TheSpectrum Issue 9 • June 2019
King’s Think Tank’s annual policy journal
INSIDE: • Hong Kong: Is peaceful reconciliation possible? • #WeCantWait: Feminine hygiene in India • EU-Russian cooperation in Central Asia • Mental health in Singapore • Britain: The case for a plastic tax • Green technology: investors and innovators • #RapefugeesNotWelcome: Gender and anti-immigration policies
Letter from the Editor All good things… If the focus of The Spectrum’s 2018 issue was increasing readership and redesigning the journal, the challenge of the 2019 issue was gathering a team capable of diversifying the journal’s content and target audience. After a very intense and formative period of brainstorming, re-organisation, and re-orientation, our collaborative efforts exceeded expectations. You are now holding the largest edition of The Spectrum in King’s Think Tank’s eight-year history, composed of policy proposals from students across all levels of higher education. Not only have we tripled the number of submissions, but we have increased readership by 71% and showcased The Spectrum to members of the European Parliament and World Health Organisation, as well as multiple guest speakers from across the world. In these pages, readers will find policy briefs on topics ranging from feminine hygiene in India to Boko Haram recruitment to European migration post-Brexit. These past two years, it was a privilege to work alongside students who invested countless hours exploring and dissecting some of the most pressing problems policymakers face today. In an increasingly fragmented and chaotic environment, these students – of vastly different national, religious, and political backgrounds – chose to engage with their peers and challenge each other’s perspectives and opinions, no matter how opposed. The debates that took place during our conferences and within policy centres have inspired a great number of the papers featured in this issue. Our contributors’ dedication and goodwill attests to the way publications such as The Spectrum can act as vectors for collaboration as well as change. Of course, none of the contributors claim to have devised the ultimate solution to improving network security or boosting the Nepali economy. Indeed, some of these papers function as intellectual exercises, elaborating potential strategies for states whose interests the authors do not necessarily endorse. But no matter their scope or subject, they all propose evidence-based and creative ideas – the basis of all constructive policy. As my time as editor-in-chief comes to a close, I remain confident that The Spectrum will continue to inspire and encourage students to share their insights with peers and professionals alike. I hope you thoroughly enjoy the 9th edition of our policy journal, The Spectrum. Elina Solomon Editor-in-Chief King’s Think Tank
Contents EUROPEAN AFFAIRS 7
Proxy peace in Central Asia: A new agenda for EU-Russia relations
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT 47
BY INES LEROYER
European migration post-Brexit
BY NICHOLAS PARKER AND CAOIMHE RING
BY MEGAN AVEY
One step forward, two steps backwards: The EU and the climate threat BY CAMILLA ANGELOTTI AND FELICIA CATHERINE GROSSE
Bringing ideas into reality:
Innovators and investors in green technology
The road to rural electrification: Climate resiliency and renewable energy BY CHRISTINA LYONS, LUCIA SABORIO PEREZ, AND JULIA SANDBERG
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY
Everything in moderation: The case for a plastic tax BY LUCIA SABORIO PEREZ, JULIA SANDBERG, AND GEORGE WARREN
The need for network security in the US BY ANAIS HERNE
The Boko Haram Insurgency: Tackling recruitment BY ZARA NDIOMU
Iranian foreign policy: Pursuing influence in Iraq BY JC
Hong Kong: Is peaceful reconciliation possible? BY RYAN CHAN
Conflicts in the post-Soviet space: Considering Nagorno-Karabakh
Pay as you throw: Reforming UK recycling practices BY KATE JEON, THOMAS MASTERMAN, AND SARA NOSKE
GLOBAL HEALTH 65 70
#WeCantWait: WASH and women in India
BY ABIGAIL GOH SU-EN
Negotiating the future of British healthcare BY BETHANY ELDER AND SIFAN ZHENG
IoT product regulation in the UK BY ANAIS HERNE
Mental health of non-domestic foreign workers in Singapore
BY BHAVYA TRIPATHI AND ABIGAIL GOH SU-EN
Fighting fire with fire: E-mental health in the Global South BY AMANDA IGNATIA
BY GARIK MIRZOYAN
Wellbeing in Schools: Can Britain learn from Finland? BY ZULEHKA BUTT
The shortage of teachers in the UK
RELGION AND SOCIETY 81
BY HANA KAPETANOVIC
BY RISA YOSHIDA
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS 43
Scaling mount Everest: Lessons from Nepal BY BARTLOMIEJ MOZDZEN
‘Rapefugees not welcome’: Gender and anti-immigration policy An Unresolved Dilemma: Bosnia and Herzegovina BY TOMAZ ZBORIL AND AANVI TANDON
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
The views expressed in The Spectrum are uniquely their authors’ and do not represent King’s Think Tank or King’s College London. King’s Think Tank is a neutral organisation that enables and encourages students to explore and discuss policy. All images featured in The Spectrum are royalty-free, unless otherwise stated. 5
Proxy Peace in Central Asia: Setting a New Agenda for EU-Russia relations by ines leroyer
Central Asia remains one of the few areas free from direct political confrontation between Russia and the EU. 10 years after the first EU’s Strategy for Central Asia, the European Council initiated a process to develop new strategies by 2019. However, this future plan might be tarnished by underlying rivalries with its Russian neighbour. The EU seems to quasi-systematically consider Russia as challenging the cornerstone of world order. This supposed and sometimes true aggressive behaviour from Russia is at the very tip of the crisis in Ukraine. The outbreak of a frontal conflict with Russia made it harder for EU policy-makers to overcome long-lasting rivalries to eventually work on common strategic goals. Bad relationships between the two actors have become systemic. Of course, Russia is not faultless, but preconceived ideas prevent both the EU and Russia from stabilising their relationship. In fact, relieving tensions with Russia would be a way for the EU to focus on the domestic issues it faces now, such as the rise of far-right and secessionist movements and Euroscepticism. Areas where interests shared by both powers could potentially be exploited, and thus, help develop a form of cooperation. In reality, on security matters and counterterrorism, Russia and the EU do not have competing interests, but rather complementary and shared objectives for Central Asia. This paper aims at analysing the prospects on the medium-to-long term for relations between Russia and the EU. It is structured around one main argument, namely the idea that the view that Russia and the EU’s interests are not necessarily incompatible, and that, instead, a common ground can be found. A selective cooperation on certain issues like counterterrorism with its Eastern neighbour in Central Asia could help building a ‘proxy peace’ that might later translate substantively into better relations between Russia and the EU. Background Following the end of the Cold War, European countries failed to include Russia into the Liberal world order. This failure lies at the heart of Europe’s current problems with
its Eastern neighbour. Moreover, bilateral relations between the two countries are currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis and attempts to change the situation are at a deadlock. Conflicts in Ukraine, the Balkans, Moldova, or Georgia could have been solved if Moscow and Brussels were willing to agree on a broad settlement. There is a high risk that this ‘zero-sum game’ will spread as well in Central Asia if a different approach is not taken by the EU in this region. It has the potential to be a place of cooperation for the EU and Russia. That way, it could eventually represent a first step towards more stable and stronger relations between both powers. The EU and Russia have very distinct policies in Central Asia, meaning they could easily find a common ground they could agree on. On one side, EU’s policies in Central Asia achieved success in few areas. These policies mainly addressed poverty, educational, and environmental issues. The program Erasmus Mundus that contributed to bring 1,000 Central Asian students to Europe , is an example of the kind of policies the EU tries to implement at the moment. Aid coming from the EU seems to be more than welcomed by Central Asian countries. The EU has also been focusing on border management in the region. EU and Central Asian representatives met for a High-Level Security Dialogue in Dushanbe in March 2015 to agree on a closer cooperation on security matters. The EU’s border management and drug counter-measure projects will be continued, with Latvia taking the lead in a consortium of member states implementing the next phase of the BOMCA (Border Management Programme in Central Asia) project. On the other side, Russia does little about socio-economic matters and has rather been focusing on pursuing a military cooperation. It notably contributed to the building of military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as it fears possible penetration of members from northern provinces of Afghanistan into Central Asian territories member of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation). The Russian military base that has been deployed in 2004 in Tajikistan is Russia’s largest non-naval military facility outside the country. Approxi-
THE SPECTRUM mately 7,000 Russian troops are now stationed at two military facilities collectively known as the 201st military base - in Dushanbe and Bokhtar . However, the Kremlin still distrusts the EU’s initiatives in the region and consider them a plot to undermine Russia’s influence. In that sense, Moscow overestimates the threat posed by its Western neighbours. The EU does not represent a threat for Russia’s geopolitical influence in the region and both sides would benefit from recognising that they have complementary interests especially when it comes to security and stability matters.
Policy objectives As previously explained, the current bilateral relations do not suit either side’s interests. Their “frozen relationship” does not work and is neither beneficial to the EU, nor to Russia. Constant tensions between these two key players of international politics contribute greatly to fragilising the EU. Currently, it suffers from internal dissensions and instability. The continent has been going through and is still going through political shifts. Popular anger is one of the causes for the rise of far-right movements. Europeans are increasingly feeling more pessimistic and negative about the EU and instability within European countries seems to be on the rise. This domestic crisis undermines EU stability.
for the EU and Russia to cooperate on selective subjects. To build effective cooperation in Central Asia, both sides would need to bear in mind lessons from past and current policies. So far, they have failed to build a mutually beneficial relationship, since neither actor has ever agreed on how they could achieve something in common. If a common ground is not found, conflicts of interests will continue to arise like it did in the past and still does today due to various reasons.
The main objective of cooperating with Russia in Central Asia would be to prevent the escalation of existing conflicts. Both sides need to rely more on cooperation more than competition in order to build a more stable relation. In that sense, using selective cooperation on a range of foreign policy issues in Central Asia like counterterrorism would be a good way to engage in a positive way and finally recognise a common goal shared by both actors.
The deepening of the crisis with its Eastern neighbour is the last thing the EU needs. This is why it should work on finding a way to counter the trend of freezing relations with Russia. It would be absurd to maintain a situation that is detrimental for both sides under the guise of a “pseudo-normality”. Of course, on the question of Ukraine or the Balkans, little agreement might be found between both actors. However, far from EU’s borders and territories, Central Asia represents a perfect ground
Policy proposals Currently, Russia represents the main key player in terms of security and counterterrorism in Central Asia and security is probably the main lens through which Russia considers this region as it wants to hold on to the remnants of the post-Soviet space. Security strategies initiated by outside powers do reflect a shared interest in “stability” in Central Asia, but this does not automatically transform into substantive cooperation. Three main tracks for Europe’s dialogue with Moscow coincide with both powers’ interests in the region. More specifically three strategies can be implemented by the EU: remaining a soft actor
THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN AND EUROPEAN INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TERM ‘SECURITY’
EUROPEAN AFFAIRS in the region; cooperating on border management; and cooperating on the prevention of narco-trafficking. 1. Maintain EU soft power.
The shared concern over the security matters in the region is evident. The EU highlighted security, along with stability, as its main goal in Central Asia. To address border management problems, it is necessary to enhance international cooperation and information exchange.
For EU-Russia cooperation to be strong, effective, and Russia mainly sees the threats as requiring primarily consistent on the long-run, it is important that progress hard security measures. Based on this, Moscow relies be made slowly. What is most important for both parmuch on multilateral security arrangements, such as the ties is to find an area were an eventual solution can be CSTO and the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) found easily without disrupting the role that each side that largely focus on training and military equipment. has been undertaking so far. The EU cannot compete EU’s BOMCA (Border Management Programme in Cenwith Russia due to its relatively soft approach compared tral Asia) that aims at “the facilitation of legitimate trade to Moscow, which envisages massive investments in the and transit” and reduction of “illicit movement of goods region to further economic integration. That is why, to and people” could be a source of interest for Russia. In begin with, it would be important not to undermine Rusthat sense, the EU could create a fund for border mansia’s role as the main key player in terms of security in agement to complement BOMCA’s work. The fund could Central Asia. While the EU has been an active player in be used for border management projects across a widthe region, notably seeking to address border management and counter-terrorism, it has been representing itself as a ‘soft player’ that does not DESPITE THEIR DIFFERENCES, RUSSIA AND undertake overwhelming policies that would conflict with Russia’s role in the region. It is THE EUROPEAN UNION ACTUALLY SHARE important to prone a continuity in future ONE KEY INTEREST IN THE CENTRAL ASIA: policies. Since the adoption of a new strategy in Central Asia by the European Council PREVENTING THE ESCALATION OF ONGOING, in 2007, alongside with the Plan of Action to FROZEN CONFLICTS fight Counter-terrorism in partnership with the United Nations, the EU has shown a willer geographic scope including Central Asia and also the ingness to progressively get more involved in the region Caucasus, the Russian Federation, and Afghanistan. This while remaining a ‘soft player’. would heighten the visibility of the EU in border management assistance and further engage Russia in win-win There are significant differences in the Russian and the projects that benefit common security concerns. European interpretation of what ‘security’ implies in the region and how to best maintain it. Thus, the EU tends 3. Cooperate on narco-trafficking to look at security in a broader sense, linking long-term stability with socio-economic development, while Russia The fight against drug trafficking has been at the heart considers security more in military terms. Despite being of Moscow’s security concerns. The traffic that reaches different, these two perspectives are complementary, Europe largely passes through Russia and then the Baltic enabling the EU and Russia to lead policies that do not area, so any viable strategies need to extend from the directly compete with each other. This is why it is importAfghan-Central Asian region to Europe’s eastern border. ant for the EU to maintain its role in Central Asia as a ‘soft The EU and Russia could both establish a joint agency to actor’. combat drug production and trafficking in Afghanistan. In that sense, the CARICC (Central Asia Regional InformaThe 2007 Strategy for a New Partnership with Central Asia tion and Coordination Centre), which already includes the was designed to give a push to relations between the two five Central Asian states as well as Azerbaijan and Rusregions. With this strategy, the EU mainly focused on stasia, could be a platform for the exchange of intelligence bility, poverty reduction, regional cooperation covering with European bodies. Sharing intelligence information the domains of energy, transportation, higher education, and joint drug-seizure operations, partial coordination and environment. It is important that the new 2019 stratbetween the different agencies training Central Asian egy continues to focus on these aspects to maintain an border guards (BOMCA, CSTO and OSCE) could be evenequilibrium between Russia and EU’s role in Central Asia. tual issues to discuss in this agency. In the future, the EU 2. Cooperate on border management.
THE SPECTRUM could eventually develop cooperation with the “anti-drug quartet” of Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Also, EU’s CADAP (Central Asia Drug Action Programme) is another major project. The Russian involvement comes often in the form of state-level cooperation between the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) and its counterparts, primarily in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. As previously explained with the BROMCA, engaging with Russia on the CADAP could be a way to favour win-win policies that would contribute to less distrust from both EU and Russia towards one another and stronger relations on the long-term. Conclusion The EU and Russia are very different actors in Central Asia. The first is a supranational body, with multiple centres of decision-making and areas of involvement in the world. It is an important provider of development aid, but at the same time has low visibility in the region. On
the other hand, Russia is heavily present in the region. There are specific issues regarding which Brussels and Moscow speak the same language, like the importance of fighting drug trafficking and containing threats that may emanate from Afghanistan. Even though there is little evidence for their cooperation, or shared understanding of the ways to deal with those issues, it is imperative that they have common priority topics, which in the future may lead to greater partnership. Thus, with due respect to the differences of approaches, one may state that the EU and Russia do not have acute clashes on matters sensitive to any of them in Central Asia. Looking ahead, it is clear that the EU is not in a position to dramatically alter the extent and nature of its involvement in Central Asia in the years to come. It may get more, or less, interested in the region, depending on the presiding country, and the potential ground for cooperation with Russia.
European Migration Post-Brexit by megan avey
On 31 October 2019, the UK is set to leave the EU after over two years of negotiations, officially ending freedom of movement between the UK and EU. Immigration is one of the most pressing matters associated with Brexit, as it could negatively impact the UK’s economy. As UK’s capital, London will be the most affected. EU citizens currently residing in the UK have the right to apply for ‘settled and pre-settled status.’ A migrant with ‘settled status’ may live and work in the UK after December 31, 2020 for ‘as long as they like’ and apply for British citizenship; their children born in the UK will automatically be granted British citizenship. A migrant may live outside the UK for five consecutive years without losing their status. Someone with ‘pre-settled’ status can live outside of the UK up to two years. They will be able to apply for ‘settled status’ after five years of ‘continuous residence’ in the UK. Children born to EU citizens with pre-settled status will also receive pre-settled status, unless they fall under a category which grants them British citizenship. ‘Pre-settled and settled status’ will give migrants access to the social welfare system which includes access to NHS, the education system, and public funds as well as the ability to work in the UK and travel freely. Today, non-EU and EEA migrants must use the tier visa immigration system, a points-based system that gives priority to high skilled workers with exceptional talent. The current system also imposes restrictions on EU and EEA citizens who wish to reside in the UK. They can stay in the UK up to three months; if they wish to remain in the UK after that point, they must be able to prove they are ‘employed, self-employed, a job seeker, a student, [or] self-sufficient.’ After living in the UK for five consecutive years, a person may apply for permanent residence. Migration to the UK by EU/EEA citizens was not substantial until after the accession in 2004 of eight countries from Eastern Europe, known as the A8 countries. In 2015 net migration peaked at 180,000; up from the 10,000 average of net migration between 1975 and 2003. In a parliamentary briefing paper, net migration is defined as ‘the difference between immigration and emigration.’ The unrestricted travel from the EU led to a large increase of migrants into the UK; as a result, the visa system for
non-EU/EEA migrants became more stringent. As the UK attempted to decrease net migration, the tier visa system was changed to the current version. These changes included: closing the tier 3 unskilled labor visa, placing a cap on the number of skilled migrants that could be sponsored by employers, required skills and language levels were increased, the Life in the UK test was implemented, and it became more difficult to bring families into the UK. Most of the applications for citizenship that were rejected between 2002 and 2014 did not meet the ‘good character’, residency, language and/or knowledge of life in the UK requirements. Changes to the visa system has also impacted international students and universities. Some of the changes effecting students and universities include: students may not work more than twenty hours, they are not allowed to stay and work after their studies without a job offer, it has made it difficult for students to bring families, and universities must meet ‘highly trusted sponsor’ status. Background The main concerns of migration under Brexit concern the business and labor market, tourism, and university students. Arguably, the most important concern is the former, since it will have the largest impact on the economy. There is some concern that Brexit will lead to a shortage of skilled workers if EU residents are required to use the same migration system as non-EU citizens. Those arriving in the UK after 2004, mostly from the A8 countries, have filled skill shortages in the job market. Many of these EU migrants would not have qualified for a visa under the current tier system. Although low skilled workers are generally depicted as great burdens to the UK, they are less likely to use the social welfare system than other migrants and provide more for the economy than they take out. According to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ‘...all the evidence suggests that the EU migrants are net contributors to the UK public purse, not a drain.’ They contribute a significant amount to taxes, while using less of the public services. A 2011 study by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, found that 5% of GDP growth between 2004 and 2009 can be traced to immigrants from A8 countries. 11
THE SPECTRUM There are many reasons employers hire a large amount of EU employees, including their strong work ethic, job skills, preparedness and experience they bring to the jobs. Migrants from Eastern Europe are generally willing to ‘work long and anti-social hours’. They are willing to complete meticulous tasks that must be very precise. One employer interviewed by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted that there are unemployed people in London, but they are not ‘prepared’ for these tasks. Businesses are concerned that there will be a skills shortage in many fields after the UK officially leaves the EU. Some other benefits that come along with hiring international employees include: the relationship that is created between countries, language and skills training they can provide in-turn reducing a business’s costs. Migration levels can be directly related to needs in the labor market; this demand for EU migrants may be due to the strict visa policies for non-EU migrants. Therefore, it is imperative that the needs of the labor market be considered in migration policy to create a smooth transition post-Brexit. Another crucial point of migration falls under the education sector. Currently, there are 138,000 EU students studying in the UK. It has been predicted that there will be a sharp decline in international students from the EU if they are to pay international fees. A decrease in international students would be an additional burden on the economy, as they provide about 17.5 billion pounds. Brexit could also lead to the loss of joint research programs in the EU. The EU provides UK universities with one-billion pounds per year for research, while the UK only spends .44 percent of their GDP on academic research. The loss of collaborative research between the UK and EU will most likely be harmful to both sides. Policy Proposals 1.
The rights of EU/EEA citizens who reside in the UK should be protected post-Brexit. Those who entered under the original treaty should have the right to live, work, and apply for citizenship. I recommend that the system of applying for ‘settled or pre-settled status’ continue. Reopen the tier 3 visa for low skilled workers and remove the cap for the number of individuals allowed to be sponsored by employers. Currently the visa system from non-EU/EEA migrants is biased towards ‘high- skilled/high value’ workers, as the need for low skilled jobs is being met my EU/EEA citizens. To create a system with greater diversity and to fulfill market needs, employers
should not be restricted based on where an applicant comes from. 3.
EU students accepted before Autumn 2019 should qualify for the same fees as British students and remain through their studies, as reported by the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds. Negotiations should be made to continue a strong partnership in research and higher education. Students accepted after Autumn of 2019, should not pay international fees, while also maintaining a partnership in higher education research.
Conclusion There are many important changes coming to the UK and EU via Brexit, and migration is arguably one of the most critical issues at hand. The policies that are decided upon post-Brexit will play a large role in both economies. New policies in migration can be used to benefit both the UK and EU. With stronger border enforcement, the UK can still maintain mutually beneficial policies. It would be valuable to employers to have the ability to hire whoever best suits the position, regardless of where the applicant comes from. They must be able to hire the applicant who will best fill the vacancy. In the report by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry a director of a hotel explains: ...The whole discourse about skilled and unskilled workers is false. In my opinion there’s no such thing as an unskilled worker. Even a housekeeper is a very skilled job and housekeeping supervisors have to be able to manage complicated inventory and company budgets, and to work under pressure and to [meet] deadlines. You also need to have very strong people skills to be able to persuade, influence and motivate them and you can’t learn that in the classroom. Unfortunately, soft skills like that tend to be undervalued and for someone to be pigeonholed as unskilled seems very unhelpful. Employers must be able to hire someone with the skills and background necessary, they should not be restricted by the cap on high- or low-skilled workers. I also believe it would be in the best interest of all parties for EU students to continue to pay ‘home’ tuition fees, rather than international fees. With this deal, there would be opportunity to continue in joint research among UK and EU research in higher education. With these policy recommendations, I believe the UK will be in a good position to maintain a strong economy, while continuing to be a top country for higher education.
One step forward, two steps backwards: can the EU get away with disregarding the climate threat? by camilla angelotti and felicia catherine grosse
Climate change is threatening the stability and durability of social, environmental and economic systems. Despite the United Nations Resolution of 2015, the European Union has failed to pursue appropriate action to reach the 2020 and 2030 eco-friendly targets. In 2017, progress towards cutting greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and providing more renewable energy slowed down significantly. Transparency and access to knowledge seem to be a crucial issue, as unbiased and clear information on EU climate action is not readily available or easily accessible on an up-to-date digital platform. Furthermore, monitoring reports show that data on climate-related initiatives is not sufficient to assess the EU’s progress towards reaching the 2030 goals. In addition to poor dissemination of climate action progress and targets, the EU has demonstrated considerable lack of publicity for more ambitious efforts towards climate mitigation and adaptation goals, with only 40% of EU cities having adopted these strategies so far.
Overall, a major cause for the decline of progress towards climate goals is the lack of coordination, cohesiveness, and effectiveness of EU-level action in distributing and assessing targets for each state. The number of states able to keep up with their targets decreased from 22 in 2016 to 18 states in 2017. Most importantly, only 6 states are estimated to have contributed 71% of total efforts, which reveals a huge disparity of climate change action within the EU. Based on expected projections, 20 states will remain below their annual emission targets in 2020 and at least 6 states would have remained below their targets by 2030. Policy proposals The following policy proposals aim to identify the root causes of the European Union’s failure to take appropriate action to keep up with the outlined targets for SDG 13, aimed at ‘taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’. This proposal suggests that the European Union needs to encourage more ambitious action at the national and subnational level. The EU should do so by promoting accessibility and transparency in regards to information about climate action, whilst reinforcing financial and diplomatic instruments to coordinate member states for the management of natural resources and for the planning and reporting of mitigation and adaptation policies.
In April 2019, 16 year-old Swedish climate change activist Greta Thuberg delivered an emotional speech to MEPs and EU officials, encouraging them to double its efforts to reach its climate targets. 13
THE SPECTRUM 1.
Increase transparency, visibility and public promotion of climate change action,
Objective 1: Increase the transparency and publicity of progress related to climate change goals. The lack of accessible information to disseminate awareness on EU efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change is problematic, as it fails to boost public confidence or promote public debate on issues that concern environmental issues. We suggest that the European Union should create an official digital platform and a blog where all information and up to date reports are published, including material for teachers and instructional videos to promote public involvement. Furthermore, the EU should invest more funding and research in promoting awareness on individual as well as corporate action towards a more sustainable lifestyle through enhanced dissemination of information that is easily accessible and understandable to the population.
challenge and needs significant increase for both mitigation and adaptation projects. 2.
Ensure more cohesive and efficient action at the national level.
Objective 1: Support and facilitate exchange and coordination, including through and cross-border measures. The EU should support initiatives, through funding and directives, which help member states balance out their targets. The measures of cumulative emissions-sharing that are already in place have been effective, yet they need to be further promoted and identified as a viable option at the national level, in order to encourage a positive balance towards the 2030 targets. Objective 2: Revisit the Effort Sharing Policy and increasing expectation for collaboration of EEA countries.
In 2018, the effort-sharing system represented a 9.3% reduction of emissions from 2005. Overall, effort sharObjective 2: Publicly promote action by member states and ing targets ranged widely, from 20% reduction to 20% advocate for more ambitious climate action targets. allowed increases, with certain members of the EEA showing insufficient collaboration: for instance, Iceland The lack of public engagement with the 2030 and 2020 increased emissions by 28%. The EU should revisit the climate targets is detrimental for the future progress of Effort Sharing Policy. Until now, allocating PROGRESS IS INHIBITED BY THE EU’S LACK targets depending on GDP availability has caused large inequalities and normalised OF COORDINATION, COHESIVENESS, AND complacency about climate change action. The EU needs to make use of available EFFECTIVENESS IN DISTRIBUTING AND funding to invest in supporting countries ASSESSING SPECIFIC TARGETS FOR EACH with lower GDP to reach higher targets, either through EU financial instruments or MEMBER STATE. through third party climate-specific funding. Finally, regular transnational conversation needs to the EU, as it downplays public perceptions of what can take place in order to ensure that EEA countries will be be done at national, corporate, and household level. Reappropriately contributing, as stated by legislation, to EU cent reports have shown that most EU countries are off climate action efforts. target in terms of publicly promoting their ambition and
progress for emission reduction, with the Czech Republic, Ireland and Estonia scoring a 0% in terms of promoting future targets. We suggest that the EU should ensure the promotion of more ambitious action at national level, encouraging national representatives to include SDG 13 into current policies. Individual countries need to bolster their diplomatic strategies in order to stimulate individuals and corporate organisations to comply to action relevant to diminishing greenhouse gas emissions and shifting to renewable energy. Furthermore, the EU should provide LIFE funding to support capacity building in Europe. This climate-specific source of funding currently provides 3.4 billion euros for the period of 2014 to 2020. But this does not match the scale of the climate 14
Encourage and promote better management of natural resources.
Objective: Increase the share of renewable energy sources for industries. The aim of climate mitigation policies is to decrease greenhouse gases and increase the global share of renewable energy sources. Overall emissions have already fallen by 22.4% since 1990. However, the European Union’s primary energy consumption and final energy consumption has only slightly decreased between 2000 and 2014. In fact, according to some estimates, it even in-
Multiple intergovernmental organisations partner with the EU in order to acheive the climate goals. Source: Communiy of Democracties.
creased after 2014. In 2017, primary energy consumption in the EU was 5.3% above the efficiency target for 2020, while final energy consumption was 3.3% above target. These values make it difficult for the European Union to achieve its 2020 energy efficiency targets. Some have argued that the increase in energy consumption can be attributed to the Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall economic growth and increased GDP. This claim presupposes that economic performance is incompatible with effective climate mitigation. Yet this is the not the case. To overcome this issue, the European Union has to help increase the share of renewable energy and efficient management of natural resources for private-sector industries. As Figure 2 shows, the share of renewable energy in transport is particularly low. Therefore, the European Union should set clear targets for reducing energy consumption and increasing the share of renewable energy for each member state. It can take example from pioneering countries such as Sweden. Considering the European Union has a large automobile sector, this objective may be hard to carry through. Nevertheless, it is necessary in order to reach 2030 SGDs. 4.
Depoliticise climate action by supporting the private sector.
Objective 1: Encourage businesses with subsidies. In order to reach the EU 2020 targets and the 2030 SDG goals, it is crucial to support the private sector. Evidently, economic activity is one of the main drivers for increases in energy consumption and GHG emissions. The objective must be to introduce more businesses within the European Union to renewable energy sources and
to reach short-term development and long-term goals. As an encouragement for the private sector to facilitate the change to renewable energy sources, the European Union should promote research to identify an appropriate target for all businesses to reduce GHG emissions before 2030, whilst ensuring that funding opportunities are available both through official EU instruments and external financial sources for corporate climate policy. Objective 2: Funding for R&D in the private sector. Research and Development is key to developing new sources of energy. As of this moment, the European Union does not have enough renewable energy sources to cover the entire European market. We suggest that the European Union introduce funding programmes for R&D for businesses, in order to encourage and support the development of renewable energy sources. Conclusion The on-going threat of climate change needs to be tackled today. Although many treaties and projects in the past have been successfully implemented, European decision-makers must do more. Lack of information and coordination has prevented the general population and the private sector from being included in policy-making. Furthermore, decision-makers of the European member states need to coordinate to set new targets. The strength of the European Economic Area and increases in GDP should, instead of harming the environment, be utilised as a source for more ambitious climate action. The European Union needs to set clear targets for all member states, including their wider population and businesses, to encourage climate action towards the European 2020 targets and the SDG 2030 goals. 15
Defence and Diplomacy
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY
The Need for Network Security in the US by anais herne
The Internet’s increasing integration into society poses one of the most significant policy problems for governments worldwide. Dangers presented by the Internet are no longer restricted to theft, as the threat of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and the utilisation of the Internet as a political tool have both gained prominence. Although technological responses to these three types of threats vary, they warrant a broadly similar policy response because failure to secure any one of these areas leads to consequences of similar nature and severity. Therefore, the term ‘network security’ encompasses security in all three areas mentioned above: theft, critical infrastructure, and politics.
only increase, not least with the introduction of 5G mobile network technology. Among other advancements, 5G will significantly reduce latency and potentially connect a million devices per square kilometre, compared to the existing average of ten thousand. As a result, massive amounts of data will be continually transferred between devices and across networks. Additionally, 5G will enable connections between things as well as people (for example, cars will be able to connect to roads and traffic signals), adding a physical dimension to the Internet’s integration. Analysts posit that this will facilitate not only espionage but sabotage as well; therefore, the critical infrastructure of any country running 5G will be at heightened risk.
The United States in particular lacks an appropriate policy framework to address network security in this sense, Any approach to network security must be holistic, given as evidenced by the hacking of the 2016 presidential the multifaceted nature of the Internet’s role in society. election. Instead, its current approach to technology and In addition to theft of personal data and the increased security focuses on China as a threat, with a ‘technology vulnerability of critical infrastructure, the Internet now Cold War’ becoming a common theme in Western media poses political risks, specifically with the proliferation of and in statements made by US government officials. However, many of China’s actions can be THE DANGERS PRESENTED BY THE INTERNET interpreted as attempts to secure its networks ARE NO LONGER RESTRICTED TO THEFT: CYBER in all possible forms, albeit in a manner consistent with the restricted civil liberties affordATTACKS CAN TARGET CRITICAL INFRASRUCTURE ed to its citizens. This paper will therefore arAS WELL AS SERVE POLITICAL PURPOSES. gue that America’s preoccupation with China’s technological ambitions is misplaced; rather, it ‘bot’ accounts spreading propaganda and misinformashould confront the problem that China is trying to solve, tion. Such developments manifested during the 2016 US namely dangers posed by an increasingly integrated Inpresidential election, in which a Russian ‘troll farm’ known ternet. Furthermore, the US must develop an approach as the Internet Research Agency (IRA) created thousands to network security that upholds the civil liberties so of fraudulent ‘bot’ accounts and disseminated politically deeply ingrained in its legal systems and society. charged messages across social media. Russian involvement in this election will be explored in further detail beIntegration of the Internet low, but it stands that any policy approach to network The Internet has become increasingly embedded into security must account for the diverse range of hazards social fabrics around the world, requiring governments posed by a deeply embedded Internet. to secure their countries’ networks against harmful intrusions. As of January 2019, there are over 4 billion active internet users worldwide, 3.5 billion of which are on so2016 US Election Hacking cial media. In 2018, China had 802 million active internet The 2016 US presidential election hackings serve as a pousers (56% of its population), while the United States had tent example of the consequences of failing to adequate274.9 million (84% of its population). These figures will ly secure national networks. Russian hackers exploited
THE SPECTRUM vulnerabilities in the US election system, in one instance stealing information (names, birthdays, addresses, partial Social Security Numbers) on 500,000 voters, available due to the prevalence of online voter registration tools. More damaging was the release of confidential Democratic National Committee emails containing sensitive information, including party preference for Clinton over Sanders and financial information about Clinton campaign donors. While these breaches had a minimal impact on the election’s outcome, they constitute an existence theorem for a foreign power to violate the integrity of a US election. Additionally, it is crucial to note that Russia will likely target future elections, with improved abilities each time. The US bears significant blame for these hackings, primarily due to its failure to secure its election systems. The fact that foreign hackers easily accessed the personal information of American voters indicates not only major weaknesses within the US election system, but a lack of government awareness regarding the necessity to bolster these systems against attacks. A pervasive mentality holds that the decentralized nature of voting (it is overseen by around 9,000 counties and occurs in over 150,000 polling places country-wide) serves as an effective deterrent against any large-scale, coordinated cyberattack. Secretaries of State have displayed minimal concern regarding the 2016 breaches because they did ‘not affect election results.’ However, the fact that Russian hackers were able to access voter data and delete voters from registration rolls is highly concerning; deleting voters disenfranchises them, and with a sufficiently large population of disenfranchised voters, election outcomes will be affected. Additionally, hacks such as these are extremely damaging to voters’ confidence in the legitimacy of their election system. Ultimately, the 2016 election hacking demonstrates the US’s failure to protect the privacy of its citizens and defend the integrity of its election system.
China’s Approach to Internet Security While Chinese elections adopt a fundamentally different character from American ones, it is unlikely that they would be undermined by an external attack. The Chinese government carefully regulates data flows moving in and out of the country, evidenced particularly by their latest cybersecurity law. This law subjects network operators and businesses in ‘critical sectors’ (energy, information services, etc.) to monitoring by Chinese authorities, and includes a data localization clause for foreign companies. This clause requires foreign companies to either purchase data servers in China or acquire the services of local providers such as Huawei or Alibaba. This aspect has 18
drawn accusations that China is leveraging its legislation to strengthen its telecommunications industry against overseas competition. However, per a 2015 study, data localization minimally affects economic growth due to the complexity of transferring data; the new law is therefore more appropriately viewed as China’s attempt to more stringently enforce its internet laws against foreign companies. Thus, concerns that China’s new law is competitive in nature are poorly founded; rather, the law contributes to China’s solution to the dangers presented by an increasingly embedded Internet. The US also perceives a threat in China’s aims to play a greater role in setting international standards for emerging technologies such as 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, China’s government is prompting its companies to participate in international 5G standards organizations in order to gain ‘more global influence over future wireless technology and standards development.’ While the Commission portrays this as a challenge to the US, China’s interest in shaping international standards is more sensibly viewed as an effort to create regulations that are conducive to its network security requirements. The same interpretation applies to China’s 2017 New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (AIDP), which outlines China’s intention to participate in establishing ethical and security standards surrounding emerging technologies. Rather than viewing Chinese policies as threatening, the US should recognize China’s concern about the deepening integration of the Internet into society and start formulating its own response to this new danger.
Policy Proposals 1.
To address the crucial issue of providing network security while maintaining civil liberties, the US should look to the UK’s security model (while accounting for legal differences between the two countries).
The US must develop a response to the deepening integration of the Internet that both increases network security and continues to guarantee its citizens’ civil liberties. The utility of the Chinese model for the US is therefore limited, as digital authoritarianism would violate the US Constitution; rather, the US should look to the strategy adopted by the more like-minded UK. The UK model includes a government email security protocol, domain name system filtering, and regulation of data (‘machine-readable’ code) rather than information (material conveyed to people). This approach has significantly
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY lion US defence budget for 2018). Countries such as Russia and China, both with smaller defence budgets than the United States, invest significantly more in cyber capabilities, which experts have conceded are now potentially more effective than conventional military capabilities. As explained by Paul Scharre, director at the Center for a New American Security, the advanced cyber capabilities of adversaries such as Russia—compounded by the lack of adequate American security measures—would enable such countries to ‘attack the central nervous system of American democracy’ without ever engaging militarily. The National Security Agency’s (NSA) headquarters, Maryland, US.
decreased phishing attacks in the UK, with the proportion of phishing occurring in the UK relative to the rest of the world decreasing by 50% in the past two years. The UK’s strategy has thus generally experienced success in reducing cyber-harms against civilians, such as identity theft and hacking. However, two key limitations accompany incorporation of the UK model into the US. Firstly, the US Supreme Court, in its ruling on Bernstein vs. Department of Justice, declared computer code a form of protected speech, rendering it far more difficult to regulate. Secondly, as the UK model primarily focuses on issues of theft, it is too narrow to address the plethora of threats posed by an Internet that is manifesting in virtually every aspect of society. The US should incorporate measures inspired by the UK model in order to provide network security for the individual citizen, but should also implement more holistic regulations aimed at securing critical infrastructure and online misinformation as well. 2.
The US should recognize and invest in network security as a central national security issue, appropriating adequate funds for new cybersecurity regulations and updated infrastructure. The regulations must be holistic, covering security risks ranging from information theft to critical infrastructure to politics.
Threats posed by a deeply integrated Internet are largely ignored by the United States government, which continues to focus on conventional military and defence capabilities. Federal cybersecurity spending is notably paltry, with estimates that it will reach the relatively insubstantial figure of $22 billion by 2022 (compared to the $639.1 bil-
The US government must recognize that conventional equipment and capabilities no longer encompass security and defence in today’s world; rather, issues of security have shifted to the realm of connectivity and digital networks. It must invest significantly more money in cybersecurity—not only in new infrastructure, but also in hiring the country’s best technological and legal talent to develop a holistic framework for network security that upholds both safety and civil liberties.
Conclusion With the Internet growing increasingly embedded in the everyday functioning of society, governments around the world must formulate solutions to the security risks posed by heightened connectivity. 5G mobile networking, AI, and other emerging technologies only increase the necessity of coherent and effective policy responses. The US in particular must develop a holistic framework to secure its networks, including protection of individual citizens and critical infrastructure, as well as restriction of the circulation of misinformation on social media. The 2016 presidential election hackings only reinforce the fact that US network security requires a massive overhaul; voter data and confidential emails should not be nearly as accessible as they have proven to be. China’s new cybersecurity law and aims for 5G technology and AI standards settings, which the US views as threatening, should rather be interpreted as the former’s solution to the plethora of security problems posed by a ubiquitous Internet. To this end, the US should invest time, money, and talent in developing its own multifaceted framework to secure its networks while maintaining its citizens’ civil liberties. If the US values its position of global dominance, it must implement effective network security measures, or else risk losing not only its global primacy, but also its sovereign integrity. 19
The Boko Haram Insurgency: Tackling Recruitment by zara ndiomu
Boko Haram, the jihadist militant group most infamous for kidnapping around 200 schoolgirls in Chibok Northern Nigeria, has been tormenting North Eastern Nigeria since 2002. The group’s rise is a reflection of the growing religious and ethnic tensions between the Christian and Muslim communities in Nigeria, as well as a rising dissatisfaction with the government regarding the country’s economic and infrastructural development. The current president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, claimed that the Islamist group has been crushed by the Nigerian army, and that the north-east region is now in the ‘post-conflict stability phase’. This declaration stands in stark contrast to the recent reports of thousands of Nigerians fleeing to Cameroon to escape the violence of the terrorist group. This policy paper aims to highlight the failings of the government when it comes to tackling this issue and suggest policy proposals which will effectively combat the root cause of the insurgency. The Nigerian government needs to acknowledge that Boko Haram is no longer a problem of the past. With growing dissatisfaction with the actions of the government (the country is in economic decline, with a growing drug problem and rising unemployment), the claims of the insurgency group are legitimate and justified; Nigeria needs a better government. Currently, the government is using the policies set out in the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) to deal with the insurgency. NACTEST has five objectives which aim to curb the Boko Haram insurgency: forestall, secure, identify, prepare, and implement. This policy paper will concentrate on the ‘Forestall’ and ‘Prepare’ phases, and suggest improvements to these strategies in the policy proposals section. As will be shown in this policy paper, NACTEST is ineffective. Boko Haram is continuing to wreak havoc in not only north-eastern Nigeria but also in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The use of the heavy-handed strategies of NACTEST, coupled with governmental corruption and growing inequality are fuelling the strength of Boko Haram. 20
Policy proposals Boko Haram can only survive if it has individuals willing to join it. The current policy initiated to tackle the group mainly deals with the way the group is funded. It would be better for the government to concentrate on addressing the lack of literacy in the area so that people are not susceptible to radicalisation. Further, the government needs to make infrastructural and economic improvements as well as amend NACTEST to properly tackle this issue. 1.
The majority of people living in north-eastern Nigeria have never attended formal school. This educational vulnerability makes people much more susceptible to being recruited by Boko Haram. The governmental institutions on all levels need to invest heavily in the education sector. For maximum efficiency, the local government areas should have most of the power in allocating the funds, as there is more of an incentive to help people closer to you. This should then be monitored by the central government in Abuja to ensure the funding is being allocated efficiently and is creating improvements in the area, as well as help keep a close look on corruption. Due to financial constraints, some children are forced to get their education (if they get any at all) from business centres and commercial schools, which provide an education of a lesser quality and are not government approved. The government needs to open up more state and grammar schools (including secondary schools) by efficiently allocating the funds provided. Alongside these schools, the government should open up schools for adults who did not have the opportunity to finish their education when children. Also, the basic educational requirement should be increased to 17 years of age. Primordial to the tackling of illiteracy, teacher training must be improved. Teachers should be trained for a minimum of 1 year, with an emphasis on teaching critical reasoning and literacy skills. More teachers also need to be recruited.
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY
Nigerian soldiers in formation in Zenam Kelouri, February 2016.
Prioritise infrastructural and socio-economic improvements
Boko Haram arose from the region’s socio-economic downturn, primarily because of the high levels of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. Dealing with this larger issue will help invalidate the group’s hostile sentiments towards the government and reduce its propagandist power. One way of tackling socio-economic problems is by improving the infrastructure, namely by creating initiatives which focus on constructing efficient roads and reliable power supply throughout the country. These initiatives will, in turn, create jobs for the numerous unemployed young people living in the north-eastern regions. There also need to be better access to loans, as this will improve the economy by aiding small start-up businesses, and facilitate efficient distribution of the country’s wealth. Another way to improve the socio-economic situation in the northeast region is to reintroduce farm settlements. This will improve food scarcity in the area while providing jobs in the area. It is imperative that the government redistributes the looted funds that have been recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission efficiently. The enforcement of the acts attributed to these commissions also needs to be stricter and more impartial; they should be used to deal with the corruption problems in the country and not just to eradicate political and business opponents.
Make amendments to NACTEST
NACTEST is the government strategy used to deal with terrorist groups. It has five main objectives to achieve this; however, this policy paper will concentrate on the ‘Forestall’ and ‘Prepare’ phases, as these are the ones that need the most improvement. Improving ‘Forestall’ The ‘Forestall’ strategy aims to “[prevent] terrorism in Nigeria by engaging the public through sustained enlightenment / sensitisation campaigns and deradicalisation programmes.” This is to be achieved by promoting good governance, improving small and medium scale enterprises for job creation, tackling radicalisation in prisons, and improving the educational sectors. This can be achieved by monitoring the activities of religious organisations and improving the functioning of the Criminal Justice System to deter people from joining terrorist groups. There has been no evidence or follow-up regarding the ‘Forestall’ strategy: the Nigerian government needs to be more open and realistic about its conflicts with the terrorist group. To improve Forestall, Nigerian politicians need to fund the policy by professionalising military training. The military needs better technology and living conditions. Funding should also be directed into an educational program designed to help the soldiers understand the political and social nature of Boko Haram and know what to do with captured members, as well as improve team-working skills. 21
THE SPECTRUM Improving ‘Prepare’ The ‘Prepare’ policy aims to “[prepare] the populace so that the consequences of terrorist incidents [will] be mitigated.” Nigeria seeks to do this by responding to direct damages caused by attacks and identifying the risks that Nigeria could face as a result of terrorism. The effectiveness of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency is essential to this policy aim. Their infrastructure needs to be improved through the provision of relevant equipment (such as more modern computers and more effective infiltration programmes). The employees also need to be adequately trained, especially in the field of intelligence gathering. The Intelligence Agency needs to work in tandem with the Nigerian Government, the financial institutions and the Nigerian Army to effectively infiltrate the group. There also need to be effective de-radicalisation programmes to assist captured Boko Haram members, and initiatives which help former members re-integrate into their former communities. Boko Haram will not be defeated simply by seizing its territory, but by ensuring that former members or current civilians will not join the group or create similar groups. These educational initiatives need to deradicalise the members, as well as ensure that there are jobs available for them when they go back to their communities, so they are no longer dissatisfied with the government and thus less susceptible to re-radicalisation. The deradicalisation must include psychological support to address the members’ traumatic experiences. Many might not be emotionally stable, thus making them more susceptible to violent outbursts. Overall, psychological support will help prevent further
The African Land Forces Summit 2018 opened in Nigeria. The Summit involved military leaders from 40 African countries, three European countries, Brazil and the U.S., cooperating to combat Africa’s major security challenges. 22
recruitment, assist the reintegration of the former members of the group, help the community rebuild itself, as well as create jobs. The courts, in tandem with medical professionals, should be given discretion on what to be done with captured and former members of the group. The Central Bank of Nigeria, the EFCC, the Nigerian Finance Intelligence Unit and the National Insurance Commission need to use their powers efficiently and adequately to investigate the funding of the terrorist group. They should provide information to the Nigerian Intelligence Agency which will help them find the financial sources of the group and eradicate those sources, as well as any potential information found in the course of these investigations. Tackling the funding of Boko Haram, although very important, will not stop its re-emergence. The government must implement the proposals as mentioned earlier to prevent people from re-joining the group or creating factions of it. Radicalisation as a result of lack of education and poverty are arguably the main drivers of the group, not funding. Conclusion The problem with the current anti-terrorism policies in Nigeria is that they do not tackle the problem efficiently. Punishment and the removal financial sponsors do not suffice to eradicate an extremist terrorist group. The government needs to concentrate on combating the political and socio-economic feeders of such a group, namely poverty and illiteracy, and then modify its policies to address these problems. By adopting these policies, not only will Boko Haram’s growth be curbed, but the lives of the people in north-eastern Nigeria will be tremendously improved.
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY
Iranian Foreign Policy: Pursuing Influence in Iraq in a Changing Environment by jc
Author’s Disclaimer: This policy proposal presents an authoritarian course of action for an authoritarian regime. It remains an intellectual exercise which does not reflect the views of the author nor of King’s Think Tank. Iran’s actions in Iraq represent a breach of sovereignty which is condemned under international law and should be denounced. The following proposal should merely be understood as an attempt to better understand the country’s possible foreign policy behaviour.
Iran has pursued many strategies to assert its influence over Iraq, especially since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. This included supporting militias, attempting to coopt the religious establishment, building infrastructure, and pressuring political leaders – among other initiatives. However, in recent years, Iran’s objective to gain influence in Iraqi affairs has become increasingly apparent and unpopular. Iran-Iraq relations have been highly conflictive in recent history. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iraq waged a war against Iran which lasted for 8 years and killed over one million people. Until Saddam Hussein was ousted, Iran-Iraq relations remained acrimonious. Hence, since 2003, Iran witnesses a historic moment to deploy its influence. Iran’s goal was and still is to have a stable but weak neighbour. A stable Iraq serves as a buffer state with Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional competitor. A weak Iraq ensures that Iran’s regional ambitions are not challenged, the way they were under Saddam Hussein. However, Iran’s current policy to deploy its influence is somewhat failing in the short-term. It has become apparent, unpopular, and ineffective – as revealed by the parliamentary elections held in May 2018. These were largely won by Muqtada al-Sadr, a former ally of Iran, which ran on an anti-Iran platform. Moreover, Iraqi nationalism has been increasingly growing and has asserted itself against Iran. This has beenfuelled by the popular mobilisation to fight ISIS in June 2014 which gathered about 100,000 volunteers and created a strong sense of national unity. Since, there have been large anti-Iran protests in Iraq, particularly as Iran’s interferences in local government
was brought to light in corruption scandals. In other words, Iran’s policy has empowered Iraqi political leaders to criticise Iran’s influence in order to gain popularity. Iran’s grip over the Iraqi state has also been revealed by its support to militias during the fight against ISIS in 2014, when local military forces were ineffective. The Badr Organisation, one of these militias, has openly displayed its ties to Iran, and the current leader, previously Minister for Transport, publicly affirmed his loyalty to Iran (Mansour and Jabar, 2017: 1). This declaration has fuelled resentment in the Iraqi population, which perceives Iran’s influence as foreign meddling. Hence, Iran’s objective to secure influence in Iraq is facing severe challenges. However, it remains the best course of action in the long term. Iran has pursued it for a long time and still maintains influential politicians under its control, such al-Amiri, leader of the Badr Organisation, and al-Maliki, former president (both are now members of parliament). Moreover, ISIS takeover of the country has created an unstable environment from which Iran can benefit in the short term. Besides political rhetoric and loss of popular legitimacy, no real threats have been made to Iran’s influence. The situation could get out of hand for Iran post-conflict, as Iraq rebuilds itself – but Iran merely has to readapt its strategies to maintain and increase influence over the Iraqi society and state. In sum, the Iranian government faces two main challenges to reach its objective: (a) it faces a resentful Iraqi society; (b) it faces Iraqi political leaders who are increasingly difficult to coerce or influence. 23
Policy Proposals 1.
Incentivise Iranian-backed militias to enter into local politics and prepare for the next local elections.
Iran could incentivise the Shia militia leaders it supports to run in local elections. For instance, militia leaders could promote themselves in the next governorate elections on the basis of their war efforts. Indeed, the war against ISIS already enabled some militia leaders to successfully run for parliamentary seats in the 2018 elections. Militias are important for Iran because they have been an old ally in the face of the unpopular and illegitimate rule of Saddam Hussein. Shia Muslims were persecuted, and Iran capitalized on these grievances to support militias such as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Since then, they have proven a reliable way to channel influence because of their importance in a context of a weak Iraqi state. Moreover, the popularity of the militias is undeniable: numerous songs, posters, or poems commemorate their war efforts. Although Iraqis are critical of Iran’s influence in Iraq, they nevertheless support the most important Iranian-backed militias, such as Asaib Ahl al-Haq or the Badr Organisation. Iran can benefit from this support by demanding militia leaders run for political positions whilst concealing their ties to Iran. To do this, pro-Iran Iraqi leaders could make symbolic or token gestures. For instance, they could denounce Iran’s interference in the Najaf to facilitate the access of Iranian
tourists. Najaf is a city in the south of Iraq and the home of important religious sites which attract two to three million Iranians per year on a religious pilgrimage. This declaration would be a way for co-opted political actors to signal their tough stance on Iran (which the Iraqi people want). It would allow Iran to return to designing covert operations to avoid backlash from the Iraqi people. Militias are the best option for Iran to assert influence because (a) they are present in large numbers, which provides several back-ups if one militia secessions from Iran; (b) they are already popular and have not fully capitalized yet on their social prestige gained during the fight against ISIS started in June 2014; and (c) the Iraqi government is seeking to integrate them to the army, providing a possibility for further infiltration. 2.
Find a pliable Ayatollah to replace Ayatollah al-Sistani at the head of the Iraqi clergy.
Ayatollah al-Sistani is the most venerated Shia cleric in both Iraq and Iran. However, he is also a critic of Iran’s foreign policy. He has explicitly taken anti-Iranian positions, allying at times with the American troops to de-escalate sectarian violence during the Iraqi Civil War which followed the American invasion (Friedman, 2005). He is 88 years old and Iran’s leadership should be prepared to replace him with someone agreeable to Iranian policy. Sheikh Jalal al-Din al-Saghir, the leader of Baghdad’s popular Buratha Mosque, had already been used by Iran since 2013 to legitimise its involvement in the Syrian civil war. A pliant but legitimate spiritual leader would allow
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY Opposite page: The Popular Mobilisation Forces are one of the most important Iranian-backed militias in Iran. Iran to regain legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqi public. Moreover, backing al-Saghir presents two advantages: (a) he is an Iraqi national which would contribute to convince the Iraqi population that Iran is not interfering in the succession of al-Sistani; (b) he is close to al-Sistani which gives him legitimacy as a successor. Iran gained al-Saghir’s loyalty because, in 2006, his mosque was bombed by a Sunni organisation. Iran used these grievances to its advantage by changing his views regarding Iranian foreign policy. By May 2013, al-Saghir had publically praised fighters defending Zainab’s shrine. In January 2014, he had visited an Iranian hospital to see Shia fighters wounded in Syria. His message began to be associated to al-Sistani, since the two were close. Iran has attempted to co-opt al-Sistani’s message for some time by bribing clerics close to him to link his message to Iran’s. This has been done by playing on the meanings of al-Sistani’s discourses to make them appear sympathetic to Iran’s cause. Another cleric used by Iran has been Ayatollah Kadhim al Husseini al-Haeri. He has issued fatwas supporting Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict since 2012 (Smyth, 2015: 16). However, al-Saghir remains a better choice because of his position at the head of Baghdad’s most popular mosque. 3.
Fund the reconstruction of the holy sites destroyed by ISIS in Iraq.
Iran could openly fund the reconstruction of the holy sites destroyed by ISIS in Iraq. This would allow Iran to re-
gain the confidence of the Iraqi society. Presenting Iraq’s holy sites as a common Shia heritage would give Iran the legitimacy it needs to fund such projects. This panShia narrative has already been deployed with success by Iran: to mobilise its Iraqi proxy militias to fight in the Syrian Civil War, Iran argued for the imperative to defend Shia shrines in the region and in particular the shrine of Sayyeda Zainab, a saint in Shia Islam (Isakhan, 2018: 1). ISIS’ pillages in Iraq have been numerous. In July 2014 alone, it demolished at least six major shrines in Mosul and its surroundings (Danti et al., 2017). It also carried attacks on important shrines in the cities of Samarra, Sinjar, and Balad – to name only a few. The scale of the destructions would allow Iran to deploy its influence somewhat evenly throughout the Iraqi territory. It would also help present Iran as a friendly neighbour and tame the nationalist sentiments of the Iraqi population. Conclusion Iran’s objective to further its control over the Iraqi state and the Iraqi society is the right one. However, it faces a changing environment which forces it to find new means to pursue the same goals. This is because Iran’s influence in Iraqi affairs has been increasingly unpopular and apparent. This can be rectified by (a) incentivising Iranian-backed militias to run in local elections; (b) preparing the succession of Ayatollah al-Sistani; and (c) openly funding the reconstruction of Iraq’s holy Shia sites under the banner of a common Shia identity. In turn, these proposals would contribute to making Iraq a pliable neighbour for Iran to consolidate its influence and reinforce its political status in the region.
Hong Kong: Is Peaceful Reconciliation Possible? by ryan chan
After two decades since the Handover of 1997, which transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China, political tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing have never been higher. The framework of the Handover was originally guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The Declaration stated that Hong Kong would reunify with China on the condition that Hong Kong retains its autonomy and ‘essential’ economic and social freedoms until 2047. Yet this ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model is being compromised. Many Hong Kong citizens are concerned with China’s growing encroachment upon the city’s autonomy. As the Chinese government’s desire to retain control over the city conflicts with Hong Kong’s desire to maintain its self-governance, this policy paper therefore inquires whether ‘peaceful reconciliation’ by 2047 is possible. It may be in the interest of both the Chinese government and the residents of Hong Kong to maintain the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model guaranteed by the legal framework of the Declaration. However, this paper acknowledges that many challenges impede this outcome, namely China’s concern for regime security. Historical Background Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, Hong Kong would be a ‘Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.’ It set out terms which were to be ‘untouched’ for 50 years and guaranteed in the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The main points of the original agreement are summarised below, stipulating that Hong Kong would: •
‘Enjoy a high degree of autonomy’ with its own executive, legislative and judicial power, except in foreign and defence affairs.
Retain its ‘current social and economic freedoms’ and ‘lifestyle’, where private property will be protected under law.
Be self-governing. The Hong Kong government would be responsible for governing the region for all domestic affairs such as education and introducing legislature.
The central issue for the post-1997 consensus is whether the Chinese government would preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy. Events such as the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, where the Chinese government violently crushed student demonstrations in Beijing, caused concerns as to whether China would honour its agreement in the Declaration. This event is commonly cited as evidence that Hong Kong cannot ‘rely on the Joint Declaration’ for its autonomy. As a result, many Hong Kong residents emigrated to other countries prior to the Handover between 1990 and 1997. Annual emigration figures reached their peak in 1992, with 66,200 residents leaving Hong Kong. However, China’s economic interest in Hong Kong at the time led it to adhere (to a certain extent) to the Joint Declaration for the first decade. In 1993, Hong Kong was Asia’s Financial Centre, and its GDP was 27% of China’s total GDP; by 1997, Hong Kong’s GDP was just under 20% of China’s GDP. Furthermore, between 1978 and 1987, two-thirds of foreign 26
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY direct investment in China came from Hong Kong. Yet today, the situation is drastically different. Hong Kong only makes up less than 3% of China’s GDP. Hong Kong’s former glory as the economic powerhouse of the Far East is being eclipsed by the booming development of other Chinese cities. Consequently, the Chinese government initiated multiple attempts to infringe upon Hong Kong’s autonomy, leading to a deteriorating relationship between the Mainland and Hong Kong. It is fundamental to note that of all Chinese cities and provinces, Hong Kong is one of the only cities with freedom of speech. The freedom of press and publication are also protected under Article 27 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong and Article 16 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights. Criticisms of the Chinese government are not regulated by Beijing’s censorship, and access to Western media in Hong Kong remains widespread. This therefore poses a fundamental threat to the Chinese government’s security. When Hong Kong’s economic importance declined, greater attempts were made by Beijing to silence freedom of speech in the city. Such examples include the disappearances of booksellers, such as Lee Bo, which have published books critical of the Chinese government. There were also greater attempts to integrate Hong Kong into China. These include the mass migration of Mainland Chinese into Hong Kong, where since 1997, 1.5 million mainland migrants have settled into Hong Kong. Large infrastructure projects that connects Hong Kong to China such as the Macau-Zhuhai Bridge are also viewed as an ‘umbilical cord’ to Mainland China.
A series of Hong Kong protests in late 2014 were dubbed the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ or ‘Umbrella Movement’. Another series of protests broke out in March 2019, in opposition to a proposed extradition bill.
This is also accompanied with further attempts to impose a pro-Chinese political culture upon Hong Kong, known colloquially as ‘Mainlandisation’. The Hong Kong government attempted to ‘Mainlandise’ the national curriculum by pushing forward a ‘Moral and National Education’ programme in 2012 that glorified the communist and nationalist ideology of China, whilst condemning democratic values. Mandarin was to be promoted as an official language of Hong Kong; the Education Bureau of Hong Kong proclaimed that Cantonese (the most spoken language in Hong Kong) is a ‘dialect’ and thus cannot be a ‘mother-tongue’ language. Citizens viewed this as infringing upon the ‘unique identity’ of Hong Kong, and accused the Hong Kong government being a ‘puppet’ of the Chinese government. The most controversial attempt to ‘Mainlandise’ occurred in August 2014, when Li Fei, a senior official of China’s National People’s Congress, stated that China would ‘pre-screen’ candidates for the position of Chief Executive (the highest governmental position) in Hong Kong, forcing citizens to vote for pro-Beijing candidates. This rendered elections meaningless. Hong Kong citizens, particularly students, were furious with this decision, as it clearly infringed the Declaration’s clause of autonomy. This protest has, however, been refuted by Beijing due to differing interpretations of the document, as the Declaration does not mention anything related to ‘universal suffrage’. This culminated in the ‘Umbrella Movement’ of 2014, a demonstration led by students that resulted in the occupation of Central for 79 days. 27
THE SPECTRUM Such actions undertaken by the Chinese government thus led to the growth of Independence movements and parties, which violates the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The perceived ‘Mainlandisation’ of Hong Kong was met with the growth in national awareness of a ‘Hong Konger identity’. According to a poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong in 2017, 37% identified as a ‘Hong Konger’ and only 21% identified as ‘Chinese’; this disparity is much larger when age groups are taken into account, where between the ages of 18 and 29, only 3.1% of respondents said they identified as ‘Chinese’. These developments therefore cast doubt as to whether ‘peaceful reconciliation’ is possible; would the inevitable integration of Hong Kong into China in 2047 end in violence? Policy Proposals The aim of this policy paper is to suggest certain peaceful methods that would reconcile the deteriorating relationship between Hong Kong and the Chinese government, which is paramount for political stability after 2047. Yet recent developments are jeopardising this agreement; the Chinese government now considers the Sino-British Joint Declaration as ‘void’ and a ‘historical document’, which deals a severe blow to the possibility of peaceful reconciliation. 1.
Preserve the framework originally guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, accompanied with certain governmental reforms that would address anti-Chinese sentiments in Hong Kong.
This will protect essential freedoms within Hong Kong whilst ensuring that China’s interests in regime security would also be protected. By adhering to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, this will address anti-Beijing sentiments within Hong Kong and resolve China’s reputation as an ‘untrustworthy nation.’ It is worthy to note that the rise of the ‘Hong Konger’ identity largely correlates with greater attempts by Beijing to constrain Hong Kong’s autonomy. According to a poll of ‘ethnic identity’ since 1997 conducted by the University of Hong Kong, in the first decade, where Hong Kong’s autonomy remained intact, many respondents identified as ‘Chinese’ with peak numbers reaching 38.6% in 2008. However, this number plummets below 20% after 2015 due to greater encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy, with only 14.5% identifying as Chinese in 2017 and 15.1% in 2018. Infringing upon the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model had a paradoxical effect; rather than integrating Hong Kong into China, it exacerbated separatist sentiments. Furthermore, Beijing’s disregard for the Sino-British Joint Declaration, by violating its free speech clauses and dem28
ocratic processes, reinforces the notion that the Chinese government is fundamentally ‘untrustworthy’. This will not only cause tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing, but also affect China’s standing as a ‘treaty-abiding’ nation in the international sphere. For instance, China has
OVER 2 MILLION Hong Kong citizens participated in anti-extradition bill protests on 16 June 2019, according to the protest organisers. long-stressed the importance of Taiwanese reunification into China, and held Hong Kong’s ‘One country, Two systems’ as a potential model for Taiwan. Yet, given such human rights abuses and ‘false promises’ in Hong Kong, this will impede any prospects of peaceful reconciliation in the Taiwanese Straits. This is view is shared by Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which states that the model implemented in Hong Kong led to ‘loss of freedom, rule of law and human rights.’ By adhering to the Joint Declaration, this will not only resolve anti-Beijing sentiments within Hong Kong, but also partially resolve China’s reputation as a nation against ‘human rights’ and ‘treaties.’ 2.
Curb separatist movements in Hong Kong.
Under the Joint Declaration, Hong Kong SAR is part of China, and therefore Beijing has sovereignty over Hong Kong. Hence, separatist and independence movements are illegal and infringes upon the Basic Law of Hong Kong, and constitutes a violation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model proposed in the Joint Declaration. Therefore, by adhering to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the Hong Kong Government has the legal obligation to outlaw any secessionist political parties that calls for the independence of Hong Kong. This will ensure that Beijing’s interest in the region, namely to retain their sovereignty over Hong Kong, will not be impeded by ‘localists.’ However, it is important to distinguish the difference between ‘outlawing political parties’ and ‘free speech’. It is unconstitutional for separatist parties to exist, however, speech and press regarding the prospects of an ‘independent Hong Kong’ should not be censored as it violates the Declaration. Censoring calls for independence will only further reinforce perceptions of ‘Mainlandization’ in Hong Kong.
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY Challenges It is important to note that preserving the Declaration is not enough to facilitate peaceful reconciliation. Whilst this will ensure that Hong Kong’s freedoms and promises are guaranteed, diplomacy is a two-way process. China’s interests in regime security must also be considered. The following policy proposals should also be considered: 3.
Repeal ‘Mainlandization’ policies in order to preserve the unique identity of Hong Kong.
The rise of ‘anti-Chinese sentiments’ in Hong Kong is a direct product of the perceived ‘Mainlandization’ of Hong Kong. This idea is espoused by many separatist and democratic movements, and based on the fear that due to changes to education, judicial processes, and demographics, Hong Kong would ‘lose’ its unique identity as a Cantonese-speaking and ‘free’ city in China, and become another ‘Mainland Chinese city’. Such policies, initiated by the Hong Kong government, have also caused a rise in national awareness of a ‘Hong Konger’ identity and anti-Chinese sentiments; these include the ‘racialization’ of Chinese Mainlanders in Hong Kong through the construction of ‘Mainlanders’ as a ‘culturally inferior’ to the ‘Hong Kongese’. Repealing policies considered as ‘Mainlandization’ is desired, for example through restoring integrity to Hong Kong as a ‘separate customs territory’.
2047 The year the “one country, two systems” constitutional arrangement is set to expire This should be accompanied with greater enforcement of immigration controls, in comparison to the current quotas that allow 150 Mainland Chinese to settle in Hong Kong. 4.
Emphasise the importance of the ‘Chinese identity’ at grassroots-level.
National unity is important to the legitimacy of the Communist Party and should therefore be encouraged in Hong Kong. This could include tacit reforms, such as the promotion of Chinese history and the ‘Century of Humiliation’ within education. However, this is a tough medium to achieve given hostility to previous changes in National Education curricula that were perceived as ‘pro-China’.
Nevertheless, it is unclear that these policy proposals suffice to address Beijing’s primary concern regarding Hong Kong’s autonomy: free press. As the ‘gate to China’, Hong Kong has always been a threat to Chinese regime stability. It is one of the only regions in China where Western Pop and Political Culture is widespread and criticisms of the Chinese government are protected under law. Furthermore, Hong Kong is the only city in China which has access to news regarding the Tiananmen massacre. This fundamentally threatens the authoritarian structure and legitimacy of the Communist regime. In order to ensure Beijing’s interests of regime security would be achieved in Hong Kong, this may involve infringing upon the free speech clause of the Declaration, hence rendering ‘peaceful reconciliation’ unlikely. Moreover, it is unclear whether the People’s Central Government’s would voluntarily extend the Joint Declaration beyond the agreed date of 2047 as there is no ‘legally binding’ treaty for China to adhere to, and will technically have no international obligations to preserve the fundamental freedoms of Hong Kong. This is a question, however, for the CCP to deliberate: whether they can accept an autonomous Hong Kong, symbolically ‘apart’ from the rest of China. Yet there is convincing evidence to suggest that a push towards further integration or ‘Mainlandisation’ after 2047 could lead to a Hong Kong further ‘detached’ from the rest of the Mainland. Conclusion ‘Peaceful reconciliation’ between Hong Kong and China is therefore extremely ambitious and unlikely. Preserving the Joint Declaration does not necessarily answer major concerns of both sides. Such a dilemma therefore leaves the future of Hong Kong in uncertainty; secession from China is not possible, but full integration into China, despite resistance, is a strong possibility. This leaves 2047 as the ‘doomsday’ for many Hong Kong citizens. Nonetheless, sustaining the Joint Declaration until 2047 or in perpetuity could provide many solutions to this current apprehensive relationship between Hong Kong and Beijing. It is clear that greater intrusion on Hong Kong’s autonomy was met with greater criticisms of the Chinese regime and separatist movements. Maintaining the Hong Kong way of life, with its essential social and economic freedoms, may therefore quell unrests against Beijing. If not adhered to, however, the situation in Hong Kong could be an international concern rather than a domestic affair. The UK, as one of the signatories of the Joint Declaration, may have a legal obligation in enforcing this document. But if it does, ‘peaceful reconciliation’ may never happen. 29
IoT Product Regulation in the UK by anais herne
Digital technology in today’s world provides people with Background a plethora of opportunities and unquestionably increasThe UK has sustained a high number of cyberattacks in es convenience in everyday affairs. However, the prolifrecent years, indicating a lack of rigor in overall securieration of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are not ty standards. The WannaCry ransomware attack on the regulated by any set of government standards poses a NHS in May 2017 serves as a case in point, as the attack major security threat not only to states, but to businesses could have been prevented had the NHS adhered to baand everyday people as well. The lack of government regsic security practices. The NCSC reports around 60 ‘high ulation of IoT devices is thus a prevalent issue in today’s level’ cyberattacks on the UK every month. With approxworld that requires an immediate remedy. This paper adimately 5.6 million cyber offenses committed in 2016 vocates the adoption by the UK government of a security certification framework for IoT THE DANGERS PRESENTED BY THE INTERNET products, similar to the CE and UL certifications required for other goods. A framework ARE NO LONGER RESTRICTED TO THEFT: CYBER of this kind would facilitate the maintenance ATTACKS CAN TARGET CRITICAL INFRASRUCTURE of ‘cyber hygiene’ and ‘focus on the basics’ of cybersecurity issues, which are themes ad- AS WELL AS SERVE POLITICAL PURPOSES. vocated by Paul Chichester, the operations chief of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). alone, cybercrime is estimated to cost the UK up to $30 This paper will firstly provide some definitions and backbillion a year. Meanwhile, IoT devices, a prime target ground information, then put forth and explain its policy for cybercrime because they provide access to networks, recommendation. will continue to proliferate, with projections for over 40 billion connected IoT devices around the world by 2023. Given the ubiquity of the IoT and its present vulnerability Definitions to attacks, the establishment and adoption of a security Terminology and concepts relating to cybersecurity are certification framework for IoT products is absolutely esextremely broad and complex and therefore warrant sential to ensure the safety and security of individuals, clarification. ‘Cyberspace’ is best viewed as a collection corporations, and indeed of the UK as a whole. of different elements, primarily tangible (hardware) and virtual (software). Crucially, cyberspace also involves inTechnical solutions to security issues are already wideformation, both stored as data and transmitted and comspread; manufacturers and organizations generally have municated between devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) the resources and skills necessary to secure themselves can be conceptualized as the physical context in which and their products. As stated earlier, the WannaCry decyberspace exists; it includes any device that is connectbacle could have easily been avoided had the NHS foled to the Internet, including mobile phones, security lowed security practices that were at their disposal. Apcameras, smart watches, and lamps. These devices are ple serves as a more prominent example of a company able to ‘talk’ to each other, enabling the gathering and electing to utilize and develop existing security features analysis of information to produce an action. Cyberin its hardware and software; CEO Tim Cook has spoken space and the IoT are the referent objects for ‘cyberseat length about Apple’s lasting commitment to customer curity’, which, per a Mozilla Delphi study, centers around privacy, despite the fact that this costs the company monconfidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. ey. However, most companies sideline security concerns Being secure entails ‘freedom from fear of attack—unbecause they are not deemed worth the requisite money authorized access or use of one’s identity, data, network and time costs. Christopher Null argues that manufacturor system—by anyone, for any reason, in any way.’ An ers are primarily concerned with producing IoT products examination of the current state of security of most IoT as cheaply and efficiently as possible, frequently at the products reveals that this core condition of cybersecurity expense of basic security features. More importantly, has largely not been met.
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY security is a difficult selling point; Michael Collins of the Cybergreen Institute maintains that because ‘secure systems are… more restrictive,’ the product’s features will be more limited, disinclining customers to purchase them. Additionally, individuals often overlook cybersecurity; a 2017 study (spanning the US, UK, and Germany) by software company Code42 revealed that 75% of CEO’s use unauthorized programs, mostly to guarantee productivity. Clearly, security in itself—either as a marketable feature or as a responsible practice—does not provide sufficient incentive for the vast majority of businesses and individuals to adopt the practices and features necessary to safeguard their devices from attack. This begets the necessity for government-mandated security standards for all IoT products placed on the market, as companies would be required to comply with government regulations in order to continue selling their goods.
Policy Proposal Create and implement a government-backed security certification that must be adhered to by all IoT devices placed on the market. 1.
The U.K. should follow France’s examples in cybersecurity; although French policies also require development, they show more of an inclination than their British counterparts to adopt a concrete security framework.
Currently, cybersecurity regulations in the UK are almost nonexistent, and the UK’s leading agency for cybersecurity, the NCSC, occupies more of an advisory rather than a regulatory role. According to its website, it provides
‘practical guidance’, response to cybersecurity breaches, and expertise to improve the cybersecurity of the UK as a whole. While all of these functions are incredibly valuable, the NCSC lacks the necessary binding authority to require manufacturers to comply with the standards and practices it so meticulously produces. The equivalent body in France, the Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information (ANSSI), while not endowed with full regulatory powers, holds more influence over cybersecurity standards in French corporations. Its most relevant function in this regard is that of accreditation, in which it oversees the issuance of a security accreditation to products and services that meet a given set of standards. However, the French model is still limited in that manufacturers are not required to comply with ANSSI standards in order to place their products on the market. The main utility of the French example is to indicate that accreditation standards and the mechanisms required to issue them already exist; the crux of the issue is to mandate the compliance of all IoT device manufacturers. A comparison of British and French cybersecurity visions for the immediate future also indicates that France advocates a much more concrete, actionable plan with regard to security regulations. The UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 relies heavily on the initiatives of businesses and individuals, rather than government regulation; for example, it asserts that the government will implement measures necessary to ensure that individuals, businesses, and other organizations ‘have access to the right information to defend themselves,’ and that it will ‘lead by example by running secure services.’ These measures are useful to a degree; however, they are predicated on the notion that manufacturers and in-
THE SPECTRUM dividuals value cybersecurity sufficiently to seek out government-approved standards, which the data outlined in
UNLIKE BRITAIN, FRANCE HAS DEVELOPED A CONCRETE, ACTIONABLE PLAN FOR ITS CYBER SECURITY LAWS AND REGULATIONS
this paper strongly suggests is false. The French Strategic Review of Cyber Defence, conversely, stresses ‘corporate responsibility in designing and maintaining digital products’ and explicitly advises ‘the introduction of a basic cybersecurity certification’ to complement the existing framework utilized by ANSSI, with the CE mark required for other products referenced as an example. France clearly favors mandating compliance by IoT device manufacturers in order to mitigate cybersecurity risks; the UK would benefit from adopting such an approach. 2.
Build from certification frameworks that already exist, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Underwriter Laboratories Cybersecurity Assurance Program (UL CAP), and the Conformité Européene (CE) mark. The certification adopted must be made mandatory for all IoT products placed on the market in the UK.
The GDPR is the only mention of regulation in the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy, and it mandates several aspects of security relating to personal data protection, introducing higher fines for breaches of its standards. The UK government should expand the framework of the GDPR to include security standards for all aspects of hardware and software in IoT devices, and develop a certification mark—such as the UL or CE mark required for other products—to affix to products that meet the security requirements. The UK government can additionally draw upon an existing cybersecurity certification framework, the UL CAP, a set of standardized criteria with which software can be tested for vulnerabilities and security weaknesses. In terms of issuance of a security certification, the UK government could follow a model similar to that laid out by CE marking, which involves a combination of internal and third party audits on a product to ensure that it meets the relevant set of standards. The most crucial aspect of CE marking to adopt, however, is that the mark is required for products to be sold, and that failure to comply with the given standards would result in the product’s removal from circulation. This particular feature can be directly transposed onto a cybersecurity certification framework. 32
The certification framework adopted must constantly evolve to meet new cyber threats.
As acknowledged by numerous sources, complete cybersecurity can never be achieved due to the complexity of the IoT and the ever-evolving nature of technologies and hackers’ abilities. The continued proliferation of IoT devices creates an expanded ‘surface area’ for hackers to target, and many experts recommend focusing on implementing basic, well-established security practices rather than attempting to patch up every possible vulnerability in a given network. The government’s response should be to ensure that the security certification framework adopted is dynamic and open to change and innovation; the National Cyber Security Strategy already indicates a commitment to education and innovation in the realm of cybersecurity, which will guarantee a steady supply of individuals educated in the most up-to-date features of the cyber realm. Essentially, security certification standards must continually evolve along with the technology they aim to secure and the hacks they attempt to ensure against.
Conclusion The IoT is a vast space that will continue to grow in the years to come, and the threats it poses will continue to multiply alongside it. The present lack of regulation of IoT products is highly concerning due to the pervasiveness of these devices and the undervaluation of security displayed by both producers and consumers. Because most manufacturers consider security a drain on speed and resources in mass-producing cheap, innovative products, and because most consumers are either unaware of the importance of security or consider it to be a restrictive (and therefore undesirable) feature, the government must develop a security certification framework and mandate that it be applied to all IoT devices placed on the market. The UK has several examples to draw upon in developing and implementing such a framework; firstly, it can look to France, which has an agency and a vision for cybersecurity that advocates much more direct regulation. It can additionally rely upon existing frameworks and methodologies for implementation, such as the GDPR, the UL CAP, and the CE mark. The most crucial aspect of this security certification is that it be made mandatory for any and all IoT products placed on the market, with penalties in place for devices that fail to comply. While a state of complete cybersecurity can never be achieved due to the ever-evolving nature of today’s technology, an active, regulatory stance taken by the government is the only way to ensure the greatest possible degree of security for products that interact with and impact people almost every minute, of every hour, of every day.
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY
Conflicts in the Post-Soviet Space: The case of Nagorno-Karabakh by garik mirzoyan
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the emergence of ethnic conflicts in a number of post-Soviet republics. The highly centralized Soviet political system meant that these ethnic tensions had slumbered under coercive Soviet communism. During the late 1980s the situation in multiethnic republics like Azerbaijan and Georgia exacerbated significantly as a result of Mikhail Gorbachev’s radical reforms. Gorbachev’s reforms enabled genuine political representation of ethnic groups and his liberal reforms awakened the long dormant ethno nationalist issues. The majoritarily Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) was part of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) and was ruled from Baku. Gorbachev’s liberal reforms sought to democratize the Soviet Union and by giving freedom of expression tens of thousands of Armenians called for Nagorno-Karabakh’s transfer from Azerbaijan to Armenia. The Soviet Politburo bluntly rejected any demand for a transfer, after which protests erupted both in Armenia and Azerbaijan. By the time of Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, a full-blown war had erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Consequently, Nagorno-Karabakh held an independence referendum ARMENIA’S STRAINED RELATIONS and declared its independence in January 1992. Similarly WITH TURKEY AND AZERBAIJAN LEAVE to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh is only de-facto independent, and internationally it is recognized IT NO CHOICE BUT TO RELY ON RUSSIA as part of Azerbaijan. The full-scale war ended in May FOR ECONOMIC SECURITY 1994, when a Russian brokered ceasefire agreement was signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenian forces liberated Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven adjacent districts. Yet, it is worth noting that no actual treaty was ever signed between the conflicting sides and ever since, the ceasefire agreement had been regularly breached. The most recent, rather large scale, skirmishes along the Line of Contact (LOC) occurred in April 2016 when for the first time since 1994 heavier weaponry, such as drones, mortars and artillery, were deployed on the battlefield. The four-day clashes further highlighted the fragility of the existing ceasefire agreement.
Long-standing Challenges Russia’s sphere of influence: The Russian Federation benefits the most from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The protracted conflict in the South Caucasus strengthened Russia’s foothold in the region and helped Russia to adroitly maneuver both Armenia and Azerbaijan from leaving its sphere of influence. Since its independence, Armenia has heavily relied on the “strategic partnership” with Russia. Armenia’s history with its two neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan, has been rather distrustful and to this day its borders with these two countries remain closed. This vulnerability leaves Armenia with little choice but to rely on Russia’s assistance. Armenia is the only country in the South Caucasus that is a member of Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Russia is 33
THE SPECTRUM the sole seller of heavy weaponry to Armenia and due to the “strategic partnership” Yerevan has the advantage of acquiring Russian-made weapons at discounted price. However, Armenia is also over-dependent on Russia economically. Russia owns key sectors of the Armenia economy, which include the energy and transport sector. A settlement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would jeopardize Russia’s influence over Armenia. The borders with Azerbaijan would reopen; Armenia would be able to increase its cooperation with neighboring countries, which could ultimately reduce Armenia’s extensive dependence on Russia’s arms supplies and economic assistance. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, is somewhat less dependent on Russia. Yet, during the past few years Russia emerged as the key arms supplier to Azerbaijan. Unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan pays the full market price for acquiring the Russian-made weapon systems. According to the SIPRI 2016 data, about 69 percent of Azerbaijani arms were supplied by Russia. Considering that Azerbaijan’s military expenditure in 2018 was $1.56 billion, it is hard to imagine that Russia would have any interest in pushing for a resolution. Russia has no interest in losing a key arms purchaser, which contributes significantly to its economy revenue. Keeping the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict unresolved is the easiest way for Russia to leverage its influence over both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Deadlock in the peace process: The second long term challenge in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the inability of the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to reach a political agreement. Over the previous decades, the
Geography of the South Caucasus.
President of Azerbaijan has continuously made bellicose statements regarding the use of military force for liberating Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent districts, if the Armenian side refuses to leave those territories voluntarily. These continuous aggressive statements strengthened the belligerent mood in the public discourse. Not only the supporters of President Aliyev, but also the opposition leaders and civil groups supported the aggressive rhetoric. The aggressive statements of President Aliyev leave him with very little room to maneuver and make concessions in the negotiations process. In the case of Armenia, a precedent has already been established, when Levon Ter-Petrosyan, the first President of Armenia, tried to compromise in order to reach a solution in solving the conflict. However, he was pushed aside and was eventually forced to resign after facing a strong opposition from his own government and the public. Two decades have passed since his resignation, yet during these two decades the “no compromise” stance further strengthened in both societies. The central question is whether the Presidents of these countries would manage to reach a peace agreement and survive domestically. For now, reaching a survivable peace agreement based on reciprocal compromise seems impossible, as it is highly unlikely that the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan would be willing to risk a political suicide. None of the governments took adequate steps to prepare the public for the need to compromise, and instead, the leaders continuously promoted the possibility of total victory.
DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY
Azerbaijani Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at an informal meeting in Davos.
Policy Proposals 1.
Diffuse hatred through external pressures
In order to prepare the societies for a compromise solution, there is a need for international pressure on the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Exerting economic pressure on the political elites of these countries, who are involved in promoting hate speech, may be useful in forcing them to reduce their support for hate speech. This can be done by freezing the overseas economic assets of those political elites and by banning them from travelling to Western countries. The pressure is especially necessary in the case of the latter because Armenian governments neither supported hate speech nor made aggressive remarks on the same scale as their counterparts in Azerbaijan. Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) should continue promoting dialogue and strengthen contact between journalists, youth and other civil society groups. Significant international pressure is also needed to reform the educational system of Azerbaijan, which teaches xenophobia and inculcates hatred towards Armenians. It will take years, if not decades, to diffuse the hatred between these two nations, yet this policy recommendation would contribute towards long-term change and reduce animosity between future generations. 2.
Establish a hotline between Armenian and Azerbaijani leadership
Direct channel of communication should be established
between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan. It will be more helpful if this hotline is established between the Chiefs of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Often they are the first ones who get notified about the border skirmishes that occur along the LOC and they can take significant steps to deescalate the tensions. The April 2016 escalation proved that chances of unwarranted escalation are high and the establishment of communication links is necessary to avoid crises altogether. Such links proved to be crucial in the past. After the Cuban Missile Crises of 1962, a hotline was established between the White House and Kremlin, which sought to minimize the risk of nuclear/conventional war occurring by miscalculation. Hence, a hotline may contribute in diffusing the chances of escalation between the sides that are involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Conclusion This year marks the thirtieth anniversary since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which unfortunately remains unresolved to this day. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan need to understand that a new approach should be adopted in order to reach a political solution. They need to redefine their political objectives and prepare the public to accept a compromised solution. In the long run, the international support can play a vital role in helping to set conditions for reconciliation between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. To avoid another round of bloody conflict, it is vital to take active steps and solve the conflict through peaceful negotiations. As Thomas de Waal wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;all conflicts do end, eventuallyâ&#x20AC;?. 35
Wellbeing in Schools: Can Britain learn from Finland? by zulehka butt
Scandinavian schooling systems, particularly Finland’s, have been heralded as the best in the world. Academic success is in line with largely positive youth mental health. Behind Finland’s success lies reforms that have led to the creation of a nationalised, truly comprehensive schooling system, one that can be described as equitable. This paper will recommend the creation of similar reforms in the UK education system (both primary and secondary), with the intention of managing the current youth mental health crisis felt in the country. In doing so, this paper will also consider the specific political climate of the UK, and the feasibility of such broad reforms.
Background Children and teenagers in the UK are in the midst of an ‘intolerable’ mental health crisis, the causes of which range from social media to academic pressure. A Children’s Society report revealed that more than ten thousand children aged fourteen in the UK are self-harming, with girls making up 22% of the affected, a revelation that has been described as “deeply worrying” by the charity. In response, the UK government announced a three hundred million pound mental health plan for schools, which included incentivising every school and college in England to have a senior lead for mental health, creating UNTIL RECENTLY, THE UK GOVERNMENT new mental health support teams to liaise between schools and the NHS, and piloting IMPOSED NO REQUIREMENT ON SCHOOLS TO a maximum four-week waiting for children’s HAVE AN EXPLICIT MENTAL HEALTH POLICY mental health services in some areas.
The implementation of these policies will be slow, however, as they are initially being piloted to test efficacy. The new support systems will not be available across England until after an unspecified date in the 2020s. Indeed, the UK government aims for the schemes to be in place in only a fifth of the country by 2022-23. These proposals represent the start of a mandatory ‘health education curriculum’ in primary and secondary schools. The Department of Education defines ‘health education’ as teaching pupils the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, specifically, what determines their physical health and how to build mental resilience and wellbeing. It will further make sure children and young people learn how to recognise when they and others are struggling with mental health, as well as appropriate responses. Prior to this initiative, the UK had no requirement on schools to have a standalone mental health policy (although some choose to); the ‘culture’ that promotes good mental health has, so far, been left to the ‘hidden’ or ‘informal’ curriculum. Responses to the proposals from senior policy advisors at the National Association of Head Teachers trade union (NAHT) and the National Education Union largely agree that these policies are underwhelming at best. It seems the government is simply ‘plugging a hole’, or occasionally throwing money at the problem to appease teaching staff, rather than making a significant investment. In fact, there have been wider cuts to mental health services in the UK. In other words, these reforms are inadequate: they fail to address the root causes of the UK’s youth mental health crisis, specifically academic pressures. These 37
THE SPECTRUM new developments will not create a school culture that encourages positive mental health for young people in the long-term, and may even cause the situation to worsen. This paper will look at the Scandinavian model, proposing policies that can be applied to the UK, whilst considering the specific political climate of the UK education system. Certainly, there is not one Nordic model, so this paper will look specifically at the Finnish system, an education system that is often heralded as the best in the world, particularly concerning school ethos and youth mental health.
The Finnish Education System The British school experience is marked with examinations, ranging from SAT exams (starting at age six), to informal end of year exams. This is all before GSCE and A Level’s begin, exams that have become increasingly high-pressured since the introduction of the new GSCE qualifications. GCSE grades now operate on a one to nine system, with one being the lowest score. Grades seven, eight and nine all correspond to the previous top grade of A*, increasing divides on academic attainment, and as a by-product heightening pressures on students.
teen minutes of play for every forty-five minutes of instruction’. Studies have demonstrated that students given at least one daily recess for fifteen minutes or more behave better in school, whilst also performing better in assignments. Whilst this fits in with the Finnish governments approach to examinations, it also reflects polices that are explicitly research based. Experts argue that in in Finland, research comes with ‘no political baggage’. The government makes education policy based only effectiveness, where data has show improvements.
Policy Proposals 1.
Remove data managers that monitor teachers
The nationalisation of schools in Finland, removing the grammar school equivalent and introducing a comprehensive system, is thought to have been one of the reforms key to the success of its education system. When considering the specific political climate of the UK, however, we can conclude that replicating this would not be feasible. Indeed, John Hart, the lead teacher for digital learning at the European School of Helsinki, concludes that even a Labour government would ‘balk’ at attempts to nationalise schools such as Eton and Harrow.
By comparison, the Finnish education system prides itself in its lack of emphasis on COMPLETELY REPLICATING A FINNISH academic qualifications. There no set way EDUCTION MODEL IN THE UK WOULD NOT BE in which Finnish students are assessed. Certainly, testing is not done in one cerECONOMICALLY OR POLITICALLY FEASIBLE tain way, or to any specific timetable. Furthermore, where it does occur, a teacher’s He does argue, however, that equity is not the only lesjudgement alone is trusted in assessing students, rathson we should take from the Finnish education system. er than handing over this power to independent assesRemoving the ‘data managers’ that monitor secondary sors with no knowledge of the student or their academic school teachers in the UK at present is a small, plausibackground. ble measure the UK can adopt to move towards managing the youth mental health crisis. As previously disWhat is more, there has also been a noticeable move cussed, the ‘culture’ that promotes good mental health away from the marketization of education; a phenomein UK schools, is left to the hidden curriculum. In Finland, non particularly apparent in the UK. As mentioned prehowever, a positive ethos is created through an inforviously, the Finnish education system is one that can be mal curriculum, in which teachers are given a degree of described as truly equitable. This is due to the nationaliflexibility in what they teach; they also foster trust in an sation of the schooling system, into one comprehensive atmosphere that allows both students and teachers to structure. The combination of this and the lack of formal flourish. Given the crisis we are seeing in youth mental examinations throughout a student’s academic career health in the UK, it is clear that the mental health culture have meant that Finnish schools are not commercial in in schools is failing. Teachers in the UK, particularly in the sense that UK institutions are. League tables do not special measures schools, where arguably the most suppit schools against each other, as there simply isn’t the port is needed, must write a lesson plan for every lesson data to do so. they teach (sometimes lasting for months on end), and report this back to a data manager. Finally, Finnish law requires teachers to give students ‘fif-
Finnish Education: Special Features • Only core curricula are imposed nationwide. Local education authorities arrange teaching according to local circumstances. • No homework. • Investement into individual attention and support. By contrast, in the Finnish system, teachers are trusted to assess students’ needs, on their own timetable. Furthermore, there are no league tables, something that would add further pressure to teachers. It is clear that reducing pressures on teachers goes a long way in creating the positive school culture that is so needed in the UK. Indeed, a teacher from a comprehensive school in Hertfordshire speaking to the Guardian said that teachers can face up to ten emails a day asking to ‘look out for this student and provide them with this’, something that can be overwhelming. This proposal would not be costly economically for the UK government – and may even save money – but it does not directly deal with problems surrounding the lack of mental health education or a standalone mental health policy in the UK. This proposal builds on the current idea of a positive culture in schools being the key, thus is something that could be easily implemented. It also provides a long-term solution rather than short-term cash injections. 2.
Push back the age of schooling for children in the UK to seven years old
In line with the Finnish system, pushing back the age of schooling for children in the UK to seven years old would similarly help in improving the ethos in schools in the UK. At present, children in the UK would have already sat one SATS exam by this age, perhaps making this proposal improbable. However, given that one of the core reasons for the youth mental health crisis was cited as attainment pressure, this proposal would help alleviate the pressures (in a similar way to allowing teachers more freedom in terms of assessments). This change would allow both students at teachers to work in an environment free from external pressures.
Furthermore, this proposal deals directly with concerns raised by teachers unions and then NAHT, in that the government have not been looking at long-term solutions. The SATS exams sat by six-year-olds in the UK contribute to league table results, massively affecting primary school ranking; hence why their abolishment could be seen as a problem. Upon further inspection however, this proposal would actually help create a culture that encourages positive mental health, from as early as primary school level. Removing the marketization and commercialised aspect of the UK education system from a young age would help enormously in removing the pressures both teachers and students face; pressures that have led to a culture of anxiety. In Finland, whilst on the one hand improving school ethos, reduced commercialisation has also been thought to actually improve the academic performance of students.
Conclusion It is clear that the nationalised education system we see in Finland is too drastic a change to make in the UK, and would not work economically and politically for the government. However, small, feasible reforms such as removing external pressures on teachers and allowing them more flexibility in terms of curriculum and assessment, combined with pushing back the age of schooling to age seven, would lead the UK education system closer to the Finnish/Nordic example. These reforms deal directly with concerns raised by both students and teachers with the current school culture that oftentimes leads to the development of serious mental health problems in youth. If implemented hand in hand with the government’s current 2020 plan, this could initiate a long-term solution to a problem that currently receives only to short-term cash injections.
Addressing the Shortage of Teachers in UK by risa yoshida
The UK has been well known for its world-class education. However, the nation is now facing a serious crisis in retention of teachers in the public schools. Recent analysis made by Labour MP Mad tthew Pennycook shows that, since 2010, more than 11,000 out of 35,000 newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in London have already left their jobs. The loss of teachers may lead to the deterioration of the education quality in the UK in the next decades. Although the government and Department for Education (DfE) has worked out several policies to solve this issue, there has been no drastic change in the number of teachers who quit in the last five years. To tackle with this urgent situation, the new and effective solution is demanded.
from 2015 to 2016 while others who weren’t awarded any bursary marked 89%. Even 90% of those who received £5,000, the lowest amount of bursary ended up in a teaching post. According to Labour party, around £22 million was already spent for postgraduate trainees who didn’t take up teacher posts by this policy.
The results of the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) in 2013 has already represented the several factors of this situation that a large number of teachers consider leaving their jobs and the certain number of them actually did. According to the results of TALIS, the length of working hours can be regarded as one of the biggest reasons why teaching posts are not attractive for young people. Compared with 38.3 hours per week, which was the OECD average total working hours of teachers in TALIS FAR FEWER BRITISH TEACHERS ARE 2013, teachers in England worked 45.9 hours in ‘SATISFIED’ WITH THEIR JOB THAN THE a week. This was mainly because they put more time on doing general administrative work inEUROPEAN AVERAGE cluding communication, paperwork, and other clerical duties which they undertake in their job Background as a teacher than the OECD average. The length of workAccording to Lucy Powell, Labour’s shadow Secretary of ing hours doing administrative work was three times as State for Education said that the government miscarried much as Finland, which is famous for well-developed recruiting sufficient number of teachers in 14 out of 17 education system and academic standard. Furthermore, subjects in 2016. Additionally, the percentage of teachers TALIS also conducted research about teachers’ profeswho left the profession and early retirement have rapsional self-satisfaction. There were 81.8% teachers in the idly increased through these 5 years. At the same time, UK who answered ‘All in all, I am satisfied with my job’ the number of pupils continues rising. The Department while the OECD average was 91.2%. Although there were for Education (DfE) expected that secondary school pumore teachers who considered the teaching profession pil numbers will increase by 19.4% between 2017 and is valued in society than the average number, this sur2025 and the shortage of teachers will get worse espevey showed there were more people in the UK who didn’t cially in the urban area where the overcrowded populaenjoy working as teachers and would like to change to tion is estimated. The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned another school if that were possible. that 30,000 more teachers will be required by 2020 to maintain the present ratio of pupils and a teacher in the classroom.
The government recognized this serious situation and tried to solve this issue by awarding bursary for trainee teachers. The purpose of this policy was to attract excellent postgraduate students into teachers, particularly for the subjects which were most prioritised such as physics, but Labour accused that the government failed to seize on those posts. Labour secretary analysed the data of Department for Education (DfE) in 2019 and it showed only 80% of graduate trainees who received more than £25,000 bursary became teachers in state-funded schools 40
To tackle over this chronic and continuous shortage of teachers in the UK, comprehensive and drastic reforms are necessary. Taking Finland’s education system, this paper proposes two measures: 1.
Enforce the recruitment of technical and administrative staffs in the school to assist teachers.
One of the biggest factors which makes the working hours of teachers in the UK longer than those of other OECD countries is the necessity to perform more admin-
The Guardian reports that a round one in five UK teachers plan to leave their profession within 2 years.
istrative and clerical work. This form of work maybe part of the job, but is not directly related to teaching. According to TALIS 2013, teachers in Finland and France spend only 1.3 hours in a week on general administrative work, including communication, paperwork, and other clerical duties, whereas those in the UK spent 4.0 hours, over three times as long. To lighten the burden of teachers, schools should employ staff solely in charge of doing administrative work. In Finland, three hours every two weeks are allocated for teachers in general upper secondary education to coordinate over pre- and post-class work. These works include meeting with other colleagues, communicating with parents, engaging the local community, and so on. Employing more administrative staff who can use ICT system well to do clerical jobs (such as document- checking, money-collection, and organising data, and organising allocated times where the teachers can plan for the classes. 2.
Create a four-day school week in the public primary and secondary schools.
The point in common between Finland and France is that both countries have a four-day week in public schools. In Finland, the average working hours of teachers in a week was 31.6 hours. It represents that teachers work for 7.9 hours per day in Finland while those in the UK spend 9.2hours in a day. However, they put 20.6 hours in a week on teaching in Finland but teachers in the UK spend 19.6 hours. It means that teachers in the UK has to engage the works out of teaching. By implementing the policy proposal 1. and reducing the clerical works, adopting four working day in a week can be feasible. By cutting one working day, the welfare plan for teachers will be enriched and they can work more flexibly and spend more time on developing their skills and prepare for the classes. Additionally, it can also save the running cost of schools so schools can use those money on employing
more teachers and administrative staffs. It enables to achieve detailed education with a sufficient number of pupils per teacher.
Challenges There may be concerns about the impact of a four-day school week on students’ academic performance. However, the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) indicates that differences in test scores (in reading, writing and mathematics) between five-day week schools and four-day week schools was only slight. Another research project conducted by Montana State University in the U.S has shown that the schools which introduced shorter working weeks benefited from positive results in students’ academic performance. Furthermore, considering the global trend to develop more flexible workspaces and worktime, the four-day school week does not necessarily represent a childcare burden for parents.
Conclusion In many countries with an aging population, the retention of teachers in public schools at the primary- and secondary-level is one of the most essential and urgent issues at hand. It is important to secure young human assets in the near future, and the UK is no exception. The 2013 TALIS survey demonstrated that teaching working hours in the UK are relatively longer than OECD average, and that teachers spend much longer time on doing non-teaching related clerical work than teachers in other countries. These trends lead to low employment satisfaction reduces teacher retention. Unsuprisingly, these trends are also dissuading younger generations from pusruing teachinf for feat of overwork and insufficient pay. To counter the UK’s deteriorating quality of education, the government must first focus on retaining teachers. In particular, engaging technical and administrative staff and adopting a four-day school week may be effective response measures. 41
Business and Economics
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS
Scaling Mount Everest: What can Vietnam’s rise teach Nepal about trade? by bartlomiej mozdzen
When it comes to trade discussions you very rarely hear Nepal and Vietnam mentioned in the same sentence. The former is a landlocked country in Central Asia that has consistently ranked among the worst performing economies in the world. The latter, although not an obvious choice for an economic role model, is a Southeast Asian nation that despite being under a communist regime has achieved a sharp increase in exports in the past 5 years at an annualized rate of 15.1%. Directly comparing the two nations unveils an even more staggering disparity: Nepal’s total exports in 2016 amounted to $696 million compared to Vietnam’s $208 billion, keeping in mind that the latter’s population is only 3 times that of Nepal’s. Obviously there are a number of factors that are instrumental for a country to achieve trade prosperity, and often they are the similar to the determinants of general economic growth. It is also crucial that the policies adopted are tailored to the country in question, and address the unique problems faced by that nation. One of the most revealing statistics when comparing the two countries concerns their composition of exports: in Vietnam, the three most exported items are broadcasting equipment (16% of all exports), integrated circuits (7.2%) and telephones (4.8%), whereas in Nepal the three are flavoured water (13%), knotted carpets (11%) and nutmeg (4.9%). Overall, “machines” account for 46% of all exports in Vietnam, while in Nepal only 0.93%, which is less than the share of exports held by animal hides or instruments. What has Vietnam done and why is it succeeding? Vietnam’s trade landscape was not always like this. A little over a decade ago, Vietnamese exports were dominated by textiles, footwear and agricultural products. Clearly Vietnam, in a relatively short time, was able to successfully reposition its focus onto technology and machinery, which has yielded a spike in growth. In order to achieve this result, Vietnam had to EDUCATION REFORMS ARE THE take a number of steps. The first is investment in educaFUNDAMENTAL STARTING POINT. tion, which lays the foundation that makes it possible to have workers skilled enough to support the restructurTHOUGH MAY NOT YIELD IMMEDIATE ing of the economy. Almost 21% of all government exRESULTS, THEY ARE THE SEEDS THAT penditure in 2010 was devoted to education - a larger proportion than seen in any OECD country. Vietnam first WILL BEAR FRUIT IN FUTURE. entered Pisa tests in 2012 - coming 17th in maths, 8th in science, and 19th in reading – higher than the US in all subjects, which was ranked 36th at maths, 28th at science, 23rd at reading. In global rankings published by the OECD in May 2015, based on science and maths, Vietnam was ranked 12th, while the US was in joint 28th position. The government has made it a priority to get all young people into education and so far the education system has been good at absorbing disadvantaged children and giving them equal access to education. Almost 17% of Vietnam’s poorest 15-year-old students are among the 25% top-performing students across all countries and economies that participate in the Pisa tests.
Furthermore, Vietnam has been rapidly liberalizing trading rules, joining the WTO in 2007, as well as enjoying membership of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and actively participating in the creation of a single ASEAN market, by means of the ASEAN Economic Community. Beyond Southeast Asia, Vietnam has completed trade agreements with the United States, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, and the Eurasian Customs Union. It is also one of the 11 nations that are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Obviously Vietnam has challenges of its own related to low-cost, labour-intensive manufacturing; however it did manage to build a solid foundation for a prosperous trade policy. What has Nepal done and why is it failing? Firstly, Nepal has not been able to match Vietnam in terms of quality of education. Only 11.5% of pupils starting in Grade 1 continue in school until Grade 12 (Government of Nepal, 2016, pp. 125-132). School Leaving Certificate (SLC) pass rates in public schools dropped from 46.6% in 2011 to 33.7% in 2015. Government funds only 55% of primary and 27% of secondary education, while households, donors and NGOs fund the remaining part. Households are financing 39% of primary and 48% of secondary education, either by contributing to communi44
ty-run schools or by paying for private education. This leads to marginalised groups, such as girls and children from poor families, being disadvantaged; when parents cannot afford to pay for schooling for all of their children, they choose to send boys to private school. As a result, more girls than boys go to public schools due to the lower quality of public schools; this may affect girls’ chances in the job market and of entering higher education. Despite funding concerns, the Nepali education system also ‘lacks focus’ as there has been no change in the traditional teaching methods and education system, despite the fact the world has made huge leaps forward in this domain. The government also does not prioritise professional and vocational education. Furthermore, Nepal’s infrastructure has been notoriously mismanaged. It has been ranked among the weakest in the world by the World Bank in terms of Logistics Performance Indicators. As a landlocked country, Nepal has to be mindful of transportation infrastructure needed to support trade. Even Nepal’s biggest airport in Kathmandu has been considered one of the worst in the region. Infrastructure is crucial as Nepal seeks more trade with countries around the world since it is a landlocked country and timely delivery of exports is vital.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS Opposite: A marketplace in Kathmandu, Nepal.
What can Nepal learn from Vietnam? 1.
Restructure the Nepali education system and improve its funding.
By increasing the education budget to equal at least of 6% of GDP and 20% of total public expenditure to meet international targets for education spending and to improve the quality of public education, as well as rewriting the curriculum to improve the amount of technical and professional education given to students. The system should be reformed with cooperation and input from the teachers, some of the most important stakeholders that have been illogically marginalized in the current educational system. 2.
Significantly improve internal infrastructure and border infrastructure.
This will include the construction of rail lines and the upgrading of the airports. Nepal could take part in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which would position the country as a major transit hub for trade between China and its rival, India. One study estimates Nepal’s trade could be boosted by 35% to 45% when the rail line and other BRI infrastructure projects are completed. However, this comes with political risks that being indebted to China entails. Regardless, Nepal should also take full advantage of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that it ratified in 2017, with particular focus on Articles 1, 5, 7 and 10 of the TFA, which all pertain to improving customs Electronic Data Interchanges and Single Windows. As the TFA explains, a single window is a system ‘which enables traders to submit documentation and/or data requirements for importation, exportation, or transit of goods through a single entry point to the participating authorities or agencies’. The focus should be on these reforms since according to the World Bank report Doing Business 2018 Nepal has not yet started to introduce these policies. According to the same report, based on data from other countries adopting TFA related policies with the help of the WTO in 2018, improving customs Electronic Data Interchanges and Single Windows yields by far the highest time reduction in trade facilitation of all TFA related policies. 3.
Finally, Nepal should sign new free trade agreements with important players worldwide, in order to diversify their export partners as India accounts for 54% of current exports.
Strengthening ties with other more developed nations would attract investment as well as improve the quality of products as Nepali products would have to meet international standards. When liberalizing trade with the US and EU in particular, Nepali products would have to meet strict standards improving overall qualities of products. Furthermore, according to a study, using the gravity model equation, the role of China as a trading partner has been undermined alongside other Asian countries therefore it is important to consider those markets as strategic targets for volume growth Conclusion All in all, even if proposals 2 and 3 are successfully implemented the policies may not yield the desired effect since the foundation of the Nepali economy is not prepared to reap the benefits of these improvements; the projects may remain underutilized while the human capital develops. The most prudent policy Nepal can set into action today is a comprehensive education reform that finances higher quality education, in order to start preparing a labour force able to support a machines focused export industry. The focus on public education will also allow marginalized groups to participate fully in the transformation of Nepal. This policy will allow Nepal to begin the journey of transformation from a country that bases all its exports on textiles and agriculture to a more technologically advanced and profitable model seen in other developed economies as well as recent trade success stories such as Vietnam. Nepal’s late trade expansion and economic development could be a chance to also focus on sustainability of growth. Education reforms are a fundamental starting point. They may not have an immediate effect but they are the seeds that will bear fruit in the future. In the meantime Nepal can focus on constructing a reliable environment for doing business, by improving the infrastructure particularly rail and airport, as well as implementing TFA reforms, namely Single Windows to reduce the amount of bureaucracy and improve trade facilitation plans, and finally signing new free trade agreements with important players worldwide. Then perhaps Nepal will finally live up to its nickname ‘The Roof of The World’ not only topographically, but we will be able to read about a new economic rising star.
Energy and Environment
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Bringing Ideas into Reality: The Incentives Problem for Innovators and Investors in Green Technology by nicholas parker and caoimhe ring
Since the Cancun Agreement 2010, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has focused on private market technological innovation, relying on patents as an incentive encouraging innovation. The rationale behind this approach is that through patents, the market is most able to efficiently utilise private information to innovate, as opposed to a centralised government which lacks resources to do so.
means that current market player preferences will direct future CCMT innovation, and fossil-fuel reliance may delay CCMT innovation in alternative energy sources. Secondly, the more upstream an innovation is (that is, the further away it is from a marketable, patented product), the less likely that patents adequately incentivise it. Increased uncertainty over invention market value is due to downstream transaction costs on licensing and innovation spillovers; namely, unintended research benefits conferred on third parties. Upstream research may be vital in improving energy efficiency, technologies with several applications across industries, or emerging CCMT such as biofuels. Some commentators conclude that only supplementary public funding can solve this problem.
The ability of patents to incentivise innovation in climate-change mitigation technologies (CCMTs) is critical because measures such as carbon taxes are insufficient to produce the necessary carbon emissions reductions. CCMTs describe a broad category of inventions; including technologies improving energy efficiency, carbon capture, and waste recycling technologies. However, CCMTs vary greatly, differing in applicability across industries and climatic zones, with difTHE ABILITY OF PATENTS TO INCENfering Research and Development (R&D) and TIVISE INNOVATION IN CLIMATE CHANGE implementation expenses. The UNFCCC blanket policy that relies on market forces howevMITIGATION TECHONOLOGIES IS CRITICAL er, is no panacea for the development of such a broad category of inventions, each facing differThirdly, market success in the solar industry has been ent challenges in reaching the market. heavily reliant on government subsidies to overcome its initial higher costs. This reflects how a one-time governThe Incentives Problem ment intervention can push new technology over a tipWhen inventing a CCMT, the inventor captures R&D exping point. In response, the market can be relied upon penditure through the limited monopoly over an invento support clean energy, continuing this trajectory in a tion granted in a patent. This trade-off between decreased “virtuous cycle”. access to technology and incentivisation is generally justified because without patents, too little innovation ocProject Financing through Green Bonds curs: fearing that their costs cannot be recouped on a Upon reaching a ‘tipping point’, inventors must also confree market, inventors under-invest in innovation. tend with questions of project finance and capital raising at scale. For established institutions and firms, one At face value, there are problems with the application of such method has been through issuing green bonds. this model to CCMTs. First, patents merely enable marTaking innovative projects to scale through sustainable ket incentives to motivate the inventor, but cannot crefinancing mechanisms has its clear benefits: it promotes ate market incentives. Furthermore, empirical research a whole-of-economy response to climate-change mition ‘innovation snowballing’ indicates that innovation gation and may also provide a viable option in political builds on itself over time, developing path dependenenvironments where carbon pricing mechanisms are pocies where past innovations make present ones more litically untenable for the mid-term. valuable, attracting similar, advanced innovations. This
However, limited regulation has contributed to an investor environment challenged by a lack of transparency and consistency. Accordingly, with Recommendation 6 of the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance Report 2018 towards the introduction of an EU Green Bonds Standard (EU GBS), the primary considerations for policymakers were incentivising investment without barriers whilst ensuring sufficient governance requirements to guarantee satisfactory use of proceeds. Policymakers must now consider the next step in regulating a matured green bonds market through the mid-late phase of Paris Agreement commitments. The EU GBS proposes broad minimum regulations for the issuance of green bonds relating to four key components: use of proceeds, environmental impact project evaluation, management of proceeds, and reporting. Like other standards, the EU GBS largely commits to practice the Green Bonds Principles . Whilst this ‘binary’ (‘pass’ or ‘fail’) approach to green bond labelling will help incentivise market growth through investor certainty in the short-term, it risks oversimplifying incentive frameworks to the long-run detriment of accessibility, transparency, and uptake. Namely, binary labelling promotes information asymmetry. This means investors cannot easily distinguish between different types of certified projects, the degree of net mitigation or adaptation capacity, use and management of proceeds. This relates to differences in implementation stage or financing status, most notably in instances of ‘greenwashing’.
AN EFFECTIVE GREEN BONDING MECHANISM SHOULD BALANCE USE OF PROCEEDS COMPLIANCE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.
A binary labelling system also reduces the ability of lawmakers to influence the innovation disruption curve by limiting the incentive for compliance beyond the minimum threshold, hence negating a considerable part of any signal or demonstration effect. Simultaneously, having too many certification subclasses, or ‘tiers’ could prove overly complicated, disincentivising investment in the process. Accordingly, finding a regulatory balance remains important. Research conducted by Standard & Poor’s (‘S&P’) reveals the degree of decoupling within the green bonds market hidden by a binary certification standard: just 35% of all self-labelled green bonds over the sample period 48
attained a top green rating bracket of E1, and a further 2% fell into an E3 rating. Where S&P advised minimum scores in governance and transparency metrics at 58 and 42 respectively, the market average was 60 and 51. Even by providing a benchmark to compare the market, these statistics demonstrate the value of ratings mechanisms in adding a degree of transparency by segmenting the market. Furthermore, research has demonstrated a positive relationship between tiered certification standards and increased competition and innovation, largely driven by investor certainty and market transparency. There is clear potential for greater regulatory transparency in green bonds labelling regimes.
Policy Proposals The first proposal responds to market failures in incentivising CCMTs and aims to encourage the requisite investment needed to reach project scale at the mass market. The second proposal focuses on those inventions which the market model cannot generate incentives for due to market uncertainties surrounding these inventions’ expected returns. 1.
Integrate Green Bonds Rating Mechanisms within Initial Standards Provisions
We recommend that future iterations of a GBS require a tiered labelling rating from a recognised authority or agency, alongside a labelled green bond. Incorporating a tiered rating mechanism as part of compliance with a GBS would reduce the potential for green washing to avoid detection. Additionally, it would reward more environmentally ambitious inventors by providing a clear metric conveying to investors the degree of compliance with GBS, the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy (‘the Taxonomy’) and environmental impact for a given issuance. A rating system for labelled green bonds would reduce investor uncertainty and contribute to a more appropriate investor environment in a future, mature market. Similarly, investors in the global bond market have long accepted credit ratings as a fundamental element of investment decisions, and as such carries legitimating and normative values to a future GBS regime. Nevertheless, it is important to distinguish the difference between the aims and objectives of credit ratings and those of a tiered green bonds rating structure. Whereas traditional credit ratings offer a purely financial assessment of an issuer, considerations of environmental impact and use of proceeds form the primary marker of compliance with a GBS. To this end, determining optimal settings for a green bond rating system includes identifying appropriate scope and methodology. Of the ‘Big
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Standard/Regulation Coverage
Use of Proceeds
Environmental Impact Project Evaluation
Management of Proceeds
S&P Green Evaluation
Moody’s Green Bond Assessment
Must be used for green projects as defined in the EU Sustainability Taxonomy, with disclosure of clear environmental benefits
Falls under ‘transparency’ element of rating, with consideration of ‘comprehensiveness of reporting’
Distinguishes between projects with higher or lower percentage of proceeds towards categories established under GBP
Minimum standard of environmental sustainability objectives and eligibility based on external review
Rating based on mitigation of financed projects’ environmental impact, including different standards for mitigation and adaptation technologies
Instead, focuses upon “relative effectiveness of the issuer’s approach for managing, administering, allocating proceeds to and reporting on environmental projects financed by green bonds”
Must meet various accounting and audit requirements
Falls under ‘governance’ element of rating, with additional consideration of impact assessment structure
Distinguishes ratings based upon requirements beyond that of EU GBP
Must have regular external review of project progress and compliance by licensed third party
No individual element forms part of governance metric (based on public information)
Distinguishes ratings based upon requirements beyond that of EU GBP
TABLE 1 - Comparison of Ratings Systems’ Clarificatory Properties of EU GBS
Three’ credit rating agencies, S&P Global and Moody’s already provide a form of green evaluation rating. Although both ratings cover the breadth of the Green Bonds Principles, S&P prioritises environmental impact, whereas Moody’s focuses upon governance and compliance. Table 1 provides a summary of differences between the scope of evaluation between the governance and environmental impact priority models. For clarity, the two models are evaluated in relation to their corresponding element of the EU GBS based upon public information. Green boxes denote a comprehensive evaluative framework. Yellow denotes a partial or vague description of a framework, and orange implies either tangential or minimal consideration. It is clear that the market is yet to settle on a balance between prioritising governance or environmental impact as the primary determinant of a green bond’s investment quality.
Therefore, an effective green bond rating mechanism should balance equally use of proceeds compliance with environmental impact when formulating a green bond rating mechanism. Research shows above that there appears to be sufficient demand to justify the existence of compliance-focused and environmental-focused rating systems. Nevertheless, an equally balanced, all-encompassing ratings model maximises the market’s capacity to identify and reward more ambitious CCMT projects with effective governance at the expense of those which are green-washed. It has also been noted that segmenting the market through ratings might open up legal avenues for regulatory authorities to penalise fraudulent or green-washed issuers. It is suggested such an argument might arise both through strict regulatory requirements, or more broadly within the ‘spirit’ of sustainable finance under the Taxonomy. A mandatory green ratings system would ultimately provide a more holistic description of a 49
Eco-Schools is an international programme that aims to empower students and engaging them in action-orientated and socially responsible learning.
green bond’s environmental and financial health without requiring investors to consider a multitude of unrelated evaluations, as per the purpose of a rating system. It is worth noting that this paper does not specify whether a ratings mechanism should be administered by a public authority or by the private sector, especially given the different economic policy settings in place across different jurisdictions. However, it does note that from an EU perspective, specifying a supplementary rating requirement as part of the labelling process under the GBS would also allow for the EU to require that ratings not originating from a relevant public regulator demonstrably consider certain elements of a green bond under the Taxonomy. The benefits of allowing private rating certification whilst operating within a regulatory framework would: •
Bolster the legitimacy of labelled green bonds, like any comprehensive ratings mechanism;
Pre-emptively counter well-documented transparency issues in the traditional credit rating market by placing the onus upon ratings agencies to demonstrate the compliance of their rating with the Taxonomy;
Consolidate and promote a broader whole-of-economy approach to sustainable finance within a sub-sector that has already developed organically;
Allow lawmakers to adjust ratings systems through amendments to the Taxonomy as opposed to incurring the cost of actively competing or legislating control of the market - albeit still leaving a direct competition option available if necessary or should a convincing business-case arise; and
Allow lawmakers to refine and adjust the minimum standards for compliance as CCMTs increase in ubiquity and quality, supporting an innovation adoption curve in line with Paris requirements.
In short, stipulating the provisions of a green bond rating, as well as the broad terms upon which a rating must evaluate an issuer as part of the Taxonomy, would best promote greater investor certainty and transparency in the green bond market. Doing so would provide policymakers with the widest possible flexibility to adjust setting into the future. Identifying the point at which the introduction of stringent reforms would stabilise, as opposed to harm, growth in the international green bonds market should be a priority for public and private modelling. 2.
Mission-oriented innovation prizes
Government-set prizes funded by carbon taxes aimed at technologies which help reduce carbon emissions may respond to the market’s systematic under-pricing
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
of CCMTs which causes suboptimal levels of innovation. This is because industries will remain susceptible to under-production where the financial incentive to the inventor reflects a private value falling short of the invention’s social value. Alternately, prizes can achieve the same incentive benefits as patents but avoid the costs associated with a property right, where the general theme of the patents versus prizes literature suggests that so long as the prize amount reflects the value of the innovation, prizes are preferable. There are several benefits to prizes. Firstly, government-set prizes for CCMTs can match invention social value to private return by setting an ex ante incentive for innovation, where the inventor is guaranteed upon creating the invention. Prizes better reflect invention social value because while the market relies on price signals, prize amounts set by government experts can assign financial reward on a non-pecuniary basis. Secondly, prizes encourage crowd-sourced and collaborative research because they set the reward without specifications as to team size (i.e. unlike the property rights in patents which appeal to a sole inventor). This benefits collaborative innovation, attracting a broader pool of innovative competitors. Thirdly, prizes can relate to specific inventions, such as the UK’S BEIS Energy Innovation Programme aimed at inventions reducing domestic and commercial heating consumption. Alternately, more general aims, such as those envisaged in the EU’s Horizon 2020 prizes, will award solutions to a variety of societal issues.
Given the complexity of the challenge of carbon emissions reductions, it may be preferable that a combination of targeted and general research prizes is adopted. Prizes can target projects which will remain systematically under-priced by the market, even with a green bonds rating mechanism; such as upstream research. This encourages generation of high-tech and low-tech inventions, acknowledging that carbon emissions reductions will require a multitude of new technologies.
ALLOWING PRIVATE RATING CERTIFICATION WOULD BOLSTER THE LEGITIMACY OF LEBALLED GREEN MARKET BOND AND PRE-EMPT TRANSPARENCY ISSUES IN THE TRADITIONAL CREDIT-RATING MARKET
Conclusion To summarise, The UNFCCC private market innovation policy is unsustainable without a critical revision of how market incentives can generate the sort of technologies required to reduce carbon emissions reductions at scale within the next 11 years. Introducing a mandatory green bonds ratings requirement and government-set mission-oriented prizes can help to ensure that free market incentive problems do not unduly delay that process, with minimal market intervention and cost.
The Road to Rural Electrification: Can Climate Resiliency and Renewable Energy Pave the Way? by christina lyons, lucia saborio perez, and julia sandberg
Rural electrification refers to the process of providing access to electricity in remote areas. It has been an ever-present issue since our societies have embraced and grown through technology, and energy demand has risen across the world to meet our levels of consumption. As it stands, the demand for energy and electricity is expected to double by 2050 , and it is estimated that people with lack of access to electricity, which currently stands at around 1 billion, will also grow. In this context, how do we meet today and tomorrow’s challenges? Electricity has a wide range of uses, including household appliances and lighting, farming equipment, communication, and providing healthcare services and education. Providing electricity to remote and often sparsely populated areas can be difficult and costly. It is estimated that 87% of people without access to electricity live in such areas. Beyond the technical difficulties of providing electricity to the top of a mountain, a classic economies of scale model arises: are there enough people who will pay for and use the electricity to offset initial upfront costs?
` SHOULD WE AIM TO PROVIDE ELECTRICITY IN THE SHORTEST PERIOD OF TIME, OR SHOULD WE PRIORITISE CLEAN ENERGY GENERATION?
As we look to further global electrification goals, policy-makers must be aware of the different considerations to take into account in their decision-making. This paper will delve into the intricate issues of providing cheap, accessible, and clean energy, and distributing it fairly to citizens around the world through high-quality and climate-resilient infrastructure. Background The global scale of the issue brings with it a wide array of challenges, including some as elementary as the definition of electrification. Some countries, like India, regard 52
successful electrification as providing access to electricity to 10% of a village. This definition is not adequate as it ignores the unequal distribution which further stratifies socio-economic divides, and the consequences of energy poverty. Furthermore, simply providing access is insufficient if the electricity is not reasonably priced or reliable, as individuals and businesses will suffer. Competing aims and interests must also be mediated. Should we simply try to provide electricity to the entire global population in the shortest period of time? Or should we make an effort to focus on projects which provide electricity through clean energy generation, like wind or solar power? How concerned should we be about building these power stations in areas of natural wildlife, and should environmental impacts be our first priority? If we are building infrastructure for the long-term, how do we account for the already present and increasing climate phenomena like droughts and floods? Climate change, the “large-scale, long-term shift in the planet’s weather patterns and average temperatures” driven primarily by the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases from human industrialization, requires that we ask ourselves these questions. Climate change has triggered extreme weather and climate events, including droughts, floods, wildfires, hurricanes and overall increased intensity in storms. These extreme weather events cause massive destruction, in developed and developing countries alike. Between 2003 and 2013, natural hazards and disasters in developing countries affected more than 1.9 billion people and caused an estimated USD 494 billion in damage. It is widely recognised that climate change is intrinsically linked to our energy-sourcing methods and consumption. There is a proven necessity for climate change mitigation policies , which aim to directly decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The risk and costs of ignoring climate change are too heavy for governments , businesses or investors to ignore. These policies would include decreasing our fossil fuel extraction and use - the main cause of green-
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT house emissions - and finding and establishing alternative clean uses of energy. Policy-makers and stakeholders in high carbon-emitting countries, such as the US and European Union, usually focus on decreasing their carbon emissions and increasing reliance on renewable energy sources. Beyond the necessity to move to low-carbon economies as demanded by climate change, there is a business case for lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The risks of climate change are costly to investors and insurance businesses. On the other hand, low carbon-emitting countries are still experiencing high levels of economic growth, analogous to those seen in Europe or the U.S.A. after the industrial revolution, and are often more vulnerable to climate change. Their focus is therefore not on climate change mitigation, but climate change adaptation. Adaptation policies focus on building resilient infrastructure and helping societies which can develop and thrive despite the already-present consequences of climate change. An example of an adaptation policy would be to move electrical cables underground in an area prone to strong hurricanes. Rural electrification is a classic example of the interdisciplinarity of environmental problems: economic and social aspects must be considered to deliver truly sustainable and widely-beneficial solutions. Access to electricity is considered a human right. Sever-
al international legal frameworks mention appropriate housing, which includes access to electricity, as a human right. It allows for better health services, education, and technological development. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Goal 7) aims to provide “affordable and clean energy” to everyone , recognising access to electricity as a pillar of social, economic, and environmental prosperity. Goal 7 specifically aims at providing clean energy. Alongside discussions of the transition to low-carbon economies comes the issue of energy security. Renewables can pose an extra challenge with energy storage, and providing an adequate energy baseload. Conversely, an over-reliance on fossil fuels, which for most countries must be imported, has recently seen drastic fluctuations in energy prices which can damage national economies. Considering recent global conflicts surrounding oil production or distribution of natural gas such as the Gulf War and the Russian annexation of Crimea and consequent conflict, perhaps renewable energies, despite some technological barriers, better meet our needs in terms of energy security, or at least will do so in the long term. A diverse energy mix reduces likelihood of overreliance on any particular energy source. “Clean energy” refers to methods of energy production which do not rely on the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. Renewable energies fall under this category and are particularly attractive because they rely on sources
Share of popular with access to electricity, by country (1994)
50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 No data
Tbe 500 kW Gaseke Hydro Power Project, in Rwanda
which are infinite or are quickly replaced. These include: wind energy, waves, hydroelectric energy, solar energy, and biomass. Renewable energy sources in rural areas can therefore have significant positive impacts on local economies, and have the potential to provide affordable and reliable energy. This is especially true today, where renewable energy is no longer considered a risky investment and technology is ever-improving: renewable energy is set to be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020, and the IEA said 2017 was the first year where investing in wind and solar energy was equally or more lucrative than investing in fossil fuels. The new challenge which has emerged in recent years is extreme weather and climate events exacerbated by climate change, which adds the additional need for these energy sources to not only be renewable, but also resilient to these kinds of phenomena. The last two hurricanes in Puerto Rico are a striking example of this: the entire national grid was decimated. With increasing extreme weather events and climate risks, public pressure on governments to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, and an ever-growing demand for 54
electricity, policy reform in this area is timely and necessary. We therefore propose the following policy recommendations which focus on climate-vulnerable countries but must be applied by the wider international community to have a true impact. Policy Proposals 1.
Creation of a collaboration platform designed to share information and technical advice for the benefit of climate vulnerable countries
The UN attempted a collaborative platform for the 2030 goals , though this project has not been particularly successful in the short-term. Perhaps an updated approach would include not only a consortium of governments, but also major stakeholders in industry. One of the most prominent obstacles to tackling climate resilient and renewable energy infrastructures besides sourcing funding is a lack of local technological expertise. If experts around the world could collaborate on problems, this could catalyse improvements and ensure best practices are disseminated. These types of information-sharing platforms exist, though they are often limited to a specific region or technology. However, an umbrella organisation could bring these resources together for more efficient access
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT by engineers, policy-makers and others. 2.
Development (R&D) departments could develop new technologies in high demand in a competitive environment.
Adaptation of country-specific technologies
Our second policy recommendation would be to integrate climate resilient technologies into countries’ infrastructure, adapting them to their specific challenges. These projects would be eligible to apply and receive investment from many climate funds set up through international organisations, and multilateral development banks, catalysing both public and private funds. Energy sources which are not adapted to a country’s climate vulnerability cause significant problems. The Masinga dam in Kenya is an illustrative case study of the impact that fluctuations in climate can have on a country’s energy security and economy. In February, there were worries that it would have to be shut down due to a severe drought. In May, it became too full and was forced to discharge water after months of heavy rain. Whilst this overflow allowed for cheap energy in that period, stability in energy prices and reliance on the availability of energy is essential for businesses and people.
Increase subsidised training of operation of renewable energies in collaboration with universities
When faced with technological or financing challenges in projects in developing countries, we may be tempted to think the solution always lies in more collaboration from developed countries. However, this mindset is often not productive or forward-thinking, and certainly not sustainable. Our final, but in some ways most important policy recommendation, would be to promote further education about climate-resilient and renewable energy sources at a state-level, so that nationals may be trained to tackle the problem with insider knowledge. Enabling resilient renewable energy to positively impact local economies and employing local people would also further many other sustainable development goals. This could be achieved through partnerships with universities, whereby students may be sponsored to spend a year in placement in the renewable energy industry or where scholarships are given to students going into a related field. Barbados and Mexico both provide examples of this initiative in action.
Hurricanes and their effects on entire electrical systems have also been widely discussed recently, especially after the last few years proved devastating to several Caribbean countries’ electrical infrastructures. New technologies which are both renewable and climate-resilient have Limitations great potential. Most wind turbines are currently not The main political and financial challenges for these polbuilt to withstand hurricanes – leading to potentially danicies must be considered. Delivering electricity to remote gerous situation. However, new technological advances areas is costly and depending on the political stability of have seen the development and commercialisation of the country home to a particular electrification project, wind turbines, which collapse on themselves during hurit may not appear as a safe investment. Some funding ricanes and storms. These can survive a Category 4 Hurfrom multilateral banks is sometimes siphoned off by ricane when upright, and a Category 5 Hurricane when corrupt officials -as was found to be the case during the lowered. Financial constraints remain, but with existing investigation into the murder of Honduran activist Berta funding opportunities - both from climate and sustainable development funds - these techWHEN FACING TECHNOLOGICAL OR nologies may become more widely available. As this market grows, prices would become more FINANCIAL CHALLENGES, WE MAY BE competitive. TEMPTED TO THINK THAT THE SOLUTION Auxiliary Recommendations LIES IN GREATER COLLABORATION WITH
Expand funding of research and development into new technologies
DEVELOPED COUNTRIES. THIS IS NOT TRUE.
This initiative could potentially be market-led. Whilst governments could back certain projects -lowering risk for investors, providing seed investments and supporting renewable and climate-resilient energy projects through tax incentives- businesses with their own Research and
Caceros, who was protesting the Agua Zarca dam. Compliance criteria and regulations need to be considered to ensure projects are indeed receiving the appropriate funding. Most importantly, funding should come with strict transparency obligations to ensure it is well-spent from the beginning to the end of a project. 55
THE SPECTRUM Lastly, these initiatives are implemented at the national level. Many countries and regions have taken decisive steps towards implementing climate resiliency to their electrical infrastructure, phasing out fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy. However, some of these policies would require collaboration from countries in an already tense geopolitical stage. Major players and influences have conflicting interests and ideological resistance to solving climate change. Countries with substantial oil reserves, or that have little immediate vulnerability to climate change, may not see the road to electrification as one necessarily defined by these concepts. This array of perspectives and interests will inevitably make largescale collaboration a challenge. However, we can also see this multinational collaboration as an opportunity for nations to become more active on these issues. Conclusion Rural electrification is an exercise of balance of the diverse considerations, including energy poverty, human rights, clean energy, environmental impact, climate resilience and energy security.
Long-term thinking can be in direct conflict with shortterm solutions. However, whilst long-term strong infrastructure is expensive, it is less likely to break down and more likely to ensure security. Furthermore, the actual construction can bring training, jobs and money into communities while providing government-backed lower-risk opportunities for investment. As such, our policies to respond to the first limitation would centre firstly around technology, and the necessary information-sharing, public participation, education, dialogue and training which accompanies it and secondly around financing and other economic aspects of electrification. Ultimately, we should aim for policies which both cure and prevent. Rural electrification is best understood as going hand in hand with climate change adaptation and mitigation. New policies involving present and future infrastructure must involve global actors and solutions with a genuine understanding of local issues to be truly effective.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Everything in Moderation: The Case for a Plastic Tax by lucia saborio perez, julia sandberg, and george Warren,
We must rethink a system where we use a product built to last decades for a half-hour use. - Tatiana Lujan, ClientEarth Lawyer
Plastic pollution is the topic of the day. Blue Planet, government promises, supermarket pledges, plastic bags, microbeads, coffee cups - all of these plastic related topics and more have featured in our newspapers, social media, and academic debates in the last couple of years. Why such a reaction? And more importantly, is it justified? The reaction is justified. Not just because plastic pollution is killing our environment, wildlife, and health , but because it is now a gateway to wider discussions on the environmental problems our world faces. The Energy and Environment Policy Centre proposes to tackle this issue head on. Current levels of plastic waste and pollution are extremely high, and associated issues have become undeniable. The level of household and industrial waste that the UK produced in 2016 amounted to 27,306 thousand tonnes of waste, of which 2,260 thousand tonnes were plastic packaging waste. That is the equivalent weight of 377 African elephants of plastic waste teetering on top of each other. This is far from a UK-only problem - it is an international one. Five giant gyres - whirlpools of water trapping huge collections of waste in their currents - grow bigger in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans daily. Furthermore, the estimated total volume of all plastic ever produced is 8.3 billion tonnes , and 5 billion tonnes of it are accumulating in landfills or the natural environment around the world. A health and environmental problem In 2050, it is estimated that, by weight, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. Why? The short answer is that plastic waste is not well managed once thrown away. Inherent problems in our system mean that the plastic we throw away is often
swept by rains and rivers into the sea. Here, it damages the environment, causing loss of wildlife and disrupting ecosystems. Photos of seabirds and marine animals trapped in fishing nets, entangled in plastic bags, and choking on plastic mistaken for food have become viral global phenomena. Further concerns about bio-accumulation of toxins common in plastic along the food chain have also been linked to serious health problems. Why it’s time to act now The Energy and Environment Policy Centre advocates for the need to curb plastic waste and pollution now. Due to the observed and potential damage laid out above, assurances to phase out future plastic packaging and use remain unambitious and disappointing. The time to act is now, in what is arguably the ideal policy window, where public interest and political will converge to tackle the plastic problem. There has been increasing public pressure on the UK government to address plastic waste politically. A recent consultation on a plastic tax received the most responses ever recorded by the HM Treasury. A petition requiring supermarkets to offer plastic-free options for fruits and vegetables reached 100,000 signatures in a few days, placing it above the threshold to compel Parliament to debate the issue. The “Blue Planet effect” has also had a measurable impact on UK citizens’ perspective and relationship to plastic. Even the Queen, arguably the
FIVE GIANT GYRES -- WHIRLPOOLS OF WATER TRAPPING HUGE COLLECTIONS OF WASTE IN THEIR CURRENTS -- GROW BIGGER BY THE MINUTE 57
THE SPECTRUM plastics”, it remains a comparative drop in the ocean of plastic waste. With China’s recent decision to block waste imports leaving UK councils with few options for effectively recycling plastics , fundamental changes in our waste economy are needed. Without a managed system, recyclable waste ends up being incinerated, or left in landfills. Industry giants themselves have caught on, collaborating on voluntary pledges to cut plastic packaging. This includes supermarkets, food retailers, and plastic packaging companies. Recently, Walkers attracted significant media buzz after a campaign to send back unrecyclable crisps packets attracted thousands of participants. This resulted in representatives from the company collaborating with activists and announcing a new recycling scheme. Corporations, as per the ‘polluter pays principle’ and producer responsibility guidelines, are legally bound to dispose of their waste. The question is, why do supermarkets and food companies seem to care more about their consumers concerns than politicians to their constituents? There is clear public pressure, and industry goodwill (or, at least, their understanding of consumer trends): this should push politicians and government to take steps to tackle this problem and adopt more of the many proactive solutions which can have a significant impact on this issue.
quintessential barometer of Britons’ national mood, announced a ban on single-use plastics on the Royal Estate, citing the acclaimed documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough as her motivation. The current Conservative government has taken steps to appear more progressive on environmental policy, with the consultation on the plastic packaging tax led by HM Treasury , and another on the ban of certain single-use plastics organised by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra). The Autumn Budget 2018 announced a tax on plastic products with less than 30% recycled material content. However, due to the magnitude and urgency of the problem, this approach is not enough. While reducing the use of so called “virgin 58
Existing policies and their shortcomings Currently, whilst realistic solutions exist, such as those passed by the EU Parliament this year, some structural problems at the root of the UK waste and recycling system remain. As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, we may not rely on their more holistic and progressive solutions. In the foreseeable future, it seems unlikely the UK will adopt analogous policies. The UK’s current approach to plastic suffers from insufficient public education and geographically inconsistent waste policies. These result in an uninformed, and often confused, public. This causes a snowballing of problems throughout the waste chain, including low-quality recycled materials, waste shipments sent back by recycling centres and, as a recent inquiry unearthed, fraud and corruption in the UK’s recycling industry. Sustainable
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT An estimated 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been manufactured to date, with approximately 79% accumulating in the natural environment, according to the BBC.
alternatives to plastic are not an effective solution to these issues. Compostable labels, which only indicate that products can be compostable in industrial settings -not in landfill or in natural environments- also cause continued public misunderstanding over packaging and waste. So far, the use of alternatives has been a plaster on a bullet wound - they have not changed producers’ behaviours or consumers’ habits, and their ineffectiveness has arguably set back sustainable waste management by giving consumers a false sense of reassurance. In this context, the government’s proposed tax comes short. While it may deter companies from using new (‘virgin’) plastics instead of recycled materials, it does not truly incentivise behaviour away from plastics. Plastics’ low-price tag deters producers and consumers to move away from it. However, in the past the low price of plastic allowed both the UK and the rest of the world to sustain high rates of development and technological advancement. Plastics also have incredible positive uses in multiple areas, including medical equipment , insulation for homes, and car manufacturing, making equipment lighter and therefore less energy-consuming. The target of legislation and policy to tackle plastic pollution should not aim to hinder plastic’s practical applications, but rather focus on single-use plastics and ‘virgin’ plastics. What we see is an opportunity for active citizens, savvy businesses, and forward-thinking governments to lead by example. There is little doubt that the move to a non-essential plastic-free world is underway. The question is, does the UK want to find itself at the forefront of this change, or a reluctant laggard being dragged into a new system, not planning ahead or taking advantage of the opportunities? The Energy and Environment Policy
Centre therefore recommends the following policies to ensure forward thinking and sustainable change. Policy Proposals 1.
Plastic tax on non-recyclable plastics
Our first policy recommendation is a tax on any non-essential and non-recyclable plastics - plastics which cannot be recycled or re-used and are used due to their cheap and convenient manufacturing rather than the need for that specific plastic composition. These would include items such as fruit netting, cigarette filters, or chewing gum in their current form. A higher tax would be applied to plastics with higher levels of toxic chemicals. In regard to fishing equipment, eco-modulated fees would be applied, whereby less environmentally-friendly fishing equipment would incur higher taxes. This tax would fall on producers of plastics. By tackling this rung in the chain of production, suppliers would be incentivised to provide more recyclable plastics, with lower levels of toxicity, and overall, higher regard for their environmental impact. This approach follows the well-established ‘polluter pays principle’, whereby legal or natural persons are responsible for the costs of their pollution. The money raised by the tax would primarily be used to fund grants for businesses adopting sustainable solutions and demonstrating leadership in their recycling 59
and waste management practices, as well as their overall product design and production. A second use would be to provide subsidies for small businesses adopting plastic-free alternatives. This supports the UK government’s commitment to promote environmentally friendly practices to farmers under the newly proposed Agricultural Bill the UK is scheduled to adopt after the Common Agricultural Policy is repealed by Parliament. However, this framework may be deemed a short-term solution to the wider societal problem of consumption and waste management. Considering the structural issues with our entire recycling system, both at a national and global scale, more drastic measures may be needed. However, a gradual transition may be necessary to accommodate industry’s needs alongside our environmental and social concerns. During this transition period, there may be some fluctuations in the prices of certain plastics, potentially making certain products more expensive. With growing economic viability, more competitive and sustainable products will gradually take their place. 2.
Plastic tax on single-use plastics
Our second policy recommendation tackles the excess of single-use plastics, again through economically disincentivizing those products through a tax. However, this tax would not only be on producers of plastics, but on industry actors further up the production chain including supermarkets. This would encourage a wider change in public behaviour, and provide further economic incentives for forward-thinking plastics or plastic-alternative producers, by driving up demand for what would become cheaper sustainable products. The tax would be targeted at the items included in Defra’s recent consultation on single-use plastics , namely: straws and cotton buds, as well as other items such as food packaging and plastic cutlery. The tax would have allowances to ensure no people are put at a disadvantage, for example allowing restaurants and food services to have a supply of straws available for people with disabilities who may request them. 60
Phase out of non-essential plastics
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we would propose that a comprehensive long-term plan be devised for the eventual replacement of all non-essential plastics. Goals would include the pricing out or eventual ban of non-essential plastics and the introduction of schemes which alter behaviour of consumers towards a more sustainable circular economy. These could include initiatives as already piloted in Switzerland of Santander Bike-type schemes for homogenous reusable lunch boxes and cutlery across several food takeaway services. Following innovators in the field, mainstream supermarkets could also incorporate a “bring your own container” system, with “plastic-free” zones in supermarkets becoming more common and widespread. Whilst these solutions would more effectively shift our economy towards a sustainable long-term mindset, it is the most challenging of our proposals as it relies on fundamental behavioural change from industry, government, and consumers. To use Michael Gove’s own words, ‘we need to move from a linear economy to a circular one that respects [the] limits of our planet’. These policy goals will most certainly be met with significant resistance from actors with vested interests or individuals with more libertarian views of government, and demand a high collaboration from all involved stakeholders, and across different sectors including fishing, retail and the food and drink industry. Conclusion Plastic is a wonderful material. The world would not be as we know it without it. No one can realistically argue for a completely plastic-free world, as its wide practical uses are undeniably necessary and unavoidable. However, if we truly want to avoid irreversible large-scale damage to the environment, wildlife, and ourselves, we must take measures to phase out non-essential plastics. Whilst we work towards wider and structural shifts in our societal and economic systems, we can start with short-term effective solutions.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Pay as You Throw: A Proposal for Reforming UK Recycling Practices by kate jeon, thomas masterman, and sara noske
Waste management and recycling in the UK Recycling rates in differ significantly across the UK, as local authorities’ approaches to eco-friendliness. Between 2017 and 2018, local authority recycling rates ranged from 14% to 64% . A staggering 42% of all waste handled by local authorities was incinerated and a further 12.5% was sent to landfill. On average, household recycling rates in the UK is 45.2%, falling short of the EU target to achieve 50% by 2020 as set in Directive 2008/98/EC . This policy paper argues that the UK government should legislate for a nationwide ‘Pay as You Throw’ policy to be employed by all local authorities to increase recycling and reduce general household waste. This would involve charging households on a per-bag basis for collected general waste, facilitated through a charge to the user upon purchase of the refuse bag. This scheme will help close the gap between the best- and worst-performing local authorities and help to raise recycling rates to the EU target and beyond. This policy paper analyses a scheme that has already been widely employed in countries such as South Korea, Switzerland, and Germany, and suggests how it might be adequately implemented in the UK.
els. Additionally, other current policies do not provide incentives for households to make environmentally conscious decisions as consumers – for instance, regarding packaging.
This proposal represents only a fraction of the wider strategy needed to reform waste management in the UK, with changes also needed at the production and disposal level. Our proposal is not intended as a comprehensive solution to problems outlined above, but rather one of the steps in moving towards a more sustainable circular economy. The current UK waste collection system is decentralised and largely outsourced to private companies. In England, household waste is managed by the district councils (waste collection authorities, WCAs). Since the 1980s policies of ‘competitive tendering’ have been introduced, meaning that WCAs choose between a number of waste collectors. Currently, waste collection service costs are funded through the council tax. This is a flat tax, and gives households no incentive to reduce their waste lev-
Pay As You Throw ‘Pay as You Throw’ (PAYT) is a scheme that is currently implemented in 17 countries in the European Union. This is an environmental tax in line with the polluter-pays-principle, meaning that environmental externalities are paid for by the party responsible. By having to pay exactly what one emits, spills, or in this case throws away, incentives are restructured in a way that reduces the externality, either by limiting the activity or finding (more efficient) alternatives. In this case, the aim of ‘polluter pays’ is that households both produce less waste and buy more recyclable products. PAYT is implemented in different ways, including volume-based, sack-based, frequency-based and weight-based schemes. (See table 1, page 62)
17 European countries currently implemented ‘Pay As You Thow’ schemes Proposal: PAYT in the UK This paper argues for a national implementation of a sack-based PAYT scheme in the UK in which households in every local authority are given a certain number of refuse sacks/bin liners each for the purpose of collecting general, non-recyclable waste (see table 2). The number of sacks distributed to each household would be based on the number of individuals in the household. They would be distributed on a monthly basis and would be free. Should a household require additional sacks, they will be required to pay a charge upon receipt of the sack. The charge in question would be set by the local authority. Based on EU municipalities currently employing this scheme, this charge could be set at anywhere between £0.50 to £5.00 . Bags would be available from retailers and the local council. Additionally, stickers priced within the same range as the sacks could be made available for 61
TABLE 2 purchase that would make non-scheme bags eligible for pick up. Households producing large amounts of waste due to extenuating circumstances, such as medical reasons, could request additional free refuse sacks from the council.
waste, as a means to get around the PAYT scheme, will be subjected to the current default fine for domestic waste receptacle offences (e.g. £60), additional steps before this fine could be a visit from the council as well as prior warnings as employed by several councils currently .
Given the UK’s current waste management landscape, this proposal ensures that the PAYT scheme continues to operate at the local authority level. Given the current fragmentation of waste collection, a pay-per bag system would not require much change in the current infrastructure (which, for example, weight-based systems would require). Many local authorities already distribute refuse sacks for recyclable and organic waste. Because of the small changes to current infrastructure needed, this scheme could be put in place in a relatively short time period.
PAYT schemes have successfully changed household habits of waste disposal in several European municipalities, as well as in other countries around the world, such as South Korea and the United States. According to the European Environment Agency, ‘all countries with recycling rates above 45% employ a similar system of PAYT while most countries with recycling rates below 20% do not use them’ . South Korea was the first country to implement PAYT country-wide; since its adoption of a volume-based scheme, total waste amounts have decreased, and the amount of waste recycled or composted has more than doubled between 1994 and 2004 .
Current penalties surrounding mixed recycling, administered as fixed penalty notices, would remain the primarily method for dealing with contaminated recycling and fly tipping. Residents who mix recycling and general 62
According to the OECD Environment Policy Committee, PAYT schemes create incentives to reduce waste and encourage recycling . In Torelles de Llobregat in Spain,
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT all non-recyclable waste, mainly packages and residual waste, was collected when households used special standardised plastic sacks provided by the Council. This led to a decrease in quantity of collected residual waste by 38% and increase in separately collected materials from 33% to 89%. In the case of Landkreis Schweinfurt, Germany, a weight-based fee was imposed for residual waste and biowaste. After the implementation of this waste management scheme, residual waste fell by 46% and recycling rates increased from 64% to 76%. In the case of Ghent and Destelbegen, Belgium , the waste charge was applied differently between rural and urban areas. In the city, residents had to purchase bags, whereas in rural areas residents paid per emptying of their container (tracked with a chip). As a result, the percentage of residual waste that account for the whole waste collected decreased while separation of different kinds of waste improved over time. Moreover, this scheme generated net social benefits of €20-30 per household. These examples show that PAYT does lead to a reduction of general waste levels and increased recycling. Beside the success of PAYT observed in other countries, the advantage of our proposal is its compatibility with UK infrastructure. Very few changes would have to be made, making it a realistic, relatively low cost, yet effective policy. A PAYT scheme does face several challenges. First, PAYT may prove unpopular , because people are unwilling to pay for something that they perceive free of charge. However, the removal of waste collection from the cost of council tax through the introduction of this scheme would theoretically reduce council tax rates. As such, this scheme might actually benefit some households financially, as was observed in Ghent. This scheme can even be considered fairer, because everyone pays exactly for what they pollute . Related to this ‘unpopularity’, PAYT is a regressive tax (as is the council tax) since especially larger or poorer households may be affected. In our proposal, all households are allocated a minimum number of bags based on household size, which can circumvent this problem. Furthermore, support for PAYT has been shown to increase over time in countries using PAYT . Second, PAYT could lead to an increase in illegal dumping of waste or the deliberate placement of general waste in recycling bins as a way to avoid paying . The discussed countries using PAYT all went through a transitional period but managed to address illegal dumping in different ways. In the case of Torrelles de Llobregat, stickers were put on the door of the houses that presented the bag wrongly but the waste was collected. When the households kept using wrong bags, a different sticker was
Proposal in short 1. Scheme that applies to general, nonrecyclable waste 2. Local authorities distribute bin bags to households based on number of household members 3. Local authorities charge households for all extra bags 4. Penalties for contaminated recyclable waste put on the door and the waste was not collected. In response to this challenge, countries such as South Korea have contracted local environmental groups, NGOs and supervision specialists to monitor of illegal dumping. Municipalities imposed fines for those who evaded the PAYT by illegally dumping or burning waste. This successfully reduced illegal disposal incidents by 87% since PAYT’s implementation in 1995 . In fact, it has been proven that the pay per bag scheme on the whole tends to result in the least amount of fly tipping of any PAYT methods . As discussed, this proposal just tackles one aspect of waste management. The effectiveness of the scheme could be improved by changing other aspects, such as creating multiple recycling bins, for example separating paper and glass. Other possible reforms could be taken at the production level, such as stricter regulation on the production of packaging. All in all, our proposal has several challenges, most of which we think can be addressed. A transitional period can be expected, but examples of other countries have shown that this can be dealt with. Furthermore, despite these challenges, we think that considerable strengths of our proposal makes implementation necessary. Conclusion We propose Pay-As-You-Throw as one of the solutions to increase recycling rates in the UK. By making households accountable for paying for the waste they produce, they will have an incentive to produce less waste and recycle more. Admittedly, this is not the only solution and should not be taken in isolation; other measures at both the production and disposal level would ideally also be taken. By making households accountable for the waste they generate, this proposal is aimed at creating incentives to directly increase recycling rates and creating awareness of the importance of this issue as part of wider waste management reforms. 63
#WeCantWait: WASH and Women in India Sanitation and waterborne diseases by abigail goh su-en
Globally, 2.3 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines, and nearly 60% of the world’s open defecation (OD) occurs in India alone. Other developing countries also face similar challenges when tackling the problems surrounding clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; problems which can be referred to as WASH. Cities in India and other countries such as China, Indonesia, Nigeria continue to grapple with the task of expanding basic sanitation services for their rapidly growing population, whilst concurrently building a sustainable service delivery model. Lack of sanitation availability has widespread consequences, but it is clear that men and women have specific sanitation needs, access and utilisation patterns, as well as experiences. Whilst both sexes are badly affected by poor sanitation facilities, women and girls are found to be particularly more vulnerable. This paper will elucidate how WASH impacts women and girls specifically, via loss of dignity, increased health concerns, and safety risks. Additionally, this paper aims to address the success and setbacks of current sanitation policy implications in India, and analyse whether they are applicable to other developing countries. Sanitation policy has been a part of India’s development planning since the early 1980s, and the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (SBA, also known as the ‘Clean India Campaign’) was launched four years ago in 2014. SBA’s sanitation mission targets urban India with the goal of creating ‘totally sanitised, healthy, and liveable cities and towns’ by 2019. By evaluating current policy plans in place such as SBA, failures can be addressed in order for solutions to arise. Background The consequences of poor sanitation have devastating effects on human health, the environment, education and the economy as a whole. When waste travels into open sewers and public areas/waterbodies, the spread of diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, tropical enteropathy becomes more likely. CDC (Centres for Disease Control) reports POOR MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT the shocking fact that diarrhoea kills ap(MHM) DISCOURAGES GIRLS ATTENDANCE IN proximately 2,195 children daily, which is more than AIDS, malaria and measles SECONDARY EDUCATION: 7 OUT OF 10 GIRLS combined. Alongside the waterborne diseases common in developing countries, DROP OUT OF SCHOOLS WITH NO TOILETS gender-based sanitation problems surrounding menstruation, education, nutrition, gender-based violence and psychosocial wellbeing need to be resolved.
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) stands for an equity, human rights, health, and environmental issue which is closely linked to sanitation. Poor sanitation facilities undermine girls’ and women’s ability to manage their menses, which leads to poor maintenance of personal hygiene. This entails inadequate privacy, water, toilet, and hygiene amenities to change, wash, dry and dispose of used menstrual absorbents. 65
THE SPECTRUM Moreover, MHM is a factor in school enrolment and retention, specifically in secondary and higher education. The difficulty for girls to manage their menses in school discourages attendance, causing education schemes to decline. According to Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Dr. Kodela Rao, ‘health expenditure due to poor sanitation wipes off 2-3% of the State Domestic Product and 7 out of 10 girls drop out of schools with no toilets’. Thirdly, organisational reports and anecdotal evidence suggest that sanitation has major nutritional impacts, causing women and girls to Women in the Indian state of Odisha. The ‘Khushi Scheme’, launched by the Health Department of Odisha in February 2018, involved distributing free sanitary pads to girl students throughout Odisha.
control food and water intake in order to minimise defecation and urination in a day. Intake is limited to certain times in a day, so that OD and urination can occur at night or early morning, when toilet facilities are available. These practices harm female nutritional status, and increases the likelihood of urinary tract infections (UTIs), constipation, and further urogenital and gastric problems. Given the nutritional needs during pregnancy and adolescence, such problems are particularly important to these stages of life. The fourth point addresses gender-based violence which poor sanitation-access enables. OD practices increases the risk of harassment, rape, and attack for many women in India and other developing countries. Other security measures are lacking with poorly-made facilities, making them unsafe due to lack of locks on doors and adequate lighting. According to a senior police official in Bihar (India), approximately 400 women would have escaped rape in 2013 if they had toilets in their homes. Lastly, the psychosocial effects correlated with OD and negative experience of toilet use are extremely damaging. Women and girls in these circumstances express concern over stigma and discrimination, due to their experiences of violence, harassment, or being seen openly defecating or urinating. Such incidences lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress, anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, and disgust. Given the social and cultural context in India, women and girls have the fear of taking blame for being assaulted, or accused of being unfaithful, and consequently disowned by their husband and/or families. The following case study will examine how ongoing Indian government sanitation initiatives attempt to recognise and address these obstacles. Case-study: Indian Government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ Sanitation policy has been a part of India’s development planning since the early 1980s; the most recent policy program, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (SBA, also known as the ‘Clean India Campaign’) was launched in 2014. SBA was introduced by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and it aims to make India an OD free country by 2019, in time for 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Historically sanitation has always been an underlying issue. Even Gandhi spoke about the need to improve hygiene and cleanliness; he stated that ’sanitation is more important than political independence’ in 1947.
GLOBAL HEALTH In addition to this, SBA is meant to further the goals of National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP, 2008-2015), to have ‘totally sanitised, healthy, and liveable cities and towns to ensure and sustain good public health and environmental outcomes for all their citizens...’. This statement encompasses the following: Open Defecation Free (ODF), toilet improvement, eradication of manual scavenging, improved solid waste management, promotion of behaviour change, creating an awareness generation, capacity-building of urban local bodies, facilitating private-sector engagement for capital expenditure, and operations and maintenance. During the National WASH Summit (November 2018), India’s Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs reported that the urban areas of India have constructed nearly 60.5 lakh individual household toilets under SBA (Urban) in the last four years. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is confident that the remaining targets of constructing 67 lakh toilets will be achieved before the deadline of October 2019. Policy Proposals 1.
In order to improve access to sanitation facilities the following needs to be implemented: connection to a public sewer or septic tank, simple pit latrine, flush latrine, or a ventilated and improved pit latrine. The infrastructure to safely collect and dispose of waste will be necessary to avoid public health crises and toxic pollution. In a 2017 brief published by the Centre of Policy Research India, failures of SBA are highlighted. Criticism regarding the lacking efforts to create infrastructure and institutional mechanisms to collect, treat and safely dispose of the waste, creating a new public health crisis. Using data from various sources, the brief lays out the inadequacy of wastewater and ‘faecal sludge management’ in India and argues for a focus on the entire sanitation value chain. Instead, local and state officials need to consider a diversity of local factors when choosing treatment options rather than solely opt for centralised, uniform solutions like sewerage. India is now 11 months away from the October 2019 deadline of declaring ODF and it is imperative to critically examine the government’s efforts vis à vis the creation of a ‘Swacch Bharat’. Current policy seems well designed because SBA (Urban) has fuelled a wave of toilet construction and the progress of SBA are en route to meet the deadline in 2019. However there are no similar investments in mechanisms to safely collect, transport, treat and dispose of the waste; production has ‘not kept pace’. Households with septic tanks account for nearly half of all latrine-owning households in India, but most cities still lack effective septage management facilities. The result of poor disposal is the vast majority of faecal sludge and wastewater is released into the environment untreated, leading to significant effects for urban public health. 2.
SBA needs to incorporate gender-responsive budget-
Key action areas: • Provision of household toilets • Community toilets • Public toilets • Solid waste management • Information education communication and public awareness • Capacity building and administrative and office expenses
ing and planning in the toilet initiative so that gendered health crises can be addressed and solved. Thus, adequate attention should be paid to the specific needs of women in the design, location and construction of toilets. The NBA constructs toilets which are shallow, without any door, roof or safe enclosure, raising vital safety concerns for women. Women and girls should be consulted and involved in the planning process of sanitation programmes and policies to ensure that their distinct needs are assessed. RTI International states the setbacks of SBA, as the policy does not make mention of sanitation needs specific to women and girls. This means the policy does not even make mention of MHM especially in the context of sanitation infrastructure and solid waste management for urban areas. However, there have been MHM guidelines that have been proposed to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in relation to SBA (Rural). The RTI policy brief also recommends the following:
Policy documents to advocate for gender-related research on sanitation practices and preferences at an urban/rural level to inform policy and program initiatives;
Include the disposal of menstrual waste products in solid waste management plans;
Spread awareness about actions that respond to women’s sanitation needs and gender- responsive sanitation solutions through public awareness campaigns;
Ensure women’s participation in the design of community, public and household toilets;
Implement monitoring and evaluation plans to evaluate facilitates, use patterns, and educational impacts for men and women;
Monitor frameworks in policy documents to include gender-responsive indicators disaggregate data by sex.
Gender-based Power Dynamics (at the household level)
Alongside gender-responsive policy awareness in government, the reshaping of power dynamics at the household level would aid in the solution to this global health issue in India. Women’s participation at the household level would encourage and improve the need for privacy in order to avoid gender-based violence and psychological trauma. For example, budget/subsidy toilets built under SBA should ensure privacy needs with a proper door, roof and enclosures. The lighting and location of
GLOBAL HEALTH these toilets should also meet the bathing, cleaning and menstruation needs of women and girls. Woman’s lack of ‘voice’ and presence in sanitary decision-making has slowed the construction and usage of toilets in households. A study in Nepal emphasised the significance of
ther action between: policy, practice.
Conclusion To conclude, the adverse effects of poor sanitation facilities, which target women and girls in particular, need to be tackled through sanitation policy and programming. Successful policy must enTHE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF POOR sure that effective sanitation facilities and services are designed to account for the SANITATION FACILITIES NEED TO BE gender-specific needs addressed above. ANALYSED FROM A GENDERED PERSPECTIVE Challenges which governments and organisations continue to face in 2018 stem including both men and women and addressing genmainly from three structural constraints: poverty, inadeder relations in decision making. This caused sanitation quate sanitation policy and its implementation, and gencoverage to increase by two times in poor households der-based power dynamics at both policy and household in villages where men and women were both involved, level. These structural constraints are the key factors in the health intervention training programme. This is that are limiting to toilet construction and use. The cona key factor which if implemented in the SBA effectively straints underlined above call for policy makers to revise can improve access to and consistent utilisation of toilet their resolutions specifically regarding sanitation polifacilities. cy not just India’s SBA, but also the World Bank funded ‘Slum Sanitation Program’ (SSP) for example. Regardless In an article by Tina Khanna, ‘Why gender matters in the of the current failures elaborated in this paper, policy imsolution towards safe sanitation?’, Khanna explains that provements that programs across the developing world the perceived gender gap for safe toilet did not have an can adapt have also been made clear. economic constraint. Women’s lack of control over the household budget does influence spending for toilet This paper emphasises the relevance of engendering construction, as toilet construction is not a large priorisanitation policy and programs, as the involvement of ty for men as they have less restrictions and household women and girls in processes will lead to sanitation solusanitation responsibilities. The article expands that men tions across the board. Although the proposals require have easier access to open fields and do not have to deal a larger budget to strengthen sanitation infrastructure with many of the same issues, and therefore were less effectively, solutions to the gendered issues simply begin responsive towards the challenges women face while with awareness. Awareness of the difference in experigoing out for OD. Khanna argues that it is important to ence of men and women with toilet use is where the solureaffirm the need for a review of sanitation programmes tions begin, through movements such as #WeCantWait and policies from a gendered lens in order to address and World Toilet Day. By addressing gender power relathe differential sanitation needs of women and girls. Her tions, health, education, and environmental crises can be research therefore illuminates certain directions for furavoided, saving millions of lives.
to people in the PAID PROMOTION “WorldTalkingHealthdirectly Organisation about their daily work was a fantastic opportunity. - Member of KTT Global Health Policy Centre Delegation to the World Health Organisation
Brexit and the NHS: Negotiating the Future of UK’s Healthcare by bethany elder and sifan zheng
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) and the single market may have serious implications for public health and the future of the National Health Service (NHS). With the NHS facing a period of financial constraints and calls to ‘do more with less’, there is an urgent need for innovation that will make the NHS into a health system resilient to the changes ahead. The exit from the EU adds extra difficulty in this changing landscape, but the NHS needs to ensure that patient safety remains the ultimate priority. This paper will outline proposals in three key areas: patient access to medicines and medical technologies, staffing, and reciprocal healthcare arrangements. The paper assumes that the basic standpoints of the British Government and the European Commission will be maintained, including the demand to exit the customs union and single market, to restrict the movement of people across British borders, and no longer be subject to the European Court of Justice. 1.
Align the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
The UK government must create a framework to align the MHRA and EMA’s initiatives in order to minimise disruption in pharmaceutical research, licensing, and access. The EU benefits from harmonised scientifThe number of vacancies ic evaluation, safety evaluation, and sufor doctors across all types pervision of medicinal products through the of NHS services EMA, which has two major advantages: pharmaceutical corporations do not need to seek approval from each member state, and member states cannot adopt protectionist legislation which bar new foreign drugs that may compete with domestic interests. The MHRA is an executive
agency of the UK Department of Health, which currently supports the shared regulatory framework of the EMA, including the option for manufacturers to submit medThe number of nurses icines in a centralised drug approval procethe NHS was short of in dure. If the UK were to leave the EU without a 2018 formal agreement on regulatory processes, marketing authorisation would need to be summitted to both the EMA and the MHRA. Duplicating market authorisation has been estimated to add an extra £45,000 for each new medicine, which would compromise the UK’s potential as an attractive destination for innovation.
The EU also accounts for 25% of the global pharmaceutical market, compared to the UK’s 3% share. It also provides incentives for pharmaceutical companies to invest in research and development of these nouveau treatments for rare conditions, such as fee waivers for regulatory procedures and market exclusivity. If international companies need to apply for a UK-only market authorisation, this may cause delays for access to new medicines and compromise the UK’s priority status for product launches. These delays would have serious consequences for patients suffering from rare diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophy or myotonia. On might argue that the UK’s withdrawal from the regulatory requirements of the EMA may improve the efficiency of bringing drugs to market. The Clinical Trials Directive has been criticised for its excessive bureaucracy, which has increased costs and delayed launching clinical trials by 90%. Nevertheless, the efficacy of self-regulation needs to be balanced with the significantly higher additional workload and costs incurred by the MHRA. As of yet, the capacity for MHRA to issue independent market authorisations have not been tested. Any drugs licensed through a divergent process would also need to undergo a separate approval process to gain EU market
British citizens protest against President Trump’s negative remarks about the NHS, indicating a deep attachement to the service.
access. These factors outweigh the potential increase in flexibility in approval time. The UK has the highest number of centres for pharmaco-epidemiology studies, the highest detection rate of flaws of medicines, and the second highest number of good manufacturing practice (GMP) sites in the EU. The MHRA and the EMA should devise an agreement that covers quality inspections and manufacturing processes to ensure that there is no immediate loss of expertise and stringent pharmacovigilance for drugs already on the market. A close cooperation the two agencies can ensure economic stability, and more importantly, maintain the high standards of drug safety and availability across EU and the UK. 2.
‘Golden Hello’: Develop monetary incentives to increase staff retention and recruitment for unfilled specialities and posts
There is a widening gap in the NHS between workforce size and healthcare demand. Over 100,000 staff vacancies have been reported by trusts this year. Over the next five years, the general population is expected to rise by 3%, and the number of patients over 85 is estimated to increase by 12%. This will significantly increase the pressure placed on the already overstretched workforce. Secondly, this paper proposes the use of financial incentives to boost recruitment in unfilled specialities and posts, as
well as increase retention of staff. Currently 55,000 EU nationals work in the NHS. A survey of EEA doctors by the GMC revealed that 60% were thinking of leaving the UK, with 90% of these stating Brexit was a factor in this consideration. Following the referendum result in 2016, the number of EU workers joining the NHS fell by 17.6%, while the number who left the service rose by 15.3%. In an effort to mitigate the increasing shortfall in staff, the government has committed to training more home-grown staff. Five new medical schools have been created as part of the government’s plan to train an extra 1500 doctors a year by 2020. An additional 10,000 nurses, midwives and allied health professionals will also be trained. However, in the short term, it is unlikely to steer us away from the ‘cliff-edge’ of a post-Brexit workforce crisis. Since it takes at least 5 years to train a medical student, an increase in junior doctors won’t be observed until around 2024. This second proposal aims to increase recruitment of international healthcare workers and improve the retention of junior staff by introducing financial incentives, such as a “Golden Hello”. This could encourage practitioners to apply for specialties or regions of the UK which have unfilled posts. Similar schemes have had success in the past. In 2018, the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme, run by NHS England and Health Education England, filled all of its 265 posts undersubscribed areas 71
THE SPECTRUM offering a £20,000 “Golden Hello” to GP trainees in exchange for a three-year commitment. Introducing similar incentives would help attract more foreign doctors and nurses to move to the UK after Brexit. Additionally, it would encourage British junior doctors to apply for training schemes in understaffed specialties. The cost of such a scheme would be balanced out by the substantial reduction of locum staff, which cost on average 20% more than employees from NHS staff banks. Introducing monetary incentives would enable a shortterm increase in qualified overseas staff, filling the staffing gap until the domestic workforce increases in the early 2020s. The UK can also complement this initiative by adapting its immigration regulation to facilitate the emigration for skilled international healthcare workers.
THE UK SHOULD NEGOTIATE BILATERAL RECIPROCAL AGREEMENTS WITH INDIVIDUAL EU STATES TO REPLACE THE CURRENT S1 SCHEME 3.
Negotiate bilateral agreements with individual EU states in order to replace the S1 scheme
This paper suggests that the UK government negotiates bilateral reciprocal agreements with individual EU member states to replace the existing S1 scheme. The S1 scheme is an aspect of the reciprocal healthcare agreement which allows the UK Department of Health to reimburse the costs of medical care received by British citizens who are EU residents. Currently, around 190,000 British Pensioners live in the EU and make use of the free healthcare afforded to them by this scheme. At the time of writing, British citizens will reportedly continue to receive care through the end of the transition period in December 2020. Beyond this period, the future of reciprocal healthcare is still under discussion. In the event that an agreement allowing continued reciprocal care is not brokered, British pensioners may have to return home to access free healthcare. Nuffield Trust estimated that if all the pensioners returned home, it could cost the NHS an extra £1 billion annually, and there would be a need for 900 extra beds. However, this scenario is unlikely to unfold, as it disregards the pensioners that would opt for private health insurance. Nevertheless, if a significant proportion of these individuals do return to Britain to access care, this will place a burden on the already stretched NHS. In the event of a no deal exit, this 72
may be inevitable, as pensioners’ right to maintain residency in their host countries would be uncertain. Our third proposal would prevent the high costs of UK pensioners returning home to access care. The strongest agreement would be one that, similarly to the existing S1 scheme, allows citizens to access healthcare in the other country, provided their own government reimburses the cost of treatments. This would dispel any fears that was generated in the run up to the 2016 referendum over “health tourism”, as the NHS would be able to recoup costs of EU citizens accessing care. The Department of Health pays around £500 million annually to EU countries to cover UK pensioner’s healthcare costs. Although this sum is sizeable, it costs about half as much than if they returned to the UK for healthcare. Therefore, paying for the treatment of UK citizens in the EU will be less expensive than treating them under the NHS. On March 23rd 2019, the Healthcare (European Economic Area and Switzerland Arrangements) Bill received Royal Assent and became UK law. The bill provided the Secretary of State the power to arrange and fund the provision of healthcare overseas. Nonetheless, no progress has been made yet to arrange any such deals with the EU as a whole, or with its member states. If these agreements are not made before the end of the transition period, there may be a window of time in which UK citizens abroad will not receive financial cover for their healthcare. Some EU member states have expressed interest in negotiating bilateral agreements. For instance, the Spanish government has released a statement indicating a willingness to arrange a reciprocal agreement. Spain currently has the highest population of UK citizens in the EU, with over 300,000 as of the 2011 census. France and Germany also possess large UK expatriate populations, and should therefore be prioritised when arranging deals. Conclusion 2019 is a pivotal year for the future of UK’s healthcare. The UK government’s negotiation position will play a major role in determining the health UK citizens at home and in the EU. Brexit’s potential ability to undermine the functioning of the NHS can have serious consequences for patient safety. As the proposals indicate, the UK’s autonomy post-Brexit does not close the UK off to cross-border collaboration. The three areas and policy proposals covered in this paper provide an ambitious, yet sensible, approach for the British Government to minimise the impact of patient health and confirms UK’s commitment to the highest standards of medical safety.
Mental Health of Non-Domestic Foreign Workers in Singapore by bhavya tripathi and abigail goh su-en
Singapore is a rapidly growing economy in South-East Asia, with an ethnically diverse population of 5.7 million. It is surpassing Hong Kong as the prime location for multinational corporation (MNC) headquarters in Asia. At least 46% of the world’s MNC’s are headquartered in Singapore, compared to Hong Kong’s 37%. Singapore has experienced this rapid growth in a short span of 53 years since its independence in 1965, through the aid of visionary leaders and migrant workers who helped build the city and its highly efficient infrastructure. Given the country’s expansive and ever-changing landscape, the demand for workers is on an annual increase. Yet, despite being an important asset to Singapore’s growth, migrant workers are often subject to labour abuse. There are approximately 1.4 million immigrants living in Singapore including professional, semi-skilled and low-skilled workers, of which nearly half of are construction-related jobs. Other low-skill employment for immigrants includes domestic help — a field dominated by young women from Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, and India. The focus of this policy proposal is non-domestic migrant workers who are engaged in sectors related to con-
struction. Over the past two decades, the government has begun to recognise the need to effectively revise policies to improve migrant workers’ health insurance coverages and living standards. Yet this demographic is still susceptible to poor psychological well-being due to indebtedness, disparities in accessing healthcare, and labour exploitation by employers. The government actions may be superficially effectively, but they are still unable to address the core problem at hand: the integration of migrant workers into local communities. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are delving into the issue by reaching out to the individuals in need, but a vast societal shift must occur in order to emancipate the migrant worker community. Background Migrant workers played a pivotal role in alleviating the labour crunch during the late growth In Singapore. While young Singaporeans are encouraged to pursue higher education, the infrastructural development is carried out by primarily off-shore Bangladeshi, Indian, and Chinese labourers. Over the years, Singapore has become one of the largest net importers of migrant labor. Migrant workers as a group are therefore crucial to Singapore’s infrastructure and landscape. Yet their work is far from recognised by society. The inequality and voicelessness of the demographic is detrimental to its social status, and results in their contributions and needs being ignored. This inequality puts migrant workers at risk, especially regarding lack of access to healthcare – let alone mental health care. This disparity is of course, not unique to Singapore, but also prevalent in the other Southeast Asian ‘tiger econ-
A foreign construction worker takes a break in Singapore’s city-centre. 73
THE SPECTRUM omies’ that have similar proportions of large migrant worker populations.
MIGRANT WORKERS PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE IN ALLEVIATING THE LABOUR CRUNCH DURING SINGAPORE’S RECENT GROWTH
BMJ Global Health recently investigated healthcare-seeking behaviour and mental health-access among non-domestic migrant workers in Singapore. Their findings put in perspective the ordeal workers endure to make ends meet and survive in a foreign country. Findings indicated that: •
61.4% of workers reported that they had insurance, but had poor understanding of whether it covered inpatient/outpatient expenses;
72.4% of workers had not, or were not sure if they had received information about company-bought insurance;
67.7% of those reported that information was not provided in their native language;
Non-specific psychological distress was found in 21.9% of respondents.
BMJ Global concluded that there are substantial financial barriers to healthcare, and a gap in migrant workers’ knowledge of healthcare coverage. These are the key stressors which spillover to cause psychological distress. Due to lack of mental health education, the labourers are unaware of the impact of such illnesses. Information asymmetry is a core agent of all of these stressors, as workers have poor knowledge with regard to eligibility to healthcare coverage. Anthea Ong, the nominated Member of Parliament, and advocate of mental health, has brought attention to this issue in the recent Budget 2019 Debate. In response to her questioning, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) asserted that: Migrant-workers may experience stress arising from being away from their families and having to adjust to a new cultures and work environments. In addition, they may have left their home countries for the first time. (2019)
From this statement, it is clear that the government recognises the issue, but does not acknowledge other indicators to be a stress agents which primarily cause mental illness in foreign labourers. It is also important to identify that stress is induced by separation from their home countries (separation from family, friends), which often they cannot return to for at least a year due to the financial strains. This by itself, regardless of external stressors can already be detrimental to their mental wellbeing, to which the government has responded by introducing the Settling-In Program (SIP), a mandatory course which all low-skilled migrants must undergo. Singapore has taken some measures to ensure migrant workers’ well-being in a foreign country. The SIP, for instance, involves one-day mandatory course carried out by MOM for all non-Malaysian work permit-holders in construction; it educates foreign workers on Singapore’s social norms, their employment rights and responsibilities, as well as Singaporean laws. This program’s primary purpose is to familiarize foreign workers with their new home’s societal norms and national laws, not to provide psychological support. (However, it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as an example of the government’s efforts to address and support the psychological distress and mental illness of migrant workers.) The Ministry of Manpower also works with NGOs, such as migrant workers’ Centre (MWC) and mental health advocacy organisations such as Silver Ribbon to provide counselling to workers in need. The government is more oriented towards rehabilitating and treating workers already unwell, rather than focusing on prevention and eliminating the stress agents which are outlined by the BMJ Global Health report. The Role of Non-Governmental Organisations NGOs provide a good blueprint for the how the Singaporean government could better cater to migrant workers’ mental health needs. NGOs make help enable integration and encourage positive relationships between migrant workers and local communities. The four biggest NGOs working in this field are the Migrant-Workers Centre (MWC), Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) and HealthServe. The MWC is backed by the Government, the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation, which works together with Silver Ribbon to provide counselling services for foreign workers in need. MWC has the most resources in terms of manpower and funding. TWC2, which runs a soup kitchen and provides shelter services, sees itself as a lobby group and advocate of migrant workers’ rights. HealthServe is the only NGO that provides low-cost med-
GLOBAL HEALTH ical and dental care for workers, in addition to running shelters and a soup kitchen. Constitutional and social inequalities between foreign workers and the locals also source communal tensions. These erupted in the 2013 Little India riots, during which approximately 400 migrant workers overturned police cars and buses over the unnatural death of a fellow labourer in Little India, an ethnic pocket where low-wage migrants would gather on Sundays to purchase affordable food and share free space. Many saw this outburst as a result of the oppression faced by the migrant worker community. However, Singapore’s immediate political response was to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places from 22:30 to 07:00 in order to maintain social order and prevent substance abuse. Little India was designated a Liquor Control Zone in the aftermath of the riots as a warning to “maintain order”. Such policy changes may be beneficial to the local community but they do not address their psychological issues. Policy Proposals Singapore has taken various measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of migrant workers through policy changes. Nevertheless, further amendments must be implemented to address the root cause of mental health issues within these communities. The following policy proposals aim to provide improving migrant wellbeing by breaking language barriers and reforming societal integration. 1.
Expand and overhaul the Settling-In Program
Currently the topics on the Settling-In Program include (1) understanding Singapore (2) local practices and social norms (3) employment laws (4) employment and work injury compensation rights (5) SGSecure, as well as other key laws. However, it is essential that more topics be covered in this course, including employee rights, health insurance, and mental health. For instance, migrant workers must be aware that, by law, employers must provide up to SGD 30,000 worth of medical coverage for work-related injuries. Yet the BMJ Global Health report shows that 38.6% of migrant workers are uncertain about having a health insurance at all. One reason for this is the language barrier. Indeed, there is no minimum education or basic English requirement to attain a work permit. The majority of workers speak little to no English, preventing them from being able to bargain with employers or express their concerns. The SIP should therefore be conducted in multiple languages,
especially Bangladeshi, Tamil, and Cantonese. Since SIP is funded by employers and carried out by independent stakeholders of MOM such as Absolute Kinetic Consultancy and NTUC Learning Hub, it can be expanded with none-to-less monetary demands from the government. 2.
Integrate English Enhancement Programs into the Employment Act.
English enhancement programs should also be integrated into Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) and the Employment Act. For the moment, only the NTUC Learning Hub, which is subsided by the Singaporean government, provides training in conversational English at SGD300 per person (NTUC Learning Hub, 2019). However, the average construction worker cannot afford such a program, nor find time to attend classes. Since it is not legally mandated, the employer has no incentive to send their employee for such courses. However, the integration of the course into national acts and sufficient government subsidy to the agencies would make these courses mandatory, thereby ensuring a basic standard of communication. It would help migrant workers understand the Workplace Injury Compensation Act (WICA), which is crucial to their labour rights. Nevertheless, although learning English will improve workers’ independence, it needs to complemented by mental health awareness programs. Cheaper options include self-help videos and booklets. These initiatives would help reduce stress and insecurity among migrant workers.
CONSTITUTIONAL AND SOCIAL INEQUALITIES BETWEEN FOREIGN WORKERS AND LOCALS ALSO SOURCE COMMUNAL TENSIONS.
Conclusion Small but important changes must be made to existing clauses within the Employment and Workplace Injury Compensation Act, in order to tackle poor mental health in the migrant worker community. In the past decade NGOs along with the government have taken effective but insufficient measures to administer a curative platform that help workers in need. This paper’s proposals focus on preventive action by focusing on the root causes. Mental health as a concept has only gained attention globally twenty-first century, and Singapore quickly ought to ensure psychological wellbeing within all its communities. Preventive measures would allow a more concrete and definitive track towards a holistic development of Singapore’s great asset, the migrant worker. 75
Fighting Fire with Fire: E-Mental Health as a Remedy for Depression in the Global South by amanda ignatia
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety have been on the rise globally. A WHO survey found an 18.4% rise in reported cases in the past 10 years . This alarming rise can be correlated with the presence of technology in the lives of younger generations. While these issues are beginning to be addressed in the global North, unfortunately, this is not the case in many countries in the global South. In countries such as India, Indonesia and China, these issues have been left largely untouched due to a lack of resources, prioritisation, and mental health professionals. This paper will propose the use of digital platforms as a solution for those battling mental health issues in urban India specifically, because of its high technological literacy rate but limited mental health support platforms. As a country undergoing a digital revolution, India is home to the second highest telecommunication network in the world. Focusing specifically on young people within the range of 13 to 24 years old, a group with the highest level of phone usage and mental disorders, this paper will first examine how certain technological usages have amplified a tendency towards anxiety and distress amongst young adults, and then go on to explain the general existing situation in the global South. Before presenting the policy proposals, I will explore the link between technological developments and depression, and lay out the current condition of mental health support in emerging countries. Technology and mental health In a hyperconnected world where anyone can access information at the swipe of a finger, it is no surprise that people have become highly dependent on technology such as the internet. Technology influences many aspects of our lives: from work functions, entertainment sources, to relationships and personal day-to-day activities. Digital technology has become so deeply embedded in the daily routine that most of the time, the mental implications seep into people’s lives largely unnoticed. An example of this is the mental exhaustion that accompanies ALTHOUGH NOVEL, THERE ARE the increasingly blurred line between work and personal MANY FORMS OF INTERNET-BASED hours. With email and Skype available on every smartphone and laptop, students are expected to constantly be doing TREATMENTS, INCLUDING PHONE something productive. Even when they are not working, their APPLICATIONS, COGNITIVE-BASED supposed “breaks” involve going on social media, where they witness the perfection and desirability of others’ lives. RathTHERAPY VIA MAIL OR TEXT, AND er than feeling accomplished, people tend instead to react ONLINE PROGRESS TRACKING negatively, building up feelings of self-doubt, jealousy, and insecurity. This constant pressure on one’s psychology is one of the reasons people experience anxiety and breakdowns.
There is also the constant comparison and workaholic tendencies, coupled with the trend of trading off in-person interactions for screen time which has led to high rates of self-induced isolation among youths. Because they feel like they are making enough interactions 76
GLOBAL HEALTH online, teens seldom seek out real relationships, which, if not properly addressed, risks fostering feelings of loneliness and anti-social behaviours. As a result, many are now turning to social media, often through fake or second accounts, to give them an outlet to express feelings such as isolation or loneliness. This is a problem affecting both the global North and the global South. Social media has created a society where teenagers feel like they have to present two different versions of themselves; this is because of the need to “brand” themselves a certain way to the general public. This much pressure on one’s mentality has been shown to lead to a certain level of unease within the social world, which causes one to withdraw from everyday interactions and activities. This is not to say that depression and anxiety are directly caused by digital technology, but they are a contributing factor in shaping the behaviour of youth, and consequently, their outlook on life. Emerging countries’ response Despite being a concurrent problem in youth communities everywhere, there is a stark contrast between attitudes toward depression and anxiety in the global North and global South. The lack of priority given to this issue is illustrated through a 2011 WHO survey, which shows that, whereas high-income countries like England and the Netherlands set aside 10.8% of their health expenditure exclusively for mental health issues, India only sets aside 0.06% of their health department budget for mental health expenditure . As a result, up to 85% of people with mental health issues remain untreated (Arjadi, et al. 2015) . The limited number of clinics and professionals, coupled with a widespread stigma associated with mental illnesses (such as its dismissal as a serious issue), means that only the upper-class tends to have access to mental health resources. It is not that there are less individuals in need of treatment in those countries, but due to widespread stigma surrounding metal health, teenagers and young adults often do not even realise they are experiencing forms of depression and anxiety. This is associated with the lack of exposure to mental health information. Rather than professional help, the response in these communities is to merely “suck it up” or “get over it”. People therefore continue their entire lives without addressing certain conditions related to their physical health, mind, and emotions. Furthermore, those struggling assume that there is no serious problem, thus cementing a lack of help-seeking culture. Development of e-mental health as an alternative Though it is a relatively new field of mental health response, there have been numerous innovative forms of internet-based treatments, such as phone applications, cognitive-based treatments (CBT) through text messages or emails, and online progress-tracking. Several studies have discovered that students find mobile mental health programmes desirable due to the ubiquity of phones, flexibility, and cost-efficiency, while also enabling rapid and timely communication. Research has found these platforms to be effective in helping patients with their mental health, through self-helping initiatives such as mood tracking, self-education, and self-monitoring. This focus on self-guided interventions has been proven suc-
Girls in school in Chennai, India
cessful in mitigating psychological distress and increasing treatment adherence (Seko, et al. 2014) . In addition to this individual focus, online platforms can also provide online community platforms, where teens undergoing similar situations have a safe environment to bond and engage in both structured and unstructured discussions. With proven success in behaviour modification through online therapy for issues such as smoking, diabetes, and
IN COUNTRIES SUCH AS INDIA, ISSUES RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH ARE ONLY NOW BEGINNING TO GARNER ATTENTION
obesity, these online therapy tools could also be helpful for conditions such as social anxiety . In India, the issue of mental health is only just starting to gain momentum, and recently, there have been initiatives to engage in conversation regarding online therapy as a means of addressing these issues (Mehrotra, et al. 2017) . A recent survey has found a high level of interest in the public for internet-based self-help programmes for depression treatment (ibid) . The most popular reason for this interest was a willingness to learn more about the condition as well as its effective treatments. Similar to the studies done in the global North, they were also drawn to the flexibility and and cost-efficiency of online treatment. Though several online therapy programmes are already early stages of development, an optimal public health impact heavily depends on a widespread uptake and high rates of adherence. For this to happen, people must first be well informed of the platform and be willing to give it a try. Policy proposals In order to properly address this problem, we must consider factors such as cost, resource availability, and patient willingness to subject themselves to proposed solutions. It is also important to keep in mind the prevalence of negative stigma correlated with people suffering depression and anxiety in these countries. Stigmas such as these require long-term cultural shifts. As such, the solutions I propose are subtle changes that will work as stepping stones towards progress. 1.
Create exclusive national health expenditure for mental health research and education.
It is understandable that countries in the global South would have larger financial struggles compared to their 78
northern counterparts, resulting in their governments’ reluctance to provide funding for problems that are not visible to the public. Most countries in such positions would rather focus on the more tangible problems, such as ensuring basic healthcare insurance. However, simple but continuous programs, such as mental health apps, anonymous help-lines, and information websites, can have a large effect in the long run without causing the national budget to deplete significantly. Easy, low-cost measures such as radio public service announcements have proven relatively effective in raising awareness among youths. 2.
Promote CBT-based digital platforms.
Cognitive-based therapy consists of two main elements: a cognitive part, which helps to form positive beliefs and outlooks on life, and a behavioural part, which helps coordinate healthier everyday actions. The most common form of online therapy involve online platforms where people are assessed based on a questionnaire and given treatment based on the algorithm. It has been shown, however, that patients tend to opt for self-guided treatments (involving mostly self-monitoring of emotions, which can then be further monitored and analysed by clinicians) which give them more flexibility and freedom to tailor the level of interference they want their treatment to include . A version of an internet-based self-help mental health app, PUSH-D, was tested among Indian youths, and found users to perceive the routine activity logging helpful in their treatments.
THE EMERGING ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENTS CAN BE ESPECIALLY USEFUL TO COUNTRIES WITH LIMITED FINANCES AND RESOSURCES
The drawback most often expressed by both academics and test subjects are concerned with the confidentiality and privacy of patient data. Moreover, because this is a relatively new field of research, there is yet to be conclusive data regarding the adequate response. This is a field for future development, which can be helped through collaboration with existing platforms that have succeeded in this area. Furthermore, there is also the self-diagnosis part at the beginning of this programme, which has a danger of producing a not completely accurate diagnosis due to the subjective judgement of one’s condition.
GLOBAL HEALTH It also needs the user to fully disclose their medical history to the online platform. One way to overcome this is through the development of follow-up questions regarding one’s condition even after the diagnosis to make sure of the right treatment. 3.
Create legislation making schools obligated to check-up on students regularly through emails or online platforms.
This sort of initiative has already been implemented in a number of education institutes, such as the University of Western Cape in South Africa. From the beginning of the school year, staff regularly ask about the psychological and emotional condition of students through a phone service. This is done in a less formal way, to refrain from being intrusive. While it is not compulsory for students to reply, their responses are met with a great level of seriousness, whatever the issue may be. Depending on students’ response, the school can arrange a face-to-face therapy or regular check-ups. By making it mandatory for education institutes to show regular interest or concern for people’s wellbeing, others may follow in their footsteps, therefore creating a more open environment to talk about mental health. This programme can be implemented in Indian schools and higher education. However, one obstacle it faces is
finding the qualified and capable healthcare professionals to handle the students’ concerns when they feel the need to consult face-to-face. Though the online interaction and check-ups may be fine without expert intervention, serious cases need capable support staff, without which the programme becomes a mere dead end. There is a very limited number of qualified psychologists, even in the urban areas due to the limited job prospects for those specializing in psychology. India’s Manipal University is one of the few universities in the global South who have tried to implement this student support system and encountered this as a problem . Universities often hire casually or hire staff through regular faculty to save on costs, thus making it difficult to ensure a high quality of support staff to advise students seriously. To address this issue, schools ought to consider sending counselors to training programmes in order to train them in properly treating mental health issues. Conclusion The rising role of technology in mental health treatment can be especially beneficial to countries in the global South, where resources are limited. Awareness of mental health issues can be increased exponentially, decreasing the negative stigma often associated with it. The rising levels of depression and anxiety among youth are seriously alarming, but technology can play a role in reversing this trend.
Religion and Society
RELIGION AND SOCIETY
‘Rapefugees not Welcome’: Gender and Anti-immigration Policy by hana kapetanovic
The terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand on the 15th March shed light on the extent of the rise of right-wing anti-immigration and anti-Muslim sentiment, reverberating not only in New Zealand but across the world. In fact, Australian MP Fraser Anning blamed the attack on ‘the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.’ In the UK, there was a 593% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes the week after the attack, more than those recorded the week after the 2017 Islamist terrorist bombing in Manchester. This suggests that the rhetoric and actions of anti-immigration and anti-Muslim extremists can have a direct impact on the safety and livelihoods of ordinary Muslims and immigrants across the world. Thus, countering the rhetoric of anti-Muslim and anti-immigration extremists is of great importance and is the aim of this policy paper. More specifically, this policy paper will examine gendered aspects of anti-immigration sentiment. While the most visible faces of the far-right are men, women make up over 40% of the voters for these parties, according to one study. This study also found that both men and women largely support these parties due to their opposition to immigration. Despite support for such policies coming from men and women, there are aspects of anti-immigration rhetoric that are gendered. The aspect that will be examined in this policy paper is the notion of migrant or refugee men as perpetrators of sexual violence against ‘native’ women. At the heart of this is the idea of women as the embodiment of the ‘pure’ nation and that sexual violence against ‘our’ women by ‘their’ men is something ‘our’ men must protect against. More simply, ‘women’s pain and rights are appropriated into a masculinist power politics’. This paper will set out policies that instead put women’s pain and rights at the forefront, and in doing so truly attempt to tackle the problem of sexual violence against women. Context: Anti-immigration policy The phrase ‘rapefugees not welcome’ began to be used by far-right demonstrators after the ‘Cologne sex attacks’ on New Year’s Eve of 2016, in which hundreds of women were sexually assaulted by groups of men, many of whom were identified as foreign nationals, particularly Middle Eastern and North African men. The media discourse surrounding the Cologne attacks frequently reminded the public that the attackers were ‘migrants’, ‘Arabic speaking’ or ‘of Middle Eastern and Arabic appearance’. Despite the fact that the perpetrators were overwhelmingly not from the EU, Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and a chief figure in the campaign to leave the EU, described these attacks as the ‘nuclear bomb’ of this campaign and portrayed a threat to women’s safety as a reason to leave the EU. Farage, therefore, conflated the two issues to paint a picture of a general threat to the safety of women in Britain to advocate for controls on immigration in general. In the UK, the phrase ‘rapefugees not welcome’ has since appeared in demonstrations, on Twitter and even on lamp-posts. A brief look at the Twitter page of the group that put up ‘rapefugees not welcome’ stickers in South Shields, for example, reveals multi81
THE SPECTRUM ple tweets making light of rape and no tweets campaigning against sexual violence in any context outside of ‘rapefugees’, suggesting that their serious stance against rape is tied to their stance against refugees. Linking refugees with rape leads us to the main policy implication of this rhetoric: immigration should be stopped or controlled in order to prevent sexual violence against women in Britain. The claimed objective is to work towards ending sexual violence and keeping women safe. However, as will be shown, this does not appear to be the real objective. UKIP, a party centred on the policy of exiting the EU in order to control immigration, mentions what is closest to a UK parallel to the Cologne sex attacks in terms of the way in which it has been used to justify anti-immigration policy – grooming gangs made up of men who are mostly, while not necessarily themselves immigrants, of Muslim and South Asian backgrounds. The fact that their race and/or religion matters is evident by their inclusion in UKIP’s policies under the section about restoring British culture, as though British Asians were not part of British culture. Policies addressing grooming gangs are the only policies pertaining to sexual violence in UKIP’s manifesto, which is problematic as it frames the problem of sexual violence in the UK as being exclusively about grooming gangs, of which they note ‘the vast majority of the perpetrators [are] Muslims.’
Melbourne Refugee and asylum seeker rights rally Saturday 27 July 2013
According to the journalist Allison Pearson, misogyny at the heart of the Pakistani Muslim community is the cause of grooming gangs such as those found in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford. She does not substantiate this claim, and while it is statistically true that the vast majority of recorded ‘Type 1’ group abusers of children – who target their victims ‘based on their vulnerability’ – are of South Asian backgrounds, recorded ‘Type 2’ group abusers of children – who target their victims based on ‘a longstanding sexual interest in children’ – are white. However, no one is making assumptions about white communities based on this fact. There appears to be a hypocrisy in the fixation on sexual violence committed by migrant, refugee or particular ethnic minority communities. If the objective really is to work towards ending all sexual violence against all women, the policies proposed by Farage, UKIP, and other right-wing anti-immigrant figures or groups such as Generation Identity and 120db are insufficient for two main reasons. Firstly, they do not protect women in the UK from non-migrant or refugee perpetrators. The proposed policies of these groups would not necessarily protect British women from the group they are at most risk from in terms of sexual violence – known acquaintances. The vast majority of sexual violence in the UK is committed by British men against British women. Therefore, to really tackle sexual violence in the UK, the focus should be on policy pertaining to sexual violence itself, rather than immigration. Secondly, these policies do not protect migrant or refugee victims of sexual violence. In fact, many migrant and refugee wom-
RELIGION AND SOCIETY en are victims of sexual violence at higher rates than the general population. The website ‘rapefugees.net’ attempts to compile cases of rape committed by refugees in Germany and after an in-depth investigation by Der Spiegel, it was found that not only did merely 59 out of 445 of the reported cases pertain to rape, the majority of victims were refugees themselves. In the UK, there have been reports of women being passed on to immigrant enforcement and facing arrest after reporting sexual violence, or being afraid to do so in fear of such consequences. In a practical sense, stopping an influx of migrants or refugees would not protect migrant or refugee victims on migration routes or in the countries of origin. The problem is wider than the specific perpetrators that anti-immigration rhetoric focuses on. One major challenge for policymakers on this issue is that there are accusations that political correctness is stopping real action. Policymakers appear to be battling with the question of whether to highlight these issues and potentially stoke anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant feeling or whether to keep the issue under wraps and potentially face accusations of a cover-up. Neither considers the question of justice for the (mostly) female victims and their future safety and security. We are at a time of great change in terms of sexual violence: previously suppressed cases are being brought to light, both in terms of historic abuse by mainly white British men and grooming gangs of mainly South Asian men. Cover ups of sexual violence do not necessarily have to be about ethnicity, therefore, but certainly victims do lose out. The following section will put forward policy proposals, which put the concerns and needs of victims first.
In an 2016, interview for the Sunday Telegraph, then UKIP leader Nigel Farage caused controversy after warning that British women could be ‘at risk of mass sex attacks’ if Britain remains in the EU and allows immigrants to enter the country.
Policy proposals 1.
Use statistics sensitively in order to tackle all forms of sexual violence with specific, targeted strategies.
Using statistics about ethnicity, such as those about Type 1 and Type 2 group abusers of children, is deemed extremely controversial as they can be used to make generalisations about entire communities, the overwhelming majority of which do not engage in criminality. These statistics should not be used to portray each community member as a potential suspect for the type of crime their community disproportionately engages in. Rather, these statistics can be used to get to the root of why certain groups are more likely to commit certain crimes and be victims of others. This can help identify priorities in policymaking, focus crime prevention and create a safer environment. Therefore, in cases where there is a particularly strong connection between a type of crime and a community, if handled sensitively and put in context, such statistics might prove useful for devising specific and effective strategies to tackle sexual violence. 2.
Take seriously accusations of sexual violence coming from migrant and refugee women and ensure a safe environment for them to voice these concerns. 83
THE SPECTRUM The problem of migrant and refugee women not reporting sexual violence due to their immigration status has been recognised and investigated by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and London’s Victims’ Commissioner. Their proposals should be put in place, which include reinstating legal aid for immigration cases and entitling these victims to financial support and safe accommodation regardless of their immigration status. These proposals can be taken a step further by considering accusations of sexual violence without looking into immigration status and seriously re-evaluating the wider criminalisation and securitisation of illegal immigration, embodied in controversial detention centres like Yarl’s Wood. Particularly in the case of women who have experienced a crime like sexual violence, the ‘crime’ of illegal immigration should not stop them from receiving the help they need. By centring policy around victims of sexual violence, we can create an atmosphere of safety for all potential victims from all potential perpetrators. 3.
Promote sex education as widely as possible, including a programme targeted towards adults.
After the Cologne attacks, Germany launched a sex education manual called Zanzu. It might appear patronising to be targeting migrants with often elementary sexual education, but education can make a difference in leading people to reconsider their behaviour. Sex education targeted to adults, including migrants, should be constructed and promoted in universities, at work and when applying for citizenship. Many saw consent workshops introduced at universities in the UK as patronising, but the high levels of sexual violence at universities suggest that this education is necessary. On a related note, the government should remain strong in the face of
protest against the new Relationships and Sex Education programme and not allow parents the right to withdraw their children, due to the importance of such topics to the safety and security of not just women, but people in the UK. Conclusion This paper has aimed to set out policies to tackle the problem of sexual violence against women. Many anti-immigration policies have also claimed to do this. Yet stopping immigration in order to ensure the safety of British women from the threat of sexual violence is disingenuous. If the objective really were to stop sexual violence against British women, these groups would not solely focus on acts committed by migrants or refugees (or the British Asian community). After all, statistically, the biggest sexual violence threat comes from known acquaintances. Furthermore, anti-immigration policies would not protect migrant or refugee victims of sexual violence, who are often particularly vulnerable in these circumstances. The focus should therefore be on sexual violence itself, not immigration, and its victims. That is precisely what the policy proposals made in this paper aim to do; firstly, statistics must be used in an honest manner to counter any myths and help target specific crimes. Secondly, a safe atmosphere must be created for all women to be able to come forward with accusations of sexual violence without fear of arrest or deportation. Thirdly, sex education should be promoted for both children and adults, with the latter particularly concerned with issues of consent. The potential for one person to rethink their actions due to these policies is a powerful prospect.
The event was an excellent opportunity for students to put their academic knowledge into practice. For professionals, it provided an occasion to discover new thinking coming from a variety of backgrounds. - BA Student, Policy Hackathon attendee
RELIGION AND SOCIETY
An Unresolved Dilemma: Political Representation in Bosnia and Herzegovina by tomaz zboril and aanvi tandon
The aim of this paper is to address the underlying causes that lead to tensions between different ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina and provide proposals to reduce those tensions. We emphasise the political under-representation of those that belong to minority social groups and communities who cannot vote in their respective entities; for example, Croats living in a Serbian part of Bosnia. By focusing on the role that ethnicity plays in present-day Bosnia, this paper highlights some of the inherent political structures in the country that cause under-representation. Background Bosnia declared independence on former Yugoslavia in the 1992. The following civil war plunged the country into conflict between Bosnia’s different ethnic groups. The Dayton Peace Accords of 1995 have been the basis of peace-establishment in Bosnia, and is the foundation of the country’s current political structures. Bosnia is still under the presence of UN forces even after the adjournment of the ICTY due to the nature of its structures. The EU, on the other hand, has not yet managed, in spite of its multi-phased role, to bring political stability to the country and gradually include it inside the European Union. Present-day Bosnia consists of two semi-autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is largely dominated by Bosniaks with Bosnian Croats, and the Republika Srpska (RS), which is dominated by Bosnian Serbs. Today, Bosniaks make up half of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the majority of the remaining population is comprised of Serbs (30.8 %) and Croats (15.4%). These are considered as “the constituent peoples,” the peoples that enjoy the full rights of citizenship under the constitution The principle feature of Bosnia. There are also the “Others,” a term which distinguishes used to describe all other nationalities of Bosnia Bosnia and Herzegovina’s like Albanians, Monteneethnic groups grins, or Roma. Others are around 3.6% of the
country’s total population (although, the statistics vary). In total, there are 17 legally recognized national minorities, labelled as “Others”. There are many interpretations of Bosnia’s political situation. Here, we identify the integration of national identity with religious ethnicity. For the Bosniaks, for example, national identity is heavily deof citizens belong to one rived from the religion and geography, of three major ethnic which are commonly cited as the key base groups: Bosniaks, Serbs, stones of the identity. and Croats This identity formation lies in the former-Yugoslavian understanding of Muslims within its borders. While Muslims have inhabited the region since before the creation of former-Yugoslavia, it was during the developments between 1971-1981, when Muslim communities were recognized as a “special nationality,” equal to Serbs and Croats.
Language is another tool that can be used to understand the divisions in the country. The lingua franca of the federation is often referred to as Serbo-Croatian and, by various resources, called a “polycentric” language, similarly to Arabic or English: such language has different levels of variations but all speakers understand each other. This is what makes the division so special: in spite of the fact that all people in the country understand each other’s language, due to the heavy emphasis on language, identity and the association of one’s language with one’s ethnicity, there is no consensus on “one language.” All political texts and processes are conducted in three languages (or language variants): Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. In terms of political structure, the institutions of the Federal State were weaker than those of its two constituent entities, the RS and Srpska. The federal government was made, for example, responsible for foreign affairs, customs union, trade or inter-entity law enforcement. The aim of this was to have power distributed as locally as
THE SPECTRUM possible, something that the EU and the United States have both stressed on since the presence of international forces in the country. The drawback to this, however, is that it led the two entities to develop strong nationalistic characteristics. As a result of this, the ‘Others’ are under-represented in the system of the federation and its two entities. This is not restricted to the minorities of the country either – as mentioned before, even those people belonging to the ‘constituent peoples’ category but live in an entity “designed” for the other ethnicity are deprived of a political representation. This division, with roots along ethnic lines is therefore deep in legislative, executive and judicial power; judges are distributed among the 3 constituent peoples and lack representation of all minorities. Policy Proposals 1.
In terms of the Dayton Accords and the Role of the International Community:
The government should further the bottom-up approach to reforming the state’s own operations and steadily decrease the role of external actors, such as the UN International Police Task Force (IPTF), and include a multi-ethnic system in the local police forces in existing training so there is more interaction among them as well as between them and the locals. These forces should be accountable to the local government structure, but mandated by the federate ministerial organisation, the Ministries of Interior in both BiH and Republika Srpska. The IPTF has been known to be unaware of the local judicial processes and disrupt legal proceedings based on their lack of knowledge of the system, and this makes them liable to bias. By ensuing more harmony within the communities in the local police, there will be more interaction of members of different ethnicities with the local population which can thus reduce the hostility between them. 2.
In terms of identity building and school curriculum:
Undertake steps that would build a common identity among Bosnian citizens based on common history, language(s) and culture. The only way that Bosnians can overcome the current division and move forward is to build up one common identity. There is a prevailing insistence on usage of only one lan-
guage variation during classes in schools, further creating a division between different peoples. One step forward would be to remove this language limitation and allow use of any language variation on any occasion. This step could be accompanied by gradual removal of school segregation. A similar approach could be taken in media where all variations of Serbo-Croatian could be used. While the EU is possibly limited in promotion of such approach by various reasons, gradual reform could be promoted by the high representative. 3.
In terms of EU Strategy:
There is a need for a strong, approach by the European Union during negotiations and implementation at the governmental level. This failed in 2006-07 due to the prevalent political context of elections and nationalistic sentiments, and post elections now, the EU needs to reassert its emphasis on the need to establish equal rights for all people, including the “Others” in order to reduce political inequality and instability of population movement. Pragmatic approach to EU economic support by the EU to the Bosnian government. The presence of the High Representative in the state means there can be an empirical analysis of whether, and to what extent, constitutional amendments relating to equal political rights to all ethnicities are implemented, and the effects of this development. Conclusion This paper addressed some of the existing structures in Bosnia that emphasise the role of ethnicity in political, social and cultural spheres of life. The solutions we have proposed are focused on different dimensions of existing political and social sectors of the country. While each of them might contribute to end the discriminatory systems in place, the existing national tensions between the constituent peoples are undeniably strong and need a long-term, multi-faceted approach in order to be fully resolved and even that might not be enough for the positive change. This approach should to be adopted by the EU, the UN, and local politicians. Re-opening the Bosnian question involves engaging with questions of sovereignty, democracy, nationality and religion, and it is fundamental that all the changes should be gradual as given the history of the country, they might be perceived as a threat to the national identity. People of Bosnia should identify themselves with their demos, or citizenry, instead of their ethnos, or ethnicity, in order to create a truly lasting peace.
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Elina Solomon Editor in Chief & Designer
Policy centre editors
Lea Louvradoux European Affairs
Anais Herne Defence and Diplomacy
Zulekha Butt Education
Lucia Saborio Perez Energy and Environment
Abigail Goh Su-En Global Health
Megan Avey Religion and Society
Garik Mirzoyan Researcher
Eva Barnsley Researcher
Bartlomiej Mozdzen Business and Economics
Inès Leroyer Researcher
Amulya Singhania Researcher
Julia Sandberg Researcher
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 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. He is now a Managing Director & Associate General Counsel in the Legal Department of J.P. Morgan Chase & Company, based in London. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan in 1999, he was a solicitor in private practice for 7 years, specialising in derivatives, structured products, and financial markets law.
Letter from the President In the aftermath of the London student riots nine years ago, a small group of politically-engaged undergraduates at King’s decided to form a student society called the King’s Think Tank (KTT) that would ideally serve as a bridge between young people, policymakers, and politicians in the United Kingdom. This vision stemmed from their belief that university students would be better off channeling their energies into policy advocacy and lobbying instead of taking to the streets and boycotting lectures. Regardless of the relative efficacy of these strategies, this small group students caught onto something that would transcend political ideologies and stand the test of time almost a decade later. Today the KTT has grown into a society which encompasses seven different policy centres ranging from Global Health to European Affairs and a core committee which sets the strategic direction of the society in any given academic year. The team is consistently composed of a significantly diverse mix of students across different departments and at different levels from undergraduates to PhD students — all united in the common belief in fostering the next generation of public policy practitioners. Central to the KTT’s operations is The Spectrum, our annual policy journal which collates a combination of expert opinion and independent research into today’s most pressing political questions as set out by each Policy Centre. This journal serves as our public policy platform disseminated to our stakeholders and represents the culmination of a year’s worth of policy writing and panel discussions. This past academic year, the KTT organized a total of 15 events on campus including expert panels, policy hackathons, as well as more intimate roundtables with policymakers. Examples of issues discussed include structural inequalities in the British educational system, ongoing technological competition between the two superpowers, the mental health crisis facing refugees, and the possibilities of investing our way out of climate change. Beyond the UK, the European Affairs, Business & Economics, and Global Health Policy Centres sent its members to the EU Parliament, the World Trade Organisation, and the World Health Organisation respectively to present policy proposals, cement existing partnerships with our stakeholders, and ultimately gain invaluable insights into the intricacies of policymaking at the regional and international level. Having the opportunity to lead one of these trips was one of the many highlights of my experience with the KTT, and I strongly encourage you to participate in these trips to our partner organisations next year. Looking ahead, a dynamic and multi-disciplinary team are already set to take the KTT to new heights in the next academic year and I am incredibly excited to see what the future holds for this society. On a more personal level, I am honoured and thankful to have had the opportunity to lead a team consisting of some of the most passionate and politically-engaged students I have met in my life. If you are looking to join a society at King’s that would allow you to gain real-world skills in public policy and ultimately, grow as a human being at one of the world’s best universities then look no further. Afiq Fitri President King’S think Tank
Thank you to our academic sponsors, the KCL Department of Political Economy and the KCLSU Development Fund. 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. 89
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DEFENCE AND DIPLOMACY US Network Security 1.
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EDUCATION Teacher Shortage UK 1.
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21. Lotte De Schrijver et al., ‘Prevalence of Sexual Violence in Migrants, Applicants for International Protection, and Refugees in Europe: A Critical Interpretive Synthesis of the Evidence’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15, no. 9 (11 September 2018): 1979. 22. ‘Is There Truth To Refugee Rape Reports?’, 17 January 2018. 23. Catrin Nye, Natalie Bloomer, and Samir Jeraj, ‘Victims of Serious Crime Face Arrest over Immigration Status’, BBC News, 14 May 2018, https:// www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44074572. 24. Anja Parish, ‘Gender-Based Violence against Women: Both Cause for Migration and Risk along the Journey’, Migration Policy Institute, 7 September 2017, https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/gender-basedviolence-against-women-both-cause-migration-and-risk-along-journey. 25. ‘Mayor Calls to Protect Victims of Serious Crime with Insecure Status’, Mayor of London, 15 August 2018, https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/protect-victims-of-crime-with-insecure-status. 26. Alan Travis, ‘More Rape and Torture Victims Being Held at Yarl’s Wood, Report Says’, The Guardian, 15 October 2017, https://www.theguardian. com/uk-news/2017/nov/15/yarls-wood-chief-inspector-prisons-reportrape-torture. 27. Chloe St George, ‘Resistance to University Consent Classes Shows Schools Are Failing to Educate Young Men on the Dangers of Sex’, The Telegraph, 21 March 2017, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/03/21/resistance-university-consent-classes-shows-schools-failing/. 28. ‘Birmingham LGBT Row: Parkfield School Protests Resume’, BBC News, 21 March 2019, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-47652563.
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