The Spectrum - Issue 10 (2020)

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Letter from the Editors

We are excited to mark the 10-year anniversary of the founding of King’s Think Tank with the 10th issue of The Spectrum, a student policy journal that from its conception has striven to publish the most innovative policy proposals that students at King’s College London have to offer. Featuring the largest number of articles to date, this edition contains policy proposals and analytical pieces that address a broad range of topics, from EU immigration policies, to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, to political upheavals in Hong Kong and Venezuela. As the past few months have shown, we live in a world of unprecedented change, reflected in developments including climate change-related disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic, and protests against systemic racism across the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world. While the articles in this journal span a wide variety of issues, they all seek to reconcile governments and wider society to the rapidly changing world we are witnessing. Many of them stress the importance of international unity and cooperation in addressing the increasingly transnational issues we face today. None of our authors purport to advance complete or exhaustive solutions to the effects of algorithmic bias or the challenge of stimulating a developing economy along environmentally sustainable lines. However, as you read this journal, you will find papers that offer informed, logical, and creative measures in response to the issues they address, reflecting hours of research and careful consideration of multiple aspects of sound policy, from legal issues to those of implementation. In a world in which the nature of human communication, social fabrics, and our physical environment are all changing at exceptional rates, well-founded and productive policy is more important than ever. As we conclude our time as Head Editors, we remain confident that King’s Think Tank will remain a powerful platform for students to voice their visions for progress and develop their skills in composing constructive, evidence-based policy. We hope you thoroughly enjoy the 10th edition of our policy journal, The Spectrum. Julia Sandberg and Anais Herne Head Editors King’s Think Tank

Founded in the wake of 2010’s student protests, The Spectrum is the UK’s oldest student-run policy journal. It offers students the opportunity to devise original solutions to today’s political, military, economic, and social issues, and helps students develop the skills necessary to develop policy in both business and government. Write for us! King’s Think Tank hosts a student-run blog as well as annual student journal. All students are highly encouraged to contribute. The Spectrum is published both on paper and online at: the-spectrum.


european affairs


The Entry/Exit System: Intrusive Technology?


Migration Policies and Human Rights in Calais


Borderline Chaos? EU involvement in reception facilities in Greece

by chloe foster and emily ford

by baptiste moinier and aanvi tandon

by emily ford

European Union Global Strategy: How can we encourage further defence integration on a Union-level? by ryan chan, kārlis logins, and radu pupezeanu 15

defence and diplomacy


Britain’s Role In The Hong Kong Crisis


UK Aid Programme to Pakistan and the Impact of Brexit

by jack barrett and matias salo

by femi ivan and juliette renaut


Iraqi Kurdistan’s Quest for Independence: Risks and Possibilities for the European Union


Venezuela: Infrastructure and the Long Road to Recovery


Picking up from the Rubble: defending against ISKP in Afghanistan

by nicolò vertecchi

by matt hii and matias salo

by archishman ray goswami and nicolò vertecchi

business and economics

The Great(er) Recession: An International Stage by jack cheng 36

How can India effectively reduce its carbon emissions without compromising economic growth? by disha datta and jhanvi ohri 39




Sovereign Green Bonds and the race to zero carbon emissions by nader di michele and josephine münch

Dangers of Cryptocurrency: A Case Study on Facebook’s Libra in the Context of UK Financial Regulation by yasmin cheema and disha datta

Employing behavioural insights to reduce the UK’s meat consumption by areeshya thevamanohar and inseya ali

energy and environment



The Policy Challenge of International Public Goods: Why the UK should increase funding to the Congo Rainforest by mathilde funck brentano and ambre barria


Enhancing the EU’s Climate Governance: The Case for an EU-wide Border Tax Adjustment by maxime sommerfeld antoniou


Global Expansion of LNG Capacity: Creating Accountability for Greenhouse Gas Emissions along the Value Chain by joscha müller


Short-term Solutions to Water Scarcity in India


Green future for a Blue European Sky: Policy proposal to reform the European Emissions Trading Scheme by sofia garrido anitua, sara noske, and irina

by umer ahmed






The Global Graduate: How can students from under-represented groups in Higher Education be better supported to study abroad? by michaela tranfield and yihua quan

The COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to transform Latin America by valentina ilic vigil and rodolfo benítes

How the Arts Can Save Our Children by isa eldin and alexa dewar

global health


Access to Emergency Adrenaline Auto-Injectors by gursharan khera and eleanor pace


Access to Mental Health Resources in Kashmir by julia bennett, bhavya tripathi, and gursharan


The (Deadly) Cost Of History Repeating Itself: From SARS to COVID-19


by abigail goh

technology and innovation 87 Establishing measures to prevent algorithms from reinforcing inequality by patrycja jasiurska


Could Big Data Boost Covid-19 Briefings?


letter from the president



by tom layhe

The views expressed in The Spectrum are uniquely their authors’ and do not represent the King’s Think Tank or King’s College London. The King’s Think Tank is a neutral organisation that enables and encourages students to explore and discuss policy. Full endnotes for each paper can be found in the references section. All images are used under Creative Commons licenses or are public domain. Images are cited fully in the references section.


European Affairs

The Entry/Exit System: Intrusive Technology? By Chloe Foster and Emily Ford

Technology has been increasingly used as a tool of securitisation and has found a particular use in border controls, regulation and security. In 2013, the initial Smart Borders package was proposed to the European Commission, but was rejected by the international body. After a review in 2016, the amended package was re-proposed and accepted by the Commission. Since then the information systems, which include shared databases for criminal records, systems for targeting overstayers and records of short stay visits, have been in development and are hoped to be operational by 2020/21. Whilst these systems will be the first successful shared information system to share information on EU border crossings, some of them still require improvement before their launch. In particular, the Entry/Exit System (EES) has significant issues that should be addressed before the system is operational in 2021. The aforementioned Smart Borders package was deemed necessary due to the predicted changing context of EU migration and travel. It is estimated that by 2025, migration in and out of EU borders will reach 887 million, heightening the need for efficient, effective, and secure border regulation.1 The development of new securitising technology


was also required in order to both supplement and update the Schengen Borders Code (SBC). The SBC was installed in 2006 as a Community Code which governed regulation surrounding the crossing of EU borders.2 Whilst the SBC has been revised since its initial installation, the most recent changes were implemented in 2013. This demonstrates a need to accommodate more recent technological changes and advancements. The EES aims to resolve these issues by adapting and updating the SBC. The EES will be a data collecting system, focused on the movement of third-party nationals (both visa-requiring and visa-exempt) in the Schengen area.3 It will replace the manual stamping of passports, automating the current system. The data collected will be used specifically to support the acceptance or decline of visa applications, providing evidence to support these claims. The EES has smaller targets set within two overarching goals: developing smart borders through the use of automatic controls and strengthening these borders against irregular migration.4 The subset of objectives focuses on modernisation, reinforcing internal security against terrorism and serious crime, identifying overstayers and easing the processing of migrants without

increasing border guard numbers.5 The EES has a real focus on increasing both the efficiency and security of EU borders. Potential Setbacks The specific data the EES will collect includes the traveller’s name, passport number, fingerprints, photos and date of travel and will be retained for either 3 or 5 years depending on whether the individual is an overstayer.6 Alongside the issue of visa processing, the EES hopes the collection of this data will allow the creation of travel profiles for people of interest, helping security forces identify dangerous people and therefore reduce instances of trafficking, disrupt terror attempts and identify and process victims of such crimes more easily. Whilst the EES is likely to help achieve these securitisation goals, the issue of data collection and retention has to be raised. Articles 7 (Respect for private and family life) and 8 (Protection of personal data) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights are particularly at risk of being violated by the EES.7 Whilst the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) warned the developers of this in 2013, little was altered in the 2016 revision, leading to EDPS recommending additional alterations after the most recent proposal. Other international bodies have also reported on this, highlighting the problematic nature of mass data collection and retention. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published two reports on the upcoming installation of biometric technology systems, one in 2017 and another in 2018, with each highlighting conflicts between EU human rights laws and the data storage the EES proposes. 8 Whilst these publications celebrate the interoperability the new system will provide EU services, FRA also points to issues of safeguarding vulnerable migrants, possibilities of hacking and storage limitations. These articles suggest the EES requires further revision before it can be implemented. Alongside the questions surrounding the collection of personal data, the EES has some further problems. The Europe-

an Commission has suggested the cost of development and implementation will reach around €480 million, almost 5 percent of the 2014-2020 EU budget for law enforcement, counterterrorism and border control and security.9 Statewatch has been critical of such large spending on a system that they suggest will merely collect and generate ‘statistics’ rather than have any tangible impact.10 They also point to a range of British MPs and European MEPs who are sceptical about the EES and share Statewatch’s view that these such IT systems only help to further the surveillance society within the EU.11 If the new policy is assessed in terms of its securitisation goal, the issue of state participation should be assessed. Currently, only 24 EU member states and 4 additional states (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) have agreed to participate. Without the additional Schengen states’ agreement to be involved in the EES, there are vulnerable gaps within the area of common travel, potentially putting citizens at risk. Furthermore, these countries could become hotspots for Schengen entry, requiring further policy and security measures to be instilled in the future. This appears counterproductive as it would only require further resources and funding. Alongside this, the FRA’s highlighting of potential hacking also raises questions of security. The EES will collect large amounts of personal data, making it an attractive target to potential hackers. The FRA also suggests hacking could be even more attractive for ‘oppressive regimes or persecuting agents’ as information on the movements of asylum seekers could be valuable.12 Policy Proposals This paper has aimed to demonstrate that whilst the incoming technological systems, such as the EES, will aid in the securitisation of EU borders and help to reduce instances of both overstaying and serious crime in the region, there are alterations required before such a system can be implemented with the confidence of the public and officials. 1. Shorter retention time for collected data The violations of EU Human and Fundamental Rights is the main issue with the EES. As the policy stands, any third-party citizen who visits the Schengen area at least once every three years will have their information permanently stored. The FRA suggests that this level of data retention conflicts with upwards of 10 Articles of the EU Charter of FundaFull Schengen members (EU member states which have implemented the Schengen Agreement) Associated Schengen members (non-EU member states which have implemented the Schengen Agreement) EU member states which are bound to implement the Schengen Agreement but who have not done so yet EU member states outside the Schengen Area


THE SPECTRUM mental Rights, suggesting such data collection is truly problematic.13 A revision is required of the EES in order to better combine the rights to privacy and data protection that the EU guarantees, alongside other public and private interests such as freedom of expression and the commitment to human rights. There needs to be further investigation into whether the mass collection of several personal details and biometrics are legal through an independent testing. Furthermore, compliance with the European Court of Justice and/or European Court of Human Rights must be attained.14 After assessing whether this potentially extremely intrusive data collection is legal, the 3 and 5 year retention periods (the latter exclusively for overstayers) should be reduced in order to eliminate the unnecessary storage of personal data. The new data retention period should allow securitisation services to benefit from collected data in terms of possible immediate threats to security whilst also finding a balance that appeases EU privacy laws. 2. Better practice with irregular migrants Alongside this time reduction, the Commission should employ better practice when processing irregular migrants or asylum seekers. The FRA identifies these people as at particular risk, not only from a data hacking perspective, but also because they are likely to be less informed and to not understand why their data is required or know its possible future usages. In addition, ProAsyl, a German NGO, has found that refugees regularly experience force, humiliation or coercive measures when officers collect their fingerprints, further compounding the risks irregular migrants face.15 Therefore, further transparency and better training is required on the purposes of EES data in order to foster better relationships and increase cooperation between authorities and irregular migrants. This in turn will help achieve the EES’s goal of modernising border controls and creating more efficient border systems. 3. Tackling issues of access The issue of which national and international bodies can access EES data demonstrates just how much further research is required to create the optimal system. As is currently proposed, the EES database will be accessible by visa and immigration authorities, border controls authorities and, under specific conditions, Europol and other national authorities.16 Arguably, as other border security systems, such as VIS, can be accessed by asylum authorities and police authorities, the potential access of the EES should be extended in order to fully achieve its securitisation goal and to prevent serious crime and terrorism within the Schengen area. In line with the previous policy suggestion, access should equally be extended to the European Asylum Support Office as to alleviate the aforementioned issues.


Whilst this suggestion would aid in the fulfilment of the EES’s main security-oriented goals, it raises further questions in terms of data protection, privacy and existing EU law. The EES therefore has two conflicting EU concentrations at its core, the rights of personal security and the rights of personal data protection. The possibility of hacking equally needs to be addressed here as the extension of access may lead to easier routes for hackers to gain access to sensitive data. Conclusion The EES complicates the relationship between the two EU fundamentals of security and personal privacy to such an extent that the new IT system becomes hard to justify (something the Commission itself is yet to attempt). Therefore, this paper suggests that instead of its original target to be operational in 2021, the EES should be delayed to enable further research to take place on the relationship between security and personal rights, and how willing people are to sacrifice one in order to secure the other. In addition, the impact that the EES could have on vulnerable individuals such as irregular migrants and the strength of EU cyber security should also be assessed in order to ensure the EES achieves its main goals.


Migration Policies and Human Rights in Calais

Should the UK and France sign a new deal for better management of borders and respect for human rights? By Baptiste Moinier and Aanvi Tandon

Legal Aspect: Current State of Border Control Agreements between France and the UK The current border regulation between France, which is part of the Schengen Area, and the United Kingdom, which is not, is mostly based on the Le Touquet Agreement, which was signed on 4 February 2003 and which came into force on 1 February 2004. The key provision of this deal formally authorizes the UK to conduct border checks in northern France rather than on British territory in Dover, in exchange for financial reimbursement of over £100 million. British border checkpoints have been established in Dunkirk and Calais (France), and seaports on either side of the English Channel are part of the agreement. Further complementary accords were signed in 2009, 2010, and 2014, addressing the British financing and controlling of security border checks on French territory. In December 2002, former French Minister of the Interior, Nicolas Sarkozy, announced his decision to close the refugee centre in Sangatte, Calais. Following this decision, refugees seeking to enter the UK created informal ‘camps’ around the English Channel. These could be qualified as ‘slums’ according to the UN Habitat’s definition, which specifies ‘inadequate access to safe water, inadequate access to sanitation and infrastructure, poor structural quality of housing, overcrowding and insecure residential status’ as defining qualities of a slum. The stark situation this created for the British and French governments, along with the migrants’ poor living standards, generated large media coverage and public attention. The Centre was only half a mile from the Channel, and it was allegedly a hotspot for traffickers smuggling people from France into Britain because they could breach security measures’. It was not only the disastrous living conditions which violated asylum seekers’ rights, nor the human rights violations perpetrated by police forces, but also the increase in attempts of illegal crossings to Britain that ultimately necessitated the strengthening of border controls. In light of this, the French and UK governments agreed on Le Touquet Treaty. The Le Touquet Agreement was recently supplemented with the Sandhurst Treaty, wherein the UK agreed to pay an extra £44.5 million for enhanced surveillance measures such as fencing, CCTV and detection technology in Calais and other ports. The two countries also agreed on improving the treatment of child refugees by processing their paperwork within 25 days. According to the French President Emman-

uel Macron, this new treaty claims to offer a ‘more humane approach’ and ‘more efficient’ security’. Calais and Human Rights: A Return to the ‘Jungle’? While the Touquet and Sandhurst Agreements have been successful in reducing the number of migrants and refugees entering the UK illegally, the ‘Jungle’ poses a threat beyond the realpolitik perception of security threats. It is a classic example of how destructive practices by the State only create more precarious establishments, impacting both the legitimacy of the state and its ability to manage these ‘spaces of transit’. This camp, which existed from January 2015 to October 2016, was inhabited by 5,497 refugees and migrants, including 205 women and 651 children (423 of whom were unaccompanied). In October 2016, the UNHCR qualified the ‘Jungle’ as ‘an environment not fit for human habitation’. Living conditions in other camps in Calais have since also been described as ‘appalling, with the most basic shelter, inadequate hygiene facilities, poor security and a lack of basic services’. Leilani Farha, UN special rapporteur for housing, remarked on French police strategy, which consists of evicting ‘in the morning with no advance notice provided to residents’, with occasional use of tear gas. These evictions are believed to cause extreme stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation. Such measures result in a ‘gross violation of the right to adequate housing under international human rights law, and of the right to health, food, and physical integrity’. Furthermore, Human Rights Watch reports that the police in Calais routinely use drastic measures such as using pepper spray on children and confiscating migrants’ sleeping bags and clothing. The local police have adopted a strategy of deterrence in the management of migrants, including disrupting humanitarian aid to the camp from local or international NGOs. Finally, hundreds of children inhabiting this area are subject to inhumane conditions ‘with no toilets and only polluted rivers to wash’ in. France’s obligation to respect human rights is enshrined in its commitment to the European Human Rights Commission and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, France’s actions have been criticised for repeatedly violating the rights of refugees. This is particularly evident in the treatment of children, who are deprived of access to basic needs such as housing, education, healthcare, water and sanitation as well as access to justice and remedies.


THE SPECTRUM The Calais 'Jungle' in 2016. Photo by Malachy Browne (CC BY 2.0).

Instead of acknowledging the need to adopt a more humanitarian approach, the French government has instead imposed a harsher framework by extending the detention period before deportation from 45 to 90 days. The application period for asylum has also been restricted to 90 days. Migrants illegally crossing the Alps can be imprisoned for up to a year. Likewise, the police have more power over migrants, and can now detain them for up to 24 hours instead of 16 hours. This ‘politics of exhaustion’ is employed by the French government in the hope that it will limit the establishment of further camps. The situation of migrants and refugees therefore remains deeply problematic. Denial of basic human rights, unfair treatment by the police and lack of attention to individual human rights remain routine on this border. As stated by UNHCR, ‘the situation in Calais has highlighted the need for greater responsibility sharing and coordination between EU Member States to address current gaps in asylum and reception and increase solidarity measures such as relocation and other legal avenues for people to reach safety. A migration policy ought to respect the principles of humanity, including access to protection, solidarity, and responsibility sharing. Policy Recommendations: 1. Comply with the Dublin Agreement The Dublin Agreement confers upon all third state nationals (of all those countries outside the Schengen Zone) certain rights as asylum seekers, refugees or migrants. Issues Identified: • Most children were largely unable and afraid to seek asylum due to a lack of age- and language-appropriate information about navigating the asylum system. A lack of available personnel to register and process asylum claims exacerbates this issue.


Without formally claiming asylum, unaccompanied children in Calais could not reunite with family members whilst awaiting refugee status determination.

Recommendations: • Instead of this ‘ad-hoc’ approach to policing, the French and British governments need to systematically incorporate the rights guaranteed to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers under the CEAS and Dublin Agreements, as well as the 1951 Refugee Convention. The current humanitarian crisis in Calais must be better managed through an approach that aligns with the European commitment to human rights. The revised Reception Conditions Directive guarantees ‘humane material reception conditions (such as housing) for asylum seekers’. Asylum-seekers must be considered a common European responsibility. Under this same European Directive, migrants and asylum-seekers are entitled to fundamental human rights, especially in their treatment by the police and local French authorities. Detention is a ‘last resort’, a status that should be established as a norm in order to prevent further raids or acts of intimidation by border forces.

2. Establish accessible systems for asylum seekers, migrants and refugees Issues Addressed: Under the Touquet and Sandhurst Agreements, authority of managing ‘illegal’ migrants has been transferred from a national to local level, and local police forces have been granted the authority to employ violent measures of intimidation to ensure the destruction of camps and to displace the migrant populations. Recommendations: • The first step to achieving better, more accessible systems as proposed in this paper is acknowledging the presence of migrants on the UK and French borders. This can be achieved by setting up official centres where migrants, refugees and asylum seekers can apply for a ‘status’ in order to ease the precarious nature of their settlement.


• •

• •

These governmental migration centres should be placed at a distance from camps that is both accessible and operational. These can replace the current precarious nature of camps and establishments and therefore provide a more institutionalised approach to collecting data on the entrance of migrants, their claims to asylum or refuge and provide them with proper aid and documentation. These can also function as a way for migrants to access their rights such as identity papers, language training and essential living resources. It is also important to allow local and international NGOs to function at the border, and to be able to provide humanitarian relief, including better access to food, water and healthcare.

away from the ‘welcoming environment’ for refugees and asylum seekers propagated by the EU to a closed border approach. This is eroding the credibility of European institutions as propagators of human rights, and more importantly, constitutes a bigger threat to migrants’ lives than ever before.

Can we move towards a new deal to improve the overall structures of the Touquet and Sandhurst Treaties, in compliance with the Universal Human Rights advocating a more developmental approach towards migration? The UK government’s current approach is a ‘build walls’ securitized approach, aptly demonstrated by the much-criticised Great Wall of Calais. The Touquet and Sandhurst Agreements allow the British government to invest financial resources and the French government to invest human resources into politics of deterrence towards migrants. Despite the decrease in the number of illegal migrants attempting to cross the Channel, this approach has failed considerably on a humanitarian level, as people are still risking their lives and ‘drowning in the sea’ to seek better standards of living. This ingrained approach is morally dubious as it perpetuates certain attitudes towards migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and reflects a changing political tide in Europe,



Borderline Chaos?

EU involvement in reception facilities in Greece: An ongoing problem by

Emily Ford

Greece, despite enormous financial and personnel support from the EU, has struggled since 2015 to provide habitable and dignified conditions for refugees and migrants arriving on its shores. In August 2019, more than 9,000 migrants arrived in Greece – the highest number of arrivals per month in three years – prompting the Hellenic Coast Guard to ask for assistance from Frontex for the second time in three weeks.1 The problems of finding a suitable humanitarian and border management solution are far from over, and indeed in September 2019 a spokesperson for the European Commission said that current arrivals are ‘creating unsustainable conditions’.2 The ‘hotspots’, that is, the first-line reception facilities, are a key symptom of a system failing under immense pressure. All of Greece’s reception facilities are currently operating at least at double capacity, in spite of a significant decrease in new arrivals since the EU-Turkey Deal in March 2016.3 This paper argues that the EU’s involvement has been too reactive and based on short-term relief (which is, of course, necessary). Now, four years on, it is time to look at how to proactively improve these reception facilities in the longterm, whilst also striving for cost-effectiveness. Since 2015, the EU has spent €2.22 billion on supporting Greece in taking in migrants.4 This constitutes 17% of the money set aside in the EU budget from 2015-2021 for migration and border control, and of the money awarded, €969.6 million is for short-term, emergency assistance.5 In the next EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission proposes to almost triple the total funding for migration and border management (from €13 billion to a total of €34.9 billion).6 However, awarding Greece a similar proportion of the new budget without a shift in policy towards a more long-term approach is counterproductive. In light of this huge increase in potential spending, this paper will examine the shortcomings of the current approach, and assess how best to employ EU financial resources in refugee camps in Greece. Existing policy and its shortcomings: a lack of oversight The conditions in reception facilities are widely recognised as substandard and dangerous, in particular for vulnerable populations such as women, children and those with pre-existing medical conditions. There have been numerous EU policy responses to these conditions, and a significant amount of the funds awarded to Greece have been used to improve the camps. For the purposes of this paper, the focus will be on the Reception Conditions Directive (RCD). This policy relates directly to conditions in reception facilities,


although it naturally sits in a wider network of asylum and immigration policy, forming part of the Common European Asylum System.7 The original RCD, adopted in 2013, aims to harmonise reception conditions throughout the EU. The required assistance for refugees includes financial allowances, food and clothing, access to housing, provision of medical care and access to employment within nine months.8 Furthermore, the RCD provides special assistance for vulnerable people, such as minors, who must have access to education, and victims of torture, who must have access to psychological support.9 The RCD also includes rules regarding the detention of asylum seekers, and stipulates that their fundamental rights must be fully respected.10 In July 2016, in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee crisis, the European Commission proposed a reform of the RCD to strengthen the harmonisation element in the hope that this would prevent secondary movements and asylum shopping.11 This was in response to the unprecedented numbers of refugees arriving and the unfair burden that certain states, including Greece, had to bear. The proposed reform would allow member states to restrict applicants’ freedom of movement within their territory, assign them a specific place, and, most importantly, detain asylum seekers deemed at risk of absconding.12 This reform was accompanied by other proposals, including a structured resettlement framework. The overall aims were to facilitate legal and safe pathways to protection in the EU, and to reduce the incentives for irregular arrivals.13 Despite policymakers’ efforts and heavy EU involvement, conditions in Greek reception facilities remain dire. The current policy is simply too reactive and does not go far enough in proactively improving conditions. Four years on from the 2015 crisis, there is a need to think over the longterm about how to improve the standard of living in camps, and, more importantly, to facilitate the movement of people out of the camps and into gainful employment and suitable accommodation. This is of course more difficult than providing budget and resources to feed and clothe new arrivals. However, it is crucial to guarantee the continued ability of Greek reception facilities, and, more broadly, of Greek society, to accept refugees. The current RCD still leaves a considerable degree of discretion to define what constitutes an adequate standard of

EUROPEAN AFFAIRS living and how it should be achieved. As such, reception facilities vary considerably. There is no body responsible for oversight of conditions in reception facilities, and there is also no possibility to lodge a complaint.14 This is in direct contradiction to the obligations outlined under Article 28 of the RCD, and yet the EU has not developed the necessary framework. The UN, in contrast, has made some attempt to record the availability of, for example, medical care, legal aid, teaching facilities, and support for victims of sexual assault. However, these records are patchy.15 The level of detail and completeness of this information varies from camp to camp. The groups involved in the collection of this information include state and local authorities and agencies involved in the Refugees in Elaiones wait for food from the Red Cross. management of the camp. This raises Photo by Thomas Andre Syvertsen/Norwegian Red Cross (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) issues of transparency and of the accuracy of the informadata for analysis of gaps in provision in an individual facility, tion provided, as there may be an incentive to minimise any but also of more structural and widespread problems, such shortcomings and overemphasise good practices. That being as lack of access to the job market. This data will enable a said, in some facilities the information has been collected more targeted use of resources, especially financial aid from with the participation of focus groups made up of refugees, the EU. It will also improve the long-term preparedness of and this method is to be recommended for any attempt by each facility, as the current situation can be assessed and the EU to establish a similar monitoring framework. then used as a benchmark to judge future improvements or deteriorations in living conditions. This recommendation Policy recommendations: bringing order to chaos could be criticised for introducing more bureaucracy into a situation where direct action is most needed. However, the In light of this discussion, this paper recommends the comparative costs of implementing it are low, and the inproposals below. When allocating the new EU budget for sight gained would allow for much more targeted and theremigration and border control, these measures should be fore cost-effective action. considered as cost-effective and proactive ways to improve living conditions in Greek reception facilities. 2. The second policy recommendation follows on from the first, and suggests the setting of targets. These should span 1. The first policy recommendation is to expand and stanall of the major areas that the RCD aims to improve, includdardise a monitoring tool. Firstly, incorporating proper ing food, medicine, psychological help, employment and oversight is necessary to fulfil the obligations under Article housing. They should be set in accordance to the size, age, 28 of the RCD.16 Secondly and perhaps more importantly, and current situation of each facility. The targets could inimproved monitoring in camps would allow camp-specifclude a certain number of people moving into permanent ic analysis of major problems. This can then be translated accommodation, a certain number of minors enrolled in into targeted, coherent action between EU, state and NGO school, or a certain number of doctors per thousand resiactors. This (ideally) annual monitoring should be carried dents. To take the final target as an example, Greece has apout by EU agents, who would be trained in a standard proproximately 45 doctors per 1000 people in its wider populacedure to employ across all camps. A series of standardised tion.17 It is perhaps unrealistic to demand this for each camp, indicators should be developed. The information on, for exbut numbers should at least approach this (for example, 35 ample, hygiene levels, access to legal aid, or psychological doctors per 1000 camp residents), especially seeing as refucare, should be provided primarily by residents of the camps gees are in fact more likely to be suffering from physical and and by NGOs working there. By talking to residents and aid mental illness than the general population. The targets set organisations the information gathered is likely to be more should not be attached to incentives or punishments. Rather, transparent, and will better reflect the actual experience of the EU must allocate financial and personnel resources acpeople living there. This information would then provide


THE SPECTRUM would go some way to improving the situation in reception facilities in Greece and would therefore reduce the need for detentions. Long-term, this would help asylum seekers integrate and contribute to Greek society, ultimately reducing Greece’s reliance on EU funds.

A tent seashore camp near Vial refugee camp. Photo by Mstyslav Chernov (CC BY-SA 4.0)

cording to which camps are most in need of more help to meet these targets. These targets should also be flexible and adaptive, for example in recognising a sudden increase in numbers of new arrivals. Although these targets may therefore be somewhat weaker and less binding than they could be, the practical applicability and realistic achievement of them must take precedence; otherwise, they could become an unnecessary burden.

Conclusion This paper emphasises the need for better oversight in Greek reception facilities in order to ensure that EU funds are being used as effectively as possible. Without a change in the current policy, the EU’s involvement will continue to be crisis-led, rather than pre-emptive. This leads to incredibly damaging conditions for refugees, and in the long-term this is not cost effective. Increased monitoring and the setting of targets would allow site-specific, coherent action plans to be put in place. With these changes, reception facilities would be given the exact help they need to improve the standard of living of their inhabitants, and ultimately help the refugees to move out of the camps completely.

3. The third and final policy recommendation is to limit the articles of the RCD permitting the detention of asylum seekers. In particular, the detention or confinement of children (whether unaccompanied or not) should be prohibited. This punitive approach does nothing to address the reasons which push refugees to try to move illegally to another area or country. Instead, it worsens the refugees’ mental and physical health, and harms their later chances of successfully integrating into the employment and housing market. Therefore, emphasis should instead be placed on measures to de-incentivise asylum applicants from leaving Greece. Options to achieve this include imposing a shorter time frame for finding work, i.e. within 3 months instead of within 9, improving access to permanent accommodation, and providing language and culture classes. The intention of the RCD is ultimately to de-incentivise movement (the harmonisation of reception conditions across all states should make them all equally attractive to refugees). However, there is still much discrepancy between member states. If the EU were to implement the above recommendations, this

write for us! King’s Think Tank hosts a student-run blog as well as an annual policy-recommendation journal entitled The Spectrum. Though these differ in style and purpose, both are designed to bridge the gap between students and policymakers by communicating clear, incisive analyses of current social, economic, and political developments. Students from all disciplines and backgrounds are highly encouraged to contribute their ideas and arguments to our growing community of writers. Find out how to submit a paper at:



European Union Global Strategy

How can we encourage further defence integration on a Union-level? by

Ryan Chan, Kārlis Logins, and Radu Pupezeanu

The 2016 European Union Global Strategy (EUGS) outlines an ambitious vision to transform the European Union (EU) into an influential actor on the world stage.1 The essence of the EUGS is to create an EU that ‘keeps citizens safe, preserves our interests, and upholds our values’ beyond its borders. The proposal’s emphasis on integrated approaches to defence and security is not restricted to internal security, but also provides an external vision for peacekeeping missions in Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The EUGS is an inherently internationalist vision which aims to transform the EU into a global power with external power projection capabilities. This policy paper identifies and examines the issues that may obstruct the realisation of this vision by proposing policies that reconcile the differing visions among member states for defence cooperation, tackling its current inefficiencies. While we encourage greater EU-wide cooperation on security, this paper suggests that another institution should be created for managing external peacekeeping missions on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, to strengthen cooperation in the realm of defence, this paper suggests that commitments on internal security should target vulnerable ‘young industries’ such as Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity with a neo-functionalist approach. As John McCormick outlines, neo-functionalists hold that by encouraging pragmatic cooperation in non-controversial and technical areas, cooperation in these industries will ‘mandate further cooperation in emerging sectors in order to support an already integrated sector’.2 Thus, cooperation in these industries would functionally spill over and create greater necessity for unified approaches in future technological developments in warfare at an EU level. Background The roots of defence cooperation and external action can be found within the values of the EU itself, emerging at the turn of the century in the early institutionalisation of ideas of common defence. Here, the values of democracy, freedom, and human rights emerge in humanitarian interventionist thinking, wherein poverty began to be seen as a cause for conflict in post-colonial geographies.3 Serving as an extraterritorial exertion of European identity, this perception justifies intervention on the basis of discursively formed, Westernised values that construct it as a necessity.4 Increasingly, a disparity between conceptions of European defence can be found between Western and Eastern member states, with notions of expanding European influence domi-

nating the former and defence from external threat being the driving force in the latter.5 Western EU states’ extra-regional conception of the future of European identity aims for deeper cooperation on defence, in accordance with a long-term vision for a more integrated Europe.6 However, much more imminent aggressors shape the nature of security discourse in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States. The Eastern-Western EU divide is thus structured around perceptions of defence cooperation, on the one hand as a force for strengthening autonomy by removing the EU’s reliance on third countries like the US, and on the other as overcoming the failures of the NATO alliance and improving security for its member states. This difference in understandings of identity and the objective of common defence is a fundamental impediment to effective solutions for improving defence cooperation. As such, any policy must reconcile the differing East-West perspectives on European defence. Unconventional measures used to threaten regional security demand a re-thinking of security and defence. A key motivator for regional integration is Russia, with its adoption of ‘hybrid war’ tactics in its annexation of Crimea, its involvement in the Syrian Civil War and manipulation of social media platforms in the Baltic States.7 Yet NATO’s course of action has been to respond to subversive strategies that cross the line between military and civilian domains with traditional measures that have proven ineffective.8 Deeper military cooperation on an EU level must bridge NATO’s weak mandate and call for innovation and a reconceptualisation of modern threat. The strategic instability that plagues NATO’s action, its focus on reactionary measures instead of long-term threat mitigation, and the increasing desire to distance EU defence from its dependence on the US needs to be considered. As such, the conceptual shortcomings of NATO must be at the forefront of any definition of modern EU-wide defence cooperation. This ideal of European expansion as a positive force with NATO as its surrogate is similarly influenced by historical examples of intervention. Libya is a particularly important, if divisive, example, with proponents calling it successful at preventing humanitarian catastrophe and protecting the citizens of the state.9 However, the destabilised state in which the intervention left the region renders it an example in which the expansion of Western influence failed to achieve the long-term aims for intervention defined by current European policymakers.10 Kosovo and the Bosnian Crisis are further examples of this. Eastern European states continual-


THE SPECTRUM NATO Headquarters. Defense cooperation would enable the EU to lessen its dependence on NATO, whose responses to threats such as Russia have contained several shortcomings. Photo by Frode Overland Andersen/UD (CC BY-ND 2.0).

attaining a unanimous vote from all the institution’s signatories, a voting method that resembles the current decision process in the European Council regarding common foreign and security policy.15 To avoid veto actions based on self-interest, legally binding principles that concern human security should be embedded in the decision-making process.16 ly reassert their commitment to NATO, whilst the Western European desire to distance itself from the alliance is defined much more clearly by external action over material security. Proposal 1: Establish a separate institution within the EU dealing exclusively with external military peacekeeping missions, which member states can voluntarily participate in. The ‘external action’ components proposed in the EUGS are vaguely defined. Phrases such as ‘engaging in the wider world’ and transforming the EU into a ‘security provider’ insinuate a hawkish tone, differing from the previous European Security Strategy (2003) that placed specific emphasis on external soft power policies.11 Furthermore, the proposal of external action in the realm of defence integration may cause divisions in creating a common identity as well. Countries like France, which views defence as a mechanism for military intervention capabilities from southern threats in North Africa, and Poland, which perceives defence cooperation as a mechanism to check Russian aggression, demonstrate the difference in views on what deeper cooperation would entail.12 Initiatives that focus on federalising security and defence policy may exacerbate the issue of EU legitimacy in the eyes of EU citizens.13 Thus, incentivised voluntary participation is key to mitigating political divides and legitimising common defence policies. This paper recommends the creation of a new institutional structure within the EU that deals exclusively with external military action. Participation in this institution should be voluntary, and should include the states that are willing to participate in external military missions. The framework and parameters of this institution would be modelled after the ‘Joint Military Intervention Force’ for rapid deployment in response to crises, of which nine EU member states are already participants.14 The functional aspects of such an institution should entail


This structure should create incentives for the other EU member states to participate. One incentive EU policymakers should consider is to establish frequent joint military exercises, terrain training, and crisis management scenarios to professionalise the armed forces of EU Member States. Another essential incentive to consider is a system in which peacekeeping missions can be proposed by a member state. For instance, EU states that are highly concerned about a humanitarian crisis and its possible consequences in their region may be willing to join the institution. This would give states the capacity to mitigate risk that other member states may not consider a priority, particularly regarding issues in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. As these regions are of varying levels of focus for different member states, it is likely that the new institution would incorporate the majority of the 27 members. Proposal 2: Establish EU-wide cooperation in young defence-oriented industries, such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI) and automated warfare, which would functionally spill over to generate greater integration in defence cooperation with future developments in cyber and AI warfare. An issue identified by EU policymakers is that existing defence cooperation, such as the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), do not address the inefficiencies of European defence. The EUGS report indicates that albeit Europe is a large military spender, with a collective spending of €227bn in 2017, the current ‘fragmentation’ of EU military defence renders it highly inefficient due to duplication of military materials and a lack of coordination on planning, research, and procurement.17 A simple solution would be further integration among member states. This, however, warrants further examination of the politics of armed forces integration, specifically whether all 27 member states would unequivocally support the politics of a ‘European army’. As established above, EU member states possess different


The EU must update its overall counter-terrorism strategy.

The Norse Attack Map shows cyber attacks happening in real time. The EU will need to cooperate in addressing emerging defence industries, including cybersecurity. Photo by Christiaan Colen/Norse Attack Map (CC BY-SA 2.0).

visions on defence integration. One alternative that EU policymakers may therefore consider is to establish Union-wide cooperation on ‘young defence industries’, such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI). By developing mechanisms to regulate and promote intra-European research and development (R&D) in these industries, EU-wide cooperation in these sectors would create functional spillover toward greater cooperation in the future, particularly regarding technological developments in cyber and automated warfare. Cybersecurity is generally deemed has become an increasingly important issue in EU defence, as exemplified by Russian cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns against the Baltic States, and Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. While there have been joint calls from the EU and NATO to cooperate against Russian ‘hybrid threats’, these are generally ill-defined statements on greater ‘joint cooperation’ that do not detail the exact nature of necessary measures.18 The EU should therefore facilitate the creation of a European Cyber Security Command that centralises R&D of cyberwarfare and security capabilities on an EU level. It may also be beneficial to consider the development of standardised measures on cybersecurity regulation, which will ensure common standards in cyber defence. The prospects of these Union-wide integration efforts are possible, ameliorated by the fact that cybersecurity is a ‘non-controversial’ field for EU integration due to the necessity of addressing the susceptibility of member states to adversarial cyberwarfare. Institutionalising these unified responses would func-

tionally spillover to future developments of cyberwarfare capabilities, creating the necessary structures for further cyber defence and offence integration. Another ‘future war’ industry for potential cooperation is automated warfare. The leading states that are developing AI are the United States, Russia, and China, with each individual EU member state comparatively lagging behind. In this respect, it may be feasible to encourage EU-level development of automated warfare technologies.The EU could play a significant role by allocating funds to private companies working on AI technologies, promoting standardised regulations, or facilitating EU-wide higher education and scientific technology sharing. Ultimately, there are pragmatic benefits in integrating sectors related to cybersecurity or artificial intelligence , as these are uncontroversial young ‘industries of the future’ that apply to areas of human civilisation, not just defence. Thus, encouraging EU-wide R&D in these future war industries would create the structural foundations that will necessitate further defence integration in the long run. Limitations Budget allocation is a key limitation faced by both proposals. Despite voluntary participation in the first proposal, investing in military structures can prove to be cost-prohibitive, with insufficient funding limiting the effectiveness of the new institution. This risk is exacerbated by the current status quo, in which many NATO states fail to achieve the


THE SPECTRUM target defence spending of 2% of their respective GDPs. The second policy proposal also requires sufficient funding. Current disagreements regarding the 2021-2027 EU budget concerning whether the budget should be increased to fund security initiatives could impact this proposal as well.19 Reconciling all member states’ interests is another limitation that the second proposal faces. While the first proposal’s focus on voluntary compliance based on mutual benefits precludes issues of unanimity, the second proposal deals with domains of security that focus on the long term. Therefore, some members may not see it as a priority, especially when there are states that still struggle with infrastructure development within the EU. Priorities vary from state to state and a long-term proposal such as cooperation in the sectors of infant industries may be considered peripheral by some members. Budgetary allocation issues for the second proposal can be mitigated by a strong lobby in favour of EU-level cooperation which would illustrate the proposal’s long-term benefits. As most EU members have been the subject of Russian cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns, it is more cost-effective to invest in one coordinated cybersecurity policy than for each state to develop its own. Furthermore, a joint effort would lead to more advanced instruments and technologies that can be used to mitigate further risks. Therefore, a joint effort in the areas of cybersecurity and AI would be less costly in the long term and would facilitate greater efficiency than uncoordinated developments. Conclusion Although the EUGS is undoubtedly a transformative vision with potential for further integration, it must be acknowledged that there are serious issues and differences between member states that need to be addressed before fully realising EU-wide defence integration. Indeed, with the rise of Euroscepticism at this juncture, it is critical for the EU to further consider the differing visions of integration between member states. Discussions within the Parliament and statements by the Commission, most notably by President Von Der Leyen, regarding the scrapping of national vetoes on unified approaches to EU foreign policy, do much to exacerbate discourses of Euroscepticism. This policy paper’s proposals of creating a voluntary institution for peacekeeping and encouraging Union-level R&D for future warfare technologies will address the main issues that inhibit further cooperation, as identified in the EUGS report. By elevating Union-wide cooperation on the premise of mutual benefit instead of curbing national sovereignty, the EU can implement further defence cooperation and integration in a more effective manner.


Defence & Diplomacy

Britain’s Role In The Hong Kong Crisis Jack Barrett and Matias Salo Written 14 November 2019 by

The product of years of negotiation, the Sino-British Joint Declaration officially transferred Hong Kong’s sovereignty from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997.1 The agreement guaranteed that the territory would ‘enjoy a high degree of autonomy’ and be ‘vested with executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.’ This arrangement, called ‘one country, two systems’, stated that Hong Kong society would remain free from Chinese interference until the treaty’s 2047 expiry date. Although the Joint Declaration is an international treaty recognized by the United Nations, China has repeatedly attacked its legitimacy, claiming that it is a ‘historical document, [which] no longer has any practical significance, and it is not at all binding for the central government’s management over Hong Kong’, a claim which the UK strongly denies.2 China takes an absolutist stance on its territorial sovereignty. Any criticism of what it deems to be its own ‘internal affairs’ is met with accusations of foreign meddling and by threats of economic and political reprisals.3 This approach

has a long historical tradition as shown through its ‘One China’ policy, as seen in Taiwan and Tibet. As China’s economic and diplomatic influence has expanded, most states around the world have subsequently been reluctant to criticise the country’s well documented record of human rights violations or offer recognition to disputed territories, such as Taiwan, or support for people demonstrating for their rights in Hong Kong.4 This calculation between political principles and economic realities lies at the heart of the current standoff. The ongoing protests in Hong Kong began on 31 March 2019, after Hong Kong’s Security Bureau proposed amendments to extradition laws that would include mainland China on the list of countries to which Hong-Kongers could be extradited.5 The Hong Kong government revoked the extradition bill in September; however, this did not quell the protests and they have since expanded in scope to ‘five key demands’, one of which is universal suffrage.6 Under the ‘one country, two systems policy’ outlined in the Joint Declaration, China promised Hong Kong universal suffrage at an


THE SPECTRUM unspecified date in the future, but has repeatedly dragged its feet on implementing reforms that would see a true and fair form of universal suffrage established in Hong Kong. With no signs of the protests ending, or of Beijing loosening its grip on Hong Kong, it is time for the United Kingdom to enforce the promises made in the Joint Declaration. Britain’s response to the protests in Hong Kong has thus far been minimal. The British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has condemned China’s actions, stating that ‘political dialogue is the only way to resolve the situation in Hong Kong. While governments need to ensure the security and safety of their people, they must avoid aggravating and instead reduce tensions.'7 However, rhetoric alone is an inadequate response to Beijing’s continued violations of its treaty commitments. A coherent and effective response from the UK has been severely lacking. Hence, the authors propose the following amendments to Britain’s response: 1. Stronger condemnation of police brutality and Chinese oppression In the words of Jeremy Hunt, the UK ‘is a country that has always defended the values we believe in’ and as such the UK should not sit idly by while a population’s freedom is being restricted, especially when it has a legal obligation to ensure that Hong Kong retains a ‘high degree of autonomy’.8 As such, the authors recommend that the British government takes a stronger stance against Chinese suppression of democracy in Hong Kong and condemns the violence employed by Hong Kong’s police force. When necessary, the British government should also discourage violence on the part of the protesters in order to maintain peace and so as not to appear to hold an anti-China stance aside from its opposition to China’s handling of the protests. Although Brit-

ain may appear to lack sufficient influence to coerce China to change its posture, the UK’s unique status as the co-signatory of the Joint Declaration puts it in a strong position to argue against Beijing’s violation of the treaty--indeed, it is the most legitimate actor in the world to do so. Stronger rhetoric would make it harder for China to justify its policies abroad as it would face international scrutiny and at least one dissenting voice. Similarly, increased publicity of Beijing’s human rights violations could lead other countries to join Britain in employing any sanctions deemed necessary. If the UK were to spearhead a campaign of rhetoric against China, it would greatly improve its international reputation, and cement its reputation as a defender of liberty. 2. Apply economic sanctions Although the UK does not possess enough economic heft to seriously affect China on its own, the imposition of sanctions would be a concrete demonstration of the UK’s stance regarding China’s handling of the Hong Kong protests. Combined with stronger rhetoric, this would help boost the UK’s international reputation as a protector of liberty and democratic rights. Britain, in conjunction with its allies, could use sanctions as a deterrent to further meddling, stating that if China’s central government were to take direct action and violate its commitments, there would be an economic response, like the one enacted in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Not only would this increase the cost of intervention to Beijing, but it would also establish Britain and its allies as resolute defenders of their treaty obligations and demonstrate their commitment to human rights and the rule of law. If Britain could convince its allies, particularly the US and EU countries, to join in applying economic sanctions to China, it could potentially affect the Chinese economy to a greater extent, thus affecting Chinese policy. Support for this type of response already exists: The US Congress is currently drafting a bill with bipartisan support that would see Hong Kong’s special privileges revoked if an annual review finds Beijing to have violated the status of the territory.9

The aim of such a response is to highlight why Hong Kong’s current economic status is beneficial to China and that any change would be negative for Beijing’s image and its economic self-interest. This could have a large impact, as Hong Kong is a gateway for foreign investment into China. The sanctions should thus focus on restricting foreign investment, targeting officials involved in the ongoing and possible future crackdown, and stopping the exportation of materials and means Protesters attend a demonstration demanding Hong Kong's leaders to step that aid China’s repressive efforts. Of course, if down, in Hong Kong, June 16, 2019. Voice of America.


DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY arate economy would therefore enable Britain to ensure its firms still have access to China’s and Hong Kong’s markets, whilst boosting its international reputation and demonstrating its commitment to upholding the values of peace and liberty. However, British failure to successfully mediate talks or Chinese refusal of Britain’s offer could harm Britain’s international reputation.

Hong Kong Protests 2019. Photo by Jonathan van Smit. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Western sanctions on China were to materialise, the risk of reciprocation would have an acute impact on the UK. China accounted for 7% of UK imports in 2014 and was the 6th largest destination for UK exports.10 This risk is especially marked as Britain tackles the uncertainty of Brexit, which experts believe could shrink the UK economy by between 3-6% depending on whether Britain leaves with a deal or not.11 Whilst imposing or threatening to impose sweeping sanctions is unrealistic, this more targeted, deterrent approach has realistic possibilities. Western governments do not want to engage in large scale economic war, but they also do not want to remain idle in the face of Chinese repression of human rights. What this paper proposes is a prudent approach that reinforces Hong Kong’s status and increases costs of interference to China. Political will supporting this approach is also evident, not only through the US’s more assertive approach, but also through the EU’s re-evaluation of its stance on China.12 The UK, in concert with its closest partners, has the potential to act decisively and impactfully. 3. Offer to mediate In recent weeks, the protests have become more and more violent. A second protester was shot by the police, and a politician had part of his ear bitten off. This escalation gives Britain an opportunity to become more involved. As one of two signatories of the Joint Declaration, it could offer to mediate negotiations between Beijing and Pro-Democracy activists, helping to calm tensions and prevent violence. Once again, this would help bolster Britain’s international standing and could lead to a more acceptable deal between Hong Kong and Beijing. It would also allow Britain to ensure that Hong Kong retains its separate economy, which has been ranked as the world’s freest for twenty-five consecutive years, a fact that has earned Hong Kong the epithet of ‘The gateway to China’, as many foreign companies use Hong Kong as a base for their Chinese dealings.13 Safeguarding Hong Kong’s sep-

The risk of adopting a stronger line against China lies in the PRC’s extreme sensitivity to criticism; both the government and many Chinese citizens have a track record of meting out severe punishments to any individual or organisation deemed to be overly critical. Examples of this range from the political arena to the business world and even to sports. British official statements on Hong Kong have been labelled as ‘gross and unacceptable interference by the Chinese ambassador to the UK.14 Western brands that have been supportive of the protesters have been officially banned or put on boycott by Chinese consumers. Even a tweet by the General Manager of the Houston Rockets, calling for freedom in Hong Kong, had the effect of cutting of streaming access in China for the Rockets games and their merchandise being pulled from stores. Closer to home, China prevented employees of Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong based airline, from flying over mainland China if they had participated in the protests, leading to four employees being fired. In addition, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which is state-owned, put a strong sell recommendation on Cathay’s stock. Thus, as stated above, given the UK’s uncertain economic future, risking a trade war with China could lead to economic difficulties for Britain. However, these authors believe that Britain’s moral obligations to Hong Kong outweigh any economic risks that might be incurred. Conclusion Whilst it is easy to despair over what the West and especially the UK can do for Hong Kong, there are several steps that can be taken with tangible effect. Effective diplomacy is often tied to states’ global reputations. The ongoing Brexit saga has done anything but improve the UK’s image around the globe. Adopting a resolute stance on Hong Kong will not only support Hong Kong’s citizens, but also improve Britain’s image as a global leader. Economic action, while risky, may restrain Beijing’s willingness to use direct force when used in cooperation with allies. If Britain were able to mediate discussions between Pro-Democracy activists and Beijing, it would be able to ensure a satisfactory deal for all parties concerned and greatly boost its international standing. The UK finds itself in a delicate situation, but by upholding its treaty commitments, working with its allies and showing tangible support, it would be able to both support Hong Kong and improve its standing around the world.



UK Aid Programme to Pakistan and the Impact of Brexit By Femi Ivan and Juliette Renaut What’s new?

Following Brexit, important budget cuts are planned for the UK’s foreign aid department. As its main foreign aid recipient, Pakistan could be deeply affected by such policies.

Why does it matter?

UK aid in Pakistan has had a significant impact on the state. Between 2011 and 2016, Britain helped provide 1.1 million people with access to clean drinking water and 1.6 million people with improved sanitation, and ensured that over 1 million births were delivered with the help of nurses, midwives, or doctors.1 The cutting of aid to Pakistan threatens millions of Pakistanis and could cause a surge in poverty.

What should be done?

Making Pakistan a prosperous state will require maintaining British aid to Pakistan. Conversely, ending this aid programme would have overwhelmingly negative effects. This policy proposal therefore urges the UK Government to maintain its aid plan to Pakistan. Often described as a generous nation or big spender, the United Kingdom (UK) aims to spend 0.7 percent of its Gross National Income on overseas development each year.2 However, following the UK’s exit from the European Union, colloquially known as Brexit, the UK government has been pressuring the Department for International Development (DFID) to either drop aid to multiple countries or to cut its programmes significantly.3 Part of the former British Empire, Pakistan has a long-standing relationship with the United Kingdom. While economics and diplomacy are key features of this bond, aid is another crucial aspect of Pakistani-British relations. Indeed, Pakistan is the top recipient of UK aid, receiving 463 million GBP alone from the British government in 2016.4 Education: Key to transforming Pakistan, the major portion of aid focuses on building new classrooms, and on recruiting and training new teachers.7 Health: As the UK’s top priority in Pakistan, an emphasis is put on women and children — especially on decreasing the number of women who die in childbirth.8 Economy and Financial Inclusion: Increase access to microfinance loans to lift 1.23 million people out of poverty.9 Democracy and Governance: Strengthen government institutions.10 Humanitarian Assistance: Prone to natural disasters, this portion of aid would help rebuild schools, roads, and bridges when needed.11


While aid is sent to Pakistan to build a more stable and prosperous state, its primary goal is to alleviate the extreme poverty which has become a common feature of the country. As noted by the UK Parliament: 'Almost a third of Pakistan’s population lives in poverty (over 60 million people), with women most seriously affected. 22.6 million children do not go to school and half of the population, including two-thirds of women, cannot read or write. One in eleven children die before their fifth birthday, every year 9,700 women die in childbirth and 44% of children under five are stunted. Pakistan’s population is set to grow by 40 million people in the next 15 years and the economy needs to grow by more than 7% a year to create jobs for this growing young population.' 5 UK aid to Pakistan for the year 2019/20 has already dropped to £302 million from £325 million in 2018/19 and is expected to further decrease. This policy brief thus aims to highlight the impact of the UK’s aid program on Pakistan, as well as demonstrate the detrimental consequences of stopping this aid programme. A series of recommendations will be provided to urge the UK Government to maintain its aid programme to Pakistan. UK Aid Programme to Pakistan Overall, the DFID aims to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan. The main aims of its aid programme, which were reaffirmed in 2013, include promoting education; increasing women and children’s health; creating jobs and strengthening economic growth as well as democracy and governance; and building stability in conflict-affected areas.6


In 2018/19, 53% of the 325 million GBP aid package to Pakistan was spent on human development, including health and education, and the remainder was split between economic development (29%), governance and security (10%), climate and environment (5%) and humanitarian aid (3%).12 These statistics (Figure 1) show that poverty reduction has remained at the centre of the UK’s aid programme to Pakistan.13 Overall, UK aid has had an important impact on Pakistan. Since 2011, UK aid has delivered primary education for more than 9 million children (of which 4.6m are girls); provided skills training for over 256,000 people (47% women); access to small loans

Figure 1. (Source: Department for International Development)

for 5.8 million people (53% women); delivered more than 1 million safer births; contributed to cash supplements for 5.2 million of the poorest women and their families; and enabled humanitarian assistance for over 7.6 million people following natural disasters and conflicts.14 In terms of economic development, the UK enabled 7 million people to have access to digital banking and £160 million of bank loans have been facilitated for 30,000 small and medium enterprises.15 The UK has furthermore helped improve public sector institutions and delivery, and tackle corruption. Policy Proposals In light of the generally positive impact of the UK’s aid programme on Pakistan and potential Brexit-related budget cuts, this paper strongly encourages the UK Government to maintain its aid plan to Pakistan. Additionally, it urges the government to adopt a long term strategy and invest in education, health and make the position of women and girls central to its work in Pakistan. Finally, the paper enjoins the DFID to support Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments in shaping reform programmes and institutions to improve public services and alleviate poverty. Policy 1: Maintain UK aid programme to Pakistan. While budget cuts appear inevitable in light of Brexit, the UK Government should work to maintain its aid programme to Pakistan. While much progress has been made in Pakistan as a result of UK aid, it is far from being prosperous and poverty-free. It is thus imperative for the UK to continue to help this country improve its basic services, reduce poverty, and promote equality. Millions of Pakistanis are continually being denied opportunities because of rampant poverty. This is negatively affect-

ing Pakistan’s long term stability and prosperity. Furthermore, the population is constantly growing and is expected to exceed 205 million this year, with nearly 40% aged 10-29 years.16 With economic growth averaging only 3.5% over the past 5 years and the population increasing by 2% annually, Pakistan is struggling to maintain living standards and create jobs for millions of young people.17 Without support, the poverty problem will likely grow and ultimately overwhelm Pakistan. Maintaining this aid programme to Pakistan will also have benefits for the UK, especially in terms of defence and security. Indeed, a stable Pakistan can help support security and development across the region, notably in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the UK has one of the largest Pakistani diasporas in the world (1.7% of the UK’s population is Pakistani).18 It is thus in the UK’s interest to maintain strong and favourable relations with Pakistan and support its journey towards becoming a prosperous country. Policy 2: Emphasise that UK aid will remain conditional on the Pakistani Government’s commitment to implement economic reforms The DFID should carry out its aid programme to Pakistan only under the condition that the latter’s government commits to economic and social reforms. These would generate economic growth, stabilisation and poverty reduction. The possibility of budget cuts for international aid due to Brexit would thus imply that criteria to receive aid will be heightened. This could be used as leverage by the DFID to ensure that Pakistan’s government implements the required economic and social reforms. Pakistan’s economic stability has been steadily deteriorating, with the State Bank of Pakistan announcing that the country failed to meet the target GDP growth rate of 4 percent for fiscal year 2020.19 In this context, it is crucial to note that


THE SPECTRUM this declining economic performance is directly linked to the economic mismanagement of the country. Crucially, the country fails to provide an attractive economic environment for investments, which undermines its ability to tackle economic inequality. According to the World Bank, Pakistan’s expenditure on education in 2017 remained at a drastic low of 2.9 percent of the GDP and declined from the previous year.20 Facing a combination of microeconomic mismanagement, decreasing revenue and increasing subsidies, Pakistan needs to implement fundamental structural reforms in order to ensure effectiveness of future aid programmes. Therefore, this recommendation suggests that the continuation of the aid programme should be on the condition that Pakistan’s government initiates and remains committed to critical structural reforms. These reforms include reaching GDP targets with much stricter tax measures, reducing electricity subsidies and increasing electricity tariffs. Moreover, the government should take measures to improve tax collection by implementing policies to register individuals to pay taxes, as certain individuals could be liable for income tax.21 Critically, these reforms would not negatively impact poorer households; as with the expansion of the National Cash Transfer Programme in Pakistan, which is being funded and implemented by the DFID, the poorest would be protected from reduction in subsidies.22 Moreover, the DFID should closely work with and support the government of Pakistan in implementing tax reforms by providing technical assistance and strategic communication networks. Certain limitations may impact the effectiveness of this policy. Firstly, it is imperative to have an efficient and transparent system with a clear selection criteria that enables

the provision of cash payments to the required households. However, following the 2010 floods, the DFID took more than two years to provide cash payments to recipients as a part of its humanitarian aid programme.23 Secondly, the National Cash Transfer Programme aims at providing regular cash payments to the female head of the household in order to ensure that poor households are able to maintain their living standards despite economic reforms. However, Pakistan remains a country with a poor human rights record, and women face widespread gender-based violence in the country. This could in turn hamper the effectiveness of the programme, as cash payments may be used for other purposes rather than for the household. Policy 3: Focus on improving the education, health and safety standards for women in Pakistan According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index, Pakistan was ranked as the second worst out of 149 countries with regard to gender equality in 2018.24 Similar statistics were also observed in terms of gender and sexual based violence faced by women in Pakistan. In terms of economic participation, while the number of women who currently participate in the labour force has doubled in the last 15 years, the rise is still not considered significant.25 There remain gender gaps regarding girls and women’s access to education in Pakistan. This disparity, however, is inconsistent across the country, as areas like Sindh and Punjab have higher education rates than others such as Balochistan.26 Moreover, the Pakistan Centre of Gender and Policy Studies have stated that in Pakistan, a significant number of women have lived under the fear of threat or violence ever since childhood.27 The DFID should focus on initiating education intervention programmes with the support of the Pakistani government and support the government in reforming the current education policy. Importantly, the UK should establish an evaluaGirls in a school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, supported by UK government. Each girl receives 200 rupees (about £1.50) a month, and a set of free textbooks each year to help them get an education. Photo by Vicki Francis/Department for International Development (CC BY-SA 2.0).


DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, wife of U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter, visits a Health House near District Jhelum to participate in a training by a Lady Health Worker for local women about maternal and children's health in 2011. Photo by USAID.

tion and gender advisory committee. The latter would primarily focus on the evaluation of all current education programmes initiated by the DFID and monitor all the systems utilized for such programmes, ensure transparency and plan future budget decisions. This committee should also aim to include women from Pakistan who work towards meeting such goals, as they could provide more efficient policies with regards to meeting development objectives and fighting gender-based violence in rural areas.28 With regard to the health facilities available to women in Pakistan, the DFID should closely work with not only the federal government, but also provincial and district-level governments, in order to ensure that nutrition services for women and their newborns are delivered even to rural areas. This entails scaling up the existing Lady Health interventions programme in Pakistan.29 This programme should widen its focus beyond providing better health services to researching and identifying nutritional deficiencies among pregnant women. Additionally, it should partner with other health development initiatives in Pakistan to develop with federal and provincial health care action plans. However, exclusively focusing on improving the living standards for women in the country implies that the aid programme will neglect combating corruption in Pakistan’s political institutions. In order to ensure that this policy has long term benefits, the government of Pakistan must remain accountable for the social development of women in the country, promote the rule of law and empower women to have a voice in social policies. With the current status of governance in the country, this may remain an obstacle for the policy.

cant reduction of British aid would likely further exacerbate the problem of poverty in Pakistan. While Brexit is and remains an important uncertainty for the UK, it is imperative that it does not cancel its aid programmes. Keeping such an initiative active will not only help Pakistan but also have a positive effect on the region as a whole. Furthermore, this aid programme helps ensure good British-Pakistani relations, which in a time of uncertainty is imperative. Emphasis should be placed on providing education, increasing women and children’s health, as well as creating jobs and supporting economic growth. The UK should particularly prioritise the economic aspect, as this will have the most profound effect in reducing Pakistan’s poverty. In order to ensure the effectiveness of aid despite the budget cuts after Brexit, the UK should encourage Pakistan’s government to implement suitable economic and social reforms. Moreover, it is critical that the UK government meet its vision of promoting human development and helping the most vulnerable by focusing on the education, health and safety of women in Pakistan. In order to maintain the position of a modern and compassionate government, it is essential that the UK government continue its mutually prosperous humanitarian aid programme.

Conclusion The UK’s aid programme to Pakistan has affected millions of people and has taken on the enormous challenge of tackling the latter’s rampant poverty. However, despite this aid programme, Pakistan remains entrenched in poverty, resulting in the continued denial of opportunities to millions of people. This dire situation is a constant threat to the state’s long-term stability and prosperity. Termination or signifi-



Iraqi Kurdistan’s Quest for Independence: Risks and Possibilities for the European Union by

Nicolò Vertecchi

For the past decade, Iraq’s future as a sovereign nation-state has been in danger. Since 2003 and, more importantly, following the rise of ISIL in the region between 2014-2017, the central government’s weakness has left a political vacuum that might increase fragmentation in the country and potentially further problematize its post-war reconstruction. In this context, the 2017 independence referendum in the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan, called by Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and held by the Kurdistan Regional Government, presents both risks and opportunities for the European Union (EU).1 The problem of independence for the Kurdish region has historical roots, dating back to the last century. In 1920, under the Treaty of Sèvres, and subject to the covenant of the League of Nations, the Kurdish population was promised the creation of an independent Kurdish state in the heart of the Middle East.2 Yet, the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that recognized the birth of a Turkish Republic effectively annulled the previous agreement.3 No line in the sand was drawn to identify a Kurdish state. Today, the 30 million Kurdish people living across the four states of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran are the ‘largest ethnic group without a state’.4 These four regional powers have systematically targeted and abused the Kurdish people over the past century, sometimes with the help of Western governments. A ‘beacon of democracy’ Even though Kurdish identities are diverse and contingent upon specific historical and cultural conditions, they are generally characterized by a distinctive language and culture, as well as common values.5 The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee describes Iraqi Kurdistan as a ‘beacon of tolerance and moderation in a wider region where extremism and instability are on the rise.’6 The Kurdish region is in fact characterized by developing democratic practices and institutions, belief in human rights and in the protection of religious and ethnic minorities, gender egalitarianism, and openness towards internationalism as well as Western ideas.7 Furthermore, the Kurdish military – the ‘Peshmerga’ – has been an historic ally to the West in the fight against Saddam Hussein and Daesh, providing men and intelligence since the beginning of the Iraq War.8 Thus, the EU has an unprecedented chance to further its geostrategic interests in the Middle East, while preserving its pluralist and democratic values, by strengthening ties with Iraq’s Kurdish population,


which has signalled to have higher chances and capabilities of breaking away from the central state - as demonstrated by their federal status and the recent elections - vis-a-vis the Kurdish communities in Turkey or Iran, where strong central governments make this harder. Iraq’s territorial integrity On the other hand, the EU remains committed to policies that preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nation-states.9 Although Iraq found itself on the verge of disintegration after the expansion of the Islamic State in the area, its integrity was ensured by international assistance, and today, it is on a promising path towards recovery.10 Iraq’s survival, however, is vitally dependent on the Kurdish region remaining attached to the federation, largely due to the oil fields in the disputed Kurdish lands. Europe’s interests are therefore at stake if Iraq becomes more fragmented, as it would not be able to access its full energy and commercial potential and would have to deal with new flows of refugees towards its borders.11 Moreover, a concession of independence to Iraqi Kurdistan from Baghdad might have unprecedented repercussions on efforts to maintain peace. Such a success from Iraq’s Kurdish nationalists might strengthen calls for independence in the whole region, causing a domino effect in Turkey, Syria and Iran, which could lead to more violence and unrest in the area. The EU wants to avoid such a scenario and ensure the stabilization of this highly volatile region. The European Union’s middle way The EU currently occupies a tense middle ground, unable to fully support one side or the other. Its policies in the region have often been very paradoxical and rather ineffective. On the one hand, it is in the EU’s geostrategic interest to help the formation of an independent Iraqi Kurdistan, which could become a key military, economic and political ally in the Middle East. On the other hand, avoidance of further destabilization in Iraq and concomitant violence in the region is imperative, as this would have tremendous consequences on the flow of migrants and on Western commercial interests . This policy proposal therefore aims to solve this conundrum, and explores possibilities to reconcile the EU’s conflicting policies. Furthermore, the EU is committed to building an increasingly independent foreign policy from its allies, in particular


Source: Al Jazeera (CC BY-NC-SA)

the United States, and desires to become an honest broker in this dispute. Finding a peaceful, pluralist and lasting solution that could become an example for future disputes may further this objective. Policy Proposals 1. A confederal Iraq The EU’s first key interest in Iraq concerns the ongoing peace and stabilization process. As seen from previous statebuilding and regime change attempts in the Middle East, war and military means are not feasible solutions. Instead, this paper recommends a policy of negotiation between Iraq’s central and regional governments within a constitutional and legal framework, with the EU acting as a mediator. The EU occupying such a role may be justified by its close ties to both parties, as well as its values of defending human rights and democracy. The European states recognize that the Iraqi government has historically infringed upon the rights of the Kurdish population. Therefore, according to Article 1.2 of the UN Charter, the Kurdish population is entitled to pursue its rights to self-determination and consult its constituencies on the matter.12 However, as mentioned above, full independence would not be desirable for any of the actors involved. The EU should therefore explore the possibility of a confederation of states within a constitutional framework in Iraq.13 Such a solution would solve the two most pressing issues in the region: the safeguarding of Iraq’s territorial integrity, as well as a greater degree of freedom for the Kurds, as well as other minorities in the region, such as the Shi’a Muslims.14 Confederalism would guarantee the Kurdistan Regional

Government’s economic and political autonomy from the central government. It would therefore be able to legally sell its oil and gas to foreign countries and allies, such as the EU, and solve the question of the ‘disputed territories’, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, taken by force by the Peshmerga in 2014 and violently seized back by the Iraqi army in 2017, as a consequence of the independence referendum.15 A confederal arrangement would also allow the people of the contested territories to determine, through democratic elections, whether they belong to the Kurdish or Iraqi state.16 From Baghdad’s perspective, a confederal state also has the advantage of avoiding a violent breakaway of Kurdistan, while securing its future cooperation in economic, military and political affairs. It would allow the central government to access oil and water resources in the North, counter the Iranian threat, ensure the solidification of peace, intensify cooperation with the Peshmerga in the fight against terrorism, and open land access to Europe via Turkey.17 The EU would hence preserve all of its interests in relation to both parties: access to economic resources, political unity, respect of human rights and democratic values, prevention of new migration flows and enabling the relocation of the 2 million Kurds currently living in Europe. In order to implement this policy, the EU should act as a guarantor for fair democratic elections. An electoral observation mission is arguably the best option to guarantee transparency in the voting process, ensuring a clear expression of the will of Iraqi and Kurdish citizens.18 The electoral mission should work within a framework of trust and legality among the three parties. For this reason, it would be favorable to continue the practice of having Kurdish offices in European states


THE SPECTRUM and vice versa.19 Improving formal channels of communications and setting up a permanent consular presence in the region would ensure the respect of human rights and legality in negotiations. Given the past violations of the 2005 Iraqi constitution by both sides, such as the use of military power from the central government, and unlawful occupation of certain territories from the Peshmerga, the EU should be at the forefront of this democratic process and spearhead the establishment of a confederation in Iraq.20

not invested in solar or renewable sources of energy. This policy proposal endorses greater subsidies and investment in renewable energies from the EU. For this purpose, the European Investment Bank would be able to help finance energy projects by providing loans and other financial instruments, as well as advice and expertise on administration and project development. This would allow the Kurdish government to provide better, more affordable and more trustworthy electricity and operation systems to its citizens.

2. Economic prosperity in Kurdistan – a solar option The Kurdish region has the potential of supporting a very prosperous economy. It has experienced unprecedented economic development, with an 8 percent annual growth rate, a low level of unemployment, and a friendly environment for foreign investors.21 Although Kurdistan’s economic success is undeniable, particularly given its ranking by the Financial Times of fifth among Middle Eastern cities in terms of potential for foreign direct investment, its economic sufficiency is still heavily reliant on global crude prices, the end of the war and Baghdad’s favorable approach.22 This paper therefore recommends that the EU develops stronger commercial and economic ties with the Kurdish region and becomes the Kurdish Regional Government’s first business partner, which would constitute a source of renewed wealth for both parties. A stronger Kurdish economy would allow Europe to access the country’s markets, energy supply and prevent emigration, as is currently occurring as a consequence of war and economic failure.

This policy of investment in solar energy would allow the EU to boost its image as an international player committed to policies of green investment and providing solutions to the climate crisis. Secondly, a strong Kurdish economy, with diverse sources of input and more stable infrastructures and services, would ensure the existence of a commercial partner on European border. A stable Kurdistan would additionally prevent large migrant influxes towards Europe and also encourage Kurdish diaspora communities, totalling 1.5 million people, to return to their country of origin.27

The EU should therefore encourage economic reforms including economic diversification, reduction in subsidies by the regional governments, and green investments.23 As the Union is stepping up its pledges in the fight against climate change, such a policy would give a positive example to other world powers in expanding the clean energy economy; additionally, the EU could potentially profit from such an accord. Reliance on oil has burdened the Kurdish economy, as ‘tumbling’ oil prices, military assaults on pipeline infrastructure, as well as disputes with Baghdad on the matter of ownership of oil fields have led to more political and economic instability.24 In 2016, after a surge in electricity demand due to economic development and migration influxes from neighboring states, the region has experienced government mandated electricity blackouts, with an average lack of electricity for 13 continuous hours a day in winter.25 Hence, oil and gas are proving to be a luxurious and unreliable choice for the Kurdish people. Per the assessment of the World Research Institute, Kurdistan has a solar potential comparable to that of California, with an average daily solar radiation of ‘5 kilowatt hours per square meter (kWh/m2/day)’.26 Nonetheless, the KRG has


In light of this, within a confederal arrangement , Kurdistan’s economic success would positively influence Iraq’s economy and prevent the Kurdish state from incorporating major oil fields, which would limit Iraq’s economic potential. Therefore, solar investments, loans and technical assistance would be beneficial for all parties involved. 3. Military cooperation with Kurdish forces A third avenue of interest for the EU is cooperation with Kurdish forces in military affairs. Iraq’s military weaknesses have demonstrated that the region lacks a convincing security apparatus that is able to counter the ISIS threat.18 The Kurdish military, the Peshmerga, would therefore be a reliable ally for the EU in terms of military cooperation, intelligence sharing, defense and diplomatic relations. The Kurdish forces should, however, be incorporated into an Iraqi army and security network for Iraqi citizens as a whole, thus helping the state to regain a monopoly over the use of violence – a cornerstone of nations’ sovereignty. Military collaboration with the Kurds would be especially important to the Europeans in relation to the fight against terrorist organizations in the region, anti-insurgency campaigns, and anti-radicalization programs. Kurdish armies have proven particularly helpful in this regard in the past. However, the withdrawal of American forces from Kurdish-held territories in Turkey has decreased Kurdish trust of the West. This situation could potentially escalate and produce another anti-Western paramilitary insurgency in the region, similar to what happened with the mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan. It is in the EU’s interest to avoid factionalism and form closer ties with the Kurdish military by inte-

A pro-Kurdistan referendum and pro-Kurdistan independence rally in 2017. Photo by Levi Clancy. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

grating them within a national force. This would not only be productive in the fight against ISIS but could also empower the EU to continue conventional military competition with neighboring countries. Furthermore, a strong security apparatus is needed in order to further the peace process in the region. Without a stable and peaceful environment, business opportunities and foreign investments will not flourish, and Kurdistan’s economic potential will not be fully taken advantage of. Therefore, a well-funded military force, in collaboration with European intelligence, would provide the best insurance for positive and vibrant business conditions. Conclusion The Kurdish quest for independence is a very controversial issue for the EU. It must support human rights and democratic calls for independence, while also upholding the unity of Iraq and the stability of the region. This paper has recommended three ideas to find a middle way and respect both pledges. The EU should find a new path towards reconciliation, which should not be based on military and violent means but through constitutional tools and positive sum policies. In particular, the paper advocates the creation of an Iraqi confederation, economic investments in green and renewable energies to move away from a reliance on oil, and the creation of a unified security apparatus, composed of both the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army.



Venezuela: Infrastructure and the Long Road to Recovery By Matt Hii and Matias Salo

Venezuela, once South America’s most prosperous nation, is currently facing a political, economic and humanitarian crisis.1 Under the strains of decades of mismanagement and corruption, the economy has effectively collapsed. Living standards have plunged, de facto dollarisation has ensued and millions have fled the country.2 Amidst the chaos, infrastructure has been hit particularly hard; as power grids and water networks fall into disrepair, blackouts have become commonplace and access to clean drinking water has become scarce. The dire situation has been compounded by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s refusals to accept international aid and a US-led sanctions regime.3 The Maduro government retains control of the country but is deemed illegitimate by a plurality of states including most countries in South America, the US and the EU, who instead recognise Juan Guaido.4 Governance of the country is therefore highly controversial and challenged. Venezuela faces a long road to recovery, and although many aspects of the country require urgent attention, an infrastructure package should be a key priority. In the absence of functioning water systems, road networks and power grids, there can be no meaningful efforts to improve healthcare, distribute aid or rehabilitate the state-run heavy industries that underpin Venezuela’s economy. Infrastructure must therefore form the basis of any rescue effort or long-term recovery plan. Background Corruption and mismanagement are responsible for instigating most of the country’s woes. Venezuela’s export earnings depend primarily on oil and the prospects of PDVSA, the state-run oil company, essentially determine the economic outlook for the entire country. In the early 1960s, Venezuela was considered rich, as it produced more than 10% of the world’s crude and had a per capita GDP not far behind that of the US.5 In 1976, the oil industry was nationalised and subsequently began its decline. The industry’s decline accelerated rapidly in the 2000’s with the election of Hugo Chávez, who knew little about oil and had little interest in it. Following a PDVSA strike in 2002, Chávez fired 18,000 employees, many of whom were skilled technicians and managers. In 2007, facing shortages in consumer goods, the Venezuelan government forced PDVSA to produce and distribute beans, milk, and rice.6 According to the Venezuelan Congress, $11 billion was looted from PDVSA between 2004 and 2014.7 Today, Venezuela continues to export oil at heavily subsidised prices to friendly regimes around the world. Furthermore, despite having the largest proven oil re-


serves in the world, Venezuela imports gasoline and sells it to the population at an unsustainable price of around 4 cents a gallon.8 Cumulatively, these decisions have caused PDVSA to rack up debts of almost $30 billion and Venezuela to accumulate debts of approximately $90 billion.9 US sanctions have further compounded Venezuela’s economic woes. The Trump administration has blocked Venezuela from restructuring its foreign debts while also cutting off its export earnings.10 Since 2017, Venezuela has been in default on almost all of its debt.11 Without a debt restructuring, it cannot borrow more money from mainstream sources because its credit rating is too low.12 Moreover, the Venezuelan government cannot generate this revenue internally because the US has also drastically restricted its ability to sell oil internationally. Sanctions have cut Venezuela off from the US, which had previously purchased 35.6% of Venezuela’s oil exports.13 Furthermore, companies in other countries have also ceased trading with Venezuela to avoid running afoul of the US.14 US sanctions have generated a Catch-22 situation where Venezuela is neither able to generate money on its own nor borrow from others. Policy Proposals The factors that have instigated and compounded Venezuela’s economic crisis are the same factors that block its road to recovery. This paper therefore proposes that any effort at recovery should focus on two components: 1. Peaceful removal of the current government. 2. Offer of a comprehensive infrastructure package. Peaceful removal of the current government The current government must be removed because it cannot be trusted to handle a recovery effort. The Maduro administration is incompetent and corrupt beyond repair. While sanctions have been undoubtedly harmful, they are a necessary means of maintaining pressure on the regime. This pressure must be coupled with political pressure from Venezuela’s South American neighbours. The Maduro regime has been highly effective in painting the US as an “evil imperialist power”; however, Venezuela’s neighbors could represent a more credible force for change if they adopted a more dominant role. Additionally, economic and diplomatic pressure has been overly punitive in focus, and should therefore shift to offer carrots alongside sticks. For example, efforts to offer immunity to lower-ranking members of government and the military should be pursued more seriously. Although some of the alleged crimes have been serious, the necessity

DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY of changing Venezuela’s direction outweighs the moral interest in punishing these wrongs. Flipping the lower ranking officials will be key to increasing pressure on higher levels of government. If this is achieved, high-ranking individuals, including President Maduro himself, should be offered the opportunity to flee to countries such as Cuba. This is the most favourable course of action for these individuals, as they cannot be offered immunity because they would represent a threat to any fledgling replacement government, and exile presents possibly the only peaceful solution to the current impasse. Ultimately, Venezuela’s trajectory will not change without a change in government. Although it may seem morally problematic to offer immunity or the possibility for exile rather than more punitive measures, Venezuela cannot afford to lose sight of the bigger picture: its future must take priority over punishing those responsible for its past. Comprehensive Infrastructure Package Once the political climate stabilises, a comprehensive infrastructure package should be offered, targeting three key areas: water, roads, and electricity. Venezuela’s water system is currently essentially compromised. It is estimated that almost 8 out of 10 Venezuelans lack regular access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation.15 In Caracas, a study into the safety of drinking water mains found two thirds of samples to have bacteria levels exceeding national regulations.16 High levels of bacteria have been caused by insufficient chlorine, which is attributable to a chronic lack of maintenance. Outside of Caracas, the situation is even worse: rural citizens have been forced to dig wells and rely on untreated rivers as the water system collapses. The lack of access to clean drinking water puts millions of Venezuelans at risk of contracting waterborne diseases. Fixing the water system should be a key priority, and would involve primarily bolstering the country’s chlorine production capabilities. The country currently only has one

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Photo by Eneas De Troya (CC BY 2.0)

plant capable of producing this chemical, which is essential for the treatment of water; this plant furthermore is operating at only 5% of its full capacity.17 The priority is to increase capacity and to consider building an additional facility to protect supply. Road transport accounts for almost all cargo traffic in Venezuela, and any potential delivery of aid and essential supplies will have to be distributed via the road network.18 Venezuela’s College of Engineers have estimated that 6070% of roads and 80-90% of bridges are in need of urgent maintenance.19 After decades of inadequate maintenance, bridges are at high risk of collapsing, and indeed some already have.20 These collapses substantially increase journey times and may cut off access to certain regions.21 Ensuring the safety of key distribution routes should therefore be a priority. Essential maintenance efforts should be focused on the routes linking the biggest ports and most populous cities on the North Coast, where most of Venezuela’s population is concentrated. Securing these routes will be vital to the effective distribution of any aid. Additionally, Venezuela continues to suffer from frequent power outages due to the inadequacy of its power grid. While power outages entail economic costs, the human costs can be far more serious. In March 2019, at least 46 patients in hospitals across the country were known to have died as a direct result of a week-long power outBridges such as this one (the General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge) are at risk of collapsing due to lack of inspection and maitenance. Photo by Wilfredorrh (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).


THE SPECTRUM age.22 These blackouts are primarily a result of the country’s overreliance on hydroelectric power in a bid to preserve as much oil as possible for export. Venezuela generates 64% of its power from hydroelectric sources, which is problematic because renewable sources have unpredictable outputs and require diversification to ensure stability.23 Venezuela’s power grid is currently structured in a way that fails to address this. Furthermore, its hydroelectric dams are old and mechanically complex to operate.24 Thus, in the long term, Venezuela must diversify its power sources. However, as diversification takes time to achieve, a short-term solution involving provision of batteries to stabilise the grid should be implemented as well. Many countries and organisations have a vested interest in Venezuela’s future, and the financial structure of any package should reflect this. Therefore, funding for any infrastructure package should come from a range of different sources, both public and private, to ensure that the new government does not become overly dependent upon a single entity. Historical experience indicates that economic dependency leads to political dependency. Therefore, while Venezuela should capitalise on its relatively good relations with China, for example in terms of foreign investment, the country should still tread carefully. There is a risk that if a shift in the political leadership of Venezuela were to occur, Washington would still have an antagonistic view of the nation, because of its too close ties with China. Hence, for the long term, economic independence from both the US and China is advisable.


Conclusion Venezuela’s road to recovery will be long and fraught with risk. Although some may balk at the prospect of offering concessions such as exile and immunity, a peaceful transition merely represents the first step on a long road to recovery. Venezuela cannot afford to lose sight of the bigger picture; its future must take priority over its past. Significant challenges lie ahead, including a debt-restructuring of an unprecedented scale and a jump start of the economy. However, before any of these challenges can meaningfully be addressed, the state of Venezuela’s infrastructure must be improved. Without an infrastructure package, any longterm plan for Venezuela’s recovery will be dead on arrival.

Picking up from the Rubble


Defending against ISKP in Afghanistan

By Archishman Ray Goswami and Nicolò Vertecchi In March 2019, ISIS lost control of the last remnant of its physical ‘caliphate’. Its defeat was hailed by governments across the world and appeared at first to indicate that international cooperation had succeeded in destroying ISIS as a legitimate entity. However, the Easter carnage in Sri Lanka a month later dispelled all such thoughts. Despite the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the London Bridge and Streatham stabbings of November 2019 and February 2020 respectively, both perpetrated by ISIS-inspired terrorists, bear testimony to the fact that the collapse of ISIS as a territorial organisation did not signal its end, but rather its adoption of a new strategy. ISIS has in fact proliferated through regional affiliates, most prominently in Afghanistan. The Islamic State of the Khorasan Province (ISKP), the broad-based ISIS wilayah (branch) which coordinates the activities of ISIS’ smaller regional affiliates across South and Central Asia was created in 2015.1 The February 2020 peace deal between the Taliban and the US government provides ISKP with room to strengthen its presence in Afghanistan, as it seeks to take advantage of the predicted diminished control of the central government in Kabul to vie with the Taliban as an alternative national authority. This would provide ISIS as a whole with the ability to regain territory following the fall of its physical ‘caliphate’ last year. ISKP has been expanding through Central Asia, threatening the already precarious political situation in Afghanistan by engaging in terrorist activities and enhancing the aforementioned possibility of a three-way conflict with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It is in this context that the importance of defeating ISKP in Afghanistan gains primary importance. This paper will therefore focus on how fears of the group’s expansion in Afghanistan are intricately linked with the management of the large amount of foreign development aid that the country receives. Because of the misplacement of foreign aid through corruption and crony capitalism, which prevent it from reaching those for whom it was intended, it is clear that the current state of affairs is not just deeply problematic, but that its systemic flaws also pose a grave, tangible threat to Afghan national security. Loopholes in the aid management system have enabled extremist groups to retain their positions in the country, leaving President Ashraf Ghani’s administration in Kabul almost entirely dependent on external support. This policy paper argues that foreign aid can and should be used to tackle systemic problems in Afghanistan more effectively, and provides both short and long-term recommenda-

tions to the Afghan government. The short-term perspective focuses on ways to utilize aid as a tool of intelligence to counter the proliferation of ISKP on the ground. The paper then considers long-term economic and educational solutions to the problem of radicalization, whereby foreign aid can play a fundamental role. Recommendation 1 (Short-term): Collaborating with the Indian government to weaponise the Pan-African E-Network and track ISIS communication channels A secure overseas intelligence network is critical to effectively track ISIS activity related to Afghanistan. Following the aforementioned destruction of its physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has relocated, with its headquarters, to other parts of the world. Tracking down the heart of ISIS overseas operations is thus crucial in defeating ISKP, given the growth in ISIS activity in African countries such as Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso over the past year.2 It is plausible that the group moved its command centre from Syria to Africa in 2019, which is why the Pan-African E-Network holds great importance for Afghan intelligence agencies. The Pan-African E-Network is a communications project spearheaded by India to connect all African Union member states to one other through broadband, wireless networks and overground/undersea cables.3 With an earth terminal located in Senegal, the use of the network to intercept communication channels between a potential ISIS headquarters in Africa and its affiliates in Afghanistan serves numerous short and long-term objectives in tackling the growth of ISKP.4 Afghanistan shares excellent diplomatic and strategic ties with India, and it should use this relationship to its advantage by working alongside Indian intelligence agencies such as the Research and Analyses Wing (R&AW) to set up sleeper cells of agents from Afghanistan’s foreign intelligence service the National Directorate of Security (NDS) across Africa.These sleeper cells should follow communication channels along the Pan-African E-Network to track the new central command of ISIS and decipher messages relating to ISKP activities in Afghanistan. Given the fact that the E-Network connects numerous hospitals and universities in Africa to the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in New Delhi, the latter’s Chancellor being the President of India, raw intelligence can be sent via the highest levels of the Indian government directly to the government in Kabul, bypassing numerous levels of bureaucracy along the way.5 Apart from being a relatively inconspicuous method of intercepting intelligence regarding ISIS activities in Afghanistan


THE SPECTRUM the Durand Line- the border between Afghanistan and present-day Pakistan imposed by the British in the 1890s.8 Afghan border authorities should be supplied with surveillance drones and helicopters with thermal imaging cameras to monitor smuggling along both the Durand Line and along Afghanistan’s borders with Iran in the west and the Central Asian Republics the north, which constitute key routes of heroin smuggling aimed at reaching Western markets.9 The raw intelligence and pictures obtained through this surveillance should be given to regional military chiefs who are obliged to report to a higher governmental authority while monitoring ground developments. An Afghan National Police officer picks up a bag of opium in a 2009 house raid. Afghanistan has long been home to opium production and is a key country in the global heroin trade, which in turn helps fund terrorist groups such as ISKP. (U.S. Army)

directly from the possible ISIS headquarters in Africa, the use of this network would also aid Afghanistan in strengthening ties with India. Given Kabul’s problem of tackling the territorial growth of the Taliban, which is viewed as a Pakistani proxy, intelligence-sharing operations with India would serve to further strengthen New Delhi’s will to support the Afghan government against the Taliban militarily, and set a precedent for future intelligence-sharing work. A possible limitation of this policy may lie in the fact that Afghanistan arguably lacks the resources to train NDS agents in the requisite techniques to intercept communications. The process of setting up sleeper cells of Afghan agents in Africa would take a long time without external support from other governments. However, this limitation could be overcome with support from the Indian government, which has been identified as a key partner for Afghanistan in this endeavour. Recommendation 2 (Short-term): Block funding by suppressing drug smuggling Other than a stable security situation on the ground, it is of paramount importance that the sources of terrorist groups’ financing be cut in order to weaken their abilities and enable a smooth transition towards a peaceful resolution. Aid could be used to end a vicious circle by providing the Afghan government with necessary technology. As one of the three countries making up the infamous ‘Golden Crescent’ of the global heroin trade, Afghanistan has long been a producer of drugs such as opium, which have been processed and sold in international markets by terrorist groups to finance themselves.6 ISKP is not an exception; ISIS is estimated to earn approximately $1 million each year through the sale of Afghan heroin.7 It is therefore imperative to tackle drug smuggling along


Taking this line of action would bypass much of the bureaucratic process currently hindering the timely and accurate flow of intelligence within the Afghan security community. A fundamental issue holding back the war against drug smuggling is the bribery of border guards by smugglers, which guarantees the latter safe passage. Providing raw intelligence to a higher authority would aid in ending the corruption problem and ensure that aid and technologies are not diverted from their original purpose, namely, fighting against terrorist groups. Local councils would be able to retain a high degree of legitimacy on the ground, while also responding to the demands of the central government. Nation-building approaches and strong governance have already proven to be effective tools against drug trafficking in other instances, such as in Iran and Thailand. The United Nations has in these cases endorsed plans to provide farmers and families with alternative sources of income like entrepreneurship programmes, to reduce the attractiveness of becoming involved in the global illicit drug trade.10 The Afghan government should therefore prioritise stimulating local economies to strengthen its grip in the most remote areas of the country. Such an initiative would also indicate that the government is able to provide for the people. Local tribal councils (jirgas) would play an extremely important role in communicating the wishes of communities to the government in Kabul. While this recommendation may be quite effective due to its promotion of the ‘localisation’ of policymaking, a potential concern may lie with the radicalisation of the jirgas themselves. These councils’ decision-making abilities have often backfired, as they frequently impose cruel punishments, such as stoning and other capital punishment, on those they deem to act against society’s interestst. Therefore, a system of checks and balances must be implemented to prevent abuses of power by these councils. Recommendation 3 (Long-term): Education as a tool of counterinsurgency The proliferation and expansion of ISKP has proven once again how often marginalised members of society are left

DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY susceptible to being recruited by militant groups with extreme ideologies. This recommendation therefore focuses on the precarious situation of Afghan children and youths. Providing a better education would significantly curb the capability of groups such as ISKP to recruit in school environments. This objective is intimately linked to the proper use of the substantial amount of foreign aid that reaches Afghanistan, which is often misplaced instead of being employed to build solid foundations for the country’s future. Improving the effectiveness of aid for education crucially involves analysing the sources of grievances in civil society. In 2018 alone, some $6 billion reached the country through aid agencies. While half of this money was utilised for conflict resolution and security, only $112 million was used to finance educational programs and other public services.11 With the most cited reasons for young people joining violent extremist groups including ‘physical insecurity, corruption, poverty and social inequality’, it is clear that the central government lacks support due to its inability to provide services and goods.12 Despite billions of aid dollars reaching Afghanistan every year, certain testimonies are quite troubling, especially those citing poor educational infrastructure, the under-qualification of teachers, outdated textbooks for students, and the constant threat of violence.13 In order to improve the quality of education and thus work towards a better future for millions of Afghans, the government must employ measures to more effectively channel aid money and strengthen its ability to deliver services. Firstly, the government must ensure the provision of free education to all citizens and monitor and address cases of gender discrimination, as in certain instances aid intended for girls’ education is diverted to schools for boys.14 As with the suppression of drug smuggling, local officials should play a central role in overseeing the application of aid and reporting to the central government.15 This structure is particularly appropriate for Afghanistan’s primarily rural population, with provincial authorities holding greater credibility than the central government in particularly remote parts of the country. Indeed, in much of rural Afghanistan, the responsibility of providing education rests with local mullahs and imams, who are also the main figures of authority for rural communities. Given the numerous confirmed intelligence reports claiming that such imams in several cases also teach in Pakistani madrassas (religious schools) where growing numbers of children are radicalised, it is crucial that the government avoid alienating local populations through forced secularisation and centralisation of the education system. Instead, it should focus on providing education that is tailored to suit local realities and expectations, for example by using local languages to deliver the curriculum. This would discourage young people from joining extremist groups in retaliation to forced secularism and would ultimately aid in combating radicalisation.

However, decentralisation of curricula should be accompanied by a greater centralisation of the state and stronger linkages between provincial authorities and the government. To achieve this, aid money should be directed to the relevant ministries instead of being handled by foreign contractors, which has historically proven to be an inefficient means of handling expenses. Centralisation will thus entail more specific guidelines for provincial authorities, the creation of committees, a modernised Ministry of Education, training of teachers, provision of educational materials, and building and improving necessary infrastructure. This recommendation is limited primarily by the difficulties faced by a relatively weak government in implementing such far-reaching and detailed policies. Considering the absence of the nation-state tradition in Afghanistan, government heavy-handedness in regions where the population refers mainly to local chiefs would be difficult, as it may be perceived as an infringement of these regions’ independence and prompt greater resentment of the central government. Yet the fact remains that a national curriculum that focuses on both indigenous knowledge systems and prioritises radicalisation has the ability to stonewall efforts at ISKP’s brainwashing the youth in order to widen their recruitment pool. The recommendations above aim to foster a sense of national unity among an ethnically divided population to combat ISIS’ religious fundamentalism. Conclusion While ISIS has suffered important ground losses and lost most of its erstwhile ‘caliphate’ in the Middle East, it remains a potent threat. It has demonstrated an ability to adapt to new geopolitical situations, which should serve as an indication that Western and local governments must rethink their policies. This paper focused on the example of Afghanistan, where the ISKP has been expanding in the absence of a strong central government and in the midst of a nineteenyear-long war. Despite vast amounts of aid sent to the country every year, the government remains unable to utilise it in an effective manner, as large amounts of aid money are lost through corruption and crony capitalism. Focusing on the problem of ISIS affiliates, we have identified three ways in which foreign aid may be utilised in a more effective manner by Kabul to counter such threats. In the short-term, this paper recommends using the Pan-African E-Network as a tool of intelligence-gathering to intercept communications and strengthen diplomatic ties with friendly countries. It also highlights the importance of blocking sources of finance for terrorist groups like ISKP by investing aid money in advanced technologies such as drones to intercept drug smugglers, as well as supporting local economies to disincentivise people from becoming involved in illegal drug trades. A long-term strategy lies with boosting financial support for public services through foreign aid, with particular emphasis on bolstering Afghanistan’s education system.


Business and Economics

The Great(er) Recession: An International Stage by

Jack Cheng

How will a future recession differ from the Great Recession of 2008? To repeat a common story, the trigger for the Great Recession was the lack of effective credit controls in the US property market; spill-overs of sovereign debt in European markets and waning international consumer confidence fed into a vicious cycle marking the financial crisis of 2008.1 These three causes have since been addressed: there is stricter credit control in the US financial (especially property) markets, many Eurozone members began pursuing policies of austerity and consumer confidence has picked up.2 It will be difficult to trigger a recession similar to that of 2008, which begs the question: if another recession is imminent, when and why will it happen? This paper argues that the next recession will involve a set of coordinated slowdowns in multiple economies that will be caused by increasing isolationism and changes in economies to accommodate this political sentiment. The paper additionally aims to minimise the negative effects of a future recession. It will firstly diagnose the potential causes of an incoming recession, and


then evaluate policies that are enabling this status quo and consider potential policies to counteract these causes. The paper’s analysis will centre around the interplay between the Chinese and American economies. More specifically, it will analyse the political sentiments fostering their trade relations and whether these policies are appropriate for their domestic economies. It is worth remembering that the global economy is cyclical: just as there are booms, there will be busts. The economic cycle did not end after 2008 there will be future recessions, and the aim of this paper is to determine whether the next one is imminent given the current policies and relations between the Chinese and US economies. Current Policy Initiatives: US and Chinese Perspectives The world’s two largest economies are in the midst of a trade war, and at a time when nationalist sentiments are rising, this could prove dangerous for their respective economies and the global economy at large.3 As of September 2019, the US has imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of

BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS Chinese goods and the Chinese government has responded with tariffs on more than $110 billion worth of US products.4 While it is difficult to pin down a precise motivation for these tariffs, political rhetoric regarding the trade war has run rampant.5 One possible explanation lies with industries and employees in the US fearing replacement by Chinese manufacturing at price points not possible in the US. Whether this fear is justified or not, the policies taken by both the US and Chinese governments are affecting the global economy at large. The global economy is witnessing a synchronised slowdown. The IMF projects global growth to slow to 3.0% - its slowest pace since 2008.6 While US-Sino relations are not the sole cause of this slowdown, they are indicative of a change in international investment confidence. Uncertainty regarding international trade has dampened investor confidence, and this extends beyond the borders of the US and China. Policies of isolationism are being pursued globally; the US-China Trade War, Brexit and the Japanese-Korean trade dispute might only be the beginning stage of a larger economic shift towards isolationism. Erecting barriers to trade dampens global economic activity, as around 25% of global production is sold abroad.7 Isolationism is not necessarily disadvantageous for an economy, but governments pursuing isolationist policies may not be prepared for this shift. Until foreign demand can be replaced with domestic demand, and vice versa for foreign and domestic supply, erecting barriers to trade will harm an economy. As stated by the IMF, this slowdown in global growth can be attributed to a global deterioration in both trade and manufacturing. Trade volume is in decline, which seems self-evident given the recent imposition of tariffs and international uncertainty. However, a deterioration in trade volume alone is not enough to trigger a global recession. Instead, it is necessary to consider the decline in trade volume in conjunction with manufacturing. Traditional economic theories suggest that as economies develop, their production shifts from manufacturing-oriented towards service-oriented. Since De-

cember 2018, US manufacturing output has fallen by 1.5%.8 The services sector already accounts for 68% of global GDP: an optimist would hope that the global decline of the manufacturing sector has led to a decrease in trade volume, which will recover as the services sector grows to replace manufacturing.9 While this might hold true at some level, the global economy is too diverse and nuanced to be explained away so easily. At an event organised by King’s Think Tank on 21 November 2019, Kay Neufeld, the Head of Macroeconomics at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), spoke about the development of economic areas, the progression of technology and the interplay of both these factors in a global recession. While some economies are holding trade disputes, others are seeing greater economic unity in new trading blocs (such as the CPTPP). As changes in technology and demographics render some industries obsolete, economic isolationism and slowdowns in growth might be an inevitable step in global development. The synchronicity of economies undergoing this transition will determine when the next recession will take place. If major economies simultaneously slow down, there is a risk of a chain reaction across other economies. Unlike in 2008, this spill-over will not originate in one economy. The isolationist policies themselves will not trigger the next global recession; such a development hinges instead upon whether each economy has developed to a sufficient degree to implement such a policy, as well as each economy’s ability to rely on others during their implementations. Forecasting when an economy will reach an arbitrary level of ‘maturity’ is a difficult task; instead, governments should clearly manage expectations on foreign trade policy and coordinate technological progress between economies.

The Financial District of New York City. Photo by Dirk Knight (CC BY-NC 2.0).


THE SPECTRUM Combatting a Future Recession: Potential Policies This paper aims to minimise the negative effects of a future recession. At the time of writing, much of the global slowdown in economic growth can be attributed to a decline in trade and manufacturing, centred mostly between the US and Chinese economies with potential spill-over effects affecting the world. As these two causes are intimately linked, combating them will require two coordinated responses: managing expectations on trade and coordinating technological progress. Regarding foreign trade policy, the management of investor and consumer confidence is key. At the time of writing, US-Chinese trade policy is so volatile that it is difficult to determine the trend of either economy’s response. Suppliers of goods and services are uncertain as to whether they should continue production or even as to which demographic their consumers belong to. If both the US and Chinese governments were to publish a timeline for their possible responses should their counterpart impose another tariff of X%, suppliers and consumers in both countries could plan accordingly. Furthermore, economies trading with either the US or China could develop more informed and appropriate responses. This policy can be applied in other trade disputes. However, opponents might argue that the uncertainty surrounding the scale of the response is damaging in itself; this might even do more harm than good. While this may be true of many disputes, if enough major economies pursue the same vein of negotiation as the US-China Trade War, global investor confidence would plummet, and a slowdown will be inevitable. Disclosing the degree of a potential response at a later stage is a possible policy to de-escalate existing trade wars. The global economy is experiencing changes at many levels: aging demographics, climate change and the displacement of workers are phenomena that all economies must address. Even if governments prefer isolationism, these problems are systemic and affect the world at large. If many economies are encountering the same problems, they would benefit by coordinating research agreements. The economies of scale of research and funding will hurry developments in healthcare, education and energy. Regarding healthcare, many major economies are witnessing aging populations, including Japan, China, and the US. Aging populations are damaging in traditional economic theory because older demographics tend to consume and invest less. By coordinating developments in medical research, this might be averted. Separating the economic policies of trade from research is crucial to keeping channels of communication open. Furthermore, exchanging economic information allows governments to monitor which economies are at risk of heading into a recession. Governments will be able to reduce their dependencies on these economies and foreign entrepreneurs will be able to identify areas for potential growth.


Conclusion The next recession will be a gradual slow-down of the global economy to a halt. There will be no single origin point; instead, several economies will attempt inappropriate policies for their stage of development. Isolationist policies will be the cause for an imminent recession if many economies follow the lead and method of the US-China Trade War. This paper therefore recommends a higher degree of disclosure of potential retaliations and coordinating more research to render domestic consumptions independent of potential slowdowns elsewhere.


How can India effectively reduce its carbon emissions without compromising economic growth? By Disha Datta and Jhanvi Ohri

Air pollution is an ongoing issue in India. According to Greenpeace, the country is home to 22 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world.1 The most polluted, Gurugram, is one of India’s technology hubs. In the first two months of 2019, the Air Quality Index (measured by levels of fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5) in Gurugram was above 200. The Environmental Protection Agency regards this as ‘very unhealthy’, even warning that people may experience serious damage to their health if exposed.2 While environmental issues are at the forefront of policies around the world, this does not seem to be the case in India, where these concerns are not given due consideration. This is evident in governmental policy, as well as the attitudes of the elected Members of Parliament. A specialist at Greenpeace emphasises this, pointing to the lack of strictness regarding Public Health Regulations in the country.3 Issue of Air Pollution Air pollution has the potential to cause numerous health conditions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that yearly, 7 million people worldwide die prematurely from exposure to air pollution, with the World Bank calculating the cost to the world economy in lost labour at as much as $225bn.4 Economically, this means lower national productivity and a decreased labour force. This can negatively impact the economy of any country, affecting national level growth and GDP. According to the World Bank, India lost over 8.5 percent of its GDP in 2013 due to air pollution. A joint study by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation concluded that India incurred $505 billion in welfare losses due solely to air pollution and that the cost of lost labour was $55.4 billion.5 Therefore, it is clear that the cost of air pollution not only impacts the health and

Air pollution in Delhi. Photo by Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

welfare of ordinary people, but also results in losses incurred on a macroeconomic scale. The causes of this level of pollution vary depending on the area. In the capital city of Delhi, vehicle emissions and the burning of biomass account for the majority of pollution.6 In other metropolitan cities, including Mumbai and Kolkata, the main culprit is industrial emissions from small, medium and heavy industries.7 In rural India, high levels of pollution can be attributed to crop burning by farmers, as agriculture is the main occupation in these areas.8 Apart from this, the residential burning of wood and other biomass, predominantly for cooking and heating, significantly contributes to the contamination of the air.9 Current Policy Initiatives Currently, the government is addressing the issue of air pollution through the enactment of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Its implementation is spread across the next five years and aims to reduce the prominence of harmful particulate matter by 20 to 30 percent in 102 Indian cities, through air-quality monitoring technology and increased citizen awareness. The provision of cooking gas cylinders to over 50 million poor households intends to reduce emissions released by biomass burning.10 While these measures tackle some major sources of pollution, the programme has been criticised for not having a sufficiently high target to address the extent of the climate emergency we presently face. Firstly, the NCAP only targets a fraction of the 241 Indian cities identified by Greenpeace as experiencing unsafe levels of air quality. This leaves 139 cities out of the scope of the programme and susceptible to harm. Secondly, the government has not treated the issue of air pollution with adequate urgency. The enforcement of the NCAP and deadlines for implementation have been lax leaving air quality at risk of deteriorating further, unless drastic and consistent efforts are undertaken. In place of quick action, the NCAP has been collecting data about the air quality in the country. However, the government has not invested enough in monitoring technology, resulting in inaccurate readings provided by the air grade regulators, which do not pick up on subtle local patterns in data. This creates the issue of potentially cost-ineffective solutions when dealing with the problem of air pollution, and this inefficiency could result in a decline in air quality nationwide. Lastly, the NCAP does not adequately address the source of coal-powered plants as a cause of pollution. Unless emissions from the power industry are properly targeted, experts suggest that there will be little improvement of air quality in India. 39

THE SPECTRUM Furthermore, investing in high quality pollution measurement tools enables policymakers to allocate resources more efficiently and limits excess costs.

A wind farm in Tamil Nadu. Photo by P Jeganathan (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Policy Proposals 1. Investment in green technology The first policy initiative this paper proposes is greater investment into green technology. The Ericsson Mobility Report claims that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% by 2030.11 Examples of these include investment into electric transportation, more energy efficient electricity grids and using technology to optimise agriculture and land use. As ICT as a sector has little to no negative impact on the environment, investment in technology would provide benefits to society without imposing costs on the environment. A practical implementation of this policy could involve investment into better monitoring tools for cities. Addressing the issue of inaccurate monitoring technology, we suggest that the Indian government look into employing NarrowBand-Iot sensor networks - a development by Ericsson and IIT Kanpur15. These sensors monitor air pollution levels in real-time and provide accurate data that can be analysed and used to help the government introduce targeted policies based on region. While this has already been tested in Delhi, its success leads us to propose continued investment in this product, as well as its implementation in other highly polluted cities to more effectively understand underlying pollution patterns in communities across the country. In addition, local start-ups in India provide another source of innovative, clean-tech products that can also be fast-tracked by the government to help introduce new ways to reduce particulate matter emissions in the air. While investment in technology comes at a cost to the government, we believe this policy proposal remains viable and will help India effectively reduce its PMO levels. The multiplier effect of fiscal policy suggests that this investment will generate greater returns for the economy in the long-run.


2. Transition to cleaner energy sources This paper also advocates for an energy transition away from coal and biomass and towards cleaner sources. Given India’s diverse climate, sun and wind energy is ubiquitous in many states in the nation. This makes green energy a reliable and easily available alternative to the more harmful predescribed sources. The renewable energy sector is an attractive and growing global market.12 We propose that India develop this sector to meet the robust demand for energy from its expanding population. Tamil Nadu is already one of the world’s leading renewable energy markets, particularly with its use of wind and solar energy.13 Since many states in India have a similar climate, we suggest this initiative be scaled up and introduced in other regions. This sector of the economy is becoming increasingly profitable, so investment in cleaner energy would be an innovative way for the government to generate revenue through further development of the industry. Additionally, incentivising the use of electric vehicles over those using petrol and diesel would further reduce vehicle emissions. The World Economic Forum also maintains that ‘reducing tailpipe emissions from urban transportation is critical to address climate change’.14 A key policy intervention is investment into electric public transport, particularly buses. Investing in upgrading India’s public transit would incentivise people to use buses and trains, reducing the number of cars on the road and therefore reducing vehicle emissions. While this is a costly initiative, the benefits of cleaner air and less traffic would manifest as increases in labour productivity, thus boosting the economy as a whole. Conclusion India’s air pollution problem is rampant and growing, causing the economy to incur severe costs to its productivity and workforce. While the government has put forth initiatives to reduce particulate matter in the air, lax regulation has hampered their effectiveness. As such, this paper has outlined two key proposals that will bring benefits to India’s air quality and macroeconomic growth. Investment in green technology and a transition to cleaner energy resources will place India at the forefront of two growing sectors, while reducing the harmful effects of air pollution on the Indian population. These measures to limit the impact of air pollution will save lives and help support the global effort against climate change. Equally importantly, investing in these areas of the economy will not necessarily hinder economic growth.


Sovereign Green Bonds and the Race to Zero Carbon Emission Time for the UK to catch up

By Nader di Michele and Josephine Münch The 2015 Paris Agreement completely redesigned the race to net-zero carbon emission by strengthening international commitments to diminish carbon emissions. It engendered a wave of territorial, national, and supranational political agreements on carbon neutrality. Four years later, the British parliament amended the Climate Change Act setting a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050. In 2015, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) estimated the total investment needed to meet the UK's fifth carbon budget at approximately £22 billion per year (1 percent of GDP).1 More importantly, a report to the government by the Green Finance TaskForce noted that private investment is key for the UK to deliver the ambition of the CCC. It specifically suggests that 90 percent of the investment should be private while 10 percent is public. Yet, the UK is far from achieving this goal and as it fails to encourage the necessary conditions for private investments to take part in the UK's carbon neutrality target. Green bonds are the key tool used in finance to raise capital targeting projects with sustainable purposes. However, green bonds appear to lack framing and raise several issues such as greenwashing and the liquidity of assets. Thus, we suggest the implementation of a sovereign green bond which would both reinforce the UK's national and international commitment to environmental targets and create a strict framework in green bond issuances. Green Bonds in the world and the UK Countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Poland, or the US are increasingly taking the lead in shaping the global policy agenda by developing and marketing new green finance products. Although this displays global recognition of a much-needed transition to greener finance, the Green Finance TaskForce recognises that the UK risks falling behind as the pace of innovation and policy change accelerates globally. Although the UK is a world leader in the underwriting, structuring, and listing of international green bonds, it severely lags in terms of domestic green bond issuance. The UK is unusual among developed countries in this regard, as it failed to make the list of the top 10 countries in terms of green bond issuance in 2017. As such, in the first six months of 2018, €38 billion worth of green bonds were sold in France compared with €3.5 billion in the UK. Moreover, in its last report, the CCC specifically advised the British government to create more incentives for private green investments, emphasising the impossibility to reach the 2050 carbon target at the UK’s current pace. Thus, the Green Finance TaskForce report, a 2018 government report on the

current state of UK Green finance, strongly recommended the implementation of a sovereign green bond. Despite these guidelines, the government does not plan to issue a sovereign green bond considering ‘the lack of significant barriers to market for corporate issuance in the UK’.2 The UK’s failing green investment strategy In 2017, the British government released its Green Finance Strategy, setting the stage for sustainable finance. The three step strategy is designed to ‘align private sector financial flows with clean, environmentally sustainable, and resilient growth’ through greening finance, financing green projects and 'capturing the opportunity.' This ensures that the UK’s financial sector is able to capture the domestic and international commercial opportunities arising from the ‘greening of finance,' such as climate related data and analytics.3 This report is the first step in shaping green finance in the UK. Yet, it does not implement a plan of action to incentivise public or private investors. On the contrary, the UK Sustainable Finance and Investment Association found this year that 47 percent of fund managers have no corporate commitment to achieving the Paris Agreement targets. Assets under pension funds management in the UK total around 105 percent of GDP at £2.25 trillion, providing greater scope for pension savings to be deployed towards low carbon schemes. This is highlighted by the fact that only £16.7 billion were invested in ‘ethical funds’ in 2018, which represents less than half of the French amount.4 The situation shows an absence of incentives for private investors to enter the green bond market stemming from the lack of determination from the government to generate sovereign green bonds which would smoothen and simplify the process for investors. The issuance of a sovereign green bond would both strengthen the country's motivation to reach its target and satisfy the growing demand from investors to see positive social outcomes as a major aspect of their investments’ selection. A survey of 48 of the largest Europe-based fixed income asset managers has shown that comparing preferences with current green bond availability, there is a vast opportunity for sovereign issuers to bring more green bonds into the market and that a sovereign green bond is the most effective market mechanism which could scale up the green bond market. 5 Thus, the UK must respond to this demand for sovereign green bonds in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Without the government to regulate and create incentives for investors, the UK will fall behind and miss its carbon


THE SPECTRUM neutrality target. Multiple specialists and investors are regretting the absence of a sovereign green bond which would broaden the green investor pool and offer better visibility of the UK's commitment to green finance. Asif Rafique, managing director of Quercus Fund confirmed that ‘sovereign green bonds will have an impact and improve the UK's current green finance to help the country meet its targets’.6 Thousands of projects have already been internationally implemented, following the rise of sovereign green bonds. From low-carbon transportation in France to energy efficiency in Belgium or reforestation in Nigeria, sovereign green bonds are increasingly becoming the key financial tool for governments to raise capital to implement infrastructure plans aligned with national targets.7 A sovereign green bond in the UK could

Since 2012, the Île-de-France region (France) has issued four green bonds, successfully fostering sustainable transportation and public transport. Photo by Cheng-en Cheng (CC BY-SA 2.0).

radically change the face of green finance and stimulate local projects and initiatives which would have a direct positive impact on the populations.8 For example, local states in France and Germany have taken the lead and issued several green bonds in order to raise investments in their regions. These investments are directly targeting facilities, transport, and research and education.9 Policy Proposals: Implementing a sovereign green bond in the UK 1. Liquidity The norm for fund investors is to invest in assets that can be liquidated daily. However, this presents a barrier to investment in illiquid assets which would contribute to the objectives set out by the UK green finance and the Clean Growth Strategy. This stems from how daily pricing enables investors to transfer funds in and out at any time, using recent evaluations for the assets. Consequently, because illiquid assets cannot always be accurately valued at a select time, investment in sovereign green bonds has raised concerns for investors. This issue has been highlighted as a major barrier by a multitude of industry leaders such as Hiro Mizuno, the chief investment officer for GPIF, the world’s top pension fund.10 Nevertheless, a wide body of research shows that an allocation of investment to more illiquid and long-term assets, such as the one offered by sovereign green bonds, is likely to enhance portfolio returns over time.11 However, the finan-


cial services environment has developed in a manner that favors daily pricing and trading. This problem is reinforced by the fact that 40 percent of pension funds trustees in the UK believe that there is a requirement for daily pricing and liquidity.12 In reality, this requirement is non-existent - it is mainly the trading platforms commonly used by pension funds that need daily dealing and pricings. Thus, the key barrier to private investment in sovereign green bonds is only structural and behavioral. To solve this problem, the TPR (The Pension Regulator) and the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) should clarify and better promote existing guidance for defined contribution pension assets that specifies that daily dealings are not required under regulation and which encourages improved balancing of illiquid assets and member investment objectives. This would help tackle the perceived barriers to investing in illiquid asset options.13 Moreover, the UK should further develop secondary markets for illiquid instruments, like the Italian Stock Exchange’s MIV.14 This allows for a secondary market for the green bond’s illiquid assets, instead of investors having to wait for the investment to come to maturity and thus to recover their investment.15 2. Greenwashing The lack of a common definition for a "green" bond has already led to multiple controversies. Most notably in 2014, in what was at the time the largest corporate bond issued standing at £2.5 billion, issued by GDF Suez. Among other projects, this bond funded the Jirau Dam project in Brazil,

BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS which contributed to the flooding of 362 square kilometres of rainforest, in addition to being associated with multiple labour rights violations and negative impacts on local indigenous communities.16 Less publicized instances of green washings include China’s definition of green assets including improving the efficiency of fossil fuels.17 Such examples highlight the environmental, reputational, and legal risks associated with the labeling of green bonds. If the UK is to implement a sovereign green bond, it must arrive at a definition of a sovereign green bond that allows it to make meaningful contributions to the transition of a low-carbon economy by maintaining the environmental integrity of the sovereign bond.

bonds part of this broader process towards the recognition and growth of ESG among all aspects of UK finance, that they can be ensured as more than a ‘passing fad’.21 For this to happen, and thus for the Sovereign Green Bond to be implemented successfully in the UK, problems of liquidity and greenwashing need to be addressed. Consequently, in addition to the general implementation of a UK Sovereign Green Bond, the UK government needs to implement TEEC labeling to its Sovereign Green Bond, along with having the TPR and the FCA better promoting guidance on daily dealings and the development of a secondary market for illiquid instruments.

However, there remain several challenges related to the external reviewing process, such as the lack of comparability of information, difficulty in selecting reporting indicators, potential conflicts of interest, and transaction costs. Since the first green bond issuance by Unilever in 2014, Barclays and HSBC have stood out as the biggest green bond issuers in the UK. It thus justifies the raising concerns about ‘greenwashing’ as these companies are the most polluting ones in the world.18 This is why a sovereign green bond appears to be a solution to the enduring greenwashing issue. Indeed, the implementation of a sovereign green bond often results in the creation of labeling and creates incentives for national and local projects to be undertaken. Along with the issuance of its first sovereign green bond, the French government implemented the TEEC (The Energy and Ecological Transition for Climate) label guaranteeing that the activities funded are in line with the green economy.19 This would solve the UK's tardiness in reaching its carbon neutrality target. This would ultimately also address the investors’ worries about greenwashing, with 50 percent of European investors demanding stricter definition and labeling of green bonds (Green Bond European Investor Survey led by the Climate Bond Initiative in 2018) following the TaskForce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures’s (TCFD) recommendations to provide better guidelines for investors. Conclusion Sir Robert Stheeman, the UK’s Chief Executive Officer of the Debt Management Office, when asked about green bonds said that ‘ultimately this is a decision for ministers... if ministers are to decide this is something we should do, not only will we do it, but we would make a success of it’.20 Thus, now it is time for ministers to acknowledge the huge untapped potential of a UK Sovereign Green Bond in order to both meet the UK’s CO2 targets, as well as bolstering the declining state of UK Green Finance. Nevertheless, sovereign green bonds represent only one of the many ways in which to engage with ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) practices. It is only by making sovereign green



Dangers of Cryptocurrency: A Case Study on Facebook’s Libra in the Context of UK Financial Regulation By Yasmin Cheema and Disha Datta

tution, they can become difficult to regulate. The ‘value’ of each token is entirely dependent on what the owners ascribe them with no backing from any central authority. This means that no government or trusted financial institution, for instance the FCA in the UK, can defend property rights or ease complications in transactions. For instance, in the case of fraudulent activity victims do not have the same legal options available to them as they would in traditional banking circumstances. This unclear path to legal recourse deems cryptoassets risky investments in the eyes of many financial regulators, with the FCA referring to them as ‘highly speculative assets’.2 This paper looks at current cryptoasset regulation as more cryptocurrencies come into light. Particularly, we analyse Libra, the cryptocurrency proposed by Facebook, within the context of UK financial regulation. With the highly anticipated launch due to take place in 2020, regulation has become of utmost concern for policymakers and investors alike. In fact, recent scandals have indicated that cryptocurrencies lack a regulatory framework robust enough to protect their customers.3 The scandals regarding fraudulent activity and privacy have caused central banks to be especially sceptical of the introduction of new cryptocurrencies.4 This high regulatory pressure and political pushback has caused Facebook to alter their plans for Libra, aiming to support ‘both existing government-backed currencies, like the US dollar and the euro, and the Libra token when it is eventu-

While most of us have heard of the rising phenomenon of Bitcoin and other such cryptocurrencies, few of us have a clear understanding of how they work and the dangers associated with investing in them. With experts disagreeing on how to approach these risky assets, cryptocurrency is becoming an increasingly polarising topic. As cryptocurrencies gain popularity around the world, the issue of regulation is becoming a relevant and urgent one, with countries taking vastly different policy approaches in an attempt to protect financial markets from volatility. In this paper, we will address the UK’s approach to regulating cryptoassets, and specifically cryptocurrencies, and will discuss the potential pitfalls to their current policies. Conducting a case study on Facebook’s newly introduced Libra, we will take inspiration from successful polAbbreviations icy implementations in Switzerland and the EU to suggest extensions to the Financial FCA Conduct Authority’s (FCA) current 5AMLD regulations. 5AMLD Background on Cryptocurrencies Cryptocurrencies are unique from other asHMRC sets because they are entirely decentralised, meaning that they have no affiliations with SM&CR any government and are not attached to any 1 other existing currency. They use blockchain MLR technology to conduct financial transactions in a completely digitalised manner. The lack of central authority managing the currency FSCS enables users to experience low to no transaction costs and processing fees, making 6ALMD cryptocurrencies attractive to customers and investors alike. That being said, since tokens are unattached to any jurisdiction or insti-


Full Name Financial Conduct Authority Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive HM Revenue and Customs Senior Managers and Certification Regime Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 Financial Service Compensation Scheme Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive

BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS ally completed and ready to launch’.5 Under these new developments, the FCA should be able to implement stricter regulatory measures to better ensure that investors are not vulnerable to fraud or other such unethical activities, reducing the volatility of these assets and easing shocks to financial markets overall. The FCA’s Current Regulations Within the UK, the FCA has a crucial role in regulation for financial services firms and markets.6 The regulator’s main objectives include protecting customers and financial markets, as well as promoting competition within the market. Cryptoassets present a difficult market to regulate, as they are constantly changing and evolving with the introduction of new currencies and innovation, fostering volatility and uncertainty within the market. The difficulty of enforcing regulation within the market provides problems for HMRC in determining the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies. Therefore, the difficulties in defining the ‘legal and regulatory status’ of a cryptocurrency remain ongoing.7 The FCA defines different categories of cryptoassets, including exchange tokens, utility tokens, and security tokens. In the UK, regulation of crypto assets currently includes security tokens, which are defined as tokens which offer rights ‘such as ownership, repayment of a specific sum of money, or entitlement to a share in future profit’.8 These rights are similar to those of specified investments. Furthermore, E-money is regulated by the FCA and is located under the utility tokens definition. Tokens allow buyers access to a ‘current or prospective product or service’.9 Unlike security tokens, the rights of buyers are not like those of specified investments. General rules on regulating financial activity are also present in the cryptoassets market. Firms must abide by the Senior Managers and Certification Regime if they are unregulated but authorised by the FCA. SM&CR is used to increase the accountability of individuals to ensure competency and that the rules of conduct are followed.10 This is beneficial for consumers in the crypto market, as it allows the FCA to ‘take disciplinary action against individuals who break the regulators’ rules’, protecting consumer interest.11 The FCA is working to improve financial guidance for consumers to ensure they are aware of which activities in the cryptoassets markets are protected.12 By informing the public, they are more aware of market volatility and the risks associated with specific activities. Moreover, the FCA works with authorities in order to prevent fraudulent activity and the growing issue of the theft of cryptoassets through cybercrime, which saw ‘$731 million worth of cryptoassets… stolen from exchanges’ in the first half of 2018.13

Facebook's Libra logo. By Alpari (CC BY 2.0).

However, exchange tokens, namely their transfer, purchase, and sale, are not regulated in the UK as of today. A lack of effective regulation of exchange tokens facilitates anonymity, which can lead to the illegal activities discussed above. The FCA aims to prevent this by increasing the scope of regulation through the requirement of cryptocurrency exchanges to meet the FCA’s specifications. The impact of future policy on Libra With the introduction of Facebook’s Libra currency, these issues of sufficient policy are even more salient. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has revealed his fear that Facebook’s digital currency threatens the stability of the financial market and aids fraud.14 Presently, the FCA are working with the Bank of England and the UK treasury in order to develop a strategy to deal with the significant risks that cryptocurrency presents. The 5th Anti-money laundering directive (5AMLD) promises to better deal with these risks and was introduced into UK and EU law on 10 January 2020.15 It will be put into full force by 10 January 2021, meaning that by this date ‘any existing business not registered must cease trading’.16 What is the 5AMLD, and will it be effective? Building on 4AMLD, 5AMLD aims to improve the ‘homogenisation of legislation’and provides greater clarification on existing legislation to improve market stability.17 More significant cryptoasset activities (including cryptocurrency exchanges) are now included under compliance regulation, as they must abide by the MLR (Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017).18 This allows regulators to supervise cryptoasset businesses by monitoring exchange services and analysing the risk businesses hold in partaking in illegal activities. If there is serious misconduct, the FCA will conduct an enforcement investigation, which could lead to financial penalties and other disciplinary sanctions.19 When evaluating the effectiveness of regulation, we will first consider the regulation’s aim, namely to prevent money


THE SPECTRUM laundering as well as terrorist financing. Both types of financial crime are prevalent issues, with the Financial Action Task Force reporting that ‘suspicious transaction reporting linked to cryptoassets is rising globally’.20 The FCA states that even though businesses will register under this directive, customers will not necessarily be afforded greater protection in cryptoassets exchange. This is because the majority of cryptoassets are not ‘specified investments under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000’.21 Therefore, consumers are not protected under the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS). A high risk remains, as consumers will not be compensated if a crypto business that they have interacted with fails. The lack of protection of the public could limit the effectiveness of regulation, as how all ‘cryptoasset businesses conduct their businesses with consumers’ is not covered.22 Additionally, the introduction of increased regulations could be potentially damaging for smaller and growing companies, as it may become more expensive for businesses to keep track of purchases and take steps towards reducing anonymity. On the other hand, the FCA maintains that the larger regulation perimeter will improve ‘competition in the interest of consumers’ and encourage more participation as there is less uncertainty for consumers.23 Furthermore, the introduction of 5AMLD represents a step in the right direction, as it extends regulation to more cryptoassets. The FCA register allows consumers to be more informed by allowing them to check ‘if a cryptoasset falls within the [regulatory] perimeter’.24 The directive offers a promising push towards increasing the accountability of crypto businesses and the activities they pursue by increasing the ‘transparency of transactions’ on crypto trading platforms.25 Furthermore, the rise in supervision of cryptoassets means that business operations and their structure are more heavily scrutinised.26 This FCA suggests that market integrity will be improved, as registered authorised businesses will have to follow guidance and rules set out by the FCA. However, the full effectiveness of the 5AMLD in achieving these objectives is yet to be seen, as the directive does not come into full effect until Jan 2021. By this date, existing businesses must be registered if they conduct cryptoassets activity defined by the FCA under this new regulation. Only then can we truly measure the change that regulation has had on the financial sector and the prevention of AML. Alternative policies and their implications for Libra As cryptocurrencies are a new and unexplored field, financial regulators can take several approaches when introducing policies. For instance, the FCA could adopt a more progressive stance towards cryptocurrencies, perhaps based upon


the regulations implemented in Switzerland, where tokens are legal and even accepted as payment in some contexts. Switzerland clearly views cryptocurrencies as assets, and thus requires that they be declared on annual tax returns.27 As in the UK, Libra would have to undergo a registration process in order to operate in Switzerland. However, as cryptocurrencies are already viewed as legal tender in Switzerland, the organisation would face fewer obstacles when releasing their tokens in comparison to the intense oversight they are currently undergoing. As such, a friendlier regulatory environment would enable the creators to release their assets with fewer frictions and in an atmosphere that encourages innovation in blockchain technology.28 However, recent Facebook scandals involving Cambridge Analytica and privacy issues perhaps indicate that their token launch should be subjected to stricter regulation than is offered by the Swiss model. Furthermore, when Facebook was unable to withstand the scrutiny from the House Financial Services Committee, reputable members of the Libra Association including Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe and Visa subsequently bowed out. The chairwoman of the committee, Rep. Maxine Waters, stated that ‘[Libra] could pose systemic risks that endanger US and global financial stability’.29 Members of the Libra Association withdrawing from the project suggests that the token is not yet internally robust enough to handle the external regulatory pressure put out by the US and the UK government financial bodies.30 Under these circumstances, it may be more beneficial for the FCA to adopt a stricter approach towards cryptocurrencies, perhaps following the European Union’s post-Brexit policy initiatives. With the European Central Bank exploring the prospect of tightening cryptocurrency regulations, they are looking to implement a Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD) to supplement 5AMLD to introduce stricter controls on the release and use of cryptocurrencies. In this instance, Libra would be required to transition to a less ambitious project, for example supporting existing government-backed currencies, which is what they have recently had to turn to.31 This approach would ensure that Libra is releasing a less volatile currency that would be far less risky than their original project. Conclusion The growing field of cryptocurrencies means that governments and financial institutions alike must adapt their policies to take into account these developments in technology. Whether that means taking a more lax approach to regulation, such as in Switzerland, or a more stringent approach such as that adopted by the EU, depends largely on the internal reliability of the currency and how it is being developed. Therefore, we advocate a more regulated financial system which prioritises the protection of its customers over significant technological innovation.


Employing behavioural insights to reduce the UK’s meat consumption By Areeshya Thevamanohar and Inseya Ali

The present threat The agricultural industry produces some 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and it is the industry most vulnerable to climate change.1 Our current resource use is 70 percent greater than its rate of replenishment, meaning the world uses up our annual ecological budget by August each year.2 Global demand for meat has increased fivefold in the last 50 years.3 If consumption trends continue as predicted, the world would need to increase food production by more than 50 percent to feed nearly 10 billion people in 2050, according to the World Resource Institute (WRI).4 There will be a significant strain on food production overall if changes are not made. While this is a complex problem that can be approached through a number of policy initiatives, this paper aims to focus on the demand side of the equation using behavioural insights rooted in nudge theory. The underlying idea is to normalise plant-based food options in supermarkets and restaurants, to nudge consumers towards these options increasingly. With chaos theory in mind, nudging even a small group of people to start including these options into their diets would begin to normalise it; having a much broader effect over time.

Demand Stage 1 A small group of early-adopters are nudged towards opting for certain plant-based products and meals.

In their 2008 book, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein pioneered the idea of ‘nudging’ in public policy. In their own words, it includes ‘any aspect of the choice of architecture that predictably alters people’s behaviour without forbidding any options.’5 The choice architect being policymakers, can alter people’s behaviour by changing the environment in which individuals make choices. They can make the best option the easiest to select. Background Chaos theory suggests that changing something minimal can have a disproportionate influence on the world, which nudge is conceptually grounded in.6 This paper aims to utilise nudge theory to promote the reduction of meat consumption in the United Kingdom (UK). This is done through low-cost initiatives that make sustainable choices more accessible for consumers, and therefore normalise the consumption of plant-based foods. Behavioural insights focus on the social aspects of our behaviour, aiming to combine it with economics. In observing the way social groups function, it is common to have an ‘us and them’ mentality, and we see this with vegetarians and vegans versus meat-eaters. There have been hostile interactions between the groups. However, if we attempt to remove the barriers between the categories, it could be possible to see individuals opting for healthier options; this is our social choice architecture.

Supply Suppliers are nudged towards catering to the demand from this group. There is an incentive to gear production and marketing towards this. The global alternative meat market makes $14 billion currently.8

Stage 2 The small group of early-adopters create a ripple effect by normalising a shift in diet. This could nudge more individuals who begin to believe it is normal to opt for such products as well.

This ripple effect creates a further surge in demand for plant-based food products and meals. As it grows, suppliers will need to shift production towards making sustainable products instead; reducing the meat supply.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) discovered that worldwide adoption of a less meat-heavy diet would generate over a quarter of the emission reductions needed across all sectors by 2050.7 Based on the theory, the table below is a possible scenario, although the duration of the stages in general. It is a prediction of what we expect to happen over time if we execute the outlined policy recommendations. It boils down to a very simple concept; if there is demand, there is supply. If the global demand for meat products is reduced and shifted towards plant-based products, the supply side will make this shift too. Policy Recommendations BIT uses an ‘ISM’ model, which identi-


THE SPECTRUM looking at food-related content on social media and more than an hour and a half doing the same with television.10 Informational advertising could be a way to get people to shift their diet slowly and naturally without feeling that they were guilted or forced into making the decision.

The Beyond Burger, a simulated beef product. By BYMTDigital (CC BY-SA 4.0)

fies the dominant factors that shape our diets on three levels (individual, social and material). It is using this model that we identify our policy recommendations. Recommendation 1: The UK Government should invest in making plant-based food more socially desirable. A formal campaign would defeat the purpose of using nudge. Instead, information advertisements would be placed in public areas and public transport. These could be brief statements that debunk myths about meat being a necessity for diets, for instance, or about the impact of meat consumption on the environment. This could help raise awareness and fill gaps in knowledge about sustainable diets, sparking curiosity in individuals. The UK government could employ health professionals, as well as prominent chefs and personal trainers to also inform the public by exposing such myths. These professionals could show recipes and tips focused on plant-based meals and its benefits, instead of explicitly using the message of ‘stop eating meat’. This normalises such consumption and again could nudge consumers into using products when replicating such meals. BIT found that the average adult spends five hours a week

Individual ‘Inner’ psychological drivers of our behaviour such as ingrained habit, emotion, heuristics (mental shortcuts), and cognitive bias.

The aim of the traffic light system is to nudge consumers to opting for healthier food options that are in the ‘green zone’ because the colour red is equated with negative connotations regarding their health. The reduction in calorie intake discovered in CCHS indicates there is some effectiveness in the method. Similar to the traffic light system on labels used in the UK to nudge consumers into opting for healthier options, the government could introduce a point system. The point system could range from ‘1’ indicating a healthier, greener and better sustainably produced product to ‘5,’ which would indicate a product that does not follow these practices. This would be government-regulated and calculated by green metrics such as carbon emission and printed on the labels of food products. It could get consumers to start thinking about the sustainability of the products they purchase and nudge them into opting for products that score better. Hence also nudging suppliers to consider how to change production methods and products for the better to increase scores. We recommend executing trial tests to see how consumers

Social The influence of others on our behaviour including cultural norms and narratives, peer influence, and social identity.

The ‘ISM’ Model (Source: Behavioural Insights Team)9


Recommendation 2: The UK government should impose a point system on all labels of food products sold at supermarkets. The traffic light system used on food products is currently practiced in the UK. Some labels on the front of the pack, use colour-coded nutritional information which tells the consumer at glance if the food is high, medium, or low amounts of fat, saturated fats, sugars, and salt. The colours used are red, amber, and green to highlight the various categories.11 Research on the traffic light system in Canada through the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) found that under a traffic light scenario, the calorie intake of respondents reduced by 5 percent.12

Material The wider physical and economic context. Includes pricing, mass media and advertising, and technological factors that shape our food environment.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS respond to such metrics first. This will also help normalise the practice of considering sustainability when purchasing food products which could have wider long-term implications on the food industry. Recommendation 3: Companies should alter labels on food products at supermarkets to make sustainable options more appealing Research by Better Buying Lab (BBL) found that the labels attached to food products and meals can influence the extent of appeal a customer has towards purchasing it.13 For instance, BBL found that using ‘meat-free’ means ‘less of what meat eaters like.’ It quoted a study with Sainsburys supermarket in the UK which observed a 76 percent increase in the sales of two dishes by removing “meat-free” in the dishes’ name and replacing it with a more appealing name. BBL said ‘it is counterproductive to communicate that a food is ‘free” of meat if the goal is to appeal to more meat-eaters.’14 The aim of altering labels is not to hide that a product is vegetarian or vegan. The idea is to rephrase the main labels used on products. This removes the immediate disregard meat-eaters may react with if words like ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’ are used in a name because they hold pre-existing assumptions on what the product may taste like. Instead, this paper aligns with BBL’s recommendation to change the language used on the main labels. For instance, BBL suggests highlighting provenance as it can be evocative. It cited a market test where Panera Bread switched the name of its ‘Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup’ to ‘Cuban Black Bean Soup,’ which resulted in a 13 percent increase in sales in trial locations. ‘Leveraging a food’s provenance, meaning where the cuisine originates or even the earthly traits if plant-based, is as powerful a tactic to create positive associations with a product,’ BBL stated in its report.15 The recommendation here is to change the way food products are named in their main label. Acknowledging that the product is vegetarian or vegan will have to be included in the label itself, but it does not have to be the name of the product. Instead, using a green symbol to indicate it is vegetarian or positioning it on the back of the product’s description label could help increase the time spent by a customer to familiarise themselves with the product. Behavioural insights aim to target the cognitive shortcuts individuals make when choosing between options. In this case, the labels help avoid customers who practice heavymeat diets immediately disregard a product because its name supports the negative perceptions associated with meat-free food products. They may instead just pick the product up based on the appeal of its name. Alternatively, they may

spend more time looking over the product, without allowing preconceived opinions to dominate their purchasing behaviour. By removing labels that automatically turn away meat-eating customers, customers may spend more time observing the product, and thereby potentially buy it, even if they eventually see it is meat-free. A difference in choice of name and description avoids negative stigma the consumer may subconsciously hold, and may otherwise turn them away at first glance. Behavioural insights alone may not be sufficient The benefits of adopting behavioural insights into policymaking are that they are low-cost, simple, and place no explicit infringement upon an individual’s right to make a decision. With encouraging a shift to sustainable food options, this would be beneficial as it nudges someone towards the decision as opposed to a paternalistic approach that forces them to make that choice. However, these steps alone are often not enough to address the problem at large. These steps are simple ways the UK government can help reduce consumption of meat such as lamb and beef by 20 percent.16 It is nonetheless challenging to demonstrate the effectiveness and the total duration such steps could take to perceive success. In order to meet the 2050 target, the government would still have to employ other methods that may be more paternalistic in nature in order to achieve their goal. For instance, employing sustainability-linked loans where borrowers get either rewarded or penalised on their performance using green metrics could be a harsher approach in addressing the supply side of the problem. An example of how this works is Smart AG. This technology helps producers find the right amount of seed fertiliser and chemicals working alongside ING Bank, which provides and adjusts green loans.17 Another option could be to implement a producer-facing carbon tax which could push for product reformulation and innovation. The potential success of this is seen with the sugar tax in the UK. These are more formidable approaches that may need to be adopted as well to address different areas of the current reforming of the food system. Such measures working alongside behavioural insight approaches can create noticeable change potentially at a quicker speed. Conclusion Our policy recommendations have outlined ways that the UK government, supermarkets, and restaurants can help make small changes to the choice architecture. We suggest that as such products and meals normalise within society, it could increase the number of consumers opting for a


THE SPECTRUM change, creating a shift in the supply side as well. This is an essential step, as a reconstruction of the food system is necessary to address both climate change and the growing global population at large. With ongoing research in the UK, we deemed it a good case study to look at with the extended goal of having other countries adopting similar measures (noting its success will depend on a case by case basis).


While using behavioural insights makes for easy resource allocation, nudging a shift in demand will not be enough to address and solve the intricacies of the food problem. Therefore, it is likely that this method would need to work in unison with more paternalistic approaches that directly target the production end of the chain. Together, these methods can help the UK achieve the 20 percent reduction in meat consumption (beef and lamb mainly) and carbon-free emissions by 2050.



Energy & Environment


The Policy Challenge of International Public Goods Why the UK should increase funding to the Congo Rainforest by

Mathilde Funck Brentano and Ambre Barria

The majority of global crises currently dominating the international policy agenda are linked to an under-provision of International Public Goods (IPGs). It is evident that in the context of globalization making development policies humane and equitable requires a common vision of global prosperity. Only such a vision can allow for issues such as epidemics, financial instability, pollution, and conflicts to be addressed, and make possible the existence of IPGs. The World Bank defines IPGs as “the rules that apply across borders, the institutions that supervise and enforce these rules, and the benefits (and costs) that accrue without distinctions between countries”.1 This, in turn, poses a policy challenge, as neither the set of existing institutions nor the markets can provide the required trans-national rules and resources in a sustained and effective manner. However, the provision of IPGs remains largely reliant on national initiatives and self-interest oriented actions because IPGs such as enhanced public health and educational systems, cleaner environments, safer financial systems, and research and development (R&D) are considered beneficial on a domestic and

‘It is not beyond the powers of political volition to tip the scales towards more secure peace, greater economic well-being, social justice and environmental sustainability. But no country can achieve these global public goods on its own, and neither can the global marketplace. Thus our efforts must now focus on the missing term of the equation: global public goods.’ Kofi Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations global level. Using the example of British aid in the Congo Basin, this paper will therefore explain why developed countries have incentives to finance IPGs and illustrate how they should model their aid programs to better address issues that can arise from this process. 51

THE SPECTRUM Incentives for developed countries to invest in IPGs Creating incentives for governments, businesses, individuals, and non-governmental actors to invest in IPGs is crucial in order to trigger a coordinated action that is not only efficient but also inclusive. This cooperation is essential for developed countries, as they often bear the majority of the financial burden when international crises arise, whether they be environmental, security, health-related, or financial. Enhanced cooperation and more orderly management of global policies would lighten this burden through the mechanisms of burden sharing and prevention. Indeed, improving developing countries’ fundings to IPGs, would enable them to anticipate and prevent a crisis before it occurs. Furthermore, financial aid contributes to economic and human development, as it can affect the allocation of government spending to National Public Goods (NPGs), which often correlate with IPGs and enhance the efficacy of such spending in delivering public goods. This mechanism can help create positive structural changes through feedback between core and complimentary activities. It fosters core activities which provide actual IPGs like R&D or health, and has spillover benefits. For example, a country fighting AIDS could prevent the disease from spreading to neighbouring countries, while also developing complimentary activities.2 This allows the countries to absorb the IPGs created by core activities and create valuable NPGs - in this case, public goods like health infrastructure. In addition, to achieve their national goals, governments are increasingly compelled to turn to international cooperation to be able to exert some control over transnational elements that affect their people, which can be illustrated by the migrant crisis experienced by several developed European countries. Aid associated with IPGs like education, health, and R&D also improves popu-

lation welfare. The provision of IPGs can also have intergenerational benefits, as the economist Todd Sandler highlights with the examples of biodiversity and cultural norms promoting cooperative behaviours, which are goods inherited by future generations.3 Ultimately, IPGs also help to reconcile both developed and developing countries’ agendas in a common framework of cooperation with shared objectives. Improving the financing of IPGs Providing IPGs further requires policies promoting values such as transparency, efficiency, and equity. Indeed, if unlocking funds for IPGs is primordial, developed countries should make better use of the funding, rather than increase it. This could be achieved by improving incentives for responsible action. As all actors value IPGs differently, it is crucial to use a combination of standards, treaties, and regulatory mechanisms to align the national and individual interests of states, businesses, and NGOs with the global incentives of IPGs. However, this paper acknowledges the limits of such policies, as the existing governance framework restricts states’ leeway in terms of political ability (e.g. the problem of enforcing agreements globally since they are not legally binding). Developed countries should concentrate in particular on generating incentives at the local level in development settings for activities that contribute to IPGs, including activities that create profits for local communities. As it can be tricky, costly, and unsustainable to finance IPGs in the long-run, adopting a “ground-up” approach is more beneficial. Criticisms also abound because donors who give large amounts of development aid can, on the other hand, implement strict trade or migration policies, or gain access to foreign corporations, all of which can undermine the recipient’s development. It is essential to ensure that developing countries can participate in the global policy debate and take action on their own priorities. Developed countries can enable this by distinguishing between global public good financing and aid. In a nutshell, three main gaps exist in the financing of IPGs as observed by Kaul et al. (1999), a jurisdictional gap (inconsistency between the global boundaries of major policy concerns and national boundaries of policy making), a participation gap (a multi-actor world where international cooperation is still ‘Sapelli tree being cut near Lieki, DRC.' Photo by Axel Fassio/CIFOR. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT mainly intergovernmental) and an incentive gap (lack of incentives for countries to cooperate and limit their international spillovers, as moral incentives are insufficient). Case Study - Protecting the Congo Rainforest through bilateral aid to the DRC The Congo Rainforest: an International Public Good It is often said that the least developed countries and the most vulnerable people will be first hit by climate change, with developed countries such as the UK eventually being impacted as well.4 Tropical forests play a very important role in the fight against climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, deforestation in tropical areas accounts for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.5 While the Amazon often attracts the majority of the international community’s focus as the world’s largest rainforest, its less famous counterpart the Congo Rainforest seconds it in terms of size. The latter is situated in the Congo Basin, and covers 500 million acres spread across six countries.6 This large rainforest provides many benefits and services to humankind: it is a storehouse of carbon, a home to very rich biodiversity, and helps to regulate the world’s climate system.7 Global initiatives to mitigate and reverse the effects of global warming have recognised the crucial role of this massive rainforest and called for its sustainable management, notably regarding the exploitation of its numerous resources. However, the way in which this forest is used is currently unsustainable.8 In the past twenty years, commodity prices and specifically minerals which are largely present in the Congo Basin have increased, resulting in greater incentives for deforestation.9 The Need for Bilateral Funding Between 2008 and 2017, the Congo Basin forests received the smallest amount of bilateral and multilateral funding (USD 1.7 million) out of the largest tropical forests worldwide, with the Amazon basin receiving USD 5.1 million and the Southeast Asian forests receiving USD 8.1 million.10 Thus, there are many opportunities for funding, espe-

cially considering that the United Kingdom’s current contribution only represents 1.9% of all the bilateral donations in the Congo Basin between 2008 and 2017.11 The best way to preserve and provide an International Public Good such as the Congo Basin is through bilateral funding. In fact, 60% of the Congo Rainforest is situated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This country is responsible for 80% of the tree cover losses between 2001 and 2017 and for 79.3% of the equivalent of C02 emissions in mg of CO2. Between 2000 and 2014, the DRC lost an average of 570,000 hectares (0,2%) of the rainforest to deforestation per day. This corresponds to an area larger than Bangladesh.12 Yet, the sustainable management and regulation necessary to ensure preservation of this forest for all stakeholders involves enormous costs. Because of this, external financing is absolutely necessary to help the DRC preserve the second largest rainforest in the world. Increasing UK’s funding for the conservation of the Congo Rainforest The UK has historically been a leader in fighting climate change at the national and international levels by playing an important role at the Paris Agreement and in promoting SDGs. For three decades, foreign assistance programs were influenced by the Cold War, during which strategic and security interests affected the UK government’s choice of which countries to support and how, and by the need to support the UK’s balance of payments, which had encouraged governments to link overseas aid to British exports. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) came into existence at a time of considerable change in international thinking about development. After the Brundtland Report and the shift in the approach to development studies in the 1990s, the international community and particularly

‘Daily activity: On the way from Kisangani to Masako village. Democratic Republic of Congo.’ Photo by Ollivier Girard/CIFOR. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


THE SPECTRUM Britain became increasingly aware of the multidimensional aspects of development. Market economic reforms in Africa had been necessary but limited in their impact on economic growth and were often made at the expense of the poorest members of society. While macroeconomic adjustment continued to be an important part of the policy prescription, there was a growing focus on poverty reduction, governance reform, and debt relief. Nowadays, given the growing urgency of the situation, emphasis must be placed on financing the fight against climate change abroad, particularly in developing countries like the DRC. The UK DFID is considered to be amongst the most efficient in the world.13 Official sources state that through International Climate Finance, it was able to support 57 million people in coping with the effects of climate change and mobilise £3.8 billion public and £1.4 billion private finance for climate change purposes in developing countries.14 For the UK, funding the Congo Basin also means taking into account the “holistic nature” of climate change. Funding will thus likely be made through International Climate Finance or through Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding, as poverty reduction can be an important element in climate change aid for countries such as the DRC. Possible Obstacles Many obstacles must be considered when investing in the DRC to preserve its rainforest. Firstly, it is necessary to consider that the DRC is still politically unstable and plagued by corruption. However, in the last few years, the government launched reforms to boost governance in the management of natural resources and transparency in businesses.15 Moreover, the DRC has proven willing to tackle this issue, signing a $200 million deal in 2016 with donors such as Norway, who gave $190 million, and France, Germany, or the UK providing diverse forms of aid to implement sustainable development policies and reduce carbon emissions generated by the exploitation of the rainforest. Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment, summarized these challenges in stating: “We’re not naive about the challenges in the complex dynamics of the DRC, and the economic and political drivers of deforestation. But not trying to do anything about the second-biggest rainforest is not a responsible course of action.” This is especially true as addressing deforestation is “a quarter of the solution” to tackling global climate change.16 Conclusion International Public Goods are an important part of the fight against global warming, and lie at the centre of global cooperation to solve the policy issues and global crises of today. Due to the effect of globalization on the interdependence of states, it is in the interest of all, even of the less vulnerable to protect IPGs like the Congo Rainforest. Aid in the form of


Foreign Direct Investment, NGOs and transfers of skills and technologies must always remain transparent and accompanied by mechanisms of accountability. Reinforcing infrastructures, institutions and ensuring the participation of civil society are the necessary preconditions to any efficient funding. Nevertheless, while increasing aid to protect this rainforest or other IPGs is largely beneficial, it is essential to consider the willingness and priorities of the countries providing the IPGs. Indeed, the funding of IPGs should not become a platform for neo-colonial plans, but rather a first step toward effective international cooperation and management of IPGs by respecting countries’ sovereignty.

Enhancing the EU’s Climate Governance


The Case for an EU-wide Border Tax Adjustment By Maxime Sommerfeld Antoniou In November 2016, the Paris Agreement came into force. With fifty-five signatories, including the European Union (EU), the agreement aims to strengthen global responses to climate change by limiting the average temperature increase to ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels’.1 To achieve this, the European Commission (EC) wants the EU to be climate neutral by 2050, in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s estimation that net-zero CO2 emissions must be achieved globally by 2050 to fulfill the Paris commitment.2 The EU’s response to climate change thus far is based on two mechanisms, the first of which is the Paris Agreement. Signatories submit non-binding pledges concerning their climate ambitions every five years. Hence, countries determine ‘how much they wish to contribute to the collective mitigation effort’.3 Expectations are that new pledges will exceed the ambitions of previous ones, thus raising international climate ambitions over time.4 Secondly, since 2005, the EU has utilised a cap-and-trade system – the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) – to decarbonise its economy in accordance with its pledge under the Kyoto Protocol.5 The scheme sets a cap on aggregate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy producers, industrial sectors, and some aviation activities.6 Every regulated company receives emission allowances – equaling one ton of CO2 – that are either grandfathered (given out for free) or auctioned based on the company’s GHG emissions.7 Subsequently, regulated companies either surrender allowances to cover their emissions or buy or sell them depending on their needs.8 In 2020, the auctioning of allowances has become the default option for the electricity producers and amounts to 70% for the industrial sector.9 The logic of the EU ETS lies in the progressive reduction of available allowances to increase the price of carbon-intensive goods which, therefore, incentivizes regulated companies to shift towards a greener path and achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050.10 Current Problems with the EU’s Climate Policy Approach Unfortunately, the EU’s current climate policy approach – based on the Paris Agreement and the EU ETS – is hampered by two key problems. Firstly, the EU ETS places a price solely on the carbon emissions of European carbon-intensive sectors while foreign competitors in the same sectors are not subjected to similar constraints.11 This unilateral carbon pricing raises EU production costs compared to those of foreign producers.12 The risk associated with higher

production costs is known as the carbon leakage, that is, the transfer of EU-based production into countries where there is no price on GHG emissions.13 The consequences might be extremely detrimental both environmentally and economically, as carbon leakage could equate to a displacement of production, investment, and GHG emissions from the EU, which regulates carbon emissions, to regions or countries with comparatively low climate ambitions.14 Secondly, the EU faces a global collective action problem. That is, while addressing climate change requires every country to cooperate, the international community fails to do so because certain countries try to free-ride on others’ efforts. As explained by the president of the EC, Ursula Von der Leyen, ‘[T]here is no point in only reducing greenhouse gas emissions at home if we increase the import of CO2 from abroad’.15 In other words, for the EU’s climate efforts to pay off in the long-term, like-minded countries must join its climate ambitions and those who fail to meet the standards must be punished.16 However, the EU ETS does not presently provide the tools to combat the prospect of carbon leakage and the current collective action problem. Policy Proposal: A Border Adjustment Tax This paper argues for the implementation of a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) at the external borders of the EU. In this case, the BAT is a tax on imported products based on their carbon content. The objective is (1) to eliminate the risk of carbon leakage outside the EU as the BAT establishes a carbon price for products entering the European market equal to those of the EU ETS’ regulated sectors, and (2) to solve the current international collective action problem by compelling free-riders to adopt EU environmental standards to remain competitive next to European companies in the EU market. 1. Which goods are to be subjected to the BAT? The BAT must only apply to goods for which it would have the largest effect on carbon leakage. As such, two factors are central: (1) the product needs a lot of energy to be produced and faces high costs due to direct CO2 emissions and/or indirect emissions from electricity consumption, and (2) the product is highly exposed to international competition and thus, leakage.17 Only these goods, labeled as ‘energy-intensive, trade-exposed’ – EITE goods – must be subjected to the BAT.18 For the BAT to be coherent, synergic and complementary with the EU ETS, goods subject to the tax should reflect the EC’s published list of 164 European sectors and sub-sectors of the EU ETS ‘at significant risk of carbon leak-


THE SPECTRUM age’ – including cement, chemicals, metals, aluminum, iron, paper, and pulp.19 The imperative to select only certain goods to subject to the BAT stems from the fact that for most goods, energy represents only a small proportion of the total price.20 This means that the BAT’s impact on the price of most goods would be marginal and therefore non-impactful.21 Additionally, applying the BAT to every imported good would create an unbearable administrative cost for European authorities.22 2. How can we calculate the carbon-content of EITE goods? In order to apply a BAT to EITE goods, their carbon-contents must be determined. One option to determine the carbon content of a product would be to calculate the emissions from the production process – both emissions from the energy input and from the production of the product itself.23 However, while European firms must disclose information about the emission levels of their products, a similar obligation can hardly be imposed on imports.24 A second option would be to use the average emissions per ton in the exporting country for every product covered by the BAT.25 However, such a value is extremely difficult to compute, especially for reluctant countries.26 The third and most preferable option, consists of using benchmarks as a proxy to determine the carbon content (comprising both direct and indirect GHG emissions) of an imported product. Concerning direct emissions, this policy recommendation proposes to use as a benchmark the “Best Available Technology” to determine the direct emissions of imported goods.27 The easiest way to do so is to use the product-specific benchmarks developed by the EC for the goods produced by the 164 European sectors and sub-sectors at risk of carbon leakage.28 These benchmarks are determined by calculating the average emissions of the lowest-emitting 10 percent of European plants in each sector.29 Concerning indirect emissions from electricity and heat generated offsite, this paper proposes as a benchmark the average grid emission factors in European electricity markets.30 Such an option to determine the carbon content of imported goods is preferable especially because it would require very little administrative work for the EC.31 In addition to this, this paper recommends that foreign companies be allowed to provide data to the EC concerning the exact carbon-content of their products to prove that their performances exceed the benchmarks.32 This would create an incentive for foreign exporters to provide the necessary information concerning the exact carbon-content of their goods, thus, enhancing the efficiency of the BAT.33 It must be noted that verifications, audits, and controls of installations in exporting countries might be needed to verify the


accuracy of the data provided.34 3. What is the geographical scope of the BAT? Another aspect of designing an EU-wide BAT is to determine which countries should be subjected to it. Considering the two possible options, which are (1) applying it to every country or (2) only to those without a comparable carbon pricing regime, this paper advocates applying the BAT to the former. Applying the BAT only to specific countries might prove difficult for several reasons. Firstly, there is the problem of transshipping, which is defined as the routing of a good produced in a country without carbon pricing through another country with a comparable carbon pricing so that it appears to come from the second country, thus evading the BAT.35 Secondly, establishing an objective methodology to compare carbon pricing policies across countries is outstandingly difficult and may bring the design of an EU BAT to a dead-end.36 Thirdly, differentiations between countries can be interpreted as discriminatory when referring to the World Trade Organization (WTO) law.37 Therefore, to ensure compliance with the WTO law and to avoid transshipping and extreme design complexities, the BAT ought to apply to each commercial partner of the EU. 4. What should the tax look like? Despite its designation as a ‘tax’, the BAT should be implemented as an extension of the EU ETS rather than as a standalone tax.38 That is, the tax should be understood as a purchasing of allowances under the EU ETS to ensure similar treatment between EU and non-EU companies.39 More specifically, the foreign exporter would have to purchase allowances on the market or at the same auctions as EU-regulated companies, and then surrender them to the competent European authority to distribute EITE goods in the EU.40 To reduce the administrative burden and avoid non-compliance from foreign exporters, allowances will have to be surrendered when the exported good is registered at the EU border.41 5. How should the revenue from the BAT be used? Revenues from the BAT could be used for a wide variety of purposes. Among the various possibilities, revenues could enable a reduction of taxes on labor or capital to stimulate the European economy, or be used to reduce member states’ high debts, or to invest in public goods.42 However, in light of the current threat posed by climate change, the most preferable option is to use these revenues for climate change mitigation/adaptation and to invest it in research and development of climate-friendly technology.43 Currently, the new European Green Deal aims at developing breakthrough green technology.44 A good option would therefore be to channel BAT revenues towards the EU’s Innovation Fund

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT which focuses on the development of low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries – e.g. substitutes to carbon-intensive goods, carbon and capture storage, energy storage, or innovative renewable energy generation.45 Intended Impact of the BAT 1. Solving the Carbon Leakage Threat A European BAT on imports aims at drastically limiting competition distortion in the European market by levelling the playing field between European and non-European companies.46 The BAT would prevent carbon leakage by removing the competitive advantage of producing carbon-intensive goods in countries with lower environmental ambitions.47 2. Solving the Collective Action Problem The BAT might also help to trigger international action addressing climate change. Since the EU market represents the biggest trading bloc in the world, an EU-wide BAT would have a non-negligible political and economic impact.48 The size of the EU market combined with the BAT could constitute a powerful argument to incentivize non-EU states to participate in multilateral negotiations and implement similar carbon-pricing mechanisms to avoid the tax at the EU border.49 In addition to this, the political leveraging offered by the BAT would enable the EU to exert great pressure on free-riding trade partners by raising environmental standards.50 Conclusion While the EU aims to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050, its current climate policy approach, which is solely based on the mechanisms of the Paris Agreement and the EU ETS, is insufficient. The EU currently faces the threat of carbon leakage and the inertia of a classic collective action problem. Against this backdrop, this policy paper has recommended the implementation of an EU-wide Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). The BAT would cover EITE goods imported into the EU and would tax them according to their carbon-content, determined by benchmarks used as proxies for direct and indirect emissions. The BAT would apply to each trading partner of the EU and take the shape of a purchasing and surrendering of allowances when EITE goods are registered at the EU border. Furthermore, this paper has recommended that the revenue stemming from the BAT be used as part of the EU Innovation Fund to develop breakthrough low-carbon technologies. Finally, it is expected that the BAT will enable the EU to efficiently tackle the problem of carbon leakage while steering other countries towards greater climate action.



Global Expansion of LNG Capacity

Creating Accountability for Greenhouse Gas Emissions along the Value Chain By Joscha Müller Over recent years, natural gas consumption has seen the fastest growth of all fossil fuels. With 26 percent growth over the last 10 years, it accounted for almost one-third of total energy demand growth in that period.1 In particular, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as a delivery mechanism has seen substantial growth in demand over this period, outperforming both pipeline and domestically sourced gas.2 Key demand drivers are located in the Asia-Pacific region, with China, South Korea, India, Pakistan, and Taiwan ranking in the top five. Main suppliers, on the other hand, are distributed around the globe, with the US, Australia, and Qatar topping this list.3 In the emerging globally integrated market for natural gas, the US is quickly expanding its role as a central supplier due to the shale gas boom. Continuously strong investment in LNG distribution infrastructure aims to capitalise on the regional distance between suppliers. Currently, the Capital Expenditure of LNG-related projects that received a positive Final Investment Decision (FID) amounts to USD 1.3 trillion.4 These projects include gas terminals, as well as liquefaction and regasification facilities and will, once commissioned, increase the global LNG capacity by 35 percent until 2025.5 Several scenarios have been developed assessing the future role of LNG in an energy system compatible with COP21 targets of limiting global warming to 2°C.6 According to these projections, demand for natural gas is expected to continue growing in the next decade. In nearly all regions around the world the demand is then expected to peak around 2030. After that, demand needs to drastically fall in industrialised regions. Towards 2050, the global demand for natural gas is then estimated to shrink by nearly two thirds.7 It is unclear whether the full lifecycle emissions were taken as a basis for assessing these demand developments and their compliance with COP21 targets. In addition to that, several countries (including the UK) already introduced national emission reduction targets that require their energy systems to be nearly entirely decarbonized by the year 2050. Others are considering committing to

The LNG Value Chain. From Wärtsilä Technical Journal.


similarly strict reductions as well.8 This leads to further scrutiny towards the viability of the aforementioned scenarios, as fulfillment of emission reduction pledges would require an even quicker decarbonization, including a phase-out of gas infrastructure. Under such ambitious targets, ‘natural gas power generation without CCUS [Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage] must begin to decline in the 2020s’.9 This is critical for LNG infrastructure assets currently under construction, as they have long lifetimes ahead of them. Their high initial investment is only returned by revenues generated over decades. After a construction time of typically five to six years, operation time is expected to be at least 25 years.10 Hence, the assets would be in the middle of their lifetime when gas demand has to fall sharply already. Reducing or abandoning the operation before the asset’s end-of-life date creates economic losses to both the operator and society.11 It seems unclear whether this risk of increased climate regulation is sufficiently considered in the LNG projects investment decisions.12 If strong climate regulation becomes common practise, there is a risk that projects become economically unviable in the long-term, which could cause substantial amounts of infrastructure to become stranded assets.13 Background Natural gas is superior to other fossil fuels when assessing carbon emissions from combustion. Combusting natural gas emits ~56.1 gCO2/MJ, which is 40-50 percent less in comparison to burning coal for the same amount of energy and 25-30 percent less than the emissions of diesel or petrol. This advantage is further manifested in modern Combined Cycle Gas Turbines, which feature significantly higher efficiencies than coal-fired power plants.14 Looking at fuels for heavy-duty-vehicles and ships, the combustion of natural gas is also superior to Diesel, the most-used technology, in terms of CO2 emission.15 These numbers reflect why natural gas is often deemed a bridge fuel for energy transition. Yet, in order to fully evaluate the emissions from the use of LNG and its impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, the scope needs to be expanded beyond the combustion process. Rather, a holistic approach needs to be taken, accounting for all climate-relevant emissions along the value chain. The LNG value chain consists of the following steps: drilling for

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT and extraction of natural gas, its liquefaction, storage in tanks, transport in tankers (as well as pipeline systems), regasification, and finally, combustion.16 When assessing the climate impact of LNG, leakages along the value chain are particularly problematic. Natural gas consists primarily of methane, which has a significantly higher greenhouse effect when released into the atmosphere than a comparable amount of CO2. Depending on the assessed timescale, one unit of methane’s global warming potential is that of 28 CO2 equivalents (CO2e; over 100 years), reaching up to 86 CO2e (over 20 years). The difference in potency depending on the horizon stems from methane’s residence time in the atmosphere of only one decade.17

be subject to scrutiny. Policy Proposals This assessment indicates a heretofore unaddressed conflict between the COP21 emission reduction targets and the current investment in LNG as a technology. The risk of either stranding substantial amounts of infrastructure assets or failing to reach global emission reduction targets is imminent. In order to mitigate both risks, this paper suggests a three-fold policy recommendation. Measures would need to be driven by importing countries, as they possess effective leverage to enforce regulations.

Unconventional extraction practises such as hydraulic fracturing (informally known as ‘fracking’) add significant amounts of leakage emissions to the value chain. Recent findings suggest upstream methane leakage from hydraulic fracturing to be 60 percent higher than estimated before, amounting to 2.3 percent of gross gas production (in the US).18 As the share of fracking gas in the global LNG mix continues to rise, so do the lifecycle emissions of LNG. Cooling natural gas down to the point at which it changes into a liquid physical state is energy-intensive and mostly achieved by burning fossil fuels. Depending on the method of extraction, location, and cooling technique, very different global warming potentials can be observed. On average, upstream emissions add 17.1 gCO2e/MJ of emissions. Shipping LNG internationally adds further emissions. This includes such emissions from fuel combustion in the tank vessel’s engines but also less noticed ones stemming from intentional methane leakages known as ‘boiling off ’.19 During this process, LNG that evaporates due to heating up of the tanks is either combusted, flared, or directly released into the atmosphere to maintain correct pressure and temperature in the tanks. Taking this into account, international shipping entails emissions ranging from 1.0 to 6.5 gCO2e/MJ with the use of LNG, depending on distance and type of vessel.20

1. Increasing Accountability through Certification Process for Value Chain Emissions In order to reach clarity about the volume of methane leakages, the greenhouse gas emissions from specific elements of the LNG value chain need to be assessed. In contrast to pipeline gas, it is possible to identify a LNG cargo’s country of origin and the facilities it has passed through. This information is vital in order to estimate value chain emissions with reasonable accuracy. Nevertheless, common standards and measuring methodologies for GHG in general and methane leakage in particular are yet to be developed. The operational fragmentation of the value chain often hampers progress due to contradicting economic interests of the involved corporations. In order to increase effectiveness, an impartial institution should be established and receive a mandate to measure leakage volumes following a standardized methodology. This would create certified data on emissions of every element in the value chain. Adding up this data would quantify an LNG cargo’s value chain emissions. To leverage operators’ acceptance of external certification, providing data on value chain emissions should become a requirement for importing approval for LNG cargoes. Such strong regulation would support a quick implementation of accreditation mechanisms and transparency regarding greenhouse gas emissions.

Summing up these emissions, LNG is always inferior to pipeline gas in terms of lifecycle carbon emissions.21 The global warming potential of currently proposed LNG-fired plants even exceeds that of modern coal-fired power plants by 25 percent (considering a 20-year lifetime). Looking at vessel fuels, LNG is only superior to diesel in terms of lifecycle carbon emissions in very few cases as well.22 Looking at a 100-year horizon, LNG has a 5-12 percent lifecycle benefit depending on the engine type. Looking at a 20-year horizon, only one specific engine type can deliver emission savings of 3 percent. As the realisation of this benefit requires well-controlled upstream emissions (which current shale gas extraction cannot guarantee), even this number should

2. Implementation of Emission Limits Based on certified value chain emission data, a gradual tightening of emission limits is imaginable. Assessed per unit of LNG, emission limits could be derived from COP21 emission reduction targets. Such an approach would increase regulatory pressure on importers of LNG. In order to maintain their products’ commerciality, importers would seek low-emission value chains, increasing demand for LNG processing in facilities with low emissions. These can be either new-built facilities or existent ones retrofitted to reduce methane leakage. From an economic perspective, this latter approach is optimal as it uses market forces to find the emission reduction pathway with the lowest abatement



costs - emissions would be reduced where cheapest. Nevertheless, a roadmap pointing out future emission limits needs to be developed. These limits could be set out as corridors to account for uncertainties in underlying models. Improved clarity about future market conditions supports project developers’ plannability and helps to assess long-term financial viability of proposed projects. Evidently, this is key to reducing the risk of over-investment in infrastructure assets characterised by long lifetimes. 3. Promotion of Decarbonization Pathways and Technologies The development and promotion of decarbonization technologies increases the probability that LNG assets can continue operation under tightening emission limits. This includes increasing research and development efforts regarding the potential for zero carbon gases (biomethane) which could be handled through existing infrastructure and partly replace natural gas. Secondly, Carbon Capture and Storage systems might hold a significant carbon reduction potential in the future. As both technologies are currently not economically viable, research needs to be encouraged by policymakers. This research should aim to quickly improve economic viability through assessments of scalability, technological improvements and required policy support.

2050. This conflicts with the operational lifetime of LNG assets and jeopardizes their long-term financial viability. If left unaddressed, this imminent contradiction between global expansion of LNG and international emission reduction targets will result in either large amounts of assets being stranded, or emission reduction targets being missed. Strong policy interventions are necessary to mitigate against both consequences. First and foremost, transparency needs to be achieved regarding value chain emissions. This requires impartial and granular emission assessments at every point of the LNG value chain. Following from this, emission limits derived from COP21 emission reduction targets can be set for LNG cargoes. If established early, these limits would enable clarity about future market conditions and improve long-term plannability for project developers, reducing stranded asset risk. Finally, research and development regarding decarbonization potentials for existing LNG infrastructure needs to be intensified to facilitate low-carbon operations in the future. With the ball in global policymakers’ court, it is the time for clear commitment and robust action.

Conclusion The creation of a globally integrated market for natural gas as a commodity and cheaply available and abundant shale gas resources in North America are the two major recent trends in the global gas system. They sparked unprecedented investment activity in LNG assets around the world. Leakages and spillovers along the value chain, as well as the high greenhouse potency of methane, indicate that LNG has a stronger global warming potential than other fossil fuels such as diesel or even coal. This is particularly the case when examining short horizons and assuming further leaning towards hydraulic fracturing as the extraction method of choice. Aiming to reduce global warming to 2°C requires a far-reaching decarbonization of the energy system until

write for us! King’s Think Tank hosts a student-run blog as well as an annual policy-recommendation journal entitled The Spectrum. Though these differ in style and purpose, both are designed to bridge the gap between students and policymakers by communicating clear, incisive analyses of current social, economic, and political developments. Students from all disciplines and backgrounds are highly encouraged to contribute their ideas and arguments to our growing community of writers. Find out how to submit a paper at:



Short-term Solutions to Water Scarcity in India By Umer Ahmed

The summer of 2019 raised several concerns about the state of water management in India. The southern city of Chennai faced a huge drought, in which water scarcity became an issue for the city’s whole population. In 2019, the rainfall was a drastic 55% lower than expected.1 The monsoon ended early and the city had no rainfall for approximately 200 days.2 Chennai and other major urban centres primarily suffer from a lack of adequate planning for an event of this scale. Citizens were supplied with water from a “water tank mafia” rather than from the government.3 Gangs supplied the citizens with water trucks, charging extortionate prices. In a report published by the Niti Aayog (a government think tank), an estimated 21 cities across India are in danger of running out of groundwater supplies by 2020.4 This policy paper intends to analyse and recommend steps which the Government of India (GoI) can take to effectively deal with water scarcity. India currently has the second largest population in the world, with approximately 1.3 billion people. The state is expected to have the largest population worldwide by 2025, surpassing China.5 The country’s water needs currently constitute around 18% of the global need.6 However, with around 4% of the world’s water resources residing in the country, the mismatch in supply and demand is a question that needs to be answered in the coming decades, especially with the growing population.7 On 28 July 2010 the “Human Right to Water and Sanitation” was recognised by the United Nations General Assembly.8 Moreover, goal 6 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals lists the goal of “clean and accessible water for all”.9 Currently, there are around 163 million people in India without access to clean water at home.10 Climate change only exacerbates the current problem. Many of India’s northern rivers are fed by the glaciers in its northern states. However, with the increase in global warming, there has been a spike in glacial melt in the Himalayan region.11 Approximately 8 billion tonnes of ice are lost every year.12 Indeed, after 2060, many rivers in India will become depleted due to the eventual lack of glaciers in the Himalayas.13 For now however, the increased melting combined with the erratic and unpredictable monsoon periods means that flooding is more common.14 As with the case of Chennai, the unpredictable monsoon rains, an increase in dry days and a decrease in average annual rainfall have catastrophically worsened the already difficult problem faced by

many Indian states. Current Policies Recognising the seriousness of the problem, the government has recently set up the Ministry of Jal Shakti (Water Power) to deal with water-related problems. To ensure the ministry is prepared for potential future problems, the government has allocated it a massive budget of IN₹282.61 billion (GB£3.07 billion; US$3.94 billion).15 The government has tried to address the issue of glacial melt and water scarcity together with a plan devised to link many rivers in India – Interlinking of Rivers India (ILR).16 The interlinking of rivers is not a unique or new plan. There are successful water-linking projects globally, for example the Danube-Rhine Canal in Europe and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in the USA. However, the ILR remains a difficult engineering project of a massive scale. The initial plan was devised in the 1980s but has undergone many recent changes. The plan aims to irrigate an estimated 25 million hectares by surface water and another 10 million by groundwater, and is currently split into 3 main components: Himalayan (northern areas), Peninsular southern areas), And Intrastate links. However, the plan has also drawn great opposition. It does not account for the loss of habitat and for potential desertification of land.17 Bangladesh, which would undoubtedly be affected by the proposed link between the Ganges and Jamuna rivers, has raised concerns about potential ecological damage.18 The ILR would severely impact Bangladesh’s economy, which significantly relies on fishing. This could potentially cause an international problem. Furthermore, the ambitious plan would also come at a substantial cost - an estimated IN₹3.3 trillion (US $168 trillion).19 The ILR is a long-term project which could adequately increase water in rivers by shifting water from one river to another. However, in the short-term, the ILR does not address the problem of water scarcity. Thus, the government of India should look to other, more short-term plans to address the crisis at hand. Policy Proposals There are 3 possible policy options in confronting the problem. 1. Increasing Water Literacy among Farmers


THE SPECTRUM An illustration of the chauka system. By the UNICEF Office for Rajasthan and GVNML.

An estimated 80-90% of India’s water is used for agriculture.20 An approach to make farmers aware of the correct uses of water should be welcomed. This would be especially relevant to those who grow water-intensive crops. Much work has already been done to raise farmers’ awareness of how water can be saved using different methods to grow rice. However, while these efforts have been sponsored by NGOs and the World Bank, they have not been supported at the federal level.21 A government implementation of these policies would certainly enable farmers to both decrease their water consumption while additionally increasing their yields. A) One possible method is the (Modified) System of Rice Intensification (MSRI), a relatively new method of rice cultivation.22 MSRI differs from the common rice growing method in several ways. The basic elements of MSRI encompass transplanting much younger single seedlings, increasing the use of organic fertilisers, and allowing intermittent periods of flooding (rather than the constant flooding in the common method).23 MSRI entails the additional costs of mechanisation, in addition to levelling fields to ensure the correct sowing of rice. It is estimated that around 10 million farmers in over 60 countries use it, and it has led to drastic decrease in water use and increase in rice productivity where it has been implemented.24 Indeed, many have hailed it as a cure for water scarcity and thus its popularity in numerous water-stressed states. However, opposition to MSRI is still prevalent, with critics questioning whether it has really provided a higher yield. Despite this, both the UN and the World Bank support the system. Indeed, the task for the GoI would be to support small-scale rice farmers in adapting technologies and evolving to MSRI, which can also be applied to different crops. B) Adapting and Changing Diets Rice forms an important part of Indian cuisine. Thus, replacing and changing the diet is a rather difficult and arduous task. However, the government of Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India, has asked farmers to grow less water-intensive crops.25 Alternatives to rice such as pulses and millets are viewed favourably. The Tamil Nadu government is looking to help small-scale farmers with an investment of IN₹8 billion in the form of land and seeds.26 The GoI should look to the state government of Tamil Nadu for a policy which


could be implemented on a nation-wide scale. Moving to less water-intensive crops would be highly beneficial for the country. 2. Combining Water Awareness with a Penalty System In addressing water management issues in India, measures also need to be taken at the micro-level. Although the current domestic household usage is 8% of total water usage, there can certainly be an increase in water education and awareness to decrease domestic consumption.27 Thus, it is recommended that the government invest heavily in an increase in water usage education through a government sponsored campaign. The delivery of water awareness programmes should also try to understand community needs. Delivering these programmes with community engagement is vitally important; for example, Cape Town successfully introduced a ‘water culture’ following water scarcity in the region.28 Additionally, the GoI should support policies that prevent inefficient water usage. As noted by the National Water Policy (2012) “low consciousness about the overall scarcity and economic value of water results in the wastage and inefficient uses”.29 In other words, the subsidisation of water for many in India’s urban centres has, perhaps counterintuitively, resulted in inefficiency and water wastage. Thus, a policy of increased public awareness must be supplemented by penalties. This could be implemented in a manner similar to a trial held in Delhi.30 The policy provided households in Delhi with 20,000 litres of water per month free of charge, any more than this amount would incur premium charges.31 Thus, a household was incentivised to use the 20,000 litres of water wisely and upto the set amount.32 This policy could be implemented on a city-to-city basis but would be guided by state governments, which in turn would be answerable to the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT The two-pronged approach would have the full financial backing of the GoI. The water awareness campaign would be run by a partnership between NGOs and the GoI. The GoI would also support state governments to ensure the penalty system is fully supported and correctly implemented. The GoI should recognize that a nationwide awareness campaign could be of great benefit to the water-stressed country. 3. Investing in Rainwater Harvesting Globally, rainwater investment is becoming an appealing option, especially with the increased volatility of the climate. . There are several ways in which harvesting has already been implemented across India; however, this has only been on a local scale. The government would need to take local plans and expand them nationwide. With the diversity of climate and topography in India, it would be difficult to suggest one method of rainwater harvesting for the entire country. The chauka method, for example, used in some parts of arid Rajasthan, has worked particularly well.33 The method involves the digging of several square pits in the ground. The pits are surrounded by trees and bordered by bunds (mud walls). These pits are then connected to local ponds by water canals, meaning that water can easily be moved from the chaukas to local ponds for water storage. Additionally, the mud walls allows means that in the event of torrential downpours the chaukas are able to slow down the river discharge by allowing for increased percolation rather than run-off thus limiting flooding. Much of the water from the rainfall is thus harvested for later use, thus villagers require less assistance from the municipal and state governments for their water needs. The success of this method is evident across the villages where it is used. These efforts tend to be community-led, often supported by NGOs. The role of the government in this would be to financially assist the community-led projects. The government should also aim to promote this method of rainwater harvesting in other parts of the country, especially rural arid and semi-arid states. In urban centres, the government should assist households by providing citizens with tanks with which individual households are able to harvest water. Alternatively, the GoI could provide each building in India with an efficient water tank collection system which could be used by the building’s tenants.

taken many steps. However, these methods are often hard engineering projects. Although these steps may be successful in the long term, they do not address short-term water scarcity problems. The government should therefore support its hard engineering projects with more nature-based solutions such as rainwater harvesting. With the rise of climate change, an increase in educational programmes is especially useful in teaching communities and individuals how to act in cases of water scarcity. These recommended policies would address India’s water-stress challenges, which unfortunately look as if they will not regress in the foreseeable future.

The recommended policies would come at a price significantly lower than the ILR project. Thus, implementing all three policies together may most effectively address shortterm water scarcity. These policies would collectively increase awareness of water conservation and thereby reduce India’s overall water stress. Conclusion To deal with the upcoming challenges, the GoI has already



Green Future for a Blue European Sky

Policy proposal to reform the European Emissions Trading Scheme By Sofia Garrido Anitua, Sara Noske, and Irina Tabacaru Total carbon emissions due to intra-EEA aviation has increased by 26% since 2013, despite the introduction of aviation into the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012.1 This development correlates with a considerable increase in aviation activity: the number of flight routes available within Europe increased eight-fold since 1992, and it is estimated that the number of flights will increase by 53% between 2018 and 2040.2

needs to be adapted to the new context. The European capand-trade system for rights to pollute does not incentivise airlines to pollute less, but rather to spend more, thus showing the market failure of the EU ETS. Consequently, smaller airline companies are driven out of the market, preserving the status of the more powerful ones who can afford to pay for more expensive allowances. The EU ETS system is also highly susceptible to lobbying.7

The EU ETS The European Union’s Emission Trading System (EU ETS) has been in place since 2005 to cut down emissions of power stations, manufacturing plants, and aviation activities in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. It is a ‘capand-trade’ system, meaning that the EU sets a maximum amount of emissions (the ‘cap’), and if a company wants to emit more, it can buy allowances. The emission price is set through this market mechanism.

While the reasoning behind the ETS is in line with the EU’s environmental targets, the lasting consequences for public health and natural resources caused by aviation pollution call for a more intensive and strict approach to carbon allowances. The EU ETS is failing to deliver because the allowance cap is set too low, resulting in low prices.8 The price per tonne of carbon emission is currently at €23.96 per tonne, having hit an eleven-year high in June 2019 with €28 per tonne.9

The EU ETS has been criticised for setting the cap too high, hence making the price of emission too low.3 Over the years, a surplus of allowances has built up, indicating the system’s failure to successfully reduce emissions. As a response to the surplus, the ETS was revised in 2015 to meet EU emission targets. The aim of the proposed plan is to cut emissions by 43% by 2030 compared to the 2005 level. In light of the revision, in 2021, the ETS will enter into a new phase. Several changes will be part of this reform, and this paper will specifically focus on the Market Stability Reserve (MSR). The reserve was installed in January 2019 to control the number of allowances in circulation.4 To eliminate the current surplus of allowances, some will be taken off of the market, consequently increasing the price. From 2021 onwards, the EU plans to reduce allowances by 2.2% per year, compared to 1.74% currently.5

Policy proposal This paper advocates the acceleration of the current process of taking allowances out of the market. If the aim of the system is to reduce emissions, the price needs to be high enough to incentivise airlines to increase flight prices or seek alternative jet fuels. In order to provide incentives for certain low-carbon investments, prices need to be much higher.10 Lowering supply will drive up the price.

Despite the fact that carbon emissions have been reduced by 17 million tonnes a year since the introduction of the ETS, the system has failed to curb the constant growth of carbon emissions, specifically airline emissions. Indeed, despite the EU ETS implementation, airline companies’ carbon emissions continue to increase. The most significant airline polluter is Ryanair, which is now one of the top ten carbon emitters in Europe, with the other nine being coal plants.6 Recent developments such as the proliferation of low-cost flights available throughout the year, the increase in the number of regional airports in Europe, as well as globalising trends that lead more workers to travel abroad, mean that the EU ETS


In order to ensure the greatest possible success of this proposal, the paper recommends the introduction of stronger enforcement for companies that fail to respect the targets which would keep the EU from reaching its target. Additionally, cooperation between the public and private sectors is necessary to ensure the success of this proposal. Assumptions This policy proposal has the potential to accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions at the European level. However, the proposal hinges upon two important assumptions that warrant clarification. Firstly, it presupposes that the EU has a strong commitment to reduce carbon emissions in line with its compromise regarding environmental protection. Following the Paris Agreement of 2015, the European Union committed to limiting global warming below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Moreover, under the Paris Agreement, the EU affirmed its dedication to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT by at least 40% by 2030.11 These compromises indicate that the EU is committed to reducing emissions and intends to become a global leader in climate change mitigation, a vision in which a stricter airplane regulation plays a key role. Secondly, the proposal assumes that the EU has the power to implement it internally. In order to carry out such implementation, an agreement would need to be reached among the various members and institutions. This poses an important obstacle, especially considering the significance of the airplane industry for several European economies. Moreover, this proposal relies on cultural trends and social behaviour aligning with regulations to ensure effectiveness, and therefore assumes that that the recent “flying shame” phenomenon occurring at the EU level will impact consumption patterns regarding airline services and flying frequency. Additionally, the policy must be accompanied by an efficient plan in order to avoid or reduce potential collateral damage. Challenges It is important to point out how any new policy affects not only the industry directly concerned but also their varied supply chains, their clients, and investors, among other stakeholders. This paper focuses on two of the main challenges that policymakers would have to tackle in order to ensure that this recommendation is applied in a way that minimizes negative collateral effects and enhances its positive impact. Firstly, it is crucial to protect the European airline industry by correcting potential short-term market dysfunctions that could appear after the new policy’s implementation. The main challenge in this area would be to develop a plan that progressively reduces emission allowances in a way that is efficient and that allows companies to adapt to change without losing their position in the market. Incentivising companies to further invest in R&D while also receiving public financial support is key. A possible solution to these challenges may be achieved with the creation and wide support of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). These would guarantee the participation of all stakeholders in decision-making and thus ensure that the needs and goals of all parties are taken into consideration in the new regulation. As an example, CleanSky, the largest European research program in the field, develops innovative technology aimed at reducing gas emissions produced by aircrafts. The initiative was funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program and it is strengthening European aero-industry collaboration, global leadership, and competitiveness under a PPP structure.12 Partnerships of this kind would be a unique alternative to tackle the challenges faced by policymakers and enhance collaboration among stakeholders, while positioning Europe at the global forefront of innovation and environmental protection.

A second short-term challenge lies with the inevitable increase in ticket prices for intra-European flights immediately following implementation of this policy, which would lead some passengers to pursue alternative means of transport. Policymakers must prepare for this by ensuring that alternative, less polluting transport options such as high-speed trains, buses, or cars are available at a good price and provide a service comparable to that offered by airplanes. Assessment The modification of the emission allowances that this paper recommends comes with various strengths and a major limitation. According to our analysis, the proposal would be particularly successful in enhancing innovation, leading to lower carbon emissions in a progressive but consistent way. This gradual progression ensures that all stakeholders can adapt to the new situation without being adversely impacted and perhaps even enhancing their medium to long term profits. The European airline industry, with the support of public institutions, would position itself as a global referent partly thanks to the settlement of strong PPPs. These would guarantee cooperation, innovation, and increased protection of the environment, hence ensuring high returns on the initial investment. Furthermore, the EU would be closer to complying with the goals set by the Paris Agreement, while taking a step forward in becoming a role model in the field of environmental protection. However, it is important to remember that the policy is geographically limited, as it would mainly affect, at least in the short-term, only the European Union. This means that other regions with high levels of aircraft pollution, such as North America or South East Asia, would continue with the same level of emissions. This paper suggests that The International Air Transport Association could take the lead and try to accompany the EU in this policy by aiming to reduce emission allowances at the global level. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen in the short term, as a binding agreement signed by all nations worldwide on a matter of this kind would be highly challenging to achieve. Conclusion We recommend an increase in the carbon emissions reduction target, as well as an increase in the price per tonne of carbon emission, in order to successfully decrease longterm European carbon emissions caused by aviation. We are aware that cultural trends and social behaviour need to align with regulations to ensure effectiveness, but given the impending crisis of climate change, both social and political changes need to occur.



The Global Graduate:

How can students from under-represented groups in Higher Education be better supported to study abroad? by

Michaela Tranfield and Yihua Quan

Studying abroad is an option offered throughout UK Higher Education institutions. It has gained greater attention in the past decade because of the plethora of academic and career benefits it offers. The UK Higher Education International Unit’s 2015 report, Gone International, found that graduates who had taken part in outward mobility programmes whilst at university were earning more in approximately 40 out of 67 subjects, with disparities as high as £3,000 in some cases.1 However, participation in these international programmes is significantly lower in the UK than in surrounding European countries which led to various national campaigns to improve participation rates amongst UK universities. Despite the rise in outward mobility following the campaigns, a significant participation gap was noted. Mobile students were found to be disproportionately young, female, caucasian and middle class, in comparison to the total UK student population.2 As the data suggests, there has been difficulty in increasing participation rates for studying abroad across the whole student body, especially amongst those who are under-represented in UK Higher Education institutions. 66

The Office for Students defines under-represented groups in Higher Education as those who come from backgrounds where data has shown a gap in equal opportunities in relation to access, progression, and success.3 This includes students with low household income, Black, Asian and minority ethnic group (BAME) students, disabled students, mature students, and care leavers. Whilst the campaigns to increase outward mobility have benefitted some of the student population, there is a clear issue in making these opportunities accessible to all students. Participation in study abroad programmes thus needs to be increased specifically amongst under-represented students. A wider variety of policies need to be made to appeal to and support these students to undertake global study or work placements during their undergraduate degree. This paper explores how existing campaigns and partnerships should be adjusted to significantly increase the proportion of students from widening participation backgrounds within study and work abroad programmes during their undergraduate degree. Access can be widened through providing more efficient and tailored

EDUCATION support to these students, so they can benefit from the same student opportunities as their peers. Background: In 2011, the 48 member states of the European Higher Education Area agreed to increase participation of undergraduate students in work or study abroad programmes as part of their degree to 20% by 2020.4 The United Kingdom, however, had only achieved 6.6% of UK-domiciled, fulltime undergraduates spending two weeks or more working, studying, or volunteering overseas by 2014.5 As a result of the potential inability to reach the outward mobility target, a revised strategy for Outward Student Mobility was implemented in 2017 and sought to increase the participation in international experiences to 13.2% by 2020.6 In support of this, Universities UK International created the ‘Stand Out: Go International’ campaign.7 The project facilitates the UK Strategy for Outward Student Mobility’s target of doubling the percentage of UK-domiciled undergraduate students who have an international placement as part of their university programme by 2020.8 Apart from the widely recognised benefits of gaining cultural awareness and adapting to new environments, recent reports have highlighted the significant benefits of undergraduate students taking part in global experiences. The Gone International: Mobility Works report collated data from UK university students and found a correlation between outward mobility and better employment and academic outcomes. Graduates who had taken up a study or work abroad placement during their undergraduate degree were 1.2 percent less likely to be unemployed following their graduation. They were also 6.5 percent more likely to obtain a first class or upper second class degree classification.9 Moreover, recently employed graduates were 6.5 percent more likely to be in a graduate level job and on average earnt 5 percent more than non-mobile students.10 The significant difference between mobile and non-mobile students is partially due to the development of soft skills, highly sought after by graduate employers. Recent study abroad student Eva (Yihua) Quan from Syracuse University in New York, noted an overall improvement in her interpersonal and communication skills as a result of her time in London. She found that studying and living in the city for a semester enhanced her adaptability as she had to quickly adjust to a different academic system and cultural environment. In particular, Eva discussed having her confidence grow because of the challenge of adapting to a new routine. It enabled her to go outside of her comfort zone, thus improving her verbal and written communication skills. Despite the significant range of benefits that studying abroad has to offer for university students, it is an opportunity with numerous restrictions to some of the student population.

The lack of equal access to university and progression or success during undergraduate years for some young people in the UK has led to widening participation being a priority in education policy during the past two decades.11 However, as Michael Brown argues, the focus of widening participation in UK governmental policy has been university entrance rather than the wider importance of student opportunities and outcomes.12 Under-represented students at university face a lack of access to all events, schemes, or programmes in comparison to their more privileged peers, which includes studying abroad. The Gone International: Expanding Opportunities report found that under-represented students participated in mobility at a rate of 5.1% in comparison to the 8.7% of their more advantaged peers.13 An analysis of widening participation in UK outward global mobility programmes found more specific disparities within the heterogenous collective of under-represented students. In 2015 to 2016, students from higher socio-economic backgrounds were 65% more likely to participate in outward mobility than those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.14 In the same year, Black, Asian and minority ethnic group (BAME) students represented 22.2% of the student cohort but only 17.6% of the outwardly-mobile group.15 Within this group, African, Bangladeshi and Pakistani students had the lowest rates of participation between 2013 and 2016.16 Additionally, 1.5% of university students with a disability participated in outward mobility in 2015-2016.17 The lowest participation rates were from students with physical impairments or two or more conditions.18 Moreover, within these groups, students with overlapping identities had even lower rates of participation. Students from both low socio-economic and BAME backgrounds were less likely to study abroad than white working class students. Black and Asian working class students participated in outward mobility at 1 - 1.2% in comparison to 1.6% of their white peers.19 The lower mobility rates for students from disadvantaged backgrounds highlights the lack of access to study abroad programmes. It prevents these students from opportunities that their more advantaged peers have to significantly improve their academic performance, skills and employment prospects. Despite the lower rates of participation, the Go International: Mobility Works report identified that the benefits of global mobility were more prominent for students from under-represented groups. On average, mobile graduates from widening participation backgrounds earned 6.1% more than those who were not mobile.20 It reinforces that students who are less likely to participate in study abroad programmes because of systemic barriers face a greater disadvantage than other members of the student body. The report also found that Black graduates who were mobile were 70% less likely to be unemployed than their non-mobile peers.21 Asian graduates who were mobile earned on average 8% more and


THE SPECTRUM were 71% less likely to be unemployed than their non-mobile peers. The overall graduate employment benefits for students from less advantaged backgrounds at university further convey the importance of increasing global mobility participation rates for these students. As students who already face systemic barriers in the UK, widening participation students should be given greater support to participate in study abroad opportunities. Unlike the majority of their mobile peers, students from widening participation backgrounds face various issues and barriers when deciding whether to study or work abroad. The factors affect their ability to participate in outward mobility opportunities. Financial barriers are one of the main concerns for disadvantaged students, with data from Student Perspectives suggesting that most outward mobility is financed through loans as grants, which are either not offered for some host destinations or do not cover the cost of studying abroad.22 Moreover, many families of students from under-represented backgrounds may not understand the benefits associated with studying abroad because of the lack of easily accessible information tailored to helping families understand the process and outcome of international experiences. Mentorship has also been significantly overlooked by universities as a tool for increasing mobility rates of less advantaged students. Whilst pre-departure guidance and Facebook groups are set up to support students prior to their period abroad, there is a lack of support for students in the early stages of deciding whether they are able to study abroad. Students who are former participants in study abroad programmes could help to provide the support necessary to increase the number of under-represented students in outward mobility. Although some UK universities, such as Cardiff University, offer tailored support for disabled students as well as students from BAME backgrounds, it is not followed by all universities and should become a nationwide policy.23 Policy Proposals: In order to overcome some of the barriers preventing widening participation students from taking part in study abroad opportunities, three key areas of improvement in strategy have been identified to continue growing the participation rate of overseas study or work to 20% and meet the collective goal of the European Higher Education Area. 1. Creating specific bursaries based on location and background Whilst there are a number of needs-based scholarships available as part of a student’s home university or from external organisations such as the Fulbright Commission, this is often not enough to cover the whole expense of studying abroad. Despite Europe wide grants such as ERASMUS+, there is a persistent lack of funding to support UK home stu-


dents when travelling outside of the European Union. This proposal therefore advocates for the creation of nationwide bursaries that can aid the cost of studying abroad and are specific to both the location a student is going to and the background they come from. Students travelling to countries with a higher cost of living, such as the United States, should receive more funding than their counterparts who are studying in Europe. Moreover, funding for under-represented groups should be tailored to each specific background to more effectively meet individual requirements, such as more funding for healthcare in the case of disabled students. The term BAME should also be dissected in relation to funding opportunities. As noted previously, Black, Bangladeshi and Pakistani students have much lower rates of global mobility in comparison to other ethnic groups within the BAME category. To avoid treating ethnic minority students as a homogenous group and negating their individual experiences, bursaries should also be specific to particular ethnicities to fairly increase BAME student outward mobility. 2. Expanding accessible marketing of study abroad programmes Whilst the Stand Out: Go International campaign has proposed going beyond traditional media such as posters to expand marketing, there should be vast improvements to the accessibility of information about studying abroad for the parents or carers of students from under-represented backgrounds. One of the reasons identified for the lack of participation in study abroad opportunities by students from under-represented backgrounds is the lack of information readily available for parents and carers of the young people. Accessible sources of information, such as online videos that show the career prospects and academic benefits that arise from studying abroad, as well as estimated financial costs and the various preparatory stages of studying abroad, can be valuable in helping parents and guardians gain a better understanding of why study abroad opportunities should be taken up and what is involved in the process. 3. Implementing an online ambassador scheme made up of study abroad alumni Previous policy proposals by Universities UK and the Stand Out: Go International campaign have overlooked the prospect of collaboration with students, which is a fundamental component to increasing engagement from under-represented students. Creating and implementing an ambassador scheme made up of previous study abroad students from widening participation backgrounds will enable prospective students to have their questions answered by people who have had similar experiences. There should be information online about the individual ambassadors, including where they studied abroad and how they dealt with any of the challenges that may have arisen as a result of coming from an under-represented background. Prospective students may

EDUCATION Photo by Chris (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Adapting policies to help widen access to educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds is necessary to combatting structural inequalities in the UK education system. Through changing the amount and variety of support for disadvantaged students to study abroad, it will increase student outcomes and critically improve widening participation agendas in UK education policy.

be able to speak more openly to someone from a similar background about worries and potential challenges and receive tailored one-to-one support about how to navigate challenges such as applying for visas and creating networks in the host destination. Conclusion: This paper has broadly outlined the benefits of global mobility programmes to student outcomes both during and after undergraduate study. It has identified how the lack of accessibility to outward mobility greatly affects students from under-represented groups in university, thus preventing them from an opportunity which could significantly improve their graduate prospects. Although the amount of support available for widening participation students pursuing work or study abroad is rising, it needs to be more specific to individual groups to increase their rates of outward mobility. Nationwide bursaries that are tailored to study abroad destinations as well as particular student backgrounds can enable the most under-represented students in outward mobility rates to have a fairer opportunity of pursuing international academic or work experience. Additionally, greater support for parents or carers as well as the students themselves through a wider range of marketing strategies and online ambassador schemes can provide widening participation students with an added level of support fundamental to influencing their decision to study or work abroad. Data has shown how global experiences as part of an undergraduate degree make significant differences for all students, and especially those from under-represented backgrounds. Therefore, increasing access to these programmes can help widening participation students develop more of an equal standing with their university peers when applying for graduate jobs.



the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to transform latin america By Valentina Ilic Vigil and Rodolfo Benites

The global health emergency caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has brought great challenges to governments worldwide. Specifically, in the education sector, more than 156 million students and 60 million teachers were forced to leave their facilities due to the pandemic.1 As a result, governments were required to deploy contingency plans to enable virtual education. Despite the extensive effort promoted by governments to incorporate digital platforms that enable education to continue through these challenging times, these platforms are confronted by the same barrier that analogue education faces: the extensive inequalities present, particularly in Latin American countries. Half of the world’s students --more than 800 million-- do not have access to a computer at home and 43% of these students do not have access to the internet.2 In highly unequal regions such as Latin America, these conditions are intensified by increases in poverty. However, it is important to note that the majority of countries in the region implemented efforts during the mid-2000s aimed at revolutionizing education through technology. But, these policies and programs, which aimed to provide each child with a computer, failed. The reason why is simple: these initiatives failed to understand that the foundation of the educational digital revolution lays in guaranteeing universal access to the internet. If these programs had managed to develop the minimum digital infrastructure needed for equitable access to the internet, perhaps the countries of the region would have been better prepared for the educational challenges that emerged with the current health crisis. In the current context, countries have a unique opportunity to invest in infrastructure that will enable them to be better prepared for the increasingly digital future that awaits. Therefore, governments must design public policies that take into account the complexity of the inequalities that define their national and local context. Background In 2005, MIT Media Lab’s founder, Nicholas Negroponte, presented an initiative that promised to be one of the most important revolutions in education and the fight to reduce inequality: One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).3 This large-scale delivery project aimed to provide low-cost computers to students from extremely poor areas to significantly improve their learning process. Initiatives that were inspired by the OLPC model were widely implemented in Latin American countries throughout the late 2000s. Such programs included “Conectar igualdad” in Argentina, “Plan CEIBAL” in Uruguay, “Un laptop por niño” in Peru, “Yo elijo mi PC” in Chile, and “Computadores para educar” in Colombia, among others.4


It is important to highlight some of these initiatives’ key considerations. Firstly, countries in the region that have significantly invested in information and education technologies - through the purchase of PCs and laptops - have not shown significant advances in the mathematical, linguistic, or scientific performance of their students.5 Moreover, these programs have not demonstrated improvements in the reduction of learning gaps among the most and least advantaged students or in the improvement of levels of participation and permanence.6 Secondly, one of the main criticisms of these types of initiatives is that they focus only on access rather than the proper use of digital resources.7 That is, the majority of the equipment was delivered without proper training efforts for teachers and students, which would have allowed them to enhance their educational experience. Thirdly, as the health emergency has demonstrated, Latin America suffers from reduced and unequal access to the internet, which has become the main barrier to complying with the basic right to quality education. Latin America’s barriers to successfully implementing virtual education range from the use, access, and adoption of the internet, to the affordability of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). In comparative terms, the region lags far behind. For example, fixed broadband in the region is 10% in comparison to almost 30% among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries . Mobile broadband penetration is 30% in comparison to 72% among OECD countries.8 The average fixed and mobile connection speed is one third compared to those of OECD countries.9 Therefore, it is baffling that the above-mentioned plans for massive access to computer equipment, which faced such limited digital penetration, were not accompanied by a significant investment in digital infrastructure and skills development. The current health emergency has highlighted the immense challenges governments face to ensure inclusive education, one with equity and quality, in a reality that requires virtual teaching methods. The comparative disadvantages outlined here call for an effective and efficient response, the lack of which could generate an even wider inequality gap in access to education. Public Policy Recommendations 1. Ensure internet connectivity at home as part of a social justice and inclusion policy. The current health crisis has exposed the importance of promoting wide-spread access to the internet for students to enable virtual education for all. Expanding internet connectivity in the region would trigger multiple side benefits beyond education. It would allow for improved access to digital banking services (financial inclusion) and telemed-

EDUCATION icine, enhanced virtual skills training for professionals, and broader opportunities for telework schemes. In a way, investing in digital connectivity will be as important for the future of Latin America as infrastructure for ground transportation proved to be for economic development in the last few decades. To achieve this level of connectivity, two vital elements should be taken into account. First, considering the complex geography of some countries in Latin America – which makes broad adoption of conventional telecommunications infrastructure difficult – it is necessary to invest in mobile broadband in order to bridge the digital gap.10 In recent years, significant progress has been made in the design of new forms of internet connection, which promise not only to expand access but also to reduce its costs. If so, these advances could be a great opportunity to improve connectivity in the region. Secondly, taking into consideration the recent UN resolution on the “Promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet”, it is important to develop financing or subsidy schemes that eliminate internet access barriers and reduce costs. Currently, Latin America is the region with the highest costs for internet access worldwide. 11 This has a significant impact on the opportunities of those who are excluded when digital alternatives are required. 2. Link the expansion of internet connectivity with significant structural transformations of the educational system, in response to the 4th industrial revolution Although the region’s experiences with OLPC have not been successful, this does not mean that similar initiatives should be dropped. On the contrary, their design and implementation must be rethought as part of a large-scale educational transformation. Latin America must aim to meet the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, which will have an immense influence on the labour market and the economies of the region’s countries.12 The current crisis is an opportunity to rethink education so that it effectively provides students with the tools, knowledge, and skills for the 21st century. Skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration will be highly valued in a world characterized by the intensive use of the internet, automation, big data, and artificial intelligence.13 To make these changes effective and sustainable, the use of technology must be accompanied by significant changes in the teaching process.14 Thus, aspects such as initial teacher training, continuous training, and upskilling, the design of learning resources and assessment methodologies are crucial when thinking about Education 4.0. Taking into consideration the lessons learned from OLPC programs, the education revolution through digitalization will not occur if we do not have a holistic perspective of it. It is of utmost importance that efforts to achieve mass adoption of the internet and computers are accompanied by a deep and thoughtful empowerment of the human capital required.

A mathematics teacher gives a lesson during the Covid-19 panademic. Photo by Химки ТВ (CC BY 3.0).

Conclusion The health emergency can be transformative in many ways. The deep crisis that this has generated for the global and Latin American educational systems has exposed the structural deficiencies that need urgent attention. Despite the economic efforts made by several countries to move towards an educational revolution through digitization, the health crisis has highlighted the absence of a fundamental element for this revolution to occur: massive internet connectivity. We live in an increasingly digital reality and we will inevitably continue to face profound social, economic, and labour transformations. Today, governments have a unique opportunity to make strategic decisions that allow their countries to be better prepared to face the current health crisis and the challenges of the future. Therefore, they must be able to put in place what is needed to have a rapid response when faced with these challenges. The region is at a decisive moment to design public policies that respond to the complexities of today’s world by developing new structures and institutions, and building more agile synergies between actors, areas, and sectors. The challenges that the fourth industrial revolution pose for today’s educational systems are far-reaching. Currently, we face a considerable gap between the labour market and the educational system. This gap generates a lag in the social and economic development of the region that could become irreversible. A coordinated effort between the labour markets and educational systems is key to trigger the structural change needed in Latin America. Most notably, the current health emergency has created a unique opportunity for governments to establish comprehensive policies that through education and productivity ensure that no one is left behind. One of these many potential policies should guarantee that digital connectivity improves the quality of life of people throughout their lifespan and drives Latin America’s leap towards economic growth, development, and social justice.



How the Arts Can Save Our Children By Alexa Dewar and Isa Eldin

In a time of political, social, and cultural instability, children’s mental health is suffering. Mental illness in children aged 5-15 years has seen a small but substantial increase since the late 90’s, excluding rising levels of anxiety and insecurity that are frequently left undiagnosed.1 Concurrently, a critical part of childhood has been stripped from the lives of many individuals: art. This can be one of the defining elements of freedom and creativity in a person’s formative years. Art provides an opportunity for expression, release, and experimentation. While not necessarily causing deteriorating mental health among children, the stripping of the arts from curriculums certainly correlates with these trends. These developments therefore open the following interrelated questions: What can the arts do to help the young? And what can we do to help the arts? The Challenge: It is necessary to evaluate why the arts are a desirable element to include in education, which in turn involves considering two primary and opposing viewpoints. Firstly, through exploring the link between arts education and wider academic attainment, policymakers and educators can determine whether the arts positively contribute towards attainment in more ‘academic’ subjects (like Science and Maths) and as such, whether inclusion of the arts has an overall ‘net benefit.’ If such a positive contribution is detected, the arts may become a core component of the curriculum; if no correlation is detected, they would be relegated to the status of an extracurricular. This is the motivation


pursued by the Department for Education in its 2016 report ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere.’2 Contrastingly, this instrumental treatment of the Arts has been criticised by others who believe the value of an Arts education is independent of any ‘collateral benefits’ to other subjects. Such individuals, and organisations like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), champion an essentialist view of art, or art for art’s sake.3 Additionally, if there are benefits to the Arts beyond academic improvement, such as making a positive contribution to a student’s mental health, their importance goes beyond facilitating higher grades in core subjects. This paper advocates this latter approach, arguing both that the value of the Arts exists independently of their impact on other subjects, and that if therapeutic outcomes such as personal development or improved mental health are cultivated by participation in artistic endeavours, then the Arts are worth pursuing for this alone. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider where Arts fit within the UK’s general education priorities. Education in the UK is currently facing severe struggles: with decreased funding (in real terms) since the current period of austerity began, teachers, students, and parents alike are struggling to cope with the demands and harsh reality of education in the present. This had led to a significant imbalance in standards and performance between different regions in the UK and between the rich and the poor.4 This gap exists between state schools in the UK, not even considering the gulf that lies between private schools and those that are publicly funded. Stripping the Arts will arguably only serve to increase this performance gap. Those born in poorer areas are already more likely to attain lower GCSE grades, not attend university, and ultimately get lower paying jobs; removing the Arts from the curriculum additionally deprives these children of a creative outlet. Without the chance to explore their creative selves, not only may the creative capabilities of a child suffer, but their academic subjects may suffer likewise.

EDUCATION Integrating the Arts into school curriculums provides pupils who do not have the opportunity to expand their knowledge outside the classroom with the ability to explore their creativity in school. Therefore, this paper advocates a basic level of access to the Arts to ensure that all children, including the most deprived and vulnerable, simply have the chance to participate in an activity with so many benefits that they are otherwise excluded from. Evidence: It is difficult to appraise the impact of Arts with the sort of quantitative analysis one can use to assess instruction in maths or the sciences. This is firstly because Artistic instruction is rarely delivered in a uniform or systematic manner and instead branches into numerous different forms like painting, drama, dance, and music. Additionally, the Arts’ benefits resist simple quantification, with the physical benefits of movement from performance art, the social benefits of collaborative art work, the psychological benefits of individualistic expression difficult to measure but certainly all valuable. Most impact statements on the benefits of the Arts (particularly with regard to mental health) must consequently rely upon qualitative data from sources such as questionnaires, like the ‘Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire’ (SDQ), a behavioural screening tool developed to meet the needs of researchers, clinicians, and educationalists.5 This difficulty constitutes the fundamental reason the value of Arts is misapprehended to the extent it is; the type of data obtained is difficult to extrapolate to a national level for policy-making purposes. This paper advocates focusing instead on several small-scale interventions that have shown great promise, in order to highlight the astounding impact that the Arts have at a personal level. Case Study: Clear Sky There are a number of case studies for organisations that utilise the Arts effectively to improve the physical and emotional health of young children. ‘Clear Sky’ is one such charity, offering one-on-one or group interventions with a qualified therapist to students who have displayed challenging behaviour or suffered trauma. This intervention comes in the form of Play and Creative Arts therapy. As described by the charity, this is a form of intervention in which ‘specially trained therapists support children through the process of healing from trauma using play, drama, dance, music, art and sound’.6 The charity also coaches parents in play-based skills through a series of workshops to give them the skills to facilitate the emotional-wellbeing of their children. A similar programme for professionals is also offered.

In its latest 2017-2018 report, Clear Sky identified the scale of the problem facing Britain’s youth, noting among other salient statistics that a quarter of all mental illnesses begin in childhood; that 10% of all school children have a diagnosable mental illness (though 75% of these children are not receiving any substantial treatment), and most significantly, that the average waiting period for effective treatment is an alarming 10 years.7 This corroborates other sources that suggest Britain is lagging far behind its EU partners in terms of provisions for young people struggling with mental illness.8 Not only are many children who desperately need mental health treatment failing to seek it, a report by the Children’s Society estimated that more than 100,000 children who do seek mental health treatment are turned away each year.9 Besides identifying the problem, Clear Sky’s report also offers a number of solutions to the aforementioned problems, grounded in scholarly literature and reports from such organisations as The British Psychological Society and The Department for Education. These include early identification for those at risk of mental health problems, early intervention programmes, and interventions that involve the cooperation of the children, parents, and professionals in order to deliver a holistic ‘child-led’ approach. One of the programmes offered by Clear Sky, ‘Play for Pupils’, showed remarkable promise in improving the emotional wellbeing of the young participants. The organisation’s ‘impact’ statistics, derived using the aforementioned ‘Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire’, boasted a: · 21% decline in behavioural issues · 20% rise in emotional wellbeing · 19% reduction in peer difficulties · 13% decrease in hyperactivity · 12% increase in prosocial behaviours Clear Sky is not the only example of a charity using the Arts to effectively tackle the spiralling mental health crisis among Britain’s youth. Another charity, ‘The Art Room,’ is also utilising art-based early interventions for children displaying signs of behavioural or emotional difficulties. Using the same metric, the organisation determined that ‘60% of all children who attend The Art Room (and 70% of those who present with severe problems) see an improvement in one or more of these characteristics during their time with us.’10 Policy Proposal: 1. Compulsory Extra-Curricular Arts Classes Given the evidence of the Arts’ effectiveness in improving individual wellbeing, this paper proposes that extra-curricular Arts activities are made compulsory in primary and


THE SPECTRUM secondary schools. Extra-curricular Arts classes become mandatory for each school to host, with a minimum of three extra-curricular Arts classes on offer for pupils. These should take place both during the school day (at lunchtimes) and after school to ensure that all children can attend. Additionally, the choice of specific classes or workshops should be left to the discretion of each school. These classes could range from practical art, to art history lessons, to spoken poetry workshops, to music education insights, to comedy clubs, to film nights‌ the choices are endless. This gives the schools the flexibility to tailor their Arts agenda to what suits them. Most importantly, this allows children to enjoy an artistic aspect of their school experience without significantly altering the curriculum. Given the experience of children from Clear Sky, it is clear that any form of artistic endeavour could have a monumental impact on the mental health of all children. 2. Behavioural Arts Therapy in Schools A potential downfall to the previous policy is that children do not have to attend the classes; therefore, those that could benefit from exposure to the Arts the most, but are shy or anxious, can easily avoid taking part. In doing so, they miss out on all the potential benefits of the programmes. Therefore, this paper recommends an additional policy of making art therapy the primary behavioural therapy used for children in primary and secondary schools. This involves removing classic punishment methods currently used in education, such as detention, and shifting to a more progressive form of behaviour management. Arts therapy would give the child the opportunity to achieve positive personal improvement through creative work. As Clear Sky and similar platforms illustrate, art therapy ensures that individuals have the chance to develop and grow from their experience. At present, children that cause problems in classrooms may not have the opportunity to change their habits, with detentions or similar forms of punishment failing to act as effective incentives. Art therapy gives them the opportunity to explore their sense of self and find an outlet, which is likely to lead to positive behavioural change. Conclusion The Arts can clearly be employed as a mechanism to place children’s wellbeing at the centre of the education system. Children in the UK are growing more anxious, depressed, and withdrawn than they have been at any point in the recent past, and the Arts offer a way to reverse this trend. The Arts have been forgotten as a core element of education, with its emphasis on innovation and relaxation sidelined. This paper has therefore illustrated why and how the Arts should be reintroduced, even in relatively minimal ways, to the education system. Only through this can the benefit of the Arts reach children who otherwise may never be able to access them.


Global Health

Access to Emergency Adrenaline Auto-Injectors By Gursharan Khera and Eleanor Pace

Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening, systemic allergic reaction involving swelling of the face, lips, and airway, difficulty breathing, and problems with circulation. Common causative allergens include foodstuff (e.g. nuts, eggs, and soy) and certain medications. The most severe type of reaction, anaphylaxis, occurs within minutes of allergen exposure and represents the body’s response to something it views as foreign.1 Allergy prevalence is increasing, particularly in western countries, with up to 6% of the European population affected by food allergies.2 In the UK, there was a 700% increase in the number of hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in the period between 1990 to 2007.3 Each year there are around 20 deaths related to anaphylaxis in the UK.4 Concerns for public awareness and access to lifesaving treatment have been highlighted by the media attention surrounding a number of avoidable deaths due to anaphylaxis. In several of these cases, opportunities to save lives were missed due to misinformation or inadequate access to treatment.

Adrenaline auto-injectors, often referred to as EpipensÂŽ (one of the various brands available), can be lifesaving when anaphylaxis occurs. They are effective both as a definitive treatment in their own right, and at buying time to get to a hospital.5 Although most individuals who suffer from anaphylaxis are prescribed an auto-injector to carry with them at all times, instances of forgetfulness are incredibly common, and a single dose is not always sufficient. In light of this, we propose that there should be increased access to adrenaline auto-injectors in major public spaces and restaurants. This paper aims to address this issue in the UK, with a consideration of current policy and the ways in which this can be improved to reduce the number of avoidable allergy related deaths. General Background Food allergies account for 4,500 hospital admissions each year, with 1 in 4 people reporting that they or a relative had been affected by an allergic reaction whilst dining out.6 Whilst anaphylaxis is life-threatening, it is often difficult to discern whether a particular reaction will end up being fa75

THE SPECTRUM tal.7 Furthermore, it is possible to develop an allergy at any point in life, and first reactions do not necessarily happen in childhood.8 Therefore, the unpredictable nature of allergies, and by extension anaphylaxis, diminishes our ability to treat it. Recent years have seen a flurry of media coverage around the tragic deaths of a number of young people due to anaphylaxis. Case Studies Karanbir Cheema, a 13 year old student who was severely allergic to cheese, passed away in 2017 after cheese was thrown at him by a fellow pupil at school. Although school staff tried to administer his adrenaline autoinjector, it was out of date and therefore ineffective, and there was no backup available. He suffered a cardiac arrest due to anaphylaxis and was taken to hospital but died 11 days later.9 Owen Carey, an 18 year old with a dairy allergy, had an anaphylactic reaction to his birthday meal at restaurant chain Byron Burger in 2017. He recognised symptoms of an allergic reaction but had, on this occasion, forgotten the auto-injector pen he usually carried. Ultimately, a lack of immediate access to adrenaline proved fatal and he died 45 minutes later.10 Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a 15 year old with a sesame allergy, died in 2016 after eating a sandwich from restaurant chain Pret a Manger. She boarded a British Airways flight on which her father administered two adrenaline auto-injectors but the adrenaline dose was insufficient and she later died in hospital.11 The Issue As highlighted in the above case studies, young people are most at risk of suffering from an anaphylactic reaction, but surveys suggest that up to 33% of young people who have been prescribed an adrenaline auto-injection device do not keep it with them at all times.12 It is difficult for young people to adjust to life with a severe allergy; however, even if they do remember to carry their adrenaline device, one dose may not be enough in the case of a severe reaction, and device malfunction or expiry can prove fatal. In fact, it is recommended that those at risk of anaphylaxis should be prescribed two adrenaline auto-injectors, both to be kept with the person at all times, since up to 35% of anaphylactic reactions will require more than one dose of adrenaline to adequately treat the symptoms.13 However, this is not always possible, and patients may be left at risk without sufficient adrenaline on their person. How Adrenaline Works Adrenaline is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the body and exerts its effects through several different subtypes


of receptors in the body to counteract the life-threatening effects of anaphylaxis. It is most often given as an intramuscular injection via an easy-to-use auto-injector device. Adrenaline acts on alpha-adrenergic receptors to correct oedema and low blood pressure, and on beta-adrenergic receptors to counteract bronchoconstriction. Side effects include headaches, tremor, dizziness, palpitations, and anxiety. However, these effects are most often minor with normal doses and do not cause significant problems. Importantly, there are no contra-indications to giving adrenaline in a situation where life is at risk, and if in doubt it should be given.14 In the cases discussed above, improved access to adrenaline could have prevented unnecessary deaths. Current Policy Natasha’s law Following the publicity surrounding the case of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, policymakers drafted Natasha’s Law. This legislation, to be enacted by October 2021, aims to protect allergy sufferers by requiring all premises that prepare and pack food for sale to carry a full list of ingredients, including allergen information.15 Whilst this legislation is undoubtedly a positive step, it focuses on the prevention of allergic reactions resulting from consumer misinformation. Consequently, a gap still remains in policy covering the population’s access to life-saving treatment, particularly in locations where they are most at risk: restaurants and busy public spaces such as train stations and shopping centres. Use of emergency adrenaline auto-injectors in schools In October 2017, following the death of Karanbir Cheema, the government enacted legislation to allow UK schools to acquire and store adrenaline auto-injectors in absence of prescription, as a backup for children at school known to have anaphylaxis.16 This legislation has been responsible for saving at least one life so far. When Lily Dowling, 15, had her first anaphylactic reaction at school unexpectedly, her life was saved by one of these spare adrenaline pens, demonstrating the importance of this change in legislation.17 However, this policy does not represent a mandatory requirement for schools and there is little data as to its uptake, severely limiting the scope of its efficacy. Previous attempts at Policy Change A government petition in November 2019 requested public areas & food places to have adrenaline autoinjectors for food allergies.18 It was closed due to an upcoming election, but received a response, which is addressed below: The primary reason given for the rejection of this policy is a potential risk of “serious harm” arising if adrenaline were

GLOBAL HEALTH to be inappropriately given to a collapsed person not suffering from anaphylaxis, but instead, for example, an electrical disturbance of the heart. Whilst this is possible, and cases of arrhythmia have been reported in individuals with underlying cardiac conditions, this is an exceptionally rare side effect. It must be considered that adrenaline is a life-saving drug and has no contra-indications when used in the case of an allergic reaction, especially at the dose delivered from an auto-injector device’.19 Furthermore, the response questions whether members of the public will know ‘whether a patient has collapsed due to anaphylaxis’. Most individuals with allergies are aware of their allergy status and have been prescribed their own adrenaline auto-injector. Moreover, the suspicion of an anaphylactic reaction will be raised by the presence of distinct, well-publicised symptoms (itching, urticaria, swelling, and difficulty breathing) and logical circumstance (allergen exposure). The response also claims it is ‘not obvious to an untrained person how to administer them [adrenaline autoinjectors] safely in an emergency’. However, these auto-injectors are carefully designed for this exact purpose: to be used easily and effectively by people with no medical experience.20 Finally, whilst there is a concern that members of the public will face a ‘responsibility to make an appropriate diagnosis’, this is largely unfounded. The majority of individuals with allergies and their families will be aware of their allergic reactions and, faced with this scenario, emergency services would generally be on hand via telephone to offer advice and assistance in cases of ambiguity. Policy Proposals Although the government has taken steps toward addressing the issue of allergies through the above policies, there remains significant scope for improvement, particularly

Adrenaline auto-injectors constitute a critical component in the treatment of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction. By Quote Catalog ( (CC BY 2.0).

in regard to public access to life-saving treatment. This is a crucial factor in reducing the number of allergy-related preventable deaths and must be addressed through the expansion of existing legislation and drafting of new policies. The following policies and amendments are proposed to improve the public’s access to life-saving adrenaline auto-injectors. 1. New Legislation Evidence-based guidelines worldwide recommend the administration of adrenaline as the primary and most crucial step in the treatment of anaphylaxis.21 It is named on the WHO essential medicines list and UK guidelines recommend that in cases of anaphylaxis it be given repeatedly every five minutes until there has been an adequate response. There is no maximum dosage. We propose that adrenaline autoinjectors are made available in all licensed restaurants and major public spaces, including: train stations, airports, shopping centres and educational establishments. Their provision in restaurants and public spaces would be through a channel similar to the pre-existing policy for schools. Management for public spaces or licensed restaurants would be required to stock an adrenaline auto-injector device for their premises. These parties should be able to replace the device in a similar manner should it be used or reach its expiry date. Practicalities The cost for one auto-injector, roughly £45.00, is non-prohibitive for the vast majority of businesses and establishments. Furthermore, its life-saving benefits extend beyond public interest as it also has the potential to reduce liability for businesses. Storage In terms of storage, adrenaline auto-injectors should ideally be stored at 20-25 °C; however, temperature excursions between 15-30 ºC are permitted by most manufacturers. This is in line with Health and Safety Executive government guidelines that dictate working temperatures should generally be set above 16ºC.22 Where appropriate, we recommend adrenaline autoinjectors to be stored alongside First Aid Kits and Public Access Defibrillators. With regards to the security of stored devices, we suggest a fine to be implemented for the removal of a device from its place of storage without sound reasoning, acting to discourage stealing of devices. Misuse The cost and absence of any euphoric effects should limit misuse. However, further restrictions may be put into place, limiting the number of autoinjectors available to each establishment and tracking devices through a centralised order-


THE SPECTRUM ing system (as is the case for Public Access Defibrillators). This system could also be used to deliver an alert to establishments when their auto-injector device is due to expire. Correct Use Adrenaline auto-injectors are designed to be easy to use. Each device carries simple instructions for the two-step administration process.23 Individuals who have already been prescribed an adrenaline pen are very likely to be familiar with how to use it, along with family members and close friends. In addition, the Medicines Act 2012 states that anyone can administer adrenaline in order to save a life.24 2. Changes to existing legislation Existing government legislation that provides schools with the capability to buy adrenaline auto-injectors directly for their students was a positive and effective strategy. Having saved one life already, it might have done the same for Karanbir Cheema had it been enacted sooner. We propose that this policy should be mandatory for all schools and should be amended to include institutions for higher education. These changes will widen the scope of this legislation and ensure that all children and adults in education would have access to life-saving allergy treatment at their educational establishment. Conclusion Changes in legislation in recent years represent an improvement, but further changes are still needed in order to save lives. We have provided a counter argument to the concerns raised by the government in response to a previous petition. Such preventable deaths are a tragedy for the families bearing the cost. Preventive measures combined with easy access to adrenaline auto-injectors in public places are key to eradicating this issue.

write for us! King’s Think Tank hosts a student-run blog as well as an annual policy-recommendation journal entitled The Spectrum. Though these differ in style and purpose, both are designed to bridge the gap between students and policymakers by communicating clear, incisive analyses of current social, economic, and political developments. Students from all disciplines and backgrounds are highly encouraged to contribute their ideas and arguments to our growing community of writers. Find out how to submit a paper at:



Access to Mental Health Resources in Kashmir By Julia Bennett, Bhavya Tripathi, and Gursharan Khera India and Pakistan’s ongoing territorial dispute over Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has subjected several generations to conflict and violence in the region and left the Kashmiri population vulnerable to severe mental health problems. Rates of mental illness are extraordinarily high and in a 2015 study, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported that 1.8 million (45%) adults in Kashmir Valley showed significant symptoms of mental distress.1 This distress can be attributed to the on-going conflict, persistent since 1947 when India and Pakistan gained sovereignty from the British Empire. This paper will investigate the severity of mental illness in J&K and consider how further health problems may be mitigated and managed, especially as conflict escalates in the region. It will propose integrating NGO activities and practises into pre-existing regional healthcare facilities, in order to better support the mental health of Kashmiris. Background MSF have reported that several variables make a Kashmiri more vulnerable to mental health problems. In particular, gender and age are significant predictive factors, as women and those over the age of 55 are more susceptible to developing depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Living in rural areas and being either a widow, separated, or divorced has also been correlated to higher incidences of mental health issues. Most significantly, however, witnessing or being exposed to traumatic events is directly related to developing mental health problems such as mental distress, PTSD, depression and anxiety. J&K has been characterised by violence for over 70 years; however, the present insurgency in Kashmir began in 1989. Since then, the conflict has claimed over 41,000 lives.2 The average Kashmiri has witnessed 7.7 traumatic events in their lifetime, yet even just one traumatic incident can have an adverse effect on a person’s mental wellbeing.3 As a result, 1 in 5 adults (19%) in Kashmir Valley are living with significant symptoms of PTSD, which can be directly associated with conflict in the region.4 In J&K, a staggeringly high 45% of the population show some symptoms of mental distress. In fact, 41% can be assumed to have depression, 26% anxiety, and 19% PTSD. With almost half the population struggling with their mental health, provision of talking therapies, and other resources for Kashmiris must be a priority. However, at present, mental healthcare provision in the region is centred in the cities and is inundated by high incidences of trauma related

illness. In 2015, MSF reported a wide gap between the need and provision of treatment. Barriers to treatment included the cost and distance of travel, lack of awareness, and poor infrastructure. Political instability in the region also affects access to and provision of such care. The vulnerability of these healthcare institutions has been exposed by recent escalations in conflict.5 Over the past 40 years, mental health in Kashmir appears to be deteriorating at an increasing rate. The Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), in the valley’s major city Sringar, has observed a rise in outpatient treatment for mental health issues. In 1980, IMHANS was treating around 100 cases a week. However, by 2013, this rose dramatically to between 200 and 300 cases per day.6 Equally, suicide attempts were reported to increase by more than 250% between 1994 and 2012. It is likely that the deterioration of mental health in Jammu and Kashmir will only hasten as insecurity in the region increases. The Revocation of Articles 370 and 37A in Jammu and Kashmir Recent events in Jammu and Kashmir have left citizens even more vulnerable to further mental distress. In the 2019 Indian election, a significant majority was obtained by the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Fundamental to its vision of India was the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A, which had granted Kashmir partial autonomy for 70 years. Article 370, administered in 1949, afforded J&K ‘special status’. While still an Indian sovereign state, J&K were entitled to their own flag, constitution and independence. Only in matters of foreign affairs, defence and communication did Kashmir turn to the Indian government.7 In 1954, the constitution was extended by the addition of Article 35A, which defined Kashmir’s ‘permanent residents’ and outlined the privileges awarded to them. For instance, permanent residents of Kashmir were entitled to be employed by the government, vote, and most importantly, buy and own land and property.8 As a majority Muslim state under Hindu rule, these policies were designed to protect the demographic profile of Kashmir by preventing major migration into the region. On 5 August 2019, the Indian government revoked Article 370, dissolving Kashmir’s right to self government and re-asserting Indian control over the region. The policy change was accompanied by the deployment of 38,000 troops, the arrest of political leaders and the imposition of a communications and media blackout.9 While allegedly designed to maintain


THE SPECTRUM 'At the Kashmir - Ladakh border.' Kashmiri who live rurally and are over the age of 55 are more vulnerable to mental health problems. Photo by Fulvio Spada (CC BY-SA 2.0).

finds that over 6 years, there was an increase in the prevalence of PTSD and severe distress in populations that had been exposed to significant conflict. These health conditions were associated with several variables including gender, disability, human rights trauma, exposure to murder and other types of conflict related trauma. As in Timor Leste, it can be inferred that the recurrent violence in peace and prevent further violence, these policies have left Kashmir in a state of crisis and have been severely criticised by the international community. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for ‘maximum restraint’, fearing further actions that may exacerbate the human rights situation in the region’.10 Already, however, it is possible to predict severe implications for healthcare in J&K. In a state that already experiences such a high prevalence of mental health issues, these escalations will undoubtedly intensify this trend and place an immense strain on the mental health of Kashmiris. Mental Health and Conflict The intensification of conflict in Kashmir, the communications ban and the militarisation of the region will further detrimentally affect the mental health of Kashmiris. Yet for several years, the extent to which these actions have affected mental health in Kashmir may not be fully evident. It can reportedly take between 3 and 5 years for the effects of conflict to become apparent, due to a delay between the development of mental health conditions and the act of seeking help.11 However, it is possible to consider mental health and conflict more generally, and comparatively consider the likely long term pressure that mental health services will be under in Kashmir. Murtaza Rashid, a researcher at Royal Commission Hospital, stated that ‘healthcare is always one of the first setups to suffer because of military actions’.12 Yet, populations living in zones of protracted conflict are particularly susceptible to developing signs of mental distress and illness. The combined effect of trauma, economic pressures, and lack of support, results in high rates of mental distress in contested zones.13 Studies that examine the long term effects of conflict on mental health are rare. However, a 2014 study into the effects of recurrent violence on mental health over a 6 year period in Timor Leste


Kashmir increases the prevalence of mental illness due to continued exposure to violence and trauma. Recent escalations in Kashmir will only exacerbate these issues.14 Kashmir and Healthcare since August 2019 It is already possible to see some preliminary effects of the repeal of Kashmir’s partial autonomy on the population. Journalists have reported an increase in people seeking out-patient treatment for anxiety related palpitations, with a rise in demand for anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication. Due to the communications ban, it has been increasingly difficult for those in need of help to reach hospitals and doctors. Ambulances cannot be called and private cars are frequently stopped by the military.15 Equally, MSF, who have offered free counselling and mental health support in the region since 2001, have been forced to close services in four districts due to the communications ban’s effect on staffing.16 As a result, fewer people have been able to reach out for help. In a region where stigma already affects ability to access mental health support, any further barriers will only discourage people from asking for treatment. Several doctors have also noted the imminent mental health crisis and called upon the Indian government and international community to support those Kashmiris in need. Omar Salim was arrested when he expressed his concerns about healthcare in the region, holding a sign that stated ‘this is not a protest, this a request.17 Equally, 19 doctors contributed to an open letter that directly stated their fears about increased mental distress in Kashmir.18 They write that there is currently ‘a blatant denial of the right to healthcare and the right to life’ in Kashmir. Undoubtedly, the Kashmiri population is already experiencing increased levels of distress, anxiety and trauma. With conflict unresolved in the region, and the entrenchment of political instability, it is important

GLOBAL HEALTH that measures to mitigate the mental health crisis emerging in Kashmir be implemented. Policy Proposals: NGOs have been working to support Kashmiris, but with such high rates of mental illness, and with the predicted increase in the incidence of poor mental health due to recent escalations, it is crucial to implement measures now. In order to mitigate and manage the mental health crisis in this contested region, the following policies are proposed to better support those suffering from mental illness in Kashmir. 1. Incorporation of mental health resources into existing platforms A survey conducted by MSF India in 2015 highlights key proposals to policy makers which have been disregarded.19 This paper aims to integrate those recommendations into the foundation of state-level healthcare services. The majority of health affiliated studies conducted in Kashmir are conducted by NGOs from around the world. Consistent concern regarding the mental health crisis has been highlighted in multiple studies conducted by BMJ, MSF, Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) and WHO’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP). Such organisations require support from state representatives, but in the case of Kashmir, where the ruling government has direct control, NGOs may face more barriers to operate. Such barriers need to be dissolved, thus allowing accurate research to be conducted in all regions. The latest batch of research and surveys were conducted in 2015.

require skilled practitioners, in the traditional sense, in order to have effect. The World Health Organisation strongly supports this idea and promotes a flexible model of talking therapy in mental health emergencies and resource poor countries through guidance such as mhGAP, which provides first-line recommendations on the management of mental health conditions for non-specialist health-care providers. This simple, practical tool is specifically aimed at supporting general health facilities in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies in assessing and managing, among other conditions, acute stress, grief and PTSD, through utilization of their pre-existing tools. Conclusion The complexity of the ongoing crisis has jeopardized the lives of millions for generations. The Kashmir crisis stems from animosity between India and Pakistan, which does not have a foreseeable end at this stage. It is hard to predict when the situation in Kashmir will finally favor its people, as their voices seem to have faded away behind the diplomatic and political shows of power. Hence, it is essential to build a robust system which can support the increasing demand for mental healthcare arising from the conflict. The incorporation of NGOs will allow the support system to operate independently, decentralized from the political atmosphere of the state.

There should be full support from the government when NGOs carry out field surveys, allowing them to access each and every household. The intervention guide by mhGAP is an acute solution, yet has momentous long-term implications. Since it is designed for non-specialized health settings, distribution of the guide in public areas and town halls can have a significant impact. It would not only give people directions on how to assess and address their mental problems, but also enable people to help each other without involving specialists, who are difficult to access due to the state’s circumstances. 2. Tackling PTSD Evidence based treatment in developed nations centres around trauma-focused talking therapies as a first line option, either alone or in conjunction with pharmacotherapy and alternative therapies such as eye-movement desensitisation therapy. Whilst provision of the latter is increasingly difficult in a region where conflict affects access to even the most basic material necessities, increasing access to talking therapies is both an effective and feasible solution. Unlike other treatments, psychological talking therapies do not



The (Deadly) Cost Of History Repeating Itself: From SARS to COVID-19 By Abigail Goh

Written 13 April 2020 At the time of writing, the amount of available information on Covid-19 was highly limited due to its novel and emerging nature. The emergence of the novel coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, has been a great source of fear since late December 2019, and is currently an international public health emergency with infection numbers surpassing 1.8 million across 210 countries, with over 114,980 deaths. As the pandemic unfolds, there has emerged a large degree of uncertainty regarding how long it will last, as well as the social, economic, and health disruptions it will cause at the cost of human life. Nevertheless, there is enough data available to analyse and review the effects China’s censorship and wet market policies have had on COVID-19’s initial outbreak. This paper will retrospectively and comparatively review policy changes from the source of the 2002 SARS coronavirus outbreak (Guangzhou Province), to present-day (2020) COVID-19 (Wuhan, Hubei Province) outbreak.This paper argues that knowledge during any public health crisis is crucial in preventing the virus’ initial spread from turning into a global pandemic. The paper recommends a ban of wildlife trading and the wet market industry in China. Although this paper illustrates the differences in a cross-case analysis, there are stark continuities in which Chinese public health is blatantly disregarded by censorship and wildlife trade policies.

‘...the COVID-19 crisis seems only to add to the... obfuscation and repression left by Chernobyl, Fukushima, and SARS.’1

Additionally, it would be both inaccurate and naïve to solely attribute the global scale and impact of this disease to Chinese governance and public health policies. This paper does not claim to provide solutions that would fully prevent a pandemic from occurring again, as there are many epidemiological factors that cannot always be managed (i.e. the banning of wet markets would not guarantee the removal of all zoonotic disease). As history has shown, the emergence of zoonotic diseases has emerged in several parts of the world, making these policy ‘lessons’ not unique to China – like the Climate Crisis’ disruptive effects, this is a transnational policy problem. Therefore, this paper aims to reduce probabilities leading to an outbreak, as well as suggest that all countries review their current health crisis policies and build preemptive frameworks to contain and manage future infectious diseases in the initial stages, in the following ways: 1. Review State Censorship: Containing disease largely relies upon behaviorally informed action. Governments need to review how a viral outbreak is communicated to the public and to transnational organisations. Greater transparency and access to healthcare professional/ specialist advice is also crucial. 2. Revise Wet Markets and Ban Wildlife Trade: Tighter market regulation and surveillance, along with stricter laws banning the (legal and illegal) wildlife trade industry, should be implemented. Viral pathogens thrive in the conditions of wet markets, where livestock and wild animals are culled, kept, and sold. Disease is more likely to emerge in unsanitary conditions in agribusiness; genome sequencing suggests that SARS and COVID-19 both likely emerged from wet market wildlife products (i.e. animals such as civet cats, pangolins and bats). Reviewing State Censorship: Initial Outbreak, Medical Whistleblowers and Media Campaigns

Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in Mainland China in April. The black region is Hubei Province with 114.40 cases per 100,000 people. By BoyuZhang1998 (CC BY-SA 4.0).


Chinese censorship of information on public health conditions is not unique to coronaviruses and can be seen in other diseases such as HIV/AIDS, which creates a dilemma

GLOBAL HEALTH alert relating to the epidemic.6 The situation’s severity was only acknowledged by the government after a whistleblower, Jiang Yanyong, brought to light the lies China had told the WHO on 12 March 2003.7 Despite this, the Chinese government retained a strict policy regarding online information (on Google, Sina, Sohu etc.).

Chinese aid packages are disinfected in the Philippines. Photo by Toto Lozano Presidential Communications Operations Office (Public Domain).

of healthcare access and delivery. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other transnational organisations have long pressured the government to alter its model of heavy censorship, especially in the context of containing a viral infection that relies upon valid public information. By providing inaccurate data and information (e.g. lying about death tolls), in the early 2000s, the Chinese government prohibited its citizens from protecting themselves and allowed the pandemic to grow significantly. With COVID-19, the WHO was able to assess the situation much faster in order to officially list ‘affected areas’ and ‘travel advisory areas’ in a matter of weeks rather than months. However, this difference in global cooperation does not address the underlying problems of censorship and how the outbreak occurred in the first place. SARS Between 2002-2004, the SARS, which originated in animals, infected 8,098 people and killed 774 (fatality rate of 10 percent).2 SARS, short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, was a major health crisis for general secretary of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Hu Jintao to tackle. Hu’s recent ascension to power and the ‘desire to maintain “stability” during a period of leadership transition’ constituted a significant reason for China’s ‘failure to report SARS in a timely and accurate fashion’.3 However, this is not the only reason; more importantly, transparency policies in China were notoriously characterised by their ‘deeply ingrained bureaucratic impulses to maintain secrecy’.4 While this secrecy has been slightly relaxed during the COVID-19 outbreak, it should have been more heavily revised. Erping Zhang notes that ‘public participation in controlling the spread of the SARS epidemic was hampered by the Chinese government’s policy of censorship and disinformation’.5 In a viral outbreak, information is a vital asset in reducing the transmission of the disease. Beijing authorities only officially acknowledged the seriousness of SARS on 20 April 2003, over a month after the WHO issued a global travel

Censorship laws allowed the police to arrest people using SMS and other internet services that were sharing news about the epidemic. The party’s policy forbid spreading of ‘facts, rumours and even jokes that filled the vacuum of accurate official information’.8

This restricted flow of information to the public was made possible by the ‘significant loopholes’ in the 1989 ‘Law on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases’’.9 The law states that the Ministry of Health is in charge of authorising publicising epidemics, and controls the information shared by provincial governments.10 Furthermore, SARS’ main feature, atypical pneumonia, by law was not an infectious disease, meaning the Health Ministry was not required to report it.11 Consequently, only the combined effects of a whistleblower and international pressure for 6 months drove the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to issue nationwide information campaigns in hospitals and public spaces on how to prevent the disease’s spread. Therefore, the CCP policies ultimately ensured a ‘media blackout and the government’s slow response’, which were major factors leading to the health crisis outbreak.12 The public health policy for SARS after the government acknowledged the infection was ‘mass prevention and control’, which was utilised through national mass campaigns and daily broadcasting of medical heroes.13 Moreover, information flows regarding the outbreak fell within the purview of the Propaganda Department, which controls information that would ‘contribute to public panic and social disorders’.14 To avoid negative coverage of the SARS outbreak, the CCP spun the SARS story through media campaigns. On 1 May 2003, President Hu famously launched a ‘people’s war’ against SARS, bringing back the Mao-era ‘mass line’.15 From the initial strategy of downplaying the reports of SARS, hiding numbers, and claiming the disease had not spread, to restricted campaigns that aimed to mobilise, it was clear that the public health policy handling of the crisis proved ineffective. ‘The state media, as an extension of the government under party journalism, played an irresponsible and tame role in times of crisis’.16

COVID-19 Eighteen years later, the emergence of COVID-19 has tested whether China has learnt the harsh lessons of the con-



Figure 1: Lotus Ruan, Jeffrey Knockel, and Masashi Crete-Nishihata, "Censored Contagion", CitizenLab (2020),

sequences of secrecy and over-censorship during a public health emergency. Although this paper cannot provide a full assessment of this due to the crisis’ ongoing nature, emerging data and research sheds light upon the degree of COVID-19’s initial cover-up. It should be noted that there are major differences in policies surrounding media, with the advancement of China’s Great Firewall and control over social media (Weibo, WeChat, etc.). It did not take President Xi months of denial before submitting daily reports to the WHO as had occurred during SARS; instead, the government coordinated with the WHO team to investigate and assist in disease research. Nonetheless, critics see this outbreak not only as a repetition of history, but as a manifestation of years of secrecy and failed policies, believing that 'the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance; the fragile and vacuous heart of the jittering edifice of state has thereby been revealed as never before’.17 It is clear that this policy problem can only be resolved if the Chinese government allows greater transparency between its healthcare professionals, government, and citizens. The knowledge gap between medical professionals and the public can be seen with the recent whistleblower, Li Wenliang. Li was a Chinese doctor who raised the alarm about the virus in late 2019 and was ‘detained and muzzled by Chinese police who said he was spreading false rumours’.18 Li ultimately died from the virus, and his death brought about widespread online movements calling for freedom of speech. Posts about Li read: 'a system that won’t allow truth finally kills an honest, brave, and hard-working citizen’.19 Statements, posts, and messages criticising the government were all deleted, silencing the population at a greater rate than had occurred in the early 2000s. Word combinations, as shown in Figure 1 disappeared soon after being published on WeChat. As the SARS outbreak showed China, a public health crisis is not a time for tightened censorship. Citizens need to be aware of the situation in order to adapt their behaviour, protect vulnerable family members, adjust travel plans, socially distance, and adhere to self/society-preserving restrictions (all before ‘lockdowns’ and strict border control measures).


2020 has witnessed several netizens speak up about the censorship of keywords that are critical of key government actors.20 Such censorship could have been an attempt to maintain civil order by stopping the spread of speculative information and ‘fake news’; however, it is also clear that the CCP wants full control over the COVID-19 narrative. Using the Great Firewall, Beijing is able to restrict the use of VPNs, and activates its censorship capabilities during ‘politically sensitive periods such during the health outbreak.21 With authorities seeking to prevent information reaching and circulating amongst the public, ‘the coronavirus outbreak highlights the risks of a system that puts ruling party legitimacy above the public interest’.22 Additionally, there are continued data gaps. The WHO has found it difficult to determine whether sparse data derives from the ‘challenge of gathering information in the middle of a crisis’ or intentional secrecy.23 As the crisis develops, the ways in which China’s censorship has changed since the early 2000s in relation to public health outbreaks will become clearer. The pattern of launching a propaganda campaign immediately after a whistleblowing incident has been identified in both cases (SARS and COVID-19).24 Consequently, the restriction of internet use and the careful control of national Chinese news reports allows Beijing to shape the media narrative around the COVID-19 pandemic. Specialists on Chinese propaganda media have written that: ‘Upbeat, if emotional, state messaging leaves the impression that self-sacrificing citizens, national unity, and enlightened leadership will inevitably triumph in China, as the fight against the virus shifts beyond the country’s border.’25

Xi’s efforts to establish health workers as the basis for the ‘people’s war’ against COVID-19 are reminiscent of the ‘fight’ against SARS. By broadcasting mobilisation of military health units, China is able to continue the narrative of national heroes and victory on the world stage, shifting attention away from the root cause and damage caused by the virus. Revising Wet Markets and Banning Wildlife Trade: Policy to Prevent a Patient Zero Although it is not confirmed that the coronaviruses directly emerged from Chinese wet markets, there is a high likelihood of this due to the fact that zoonotic transmission of diseases, including coronaviruses such as COVID-19 and SARS, comes from consumption of wild animals. These dangerous practices are present in Chinese wet markets, which contain a mix of raw meat and wild animals. These wet markets sell meat, poultry, and seafood alongside live animals (including civet cats, pangolins, bats, and snakes) for consumption. Aylin Woodward maintains that ‘poorly regulat-

GLOBAL HEALTH People wait in line in Guangzhou city in February 2020. Photo by Zhizhou Deng (CC BY 2.0).

masked palm civet cat and COVID-19 likely originating from bats. History has shown that the spread of wild animal-to-human disease has been the root cause of these coronaviruses, and laws around formal and informal animal markets in China therefore need to change.33 The process of how the virus mutates and infects between species and ‘jumps’ to humans is difficult to trace and prove. However, disease carriers provide virologists the ability to compare genetic codes of the coronaviruses themselves, matching them by ‘protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins’.34 ed, live-animal markets mixed with illegal wildlife trade offer a unique opportunity for viruses to spill over from wildlife hosts into the human population’.26 However, the WHO has praised China for its improvement on response time to the virus: laboratories took 5 months to sequence the SARS genome, while Chinese scientists have been able to sequence COVID-19 in 1 month.27 These sequences have found that COVID-19 is almost identical to SARS-CoV, sharing 79.6 percent sequence identity, and is 96 percent identical to a bat coronavirus.28 However, due to the integration of wet market agribusiness in Chinese society and the economy, this paper does not advocate for the abolition of all Chinese wet markets. Instead, it suggests restrictions on wildlife in the market, as well as ‘more scientific and evidence-based regulation’.29 This is to avoid wet market industries being driven underground, making regulation and reform even more difficult. With 30-59 percent of the food sector accounting for wet market consumption in China, a complete ban would lead to an ‘explosion of an uncontrollable black market, as it did when such a ban was attempted in 2002, in response to SARS, as well as in 2013-2014, in response to avian influenza H7N9’.30 Unregulated and illegal industry would be a greater risk to public and global health, as animal markets can currently serve as crucial ‘early warning’ sites for viral surveillance.31 Therefore, tighter regulation, revision of sanitary practices and surveillance will enable continued ‘animal-to-human contact’ while minimising the transmission of diseases, and the continued encroachment of human activities on natural habitats and ecosystems.’32 SARS The origin of these viral diseases are from China’s wildlife farming industry, with SARS likely originating from the

After SARS, there were temporary bans on wildlife trade in wet markets, but these were subsequently lifted after the mass culling of over 10,000 civet cats.35 The SARS outbreak led China to recognise wet markets as ‘unique epicentres for transmission of potential viral pathogens…with high viral burden or strains of higher transmission efficiency to facilitate transmission of the viruses to humans'.36 This recognition strengthened ‘China’s Wildlife Protection Law,’ which bans the hunting and selling of endangered species, but is not applicable to all wild animals. However such laws had legal loopholes and were not always enforced due to non-applicability in online sales and inconsistencies in species name.37 Furthermore, agribusiness in China is largely run by foreign direct investment (e.g. Goldman Sachs’ ‘poultry factories’), which often blurs the line between legal and illegal wildlife trade.38 COVID-19 The Hunan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan is the suspected location of the initial outbreak. The market was closed on 1 January, and there is evidence of live wild animals (e.g. chickens, donkeys, and snakes) being sold and handled in an unsanitary manner when slaughtered.39 Emily Landon, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago states that ‘there’s a lot of skinning of dead animals in front of shoppers and, as a result, aerosolising of all sorts of things’.40 As 13 out of the 41 original coronavirus cases had no link to the Huanan marketplace, researchers state more research is ‘needed to pinpoint the outbreak’s starting point with certainty’.41 Huang Chaolin, the Vice Director of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, has concluded that ‘the seafood market may not be the only source…the novel coronavirus might be multi-sourced’.42 Nonetheless, the most likely source is this wet market, which led China to take measures to revise its policies surrounding these mar-


THE SPECTRUM kets. . From 24 February 2020, the Chinese government met for the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress – ‘Comprehensively Prohibiting the Illegal Trade of Wild Animals, Eliminating the Bad Habits of Wild Animal Consumption and Protecting the Health and Safety of the People’, but ultimately decided against a permanent ban on wildlife trade in these markets.43 Conclusion The Wildlife Conservation Society (2020) has reviewed the committee’s decision in the following ways:44 • ‘The Committee has not banned the trade of wildlife for non-food uses (e.g. medicine, TCM, fur, zoo, pets, or biomedical research), yet calls for strict approvals and the quarantine of wild animals for non-food uses. • The interpretation of the Decisions from the Standing Committee clarified exemptions for fish and other aquatic wild animals not protected in the Wild Animal Conservation Law • In addition, this creates a potential loophole for traffickers who may exploit the non-food exemptions to sell or trade live wildlife, creating additional challenges to law enforcement officers. • The Committee called for the amendment of the Wild Animal Conservation Law and the Animal Epidemic Prevention Law – this would need to be permanent • The Committee agreed to speed up the review process of the new law on biosafety and to conduct a comprehensive review on all relevant legislation, including the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, and draft any needed changes to improve public health and the country’s emergency response and management system.’

The virus’ epicenter has since shifted to Europe and the US, but China’s current success in overcoming the outbreak, with medical frontliners curing people, continues to flood headlines. Although there is a significant degree of truth to these media campaigns, this narrative should not be used to hide the scientific realities and risk thorough analysis of public health. Iran has followed Chinese actions by arresting citizens for ‘spreading rumours’ about the virus, as the government aims to hide behind false information as they are digging ‘burial trenches’ to prepare for the worst.45 In addition to this, the further spread of COVID-19 has been met with poor leadership from US president Donald Trump, UK prime minister Boris Johnson, and other European leaders. The WHO has accused them of great ‘inaction’ in not working to ‘flatten the curve’ as well as promoting disinformation and denial tactics. By muzzling doctors and health professionals, governments fail their people’s health and


safety, which showcases their policy goals to prioritise their reputation and salvage the economy above all. Bill Gates has criticized this outlook by stating that we cannot ‘ignore that pile of bodies in the corner’, responding to President Trump’s economic strategy (March 2020).46 It is clear in all current coronavirus outbreaks that the diseases could have been contained and better managed if governments and their leaders had been forthright from the beginning with both information transparency and adopting precautionary measures to reduce the likelihood of zoonotic disease. Governments are ultimately responsible for the measures, or lack thereof, they have adopted during this pandemic, and whether their experiences from COVID-19 will impact future policy decisions remains unclear. Although the Chinese government’s response was an improvement from the early 2000’s with regards to censorship and market regulation, these improvements are not nearly enough to lessen the likelihood and spread of the next pandemic. The current situation is proof that if the ‘government [had] listened to the medical community, been transparent, and worked with international partners early on, we may not be living with this global pandemic today’.47 The global pandemic has exposed major problems in China’s emergency management and proves to be an unfathomable challenge for global health as a whole. Policymakers around the world must pay attention to the events currently unfolding, and preemptively act to set up emergency outbreak frameworks to manage and contain the next pandemic.

Technology & Innovation

Establishing Measures to Prevent Algorithms from Reinforcing Inequality by

Patrycja Jasiurska

The Western world is terrified by China’s recently introduced Social Credit System, which monitors and scores Chinese citizens’ everyday actions, such as grocery shopping, banking, or alcohol consumption. Citizens with high scores receive special benefits, while those who score poorly are punished in various ways, including travel bans and public humiliation.1 For citizens of the UK and other Western countries, who believe they enjoy the rights of freedom and privacy, such a policy is unacceptable. Nevertheless, the New Economics Foundation points out that the supposedly ‘free’ European societies are not too far removed from China’s scored society.2 Increased use of algorithms in decision making compromises fairness and justice in order to increase efficiency. This policy paper proposes possible ways to prevent algorithmic decision making from reinforcing existing inequalities. Background People encounter algorithms in their everyday lives, even during activities as trivial as searching Google or browsing

Netflix. As technology progresses, algorithms play a role in increasingly serious aspects of people’s lives, from assessments of credit eligibility through job recruitment to courts. Fascinated by technological excellence, societies entrust important decisions to computer programmes, believing that they will deliver objective and optimal judgments unspoiled by the bias or partiality characteristic of human decision making. Unfortunately, as algorithms become more widespread, their lack of objectivity grows increasingly evident. Many algorithms are biased and reinforce existing inequalities in society. For instance, the algorithm used by US courts tends to overestimate the probability of reoffending by black defendants and underestimates that same probability for the white offenders.3 Another example is the Amazon job recruitment algorithms, which favour male applicants over females.4 These algorithms were not designed to favour one group over the other; rather, their biases usually result from errors.



This issue warrants urgent attention because as algorithmic decision-making becomes increasingly embedded and widespread, it will perpetuate inequalities and create further divisions within society--that is, unless a solution to limit the bias in algorithmic code is reached. The algorithms used for automated decision making use a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing a goal.5 They are usually driven by machine learning, which is the ability of a computer program to improve its own performance by building a statistical model on the basis of sample data and then making predictions or decisions with the use of new data.6 The following paragraphs outline the process of an algorithm’s design and show how bias can be introduced at each stage, as illustrated by the MIT Technological Review.7 Firstly, the programmers need to decide the algorithm’s goal. This goal can vary widely, ranging from, for example, maximising the number of loans repaid to increasing the number of loans made. Early-stage decisions are usually made for business reasons and do not consider issues of fairness or justice. Therefore, if the algorithm discovers that it can achieve its goal most successfully through discrimination, it will behave accordingly. The second stage consists of training the algorithm with sample data. Machine learning programs are able to analyse relations and analogies between the training data and use them to build statistical systems. The programs then apply this system to make inferences and predictions. Training data can make the algorithm biased when they are unrepresentative of reality or when they reflect existing prejudices. For example, the Amazon recruitment algorithm was trained on data from the company’s hiring history. In the past, male applicants were favoured over female applicants, and the algorithm has therefore included this pattern in its model. As a result, it has downgraded women applicants.8 The last stage is the selection of attributes for the algorithm to consider. These include features such as income, age, gender, education level, number of previous convictions, and number of children. It intuitively makes sense that algorithms basing decisions upon attributes that individuals are able to control are more likely to yield fair results. For example, it is fairer to estimate reoffending probability on the basis of the number of previous convictions rather than on race. The architecture of decision-making algorithms is very complex and bias can appear unintended at many stages of the creation process. The main challenges to solving this prob-


lem include difficulties in code interpretation, incompatibility of business and social objectives and subconscious human biases. Machine learning is a complex process and as a consequence, the program does not always make clear how it arrives at its conclusions.9 Moreover, even human creators sometimes do not understand how the machine arrived at its conclusion.10 For more trivial algorithms, such as those used in online shopping suggestions, this may not be a problem. However, in the cases of greater importance, such as credit or hiring decisions, the candidate should be able to access the explanation behind the algorithm’s decision. Therefore, the machine learning algorithms should either be able to explain the individual score or not used at all in such situations. The incompatibility of business and social objectives manifests in two prominent ways. Firstly, the IT companies providing the decision-making algorithm may be unwilling to share the details of how it works with the public, as this may be the part of their trading secrets and their competitive advantage may depend on keeping this information for themselves.11 Secondly, companies usually do not prioritize social equality and justice. Firms aim at maximising their profit, even at the cost of reinforcing social inequalities. Therefore, government intervention is important in this area either through incentives to improve the industry standards regarding the quality of the algorithms or by imposing regulations protecting individuals from unfair outcomes. Lastly, human biases, unlike algorithms, are nothing new. Nevertheless, if they become automated by algorithms, they can easily grow and affect individuals on a much larger scale. As demonstrated by the Amazon example above, training data prepared by biased humans can result in the algorithm promulgating human prejudices. Such mistakes may be especially hard to notice if the group of programmers lacks diversity, for example in ethnicity or gender, as their perspectives on biases in society would therefore be limited. Policy proposals 1. The UK government should outline, publish, and promote the industry standard expected from companies delivering decision-making algorithms. Such standards should include: • The ability of the program or its creators to explain individual outcomes. • Exclusion of irremediable attributes such as gender or race from the factors considered by the algorithm. • Transparency of outcomes of the algorithms so any level of discrimination is exposed.


High-quality training data. These should be diversified so they are representative of the population. Additionally, if the data are historic, they should be adjusted for current social conditions so they do not replicate the prejudices of the time in which they were created. Promotion of diversified programming communities and training staff in cognitive bias recognition.

of technological advancement in order to mitigate their negative effects before they become serious issues.

Additionally, the government should encourage companies and institutions using algorithmic decision-making to adopt a two-stage decision-making system, whereby the algorithmic decision is not an ultimate judgement but a tool contributing to a decision made by a person. This would make it easier to notice and correct the program’s bias, allow nuanced judgement, and hold the human decision-maker, not the computer program, accountable for the final verdict. 2. The UK government should ensure that the algorithms it uses in decision making are unbiased. It should only use algorithms that are able to explain how they arrive at particular conclusions. Furthermore, the government should hold the company that provides the algorithm to the highest standards of transparency and fairness. This will not only reduce the likelihood of reinforcing social inequality, but will also be an incentive to improve industry standards. If a technology firm wants its product to be widely used, it must comply with government recommendations. 3. The state should appoint an inspectorate which would control the influence of algorithmic decisions on social equality in the key sectors such as the judiciary, social support, healthcare, banking, and employment. Such a body would assess if the firms which provide algorithmic services to those sectors meet the government’s criteria and analyse the outcomes of the algorithmic decisions to determine if they are consistently discriminating against certain groups. Conclusion Algorithms can reinforce existing inequalities by automating existing prejudices and applying them on a large scale. This can have detrimental effects on the opportunities of disadvantaged members of society. As the guarantor of justice, the state should protect vulnerable groups from being unfairly assessed by computer programs in critical areas such as the judiciary, healthcare, employment, among others. Therefore, the government should mandate the highest standards of transparency and fairness from the companies providing the algorithms. Additionally, it should analyse the outcomes of algorithmic decisions in key sectors in order to spot any consistent discrimination. The issue of algorithms reinforcing inequality is just one of many technological challenges facing governments today. Governments must keep abreast



Could Big Data Boost Covid Briefings? By Tom Layhe

Written 29 May 2020

The implications of data analytics in the most controversial political movements of the last five years have been profound. In the aftermath of 2016’s political upsets, names like Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ undoubtedly reverberated throughout the everyday conversations of politicians in Westminster and Washington alike. The cynical discussions likely entailed widespread reports of the unsupervised collection of 50 million Facebook users’ characteristics, alarming possession of 5,000 data points on practically every US voter, and discovery of three million extra votes by Vote Leave that ‘no campaign had ever targeted before’.1 Numerous scandals materialized, with online surveys mining personal information not only from direct participants, but hundreds of their Facebook friends as well.2 #DeleteFacebook began trending on Twitter; headlines like ‘The Great British Brexit Robbery’ and ‘Brexit Campaign Broke the Law’ filled the broadsheets; and The New York Times’s Brian Chen predicted a ‘turning point’ for social media users appalled by how their data was being used.3 Given Facebook has since grown by 369,000,000 users and Cambridge Analytica simply metamorphosed into Emerdata to avoid the uncomfortable public limelight, this turning point would seem short lived, if not entirely non-existent.4 In Channel 4’s ‘Brexit: The Uncivil War’, a fresh faced Zack Massingham (AggregateIQ CEO) informs Dominic Cummings that the utilisation of aforementioned data mining companies ‘is the new politics’.5 Whilst the film attracted criticism regarding excessive dramatization, it remains indisputable that data manipulation will play a central role in political phenomena for decades to come.6 A plethora of articles, documentaries and films have since been produced to expose ongoing privacy invasions, but this paper focuses on big data’s potential instead of the ethical debates surrounding it. As the gravity of the Covid-19 outbreak became increasingly apparent in Downing Street, the Prime Minister launched a series of public information initiatives to ensure a managed approach to curbing the ever-accumulating infection rate. The government’s response steadily escalated from peripheral sanitary advice to a state enforced lockdown, punctuated by the Prime Minister’s TV addresses that gradually became the new normal. Across the Atlantic, the White House reported a consistent average of 8.5 million people tuning in for every briefing in March.7 Whilst President Trump enjoys a substantial support base, it constitutes a small proportion of America’s 328 million strong population and presents a dilemma similar to that of his own election campaign: the target audience must actually view the content created by his administration for it to achieve the desired effect.


Background Amidst the turmoil of statistical models, media spin, and varying economic forecasts, the Cabinet Office needed to cut through to a population often left confused by the quickly changing environment portrayed on their television sets. The daily briefings represented the solution, providing Government officials with the opportunity to respond to the queries of every mainstream news outlet every 24 hours. While this would likely have sufficed for the SARS outbreak 17 years ago, today’s authorities are facing a very different media environment: last year’s OFCOM report illustrated a 4% decrease in TV, alongside a 5% increase social media, for the primary means of following the news in 2018/19 alone.8 The study further found that two-thirds of adults use the internet for news, half get their news from social media specifically, and that Facebook comprised the UK’s third most popular source.9 Accordingly, analysis of the interaction of 376 million Facebook users with 920 media outlets found that polarization dominates timelines, as most users actively search for news that aligns with their views and dismisses contradictory information.10 For example, those who support ending the lockdown will display bias in favor of articles indicating low death rates, progress with vaccinations, or statistics that compare the virus to the common cold. These patterns of searching for information explain Pew Research Centre’s findings that 64% of US adults believe fake news stories ‘caused a great deal of confusion’ whilst just under a quarter admitted to sharing fabricated stories themselves.11 From a gunman raiding a pizzeria under the false impression that it was concealing a child prostitution ring, to Ethereum’s founder waking up to a loss of $4,000,000,000 following reports of his own death, these false stories have very real consequences.12 Specific to the current pandemic, activist non-profit organisation Avaaz published a report that evaluated a small sample of harmful coronavirus fake news – ‘representing only the tip of the misinformation iceberg’ – and found that it had been shared over 1,700,000 times and viewed an estimated 117 million times.13 These news stories included subtleties concerning a fake Vice-President Twitter account instructing infected carriers to report to their nearest police department, claims that ‘black people are resistant to Coronavirus’, and cures ranging from chlorine dioxide to hairdryers, with the latter reaching an audience of 2.6 million.14 While social media has significantly penetrated younger populations, it is important to note that only 16% of the over-65 age group has transitioned to this medium.15 In fact, 94% of this demographic still rely on TV, radio

TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION and print newspapers for their news.16 However, the use of more traditional mediums does not render this population immune to the effects of misinformation. The long-term implications of misinformation in the political sphere overall are alarming, but the immediate danger of ‘fake news’ during a public health crisis is especially concerning. Downing Street and the White House therefore need a mechanism for asserting one dominant narrative on TV and radio, whilst cutting through the layers of misinformation and confirmation bias on social media to reach as many individuals as possible in the most efficient way. Solution China’s solution to the pandemic, which includes ‘tapp[ing] into big data, machine learning, and other digital tools’ in order to track and contain the outbreak, constitutes one extreme.17 Mass surveillance systems were reallocated to alert authorities of civilians attempting to evade quarantine measures as thousands of thermal scanners were installed in train stations and airports across the country. The deputy director of China’s National Health Commission stated as early as 26 January that: “Facial recognition and the real-name system will help us track down those who have potentially been exposed to the virus and effectively curb the spreading of the pathogen”18

Whilst it is difficult to imagine such measures being implemented in the West, where citizens enjoy more civil liberties, the potential for similar technology to be utilised in the realm of government communications is promising. For instance, government-sponsored ads have already infiltrated Twitter feeds. The consideration of social media’s importance had clearly informed at least a minor proportion of the Conservative government’s response to the pandemic. However, this response’s effectiveness will be determined by the appropriate deployment of big data methodology and whether these outreach schemes are targeted or universal in approach. Policy Proposal A situation as complicated as the Covid-19 response requires elaborate plans condensed into simple messages that are communicated effectively. As the Johnson government shifted policy, the change was mirrored by simplified slogans developing from ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ to ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’.19 These slogans have been the primary strategy to cut through the noise with a message that theoretically cannot be overcomplicated in the hours between each briefing. Whilst the Government has been active with these slogans on social media throughout April and May, their initial reaction was practically non-existent. Despite millions offered in free add credit, a Sky News

A tweet from the UK government regarding Coronavirus (Source: GOV.UK Twitter Account)

investigation found that, as of 23 March, ‘the government had not run a single advert about the coronavirus pandemic from its official Facebook or Instagram accounts’.20 The co-founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Carl Miller, said that he found the lack of social media presence ‘hard to understand’ and that ‘targeted ads should be on the front lines’.21 Methodology This policy recommendation aligns with Miller’s argument and applies a process similar to Cambridge Analytica’s in the 2016 Cruz presidential primary campaign: namely, it combines the three methodologies of behavioural science, addressable ad technology, and data analytics to create dynamic communication campaigns targeted towards categorised population groups. The behavioural science aspect applies psychographics that break down personality traits using the ‘OCEAN’ classifications to determine an individual’s character. Alexander Nix (Cambridge Analytica CEO) describes the personality profile as being comprised of: openness (the degree to which one is receptive to new ideas); conscientiousness (one’s your preferences regarding order, habits, and traditions); extrovert (how social one is) ; agreeableness (how much one places society’s needs ahead of one’s own); and neuroticism (how much one tends to worry).22 Nix goes on to explain that, through data compiled by a personality survey completed by hundreds of thousands of Americans, the company was able to create a statistical model for the personality of every person in the US. When approaching the issues of elections, they could exploit the data to frame issues for individuals depending on their personality profile. The second component, data analytics, combines demographic factors, from age and gender to socio-economic


THE SPECTRUM standing and geography; psychographics concerning personal characteristics, namely automation data or advertising resonance, and universal considerations like consumer confidence or economic conditions; personality factors, like the ‘OCEAN’ factors; and political factors, regarding likelihood to vote and party persuasion and loyalty. The system then allocates resources to certain groups regarding certain issues. The data analysis can generate a category of people (the target audience) who are both likely to vote and amenable to persuasion in either political direction, before selecting both the topic they are most concerned about and the category’s mean characteristics profile. Nix uses the example of Cruz’s primary elections to identify a target group of 45,000 voters and the central issue of 2nd Amendment rights and frame the advertisements accordingly. The profile is very low in neuroticism, low in openness, and marginally conscientious, therefore requiring a persuasive argument that isn’t founded on rational fear or emotional exploitation but highlights tradition and values.23 The company therefore generates a narrative involving grandfathers teaching their sons to shoot, and these sons subsequently passing on the skills to a grandson, instead of a masked intruder smashing your kitchen window and brandishing a weapon. Conclusion The UK government’s policy must be handled in a similar manner if it hopes to cut through widespread misinformation or counter emotionally charged arguments that play to an individual’s confirmation bias and blind them to reasonable criticism. Slinging straightforward slogans and sterile statistics into a monolithic collection of unchecked accusations, uncensored imagery, and foreign disinformation is largely ineffective in communicating a message. An Oxford University study between 4 and 11 May regarding 2,500 UK citizens found that ‘people who hold coronavirus conspiracy beliefs are less likely to comply with social distancing guidelines or take-up future vaccines’.24 Accordingly, over a quarter of the nation believes at least a little that ‘celebrities are being paid to say they have coronavirus’, whilst 20% of the population believe at least a little that ‘Bill Gates has created the virus in order to reduce the world population’ or - to some extent - that the virus is a hoax.25 With such little trust in the authorities, the Government can no longer fight this misinformation with official figures alone. Johnson needs to implement the methods of Cambridge Analytica, targeting the highly neurotic with emotionally charged images or the conscientious with messages of drastic cultural change that will follow lockdown inefficiency. The data analytics can indicate the demographics of those most likely to break lockdown rules, whilst the mean personality profile can portray the most effective method of communicating the government’s message. Those convinced the virus is a hoax need to


be shown clips of the realities within UK intensive care units or the overwhelmed hospitals of Italy and New York, not pie charts or authorized spreadsheet infographics. Downing Street will undoubtedly need to utilise these approaches if it is to maintain any hope of administering the current lockdown and controlling the consequent exit procedure.

Letter from the President


Since its inception in the wake of the 2010 student protests, the King’s Think Tank (KTT) has grown into a proud institution of the most politically engaged students at King’s College London. Our mission over the past decade has been unfaltering: to foster an environment that encourages dialogue between students and policymakers through the belief that students can and will make a difference. Over the past year, our seven Policy Centres organised 15 events on campus, ranging from a simulation exercise on Ebola crisis management to a panel discussion on the environmental regulation and policies in the post-Brexit era. We strengthened our academic partnerships, writing a report on the future of British foreign policy in conjunction with the Policy Institute and Sir Malcolm Rifkind. We also made new friends, hosting a delegation from Sciences Po for a joint policy initiative on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Lastly, our European Affairs and Energy & Environment Policy Centres sent a delegation to the EU Parliament and Commission, giving students a first-hand understanding of the complexity of international policymaking. The Spectrum formalises our research into the pressing political matters proposed by the directives of each Policy Centre and it represents the culmination of the hard work our members have put in over the past year. The journal serves as one of the fundamental instruments in our engagement with stakeholders. I am immensely proud of the work that we have achieved over the past year. I would like to thank our academic partners at the Policy Institute, the Department of Political Economy, and King’s Sustainability, as well as our patron Tim Hailes for their continued support. The KTT is in the hands of an extremely dedicated and talented team to navigate its future in such unprecedented times. On a personal level, it has been an incredible honour to have had the opportunity to lead an institution filled with the brightest students at King’s College London. In an ever changing world, I am excited to see what the future holds for KTT and how KTT will respond to events beyond our imagination. If you are determined to make a difference and make your voice heard, there has never been a better time to get involved.

Sifan Zheng President 2019-2020

Special Thanks

Thank you to our patron, Alderman Tim Hailes. Mr. Hailes graduated from Kings College London with a BA (Hons) degree in History in 1990. Whilst at university he served in a political capacity for two members of Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet. Mr. Hailes is a Jelf medalist (1990) and served as a member of College Council and a sabbatical officer in KCLSU from 1988-89. Mr. Hailes has been the Alderman for the Ward of Bassishaw since May 2013 and served as Aldermanic Sheriff of the City of London in 2017/18.

Thank you to our academic sponsor, the KCL Department of Political Economy. Founded in 2010, King’s College London’s Department of Political Economy is the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom. Its teaching and research recognise that one cannot fully understand political processes without understanding the economic context in which they operate, just as sound economic analyses require some appreciation of how resource allocation is conditioned by political institutions, ethical values, and the way these have been understood by different traditions in social thought. 93


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The Entry/Exit System: Intrusive Technology?

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Migration Policies and Human Rights in Calais

Photo (Page 10): by Malachy Browne. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. France and Britain's Le Touquet Treaty on Migration - Key Points France 24, 2018 - 2. Uk-France Joint Action Plan on Illegal Migration Across the Channel, Home Office – 3. Oli Mould (2017) The Calais Jungle, City, 21:3-4, 388-404, DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2017.1325231. 4. The Challenge of Slums, Global Report on Human Settlements 2003, The Challenge of Slums, UN Habitat, 2003 5. Sangatte Refugee Camp- Staff agencies, The Guardian, 2002 6. 'Sandhurst Treaty': Britain and France Agree New Deal on Border Security, France 24, 2018 – 7. Calais Migrants: Uk and France Sign New Treaty, BBC News, 2018 https://www. 8. Leonie Ansems de Vries & Elspeth Guild  (2019)  Seeking refuge in Europe: spaces of transit and the violence of migration management,  Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies,  45:12, 2156-2166, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2018.1468308. 9. Eu Migrant Crisis: Clashes As France Clears Calais 'jungle', BBC 2018 https://www. 10. Transfer Of Residents Out Of "the Jungle" Site in Calais, France, United Nations - 11. France Decision To Close Calais 'jungle' Camp Welcome; Proper Care in Next Steps Crucial, United Nations - 12. UN Urges France To Act on 'dire' Living Conditions Of Refugees, The Guardian, 2019 - 13. "Like Living in Hell": Police Abuses Against Child and Adult Migrants in Calais, Human Rights Watch - 14. ‘More Than a Thousand Refugees Suffering 'inhumane' Living Conditions in Calais and Dunkirk, Warns UN,’ The Independent, 2019 news/world/europe/calais-refugees-living-conditions-france-dunkirk-un-warning-jungle-migrant-crisis-latest-a8288516.html. 15. France Urged By Un Experts To Take Effective Measures To Bring Water and Sanitation Services To Migrants, UN Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights, 16. Refugees, Displacement, and the European 'politics Of Exhaustion'. Marta Welander & Leonie De Vries 17. No Place for Children, British Red Cross, documents/about-us/research-publications/refugee-support/no-place-for-children.pdf. 18. Common European Asylum System, European Commission. home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/asylum_en. 19. Ibid, 8, 10. 20. Charities in Calais Claim Police Harass British and Other Volunteers. The Local France 2018 21. UK Spending More Money on Yet More Security Won’t Solve Migrant Crisis, The Local France 2018 22. History Tells Us Great Wall of Calais is Not Fit For Purpose, The Local France, 2016, 23. David Lammy: Britain Has Blood on Its Hands Over the Brutal Suffering Of Refugees. The Independent 24. Ibid.

Borderline Chaos? EU involvement in reception facilities in


Photo (Page 13): by Thomas Andre Syvertsen/Norwegian Red Cross. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. Photo (Page 14): Vial_refugee_camp._Chios,_Grece,_Aegean_Sea._27_September,_2016.jpg#/media/ File:Tent_seashore_camp_near_Vial_refugee_camp._Chios,_Grece,_Aegean_Sea._27_ September,_2016.jpg by Mstyslav Chernov. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No changes were made. 1. Elena Sánchez Nicolás, ‘Greece migrant arrivals becoming “unsustainable”’, Euobserver, 30 September 2019., accessed 17 November 2019. 2. Ibid. 3. Karolina Tagaris, ‘Greece to increase border patrols and deportations to curb migrant influx’, Reuters, 31 August 2019., accessed 17 November 2019. 4. European Commission, ‘Managing Migration: EU Financial Support to Greece’, September 2019., accessed 17 November 2019. 5. Ibid. 6. European Commission, ‘EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration’, Press release, 12 June 2018, Brussels. https://, accessed 17 November 2019. 7. European Commission, ‘Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection’, 13 July 2016, Brussels. homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/proposal-implementation-package/docs/20160713/proposal_on_standards_for_the_reception_ of_applicants_for_international_protection_en.pdf, accessed 17 November 2019. 8. EUR-Lex, ‘Summary of: Directive 2013/33/EU on standards for the reception of applicants for international protection’, 31 October 2016. https://eur-lex.europa. eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM:23010502_2, accessed 17 November 2019. 9. European Commission, ‘Proposal […] laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection’, 13 July 2016. 10. Ibid. 11. Nikolai Atanassov and Anja Radjenovic, European Parliamentary Research Service, ‘EU asylum, borders and external cooperation on migration: Recent developments’, September 2018. IDAN/2018/625194/EPRS_IDA(2018)625194_EN.pdf, accessed 17 November 2019. 12. Ibid. 13. European Commission, ‘Proposal […] laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection’, 13 July 2016. 14. Greek Council for Refugees, ‘Conditions in reception facilities: Greece’, no date. housing/conditions-reception-facilities#footnote3_qhlqzxj, accessed 17 November 2019. 15. UNHCR Greece, ‘Protection Monitoring Tool: Open Reception Facilities (sites) in the Mainland’, September 2018. resources/67419.pdf, accessed 17 November 2019. 16. European Commission, ‘Proposal […] laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection’, 13 July 2016. 17. Global Health Observatory, World Health Organisation, ‘Density of physicians (total number per 1000 population, latest available year)’, 2019. https://www.who. int/gho/health_workforce/physicians_density/en/, accessed 17th November 2019.

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Cover Photo (Page 19): by BC for Studio Incendo. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made.

Britain’s Role In The Hong Kong Crisis

Photo (Page 20): Public domain from Voice of America ( Photo (Page 21): by Jonathan van Smit/. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. 1984. ‘Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong’. 2. Ben Blanchard and Michael Holden, ‘China says Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong no longer has meaning’, Reuters, 30th June 2017. 3. Steven Lee Myers and Chris Horton, ‘As Taiwan Loses Influence, China Gains Ground in Race With U.S.’, The New York Times, 20th September 2019. 4. ‘World Report 2019: China’, Human Rights Watch. 5. Mike Ives, ‘What Is Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill?’, The New York Times, 10 June 2019. 6. Jeffie Lam, ‘“Five key demands, not one less”: Hong Kong protesters make clear that Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s bill withdrawal is not enough’, South China Morning Post, 4 September 2019. 7. Dominic Raab, ‘Foreign Secretary's statement’, 4th October 2019. 8. Matthew Weaver, ‘Jeremy Hunt refuses to rule out sanctions against China’, The Guardian, 4th July 2019. 9. U.S. Congress. Senate. Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019. S.1838. 116th Cong., 1st sess. Introduced in Senate November 19, 2019. 10. ‘How important is China to the UK economy?’, Office for National Statistics, 2nd September 2015. 11. Ibid. 12. David Milliken, ‘UK’s new deal worse than continued uncertainty: NIESR’, Reuters, 30th October 2019. 13. Andrew Small, ‘Why Europe Is Getting Tough on China’, Foreign Affairs, 3rd April 2019. 14. Sum Lok-kei, ‘Hong Kong ranked world’s freest economy for 25th successive year, beating Singapore at 2nd place and mainland China in 100th’, South China Morning Post, 25th January 2019. 15. Phila Siu, ‘Hong Kong still the gateway to mainland China for foreign companies, commerce chief says’, South China Morning Post, 29th October 2017. 16. Weaver, ‘Jeremy Hunt refuses to rule out sanctions against China’, The Guardian, 2019.

UK Aid Programme to Pakistan and the Impact of Brexit 1. 2. 3. 4.

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THE SPECTRUM 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

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Iraqi Kurdistan’s Quest for Independence: Risks and Possibilities for the European Union

Map (Page 27): by Al Jazeera. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. No changes were made. Photo (Page 29): pro-Kurdistan_referendum_and_pro-Kurdistan_independence_rally_at_Franso_Hariri_ Stadium,_Erbil,_Kurdistan_Region_of_Iraq_11.jpg by Levi Clancy. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No changes were made. 1. BBC News , ‘Iraqi Kurdistan profile - timeline’ (2018), news/world-middle-east-15467672. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Adam Ereli, ‘The Kurdish Explosion Is Unleashing Demons’, Foreign Policy (2017),


5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

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Venezuela: Infrastructure and the Long Road to Recovery

Photo (Page 31): by Eneas De Troya. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. Anatoly Kurmanaev, ‘Venezuela's Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say’, New York Times, 17 May 2019. 2. Dominic Bailey, David Brown, Daniele Palumo, Lucy Rodgers, Olesya Valkova and Sean Willmott, ‘Venezuela: All you need to know about the crisis in nine charts’, BBC News, 4 February 2019. 3. Siobhán O'Grady, ‘The U.S. says Maduro is blocking aid to starving people. The Venezuelan says his people aren’t beggars’, Washington Post, 8 February 2019; U.S. State Department, ‘Venezuela-Related Sanctions.’ Accessed 10 April 2020. https:// 4. Sam Jones, ‘EU countries recognise Juan Guaidó as interim Venezuelan leader’, The Guardian, 4 February 2019. 5. Keith Johnson, ‘How Venezuela Struck it Poor.’ Foreign Policy, 16 July 2018. 6. Ibid. 7. Ethan Bronner and Michael Smith, Michael, ‘Why Witnesses to Venezuela’s Catastrophic Corruption Keep Turning Up in the U.S’, Bloomberg, 8 December 2016. 8. Nicholas Casey, ‘Q&A: The Price of Gas vs. Water’, New York Times, 21 January 2016. 9. Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs, ‘Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela’, Center for Economic and Policy Research, April 2019; Robin Wigglesworth, ‘Venezuela: what happens now after official default’, Financial Times, 14 November 2017. 10. Executive Order 13808 of August 24, 2017; Executive Order 13850 of November 1, 2018; Executive Order 13884 of August 5, 2019. 11. Colby Smith, ‘Bondholders propose Venezuela debt restructuring plan’, Financial Times, 9 July 2019. 12. Will Mathis, ‘Venezuela Credit Rating Bottoms Out With $1.7 Billion Overdue’, Bloomberg, 8 March 2018.

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Picking up from the Rubble: defending against ISKP in Afghanistan

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The Great(er) Recession: An International Stage 1.


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How can India effectively reduce its carbon emissions without compromising economic growth?

Photo (Page 39): by Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. Photo (Page 40): Nadu_IMG_20180821_180957553_BURST001.jpg by P Jeganathan. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No changes were made. 1. Nick Mead, 2019, ‘22 Of World's 30 Most Polluted Cities Are In India, Greenpeace Says’, The Guardian. 2. James Griffiths, 2019, ‘22 Of The Top 30 Most Polluted Cities In The World Are In India’, CNN. 3. ‘What Is The Cost Of India's Deadly Air Pollution?’, 2019, 4. ‘9 Out Of 10 People Worldwide Breathe Polluted Air, But More Countries Are Taking Action’, 2019, WHO.Int.; ‘Air Pollution Deaths Cost Global Economy US$225 Billion’, 2016, World Bank. 5. Anantu Biswas, 2019, ‘The Cost Of Air Pollution In India’, The New Indian Express. 6. Sarath Guttikunda, 2017 ‘Air Pollution In Indian Cities: Understanding The Causes And The Knowledge Gaps | Centre For Policy Research’, Cprindia.Org. https:// 7. ‘City – Kolkata (West Bengal, India)’, 2019. Urbanemissions.Info. Accessed December 1.; City – Mumbai (Maharashtra, India)’, 2019. Urbanemissions.Info. http://www.urbanemissions. info/india-apna/mumbai-india/. 8. Shivani Azad, 2017, ‘Top 8 Main Causes For Air Pollution In Delhi’. The Times Of India. 9. K.V. Venkatasubramanian, 2018, ‘Air Pollutants In India Kill More Than 400,000 People A Year In Urban And Rural Areas’, Chemical & Engineering News. 10. Roxana-Claudia Tompea, ‘India’s Air Pollution Emergency’, UNIDO, 4 October, 2019. 11. Nitin Bansal, ‘How technology can help India breathe more easily’, World Economic Forum, 29 September 2019. 12. ‘Renewable Energy Industry India’, India Brand Equity Foundation, last modified September 2019, 13. U. N. Sushma, ‘How Tamil Nadu became one of the world’s leading renewable energy markets’, Quartz India, 19 February, 2019. 14. Richa Sahay, ‘How can India transition to electric vehicles?’, World Economic Forum, 3 October 2019.

Sovereign Green Bonds and the race to zero carbon emissions

Photo (Page 42): by Cheng-en Cheng. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. ‘Accelerating Green Finance’, 2018, A Report To Government By The Green Finance Taskforce. 2. ‘Green Finance Strategy’, 2019, Industrial Strategy. 3. Ibid. 4. ‘Low Carbon And Renewable Energy Economy, UK - Office For National Statistics’, 2018, Ons.Gov.Uk; ‘Accelerating Green Finance’, 2018, A Report To Government By The Green Finance Taskforce. 5. M. Almeida, M. Filkova, C. Harrison, and P. Sette, 2019, ‘Green Bond European Investor Survey’, Climate Bonds Initiative. 6. A. Rafique, Conversation on the impacts of a Sovereign on UK Green Finance, Quercus Fund, 2020. 7. Diletta Giuliani and Beate Sonerud, 2018, ‘Sovereign Green Bonds Briefing’, Climate Bonds Initiative. 8. Monica Filkova, Camille Frandon-Martinez, Meng, and Rado, 2018, ‘The Green Bond Market In Europe’, Climate Bonds Initiative. 9. Giuliani and Sonerud, ‘Sovereign Green Bonds Briefing’. 10. Nikou, 2020, ‘World’s Top Pension Fund Warns Against Risk Of Green-Bond



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Dangers of Cryptocurrency: A Case Study on Facebook’s Libra in the Context of UK Financial Regulation

Graphic (Page 44): Public domain from TLC Jonhson ( Logo (Page 45): by Alpari ( Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. Ameer Rosic, ‘What is Cryptocurrency?’, Block Geeks. guides/what-is-cryptocurrency/. 2. FCA, 2019, ‘Cryptoassets’, available online at cryptoassets. 3. Queenie Wong, 18 June 2019, ‘US lawmaker wants Facebook to halt its Libra cryptocurrency project’, CNET. Archived from the original on 19 June 2019. 4. Alastair Marsh, 18 June 2019, "France Calls for Central Bank Review of Facebook Token". Bloomberg News. 5. Nick Statt, 3 March 2020, ‘Facebook is shifting its Libra cryptocurrency plans after intense regulatory pressure’, The Verge, available online at https://www.theverge. com/2020/3/3/21163658/facebook-libra-cryptocurrency-token-ditching-plans-calibra-wallet-delay 6. FCA, 2016, ‘About The FCA’, available online at Accessed 15 March 2020. 7. GOV.UK, 2014, ‘Revenue And Customs Brief 9 (2014): Bitcoin And Other Cryptocurrencies’, available online at revenue-and-customs-brief-9-2014-bitcoin-and-other-cryptocurrencies. Accessed 15 March 2020. 8. FCA, 2016, About. 9. FCA, 2019, ‘Guidance On Cryptoassets Feedback And Final Guidance To CP 19/3’, Policy Statement PS19/22, available online at policy/ps19-22.pdf. Accessed 16 March 2020. 10. FCA, 2015, ‘Senior Managers And Certification Regime’, available online at https:// Accessed 16 March 2020. 11. FCA, 2019, ‘Video Transcript: Banking Leaders’ Experiences Of Adopting The Senior Managers And Certification Regime’, available online at uk/publication/documents/senior-managers-certification-regime-video-transcript. pdf. Accessed 20 March 2020. 12. FCA, 2019, ‘Guidance On Cryptoassets". Consultation Paper CP19/3*, available online at Accessed 15 March 2020. 13. FCA, 2019, Guidance. 14. James Titcomb, 2020, ‘Facebook's Cryptocurrency Libra Risks Falling Apart Before It Has Even Started’, The Telegraph, available online at https://www. Accessed 20 March 2020. 15. FCA, 2019, Guidance. 16. FCA, 2019, ‘Cryptoassets: AML / CTF Regime’, available online at https://www.fca. Accessed 20 March 2020. 17. Manisha Patel, 2020, ‘The Impact Of 5AMLD | The Fintech Times’, Thefintechtimes, available online at Accessed 21 March 2020. 18. FCA, 2019, Cryptoassets: AML. 19. Ibid. 20. FCA, 2019, Guidance. 21. FCA, 2019, Cryptoassets: AML. 22. FCA, 2019, ‘Cryptoassets’, available online at cryptoassets. Accessed 20 March 2020.


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Employing behavioural insights to reduce the UK’s meat consumption

Photo (Page 48): png by BYMTDigital. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No changes were made. 1. Brian Handwerk, ‘Sustainable Earth: Food - National Geographic’,, 2020. 2. Toby Park and Jessica Barker, ‘The Meat Of The Problem’, Bi.Team, 2019. https:// 3. Ibid. 4. ‘WRI Homepage | World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future | WRI’. Wrr-Food.Wri.Org, 2019, p. 6. 5. Pelle Hansen and Andreas Jespersen, ‘Nudge and the Manipulation of Choice’, Cambridge University Press 2013, p. 7 6. Michael Sanders and Susannah Hume, Social Butterflies, London: Michael O'Mara Books Limited, 2019. 7. Park and Barker, ‘The Meat’. 8. Deena Shanker, ‘Meat-Free Burgers Turn Climate Concerns Into a Sales Pitch’, Bloomberg, 2019. 9. ‘A Menu For Change’, Bi.Team, 2020, p. 27. 10. 11. Ibid., p. 37. 12. ‘Food Labels’, 2018, Nhs.Uk. 13. T. Emrich, Y. Qi, W. Lou, and M. L’abbe, ‘Traffic-light labels could reduce population intakes of calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium’, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Accessed 25 June 2020. https://www.ncbi. 14. ‘It’s All In A Name: How To Boost The Sales Of Plant-Based Menu Items’, World Resources Institute. Accessed 5 April 2020. 15. Ibid. 16. Ibid. 17. Park and Barker, ‘The Meat’. 18. Bloomberg Commodities Edge, Creating Sustainability Incentives In The Global Food Chain. Video, 2019. creating-sustainability-incentives-in-the-global-food-chain-video. Additional Works Cited: 19. ‘Companies Are Tying Their Loans To Measures Of Do-Goodery’, The Economist, 2020. 20. Jonathan Foley,, n.d. https://www.nationalgeographic. com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/. 21. ‘How Much Would Giving Up Meat Help The Environment?’, The Economist, 2019. 22. Stephen Leahy, ‘How to feed the world without destroying the planet’,, 2019. how-to-feed-the-world-without-destroying-the-planet/. 23. R.H. Thaler and C.R. Sunstein, ‘Libertarian Paternalism’, American Economic Review, 93, 2, 2003. pp. 175-79. 24. ‘Understanding The Irrational Customer: An Interview With Dan Ariely’, Think With Google, 2013.


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The Policy Challenge of International Public Goods: Why the UK should increase funding to the Congo Rainforest

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Enhancing the EU’s Climate Governance: The Case for an EU-wide Border Tax Adjustment 1. 2.

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Global Expansion of LNG Capacity: Creating Accountability for Greenhouse Gas Emissions along the Value Chain Photo (Page 58): Engblom, Kenneth, John Reinlund, and Nicolas Leong. 2017. “LNG value chain optimisation – Case Myanmar“ Wärtsilä Technical Journal. https://www. 1. Ramón A. Alvarez, Daniel Zavala-Araiza, David R. Lyon, David T. Allen, Zachary R. Barkley, Adam R. Brandt, Kenneth J. Davis, et al. ‘Assessment of Methane Emissions from the U.S. Oil and Gas Supply Chain’, Science 361, no. 6398 (2018): 186.; IEA, ‘Gas - Fuel Overview Page’, Paris: International Energy Agency, 2020. 2. API, ‘Lng Operations: Consistent Methodology for Estimating Green House Gas Emissions’, Washington DC: American Petroleum Institute, 2015. https://; McKinsey, ‘Energy Insights: 2018 Gas & Lng Market Highlights’, McKinsey and Company, 2018.



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Short-term Solutions to Water Scarcity in India

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Cover Photo (Page 66): by Asian Development Bank. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made.

The Global Graduate: How can students from under-represented groups in Higher Education be better supported to study abroad?

Photo (Page 69): by Chris. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. ‘Student Perspectives on Going International’, British Council, September 2015, (p.8) International/student-perspectives-going-international.pdf#search=graduate%20 jobs%20needing%20study%20abroad%20experience, accessed 20 December 2019. 2. Russell King, Allan Findlay, Jill Ahrens, ‘International Student Mobility Literature Review’, Report to HEFCE, and co-funded by the British Council, UK National Agency for Erasmus, November 2010, (p.2),92244,en.html, accessed 17 December 2019. 3. Access and Participation Glossary, Office For Students,, accessed 21 December 2019. 4. Katherine Allinson, ‘Widening Participation in UK Outward Student Mobility’, Universities UK, 12 December 2017, (p.10) policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/International/widening-participation-in-uk-outward-student-mobility.pdf, accessed 19 December 2019. 5. Ibid, p13. 6. Nic Mitchell, ‘Shorter periods abroad could widen student mobility’, University World News, 18 August 2017, php?story=20170816105109256, accessed 17 December 2019. 7. ‘Go International: Stand Out’, Universities UK, International/go-international/stand-out/Pages/about.aspx, accessed 15 December 2019. 8. Ibid. 9. ‘Gone International: Mobility Works’, Universities UK, 2 March 2017, (p.3) https:// GoneInternational2017_A4.pdf, accessed 16 December 2019. 10. Ibid. 11. Paul Greenbank, ‘The Evolution of Government Policy on Widening Participation’, Higher Education Quarterly, 60, no.2 (2006): 142. 12. Michael Brown, ‘Higher education as a tool of social mobility: reforming the delivery of HE and measuring professional graduate output success’, CentreForum, May 2014, (pp.5 - 7), accessed 16 June 2020. 13. Daniel Wake and Katherine Allinson, ‘Gone International: Expanding Opportunities’, Universities UK, 10 May 2018, (p.6) < pdf, accessed 16 June 2020.

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Allinson, ‘Widening Participation in UK Outward Student Mobility’, (p.4). Ibid, p17. Ibid, p.18. Ibid. Ibid, p19. Ibid, p20. Ibid, p2. Ibid. ‘Student Perspectives on Going International’, British Council, September 2015, (p.30) International/student-perspectives-going-international.pdf#search=graduate%20 jobs%20needing%20study%20abroad%20experience, accessed 20 December 2019. Allinson, ‘Widening Participation in UK Outward Student Mobility’, (p.33).

The COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to transform Latin America

Photo (Page 71): File:%D0%A3%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BA_%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%B8 _%D0%B2%D0%BE_%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BC%D1%8F_%D0%BF%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%B8_COVID-19.png by Химки ТВ. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. No changes were made. 1. UNESCO, ‘Startling disparities in digital learning emerge as COVID-19 spreads: UN education agency’, 21 April 2020. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2020. 2. Ibid. 3. One Laptop Per Child. Accessed 3 May 2020. 4. IADB, ‘El BID y la tecnología para mejorar el aprendizaje: ¿Cómo promover programas efectivos?’, Technical note number IDB-TN-670. Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), 2014. 5. Accessed 3 May 2020. 6. OECD Statistics, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Programme for International Student Assessments, 2018. 7.; Julian Cristia, et al., ‘Technology and child development: Evidence from the one laptop per child program.’, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 9.3 (2017): 295-320. 8. OECD, ‘Students, computers and learning: Making the connection’, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Programme for International Student Assessments, 2015.; Julian Cristia, Alejo Czerwonko, and Pablo Garofalo, ‘Does technology in schools affect repetition, dropout and enrollment? Evidence from Peru’, Journal of Applied Economics 17.1 (2014): 89-111. 9. IADB, ‘El BID y la tecnología para mejorar el aprendizaje’, Technical note number IDB-TN-670. Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), 2014. 10. IADB, ‘La gobernanza de las telecomunicaciones: hacia la economía digital’, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), 2017. publications/spanish/document/La-gobernanza-de-las-telecomunicaciones-Hacia-la-econom%C3%ADa-digital.pdf Accessed 3 May 2020. 11. Ibid. 12. CAF, ‘Internet para Todos will expand Internet connectivity in Latin America’, CAF Development Bank of Latin America, 2019. 25 February 2019. https://www. Accessed 3 May 2020. 13. United Nations, General Assembly Resolution A/HRC/38/L.10. https://ap.ohchr. org/documents/S/HRC/d_res_dec/A_HRC_38_L10.pdf Accessed 3 May 2020; International Telecommunication Union, ‘Measuring Digital Development. Facts and Figures 2019’, ITU, 2019. 14. 15. WB, ‘World development report 2019: The changing nature of work’, The World Bank, 2018. 16. WEF, ‘Schools of the Future Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2020. 17. OECD, ‘Students, computers and learning: Making the connection’, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Programme for International Student Assessments, 2015.

How the Arts Can Save Our Children

Photo (Page 72): Public domain. jschl_tk__=7f4a3e64529ecd1aafe7650f78a40f2dd731aece-1595520251-0-AfeA EfdVQ7Izyg3jnVNK52zUv5Ae2zY22Ge3PbzY3QwktrhJnzSzNm5DPTq0JFNyChE8vZl39lkMTkPcw-ops3Ql_iFh4E2rk7wfGA_myeCSAuKT7NB3ZM6vkyl2VesojnnN4xfMfUdl5d95QKkvvDrDyb-OFDfoiEdI9tUEHKdusHA2KF7Jjan4Yp9dcolwFDt-AHhsMS-sRfikKR0gryIhI_QCuiJSqBj8CObyXt2VWDF90ayq2bZo9NtQ52tCFhE3jIJoLD4eQbd-9EBqYSi_ei5jSmLUn8Nnnfa8K5Kf 1. NHS Digital, 2017. Mental Health of Children and Young People in England. 2. Department for Education (DFE), 2016. Education Excellence Everywhere. 3. OECD, 2013. Art for Art’s Sake. OECD library [online]. Available via: https://www. 4. N. Clegg et al. (2017). Commission on Inequality in Education. London: Social


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Market Foundation. [online] Available via: R. Goodman, 1997. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A Research Note. London: Cambridge University Press. 38(5), pp. 581-586, [online]. Available via: Clear Sky, 2019. [online] Available via: Clear Sky, 2017-18. D. Campbell, 2019. Child mental health: UK provision ‘worse than in much of eastern Europe. The Guardian, [online]. Available via: https://www.theguardian. com/society/2019/apr/29/mental-health-provision-young-people-uk-behind-eustudy. C. Rainer and R. Crellin, 2019. Finding Help. The Children’s Society, [online]. Available via: The Art Room, 2019. [online] Available via:


Cover Photo (Page 75): by CDC Central America Regional Office Supporting Partner Organizations in Guatemala. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made.

Access to Emergency Adrenaline Auto-Injectors

Photo (Page 77): by Quote Catalog ( Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. Anaphylaxis Campaign, 2019, Anaphylaxis Campaign: Facts and Figures. Accessed 11 March 2020. 2. B. I. Nwaru, L. Hickstein, S. S. Panesar, G. Roberts, A. Muraro, A. Sheikh, and EAACI Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines Group, ‘Prevalence of common food allergies in Europe: a systematic review and meta‐analysis’, Allergy 69, no. 8 (2014): 992-1007. 3. Ramyani Gupta, Aziz Sheikh, David P. Strachan, and H. Ross Anderson, ‘Time trends in allergic disorders in the UK’, Thorax 62, no. 1 (2007): 91-96. 4. NICE, 2016, Anaphylaxis: Quality standard [QS119]. Accessed 12 March 2020. 5. EpiPen®, 2019, Healthcare Professional: Anaphylaxis Treatment. Accessed 11 March 2020. 6. BBC, 2019, BBC News, London: Pret allergy death: Parents ‘delighted’ by ‘Natasha’s law’ plan. Accessed 14 March 2020. 7. Paul J. Turner, Joseph L. Baumert, Kirsten Beyer, R. J. Boyle, C‐H. Chan, A. T. Clark, René WR Crevel et al., ‘Can we identify patients at risk of life‐threatening allergic reactions to food?’, Allergy 71, no. 9 (2016): 1241-1255. 8. Anaphylaxis Campaign, 2019, Anaphylaxis Campaign: Facts and Figures. Accessed 11 March 2020. 9. 10. Branwen Jeffreys, 2019, BBC News, Education: Allergy death mum’s plea to schools to save lives. Accessed 12 March 2020. 11. 12. BBC, 2019, BBC News, England: Byron burger death: Owen Carey 'died after eating buttermilk', Accessed 13 March 2020. 13. 14. BBC, 2019, BBC News, Health: Severe allergic reactions rise in children in England over past five years. Accessed 12 March 2020. 15. 16. Anaphylaxis Campaign, 2019, Anaphylaxis Campaign: Guidance for Young Adults. Accessed 12 March 2020. 17.; Anaphylaxis Campaign, 2019, Anaphylaxis Campaign: Facts and Figures. Accessed 11 March 2020. 18. 19. Chloe Harman, 2017, MHRA updates adrenaline pen prescribing guidance. Accessed 12 March 2020.; EpiPen®, 2019, Healthcare Professional: Anaphylaxis Treatment. Accessed 11 March 2020. http:// 20. Ibid. 21. GOV.UK, 2019, Press Release: Natasha's legacy becomes law. Accessed 14 March 2020. 22. Department of Health and Social Care, 2017, Guidance: Using emergency adrenaline auto-injectors in schools. Accessed 11 March 2020. government/publications/using-emergency-adrenaline-auto-injectors-in-schools. 23. Branwen Jeffreys, 2019, BBC News, Education: Allergy death mum's plea to schools to save lives. Accessed 12 March 2020. 24. 25. Public Petition, 2019, Petitions, UK government and parliament: Public areas & Food places to have Epi Pens for food allergies. Accessed 14 March 2020. https:// 26. EpiPen®, 2020, Safety and storage. Accessed 14 March 2020. https://www.epipen. com/hcp/about-epipen-and-generic/safety-and-storage; F. Simons and R. Estelle, ‘Anaphylaxis: recent advances in assessment and treatment’, Journal of Allergy and



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Clinical Immunology 124, no. 4 (2009): 625-636. Gokul Nair, Michael Levin, and Sudesh Sivarasu, ‘Design and Verification of a Reloadable Adrenaline Auto-Injector for Intramuscular Injections’, In 2018 Design of Medical Devices Conference. American Society of Mechanical Engineers Digital Collection, 2018. NICE, 2018, Angio-oedema and anaphylaxis: Scenario: Anaphylaxis with or without angio-oedema. Accessed 14 March 2020.!scenario:1 EpiPen®, 2020, Safety and storage. Accessed 14 March 2020. https://www.epipen. com/hcp/about-epipen-and-generic/safety-and-storage. EpiPen®, 2018, How To Use EpiPen®. Accessed 14 March 2020. https://www.epipen. ca/en/about-epipen/how-to-use. React First, Date Unknown, Who can administer adrenaline auto-injectors in an emergency? Accessed 15 March 2020. who-can-administer-adrenaline-autoinjectors-in-an-emergency/8.htm.

Access to Mental Health Resources in Kashmir

Photo (Page 80): by Fulvio Spada. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), The University of Kashmir, Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), 2016. Muntazar: Kashmir Mental Health Survey Report 2015. MSF, New Delhi, India. 2. T. Housen, A. Lenglet, C. Ariti et al., Prevalence of anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder in the Kashmir Valley. BMJ Global Health 2017. 3. R.H. Bhat and S.M. Khan, Mental health issues in Kashmir valley: An overview. Arch Ment Health 2018; 19: 95-6. 4. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), The University of Kashmir, Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), 2016. Muntazar: Kashmir Mental Health Survey Report 2015. MSF, New Delhi, India. 5. Ibid. 6. Housen, Lenglet, Ariti et al., Prevalence of anxiety, BMJ Global Health 2017. 7. A.G. Noorani, ‘Article 370: A Constitutional History of Jammu and Kashmir’, Oxford Scholarship Online, September 2012. 8. Ashish Srivastava. Article 35A: Its Existence and Controversies. Journal of Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence. 2019; 2(1): 1-7. 9. ‘Article 35A: Why a Special Law on Kashmir Is Controversial’, BBC News, August 5, 2019. 10. ‘Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Situation in Jammu and Kashmir Secretary-General’, United Nations. Accessed 1 December 2019. 11. Swagata Yadavar and Athar Parvaiz, ‘Communications Blockade Creates New Mental Health Challenges In Kashmir |’, IndiaSpend, September 16, 2019. https:// 12. Murtaza Rashid, ‘Health-Care Crisis in Kashmir’, The Lancet, 2019. https://doi. org/10.1016/s0140-6736(19)32074-4. 13. Kenneth E Miller and Andrew Rasmussen, ‘War Exposure, Daily Stressors, and Mental Health in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings: Bridging the Divide between Trauma-Focused and Psychosocial Frameworks’, Social Science & Medicine. Pergamon, October 23, 2009. pii/S0277953609006200?via=ihub. 14. Joe Wallen, ‘Kashmiri Doctor Arrested after Warning Blackout Could Cause Deaths’, The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, August 27, 2019. https://www. 15. Dinsa Sachan, ‘Indian Doctors’ Leaders Demand National Law to Reduce Violence in Hospitals’, BMJ, 2019, l4303. 16. Yadavar and Parvaiz, ‘Communications Blockade’, IndiaSpend, September 16, 2019. 17. Wallen, ‘Kashmiri Doctor Arrested’, The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, August 27, 2019. 18. Sachan, ‘Indian Doctors’ Leaders Demand National Law’, BMJ, 2019, l4303. 19. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), The University of Kashmir, Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), 2016. Muntazar: Kashmir Mental Health Survey Report 2015. MSF, New Delhi, India.

The (Deadly) Cost Of History Repeating Itself: From SARS to COVID-19

Map (Page 82): China.svg by BoyuZhang1998. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No changes were made. Photo (Page 83): Public domain. COVID19_test_kit_PH_donation_6.jpg by Toto Lozano Presidential Communications Operations Office. Figure 1 (Page 84): Lotus Ruan, Jeffrey Knockel, and Masashi Crete-Nishihata, "Censored Contagion", CitizenLab (2020), Photo (Page 85): by Zhizhou Deng. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No changes were made. 1. H. Holden Thorp, ‘The Costs of Secrecy’, Science Magazine 367, 6481. (2020): 959.

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new-virus-china-covid-19-food-markets. Woodward, Aylin (2020). Ibid. Xinhua, ‘Wuhan seafood market may not be only source of novel coronavirus: expert’, XinHuaNews (2020), Xinhua (2020). James Gorman, ‘China’s Ban on Wildlife Trade a Big Step, but Has Loopholes, Conservationists Say’, New York Times (2020), science/coronavirus-pangolin-wildlife-ban-china.html. Wildlife Conservation Society, ‘WCS Statement and Analysis: On the Chinese Government’s Decision Prohibiting Some Trade and Consumption of Wild Animals’, WCS Newsroom (2020), articleType/ArticleView/articleId/13855/WCS-Statement-and-Analysis-On-theChinese-Governments-Decision-Prohibiting-Some-Trade-and-Consumption-ofWild-Animals.aspx. Alex Ward, ‘Iran’s Growing Coronavirus Crisis, in 3 Stunning Photos’, Vox (2020), Theodore Schleifer, ‘Bill Gates says we can’t restart the economy soon and simply “ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner”’, Vox (2020), recode/2020/3/24/21192638/coronavirus-bill-gates-trump-reopen-business. Zhang, Linda (2020).

TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION Establishing Measures to Prevent Algorithms from Reinforcing Inequality 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Duncan McCann and Miranda Hall, ‘Controlled by calculations’, New Economics Foundation, 29 June, 2018. Ibid. Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, Lauren Kirchner, ‘Machine Bias’, ProPublica, 23 May 2018. Karen Hao, ‘This is how AI bias really happens—and why it’s so hard to fix’, MIT Technology Review, 4 February 2019. https://www.technologyreview. com/s/612876/this-is-how-ai-bias-really-happensand-why-its-so-hard-to-fix/. Steve Bellovin, ‘Yes, “algorithms” can be biased. Here’s why’, Ars Technica, 24 January 2019. Ibid. Hao, ‘This is how AI bias really happens—and why it’s so hard to fix’. Ibid. Brian Resnick, ‘Yes, artificial intelligence can be racist’, Vox, 24 January 2019. Rafi Letzter, ‘Google AI Expert: Machine Learning Is No Better Than Alchemy’, Live Science, 7 May 2018. Angwin, Larson, Mattu, Kirchner, ‘Machine Bias’.

Could Big Data Boost Covid Briefings? 1.


3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Gina Chon, ‘Blaming Big Data is Political Diversion’, Reuters, 19 July 2019. Accessed 12 May 2020.; Mark Scott, ‘Cambridge Analytica Helped ‘Cheat’ Brexit Vote and US Election, Claims Whistleblower’, Politico, 29 March 2018. Accessed 12 April 2020.; James Graham, ‘Brexit: The Uncivil War’. DVD. Directed by Toby Haynes. London: Channel 4, 2019. Carole Cadwalladr & Emma Graham-Harrison, ‘Revealed: 50 Million Facebook Profiles Harvested for Cambridge Analytica in Major Data Breach’, The Guardian, 17 March 2018. Accessed 12 May 2020. mar/17/cambridge-analytica-facebook-influence-us-election. Brian Chen, ‘Want to #DeleteFacebook? You Can Try’, The New York Times, 21 March 2018. Accessed 12 May 2020. html. J. Clement, ‘Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2020’, Statista, 30 April 2020. Accessed 12 May 2020. James Graham, ‘Brexit: The Uncivil War’. DVD. Directed by Toby Haynes. London: Channel 4, 2019, 33:30. Lucy Mangan, ‘Brexit: The Uncivil War review – superficial, irresponsible TV’, The Guardian, 7 Jan 2019. Accessed 12 May 2020. Michael M. Grynbaum, ‘Trump’s Briefings Are a Ratings Hit. Should Networks Cover Them Live?’, The New York Times, 25 March 2020. Accessed 14 April 2020. The Office of Communications, ‘News Consumption in the UK: 2019’, 24 July 2018,


12. 13. 14.


16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37.


p.6. Accessed 16 May 2020. Ibid. Ana Lucia Schmidt et al., ‘Anatomy of news consumption on Facebook’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 21 March 2017. Accessed 16 May 2020. pnas/114/12/3035.full.pdf. Michael Barthel, Amy Mitchell and Jesse Holcomb, ‘Many Americans Believe Fake News Is Sowing Confusion’, Pew Research Centre, 15 December 2016. Accessed 16 May 2020. Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie, ‘The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online’, Pew Research Centre, 19 October 2017. Accessed 16 May 2020. Avaaz, ‘How Facebook can Flatten the Curve of the Coronavirus Infodemic’, avaaz. org, 15 April 2020. Accessed 18 May 2020. Ibid. The Office of Communications, ‘News Consumption in the UK: 2019’, 24 July 2018, p.7. Accessed 16 May 2020. Ibid. Bernard Marr, ‘The Vital Role of Big Data in The Fight Against Coronavirus’, Forbes, 9 April 2020. Accessed 15 May 2020. Shawn Yuan, ‘How China is using AI and big data to fight the coronavirus’, Al Jazeera, 1 March 2020. Accessed 15 May 2020. Sky News, ‘Coronavirus: Leaders unite against PM's “stay alert” slogan’, Sky News, 10 May 2020. Accessed 17 May 2020. Rowland Manthorpe, ‘Coronavirus: Govt hasn't run ads on pandemic from official social media accounts’, Sky News, 23 March 2020. Accessed 18 May 2020. Ibid. Alexander Nix, ‘The Power of Big Data and Psychographics’, Concordia on, 27 September 2016. Accessed 18 May 2020. Ibid. University of Oxford, ‘Conspiracy beliefs reduce the following of government coronavirus guidance’,, 22 May 2020. Accessed 22 May 2020. Ibid.

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