturing and logistics centre in Mexico to reach the North American markets; it also includes 4,500 homes for Chinese expatriates

and families. The same idea of economic integration applies for Central American and the Caribbean countries, as by working together they can negotiate better and overcome their small sizes. On the other hand, a similar question on the future development model could be raised for the Multilatinas. They have enjoyed a decade of growth fuelled by high commodity prices and low cost of capital, and some of them are starting to go international. This process, however, is still far from being a strong trend. The future competition for markets will be in emerging economies, but what is not clear yet is where Multilatinas are placed for this battle. An analysis of what has been going on between China and Latin America in the last five to seven years makes it clear that Chinese companies are changing Latin America. But what is not that clear is how Latin America is adapting to these changes. To decide what to do, Latin Americans need to recognise that Chinese firms are more than low-cost manufacturers; they have the economic muscle of the Chinese government, they have access to the financial markets, and they also have a set of capabilities that are becoming stronger as they grow. Another concern is the environment, especially as China is likely to continue investing in natural resources. The Chinese expect environmental issues to be regulated by authorities in each locality rather than by self-regulation, and also, some Latin American governments may be tempted to prioritise the economic growth of the region over the protection of the environment. This combination is a dangerous one and may lead to potential problems in the future. In the meantime, it does not seem that the environment is in Chinese companies’ agenda. Finally and more broadly, the growing importance of emerging markets is affecting the dynamics of globalisation. In this context the relation between China and Latin America is leading the process by opening a new South-South axis of trade, by attracting around 40 percent of the world’s FDI, and by hosting companies that are becoming global players in their industries. This new axis is rivalling those of the Triad and is becoming the emerging markets’ axis. Dr. GASTON FORNES holds a joint Senior Lecturer position between the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Bristol (UK) and ESIC Business and Marketing School (Spain); in the latter he is the China Centre Director. His most recent book is The China-Latin America Axis. Emerging markets and the future of globalisation, Palgrave 2012. He is a recipient of the Liupan Mountain Friendship Award from the Ningxia (China) Government.

By Fatima Choudhury


n a post 9/11 world, we are constantly fed the need for heightened “security.” The use of drones has become embedded in security rhetoric claiming to make the US safer if not the rest of the world.1 After all, the technology is so advanced that it allows for “targeted killing” which must be deployed in the face of alQaida threats, or so we are told. However in reality this so-called precise technology has disproportionately killed far more civilians than militants with less than “2% of victims killed being classified as high profile targets.”2 Therefore the ethics, legitimacy and precision of America’s extra-judicial killing programmes must be revaluated. For far too long drone victims have remained invisible. Whilst the attacks have been no less real for their victims, media portrayal often tends to be impersonal, reporting mainly of strikes killing “terrorists.” Children and civilians are all too often left out of the narrative, unacknowledged or conveniently depicted as militant.

Kareem Khan, an anti-drone activist and Pakistani journalist has put the first human face on drone strikes. Following the death of his son and brother in 2009 he is the first to bring a law suit against the CIA for its drone programme which effectively constitutes murder, and to sue the Pakistani state. After all American drone attacks are not carried out without some complicity by Pakistan and yet no Pakistani parliament has allowed for the use of drones. Khan’s quest for some form of justice is ongoing. He continues to be victimised, having been abducted on February 5, 2014 by armed men in Rawalpandi and taken to an unrevealed location where he was “tortured and abused”3 in the days before he was due to testify before parliamentarians in Europe. His release nine days later meant he was also able to address an audience at King's College London where he put forth the devastating reality of the impact of drones. He describes the innocent events leading up to the death of his teenage son and brother – merely drinking tea and working on

the computer, as you might expect in any home today. They were government employees that posed no threat to the American population. Nonetheless, they were indiscriminately slaughtered. President Obama’s words rang hollow once more: “before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.”4 If this bore any sort of priority for the Obama administration, they would not employ “signature strikes” based merely on the “suspicious” conduct of Pakistani citizens or attack schools and family homes. The constant presence of drones only instils fear, the same fear presented to Americans post-9/11. Khan’s account is just one case in point. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism puts the total death of civilians at 416 – 951 including children – in Pakistan alone.5 Each unknowing victim is likely to have their own story to tell.

“The US has essentially decided to fight terrorism by imposing its own form of terror onto the population in North Waziristan.” However there is a total absence of investigation by the US government into these deaths which serves only as an insult to those killed and injured and to their families that are left behind. The US needs to address the issue of transparency in its policies with regard to drones addressing questions like “who is being killed?”, “under what law?”, and whether its undeclared war on Pakistan is really bearing any fruit or whether it is actually having counterproductive effects. The US has essentially decided to fight terrorism by imposing its own form of terror onto the population in North Waziri-

stan; the response they can expect to receive is not “security” but naturally intensified violence. This is supported in the report Living Under Drones which states that “US strikes have facilitated recruitment to violent non-state armed group.”6 This seems an obvious response given that communities are broken down and family members killed without explanation or even acknowledgment. It is no wonder psyches are destroyed and individuals are seeking to join violent groups. In spite of this, it would appear that the scope of America’s killing programme is continuing to expand. In Yemen in December, 2013, a drone massacred a wedding procession and again, unsurprisingly, the US and Obama remained silent. It is vital that the international community holds governments to account also for the reason that history dictates technology never remains in the hands of the state in which it is produced. As drone technology becomes more widespread we can only suspect more governments will employ similar practices to that of the US. This sets a standard of complete disregard for international law and no due process in which people are killed in covert operations without crime or trial. FATIMA CHOUDHURY is a International Relations MA student at King’s College London.

By Fahrid Chishty

According to popular legend, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir was so awestruck upon his visit to Kashmir, in the seventeenth century, that he instantaneously took to verse. In redolence of Amir Khusrow, the most-celebrated of Indo-Persian poets, the King cried panegyrically: “If there be a Paradise on Earth: it is here, it is here, it is here.”


y virtue of its magnificent topography and geostrategic location, the land of Kashmir has acquired an unrivalled standing in the annals of South Asian history. In light of the distinction, it is tragic to think that this enchanting land is today deemed “a sad and damaged place.”1 Marred by a legacy of protests, war and military occupation, Kashmir remains a disputed territory whose ultimate sovereignty is yet to be decided. To use the phraseology of a former Pakistani Ambassador, H. E. M. Mehsud, the “stalemate over Kashmir” persists.2 But notwithstanding the numerous ineffectual attempts at resolution since 1948, there is reason to believe that the trajectory is heading in the right direction for the Kashmiri people. Forasmuch as the political developments of recent months take shape, demilitarisation, diplomatic resolution and ultimately self-determination are ever-more tangible realities. In order to comprehend the dispute over Kashmir today, it is first necessary to understand the political dynamics of the Independence Movement in British India. Against the backdrop of increasing anti-colonial sentiment, domestic calls for freedom were

vastly different from one another. Factors of policy and ideology intensified the divides of religion, despite the Raj and its imperial forerunners having accommodated a plurality of creed for centuries. Islamic nationalism and Hindu revivalism presented conflicting visions for the post-colonial nation-state that were ultimately irreconcilable. Thus, on August 15, 1947, the Mountbatten Plan was enacted and two independent nations were born: Muslimmajority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India, respectively. The Princely State of Kashmir was problematic from the outset, presenting a dichotomous image of itself as demographically Muslim but politically Hindu. In response to an internal revolt that was drawing in support from the North-Western Frontier Province (NWFP),3 Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, thereby acceding Kashmir to India. The ensuing IndoPakistan War lasted until 1949, whereupon the United Nations brokered a cease-fire, whose borders remain in place as the redesignated “line of control,” and called for a plebiscite to resolve the matter.

Thus began the turbulent era of Kashmiri history we know today. One-third of the former state is now administered by Pakistan as the autonomous “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” territory, 4 with the remaining two-thirds being governed by India. The National Conference Party, having acceded to India in 1965 in exchange for regional autonomy, has threatened secession in response to what it perceives to be Indian hegemony. The popular Plebiscite Front has called for the UN’s 1948 plebiscite to be made manifest in order to ascertain, by way of a democratic referendum, whether Kashmir should belong wholly to Pakistan or entirely to India; or indeed whether a completely independent nation-state should be created altogether. Similarly, the National Hurriyet Party accentuates self-determination for the Kashmiri people as its principle focus, amidst the three-way matrix of Indian occupation, Kashmiri resistance and Pakistani intervention. The Kashmir conflict – sometimes dubbed “the baggage of partition” – is unfortunately known for its propensity, on occasion, to spiral out of control. To the detriment of the people it houses, its precincts remain militarised. The repeated violation of human rights are of major concern to the world powers, with Amnesty International having spoken out in condemnation of unjustified and extra-judicial killings. Pakistan has accused India of inflicting mass atrocities on the people of Kashmir due to their Islamic faith. Conversely, India alleges that Pakistani authorities are responsible for the provision of weaponry and financial assistance to militant guerrilla fighters, who systematically target Kashmir’s non-Muslim minority. What emerges from this distressing dynamic – a nexus of state-sponsored sectarianism and escalating ethnoreligious tensions – is an image of Kashmir as suspended between conflicting regional interests. This is very much consistent with the political impetus at present – both in Kashmir and amidst diaspora communities in the West – that self-determination for the Kashmiri people is of fundamental importance in the pursuit of a solution to the conflict. In this respect, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace made a pivotal observation in 1995: “Before 1989, India and Pakistan fought over Kashmir,” but “[s]ince late 1989, it is [the] Kashmiris who have done the fighting.”5 It follows that the diplomacy of neighbouring nations must exchange its irredentism for realpolitik. Regional foreign policy must align itself with the principles of international law. The withdrawal of military and paramilitary presence in the region must be the handmaiden of dialogue and negotiation. In accordance with self-determination – the cardinal value of the UN – political sovereignty must be re-navigated to Srinagar.6 Kashmir cannot be seen solely through the kaleidoscope of the Pakistan-India conflict. The traditional paradigm of diametrically-opposed weltanschauung(s) has, for too long, overshadowed the primacy of the Kashmiri people in resolving this long-standing territorial dispute. The centre of gravity is more truthfully a conflict of central governments and their peripheries. So long as the parties to the conflict take heed of the advice of Hina Rabbani

Khar and SM Krishna – the Pakistani Foreign Minister and Indian External Affairs Minister, respectively – that the aspirations of Kashmir be accommodated within government policy and the promised plebiscite of 1948 can manifest. It must ultimately be for the people of Kashmir to decide their own political fate. Close to 30 British Parliamentarians have voiced their support for the Kashmiri cause. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the region, an independent Kashmir now seems a more realistic and indeed more plausible outcome of a democratic process in the region. This is what polling from recent years suggests. 7 This political zeitgeist raises interesting questions as to what an independent Kashmir might look like. Independence certainly does not guarantee political stability or economic prosperity; infiltration and national security seem probable challenges. Yet, an independent Kashmir has without doubt the potential for success. For a start, a strong sense of brethren that transcends ethno-religious differences gives us hope for a diverse, sociallycohesive state respectful of human rights. Peace in the region will generate economic growth, drawn primarily from tourism to the valleys once called the “Venice of the Orient.” With the political backing and financial support of the international community, Kashmir can cultivate a culture of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Given the legacy of British rule, a Westminster-style parliamentary system appears the most likely political framework to take root. Jurisdictionally, a common-law system or a hybrid analogue would codify the diverse customs and traditions relied upon for governance and arbitration at present. A worldclass infrastructure will make for an internally progressive nationstate. Whilst future developments remain speculative, what has transpired amidst decades of conflict is a consolidated sense of national identity amongst Kashmiris. As an abundance of historical examples well demonstrate, faith in a shared character and a single identity based on socio-cultural homogeneity is more than capable of withstanding the various challenges that confront a newly-established nation. The future of Kashmir will undeniably be characterised by challenges. But insofar as the Kashmiri people assume political supremacy and actively forge the future of their own nation, it is not too optimistic to envisage Kashmir as a successful, sovereign nation-state with the potential to become, in time, a regional power in and of itself. Let the international community now direct its energies to the realisation of that goal.

FAHRID CHISHTY is a first year Politics, Philosophy and Law BA student at King's College London and a Dickson Poon scholar.

By Hima Fathima


ndia is a country with a rich heritage, vast history, and incredible diversity. We celebrate the country’s beauty and culture on numerous occasions yet we hardly discuss the various kinds of discrimination present in our society – white-skinned versus darkskinned beauty, socio-economic marginalization of Dalits, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and the unjust treatment of the poor in our society. Additionally, an issue that gains little attention is the culture of domestic servitude in India. The country has a large informal economy: unlicensed chauffeurs, street food vendors, hustlers, and domestically oriented employees such as maids, security guards, and cooks. It is a two-way relationship as workers gain informal employment and the employers receive paid services. However, the concern here is that the relationship is inherently unequal and marked with an imbalance in power. The Role of Charity Our society is preoccupied with the notion of charity. There is nobility in being the beneficent employer or donor, sending poor children to school, offering a few second-hand clothes to the poor on occasions like Diwali and Eid – acts of kindness meant to display the benevolence and generosity of the employer. Certainly, acts of charity may contain thoughtfulness and compassion, but at the same time, they are profoundly patronizing. The kind-

ness is embedded within a sense of superiority of status. The relationship between the employer and the domestic servant is meant to be reciprocal but is fundamentally unequal as the two parties coexist in a relationship underpinned by inequality and dominance.

“(…) acts of charity may contain thoughtfulness and compassion but at the same time they are profoundly patronizing. The kindness is embedded within a sense of superiority of status.” Middle class and wealthy Indians enjoy economic and social benefits while a large section of India’s poor continue to remain invisible. The rights of the latter are ignored and their value is disposable. If one employee refuses to work or demands more pay, he/she can easily be replaced by another as there are several individuals and families seeking to make a living in India’s urban areas. The Rules and Standards of Employment Thousands of females and children are employed in India’s informal economy. Employees who are also parents often get separated from their families, either leaving their children behind

or sending their children away to work in distant cities. When children are sent to perform domestic work they are thrown in an unfamiliar environment, participating in fundamentally unequal relationships, and living frequently in the shadows of the employers. It is crucial to think how children, employed at a young, impressionable age, are affected as they are constantly treated as inferior and taught to be thankful for the generosity of their employer, a cycle which starkly reinforces the condition of their economic poverty. Moreover, domestic employees are often made to use separate toilets, eat separately in the kitchen, and sometimes sit on the floor while the family relaxes on sofas. This gross discrimination of treatment is completely normalized in our society. Are these rules necessary to maintain domestic order or to assert dominance and power? Certainly these different rules and standards for employees solidify the socio-economic hierarchies present in our society.

“It would be pretentious if I did not acknowledge my own privilege - that would make me complicit in this culture of servitude.” In addition, domestic employees lack basic human needs such as a decent shelter and a right to privacy. Poverty is so visible that it has lost its ability to jolt people from the luxury of their existence. Images of families living in slums and who are cramped together in a tiny room are so common that we have become desensitized to the degradation and viciousness of poverty. I have seen families from rural areas, housed in tiny shacks with no bathrooms, labouring for the construction of new urban residences. A five member family will be cramped together in a “house” the size of a tiny room, resembling a hen house, with no regard for privacy or basic comfort. Often, when I took my dog for a morning walk, I would see children squatting down beside the road relieving themselves in the open as their employers did not provide them with a bathroom. In fact, India has the highest rate of open defecation in the world, with millions having no access to toilets. The insensitivity of our society astonishes and shames me. It is awful to realize how caught up we often get in our own comfortable existence. We soothe our conscience by purchasing clothes for poor families on festivals and buying a poor kid some extra candy. Yet, this kindness is sugar-coated with patronizing behaviour. Forgotten Rights I do not want to paint a narrative of victimhood, rather I want to open our eyes to the reality of an India that remains in the shadows; those individuals whose rights and needs are often forgotten and their existence itself considered disposable. We need to take a step back, take a good hard look at our community, the kind

of environment we live in, appreciate the privilege that we are given, and more importantly, use that privilege and power to make a better society. The “aam aadmi” has garnered a lot attention in recent years, yet we have forgotten the invisible woman who quietly cleans our house and cooks our food, the man who drives our cars, and those children who are disillusioned at an early age while made to play with second-hand toys. We need to face up to the ugliness of our society and not forget the thousands of Indians whose voices drown in the clamour of the aam aadmi’s needs and the rich man’s demands. It would be pretentious if I did not acknowledge my own privilege — that would make me complicit in this culture of servitude. Power is potent but in essence neutral; it only becomes dangerous when misused. Eliminating Injustice Today’s prevalent culture of servitude is a crisis in our nation because there are numerous cases of abuse and trafficking that occur in the sector of domestic servitude. The inequalities in this informal sector also mirror the socio-economic hierarchies present in India at large. It is not just about providing toilets and housing, but about making sure that the basic rights and needs of human beings are not violated. Laws should be established to regulate the codes of conduct that employers ought to observe so as to treat domestic employees as equal human beings and not as second-class citizens. The injustices present in our culture of servitude need to be questioned and eliminated. At a micro level, in our local community, we need to make sure that each individual is respected and treated in a just manner. This servile existence cannot be eliminated through meagre policy changes that address the socioeconomic needs of India’s disposable population. We need to essentially question our values and traditions, so ingrained in us, that we have become desensitised to the hierarchies, discrimination, and poverty present in our country today. Indeed, a fundamental change and awareness needs to occur in the midst of our society if we are to produce transformative, positive change in India.

HINA FATHIMA is an exchange student currently reading War Studies, and Religion and Theology at King’s College London. At her home university, Haverford College, she reads Political Science along with Arabic.

By Samira Damavandi


major crisis in the international community today is the Iranian nuclear issue. The United States, European states, and other members in the international community have expressed that they do not want Iran to gain nuclear weapons technology and capability. Iranian officials have stated that they are not attempting to obtain nuclear weapons capability, but rather, want to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes and for nuclear energy for civilians. As Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has repeatedly stated, the Iranians want the international community to recognize their right to enrich and to not infringe on their sovereignty. Iran, however, has violated many International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) resolutions. Since Iran is a signer of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it must allow the IAEA to inspect nuclear-related material. All facilities using, producing or processing nuclear energy materials must be reported to the IAEA; this includes changes to its inventory and the provision of design information on nuclear facilities.1 History of the Nuclear Program Iran has been working on its nuclear program since the 1950s. Under the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran launched a series of nuclear projects that relied on assistance from the United States and other countries in Europe. Iran struck deals and entered contracts with European states to build sites for enriching urani-

um, however, the 1979 Islamic Revolution halted the nuclear program for many years. In the late 1980s, the program was restarted. In 2003, Iran said that it had suspended its uranium enrichment program and would allow for tougher IAEA inspections. During this time, the United Nations Security Council had passed numerous resolutions condemning the program and demanding Iran to stop enriching, such as UNSC Resolution 1696 which passed in 2006 and called upon Iran to “verifiably suspend all nuclear enrichment activities or face further UNSC measures.� 2 In 2009, the international community offered Iran a proposal to enrich its uranium abroad. Finally, in November 2013, a breakthrough interim agreement was signed at Geneva after two rounds of negotiations. Sanctions on Iran The United States and international community have imposed comprehensive sanctions on Iran for the past 34 years. Not all sanctions put in place are the same; they are nonmilitary measures that restrict normal international economic exchanges with a state or nongovernmental group for the purpose of compelling, denying, or deterring political or military behavior by the target3. The sanctions have both compelling and deterrence qualities to them because they pressure the state to do something they wouldn’t have otherwise done, and also stop them from doing something they would have done, if we are assuming that Iran

would otherwise enrich nuclear resources until it had weapons grade status. A few years ago, some experts thought that “sanctions have thus failed to dissuade Tehran from pursuing its most objectionable policies, particularly its efforts to develop a vast nuclear infrastructure.”4 But as we have seen, the Iranians have come to the negotiating table and the international community has succeeded in persuading Tehran from pursuing its efforts in uranium and plutonium enrichment. The United States has used a dual-track strategy of relying on economic pressure to persuade Iran to enter negotiations. 5 A few years ago, sanctions were seen as “imposing heavy financial and political costs but not convincing Iranian leaders that their interests would be best served by relinquishing their nuclear ambitions, abandoning reckless policies, and opening a serious dialogue with Washington.6 A fundamental change occurred with the onset of your administration in 2009, Mr. President. At this time there was a departure from engagement to assertive diplomacy, based on both the threat of force and the enforcement of severe economic sanctions."7

“It has crippled the ordinary citizen and has had severe humanitarian consequences, but is a nonviolent method of getting the Iranians to the negotiating table without the use of military force.” Sanctions were imposed during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, but some were lifted after the Algiers Accord. They were again used during the Iran-Iraq war under the 1992 Iran- Iraq Nonproliferation Act, which “prohibited any transfer of any goods or technologies that could facilitate the development of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.”8 Under the Clinton administration, full economic warfare was used through a new policy of “dual containment.”9 Under the current American administration, the July 2010 Comprehensive Iran Sanctions and Divestment Act (CISADA) was passed, which reversed prior exemptions and also restricted sales of refined petroleum products.10 Sanctions have devastated the Iranian economy and have greatly affected ordinary Iranian civilians both within the country and abroad. They have had some successes and some failures in this conflict. It has crippled the ordinary citizen and has had severe humanitarian consequences, but is a nonviolent method of getting the Iranians to the negotiating table without the use of military force. Sanctions are generally more successful when there is accountability of the government, something that had been lacking during the Ahmadinejad regime. The recent June election of President Hassan Rouhani has demonstrated that the Iranian people believe it is time for a change and many believe that he can deliver that. Many Iranians believe that he will be able to engage in diplo-

macy and thus reduce the sanctions, and are holding his administration accountable for their actions and inactions. A major takeaway is that although there is history of tensions and conflicts, diplomacy does work and should continue to be utilized in the future. It is important to note that when conflicts span over several years and decades, actors change, and with that policies and outcomes may also change. This is the case with Iran’s conflict as with countless others. There was recently leadership change and domestic political changes do have major consequences on international conflicts. There has been a monumental shift in policies and rhetoric from the Ahmadinejad regime to President Rouhani’s administration and with the appointment of Mohammad Javad Zarif as the Foreign Minister. In future cases, it is important to examine leadership roles and changes in leadership, specifically when wanting to implement new techniques. For example, the HR 850 resolution was passed in the US House of Representatives before the inauguration of President Rouhani, undermining the potential of a new leadership, especially one that represented hope, accountability, and change to the Iranian people. The dual track strategy of negotiations and sanctions is also a key takeaway that can be utilized in other conflicts of this nature. Although, Iran is not a truly free democracy, we can recognize the importance of leader accountability in non-democracies and still implement sanctions in these cases. SAMIRA DAMAVANDI is a third year student from the University of California, Berkeley studying abroad at King’s College London. She studies Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies.

By Romana Michelon


midst reports of renewed Israeli settler activity in East Jerusalem, dangerous altercations between the Israel Air Force (IAF) and militants in Gaza, and John Kerry’s soon-to-be-released peace framework, new efforts for Palestinian reconciliation have been launched.

“(…) as the EU has a strategic stake in seeing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict coming to a peaceful end, it should regard the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah as an important element for reaching a two-state solution.” In particular, Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh labeled 2014 as the “Year of Reconciliation,” and urged each Palestinian faction to “do its utmost to end the political division and unite the occupied West Bank with the Gaza Strip.” He thereby released seven Fatah

detainees from Hamas prisons, and announced that over 120 Fatah leaders and cadres ousted from the Gaza Strip following Hamas’ takeover in 2007 were welcome to return. Although Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah has yet to reciprocate with similar conciliatory measures, it has responded favourably to Hamas’ initiatives, and upon a meeting with Hamas officials in Gaza City on Sunday, agreed to intensify discussions on the implementation of the Cairo and Doha reconciliation deals struck in 2011 and 2012 respectively. The EU’s position on Palestinian reconciliation has so far been rather ambiguous. On the one hand, it has repeatedly urged Fatah and Hamas to end their divisions and has openly considered to endorse a Palestinian government that would include Hamas. That said, the Union’s official policy has remained unaltered for more than eight years, and under severe pressure of the US and Israel, continues to classify Hamas a terrorist organization while politically and financially boycotting the movement’s government over the Gaza Strip.

Many arguments critical of such harsh position have been drawn up. Most obviously, the large majority of commentators recognize that peace with Israel cannot be made with those who only represent half of the Palestinian community. As such, insofar as the EU has a strategic stake in seeing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict coming to a peaceful end, it should regard the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah as an important element for reaching a two-state solution. In addition, authors have regularly taken issue with the EU’s decision to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. They claim that although predominantly analyzed in the West for its terrorist infrastructures, Hamas is a complex and multidimensional group, simultaneously a military organization, political party, and social movement. To them, dismissing Hamas for its militant activities is to deny its record of compliance with agreed-upon ceasefires and block its desire to partake in mainstream Palestinian electoral processes. What is more, they hold that ostracizing Hamas increases its attractiveness amongst impoverished and desperate Gazans, and further complicates a conflict already protracted by spoilers. Finally, and from a more European perspective, many have emphasized that an end to the Hamas boycott could restore EU credibility in the region. This was painfully tarnished in 2006, when despite the EU election observation mission confirming free and fair conduct, the Union joined the US and Israel and refused to accept Hamas’ electoral victory to the Palestinian Legislative Council. It is assessed that the inclusion of Hamas into mainstream negotiation schemes would remind the region that the EU prioritizes popular will and democracy over strategic alliancemaking with influential friends. These arguments have held true for years, but have failed to make the EU overthrow its policy towards Gaza and Hamas. The unique political configuration of the Middle East today should finally convince the Union to exploit current openings and invest in Palestinian reconciliation. As discussed above, all current reconciliatory moves have been initiated by Hamas, which finds itself in urgent search of influence and political relevancy. The organization lost powerful allies in Syria and Iran by distancing itself from the Assad regime in February 2012. Although hoping to replace those supporters for a Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt, the ouster of President Morsi in July 2013 means that it now also faces an Egyptian military regime which is biased in favor of US and Israeli interests, and prioritizes domestic security over the Palestinian cause. While Hamas is desperate for friends, Fatah sits comfortably in its seat of power. As the leader of the Palestinian Authority, not only is it still the only Palestinian faction that Israel accepts for peace talks, it also remains funded by international sponsors, of which the EU makes the greatest annual contribution. Due to the

luxurious position it is in, Fatah is clearly not in a rush to delve into another potentially futile adventure with Hamas.

“While Hamas is desperate for friends, Fatah sits comfortably in its seat of power.” The way that the EU should tap into these dynamics is twofold. First off, it should exploit Hamas’ weak position, which drives its incentive to reconcile with Fatah. This means removing or softening the conditions to engage with the organization, and rendering explicit that it would deal with a Palestinian national unity government, even if it included Hamas. In addition, the EU should translate its economic leverage over Fatah into political influence, and condition the continuous flow of development aid on the pro-active implementation of the Cairo and Doha agreements. By undertaking these measures, the EU would in no way be whitewashing Hamas’ history of violence, or excluding the possibility that the group might fall into old patterns of behavior ever again. Instead, the EU would be recognizing that its policy towards Gaza has failed; by making strategic use not only of Hamas’ current window of opportunity, but also of its own economic power over Fatah, the EU would be trying to make the best of opportunities available. The EU High Representative Catherine Ashton has yet to comment on the renewed efforts towards Palestinian reconciliation, but it is without doubt that the EU External Action Service is closely following events on the ground, and contemplating how to best respond. After years of seeking a more significant role in the region, this might be the chance to leave behind a constructive mark in Palestinian politics. ROMANA MICHELON is a recent graduate of the MA in Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies at King’s College London. For Romana’s personal blog- Middle East Peace Portal, please visit:

By Barak Kalir


ince 2005, an estimated 60,000 asylum seekers from subSaharan Africa, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, have entered Israel by crossing the border from Egypt. Escaping their countries, they arrived in Israel after a lengthy journey by land, mostly operated by smuggling networks of Bedouins. Although paying their smugglers thousands of dollars, many African asylum seekers en route to Israel have been raped, turned into sex slaves, kidnapped for ransom, or even killed for the purposes of trading their organs. In Israel, the presence of African asylum seekers has become a major political issue in recent years. Although a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 Optional Protocol, Israel systematically refuses to grant a refugee status to African asylum seekers. In fact, the Israeli government has been doing its utmost to reject the claims of asylum seekers under the pretense of them being economic migrants. At the same time, in January 2013 Israel completed a multi-million dollar project of fencing its border with Egypt to prevent the entry of more asylum seekers. Since the completion of the fence, the number of asylum seekers

who manage to cross the border has plummeted from a few thousand per month to less than a hundred in the entire year of 2013. As for those who managed to enter Israel, the government has vowed – as was formally stated by the former Interior Minister, Eli Yishai – to “make their lives miserable until they leave and return to where they came from.” In official Israeli terminology, African asylum seekers are referred to as “infiltrators.” This term originated in the 1950s when armed Palestinian groups entered Israel from Egypt and Jordan to attack different targets. Palestinian infiltrators were criminalized and faced up to five years in prison for trespassing the border. The term “infiltrators” thus carries a highly negative meaning that is linked to the Israeli mindset on national security and terrorism, and thus defames an entire population of asylum seekers. The Israeli institutional determination to reject the claims of African asylum seekers is clearly reflected in the work of the

Refugee Status Determination unit. The unit was inaugurated in 2009 and in the following three years, processed around 14,000 asylum applications, granting a refugee status to a mere 22 applicants. This flimsy approval rate is the lowest among Western countries. Of importance here is that for years Israel has specifically prevented individuals from Eritrea and Sudan from submitting their asylum application. Instead, recognizing the dire situation in these countries, Israel provides “temporary group protection” to all Eritreans and Sudanese and applies the principle of nonrefoulement. However, by imposing its “temporary group protection” on Eritreans and Sudanese, who comprise around 80 percent of the total population of asylum seekers in Israel, the government evades the very real eventuality of awarding many of them a refugee status. Notably, under the Israeli “temporary group protection,” asylum seekers are not given basic economic and social rights; they do not receive work permits, health insurance, social benefits or any provisions for shelter and food. As a direct result of the Israeli policy, many asylum seekers end up living in extreme poverty, often sleeping in public parks in south Tel Aviv, one of the poorest urban areas in the country. Without basic state provisions, asylum seekers become highly dependent on the aid they receive from concerned Israeli NGOs. Different NGOs provide asylum seekers medical care, legal assistance, food and clothes, social care, linguistic training, shelter and many more services that the state fails to secure for them. Since 2012, the antagonistic Israeli treatment of asylum seekers has reached new heights. Formally, the government passed the “Prevention of Infiltration Law” that allows for the administrative detention of up to three years for those who cross the border from Egypt. Publicly, several politicians have unleashed a verminous rhetorical attack against asylum seekers, referring to them as criminals, health hazards, security risks and, in the words of one MP from the ruling Likud party, Miri Regev, as “a cancer in our body.” This hostile approach has set the stage for an increasing number of violent and racist incidents in which Israeli citizens beat up African asylum seekers on the street, threw bricks into shops and bars that are associated with asylum seekers, and at one point, even set on fire with Molotov bottles an asylum seeker’s house in South Tel Aviv that was functioning as a crèche for asylum seekers’ children. Civil-society activists have been relentlessly trying to challenge the antagonist Israeli treatment of asylum seekers. NGOs, together with some academic scholars and private lawyers, carry the flag when it comes to fighting for an Israeli asylum policy that is in line with human rights standards and international conventions. For example, in 2013 several civil-society activists appealed to the Israeli High Court against the legality of the “Prevention of Infiltration Law,” which was then revoked by the court as being “unconstitutional” and in violation of Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom. In addition, NGOs have been mobilizing a

public campaign for raising awareness to the dramatic situation of asylum seekers through street demonstrations, newspaper articles, cultural events and public debates.

“(…) several politicians have unleashed a verminous rhetorical attack against asylum seekers, referring to them as criminals, health hazards, security risks and, in the words of one MP from the ruling Likud party, Miri Regev, as ‘a cancer in our body.’” The most striking internal dispute in Israel is over the rights of asylum seekers and the way in which the Jewishness of the Israeli state has been used for warranting both opposing stands. In an attempt to generate humanitarian compassion among politicians and to mobilise public opinion, Israeli civil-society activists regularly evoke the Jewish history of persecution and the Holocaust in particular, as endowing on Israel the universal moral obligation to combat all forms of ethnic and religious persecution (“Never Again”). At the same time, many Israeli politicians repeatedly rehearse the Zionist-Israeli narrative that claims, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, that only a formidable Jewish state can secure the rights of Jews as equals in the world. It is for this historical truth, so goes the narrative, that Israel is morally justified to guard its Jewishness; refusing to be swayed by a human rights discourse and UN Conventions that demand a more inclusive approach towards non-Jewish migrants and asylum seekers. While there have been some strategic gains in pressing the moral obligation of Jews, and by extension of the Jewish state, towards those who escape persecution, it is important to note the overall failure of a human rights discourse and humanitarian compassion to resolve the crisis of asylum seekers in Israel. It is patent that in the Israeli dominant state discourse, a global human rights regime is considered to be mutually exclusive with the Zionist enterprise of an ethno-religious state whose raison d'être is to secure the rights of Jewish-Israeli citizens. Since December 2013, thousands of African asylum seekers have taken to the main streets and squares in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem to protest their inhumane treatment by the government. These demonstrations of political consciousness and activism are a powerful move that comes mostly out of despair and disillusion with the failure of human rights law to resolve their humanitarian crisis.

BARAK KALIR is an associate professor at the University of Amsterdam.

By Juliette Lyons


he Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of with European second-hand clothes as a bargaining tool to gain the Congo are not countries that one would associate with the devotion of the superiors. Although war and strife have damaelegance and fashionable extravagance, but rather as bearing a ged the Congo over the years, there has been a revival of La Sape history of poverty, disease, malnutrition and heavy conflict in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. Despite camthroughout the 1990s, taking the paigns taking place prompting lives of thousands upon “Violence and fighting are characteristics that the barring of the sub-culture thousands of civilians. Yet, positfrom public spaces, they are now simply do not correspond with the moral well respected and represent ioned at the centre of Congo’s chaos, the self-confessed dandies stability and tranquillity amidst conduct of the Sapeurs. Their exuberant of sub-Saharan Africa, known as turmoil in the country. flamboyance serves as a lighting rod for the the the Sapeurs, lead a life that is paraAccording to the powerful godoxical in the context of their Congolese disenfranchised youth, guiding it vernment minister for specialised surroundings. away from a Third World Status to one of economic zones, Alain Akouala Atipault, la Sape indicates that modern cosmopolitanism” Their name, Sapeurs, the nation is returning to life comes from the French slang se after years of civil war; they resaper, meaning to dress with class,1 but also from the acronym of presents a sign of better things.2 Violence and fighting are charactheir social group: La Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes teristics that simply do not correspond with the moral conduct of Élégantes (the Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant Persons). La the Sapeurs. Their exuberant flamboyance serves as a lighting rod Sape can be traced back to the early years of colonialism. The for the Congolese disenfranchised youth, guiding it away from a French had set out to civilize African people by providing them Third World Status to one of modern cosmopolitanism.

to eat is the priority for most of the citizens of the nation, gathering enough money to acquire the perfect French or Italian designer hat to match the shoes is the priority for a Sapeur. Given the extreme poverty of the shantytowns in which the Sapeurs live, it is worrying that fashion prevails over the generally accepted basic human needs. Furthermore, the Sapeurs praise themselves on their ability to wash and stay clean and hygienic in a country where water is in short supply. What started off as a political movement has resulted in an obsession for these men, who go to extreme lengths in order to sustain their elegant taste in fashion. In their struggling Central African nation, the Sapeurs sacrifice the chance of moving to a better home, buying a car or even paying the tuitions to send their children to school. Many have resorted to illegal means to obtain their attire and some have spent time behind bars. In a country devastated by civil wars, bombings, poverty and deprivation, against a backdrop of shantytowns, this fascinating Congolese subculture raises a dilemma. While at first glance la Sape is a cult of the cloth, it is a revolutionary movement, which once defied political leaders, using appearance and propriety as a form of rebellion against the brutal aspects of Congolese life and generating a peaceful environment that follows them around. Yet, when we see the lengths these dedicated followers of fashion go to in order to acquire their European suits, ties, and their Cuban cigars, the fascination of the illogicality of the subculture’s lifestyle suddenly becomes more of a concern than wonderment.

Despite their expensive attire, they are not rich men. The Sapeurs are the ordinary, democratic, working men of Brazzaville. Whether they’re taxi-drivers, farmers, or carpenters, they cultivate the idea of beauty in their own persons, through their conspicuous dress, as part of a complex political and cultural manoeuvre. Although there has been a long history of dandies in the Congo following the slave trade and French and Belgian rule, the social movement as we know it today was revived in the 1970s by musician Papa Wemba, in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He promoted la Sape culture, placing a heavy emphasis on the smart dress of all Congolese men, regardless of their social differences. An ethos centred around respect, peace, integrity and honour accompanies the wardrobe of la Sape. This holds that a Sapeur has to be non-violent, well mannered and an inspiration through their attitude and behaviour. Wemba used this with a political motive. It gave birth to a wave of popular resistance to President Mobutu Sese Seko’s regime of “authenticity,” which prescribed a condemnation of symbolic ties with the coloniser and a return to traditionalism following the recently regained independence. Wemba made use of la Sape’s culture of extravagant dress to challenge the strict dress codes which outlawed European and Western styles imposed by the government. Although the phenomenon is inspirational and captivating at first sight, it also has a dark side. Whilst making enough money

The contradiction between the sophistication and style that make a Sapeur and the poor conditions of living are shown as a clash of worlds.3 Despite the great sacrifices made to achieve their appearance, dressing up in such refined and tasteful attire, ironically, is a way for the working men to escape and forget poverty. Within their local communities, they are a source of inspiration and positivity through conversation, dance and friendly competition, which according to the Gross National Happiness indicator represents a better way of life. Furthermore, the Sapeurs are aware of their contrasting priorities, which they defend by arguing that "a Congolese Sapeur is a happy man even if he does not eat, because wearing proper clothes feeds the soul and gives pleasure to the body."4 When we observe the overwhelming harmony that surrounds this cult of elegance trapped in an environment of misery, an interesting question arises: would be violent people had their clothing not generated a sense of peace? JULIETTE LYONS is a third year European Studies BA student at King’s College London.

“Inclusive, good quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable society” - Desmond Tutu

By Emmeline Carr is twelve years old and has never walked a step in her life. In 2014, everything changed. At the start of this year, in partnership J oanne with The Walkabout Foundation, The Oriana Project donated 200 wheelchairs to Nanyuki, Kenya. Within one week of receiving her chair, Joanne was in school for the first time and her brand new life began. Between 2014-2015, the British government is projected to invest £19 million in education in Kenya. However, this will not solve the problem of access to schooling that so many are desperately in need of. The solution will not come from the provision of new facilities; it must grow from the improvement of the quality of the existing institutions. Barriers to education take a variety of forms, from the child’s home environment to their imposed responsibilities, to a lack of resources. Like Joanne, there is often a small, low-cost solution to ensuring that children are able to receive the education they deserve. The first of these solutions is the provision of resources. Exercise books, equipment and teaching material not only help to improve the quality of education, but they also help to make children feel that they are valued. Seeing their work on a page in front of them makes them feel like they have achieved something. Provision of 100 exercise books to a school costs less than £20, but it means so much more to the children who receive them. By making an investment in teaching, we are making an investment in the children, knowing that one day they may make a bigger impact on the world than we can ever imagine. Another form of resource that can have an incredible impact is a school uniform. Uniforms give children from disadvantaged backgrounds a sense of identity, belonging and pride. They unite them when all other parts of their lives are fragmented and also have invaluable psychological outcomes for those who need it most. Perhaps the hardest barrier to tackle is the situation children face at home. Stephen (pictured) is seven years old. Instead of playing games with his friends or doing his homework on weekends and during holidays, he works in the local quarry breaking stone for his mother to sell. It is the only way the family can earn enough money to survive. Similarly, many young girls are expected to take care of their siblings when they are not at school so that parents or guardians can go and earn money for food or collect clean water. How can children have a chance at achieving their best when they come into school exhausted from their domestic responsibilities? The Oriana Project was founded with the intention of improving the existing facilities for children in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. The first major project consists of building boarding houses as part of the Nanyuki Preparatory School in order to provide care for vulnerable children from dangerous backgrounds. These houses are designed to give them continued access to education and to provide them with the opportunity to make the most of the teaching that is available to them. Children with physical disabilities, children from slums, children with a background of forced labour or abuse – they will all be given an equal chance to build a life for themselves and to break from the current cycle of poverty in which they are trapped. Children in Kenya have a vast appreciation for simplicity and are experts in resourcefulness and adaptability. There is a lot that we, in the developed world, could learn from them. The most important lesson is that of value and dedication. Determination and hard work can go a long way, so before we pour yet more aid money into building new schools, maybe we ought to pause and consider the impact an individual approach could have on efficiency, sustainability and quality in terms of educational facilitation. The generation of tomorrow deserves the very best opportunities we can give them. We must ensure that we approach the creation of these opportunities in the right way. Kufanya mambo madogo kwa upend mkubwa Do small things with great love EMMELINE CARR is a first year International Relations BA student at King’s College London. For more information on The Oriana Project’s work, please visit their website ( or follow them on Facebook (, Twitter (@orianaproject) and Wordpress (

Photo by Thomas Williams (Walkabout Foundation) All other photos by Emmeline Carr (The Oriana Project)

By Eugenia Caracciolo-Drudis


n the past few months, Africa has seen a rise in the number of Ironically enough, originally it was primarily Western colonial pocountries taking stricter stances on homosexuality, with Uganda wers in the 19th century that imposed the “values” African leaders and Nigeria imposing discriminatory legislation. The UN High are now so vehemently trying to defend from modern Western Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has condemned influence.6 In recent times, Western influence over Ugandan antithese measures publicly, stating: “Rarely have I seen a piece of gay sentiment has come in the form of the American Christian legislation that in so few paragraphs directly violates so many baEvangelical church.7 More specifically, from the words and actions sic, universal human rights.”1 On February 24, 2014, Ugandan of pastor Scott Lively — an evangelical pastor who has been camPresident Yoweri Museveni signed into effect the Antipaigning against homosexuality and the “threat” it poses in Homosexuality Act, 2014. It was previously known as the "Kill Uganda since 2009. His actions have been so extreme that legal the Gays Bill” as the bill called for the execution of homosexuals, action was taken against him by the US Centre for Constitutional 2 but was later changed. Under this new Act, gay sex carries a peRights in 2012, on the basis of promoting the persecution of honalty of life imprisonment, the “promotion of homosexuality” is mosexuals in Uganda.8 criminalized, and, for the first The international retime, gay women can be offici“(…) Navi Pillay, has condemned these measures action to this 2014 Antially persecuted as well. publicly, stating: “Rarely have I seen a piece of Homosexuality Act, and the In the Ugandan case, many more like it throughout legislation that in so few paragraphs directly Africa, is particularly inteMuseveni claims to have passsed this Act in the name of violates so many basic, universal human rights.”” resting as it is shaping up to be “defending ‘African values’ something of a lose/lose situfrom Western influence,” 3 ation regardless of the course 9 however, the real reasons behind its passing are potentially even of action taken. The most direct form of action possible (and that more concerning. With elections coming up in 2016, and an ever- which is most highly considered at the moment) is the withdrawal younger voting base, Museveni is no longer seen as the heroic of financial assistance to Uganda. The European Union, the Unifreedom fighter he was 23 years ago upon coming to power; ratted States and the World Bank have all threatened to do so,10 and 4 her, he is seen as an aging, out-of-touch autocrat. The passing of the World Bank has gone so far as to suspend $90 billion in aid. this Act can thus be seen as an attempt to bolster support through However, withdrawing financial assistance not only hurts those mass appeal and anti-colonial populism. Ugandan scholar Sylvia who need it most, but also plays into the hands of the African Tamale echoes this view, arguing that the Act serves as an impopulists, enforcing the idea of homosexuality as a “decadent portant and almost unanimously appealing distraction from issues European imposition.”11 All the same, continuing to provide fiof high unemployment and social repression as, in Uganda, nancial assistance results in criticism from activists and a loss of “homosexuality presents a challenge to the deep-seated masculine credibility in the face of human rights violations on the part of the power within African sexual relations.”5 institutions. Yet, the history of homosexuality and gay rights in Africa is not as black-and-white as leaders such as Museveni make it appear.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind the extent of the influence Uganda wields over it’s foreign donors — in many

cases, it appears as though they need Uganda more than it needs them. A good example of this can be seen in Washington’s reliance on Ugandan troops in the ongoing peacekeeping mission in Somalia, where Uganda has the largest number of troops on the ground.12 Along with this is US reliance on Ugandan political influence over the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Although President Obama has stated that he will review American relations with Uganda following the passing of the Act, realistically, the United States cannot afford to abandon the Somalian peacekeeping mission — something that requires good relations with Uganda to keep alive. Moreover, along with Rwanda and Kenya, Uganda has created a newly emerging and confident East African bloc through trade and defense deals with neighboring countries; this is strengthened through mutual solidarity against external meddling.13 This strengthening of the Ugandan position makes its influence over foreign donors all the more important.

“In many cases, it appears as though they [foreign donors] need Uganda more than it needs them.” Along with the strengthening influence Uganda possesses, rebalancing of trade and investment powers in Africa must also be taken into account. Uganda and its East African bloc have seen a significant shift in trade and investment dependence away from the West and towards China, and potentially Russia.14 Examples of this can be seen in China’s investments into Uganda, such as the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Guangzhou Energy Dongsong investing heavily in Uganda’s natural oil resources and the development of hydroelectricity.15 The Chinese have also invested significant amounts of money into East African infrastructure, with the construction of a railway line connecting Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Although these are primarily for trade purposes, there are significant social and political consequences for the three countries as well. What is important to keep in mind with the large influx of Chinese investment is that unlike most Western investors, the Chinese are notoriously unconcerned with the social and political matters in the African nations they invest money in; the Chinese government allows for the receiving government to maintain full control over its actions as long as their investments are not compromised.16 Western investment, on the other hand, generally comes with a set of (admittedly) Western values attached. This ongoing change in the balance of foreign power and influence

through trade and investment within Africa shows the shift away from the West and towards countries such as China. While perhaps positive for Uganda in economic matters, such changes carry the foreboding indicators of potential long-term consequences,17 the most significant being that continued dependence on these powers will result in the gradual but steady loss of basic human rights, as is already being seen through the current push towards increasingly draconian anti-homosexual legislation in the African region. EUGENIA CARACCIOLO-DRUDIS is a first year Politics, Philosophy and Law BA student at King’s College London.

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Cannabis Legalisation: A Policy Whose Time has Come by George Murkin 1

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Ibid., p.21


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M. Thornton, The Economics of Prohibition, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007, pp.106-108


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The Reality of US drone strikes in Pakistan by Fatima Choudhury 1US

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

4Literally, 5Bose, 6The

“Free Jammu and Kashmir.”

Sumantra. Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2003. Print. p3.

capital city of Kashmir proper.


Fayaz. "Majority in Kashmir Valley Want Independence: Poll." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 13 Aug. 2007. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. <http://>. Iranian Nuclear Issue and Sanctions by Samira Damavandi 1

"A History of Iran's Nuclear Program." Iran Watch. Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms

Control, 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 2

Katz, Mark N. "Putin, Ahmadinejad And The Iranian Nuclear Crisis." Middle East Policy 13.4 (2006): 125-131. Academic Search Complete. P. 128.

Crocker, Chester A., Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall. eds. 2007. Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World. Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace. P. 339. 3

4 Takeyh, 5 Ibid. 6

Ray and Suzanne Maloney. 2011. The Self-Limiting Success of Iran Sanctions. International Affairs 87/6: 1297-1312. P. 1311

P. 1298

Ibid. P. 1298

Atesoglu Guney, Nurşin. "The Current Stalemate On The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: Is There A Way Out Of This Impasse?" Middle Eastern Analysis / Ortadogu Analiz 5.51 (2013): 29-36. Academic Search Complete. Web. P. 32. 7


Ibid. P. 1301.



10 Takeyh,

Ray and Suzanne Maloney. 2011. The Self-Limiting Success of Iran Sanctions. International Affairs 87/6: 1297-1312. P. 1305.

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Adam. "Nigeria Tries to ‘Sanitize’ Itself of Gays." The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.

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Sarah. "Frank Mugisha: 'Homophobia Is Not African. It's Imported'" The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 09 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. 7Monroe,

Irene. "How White US Evangelicals & LGBTQs Exploit Africa’s Homophobia." UK Progressive. N.p., 05 Mar. 2014. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.


Sarah. "Frank Mugisha: 'Homophobia Is Not African. It's Imported'" The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 09 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. 9Bruno,

Alessandro. "The Fallacy of Cutting Aid in Response to Uganda's Anti-Gay Law." Geopolitical Monitor. N.p., 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.


Rancho Mirage, California. "Ugandan Anti-Gay Law Is Huge Step Backwards, Says Barack Obama." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 17 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. 11Shepherd, 12Richard, 13op.

Ben. "Uganda: The Politics of Uganda's Anti-Gay Law." All Africa. N.p., 01 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

Clint. "Uganda Looks to China." The Diplomat. N.p., 04 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

cit. Shepherd


Alessandro. "The Fallacy of Cutting Aid in Response to Uganda's Anti-Gay Law." Geopolitical Monitor. N.p., 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 06 Mar.

2014. 15Richard,

Clint. "Uganda Looks to China." The Diplomat. N.p., 04 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

16Shepherd, 17op.

Ben. "Uganda: The Politics of Uganda's Anti-Gay Law." All Africa. N.p., 01 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

cit. Clint

Congo- The Sapeur by Juliette Lyons 1Friedman,

J. Political Economy of Elegance. 1994. Pp. 127-128


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Yoruba. Les Sapeurs: Gentlemen of the Congo.


A. The Genteel. 16 September 2011. Dandies of the Congo.

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Dialogue issue 08  

Issue 08 of KCL Politics Society’s journal Dialogue features the upcoming European Parliament elections as the cover story. On that we have...

Dialogue issue 08  

Issue 08 of KCL Politics Society’s journal Dialogue features the upcoming European Parliament elections as the cover story. On that we have...