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A Note from the President We are writing history You may well remember the scenes of November 10th 2010, when 50,000 students took the streets of London to protest higher education cuts and the rise in tuition fees to £9,000. A generation changed. The notion that young people were somehow apolitical, post-ideological or simply not bothered to shape the world around them, so resonant in the media and public opinion just a few years back, suddenly seemed hollow. In the wake of the 2010 protests, a group of idealistic and driven King’s students took it upon themselves to found the KCL Think Tank. They did so with a grand ideal in mind: to create an open forum for debate and reflection, through which students could actively contribute to solving the issues with which our society grapples. Its goal was not to oppose or preclude, but to think and to contribute. We wanted to design policies for our future and redefine the politics of a generation. Two and a half years later, we work in 7 policy areas, and have seen the first programme dedicated exclusively to skills. Over 2,000 students have granted us their support by becoming members. We have had the great honour to receive some of Britain’s finest minds and most influential policy-makers. Our members have had thought-provoking discussions with diplomats, CEOs, directors of think tanks, journalists, campaigners and academics. By contributing their visionary ideas for a different tomorrow to this publication, our members can pride themselves on re-invigorating one of Britain’s most outstanding traditions: the celebration of independent thinking and innovation. This society is driven by its members, and thus only exists because of all those that write policy recommendations for The Spectrum, attend our events or write to their MPs to ask specific and wellinformed questions about pieces of upcoming legislation. For us as a committee, it is humbling and inspiring to witness just how much this generation of students wants to make a difference for the better. We can only express our greatest gratitude for the efforts that all of you have made. I firmly believe that this is only the beginning of the exciting journey ahead. As student-led think tanks are now being founded across Europe, it is becoming ever more apparent that their legacy will also go beyond the confines of our alma mater. In a changing world, the policy process itself will inevitably have to change. In light of the overwhelming challenges that our societies face, politics will have to mutate into an ‘incubator of innovation’. Students offer exactly the creativity and original thinking that is needed to address the complex challenges of the 21st century. Policy recommendations such as those included in this journal should and will provide an impetus to new forms of thinking that yield new solutions.
KCL Think Tank Society President 2012-2013
Editor’s Note ‘It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment’
Thousands of years ago, Cicero had already understood the essence of how mankind accomplished the many wonders it did and today, this statement still applies. This collection of well-thought contemplations on contemporary issues in fields that go from healthcare to political strategy is the proof of that, and the incredible trajectory the Think Tank Society experienced this year. From five policy centres to seven, with the additions of Law and Education, a surge in speakers, and especially in engaged students who commit to the events created, to debate on the issues at hand and present their arguments in consistent policy recommendations, the Think Tank has truly grown into a solid and recognised organisation that strives to make a difference. I am honoured to have been a part of this wonderful voyage, through fun times and hardships, and have no doubt that it will continue to develop in scope and achievement. This adventure could not have been possible without the help of the many contributors who worked hard to realise this project – the dedicated students who spent time and effort writing the following policy recommendations and without whose contributions this journal would never have existed. I want to thank my team of editors for their amazing work and ardour in reading, reviewing and re-reviewing every piece to make sure the Spectrum contained nothing but the best, as well as every member of the committee who diligently organised the events and turned the Think Tank into what it is today. I also wish to express my gratitude to our sponsors, the KCL Annual Fund a Norton Rose Fullbright LLP, the speakers who took part in our conferences and finally, you, the reader, for taking the time to go through this journal and engaging with our society. This year has been rich in important happenings across the world, from the US presidential election to the educational reforms taking place in the UK, and it has been our goal to consider as many events as possible, document them and try to advocate realistic solutions for the issues at hand. The breadth of topics covered demonstrates the authors’ personal opinions on the range of subjects, as well as the level of their intellectual reasoning and a wish to make a difference, even if by pen only for now. I hope that in the coming years, the number of such inspiring minds will continue to grow, and gain in authority. I will leave you with this phrase by Voltaire – and my personal motto – ‘You must cultivate your garden’, in the hopes that it will enlighten your future development and that, like Voltaire, you will nurture your own self to grow into one of the leading minds of the 21st century. Thank you for taking the time to read this collection of policy recommendations, and I hope you enjoy it and gain new insights into the matters discussed.
KCL Think Tank Society Editor in Chief 2012-’13
26 events, 82 speakers, tens of students writing policy recommendations and an undeniable recognition of the fact that students have become and will stay an integral and crucial actor in the policy process. Thank you so much to all of you that have been involved with the KCL Think Tank this year - together we are writing history!
Table of Contents About the KCL Think Tank 01
Defense & Diplomacy Is The EU A Foreign Policy Actor? 2 India’s Military Effectiveness: The South Asian Sphere Of International Politics In The 21st Century 7 The EU Approach Towards Cybercrime 10
Business & Economics Big Data: Should There Be More Or Less Regulation? 15 The Middle of the Road Approach to Europe 18 The ‘Dutch Disease’ in Canada: Are Alberta’s Oil Sands An Economical Blessing, Or A Curse? 22
Law Strengthening UK Democracy Via Parliamentary Education 30
Energy & Environment The Land Of Blue And Black Gold: The Two Sudans And The Future Of Their Shared Mutual Resources 37
Education Comprehensive Solutions For Comprehensive Secondary Schools 43
Healthcare What Are The Most Important Challenges In The Field Of Health, Conflict And Peace Today And How Should They Be Addressed? 47 Tackling Smoke-Related Diseases: Serious About Fact-Meaning Separation? 51
Current Affairs First Alone, Not Among Equals: US Grand Strategy And The Future Of American Power 57 Is Terrorism A Continued Cause For The War In Afghanistan? 63
Acknowledgements The Spectrum | edition 03
Copyright Notice Permitted Uses; Restrictions on Use Materials available in this publication are protected by copyright law and have been published by the King’s College London Think Tank Society (“KCL Think Tank Society” or “KCL Think Tank”), a member of the King’s College London Student Union. Copyright © 2013 KCL Think Tank. All rights reserved. No part of the materials including graphics or logos, available in this publication may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without specific permission. To request permission to use materials, please contact our editorial team on firstname.lastname@example.org. Distribution for commercial purposes is prohibited unless prior agreed upon with the KCL Think Tank Society. Disclaimer The views and opinions expressed in the articles that form this publication are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the KCL Think Tank. The authors of the articles retain full rights of their writings, and are free to disseminate them as they see fit, including but not limited to reproductions in print and Web-sites. The KCL Think Tank does not endorse, warrant, or otherwise take responsibility for the contents of the articles.
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The first student-led policy institute in London Founded in 2011, KCL Think Tank is the first fully student-led, independent policy institute in London. As one of the very first and most successful student think tanks in Europe, KCL Think Tank now counts seven independent policy centres, several hundreds of members and a highly successful academic journal, The Spectrum, that was downloaded over 2000 times in 2012 alone.
About the KCL Think Tank The KCL Think Tank Society is the first student-led policy institute in London and the largest organisation of its kind in Europe. It was founded in the wake of the student protests as a way of giving students another means of getting their voices heard. The Society exists to provide students at Kingâ€™s College London with an opportunity to express their opinion on the most pressing social, political, and economic challenges of our times, and to enhance their professional and personal development. We engage students from a wide range of disciplines, regardless of their background or political affiliation. The uniqueness of our work lies in bridging policy-makers and students by allowing students to express their voices on issue-specific public policy matters. We give students the tools and platform to introduce their ideas, form them in a qualitative piece, and get them published. We encourage and support students in writing qualitative, evidence-based articles to suggest the most appropriate policy solutions. We have well-established relationships with Masters and PhD students to help undergraduate students in doing so. These articles are published in our annual journal The Spectrum, the third edition of which you are holding in your hands. We give students the tools and platform to introduce their ideas, form them in a qualitative piece, and get them published. The Society exists primarily for students, and thus we believe that our greatest achievements is that over the past three years of our existence we have attracted students of all disciplines and stimulated their interest in evidence-based policy making. We believe we are fostering a new generation of policy makers. We are striving to change the idea of who can make and shape policy.
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Defense & Diplomacy
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Is The EU A Foreign Policy Actor? Cedric Cordenier
The Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 was a momentous step for European integration. It signaled the end of a Europe united solely for economic gain. Maastricht included measures that significantly expanded the scope of the EEC, replacing it with a European Union based on three pillars: the European Community, dealing with matters of internal and international trade and development, the CFSP or Common Foreign and Security Policy, designed to transform the eclectic collection of member-states into a cohesive whole in terms of external policy, and the home and justice affairs pillar, which deals with transnational crime, immigration and human rights amongst others (Fraser 2007: 8–9).
But the process of integration has not lost steam since then. Successive treaties such as that of Amsterdam in 1997, Nice in 2001 and Lisbon in 2007 have served to further enlarge the remit of the European Union. These treaties, in particular, have sought to transform the EU into a credible foreign policy actor by attempting to align EU capabilities with its conception of itself as international actor capable of dealing with complex security tasks (Merlingen and Ostrauskaite ̇ 2008: 10–13). For all this, however, there are doubts as to whether it is possible to classify the EU as a foreign policy actor, let alone a meaningful and credible one. To date, civilian and military interventions on the part of the EU have been relatively low-key, and member states have found it difficult to act in unison on such important and controversial issues as Iraq in 2003 and, today, the crisis in Libya (Crowe 2003: 534; “European diplomacy disarmed” 2011). In light of these issues, is the EU destined, then, never to become a foreign policy actor in its own right? In order to answer this question, this essay will seek first of all to understand what makes a foreign policy actor, identifying two areas in which the eu and its member states must act cohesively to qualify as such, and evaluating whether this is the case. Of importance here is that a country or supranational entity does not need to have a successful foreign policy to be a foreign policy actor—it is the capacity to act cohesively rather than coherently or successfully that matters. In The Capability-Expectations Gap, or Conceptualising Europe’s International Role, Christopher Hill provides a useful starting point for understanding what makes a foreign policy actor (1993: 316–317). He suggests that for any polity to be considered a foreign policy actor it needs to possess significant competences in three areas. Thus it must have i) basic constitutional powers, such as the ability to declare war or mobilise armed forces, or to regulate trade and ratify treaties; ii) unified institutions and policies, that is, one military, one diplomatic service and Foreign Office, and cohesive policies in terms of economic development and iii) both democratic and judicial accountability. By claiming that these are the conditions that the EU must meet to become a foreign policy actor, however, Hill conflates the notions of foreign policy actor and state. Indeed, as a supranational political entity, it is unlikely that the EU shall ever become a state-like actor, since a significant number of these competences are unlikely to ever be delegated to the EU. “Foreign policy remains a sensitive area, and member states retain their amour propre” (Fraser 2007: 204). Thus EU-level institutions that deal with external relations are likely to have to coexist, in a network configuration, with their state-level equivalents. This is, for example, the case of the newly created External Action Service or EAS, which is intended to work alongside, rather than in the place of, national diplomatic corps. Given these obstacles, the only areas in which the EU can become a foreign policy actor are those areas where steps have already been made, that is, in terms of economic policy—comprising both trade policy and the use of soft power—and defense policy, where member states are nevertheless likely to retain considerable autonomy for some time to come owing to the intergovernmental framework within which decision. We
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study each of these two domains and evaluate whether the EU presents a cohesive policy for each of these, given the constraints outlined above. With a combined GDP of $16tn—two trillion dollars larger than that of the USA—and with the second largest reserve currency in the world, the EU is an international actor with considerable economic clout, and it has a cohesive trade foreign policy to match this (Fraser 2007: 5; “GDP EU, GDP USA” n.d.). Where previously trade policy was nominally the result of the deliberation between member-states and EU-level institutions, the Lisbon Treaty has led to the unequivocal delegation of trade policy to EU institutions, in particular the European Commission and Parliament (Woolcock 2008: 2– 3). But Meunier argues that, in practice, the Commission has had considerable autonomy in determining the tenets of European trade policy as far back as the Treaty of Rome, not least because the European Council has limited its role to the approval of those trade proposals put forward by the Commission. The Commission has derived this autonomy by engaging in what is known as “norm entrepreneurship”—that is, by composing, from member state preferences, the kernel of a coherent EU trade position and by modifying any non- essential preferences as necessary to result in a trade policy that is more than just the lowest common denominator (Meunier 2007: 907–909). She takes the example of EU trade negotiations during the Doha Round, noting that, when the political context of the negotiation changed dramatically —with the accession of such economic powerhouses as China, Brazil and India into the WTO—the Commission was nevertheless able to develop a coherent EU trade vision. Whilst remaining true to member state preferences, it made significant changes to its short-term strategy, for example, by opening negotiations with Asia, a region it had until then largely sidelined in terms of economic policy (Meunier 2007: 920–921). There is no doubt, then, that the EU—and in particular the Commission— has long been an external trade policy actor, just as there is little doubt that the EU will gradually occupy a single seat in other international trade and finance organisations, like it does in the WTO today, especially since the Lisbon Treaty has resulted in the unequivocal delegation of external trade matters to EU institutions. But a coherent trade policy is only one of the ways in which the EU is an economic foreign policy actor. It is also adept at leveraging its economic weight in the coherent exercise of soft power, loosely defined by Joseph Nye as “getting others to want the out- comes you want,” and it does so with two policy instruments, the exercise of which is done at the EUlevel (2004: 5 in Rasmussen 2010: 266). The first of these, the enlargement process, is initiated by the EU once EU member states have agreed to consider a candidacy. Because accession to the EU is dependent on fulfilling certain conditions, enlargement is a powerful tool for the EU to project normative values and entrench these in Europe’s “near abroad” (Cottey 2007: 88–89). To gain access, candidates must demonstrate a commitment to stable democratic politics, to market liberalism, and must agree to accept the acquis communitaire, the laws and regulations adopted by the EU prior to the prospective enlargement. The second soft power instrument at the disposal of the EU is the so-called European Neighbourhood Policy, which resulted from the European Security Strategy in 2003 and is now being implemented by EU institutions. This instrument provides the same technical and financial assistance as enlargement, but without the promise of accession, to countries at the periphery of the EU. The policy is highly attractive because the EU has promised to open up its lucrative single market in return for compliance. In addition, costs are minimal because funds are for the most part provided by the EU through financial instruments intended to fund the reform, with the ENP Instrument to provide €12bn from 2007 to 2013 (Barbé and Johansson-Nogués 2008: 81–87). The EU then, is able to wield a significant amount of soft power, albeit over a limited sphere of influence (the “near abroad,” that is, North Africa and the Balkans), in attractive packages designed to encourage the adoption of eu norms and values—democracy, human rights, separation of powers, rule of law. The impetus for the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) came at the St. Malo conference in December 1998, which was held in the wake of the confusion and incoherence that had marred the European reaction to the crises in Kosovo and Yugoslavia (Hauser 2006: 39). Blair and Chirac agreed that more needed to be done to strengthen European cooperation in terms of defense and security and that, “to this end, the Union needs to have a capability for autonomous action, supported by credible military forces, with the means and willingness to use them to respond to international crises” (“Déclaration franco-britannique” 1998). Since then, there have been 23 missions under the responsibility of ESDP
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institutions, but all of them have been relatively low key in terms of the nature of the intervention and the amount of personnel deployed. Intervention in high profile Afghanistan, under the EUPOL moniker, for example, is limited to 487 personnel and is purely a police-training mission (“Aperçu des missions et opérations” 2011). The problem is that EU member states seem able to agree only on contingent issues, rather than fundamental ones. The EU, in other words, is sidelined most often when it could have a significant impact on the EU’s capacity to become a credible defense actor. This is because consensus-building remains difficult in terms of the esdp, mainly because a common vision of security issues is lacking among member states (Matlary 2009: 120). This is the result of different orientations toward the United States and NATO. Within the eu, there are three divergent approaches to a common security policy. Thus the “euroatlanticists,” represented by such countries as the uk, Denmark, Portugal, and most of the Central and Eastern European countries, favour deeper cooperation with the usa and the development of security capabilities in the context of NATO rather than the esdp, whilst the “euro-Gaullists,” consistently represented by France, Luxembourg and Belgium, favour more independence from the usa and the development of a truly autonomous capability. The third position is represented by countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. These prefer to strike a balance between the euroatlanticist and euro-Gaullist positions (Cottey 2007: 86–87). Given these three broad positions, developing a coherent European defense policy is difficult—nigh impossible, in fact— even with the “constructive abstention” mechanism, which allows one third of member states to abstain from an ESDP action without blocking it. This is best seen in the EU’s reaction to the Iraq crisis in 2003. Crowe argues that the CSFP came under strain during Iraq because of a clash between US and EU interests, with the “swing” and euro-Gaullist countries distancing themselves from attempts by the USA to gather a coalition of the willing (2003: 536). By contrast, the euro-atlanticist countries, and in particular the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, suspicious of Russia and still heavily dependent on the US security umbrella, wholeheartedly supported us interventionism. Ten of these countries —“the Vilnius Ten”—openly declared their support for the United States, prompting Chirac to suggest that they had “missed a great opportunity to shut up” (Cottey 2007: 84). In fact, it is notable that missions conducted by the ESDP tend to be most important in terms of resources when they involve little or no conflict of interest with the us, and least important when us interests are significantly affected, reflecting the lowest common denominator logic that plagues the ESDP. Thus EUPOL LEX, the ESDP rule of law and policing mission in Iraq, is composed of only 63 people, whilst EULEX Kosovo is composed of over 1’200 people (“Aperçu des missions et opérations” 2011). But perhaps the most important danger to the future of the ESDP is one that has paradoxically emerged as a result of its intergovernmental nature. Indeed, the difficulty of forming a common European defense policy has led France and the UK to make tentative first steps towards eschewing multilateralism in favour of bilateral defense cooperation. This “entente frugale,” launched in November 2010 with the ratification of the Treaty on Defense and Security Cooperation, is not, as some analysts have suggested, the beginning of a new era in European defense cooperation (Robinson 2010). Rather the agreement is specifically intended as a support of national defense policies and is a recognition of the convergence of British and French interests, as revealed by the Libyan crisis, which led Sarkozy and Cameron to express their support of the National Libyan Council in Benghazi without prior consultation of other member states. This led Le Soir to suggest that “the credibility of the EU on the world stage has been seriously damaged” (“L’Europe perd en Libye” 2011; “EU onto warpath” 2011). The intensification of cooperation between France and the UK, rather than serving as a gold standard for the creation of a Europe de la défense, has, in fact, crippled it (James 2011: 38–39).
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Overall then, it is difficult to suggest that the EU is a foreign policy actor to the extent that powerful nation-states such as the US, Russia or China, are. But this is not to suggest that the EU’s role on the world stage in negligible. This is because the EU has emerged as an altogether irregular foreign policy actor, highly coherent in terms of international trade policy— the role of the Commission is important here—and capable of exerting a strong degree of influence in its “near abroad” through the ENP and the enlargement process. Where the EU falls short as foreign policy actor, however, is in terms of security and defense policy. This is in part the result of the intergovernmental nature of the ESDP, which require decisions to be taken in unanimity—a difficult task given the divergent strategic views within the EU towards NATO and the us—but partly also the result of intensifying Franco- British ties. Yet, perhaps the crippling inability of the ESDP to make high profile security contributions to areas of us interest, rather than serving as a burden, will allow for the development of a coherent European foreign policy in a space independent from, and unencumbered by, us influence. Recent ESDP missions in Bosnia and Hercegovina, in Indonesia and the DRC certainly suggest that the EU is developing a common, albeit limited, vision of its security role and capabilities. This is an EU prepared to intervene where the us is not; one that focuses on post-conflict stabilisation and humanitarian missions, rather than gung-ho intervention; an EU with a less visible, but certainly not less important, international role.
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new engine for European defence.Condé-sur-Noireau: European Union Institute for Security Studies.
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India’s Military Effectiveness: The South Asian Sphere Of International Politics In The 21st Century Vipul Dutta
India gained independence from Britain in 1947 and emerged as one of the several dominions in the British realm, along with Pakistan, which was partitioned in order to create a homeland for the subcontinent’s Muslims under the leadership of MA Jinnah. South Asia during the late 1940s and afterwards was a region which witnessed several political events and processes in quite a rapid succession. Decolonisation, territorial partition(s), advent of dominion hood and subsequently complete independence were not just limited to India and Pakistan but spread across South East Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc.). Along with these developments, was the polarisation of world politics as a result of the Cold War super-power standoff, transcending the ‘Iron Curtain’ divide and creeping into South Asia with alarming consequences.
India gained independence from Britain in 1947 and emerged as one of the several dominions in the British realm, along with Pakistan, which was partitioned in order to create a homeland for the subcontinent’s Muslims under the leadership of MA Jinnah. South Asia during the late 1940s and afterwards was a region which witnessed several political events and processes in quite a rapid succession. Decolonisation, territorial partition(s), advent of dominion hood and subsequently complete independence were not just limited to India and Pakistan but spread across South East Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc.). Along with these developments, was the polarisation of world politics as a result of the Cold War super-power standoff, transcending the ‘Iron Curtain’ divide and creeping into South Asia with alarming consequences. Much of modern South Asian history is marked by inter-state conflict, finding its roots in the tempestuous nature of international relations in this region. The Indo-Pak relationship, the Middle East conflict, current civil unrest in Syria or conflicts across the South China Sea are some glaring examples to drive home the point that several political and ideological fault lines cross the otherwise financially potent region. A major feature of South Asian polities has been the spectacle of civil-military relations with respect to the evolving regional security structure. Any discussion of South Asian security is incomplete without talking about the ways in which South Asian militaries have engaged (or chosen to engage) with civilian structures of governance. Since the use of force in conflicts is dependent on the military, it is absolutely crucial to understand that strategy in South Asian international relations has been closely tied to civil-military relations and constitutes the ground “where theoretical notions of civilian supremacy and military subordination can be tested most closely in practice.”1
Srinath, Raghavan. Soldiers, Statesmen and Strategy. URL - http://www.india-seminar.com/
2010/611/611_srinath_raghavan.htm The Spectrum | edition 03 7
Focusing more specifically on India, the 21st century heralds the ‘re-emergence’ of India as a global and active participant in international affairs. The association of BRICS nations and her rising economic profile coupled with an unhindered democratic tradition has contributed to its global stature. However, India’s geo-strategic concerns, which include relations with immediate neighbours and attendant boundary disputes, have proven to be major sticking points in achieving stability in South Asia. India’s response to these concerns stems partly from its own domestic politics in which the relations and functions of the military play a crucial role. After 1947, India was involved in four major wars (3 against Pakistan and one against China) and a series of low-level intensity conflicts. Skirting around the obvious issues of military defeat and victory, I intend to argue in this contribution that India’s military effectiveness in the region is essential not only for the defense of India herself, but also to maintain a stable regional order in which democratic states can coexist peacefully without the incidence of mutual threats. India’s rising power is constantly tested by the region in which it is located and it cannot hope to acquire a stronger voice unless this region is stabilised. Part of the solution lies in India fashioning itself as a role model that other troubled states of the region could emulate. The retreat of colonial powers from South Asia left behind fledgling democracies with mixed relations with their armed forces, the latter thinking of themselves as the true guarantors of the nation’s sovereignty. After the advent of formal independence, unstable regional polities, coupled with colonial systems of exclusivist controls, plunged many African and Asian countries into chaos. The resulting civil wars and instability eventually paved the way for the army (or absolutist arrangements) to topple democratically elected governments and project themselves as the true rulers and well wishers of the people. Nonetheless, successive rebellions against such regimes, of which the most recent example was the Arab Spring, prove the hopelessness generated by such systems. India’s military effectiveness in South Asia is a function of its own civil-military relations. An operationally effective force under the command of the government is not only a stable and professional check against foreign aggression; it also radiates its influence across the globe and keeps internally divisive factions at bay. An army siding with one or the other faction in any civil war has been etched into the grammar of civil unrest worldwide. The key to lasting stability is a depoliticised armed force. India’s historical trajectory and developments in South Asia made it possible for the leadership to acquire a strong control over the armed forces. The resulting Non-Aligned Movement spearheaded by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru compelled the US and the USSR to take notice of India’s avowed distance from the two world camps. This, however, did not limit India’s growth but only enhanced its power to negotiate with the two countries on an equal footing, on matters economic and strategic. Critics who point out India’s excessive slant towards USSR as a façade for non-alignment fail to take into account developmental programmes, which India undertook in rural areas with active help from the US. This is not to prove that India’s foreign policy was dubious but was mature enough not to be dictated by outsiders. It allowed it to engage at a pace and level not available to the ex-colonies, in times when global alignments in the name of security cooperation sucked newly independent states into the quagmire of global convulsions. International relations are seldom informed by ideas alone, they need to be backed by real power. Although power without ideas can be self-defeating, India’s “adherence to values will be a source of great legitimacy in the international system and will be known what it stands for.”2 India’s continuous tradition of democratic governance rests partly on the non-interference of the military in the domain of the government. This has been due to structural changes made into the Armed Forces, which make a valuable contribution to the strategic thought in India but do not dictate it, as opposed to many other ex-colonies, which carried ahead with colonial conceptions of armed forces despite them being ill at ease with the new governments in place. The extensive training mechanism of the armed forces in India was overhauled, recruiting mechanisms were changed to make them more representative of India’s demography and a new force was chiseled to reflect the democratic ethos of the polity. This ethos forbade the military from interfering with governmental 2
Non-Alignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the 21st Century. URL- http://www.kcl.ac.uk/aboutkings/
worldwide/initiatives/global/indiainstitute/newsandevents/NonAlignment20.pdf The Spectrum | edition 03 8
policy and made it serve the country dispassionately, irrespective of the government at the helm. While operational readiness of the forces was one issue where the military was given a platform to express their views, a more tiered mechanism was in place as far as sensitive questions of weapons, foreign policy and strategy were concerned. The military worked in active engagement with non-military stakeholders to chart out policies, instead of torpedoing civilian structures. The Second World War with its ignominious end through the use of nuclear weapons prompted the emergence of a ‘Nuclear Strategy’ for future deterrence against aggression, which came to be invested with a lot of credible scholarship and governmental action. India’s own Nuclear Security Doctrine came into being in January 2003, along with the explanation of nuclear command and control which held important implications for the future of civil-military relations in India and the nature of control over nuclear weapons. There has been “little doubt that the control of the Indian Nuclear button would rest in civilian hands.”3 The security architecture in India, consisting of tiered structures of which the Armed Forces form a significant part, was replicated in the Nuclear Doctrine wherein vital security decisions were vested in the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and his advisors, while the operational aspects of the nuclear weapons were left to the Armed Forces’ leadership reporting to the Cabinet. This careful structure of control over nuclear weapons was as much an attempt to counter international fears about India’s credibility in handling the weapons as it was about retaining the government’s hold over the military. As the world faces the looming threat of nuclear armament by regimes seen as less than sincere in their aims, India’s nuclear doctrine is a remarkable example of the ways in which countries should attempt to control and prevent their security forces from passing undue influence on their international and domestic strategies. Even though the co-option of the armed forces in decision-making is ineluctable, it is important to demarcate areas and the level of their involvement in issues with a bearing on regional and international stability. Unchecked and willful proliferation of weapons today is the result of misguided policies. A neglected area for fostering greater civil-military interaction is the site of officer training. A claim for greater professionalization for the armed forces will ring true if military academies are envisaged as places for a more coherent inter-service exchange of ideas and information. Staff Colleges and higher instructional academies can serve as mediums through which global networks of policy formulations can help states identify global trends, which favour a more professional fighting force less amenable to subjective political control. Military institutions are hardly set up without meaningful engagement with the government. It is essential for states which find themselves on the margins of the international community to stop making their forces a map of their political agendas and replace indoctrination with practical strategic grounding in security and combat. India’s military effectiveness depends, and will depend, in a large measure on the way it is put into use by the government. Effective civil-military relations are not just the preserve of intellectual scholarship but part of everyday decision-making and have as much utility for the domestic stability as for the international.
Pant, Harsh V. (2007). India’s Nuclear Doctrine and Command Structure: Implications for Civil-Military Relations in India. Armed Forces & Society, 33: 238
Khilnani, Sunil et al. Non-Alignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the 21st Century. Available at:
Srinath, Raghavan. Soldiers, Statesmen and Strategy.
A v a i l a b l e a t : h t t p : / / w w w. i n d i a - s e m i n a r. c o m /
2010/611/611_srinath_raghavan.htm (accessed 23d
(accessed 5th February 2013).
Harsh V. Pant, “India’s Nuclear Doctrine and Command Structure: Implications for Civil-Military Relations in India”.
Armed Forces & Society 2007 33: 238 The Spectrum | edition 03 9
The EU Approach Towards Cybercrime Lucie Kadlecova
Cyberspace and illegal actions within its framework have become one of the key challenges to international security of the 21st century. No other form of crime is as borderless as cybercrime. Its highprofit but low-risk character has made this type of criminal activity progressively more common causing the number of victims worldwide to reach more than one million people daily4. The term ‘cybercrime’ covers a broad range of activities, which may be delineated in three interconnected categories; the first includes traditional unlawful behaviour such as forgery or frauds, in this case committed over electronic networks. The second type covers the use of electronic media in order to publish illegal content such as materials featuring child sexual abuse; the last form concerns hacking, attacks against critical infrastructures or, for instance, denial of service 5. It is hardly possible to evaluate the losses caused by cybercrime activities since they range from financial frauds assessed at billions of pounds to penetration of databases with personal data or attacks on critical national infrastructures of incalculable value. There is no doubt that it is mainly for this reason that cybercrime has become one of the most serious concerns of the international community.
The crucial role of cyber security is recognised worldwide. One of the most visible and basic signs of its importance is the implementation of national cyber security strategies. The majority of well-developed and technically dependent countries such as the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, India and Australia have already published their own national strategies. In practice, the document defines state priorities and goals and provides definitions and a framework of state approach to cyber security6. In comparison, the European Union, another world economic and political power, seems to have slightly fallen behind. Currently, cyber security governance within the EU borders is characterized by visible duality between national and international levels. On the national level, the first EU Member States to implement some kind of national cyber plan or strategy were Germany (in 2005), Sweden (in 2006) and Estonia (in 2008). Since then several other EU Members, the UK and France, but also the Czech Republic and Lithuania, have adopted national cyber security strategies as well. This development can be seen as a successful step forward. On the other hand, since the power of cybercrime resides in its borderless character, it is of utmost importance that other Member States recognize cyber threats and adopt similar measures on the national level as well. On the institutional level, the EU has declared to prioritize cyber security in its 4 European
Commission, Tackling Crime in our Digital Age: Establishing a European Cybercrime Centre, p. 2. Brussels,
28 March 2012. 5 Commission
of the European Communities, Towards a General Policy on the Fight against Cyber Crime, p. 2. Brussels,
22 May 2007. 6 ENISA,
National Cyber Security Strategies. Setting the Course for National Efforts to Strengthen Security in Cyberspace,
pp. 7-8. Heraklion, Greece, May 2012. The Spectrum | edition 03 10
political agenda. In this regard, the current European cyber security policy has made promising effort to establish basic standards for all EU Member States. Moreover, Cecilia Malmström and Neelie Kroes, EU commissioners in charge of home affairs and digital agenda, together with the High Representative Catherine Ashton introduced new document Cybersecurity Strategy of the EU: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace in February 2013 7. However, although it seems that the Union has made great effort to address cyber security as one of its primary interests; significant gaps in practice still remain unresolved weakening the resistance of the EU security to cybercrime penetration. Recommendations The steps which may be taken to improve EU security and resilience against cybercrime can be defined in three layers; measures implemented on the national level, European institutional level and finally on the global level. In considering these three layers, one must bear in mind that they are mutually interconnected and complementary. The majority of the measures on the national level can be implemented immediately with highly rewarding outcomes. Although practically all the states follow the top-down approach to cyber security, they should put more emphasis on public awareness. According to a Euro barometer survey done in summer 2012 89 % of respondents avoid exposing their personal data online. More importantly, despite the fact that 74 % of them agree that probability of becoming a cybercrime victim has become noticeably larger in the past few years, almost 60 % expressed their concern that they were not well informed about danger of cybercrime 8. These numbers indicate that further public education is essential. States need to cooperate with their national academia and citizen representatives who may organize public lectures or education programmes. Special attention may be devoted to training of cyber security experts focusing on social sciences that would work as an interconnecting link between the public and governing elites. A deeper engagement of industry would also be an invaluable contribution to the public debate. Moreover, on the national level, the prosecution of cybercrime cases needs to be enhanced. Imposing severe punishment for breach of cyber security should serve as a tool for deterrence from illegal cyber activities. In this regard, national governments need to adopt certain legislation; however, this must be in harmony with international standards. The Council of Europe Budapest Convention on Cybercrime shall serve as a global norm for this purpose since it is the only binding international document on the topic. The Convention provides a basic framework for states that wish to develop national provisions against cybercrime 9. Subsequently, judicial training would be required in order to provide prosecutors and judges with basic knowledge of cybercrime activities and their principles. Since cybercrime is an increasingly common phenomenon, academia might consider deeper integration of legal training on the topic into the educational system. As a further step, EU Member States may also consider the preparation of their own national strategies on cybercrime, since strategies on cyber security, if states publish such a document at all, usually do not cover the whole range of cybercrime activities and do not address them properly. Different cyber security strategies have diverse approaches toward illegal cyber activities. Some may not mention the issue of cybercrime at all; others include only a general reference to the illegal activities in cyberspace. Therefore, a specific strategy on cybercrime would ensure that the cyber security policy of the state is comprehensive enough to cover all the relevant issues. An example of a successful policy is the complementary cybercrime strategy of the UK published in 2010, which refers to the cyber security strategy adopted
Commission, Cybercrime: EU Citizens Concerned by Security of Personal Information and Online Payments.
Published 9 July 2012. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-751_en.htm. 9 For
further reference see Council of Europe, Standards: The Convention and its Protocol. Accessed 14 December 2012. The Spectrum | edition 03 11
one year earlier 10. This UK cybercrime document may also serve as a useful model for other countries to follow. It is essential to highlight that the national strategy on cybercrime should be a living document recognizing the continual evolution of cyberspace. This would ensure that newly developed offences would be punished adequately. Furthermore, such a document may also assist in defining different types of cyber offences on the global level11. EU Member States should also reconsider faster implementation of the deeper cooperation with private sector, a measure lying in between the national and European institutional layers of possible improvements. Although this step was highlighted by the EU several times on different occasions, 12 it seems that hesitation about its realisation quite often prevails. The private sector plays an increasingly significant role in cyber security and it is of utmost importance that it is further included also in the implementation of state policy in the cyber sector. Private actors could, for instance, participate in national or European security exercises or economic and risk analysis. They may help the state to develop technical solutions to security breach or simply work as a medium to spread information on cyber threats within general public. 13 Further steps should be taken also on the international and global level. One of the central measures, which can be implemented within the pan-European layer, is the establishment of a European centre, which will detect and collect information about cyber security breaches all around the region. The shortage of information and its exchange between the EU Member States as well as between private companies and governments is a significant drawback. The lack of transparency has a negative impact on the public who remain in uncertainty but also on governments and private companies since they cannot understand trends and characteristics of attacks making it harder to address them adequately. 14 However, it seems that the EU has already decided to launch an initiative among its Member States in order to persuade them and private actors to report cybercrime offences and cooperate together in order to defeat the same threat existing in different countries. 15 In this regard, the establishment of a European Cybercrime Centre within Europol structures in 2013 is a great contribution. The Centre will become a focal point for collecting information on cybercrime, provide support for Member States cybercrime experts and generally serve as a central point for investigation of cybercrime. 16 Except for all the measures, which are or may be taken on national and pan-European level, it is also crucial to enhance the collaboration in the fight against cybercrime on the global level so that the nature of cyber security is addressed coherently. Member States need to closely cooperate not only with the European Commission but also with other international actors. The EU has already carried out several joint cyber security exercises such as the ‘Cyber Storm’, which was realized together with the U.S. in 2010.17 Nevertheless, it needs to further develop its relations with other
of Europe, Cybercrime Strategies, p. 6. Discussion paper, prepared by Global Project on Cybercrime.
Strasbourg, 14 October 2012. 11 For
more information see Ibid.
instance, ENISA, National Cyber Security Strategies… Or Commission of the European Communities, Towards a
General Policy on the Fight against Cyber Crime… 13 Annegret
Bendiek, European Cyber Security Policy, p. 22… And Commission of the European Communities, Towards a
General Policy on the Fight against Cyber Crime, p. 7… 14
ENISA, Cyber Incident Reporting in the EU. An Overview of Security Articles in EU Legislation, p. 1. Heraklion, Greece,
August 2012. 15
European Commission, Tackling Crime in our Digital Age, p. 4…
16 Ibid. 17 Annegret
Bendiek, European Cyber Security Policy, p. 20… The Spectrum | edition 03 12
major technologically developed powers, which may serve, as a useful source for exchange of information or that would share their experiences with cybercrime. Conclusion The EU has already put significant and promising effort into implementation of different policies for fighting cybercrime. Nevertheless, since the character of cybercrime activities is constantly evolving, the EU Member States need to be more flexible and further cooperative on all three levels â€“ national, pan-European and global. They should continue to invest more sources and energy into their national cyber security structures and enhance the collaboration not only within their own state framework, e.g. private-public relations, but also among themselves on the European level. The European Commission should expedite and strengthen its efforts in the establishment of the cybercrime centre and the centre for collecting information on cybercrime breach. Globally, the EU may focus on closer exchange of information with other important international players in the field of cyber security.
European Commission (2012). Cybercrime: EU Citizens
Annegret Bendiek (2012). European Cyber Security
Concerned by Security of Personal Information and
Policy. Research Paper, German Institute for International
Online Payments Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/
and Security Affairs, Berlin.
press-release_IP-12-751_en.htm (accessed 5th January 2012).
ENISA (2012). Cyber Incident Reporting in the EU. An Overview of Security Articles in EU Legislation. Heraklion,
European Commission (2013). Cybersecurity Strategy of
the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace. Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-
ENISA (2012). National Cyber Security Strategies. Setting
release_IP-13-94_en.htm (accessed 20th March 2013).
the Course for National Efforts to Strengthen Security in Council of Europe. Standards: The Convention and its
Cyberspace. Heraklion, Greece.
Protocol. Available at: http://www.coe.int/t/DGHL/ European Commission (2012). Home Affairs â€“
Cybercrime. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-
(accessed 14th December 2012).
affairs/what-we-do/policies/organized-crime-and-humantrafficking/cybercrime/index_en.htm (accessed 14th
Council of Europe (2012). Cybercrime Strategies.
Discussion paper, prepared by Global Project on Cybercrime. Strasbourg.
European Commission (2012). Tackling Crime in our Digital Age: Establishing a European Cybercrime Centre.
Commission of the European Communities (2007).
Towards a General Policy on the Fight against Cyber Crime. Brussels.
The Spectrum | edition 03 13
Business & Economics
The Spectrum | edition 03 14
Big Data: Should There Be More Or Less Regulation? Rachel Dosoo
Big Data can be described as a large collection of data to gather information on a vast scale. It is also a term to describe the growth of Big Data as an industry, its availability and use of information. This technology allows businesses to manage the storage of information in a wide range of sectors (such as business, government, social networks and healthcare). It has been said that Big Data creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data; so much that 90 % of data today has been created in the last two years. 18 According to the International Data Corporation, the Big Data market is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015.19 This rapid growth has led Big Data to become an industry in its own right. However there are challenges that Big Data creates, the most important is privacy. Organisations that handle large quantities of data on a daily basis are collecting vast amounts of data about private individuals. This has become a concern as organisations may be storing highly personal identifiable information, which could violate privacy rights if handled inappropriately. It could be said there should be more regulation building on the established Data Protection Act 1998 to protect an individual’s privacy. However it can be argued that this would hinder business and the economy, so there should be less regulation. It shall be discussed that Big Data needs to respect the balance of an individual’s right to privacy and the economy.
Challenges The implementation of Big Data creates challenges. With the functions of Big Data at a young stage, it is very complex. In addition, skills present another challenge, as Big Data needs specialists who have expertise in this field so that infrastructure and applications are put in place to cope with its growth. Although it has been recently announced that the University of Dundee will launch an MSc in Data Science, joining the likes of the University of Manchester and University College London, this is not enough to meet the demand for skills in the Big Data industry. More than three quarters of Europe’s largest Big Data community (Big Data London) said there is a shortage of specialists in this area. 20 McKinsey & Co highlights the global need for data scientists, by stating that by 2018 the US could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical skills and 1.5 million managers with the knowledge of Big Data to make effective business decisions.21 The attitude to Big Data is a challenge; it operates differently to other technological innovations, and it is highly complex and needs attention for it to deliver. It often deals with highly confidential information that should be protected at all costs. Governmental policy offers the solution to Big Data to overcome these challenges.
Legislation Of Big Data 18
http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/mgi/research/technology_and_innovation/big_data_the_next_frontier_for_innovation The Spectrum | edition 03 15
Many challenges that arise with Big Data could be solved with legislation. It is of critical importance to protect freedoms of individuals in society, and Big Data puts people’s right to privacy at risk. However it can be argued if there were more regulation on Big Data it would hinder not only innovation but the economy as well. 22 There are two proposals for Big Data to improve: (i) more regulation and (ii) less regulation. ‣More regulation The Information Commissioner’s Office recently issued a new data protection code of practice; it advises how to protect the privacy rights of individuals while dealing with large and rich databases. It is concerned with the increased use of databases, especially databases containing the public’s information. There is a high risk of breaching one’s privacy. The code is within the legal structure of the Data Protection Act 1998. There has been an increase of Big Data use in the public sector. The governments of several countries use it for national security issues and healthcare. However in the UK Margaret Hodge has described the government’s use of it as ‘deeply frustrating’.23 It was said that the Government could make £33 billion of savings by using it more efficiently. This introduction of the code suggests that there is a pressing need and a wanting for more regulation to protect an individual’s privacy. In the private sector there was a case where an Austrian law student made a complaint, after finding how much personal data Facebook stores. The information he found included IP addresses of the machines used to get to the website and information of other uses on the same machine including their location. Facebook changed its facial tagging system following the report of the Irish Data Protection Commission, which is responsible for European Facebook users. This supports the argument that we need more regulation to keep social networking sites, such as Facebook, in check to prevent breach of an individual’s privacy. The Data Protection Act 1998 describes the UK Law on the processing of data of persons. It was enacted to incorporate the EU data protection directive of 1995 into UK law. This requires Member States to protect individuals’ rights and freedoms including their right to privacy when processing data. This act was enacted in 1998 and needs to be amended and updated to keep up with the growing and changing technological industry of today. One key idea that must be adopted is privacy. In the act privacy is not mentioned and this questions the intention of the act as it is supposed to protect private or personal data when there is a risk of breach. In addition, it needs to address the technological industry we have today and how this may impact upon individuals’ privacy in society, how the keeping of social network sites which have major roles in many lives today, store data. This therefore highlights the fact that there needs to be not only there be more discussions and; policy making adapt to the world today but also an amendment of the current data protection law which is clearly out of date. ‣ Less regulation The argument for more regulation to protect individuals’ privacy rights can be questioned. This is because there is already the Data Protection Act 1998, which covers personal data (s2, s7) and the Act gives rights to people who have stored their data and responsibilities to those who store it. There are eight principles that ensure that personal data is respected in accordance with privacy rights (Schedule 1 of the Act). There are also consequences for failing to protect an individual’s right to privacy under s21, s55 and s56 of the Act. Therefore it may be needless for more legislation on data privacy if there is legislation that governs the majority of areas of data privacy. In addition to this, there is legislation at the European level under the EU Data Directive of 1995 that protects and supports UK legislation on data privacy. In the case of Gaskin v UK, the applicant’s mother had died and was taken into care of which the council made records. 24 The applicant asked 22 http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2012/november/eu-countries-should-adopt-uks-business-friendly-approach-to-
big-data-and-anonymisation-says-expert/ 23 http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/nov/21/anonymised-data-protection-code-freedom-of-information 24
Gaskin v UK (1989) 12 EHRR 36 The Spectrum | edition 03 16
for the records and sued the council for negligence, claiming it violated his right to private life (Article 8 ECHR). The Court Appeal found that it was not in the public interest to do so, however the European Court of Human Rights ruled it was in violation of Article 8. This reinforces the impact of the Data Protection Act on social services and data keeping whether on paper or electronically. People should have limited access to their own records. This suggests that that there is adequate legislation and case law to protect a person’s rights when it comes to privacy. In comparison to the UK, the US has a more flexible approach to data privacy. The US does not have general data protection legislation like the Data Protection Act 1998 or the EU data Directive 1995. Instead it has specific legislation to where each industry requires legislation, for example the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994, which requires all states to protect the privacy of an individual’s information in a vehicle. In comparison with the US, the UK tries to cover all areas whilst in the US most areas are not covered. This is partly accounted for by America’s belief in the significance of the constitutional right to freedom of speech.
More importantly, though, are economic reasons. The approach to data
protection is less rigid so that businesses will be able to operate more flexibly. Recently, the US Chamber of Commerce alongside the US Government has been lobbying the European Commission, which announced a proposal to update the directive so that companies that fail to keep with EU data privacy rules could face legal action. The US argues that this would affect global companies such as Yahoo, Facebook and Google and have an impact on the world economy. It was also suggested that the EU directive faces an enforcement problem: because technology is changing daily it would be extremely hard for businesses always to be compliant especially with small businesses. 25 There should be less regulation so that the rigid approach would not stifle business efficiency and growth. Furthermore, the argument of more regulation on data privacy might stifle innovation and creativity in the technology industry. Companies and businesses would be more concerned with being privacy compliant rather than to build growth and have a positive effect on the economy. It could also have a negative effect on freedom of speech as if there was more regulation to data privacy it could hinder an individual’s right to express oneself. Pinsent Masons, a leading international law firm with expertise in technology, has argued that the EU should adopt the UK’s business friendly approach to Big Data. 26 The EU has favoured more regulation to protect individuals’ rights compared to the UK. This approach could allow businesses to gain rewards from Big Data if there was not more regulation as the EU Commission proposes. Indeed, if there was to be more regulation this might stifle businesses’ ability to run efficiently and have a negative effect on the economy. Recommendation Based on the arguments I have outlined above, there needs to be a balance between two important issues: privacy and the interests of business and the economy. Therefore, I recommend that: (1) an amendment to the Data Protection Act to include privacy and (2) to avoid further legislation on top of this amendment as it would stifle and hinder business and economic growth.
25 http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/rsa-us-government-eu-data-protection-law-95745 26 http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2012/november/eu-countries-should-adopt-uks-business-friendly-approach-to-
big-data-and-anonymisation-says-expert/ The Spectrum | edition 03 17
The Middle of the Road Approach to Europe Jeff Kirby
The continuing struggle of Euro-zone countries to effectively deal with their sovereign debt crises has sparked fresh debate about the UK’s presence within the EU. Calls for a referendum on UK membership have reached the point where they cannot simply be ignored. Latest polling places the number of voters who would choose to leave the EU between 50 and 55 percent.27 Clearly there are legitimate concerns with the economic viability of the EU and potential spillover effects to the UK; in addition, many decry the loss of political sovereignty to what can be construed as an imperfectly democratic union. But David Cameron and his Tory government, while needing to respect the will of the people, should use the coming months to present a clear picture of what is at stake in a potential referendum. He can, and should, acknowledge the shortcomings of the current EU model of governance, while pointing to the merits of membership. For it is likely the UK can maintain the benefits it accrues from easier trade access to the world’s largest currency bloc and simultaneously keep its financial services industry free from burdensome regulation. These components of the economy should not be put in jeopardy. Moreover, the UK has the opportunity to renegotiate its relationship to the EU from a position of strength; it would be counterproductive to give up its seat at the table when a number of major economic and regulatory changes are in the works. The uncertainties resulting from a UK optout simply outweigh the material benefits of continued membership. Thus, the Tory government should, in fact, actively campaign to remain a part of the European project. There is no reason to think that the UK cannot stay on its course of, effectively, straddling the fence. Though this does not provide the definitive “in or out” that an increasingly strident Eurosceptic base is advancing, a calculated, meticulous, and steady involvement in the EU project is the smart policy choice.
Overbearing Brussels? Not so fast. The anti-Europe crowd argues that the UK should not surrender its sovereignty to a questionably democratic body operating out of Brussels, representing an entity with which there is neither shared history nor future. Surely, they reason, Parliament’s power is usurped, when over half of UK laws have their origins at the EU level. 28 The price tag that UK citizens can justifiably place on the political autonomy of their elected MPs is beyond the scope of this paper. Undeniably, UK citizens are marginally subjected to some decision-making at the EU level of government.
But the anti-Europe
argument progresses by highlighting the £14.5 billion the UK contributes annually to the EU budget, as proof that the EU is a parasite feeding upon the economic generosity of the UK. 29 Again, a surface analysis reveals a kernel of truth. The UK is, indeed, a net contributor, second only behind Germany in that regard. However, after the 2/3 rebate the UK is 27
Boffey, Daniel and Toby Helm. “56% of Britons would vote to quit EU in referendum, poll finds”. The Observer.
Opinion Politics Polls, 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 13 Dec. 2012. 28 House
of Commons Library. “How Much Legislation Comes from Europe?” Research Paper 10/62. London,
13 Oct. 2010. Print. 29 “EU
Budget.” BBC World News. Europe. Web. 13 Dec. 2012. The Spectrum | edition 03 18
privy to, as well as budgetary flows from Brussels back into the country, the annual contribution falls to around £3.5 billion. 30 This is still a net outflow, but is much more commensurate with the relative strength of the British economy. The unique ability of the UK to negotiate a rebate for itself is just one of several indications that, contrary to popular opinion, the UK actually holds a great deal of clout in Brussels. Far from being bullied, the UK is the one often flexing its muscles. Just this past December, with the call for greater banking integration and regulation reaching a crescendo, the UK, with the backing of other non-Euro member states, had little trouble in securing its banking industry a spot outside the grasp of EU regulators. 31
Furthermore, far from becoming a bastion of state-led dirigisme, Europe has shown an
unlikely pattern since the early 1990s of Anglo-style liberalization. Certainly Germany, and even to a lesser extent France, have in fact become more like the UK; the most influential actors within the EU have maintained a steadfast commitment to price stability and low-inflation policies in spite of the greatest recession in the past 70 years.32 This may not be a direct product of British coercion, but it is testament to the power emanating from the City of London as a result of its global financial predominance.
That major European economies have become essentially monetarist in outlook is a
symptom of the growing power of a “transnational capitalist bloc”, whose loyalty follows the ebb and flow of market forces. 33 Thus, the sentimental yearning for return of British power i.e. Empire is sheer fancy, as sovereignty can no longer be defined the way it once was. Globalization has created an environment where state decisions are often influenced as much from the outside as from within. Mr. Cameron need not be so blunt in his pitch to the public, but neither should he run away from confronting global realities. The City Is King The UK should display resolve in continuing its EU membership, with one particularly large caveat: beware tighter banking regulation. The one square mile comprising the City of London reigns supreme in the world of international finance. Its centrality to the UK economy should not be underestimated; in 2008 the City held banking assets of £7.5 trillion, conducting 20 percent of cross-border lending globally, making it far and away the world’s biggest contributor in that regard. 34 The “invisible” earnings from the services provided in the City outweigh those of the export sector by nearly £150 billion. 35 The strength of British banking and finance lies principally in the deregulated environment in which it operates. 36 This will clearly not be music to the ears of those hoping to see a restructuring of the British economy, or at a minimum, the imposition of heavy restrictions on the banks.
In the last half century London has amassed unparalleled financial
expertise and infrastructure, coinciding with the withering away of investment in industry. Even if the UK embarked on a
30 Ibid 31 Masters,
Brook, Daniel Schafer and James Wilson. “Relief at New Bank Supervision Rules”. Financial Times. Europe,
13 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Dec. 2012. 32 Macartney, 33 Ibid,
Hew. Variegated Neoliberalism. New York: Routledge, 2010. Print, 9-10.
L.S. “The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the City of London: Will the UK Finally Decide to Join the
EMU?”, in Talani, L.S. (ed). The Global Crash: Towards a New Global Financial Regime. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Print, 144. 35 Talani,
L.S. Globalization, Hegemony, and the Future of the City of London. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Print, 72. 36 Ibid,
56. The Spectrum | edition 03 19
path towards greater balance and reindustrialization, a turnaround would take years to occur. Thus, while the export sector would undeniably stand to take a hit in trade from an EU exit, the hit to British output from loss of financial sector pre-eminence has to be the most important consideration in any EU membership assessment. What will ensure longterm strength in British banking is difficult to predict at this point. On the one hand, the EU is almost certain to advocate tighter oversight rules and capital reserve requirements in the near future. 37 Most analysts believe the UK would be wise to steer clear of burdensome new regulations, but they are not unanimous in this regard. In fact, some within the industry believe the financial sector would, in fact, benefit from increased lending confidence accrued from stronger oversight. 38 Even the Bank of England has come out in favor of a stronger Basel accord, the treaty governing financial regulation within the EU. 39 Conversely, the majority opinion contends that the City of London should resist attempts at banking sector oversight. Since the inception of the Euro as a currency, London has stood as a safe haven for financial dealing, particularly in prominent Euro-trading markets. This is due both to the lack of regulation within the City and its location outside the boundaries of the common currency. 40 The effect on London’s ability to engage in such trading should the EU try to restrict its ability to do so is certainly worthy of consideration, but such a move is not dangerously imminent. When the European Monetary Union was being negotiated 20 years ago, the parties representing both the Euro and Sterling were optimistic about their respective currencies’ ability to compete as future world reserve currencies. Just several decades later, though, these notions seem to be nothing short of fantasy, as both have seen significant exchange rate drops vis-à-vis the US Dollar and lackluster use in global markets. 41 If either showed signs of international strength, then that could be used as a sort of guiding light for UK decision makers, with Sterling dominance making an exit more plausible. Current dynamics render this scenario moot, however. In short, no one seems to be clear on the long-term ramifications of EU membership on British banking and finance. What is clear, however, is the need to place the interests of the banking sector at the top of any cost-benefit analysis of a possible EU exit. As long as Mr. Cameron can steer the UK clear of overly intrusive banking regulations, there is no reason to detach Sterling from the Euro more than it already is. When In Doubt, Stay Put The range of uncertainty regarding an exit scenario is precisely why, at this point in time, Mr. Cameron would be better off pushing for the UK to stay in rather than depart. Apart from economic considerations, there are other, less fungible, reasons at play. One is the potential for the UK to put pressure on the EU’s governance structure to become more democratic. The British public is not alone in its disdain for decisions manufactured outside its own state’s borders. Given the overwhelming pressure on the EU to enhance coordination among its member states, it could be a perfect time for the UK to use voter angst as leverage to renegotiate a more direct form of representation in the EU.
occasional disgruntled Brussels bureaucrat might spout off about cutting ties on the insolent British, but much of that is
Dirk. “Securing Sustainable Capital Markets”, in Stevens, John (pub.). Ten Years of the Euro:
New Perspectives for Britain. London: Sarum Colourview, 2009. Print, 105-110. 39 “Making
the Break: How Britain Could Fall out of the Union, and What it Could Mean”. The Economist 8 Dec. 2012.
Print. 40 Talani
H. “Challenging the Dollar in International Monetary Relations? The Lost Opportunities of the Euro”,
in Talani, L.S. (ed). The Global Crash: Toward a New Global Financial Regime. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Print. The Spectrum | edition 03 20
mere political posturing. The EU is not in a position now to start cutting ties from its most functional member-states. Germany and France, far from being united, often look to the presence of the UK as a way to keep check on each other, and are not keen towards seeing its departure. 42
Additionally, the presence of non-Euro issuing EU states, such as
Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland should reassure the UK that it is not alone in its ambiguous ties to Brussels. The latter two countries provide distinct models of countries with access to the Common Market but independence from some environmental, consumer, and immigration laws. 43 And while the British need not underestimate their sway at the European table, they must neither take it for granted. Bluntly speaking, the UK is not the Empire many of its Eurosceptic citizens still esteem it to be. It is a medium sized nation with serious debt problems, limited industrial base, heavily exposed banking sector, and lackluster currency. 44 As the Economist magazine recently wrote, the worst effect of a British exit is that it could never come back. 45
struggles at the present moment may make an exit look appealing, but the UK has its own problems that could be better managed through solidarity with its Continental counterparts rather than self-imposed isolation. Moving forward, David Cameron’s government has no choice but to acknowledge the legitimate concerns of the Eurosceptic populace. A future referendum looks increasingly necessary, but it would be at best reckless, at worst destructive, to not engage in an active campaign to lay out the reasons why keeping one foot in the European project is prudent.
Masters, Brook, Daniel Schafer and James Wilson (2012). Relief at New Bank Supervision Rules. Financial Times. Europe.
Boffey, Daniel and Toby Helm (2012). 56% of Britons would vote to quit EU in referendum, poll finds. The
Plaschke, H (2010). Challenging the Dollar in International
Observer. Opinion Politics Polls
Monetary Relations? The Lost Opportunities of the Euro, in Talani, L.S. (ed). The Global Crash: Toward a New
2012. Europe’s British Problem. The Economist.
Global Financial Regime. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
2012. EU Budget. BBC World News. Europe.
Talani, L.S (2012). Globalization, Hegemony, and the
Hazell, Dirk (2009). Securing Sustainable Capital Markets,
Future of the City of London. Basingstoke: Palgrave
in Stevens, John (pub.). Ten Years of the Euro: New
Perspectives for Britain. London: Sarum Colourview.
Talani, L.S (2010). The Impact of the Global Financial
House of Commons Library (2010). How Much
Crisis on the City of London: Will the UK Finally Decide to
Legislation Comes from Europe? Research Paper 10, 62.
Join the EMU?, in Talani, L.S. (ed). The Global Crash:
Towards a New Global Financial Regime. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Macartney, Hew (2010). Variegated Neoliberalism. New York: Routledge.
US Department of Justice. BAE Systems PLC Pleads
2012. Making the Break: How Britain Could Fall out of
Guilty and Ordered to Pay $400 Million Criminal Fine. Last
the Union, and What it Could Mean. The Economist.
updated March 1, 2010. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/ 2010/March/10-crm-209.html.
British Problem”. The Economist 17 Nov. 2012. Print.
43 Ibid. 44 Talani 45 “EU
Budget”. The Spectrum | edition 03 21
The ‘Dutch Disease’ in Canada: Are Alberta’s oil sands an economical blessing, or a curse? Sebastiaan Debrouwere
From Herodotus’ The History of the Persian Wars and Jubilees 10:20, we know that abundant bitumen found in the Is was used as mortar for the construction of the infamous tower of Babel (Spielmann 1932). In recent years, a variety of literature analyzing and discussing the bitumen-based oil sands industry in the deposits around Alberta’s Athabasca river seems to prophet a similarly cataclysmic faith for Canada, predicting that its economic ‘hubris’ will propel the country into an economic equivalent of Babel’s downfall: the ‘Dutch Disease’. In its contemporary usage, the term now refers to a very specific mechanism underlying the ‘resource curse’-thesis (Auty 1993; Sachs and Warner 2001), which explains how a combination of currency-appreciation and de-industrialization can in the long-term prompt a country into economic dire straits despite its natural wealth. Proponents of the Canadian case of the Dutch Disease posit that the Canadian dollar has taken on the identity of a ‘petrocurrency’ and has thus consistently appreciated in the recent years of booming oil, and that this has negatively affected the country’s manufacturing sectors. This essay will first set out the framework within which to evaluate these claims by expanding on the theory of the ‘Dutch disease’-argument and by subsequently establishing the key economic and political importance of Alberta’s oil sands to Canada . In the third and final section, it will then analyze the aforementioned claims of a Canadian economy ‘gone Dutch’ in the light of empirical evidence and two challenging theories put forward by recent scholarship. As such, it will advance the hypothesis that Canada does not manifestly suffer of the ‘Dutch disease’ at present, despite the loonie possessing all characteristics of a stereotypical petrocurrency, because the decrease in some manufacturing sectors cannot fully be accounted for by its appreciation only. Nonetheless, as a caveat, this essay does ascribe to the view that the Canadian economy is prone to fall prey to the ‘Dutch disease’, because the politicization of the economically delicate oil sands projects in the form of the ‘energy superpower’-discourse and the pernicious repercussions this could have in case the oil boom turns into a slump. The ‘Dutch disease’-theory and its assumptions The term ‘Dutch Disease’ was first employed in 1977 by The Economist when describing the decay of the Dutch manufacturing sector following the 1959 discovery and subsequent exploitation of the Slochteren-gasfield in the Netherlands (Ellman 1981; The Economist 1977). In the years that would follow, a great number of studies on this phenomenon were performed, setting the stage for economic and political explanations of causal links between resourceexploitation and manufacturing decline. Of those, Corden and Neary’s seminal article (1982) was the first to devise an integrated model by pointing at two simultaneous effects that lead to ‘de-industrialization’: Firstly, the crowding out of the lagging manufacturing sector by the increased demand for capital and labour in the booming resource sector (the ‘factormovement’-effect’) and secondly, the increase in real exchange rate due to the inflow of foreign capital related to infrastructure development and the growth in resource exports (the ‘currency appreciation’-effect). In three decades to follow, the validity of these two effects was repeatedly demonstrated by the results of case studies, ranging from Nigeria to Indonesia (Bevan, Collier and Gunning 1999) and comparative sets of aggregated and disaggregated data. The Spectrum | edition 03 22
Nevertheless, examples of relatively successful resource exploitation-schemes as those of Norway and Botswana beg questions such as Collier and Hoeffler’s (2005) of whether the type of commodity itself and its share of GDP are of anything more than auxiliary importance when compared to the quality of institutional practice and culture. It seems indeed that Neary and Van Wijnbergen (1986), Krugman (1987), Karl (1997) and (Auty 1997 & 2001) were correct in asserting that the potentially averse economic consequences of a
sudden windfall crucially hinge upon the rôle
accountable institutions play. As Krugman (1987) asserts, ‘Dutch disease’ only truly becomes a ‘disease’ when the manufacturing sectors of the economy fail to when the resource sector slumps, and it is thus the responsibility of government to enact proactively mitigating policies such as the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund hedging on the international markets or investments in R&D in particularly vulnerable trade-able sectors. Alberta’s oil sands and the ‘energy superpower discourse’ In this second section, I will try to expand upon the rationale for the chosen scope, which primarily focusses the analysis on Alberta’s oil sands. By arguing that oil sands, because of the vastness of the reserves and potential income they represent, play a pivotal role in the Harper government’s ‘energy superpower’-discourse and indeed crucially underpin its raison d'être, I will argue that they unequivocally ought to be the prime locus of this essay’s analysis. To establish the crucial factor with regards to its economic importance first worth noting the sheer magnitude of potentially exploitable oil sands reserves. The reserves of the province of Alberta hold, according to recent estimates of the province’s Energy Resources Conservation Board (2011) up to 173 million barrels of oil economically extractable at the current rates of technology and under prevailing prices. To put this in international perspective, Alberta’s unconventional oil resources are second only to Saudi Arabia’s in number(BP 2011). On itself, however, knowledge about the extent of that potential supply can barely be considered novel. The determining factor for their large-scale exploitation from the early 1990s onwards is that production flows have long lingered because the production in itself was, from a technological viewpoint, too expensive, and from an economical viewpoint unsustainable. Moreover, the problems with bitumen-based oil are are not just limited to the upstream-process, since the viscous, heavy product is difficult to transport via regular pipeline unless diluted through heating. Furthermore, it is relatively low in carbon and high in sulphur, making it suboptimal for most conventional refining capacities. In sum, the complex process of extraction and conversion to make oil sands marketable has as an effect that they are considerably more expensive than conventional alternatives, as was also manifest in a 2008 comparative study performed by the IEA of the cost of Canadian oil sands vis-à-vis that of Middle-Eastern heavy crudes . The critical question that must then be asked about Canada’s oil sands industry is the following: Why would a stable, well-developed and diversified economy as that of Canada shift a substantial part of its available capital to an industry where it holds no comparative advantage and which, above that, has proven to be greatly volatile? The answer to this question, I believe, lies in what I have come to call the “bi-conditional paradox of oil prices and projected power”. On one hand, it follows from the difficulties and price of extraction that the international oil price must be at a sustained, high-enough level to justify extraction (the price-condition). Obviously, the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of this condition can be empirically established by looking at the recent evolution of oil prices. With regards to the price charged for the “synthetic oil” derived from the bitumen-bassins, Finch remarks that it is aligned to the benchmark of the Western Texas Crude Index, since the relatively young market for this type of synthetic oil has not yet established its own accepted formula for price calculation (2008, 38). A look at the price evolution of WTI spot price since the first mass-scale projects in the Athabasca-basin have started indicates that this condition has been fulfilled, as the indicative average price tripled from $25 to $76 per barrel between 1991 and 2006 alone (Bank of Canada and the Energy Information Administration). With projected revenues expected to exceed those from conventional resources in the next few years , and with it an associated GDP rise of 2,106 billion (Honarvar et al. 2011, ix - x), it is perfectly fair to assert that the price-condition is fulfilled.
The Spectrum | edition 03 23
On the other hand, there is the condition of projected power, which follows from the political capitalization on projected economic wealth derived from the oil sands extraction. Particularly under the conservative Harper government, Canada has been profiling itself as “an emerging energy superpower”, based on, amongst others, the notion that it is the “only non-OPEC country with growing oil deliverability” and thus
“the only stable and growing producer of this scarce
commodity in an unstable world” (Harper 2006). Clearly, as Hester also notes, this rhetoric characterizes the Harpergovernment’s intention to turn the economic and strategic importance of its abundant energy resources, particularly oil, into a “lever for political power” (2007, 1). In my view, this fulfills the second condition of perceived power projection which, in turn, is relevant because an essential precondition for attracting the necessary investment to develop the oil sands is that the Canadian government creates the necessary attractive legislative frameworks , which it can only do once it formally recognizes their economic potential. Notwithstanding, a dangerous implication of the particular energy narrative of the Harper government is that it essentially presents an illustrious form of rent-seeking in terms of political (rather than economic) capital within the international community. Furthermore, as Hester skillfully and correctly shows, the ‘energy superpower’-discourse is inherently an ill-defined “braggadocio” (2007, 7) which suggests an attitude and a desire to be a global hegemon capable of “matching its contemporaries with equal force” (Fox 1944, 44) by using its power over energy supplies - a concept fundamentally at odds with Canada’s established and self-asserted role in the international as a builder of consensus. On a domestic level, the energy superpower rhetoric represents a dangerous harbinger for political over-involvement in the oil sands project, which holds inherent risks for these ventures as it obscures what ought to be a purely economic calculus and endangers the crucial capacity of the government as a guarantor of continued wealth (Krugman 1987; Karl 1997). The diagnosis: does Canada suffer from the Dutch disease? In accordance with the Corden and Neary’s premises (1982), this third section will investigate whether Canada has a propensity to succumb to the ‘Dutch disease’. It will do so by first briefly giving an overview of the case for the Canadian economy’s “Dutch disease”, then proceed by investigating whether the Canadian dollar can be seen as a petrocurrency of sorts. Lastly, it will look at changes in the structure of the Canadian economy, more particularly the decline of manufacturing, and determine whether or not these changes are directly caused by the increased exploitation of natural resources, and oil sands in specific. The champions of Canadian ‘Dutch disease’ contend, in essence, that the protracted mass-scale exploitation of the Canadian tar sands is “slowly creating an economic ailment” rooted in the appreciation of the Canadian dollar (Dupuis, Lefebvre and Vachon 2006, 1-2). This assertion hinges upon the implicit assumption that the Canadian dollar has become a ‘petrocurrency’, that is a currency whose movements closely track the price of oil. The cardinal mathematical model underpinning this supposed correlation is the one constructed by Amano and Van Norden (1993) for the Bank of Canada’s internal use. Alongside other authors as Cerisola, Swagel and Keenan (1998), Amano and van Norden have redefined the standard Canadian currency exchange rate models from being “based [solely] on the monetary approach” (Charron 2001, 2) to including a more stylized notion of a nation’s currency. Concretely, Amano and van Norden have developed a model that “links the real exchange rate with economic fundamentals” (Dupuis, Lefebvre and Vachon 2006, 6; Charron 2001, 2)
such as terms of trade, government debt, productivity differentials, etc. From a
retroactive application of their model, Amano and van Norden come to conclude that movements in Canada’s terms of trade were to a large extent defined by the evolution of the Canada-U.S terms of trade evolution (1995) and, by extension, by the prices of the traded resources, in particular oil (2003), which is also confirmed by Bimenyimana and Vallée’s plotting of the Canadian dollar against the WTI crude oil spot price in the period 1999-2010 (2010, 76).
The Spectrum | edition 03 24
Source: Energy Information Administration;; Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 176-0064. The second part of the argument is based on the projected consequence of such an appreciation - a decline in tradeable industries, particularly manufacturing. In recent scholarship on the retraction of the Canadian manufacturing industry, Shakeri and Gray (2010) present the most systematic study of this phenomenon calculation of the effect of the exchange rate evolution through a cross-temporal comparison
of quarterly output data provided by the relevant sectoral
organisations for the approximately 80 industries defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Their results then indicate that, though the “direction and magnitude of Dutch disease elasticity varies across industries”, the annual growth of each industry has “decreased by about 11 % on average” (Shakeri and Gray 2010, 1-2). More worryingly, the argument is also advanced that some provinces (most notably Ontario and Quebec) suffer disproportionately more than other, oil-producing ones as Alberta and, to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan (Bimenyimana and Vallée 2011, 77). From the general body of literature concerning the Canadian exchange rate model, there appears to be a consensus that though the Amano and van Norden model is not flawless, it does allow for a dynamic, time-differential analysis of the type that is needed to map long-term currency evolutions. Furthermore, from its application to time-differential comparison with the evolution of WTI, it appears that the Canadian dollar is indeed, to a large extent, strongly correlated to the price of crude oil, and can thus be considered a ‘petrocurrency’. Far more contentious, however, have become the presumed implications this has had on the international competitiveness of the Canadian export-oriented manufacturing industries. Two recent arguments in particular present a striking challenge to the assumed ‘Dutch disease’-related manufacturing decline and offer responses to the one issue which the ‘Dutch disease’-theorists simply assume away: why some tradeable sectors, in some provinces, continue to flourish, while others don’t. The first argument is the ‘Alberta effect’thesis presented by Raveh (2011), which contends that reduced factor mobility costs within federations can mitigate or even undo potential ‘Dutch disease’-effects. Its argumentation is that resource-abundant provinces can exploit their resource rents to offer fiscal advantages, which leads to an intra-federal restructuring of the economy without an actual net loss of employment. MacDonald (2007), on the other hand, introduces the concept of the ‘China Syndrome’, which argues that the job losses in some areas of the Canadian manufacturing sector have occurred as part of the complex global reallocation of industries that is particularly well-pronounced in countries with resource wealth. MacDonald then asserts that this is due to the integration of emerging ‘economic powerhouses’ who provide consumer goods at lower prices, as China, in the global economy, citing evidence of growing overall manufacturing output in Canada. Though neither of these manages to invalidate the ‘Dutch disease’-theories clearly, they do give rise to some serious questions about the assumed relationship between increased natural resource exploitation, currency appreciation and declines in lagging, export-sensitive manufacturing sectors, which leads the author of this essay to conclude that it is, at least for the time being, too soon to diagnose the Canadian economy as having ‘gone Dutch’.
The Spectrum | edition 03 25
Recommendations The Canadian economy’s increasing dependence upon natural resource incomes, and unconventional oil rents in specific, are, regardless of the conclusions of this essay, issues that are to be kept under close scrutiny. Nonetheless, with regards to the questions raised by the Canadian ‘Dutch Disease’-thesis, this essay would has put forward some distinctly important points. First of all, it has characterized the oil sands as being a very precious, and equally vulnerable, asset because their high costs of production and relative unattractive marketability make their economic viability especially sensitive to changes in oil prices and thus giving them a naturally ‘higher propensity’ to fall prey to the ‘Dutch disease’. Secondly, this essay has tried to argue very vocally and vehemently against the over-politicization of the oil sands by the Harper government’s ‘energy superpower’-discourse by asserting that such threatens to muddle and obscure the already difficult economic calculus underlying the oil sands’ extraction - and thus making the Canadian economy even more prone to the dangers of the ‘Dutch disease’. Thirdly and lastly, this essay has evaluated the hypothesis that Canada suffers from the ‘Dutch disease’ using Corden and Neary’s (1982) model of currency appreciation and manufacturing sector decline. In the light of that last question, it deems to have conclusively established that though the apriority that the Canadian loonie is a ‘petrocurrency’ contains a substantial amount of truth, there is currently not enough substantive evidence capable of withstanding criticism for one to establish that this directly causes a decline in the manufacturing sector.
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Strengthening UK Democracy Via Parliamentary Education Mal Smith
The UK Parliament is unable presently to fulfill its duty to communicate its day-to-day work to the public it serves. Knowledge and understanding of Parliament is much less than it could be, with adverse consequences for public engagement with the democratic process. A key reason is communications disparity in terms of effectiveness between Parliamentary and Government media communications. Government has a huge communications advantage. Day-to-day Parliamentary news aside from Committee news and PMQs is largely absent from public discourse. Substantial additional resources should be allocated to Parliamentary media communications, alongside a new approach to defining Parliamentary news, coupled with related actions. The opportunity to reconnect with the public is there. Day-to-day work of Parliament, the centre of democracy, should be made visible to the public through active media communications. The first step towards this fundamental, vital goal is to place Parliamentary media communications on a competitive footing vis-à-vis Government communications.
Introduction To The Strengthening Democracy Strategy This strategy - Strengthening Democracy via Communication (SDC) - recommends to the UK Parliament that it provide substantial additional resources to build up and safeguard the Parliamentary media communications function with the goal of becoming competitive day-to-day with Government media communications. A much expanded, more pro-active Parliamentary communications function would address the issues of public knowledge of and trust in political processes, and of disengagement with the political system. Remedies for disengagement from Parliamentary democracy tend to encompass: asking political parties and politicians to do more; making voting easier; encouraging groups such as younger people to engage; discussing the media, political ‘spin’ and lobbying; changing the constitution or electoral/voting systems or party funding (see Cabinet Office 2013). Yet there is an ‘unsung’ alternative. Parliament should be doing much more to show the public what it does. The goal of SDC is to reconnect the public with their Parliament and with Parliament’s vital role of co-drafting and scrutinising legislation and holding Government to account. SDC addresses: ‣ public knowledge of the work of Parliament; ‣ public knowledge of the distinction between Parliament and Government; ‣ political engagement, by countering the problem of low trust in the political system; ‣ the efficacy of Parliament, by making Parliament’s work become visible as never before.
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Identifying The Knowledge Of Parliament Problem The lack of media coverage of Parliament’s day-to-day work is masked. It becomes clear when compared to the ‘flipside’, which is media reliance on Government as news source catered to by a Government communications operation enlarged considerably since 1997 (Davis 2007: 67 Table 4.1). The ‘flipside’ aspect has been acknowledged, as the issue of Government ‘news management’ or ‘spin’ as portrayed in the BBC TV series The Thick of It. But Parliament “is still crowded out of the broad political debate” (Hansard Society 2013: 50). The ‘Knowledge of Parliament’ problem has been submerged by a focus on the ‘spin’ issue and the media. In 2004, the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons noted the marked decline in newspaper coverage: “Parliamentary pages had disappeared from most newspapers by the 1980s and vanished entirely by the 1990s” (HOC SCM 2004: 32). In 2005, the groundbreaking Commission on the Communication of Parliamentary Democracy (the ‘Puttnam Commission’; established by the Hansard Society but independent) stated clearly: “Parliament needs to reassert itself, to reconnect with the public and become what it has always striven to be – the fountain of our democratic freedoms” (HOC Library 2006: 22). The argument is part normative, part evidence-based. Normatively, a Parliament’s work needs to be seen to be done in order to be effective. Unless seen, Parliamentary democracy at work is undermined by distrust - competitive Parliamentary communications is therefore a duty. Evidence of a ‘disconnect’ between Parliament and public comes from a series of reports showing that The Puttnam Commission vision is yet to be realised. The public is “increasingly disengaged from national politics” (Hansard Society 2012: 3). Various factors, including MPs expenses in 2009 and the economy, are pertinent. But part explanation is that public knowledge of Parliament is “strikingly low” (Hansard Society 2008: 3-4). The latest report pinpoints a vital component of the knowledge/ engagement problem as the Parliament/Government ‘communications disparity factor’: “Given the serious communications disparity factor between the executive [Government] and Parliament it should not be a surprise that so many members of the public do not understand the difference between the two institutions” (Hansard Society 2013: 50). The Impact Of The Knowledge Of Parliament Problem The impact of the knowledge of Parliament problem is deep and wide-ranging, affecting: UK citizens; news media through over-reliance and over-emphasis on Government as news source; the UK Parliament for not having its work known and recognised; the quality of politics and the political debate arguably; and thence the ‘body politic’ since trust in the political system is diminished and votes are not cast. This is a problem for Governments too. For example, Governments have announced policies prematurely, seeking media impact, when the proper course is to formulate policy partly by anticipating questioning in Parliament. Public knowledge of Parliament is low with 59% of people ill informed (Hansard Society 2012: 47). Only half the public is “confident that Parliament is not the same thing as government” (Hansard Society 2008: 3). Trust in politicians is low, the lowest of any profession at 18% (Ipsos MORI 2013). Yet, “over half of respondents (53%) would like to be better informed about what happens in the UK Parliament...only 18% saying they were not interested in being more informed” (Hansard Society 2011: 10). Improvements in Parliamentary communications have been made (Walker 2012); PMQs and some committee work obtain coverage; but the Puttnam Commission report remains salient. Voter turnout at General Elections is disappointing. In 2010, a 65% turnout was a little better than 2001 and 2005, “but still lower than at any election from 1922 until 1997”; despite the TV leaders’ debates voters “hardly flocked back” (Kavanagh & Cowley 2010: 192, 331). Approximately 55 staff work in Parliamentary external communication it seems (Hansard 2013: 50). A Governmentprovided figure for Government communications staff number including arms-length bodies is 3304 (PR Week 2013: 2). The ratio of communicators in central Government including arms-length bodies to communicators working for Parliament is 60 to 1. This excludes ‘political communicators’ (party communications staff; special advisers). The defining/ delivery of Parliamentary news at present is also problematic. The @UKParliament Twitter account, for example, includes trails of forthcoming Parliamentary business, but not balanced edited video clips from the day’s business.
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In sum, the “media eye has come to focus on government and political party competition rather than parliament...this delegitimises parliamentary activity and, consequently, contributes to public cynicism and distrust of politics per se” (Davis 2010: 31). Parliamentary Communications: Issues Make For Opportunities The biggest issues in relation to Parliamentary communications are various. But each issue presents an opportunity. First, consider the disparity in the scale and effectiveness of Parliamentary media communications as compared to Government communications. This is a problem of: a) resources; b) defining what is Parliamentary news; c) the dissemination of that news. The opportunity is clear: provide substantial resources for Parliamentary media communications; redefine Parliamentary news; disseminate that news efficiently, widely, thoughtfully, carefully; engage. Media coverage will follow if a strong pro-active communications strategy is put in place. Second, policy announcements made to the media without good reason (HOC Library 2013). A Parliamentary briefing paper lists 44 examples of known malpractice between 1983 and 2010 (HOC Library 2010). Detection arrangements and sanctions available to Parliament should be made sufficient to block this wrongdoing completely. Third, the striking lack of BBC1 TV evening news daily reports on Parliament. A serious question, at the very least, to be asked of the BBC as main public service broadcaster. Fourth, the issue as to accuracy of public statements. Links to existing fact-checking webpages, provided by public service broadcasters (BBC; Channel 4) and the independent Full Fact, placed prominently on the BBC News online frontpage would promote debate and add an important check to the political system. Accuracy and debate would be promoted. Fifth, gov.uk is memorable. Could the unused parl.uk be utilised for Parliamentary news? Finally, a note of caution: social media is now clearly part of any media communications strategy. However, there is an argument for not relying on ‘open’, potentially non-anonymous services like Twitter and Facebook which could be ‘data-mined’ or might enable online tracking, and instead recognising the anonymity advantage in mobile app and online search-based communications. Current Parliamentary Stakeholders And Arrangements Parliament’s Group on Information for the Public (GIP) has a planning, liaison, co-ordination and oversight role; members include representatives from units involved in Parliamentary communications (HOL IC 2009b). Others involved include: House of Lords Information Committee; House of Commons Administration Committee; The Speaker. The SDC Proposal: Strategy Design Recommendations. Strengthening Democracy via Communication (SDC) here puts forward five suggested elements: 1) A new Parliamentary News Service A step-change increase in resources and staff numbers, facilitating a new pro-active Parliamentary News Service encompassing House of Commons and House of Lords news and targeting journalists/media and the public. Parliamentary News Service recommendations: ‣ Redefine Parliamentary news to include edited reports on what has happened in day-to-day scrutiny, legislative and holding-to-account work, as well as publicising Committee work. ‣ Introduce new working concepts: a ‘balanced unit of news’ for news that has happened, balanced here means edited with sample views from all political parties expressing a view; and a ‘schedule of news subjects’ (a definition of what counts as Parliamentary news; for example: debates, statements, motions, vote outcomes, committee exchanges, PMQs exchanges; disciplinary matters; procedural matters); this methodology is independent of news ‘platform’, i.e. of device/operating system.
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‣ Balanced unit of news ‘package’ should include: video/audio clip; text; links; link to broadcast-quality audio/ video; embed codes; keyword tags. ‣ New Parliamentary News Service App, web pages and mobile website with rigorous Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); consider also using parl.uk - see below. ‣ Engagement: respond to enquiries via rigorous procedures; enable submission of evidence and ideas. ‣ Social media: trigger and produce media content that may be shared by the public via social media. ‣ Review privacy and social media issues now; amid, for example, the dangers of data-mining and online tracking. The logic of social media use by Parliament means a) accumulating more and more ‘followers’ until such time, ultimately, when everyone interested follows, and b) probably segmentation of feeds; a desirable plan/outcome? ‣ Media monitoring: use comprehensive service(s). 2) Government announcements review Policy announcements should be made to Parliament, not the media, unless there is a good reason. Detection arrangements and sanctions for infractions should be reviewed. The House of Commons Procedure Committee noted: “the moving of a motion of censure on the Floor of the House would be an even more severe sanction” (HOC PC 2011: paragraph 34). 3) BBC1 TV Parliamentary news coverage Proposal: BBC1 TV evening news (6pm and 10pm) fixed-length daily news reports and BBC website daily front-page reports on Parliament. This matter, along with the fact-checking provisions mentioned below, can be raised in discussion with the BBC. 4) Accuracy and fact-checking Fact-checking websites check the public statements of politicians and others. These are independent public services run by the BBC/Open University ‘More Or Less’ strand http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17707410 and Channel 4 http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck and http://fullfact.org - links to these sites should be added to the BBC News website front-page, in a prominent position. 5) parl.uk Consider use of parl.uk specifically for the Parliamentary News Service. SDC implementation and evaluation recommendations Ongoing evaluation of a new Parliamentary communications strategy is vital to its implementation. SDC’s implementation/ evaluation recommendations are: develop metrics to compare Parliamentary with Government media communications; for media monitoring use comprehensive service/s available commercially and include social media. Thereafter publish annual data on: media coverage, via media monitoring; Parliamentary and Government communications metrics; app downloads; page views/clicks/downloads/shares; extent of awareness of Parliamentary news; sources used; knowledge of Parliament; knowledge of difference between Parliament and Government; interest in Parliamentary news (via surveys); Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); handling of responses to queries/messages/ submissions. Then review areas for improvement annually, with a new GIP Parliamentary News Service reporting to a The Spectrum | edition 03 33
suitable Parliamentary committee. Any targets may produce strategic ‘gaming’ responses (Hood 2006) and, if considered, would have to be considered very carefully. Conclusion Public knowledge of Parliament is very much less than it could be and should be. Parliament’s daily work should be seen to be done, by the public, through active media communications provision. This is both a duty for Parliament and an enabler of public understanding of, trust in and engagement with the system of Parliamentary democracy and Parliament’s law-making, law-scrutinising and holding-Government-and-others-to-account functions. In order to become visible, Parliament’s work must be communicated competitively. Parliamentary communications, therefore, should be placed on a competitive basis with Government in terms of communications resources and strategy. Democracy will be upheld and strengthened through the proper public visibility of Parliament.
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Energy & Environment
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The Land Of Blue And Black Gold: The Two Sudans And The Future Of Their Shared Mutual Resources Eszter Hegyi
Six years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement marking the end of the terrible civil war in Darfur, South-Sudan became an independent state as of 9th July 2011. However, there are several postreferendum issues that are still to be agreed on, including citizenship, borders and the share of oil revenues and the Nile River. This article argues that the two last natural resources have crucial importance for the stability of the region. While reaching agreement on the shares of oil revenues have certainly key role in immediate economic growth, the peaceful cooperation over the two countries’ water resources are just as important to reach sustainable socio-economic development. Recent media coverage tends to focus on the border conflicts and the future of the oil fields in Unity and Abuye states. In contrast, this article will shift the attention to the ‘blue gold’ of the two Sudans - that is the future of their shared water resources.
“Probably for another two years’ – South-Sudan’s foreign minister told the BBC almost a year ago, referring to the halt of oil export of his country. 46 South Sudan has shut down all its oil export activities in a row with its northern neighbour over the transit prices and unsolved border security issues along the pipelines. The tension between the two states is understandable. Upon agreeing on South Sudan’s independence, Sudan lost 75% of all its oil fields, destabilising the already weak economy of country. The country planned to recover its budget through charging elevated transit fee for the land-locked South Sudan for exporting oil via ports on the Red Sea. In response, Juba stopped all its oil export, causing disastrous effect on its neighbours and on its own economy. As a coping strategy, Juba initiated talks with Nairobi about the construction of an alternative pipeline that would facilitate export though the Kenyan port of Lamu. The foundation was inaugurated last year, though the pipelines are presumably will not be in operation until the end of 2014. 47 With a spiraling inflation within its borders, South Sudan had no other choice than to resume oil export with its northern neighbour. The Africa Union backed negotiations between the two states seems to deliver results in the coming months. Juba and Khartoum agreed to resume trading activities and to withdraw their troops from the borders by the beginning of April. 48 Oil: A Blessing Or A Curse? To understand how crucial the agreement on oil is for both countries’ economy, national data may provide useful insights. South-Sudan had the highest GDP per capita in Eastern Africa in 2011 but 98% of the government revenue were derived from its ‘black gold’ 49. More than half of its population live on less than 28US$ per month and rely heavily on import which
Sudan Tribune, 2013
Global Witness, 2012 The Spectrum | edition 03 37
worth 40% of their GDP. 50 Due to this fragile state of its economy, halting 350,000 barrels daily oil export resulted in an inflation rate of 35%.51 The negative socio-economic effect of relying exclusively on oil suddenly became tangible for the entire society in South Sudan as well as in Sudan. Oil driven economic development may benefit all levels of the society but only in democracies where the governments handle oil revenues in transparent negotiations with the private sector and civil societies. However, in case of South Sudan the civil society is weak and corruption scandals plagued the economy already one year after the country’s independence. Therefore, it is easily possible that South Sudan falls for a ‘resource course’, and oil has mostly negative consequences on both the economy and the society as a whole. It means that oil production would not increase local employment substantially what’s more intensive oil export strengthens the local currencies to such an extent that other sectors loose their competitiveness – hence unemployment increases. It holds back the diversification of the economy and exposes the country to the risk of oil price fluctuations on the world market. Unfortunately what has been happening in South Sudan since 2011 is a clear example how detrimental it can be to rely only on oil as a drive of the national economy. The Sudan Tribune reported that food prices had tripled, causing growing food insecurity in a country, which is otherwise abundant in land and water. 52 This article argues that those two natural resources might be the key to challenge the countries’ oil based development. “All in all, I wish we had discovered water.”
The quotation above is from Ahmed Zaky Yamani, who served as a Minister of Petroleum and Mineral resources of Saudi Arabia for 25 years, until 1982. His remarks reflect on the complexity of oil-based development and the unmet water needs of the Saudis. In case of South Sudan the situation is more promising. Besides its vast oil reserves, the country have untapped agricultural potential. 47% of its area is arable land, though only 5% is currently under cultivation. 54 The tropical climate also adds to its agricultural potential. With an average annual rainfall over 120cm, rainwater harvesting provides opportunities even for remote lands. 55 Agriculture has another key importance. It provides livelihood for more than 78% of the population, therefore has crucial role in the poverty reduction agenda. Hence significant power infrastructure investment in the agricultural and the fishery sector may address three issues at once:
poverty and economic development. On the other hand, Sudan’s geographical conditions are less favourable. With an average precipitation of 10 cm, it largely relies on the Blue and the White Nile as the primary resource of water.56 Nevertheless its large irrigable lands have already attracted several foreign investments, mainly from the ‘thirsty’ Middle East. Given that it has lost significant oil revenues with the succession of South Sudan, Khartum wants to diversify its economy and pay more attention to the agricultural sector. And that is where it must cooperate with Juba.
The Africa Report, 2013
Sudan Tribune, 2012
Christiansen and Sullivan, 2012
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A River Runs Through It Agriculture is the biggest water user of all other activities, contributing to 85% of the global water consumption. 57 As a result, upstream countries along the Nile, such as Sudan and Egypt are highly dependent on its annual flow to feed their nation. Having South Sudan in the play as an independent state may change the rules of the game. South Sudan has already expressed that it intended to take advantage of its water, primarily for energy and agricultural purposes. 58 It increases the number of upper Nile states, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, who argue for a new Nile Cooperation Plan. The original agreement dates back to 1929, where the colonial authorities allocated the shares of the Nile and where Egypt and Sudan received distinctive allowances. Climate change reinforces the interest in fair redistribution of the shares from the shrinking river. Tension between the upper and lower riparian countries may lead to an unprecedented conflict over the use of water resources. According to leaked information from a US high-official, Egypt and Sudan discussed possible military action against Ethiopian water facilities on the Nile in case the country continues with its damn projects. 59 However it is not only Ethiopia who plans to harness the hydro energy of the river. As discussed before, South Sudan urgently needs new energy facilities. After decades of conflict, power infrastructure is basically non-existent in the country. To respond these challenges, Energy Minister Loku Moyu announced that the Beddem Dam on Bahr el Jebel would provide 40MW hydropower in order to respond the energy needs of Juba and its environment. 60 The minister also announced that hydropower had strategic importance for South Sudan and the government plans to build 240 MW-540 MW dams and a thermal power plant in Unity State, just at the border with Sudan. The Jonglei Canal may also be reconsidered in the light of the recent economic hardship. The controversial project started in 1921 in Jonglei state in today’s South Sudan and would have converted the Nile to increase the water flow for Sudan and Egypt. 61 However the ecological consequences would have been disastrous for the unique flora and fauna as the swamps were set to dry out. The project has come to a halt due to heavy opposition from local as well as international groups, however South Sudan may revisit the project. Swamps can be turned to arable agricultural lands then attract further foreign direct investments. Downstream Sudan has been busy with very similar projects. The Merowe Dam in Northern Sudan was inaugurated in 2010 and since then it has doubled the country’s electricity output. Sudan also aims to increase the height of the Roseiris Dam to respond the urging water requirements of agricultural projects. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute the land investment from foreign countries have increased dramatically in Sudan in the past decade. 62 The majority of land are leased for cultivating water-intensive food crops in order to secure domestic food supply at the investors’ home country, for instance at Qatar, Saudi-Arabia and SouthKorea. Some experts already talk about the ‘hydrological suicide’ of Africa, when the lease of lands also means the lease – and depletion -of invaluable water resources. Recommendation: Beyond The Oil Fields… Water is the most important commodity of the coming decades and the leaders of Sudan and South-Sudan must closely cooperate on three related issues. Both governments have already recognised the potential to develop their agricultural sector. Strengthening this sector has certainly numerous positive effects from enhanced food security to improved trade balance. However, their agricultural ambition is likely to pose significant burden on the Nile as the primary freshwater
58 Salman, 59 Sudan
Tribune, 2012 (b)
61 Lamberts, 62 IFPRI,
2009 The Spectrum | edition 03 39
resource of the region. Therefore, the first step should be to come to a common agreement on the shares of the Nile flow. This decision is also very important to be able to plan the upcoming hydropower projects on the Nile on both sides. Any further delay regarding the decision over the Nile resources is a threat to the future prosperity not just for South Sudan and Sudan but also for the whole Nile basin. Second, the Nile is a very important corridor between the two countries, therefore common transport and fishery policies may boost trade along the river. This way the livelihood of the fishing communities, large majority of the population would be secured on the highest level. The third point would be to agree on the conservation issues that may generate income in form of tourism for both countries. The unique biodiversity and the natural beauty of the White Nile can be a basis of a flourishing sustainable tourism sector. All these remarks are in line with the objectives of the Nile Basin Initiative, an intergovernmental organisation set up in 1999 to promote the sustainable use of the shared water in the Nile Basin. A new project, the 'Nile Cooperation for Results (NCORE)' was launched in March and secured $ 15.3 million for the four coming years to strengthen the cooperation between the Member States, including Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.63 We can only hope that it will give a new impetus for South Sudan and Sudan to stop prolonged fight and concentrate on a more prosperous and long-term agenda to be realised together along their shared Blue Gold.
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Salman, M.A. (2011). The new state of South Sudan and the hydro-politics of the Nile Basin. Water International . 36 (2) pp.154â€“166 Sudan Tribune (2013). South Sudan denies it plans to abandon Lamu port project. Sudan Tribune (last updated 22nd February 2013. Available at: http:// w w w. s u d a n t r i b u n e . c o m / s p i p . p h p ? a r t i c l e 4 5 6 0 3 (accessed 10th March 2013). Sudan Tribune (2012). Returnees complain of high food prices and unemployment in South Sudanâ€™s NBG. Sudan Tribune (last updated 14th June 2012). Available at: http://www.sudantribune.com/Returnees-complain-ofhigh-food,42914 (accessed 10th March 2013). Sudan Tribune (2012). Wiki leaks: Sudanese launch pad for Egyptian attack on Ethiopian dam. Sudan Tribune (last updated on 4th September 2012). Available at:
w w w. s u d a n t r i b u n e . c o m / s p i p . p h p ? a r t i c l e 4 3 7 7 9 (accessed 10th March 2013). The Africa Report (2013). South Sudan inflation dips to 24.1 percent in February. The Africa Report (last updated on 22d March 2013). Available at: http://www.devinit.org/ wp-content/uploads/South-Sudan-briefing.pdf (accessed 23d March 2013).
The Spectrum | edition 03 41
The Spectrum | edition 03 42
Comprehensive Solutions For Comprehensive Secondary Schools Clare Rowland
Secondary school head teachers require outstanding management and leadership skills. They are in charge of a budget, oversee the day-to-day running of the school and lead a large team of teaching staff. It is an enormous task that has become increasingly complex, and requires real dedication and effective decision-making. The reputation of a school is based largely on the quality of its leadership, which reports have found is “second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning”. 64 Weak leadership in a school can therefore be extremely damaging. Although senior management in schools is said to be generally improving across the country, 21% of secondary schools were graded less than ‘good’ by OFSTED for the effectiveness of leadership and management as of August 2012. 65 A school can deteriorate very rapidly if a weak head teacher is appointed. In particular, the morale of the teaching staff will be seriously affected and a vicious circle of unenforced discipline, poor academic results, staff recruitment issues and general chaos ensues. While efforts to improve schools currently in special measures are rightly considered to be a priority, maintaining high standards at good schools is also essential. Of course, some of the problems faced by secondary schools do not lie exclusively with personal leadership.
example, the content of the national curriculum and other education policies implemented by the government are beyond the control of head teachers themselves. Furthermore, individual schools will have their own specific challenges facing them, such as gang culture and social deprivation, which need to be tackled accordingly.
However, regardless of
whoever is Secretary of State for Education, or the strategies that happen to be in fashion at the time, strong leadership remains the essential foundation of a good school. In this article, I will outline some possible solutions related to the implementation of strong leadership, which may improve the overall performance of comprehensive secondary schools. Given that approximately 20% of secondary school headship vacancies have to be re-advertised, it has been suggested that chief executives from other sectors with relevant leadership skills could run schools as a solution to the national shortage of head teachers. 66 However, this would almost certainly not improve school standards. It would be a bit like asking a lifeguard who cannot swim to watch over a pool full of people. As soon as a problem arises, they might dive in enthusiastically at first, but they will soon flounder. Overall, it would be incredibly difficult for those without classroom experience to gain the respect of both teachers and pupils. In addition, as part of performance management procedures, head teachers observe and evaluate lessons delivered by other teachers. If school leaders are not qualified teachers themselves, then what right do they have to pass judgment, and how can they help them improve? There have already been a few experiments with secondary schools being led by those without teaching experience. The very first non-teacher to be hired as a school ‘chief executive’ was Peter Noble, a former NHS manager who managed two academy schools in Carlisle in 2008. However, he was forced to resign just five months later after one of his schools 64
Kenneth Leithwood et al, (eds) Seven strong claims about successful school leadership (Nottingham: NCSL, 2006), p.
OFSTED Dataview, http://dataview.ofsted.gov.uk (accessed 14th December 2012).
Wendy Berliner, (ed) ‘Do headteachers need teaching experience?’, (The Guardian, 12th November 2012), http://
www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/12/headteachers-school-leadership-recruitment (accessed 11th December 2012).
was put into special measures by inspectors. 67
This demonstrates that hiring head teachers without classroom
experience is neither a long-term solution, nor a credible one. Schools are not businesses, and being a head teacher is not just a desk job. Schools therefore require a different type of management with an emphasis on maintaining visibility. Head teachers should wherever possible try to continue teaching for one or two hours a week. This will help them not only to ‘keep in touch’ with the challenges of teaching in general, but more importantly, it will allow them to gauge the atmosphere of their own school and interact with pupils. This will also give the head teacher clearer perspective from the point of view of a teacher of any issues and weaknesses currently affecting the school, particularly regarding the enforcement of discipline. Being seen to take a ‘hands-on’ approach will help head teachers gain the respect of teachers, parents and pupils. There is also a clear link between the quality of leadership and the enforcement of discipline in schools. Strong leaders are good at enforcing discipline, which in turn will dramatically improve both the atmosphere of a school and its academic results if lessons are less frequently disrupted by poor pupil behaviour. When Paul Grant became head teacher of Robert Clack School in Dagenham in 1997, he suspended over 300 pupils during his first week. Thanks to his focus on “high standards of behaviour, quality teaching and leadership at all levels”, the school has since undergone a remarkable turnaround from being in special measures to a rating of ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED in just seven years. 68 Although there is unfortunately a perception among weak senior staff that enforcing a zero-tolerance discipline policy will be viewed by parents as an admission that there is a problem in the school with pupil behaviour, it is always better to act and deal with it as a long-term strategy than to ignore it. Overall, strong leaders are not afraid to identify and tackle the root of the problems that affect their schools, and usually, that begins with discipline. Zero-tolerance on relatively low-level behaviour issues, such as wearing school uniform appropriately, will have an immediate impact on the atmosphere of a school. Enforcing discipline is an initiative that need not involve complex and expensive strategies beyond a clearly defined and evenly implemented behaviour policy, which includes how to deal with serious incidents. Schools with severe discipline problems may wish to employ the equivalent of French ‘surveillants’ (supervisors) whose job is specifically to monitor discipline in all areas of the school, including classrooms, corridors and the playground. This would take some of the pressure off teachers who can then concentrate on delivering their lessons with minimum disruption. If a serious incident takes place, then ‘surveillants’ provide back up and support. However, the role of the head teacher in dealing with serious incidents must not be reduced, as this is part of the strategy of maintaining visibility in the school. My final policy recommendation is related to league tables. Schools that have strong leadership and enforce discipline are more likely to have better academic results. Weak head teachers, through their love of micro-management, often become too preoccupied with tweaking data and statistics, particularly with respect to below average exam results, rather than addressing the root causes of these problems. League tables are subject to high levels of scrutiny, and many schools have introduced ‘easier’ qualifications such as BTECs or ‘soft’ option subjects with the sole aim of boosting their statistics. Vocational subjects are of course better suited to some pupils, but head teachers should not mislead parents by trying to maintain that the school has a solid academic reputation when in fact this is not always the case. Clearer league tables which identify exactly which qualifications are taken, rather than how they measure up as an ‘equivalent’ of GCSEs or the new English Baccalaureate Certificate, will prevent weak head teachers from being able to hide behind endless spreadsheets.
Polly Curtis (ed) ‘Top leaders at stricken academy quit’, (The Guardian, 29th January 2009), http://
www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jan/29/richard-rose-academy (accessed 11th December 2012). 68
Succeeding Against the Odds – Robert Clack School, http://www.schoolsworld.tv/node/3175 (accessed 9th
December 2012). The Spectrum | edition 03 44
Furthermore, an emphasis on reaching the full potential of all pupils regardless of academic ability and social background is essential. Although virtually all schools already claim that this is their priority, it needs to become a reality. Results should be seen in the light of the actual differences they make, not just how they can be tweaked on a spreadsheet. For example, obtaining a ‘C’ grade in GCSE Mathematics is rarely considered outstanding in most circumstances, but for a disaffected pupil from a difficult home background who was originally predicted to get an ‘E’ grade, this is a massive achievement and reflects the motivational skills of teaching staff. In this light, the school has succeeded and made a real difference, opening up opportunities to their pupils, which would not otherwise have been available to them. However, this example of what a successful school can achieve cannot be included in a league table, even though this is exactly the sort of evidence that truly demonstrates the positive impact on pupils that good schools can have. Conclusion and Recommendations In conclusion, my policy recommendations are threefold: head teachers should be visible figureheads, an emphasis on discipline should be enforced and league tables must reveal more than just statistics. Although the long-term future of the exam system in secondary education remains uncertain following the recent scrapping of plans for the English Baccalaureate Certificate, strong leadership with an emphasis on discipline and high-quality teaching remains at the heart of a successful school. There are all sorts of other factors, which impinge on the quality of a school, and those factors may change over time, but focusing on the timeless foundations is a good place to start.
The Spectrum | edition 03 46
What Are The Most Important Challenges In The Field Of Health, Conflict And Peace Today And How Should They Be Addressed? Alex Isted
Answering this question first requires consideration of the aspects of society that predispose people to experience poor health and conflict as well as an examination of the factors that link the two. Only then is it possible to suggest a general stance and specific strategies that should be pursued by government and society to best overcome the problems. Poor Health The developing world’s health problems, loss of quality of life and death through infectious disease, violence, famine and high infant mortality, are comparable to those of the West in and up to the 19th Century. This is due to both the economic and political environment and a heightened susceptibility to Mother Nature, such as climate change, the emergence of new pathogens and natural disasters. An exponentially increasing human population and yet further stretching of resources is exacerbating these problems. However, the West is no less susceptible to avoidable aspects of ill health. In the late 20th century, the West underwent an epidemiological transition where infectious disease ceased to be the primary cause of death and poor health, with the rise of chronic conditions such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure and depression, which are greatly influenced by the way people live their lives. Even with the support of massive health infrastructures like the NHS, many people continue to suffer low standards of health, which can often be prevented by simple methods such as cessation of smoking, healthy diet and exercise. To tackle these health problems, we must principally ask, why people are suffering from such avoidable ill health. Health Inequality There are significant health inequalities amongst societal groups but none more pronounced than that between the rich and the poor. One hundred years ago, the average height of officers in the British army, usually from upper-class households, would be considerably greater than working-class, non-commissioned officers, due to a more nutritious upbringing. This was a visual indicator that position on the socioeconomic spectrum heavily influences health. What is more startling is that it remains true that the lower an individual’s occupational status, the higher the incidence of heart disease, numerous cancers, COPD, stress, depression and gastrointestinal disease, amongst others. An example of a health inequality is recreational drug use, which correlates directly to the level of a nation’s social inequality. In a study in North Carolina, it was found that those with lower social status took far more cocaine in response to their low self-value, essentially self-medicating to reduce the pain associated with their social status. This trend is mirrored by the number of prescriptions for anti-depressants amongst low-income groups. Rates of depression and other mental illness in lower socioeconomic groups are show the high incidence of health problems associated with avoidable risk factors in these groups. Significant behavioural change is far simpler amongst those who feel emotionally healthy and happy.
Conflict The types of conflict are extensive, ranging from crime within a community to racial discrimination and war, with the invariable outcomes of death and pain, both physical and psychological. History suggests that one of the major factors, which incite conflict, is economic inequality. “Where ignorance prevails and where one class is made to feel that society is an organised conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”. These words in 1886 by Frederick Douglas, the anti-slavery social reformer, are as true today as they were then. Ignorance, through inadequate education and social inequality, seeds conflict. People more prone to conflict, often with poor education and a low standard of living, have a greater susceptibility to manipulation by those in power. As Adolph Hitler put it, “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think." The man who sparked the most devastating war in history made the observation that an uneducated population is easily manipulated, an observation, which he exploited with horrific consequences. Statistics show that the greater the social inequality in an area, the greater the incidence of murder and assault. At an individual level, the psychology involved when a young man from a deprived background resorts to knife crime is often regarding as the search for, or protection of status. Whilst the more educated in society are able to gain status and selfworth through their social standing and occupation, those without access to these often resort to violence. Economics are clearly a significant driving force for conflict both on an individual level and on a nation level. Many have questioned, for example, whether Iraq would have been invaded in 2003, had it not have been rich in oil. However, there is little more economically cripplingly than war: between September 2001 and March 2011 the US spent an estimated $1.3 trillion on war. A study in May 2011 on the Global Peace Index concluded that had global conflict been reduced by 25% over the previous year, the global economy would be $2 trillion better off, sufficient to achieve all the Millennium Development Goals, rebuild all that was destroyed in the 2011 Japan earthquake and pay off the national debt of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Peace should, therefore, always be the greatest economic incentive. Evidence suggests that the more economically unbalanced a country is, the more volatile it is likely to be internationally, and the less likely it is to donate from its GDP towards development aid. By bridging the gap between the most and least affluent in society, interactions with the international community can become more peaceful.
When countries are
represented on a graph of their average household income inequality against mental health rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, child obesity, recreational drug use, teenage pregnancy, murder rates, suicide rates and a host of other problems, the correlations are always positive. It was found in a 1990 Columbia University study, that the average man from Bangladesh was more likely to reach the age of 65 than an African-American man in Harlem, New York. Despite the US having vastly greater wealth than Bangladesh, social inequality has the greatest influence. Solutions A comprehensive solution to overcome these problems, and hence improve global and national health and peace is education. Horace Mann, the American educational reformer, illustrated this point by saying, “a human being is not attaining his full heights until he is educated”. It is telling that when regimes change hands it is so often the priority to burn books and censor ideas, in essence to stem education. A society’s social inequality and its level of education are intrinsically linked with the improvement of one factor relying on the improvement of the other. If initiatives are put in place to provide a good education to all regardless of background or circumstance, future generations will be more likely to reach their educational potential and the effects of the initial investment in education will be passed on. I believe we must use a two-pronged attack, to repair the failings in healthcare on one front and to fight the intertwined issues of social inequality and education on the other. The benefits of this approach are that success on either front benefits the success of the other. The Spectrum | edition 03 48
Healthcare The incentive to improve health is by no means isolated to the individual’s quality of life as the improvement of the quality and sustainability of healthcare will have the secondary effect of improving the economy as a whole.
By 2016, it is
predicted that the US government will be spending 20% of its GDP on healthcare with other nations following suit. Ill health provides considerable economic implications for employers such as inefficiency at work and absence.
national level, the government would benefit as the prevention of chronic disease saves the nation huge sums of money. The combating of many illnesses relies on advanced scientific breakthroughs like the emerging stem cell therapies, HIV vaccines, new surgical techniques and targeted cancer treatments. The keys to the success of these breakthroughs are the continued financial and political support needed for the research, and the necessary educational infrastructure. In parallel with this, easily avoidable health problems must be targeted by new initiatives and a new healthcare philosophy. If a patient goes to hospital for an avoidable condition, this should be viewed as a failing in the health system. Should this standard be applied, greater emphasis would be placed on the role of primary care and preventative medicine, saving resources and keeping patients’ best interests central. By streamlining the NHS financially, initiatives such as the complete digitalisation of medical records can slash waste and improve efficiency. This initial investment may be high, but in the long term the healthcare system can be far more costeffective. Another major source of waste in healthcare (particularly in the USA) is the increasing number of unnecessary diagnostic medical tests and procedures performed by doctors, fearful of an increasingly litigious society. This ‘defensive medicine’ is the source of an estimated 10% of the total health expenditure of the US, with the UK and many other countries also following this trend. Making doctors less vulnerable to opportunist litigation would improve efficiency and save money. The development of new drugs and therapies is increasingly unsustainable, with the most recent cost estimates of a single drug going to market as £800m to £1b. By cutting some of the surplus bureaucracy and protocol, making the process more cost-effective, the development of new pharmaceuticals can continue unhindered by finance and the drugs themselves can be more affordable to the health system. However, the balance between streamlining this process and poor medical practice must obviously be made, infamously highlighted by the Thalidomide tragedy in the 1960s. Ultimately the best way to overcome a person’s exposure to risk factors is for patient care to be more patient-centred. Instead of GPs saying “If you do not lose weight you are at high risk of developing heart disease”, algorithms using epidemiological evidence and the patient’s own genetic profile could present more tangible health outcomes to the patient. The alternative of “if you continue at your present weight, the probability of you suffering from a heart attack by the age of 60 is 70%”, allows the patient to see their situation more clearly, motivating them to act. The patient should then be provided with resources such as access to fitness classes, education on diet, supplementary medication and support groups. To maintain motivation, financial incentives could be used: rewards for giving up smoking, or reduction of life insurance premiums. The monetary costs would be small compared with the eventual savings through avoiding future medical care they would have likely required. Social Inequality And Education The remedy to the problems of social inequality and education is not to simply throw money at the situation, as human nature will cause much of this money to filter back up the social ladder. Social workers, health care professionals and teachers have invaluable roles at the local level, although new policy is required for large-scale change. The problem must be tackled on two levels: policy aimed at repairing the damage caused by social inequality and policy aimed at resolving the cause of social inequality. Resolution of social inequalities at the source needs to be seen as a major investment in society for the future. If there is a shift in the priorities of government spending, away from defense and towards health and particularly education, social imbalance can begin to be addressed. In the short term, economics and current events can provide obstacles, but
politicians must not lose the big picture. Actions like the redistribution of taxation, reduced involvement in global conflict and streamlining of the health and education services, would allow money to be redirected. These funds could then be used towards improving the minimum wage, bettering the quality of schooling and apprenticeships systems and providing incentives for students to remain in education, such as the EMA scheme. If young people are given the resources and drive to gain a good education, ideally one, which is compulsory to the age of 18, the rest can follow. The imbalance in social equality can begin to decrease and as a result the social and many associated health problems shall decrease. Conclusion and Recommendations With the two pronged attack of improving healthcare and tackling income inequality through education, conflict can begin to decrease both within and between nations, health on every level, down to the patient can improve and the economy can benefit greatly. Money can then be redistributed back towards the welfare state and to other nations through trade and aid. The money being reinvested into healthcare can be used more effectively in a streamlined, efficient system with the improvement of patientâ€™s quality of life through preventative medicine as its central dogma. Regardless of how utopic a vision this may be, the objectives of all in a position of power must be to bring us as close towards this goal as possible.
T.L Mark et al. (2007). Mental health treatment expenditure trends, 1986-2003. Psychiatric Services, 58(8), 1041-8.
D Gwatkin, S Rutstein, K Johnson, E Suliman, A
R Wilkinson, K Pickett (2010). The Spirit Level: Why
Wagstaff, et al. (2007). Socio-economic differences in
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health, nutrition, and population within developing A Belasco (2011). The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan and
countries: An overview. Washington, DC, World Bank.
Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11. US M.G. Marmot. (1991). Health inequalities among British
Congressional Research Service.
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A. Arbor (2005). European Values Study Group and
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D. Morgan, et al. (2002). Social dominance in monkeys: dopamine D2 receptors and cocaine self-administration.
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Harlem. New England Journal of Medicine, 322, 173-177. R Barker (2011). 2030, The future of Medicine: Avoiding a Medical Meltdown. Oxford University Press.
The Spectrum | edition 03 50
Tackling Smoke-Related Diseases: Serious About Fact-Meaning Separation? Alice Daeun Lee
Shallowness, broken relationships, loss of meaning, no sense of purpose, despair, incompleteness, moral blindness, loneliness, disillusioned and death. Is this the future of the human existence? If not, why should the health care’s future look just as gloomy? Richard Dick Keyes, a graduate from Harvard University in 1964, once wrote that our societies are at the “crisis of meaning” 69. The rapidly modifying produce of popular visual art, film, literature, celebrity trend, fashion and music since the 1950s not only portray the dangers of how heartlessly people view the world but also greatly transformed the policies of many governmental bodies, including the NHS. The 21st century has met an era where facts that can be tested have been strictly separated from the invisible spectrum involving meaning and value. These testable facts are seen to be the only ‘visible’ truth that exist in the world and can include everything from an established biochemical data from the laboratory of an eminent scientist to an inspirationally created piece of clothing that brings success of a trend-setting fashion designer. But how is it that ‘invisible’ truth does not exist in our society as a whole and are of no significant value for consideration if they are invisible? The developing world’s health problems, loss of quality of life and death through infectious disease, violence, famine and high infant mortality, are comparable to those of the West in and up to the 19th Century. This is due to both the economic and political environment and a heightened susceptibility to Mother Nature, such as climate change, the emergence of new pathogens and natural disasters. An exponentially increasing human population and yet further stretching of resources is exacerbating these problems. However, the West is no less susceptible to avoidable aspects of ill health. This policy recommendation dives into the scope of the costs of meaning and how much of a threat it is today in a factmeaning separated world when smoke-related healthcare policy makers provide systems to encourage people to give up or not take up smoking. The meaning and value of anything is another truth that runs parallel to the more ‘visible’ truth and it is equally required during policy making as it helps one predict future consequences as much as ‘visible’ fact give aid. On the walls of the Harvard School of Public Health it is engraved “the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being” which is also part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Constitution 70 As this recommendation searches for the misunderstanding of the potential powers of incorporating ‘meaning’ into healthcare policies, the reader should pose a question as to what actually is the fundamental rights of a human being. In January 2013, health secretary Jeremy Hunt was told by special administrators of the NHS trust that the South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT) is so heavily in debt that they should be dissolved – “[SLHT] is so deeply in the red that it has no viable future in its current form”71 The SLHT consists of three individual hospitals that in summation lose around £1.3m every week and consequently SLHT became the first NHS trust to be considered an “unsustainable provider” of healthcare. The trust’s special administrator Matthew Kershaw his “transformation programme” must be implemented as
Keyes, 1996, 78
soon as possible, “SLHT ‘should be dissolved and other organisations should take over the management and delivery of the NHS services it currently provides’…”72 The size and scale of Kershaw’s policy mirrors the intensity of the serious attention that is required towards establishing why the NHS is becoming less and less efficient in providing good health welfare. Although Kershaw’s programme emphasises the problems in south-east London hospitals only, if there are no radically changed approach in producing a more effective health policy that submerges deep into the root of the dilemma, then other major hospitals in central London will also be in danger of insufficient levels of healthcare. It is absolutely crucial that a more practical and innovating new policy is available in order that the freedom of healthcare, being one of the greatest assets of NHS, is maintained for all British citizens. If there is no change in the healthcare policy within the next decade the quality of the NHS may be so low that there is no value of it. Moreover, in 2009, the department of Public Health at Oxford University published an article in the journal Tobacco Control that around 25% of deaths in 2005 that were linked to smoking73. The researchers evaluates that smoke-induced death rates have remained constant from previous years and “suggests that the overall numbers of deaths attributable to smoking have not changed much in the past 10 years”. Furthermore, the Scottish Public Health Observatory website estimated that “539 fewer deaths and 2,320 fewer hospital admissions” would be seen if smoking levels were reduced by just one percent, which would save the NHS almost 27 million pounds74. Such valuable resources are strongly suggesting that immediate review of the problems of the current smoke-related health policy is necessary. The free NHS Stop Smoking Quit Kit 75, first released in 2009, was a very productive idea with a very simple concept. It contains many useful tools to help you quit smoking such as a stress toy, relaxing audio, a step-by-step calendar to keep you motivated, a booklet to assess how addicted you are to name a few. One article shows that the NHS decided to design the Quit Kit because research showed “more than half of smokers (54%) want help to manage their cravings.”76. This is a very positive outcome of the smoke cessation policy, nevertheless two of the top three diseases that cause the highest prevalence of healthcare funding in 2011 were still strongly linked to smoking (cardiovascular and cancer) 77. A true investment must strengthen and provide fundamental growth. Therefore it is a worthwhile investment if smokers are helped to release their stress with the aid of thorough understanding the values of life and community so that over time smoker realise that they do not need to go back to smoking after quitting, which many smokers find hard to do. This understanding stage is what is missing in the current smoking cessation policy and the understanding process is the key to what will make differences to the success of the policy in the future because ultimately, smokers may easily decide to stop striving to quit smoking if they do not see the why quitting is worth it. This would mean that even with great resources like the free Quit Kit, smokers could return to their habits. Hence the new policy recommendation concentrates on the ‘values’ and ‘meanings’ in the community and individual level.
Scottish Government, 2012
Smokefree, Quick Kit, 2013
2012 Global Medical Trends Survey Report, 2012, 7 The Spectrum | edition 03 52
Policy Options Smokers with a history of lung-related problems or ex-smokers struggling to quit the addiction should be advised by a GP or hospital doctor to enroll in a programme called Anecdote where attendees have one-year duration to complete the programme and throughout the placements participants will use the Quit Kit as a practical study tool. During this time the attendee must spend 3 hours per week on any day or time they choose to for 6 months in each of the three destinations of the cycle: fitness centre, cooking school and volunteer shelter.
Few of many benefits
3 hours per week for 6 months
Become more active
3 hours per week for 6 months
3 hours per week for 6 months
Meet people living under difficult situation
From: Anecdote programme outline, Jan 2013 It is completely the patient’s choice to enroll, but once enrolled you are further advised and encouraged to finish the programme as the benefits will be greater. Doctors are strongly urged to understand the importance of this programme and why it can be so successful in preserving of the strong will of a smoker that wishes to quit. The fitness centre placement should enhance teamwork and bonding between session participators. A good example could be games between teams in a sports hall, so that electrical apparatus or running machines are not needed. Enthusiastic team sport coaches should be hired with care so that attendees begin to grow interest in sports and teamwork-involved thinking. Activities should stimulate amusement for several different team sports during the 6 months. Examples include: football, netball, basketball, tag rugby, volleyball, where no particular equipment or costly fees are required from the participant or the government that support this policy. The cooking school placement should create a similar bonding atmosphere that creates little stress to the participants. Also, learning to cook healthy dishes should be an overall theme during the 6 months placement so that attendees can benefit from what they learn. The volunteer placement should be an eye-opening time for people to see how there are so many people living in harsher conditions than the participant themselves. This placement is very important in that participants can have a chance to realise that there is much needed volunteer work around one’s community and that he stressful, meaninglessly competitive, cold lifestyle is only a portion of their life and also just the necessities of life. Volunteer work can be at, e.g. a homeless shelter; old people’s care home, orphanage, and hospital wards or children nursery in underprivileged areas. Participants should be grouped into similar age groups and should be allocated to their local fitness centre session. The importance of grouping people into similar age groups is to make all three placements more enjoyable and memorable as the group can bond with one another. Hiring coaches for Anecdote will cause a growth in jobs during times outside of normal training hours because the fitness centre session should be provided even at evening time so that workers can have a flexible time arrangement. The new policy is all about recovering the minds of people from busy, meaningless, lonely lifestyle of the 21st century people. Here, the provision of flexibility in the sessions is ultimately crucial as it allows people to fuss and worry less. All placements should be thoroughly planned and scheduled with activities that stimulate fun, creativity and compassion for others within one’s community.
Implementation The BMJ Careers once published an article with guidance on how to deal with difficult relationships as part of their personal support advice series 78 Here the author Anita Houghton describes the person under stress (the subject) to imagine a scenario where he or she designates three imaginary positions and is first asked to stand in the position of an experienced anthropologist who is studying the situation that he or she is currently in and to say out loud what the anthropologist sees. Then the subject is asked to stand in the position of another position (position 2), imagining that they are that person and ask them what is going on for them. Next the subject is asked to stand in the anthropologist’s imaginary position and review what position 2 said and give tips on handling this issue. Lastly, the subject returns back into their own position and test out to see whether he or she can act on the tips. Throughout the article Houghton seems to portray an understanding that viewing an issue from a different perspective is a valuable approach in handling issues or stressful situations: “The root of nearly all conflict is our tendency to see situations from only one angle-our own. This exercise will help you to guide yourself or your co-mentor through three different perceptual positions…”79 Finding meaning and being able to grasp the fundamental truth of the fast-paced lives of this world is a process of stepping back from a stressful issue. People with busy lives will not study or read about the values of meaning through literature written by scholars or attend regular religious ceremonies to accept that there is more to life than what we can see. But Anecdote can positively encourage people to subtly re-think about the values of life and how there is quite an abundance of goodness and joy in our everyday lives. If we allow general backslide to how smokers deal with their stress, we cannot tackle the problems of over spending expenses of the NHS on smoke-related diseases. It is not to say that this policy recommendation discourages individual freedom or human rights but this policy will open minds for other policy makers to view and solve policy issues with balanced consideration of both ‘analytical’ and ‘meaningful’ approach. Even well recognised business magazine are focusing on issues of company’s economical hardship by suggesting the organisation to not miss the ‘vital truth’ 80: A fast-changing world leaves little time for nostalgia and irrelevant details- or, worse, strategies for winning the last war. We also know, however, that leaders with no patience for history are missing a vital truth: A sophisticated understanding of the past is one of the most powerful tools we have for shaping the future…. As a leader strives to get people working together productively, communicating the history of the enterprise can instill a sense of identity and purpose and suggest the goals that will resonate. 81 The authors suggest that recalling history of an organisation unite and inspire people in unexpected ways and readers find in the article an astonishing case model of how Kraft Foods successfully integrating the British company Cadbury in 201082
Houghton, 2005, 17
Seaman Jr. and Smith, 2012, 46
81 Ibid 82
Ibid The Spectrum | edition 03 54
Similarly the new smoke cessation policy recommendation emphasises the potential strength of re-energising smokers with the reason why they are who they are and where they are. Life can often take unexpected turns and too often people forget the purpose and meaning of life itself: the simple joys that it brings as it is. However, stepping out of a fastpaced now into the history of whom I was and still can easily become; in the present and the long-run future, can be all one might need to fix a determined mind. Thereafter, smokers will have a piece of a purpose-driven life that will greater impact their determination to quit. Evaluation Balance of priorities is important. Hence, the ‘analytical’ and ‘meaningful’ components of this new smoke cession policy should be equally utilised. This includes the use of Quit Kit alongside the Anecdote programme because it is crucial to sustain existing achievements (from the Quit Kit development). The fundamental rights of a human being can be easily considered as no more than simply providing what a human lacks in, e.g. clothes, food, education, healthcare; but understanding the meaning of life and its ‘vital truths’ is also one of the fundamental rights of a human to live life more humanely.
Keyes, Richard Dick (2007). A Crisis of Meaning. In Finding God at Harvard, edited by Kelly Monroe Kullberg, 78-85. USA: InterVarsity Press.
Campbell, Denis. NHS hospital trusts in debt should be dissolved and replaced, says report. The Guardian (last
Smokefree (2013). Quit Kit. Available at: http://
updated 8th January, 2013). Available at: http://
smokefree.nhs.uk/quit-tools/quit-kit/#na (accessed 5th
trusts-debt-dissolved-report (accessed 8th January, 2013). The Scottish Government (2012). Drop in smoking would save £27 million (last updated 26th June, 2012). Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/06/ smoking26062012 (accessed 6th January 2013). BBC (2009). Free smoking quit kits launch for New Year resolution (last updated 26th December 2009). Available at:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8428998.stm (accessed 5th January 2013). Towers Watson (2012). Global Medical Trends Survey Report (last updated January 2012). Available at: http://www.towerswatson.com/assets/pdf/7394/ To w e r s W a t s o n - G l o b a l M e d T r e n d s S v y R p t NA-2012-23911.pdf (accessed 8th January 2013). World Health Organisation (2012). Health and Human Right. Available at: http://www.who.int/hhr/en/ (accessed 11th December 2012). Houghton, Anita (2005). Personal Support 4: Helping Each Other Deal with Tricky Relationships. BMJ Careers, 17-18.
Seaman Jr., John T and Smith, George David (2012). Your Company’s History as a Leadership Tool. Harvard Business Review, 44-52. The Independent (2009). Smoking costs NHS £5bn a year.
The Spectrum | edition 03 56
First Alone, Not Among Equals: US Grand Strategy And The Future Of American Power Peter G. Cornett
“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” – John F. Kennedy
The Asia-Pacific region, the central highway for worldwide commerce, is adjusting to a new reality. China, the most recent sleeping giant, is re-emerging as a great power, drawing worldwide media attention as it begins its contest for supremacy over the AsiaPacific region. The United States, the incumbent hegemonic power since the collapse of the Soviet Union, looks suspiciously towards the East, intent on opposing emerging threats to the international security regime. But as the United States prepares its Asia pivot, some questions arise: Why should the US lead the world? Why does the US try to maintain its diminishing hegemony? Can the US even maintain unipolarity, and how would it do so? These questions demand an answer. American grand strategy retains primacist characteristics because unipolarity is more peaceful and stable than multipolarity or bipolarity, and because the hegemony of a liberal power is preferable to that of an illiberal power. Arriving now at the question of method, one thing is clear: contemporary US grand strategy, with only a marginal pivot to the East, is inadequate to its purpose. To maintain legitimate and effective primacy, the United States must modify its current grand strategy to more effectively balance against a rising China, to better explain its leadership role and responsibilities to both friends and competitors, to oppose the hoarding of strategic resources that are essential to peace and stability, and to avoid the temptation to preemptively surrender its interests.
Grand Strategy For The Great And The Good: Why America Must Continue To Lead The recent uproar about the ‘inevitable’ US nosedive is as pessimistic as it is factually scarce. Christopher Layne and other international relations scholars have leapt onto the bandwagon to declare the decline or relative decline of American power. 83 Pape and Paul suggest that the appearance of balancing coalitions targeting US power is inevitable or already underway. 84 Many of these prophets of the termination of the American era refer to the Bush Doctrine as a sign of the end times. The aftermath of the Bush Doctrine is self-evident. This new unilateralism enabled the United States to aggressively pursue Al-Qaeda, but it came at significant cost. The American exercise of power, seemingly wild and aggressive, drew attention from both friends and competitors alike. For the first time
Quinn, 2011, 803-824; Layne, 2006, 37; Layne, 2012, 56
Paul, 2005, 48-53; Pape, 2004, 40-42; Waltz, 2000, 38-39; for an opposing argument see Brooks
and Wohlforth, 2005, 509-524
since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the legitimacy and benignity of US leadership was questioned. 85 As the successful election and re-election of President Barack Obama illustrates, the Bush Doctrine was the exception, not the rule. The Bush Doctrine, characterized by preemptive and unilateral intervention and regime change, stands in stark contrast to the more multilateral and measured approach taken by President Obama. The United States has a long tradition of benevolent stewardship of the international system. At the end of the Cold War, the United States took responsibility for the provision of international security and other public goods on both sides of the former Iron Curtain. "To find profit for itself," Josef Joffe has argued, "The US provided for others."86 In making his case, Joffe draws a historical parallel with the United Kingdomâ€™s hegemonic period, and points out that the UK also provided an array of international public goods while maintaining empire. 87 These public goods can take the form of the protection of shipping lanes, the establishment of institutions and rules for global governance, and the protection of human rights. The United States has amply demonstrated its role as a benign hegemon. Instead of dominating the globe through the sheer threat and application of force, the US embraced a grand strategy of liberal institution building that sought the participation of other states as shareholders in the international security regime. 88 When compared to past and present hegemonic contenders, such as Russia and China, the United States offers an easy yoke and a light burden. One might imagine that a unipolar system run by Russian oligarchs or Chinese technocrats would not offer a similar emphasis on liberalism, human rights, and cooperative security. Unipolarity, particularly unipolarity led by a liberal great power such as the US, has significant advantages over bipolarity or multipolarity. Bipolarity â€“ as evidenced by the Cold War â€“ is plagued by struggles between two great powers that are competing for dominance. As evidenced by the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, bipolarity can lead to a competitive escalation that has the potential to spark nuclear war. Unipolarity has neither of these flaws since the distinguishing feature of the system is a lack of great power rivalry. 89 But could it be that multipolarity offers greater stability and relative peace compared to a unipolar arrangement? History suggests that this is not the case. Multipolarity might be a more equal world system, and perhaps would even be fairer since there is no centralized world order; however these factors are hallmarks of a more anarchical and sanguinary distribution of power. In a multipolar system, great powers seek alliances for their own protection and to maintain a regional balance of power. The natural consequence of multipolar alliance-building are evinced by World War I with its more than thirty million casualties and the ecumenical conflagration that resulted from balancing against an aggressive
For an analysis of the impact of the Bush Doctrine on perceptions of the benignity of US hegemony,
see Jervis, 2005, 352. 86
Joffe, 2009, 21; A similar argument is made in Lieber, 2011, 29 & 34
Joffe, 2009, 21
Ikenberry, 2011, 219; Ikenberry excepts the Bush Doctrine in Ikenberry, 2011, 276
The Spectrum | edition 03 58
power. 90 Entangling alliances dragged more participants into the conflict because each faction needed to balance against the other to protect their own interests, eventually culminating in a global conflict. Now that it has been demonstrated that benign unipolarity is preferable to the available alternatives, it only remains to show that the United States is capable of maintaining primacy. The United States enjoys the continued support and confidence of key allies. For example, in their strategy and defense papers, Australia and the UK specifically mention their auspicious relationship with the US and extant cooperative efforts in dealing with emerging international security challenges. 91 Moreover, the US is – and will be in the foreseeable future – the preponderant world power. 92 If this is true, as the evidence suggests that it is, maintaining unipolarity is not primarily a question of feasibility – it is a question of political will. US grand strategy must be modified to meet the challenges of the 21st century. According to Paul Miller, the five hallmarks of traditional US grand strategy are championing liberalism, defending the American homeland, maintaining balance of power among great powers, punishing rogue actors and investing in good governance and allied capabilities 93. Any modification of US grand strategy must retain these fundamental and efficacious characteristics while focusing on the strategic end of primacy. The Rise Of China: A Challenge To US Hegemony Though the benefits of continued US unipolarity are many, a few states do not appear to be content with the status quo. China is the most notable example. Miller writes: “Chinese policymakers, like their Russian counterparts, continue to speak openly about their intent to oppose American unipolarity, revise the global order, and command a greater share of global prestige influence. There are several flashpoints where their revisionist aims might lead to a militarised crisis with the United States… A militarised crisis with China is more likely today, and would carry greater consequences, than at almost any point since the Korean War”94 China's extraordinary rise has been marred by its ongoing attempts to obtain regional hegemony of the Asia-Pacific. The corresponding buildup of Chinese military capabilities presents a direct challenge to American leadership. Understanding that US aircraft carriers are key to projecting power and influence across oceans, China has developed anti-aircraft-carrier missile technology and formidable A2/AD (antiaccess/area denial) capabilities, both designed to restrict access to the Asia-Pacific Theater. As if this was not enough of a provocation, China is designing its own fleet of aircraft carriers and stealth fighters that will be capable of projecting their power far beyond the Asia-Pacific. The recent expansion of Chinese military programs has spurred prominent scholars such as Aaron Friedberg to propose hard
Christensen and Snyder, 2011, 306-308
Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, 2010, and A Strong Britain in an Age
of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy, 2010 92 Kaplan
and Kaplan, 2011, 43-53; Lieber, 2011, 34; Zakaria, 2008, 18; Brooks and Wohlforth, 2002,
20 93 Miller,
balancing against China. 95 Hard balancing may not yet be necessary, but the US and its allies must remain vigilant. Revitalise Strategic Communications Largely due to the unilateralism and unpredictability of the Bush Doctrine, much of the world is mistrustful of American leadership. Even worse, the US does not seem to have a coherent national strategic narrative. This suggests a failure in strategic communications. Having a compelling and prolific narrative is vital to legitimacy, and legitimacy is critical to international authority. An inexplicable inability to articulate its own role threatens American legitimacy and authority in the international system. It is becoming increasingly obvious that maintaining hegemony requires a prodigious degree of image management. Not only must the US be a benign, powerful, and indispensable leader, but it also must convince others that it is active in this role. The cogent marketing of such a narrative is an essential component of a new US grand strategy. Oppose The Monopolisation Of Strategic Resources 97% of the world’s rare earth elements are supplied by China. 96 Rare earths are used heavily in defense technologies. Everything from guided missiles and delivery systems (Tomahawks, Predator Drones, smart bombs, etc.) to communications (radar, sonar, satellites, etc.) and lasers require rare earth elements for their production. 97 Naturally this presents a strategic acquisitions problem for non-Chinese defense establishments. China has not been opposed to leveraging its control over the global supply of rare earths as a political weapon, throttling or even cutting off supply – such as in the case of its 2010 maritime dispute with Japan – in response to international quarrels. 98 Since these materials are of critical defense importance to the United States and its allies, obtaining a significantly higher percentage of world rare earths supply is a strategic necessity. If China desires to be viewed as a cooperative great power stakeholder in the international system, the sale and release of rare earth assets outside of Chinese territory would be a welcome beginning – the monopolization and near-complete control of critical defense resources can only be interpreted as hostile. Without clear military primacy, the US will not be able to maintain its leadership position in the international system. Smart weapons and advanced technologies are essential to its defense capabilities, and these cannot be manufactured without rare earth elements. Put simply, rare earths and other strategic resources are an important part of the means through which America can pursue its ends. Given the level of control that China has achieved over the world’s rare-earth supply, it is evident that resource acquisition, like strategic communications, does not play a large enough role in US national security policy. No Retreat, No Surrender
Friedberg, 2011 for analysis
2011, 1; Japan The Spectrum | edition 03 60
In The Art of Declining Politely, Adam Quinn declares that the debate on the future of American power is over, that America is in decline, and that the only option available is to “decline politely.”99 Quinn’s suggestion ventures beyond retrenchment – it is essentially a blueprint for preemptive surrender. The United States must not willingly abandon its friends and allies to the anarchy of multipolarity or the iron fist of any illiberal aspiring hegemon. Now is not the time for the US to “decline politely.” The United States, by almost every indicator, remains the most powerful nation on earth – why should it yield from a position of strength? And if it does yield in a moment of weakness and self-doubt, who then shall guard the seas, underwrite global security, and maintain freedom of trade? America will be judged not only by the security of the international system it has forged with the help of its allies, but also by the enemies it has made. By these standards, the US is truly both good and great, and will remain so as long as the world remembers the words inscribed on the World War II memorial in Washington D.C.: “Americans came to liberate, not to conquer – to restore freedom and to end tyranny.”100
Jervis, Robert (2005). Why the Bush Doctrine Cannot Be Sustained. Political Science Quarterly, 120.3 .
Christensen, Thomas, and Snyder, Jack (2011). Multipolarity, Perceptions, and the Tragedy of
Joffe, Josef (2009). The Default Power. Foreign
1914. International Studies Quarterly, 55.
Friedberg, Aaron (2011). A Contest for
Kaplan, Robert and Kaplan, Stephen (2011).
Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for
America Primed. National Interest, 112.
Mastery in Asia. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Government of Australia (2009). Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030. Grasso, Valerie B. (2011).
Research Service, Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress. Her Majesty’s Government (2010). A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy. Ikenberry, G. John (2011). Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the
Layne, Christopher (2006). The Unipolar Illusion Revisited. International Security, 31.2. Layne, Christopher (2012). This Time It’s Real. International Studies Quarterly, 56. Lieber, Robert J. (2011). Can the U.S. Retain Primacy?. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, 3. Miller, Paul D. (2012). Five Pillars of American Grand Strategy. Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, 54.5. Monteiro, Nuno P. (2011). Unrest Assured. International Security, 36.3.
American World Order. Princeton, NJ: Princeton
Pape, Robert (2004). Soft Balancing Against the
United States. Conference Papers – International Studies Association.
99 Quinn, 2011, 803-824 100 National World War II Memorial, 2004. Washington D.C.
Paul, T.V. (2005). Soft Balancing in the Age of U.S. Primacy. International Security, 30.1. Quinn, Adam (2011). The Art of Declining Politely: Obamaâ€™s Prudent Presidency and the Waning of American Power. International Affairs, 87.4. Waltz, Kenneth (2000). Structural Realism After the Cold War. International Security, 25.1 Wolforth, William (1999). The Stability of a Unipolar World. International Security, 24.1. Wolforth, William and Brooks, Stephen (2002). American Primacy in Perspective. Foreign Affairs, 81.4. Wolforth, William and Brooks, Stephen (2005). International Relations Theory and the Case against Unilateralism. Perspectives on Politics, 3.3. Zakaria, Fareed (2008). The Future of American Power. Foreign Affairs, 87.3.
The Spectrum | edition 03 62
Is Terrorism A Continued Cause For The War In Afghanistan? Steve Townsley
Countering the threat of terrorism continues to be used as a justification for the on-going UK military operation in Afghanistan. We are approaching the 11th anniversary of the conflict, a conflict that has cost over 400 British lives and an estimated 12,500 – 14,700 civilian lives,101 as well as in excess of £20billion. The question now has to be asked; how relevant is terrorism as a cause for the war in Afghanistan? The original purpose for the UK contribution to the US led post 9/11 intervention in Afghanistan was, to paraphrase Tony Blair, as being about bringing Bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda leaders to justice and eliminating the terrorist threat they posed.102 This resulted in counter-terrorism and protecting UK National Security being central factors in the decision to deploy troops. The plan was simple; destroy Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and remove the Taliban from power.
However if we fast-forward ten years to the present, we can see that the justification remains the same, however the mission has evolved into a full counter insurgency campaign. 103 Prime Minister David Cameron said in June 2010 that ‘we are there because the Afghans are not yet ready to keep their own country safe and to keep terrorists and terrorist training camps out of their country.’ 104 The statements from both Prime Ministers show the gradual development of the Afghanistan war from counter-terrorism to counter-insurgency, which demonstrates how the justifications for the war have experienced ‘mission creep.’105 This article will argue that countering the threat of terrorism is no longer a cause for UK involvement in the war in Afghanistan. It will justify this firstly through two arguments; that Al-Qaeda has been disrupted and has dispersed from Afghanistan, and that our actions in Afghanistan will not defeat the Al-Qaeda ideology, which is so vital to the organisation. Secondly this article will explore if it is possible to contain the threat of terrorism without having a large presence in Afghanistan.
Crawford, Neta., Civilian Death and Injury in Afghanistan, 2001-2011, Boston University, September
2011, p. 1. 102
Foreign Affairs Committee, The UK’s Foreign Policy Approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan, House of
Commons, February 2011, p. 76. 103
US doctrine describes COIN countering an insurgency, which is an organized movement aimed at
the overthrow of a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict (JP 1-02). 104
The Daily Telegraph, David Cameron's tribute to British soldiers in Afghanistan, June 2010, available
from <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/7843118/David-Camerons-tribute-to-Britishsoldiers-in-Afghanistan.html> (accessed: 3rd April 2012). 105
Mission creep is defined by the US military as the expansion of a mission beyond its original goals,
often after initial successes.
It is important when considering our continued mission in Afghanistan to understand the original reason for the deployment, which was to deny terrorists the use of safe havens. These are defined in the US Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 as ‘ungoverned, under-governed, or ill-governed physical areas where terrorists are able to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, transit, and operate in relative security because of inadequate governance capacity, political will, or both.’ 106 Some of the perpetrators of 9/11 were known to have trained in Afghanistan, as well as several other high profile terrorists. 107 The Taliban were embroiled in this as they gave sanctuary to Al-Qaeda, which made them a legitimate target at the time. It is a contested issue if this rational still applies. Al-Qaeda Have Been Disrupted And Dispersed The war in Afghanistan is no longer deterring Al-Qaeda based terrorism. This is predominantly because although the groups’ presence in the country has diminished significantly, they have simply relocated to other parts of the world. This was recognised in the UK Foreign Affairs Committee’s 2011 report The UK’s Foreign Policy Approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The report claimed that the original justification for the continued presence in Afghanistan, which was in the interests of national security, might have already been achieved.108 The report also cites a speech in September 2010 by the Director General of the Security Service,109 Jonathan Evans, who when referring to the threat from Al-Qaeda only mentioned the tribal areas of Pakistan. 110 Also, in October 2009 the US National Security Advisor James Jones, said that the ‘“maximum estimate” of Al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan itself was less than 100 and there were no Al-Qaeda bases there.’ 111 Lastly, the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy, Contest, recognised in its July 2011 review that the majority of terrorist plots against the UK have emanated from Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia,112 and not Afghanistan. Certainly the US Army soldier Nidal Malik Hasan, 113 who shot and killed 13 people at the Fort Hood army base in the United States, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Detroit underwear bomber, 114 were both radicalised by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – the Yemen based Al-Qaeda franchise - and had no connections to Afghanistan. These factors considered, there is a strong argument that Al-Qaeda attacks are no longer planned from Afghanistan. The hypothesis that Al-Qaeda no longer operates in Afghanistan makes sense, as it is likely that military action against them would have had the effect of squeezing them out of the country. Indeed, it was very telling that Osama Bin Laden was eventually located in Pakistan, and that the head of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, is also believed to be in Northern Pakistan. We can see further evidence of this theory with investigation of the London 7/7 bombers. Bruce Hoffman highlights how none of the 106
U.S. Department of State, Chapter 5: Terrorist Safe Havens and Tactics and Tools for Disrupting or
Eliminating Safe Havens, Country Reports on Terrorism 2009, p. 1. 107
The 9/11 Commission Report, The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the US, 2004, p.
Foreign Affairs Committee, Op. Cit., p. 77.
Also known as MI5.
Foreign Affairs Committee, Op. Cit., p. 77.
Home Office, Contest - The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering Terrorism, July 2011, p. 48.
Ibid., p. 25.
Ibid., p. 29. The Spectrum | edition 03 64
bombers had ever fought in a contemporary Muslim conflict, nor had they received any training in Afghanistan. 115 Both the ringleaders travelled to Pakistan to conduct training, and then recruited extra members for their cell from inside the UK. 116 The 7/7 attacks show that using terrorism as a cause for war can be counterproductive, as one of the bombers, Shehzad Tanweer, listed the presence of British forces in Afghanistan as a motivation for his attack. 117 These factors contribute to the argument that terrorism is no longer a continued cause for the war in Afghanistan. War In Afghanistan Will Not Tackle The Ideology Fighting in Afghanistan will not defeat the terrorist ideology. The business model of Al-Qaeda was resilient enough to survive the war against it in Afghanistan. This resilience was captured in a 2012 RAND report on the status of Al-Qaeda, which explained that ‘whether al Qaeda is in its third decade or third century matters little to its leaders, who see the current conflict as the continuation of centuries of armed struggle between believers and infidels, and who expect it to transcend their lifetimes’. 118 Furthermore, the report explains that although their central leadership has been ‘pummeled’,119 AlQaeda is now more dependent on its affiliates and its ability to radicalise and recruit members to conduct attacks on its behalf.120 These affiliates were recognised in the 2011 review of the UK’s counter-terrorism Contest strategy, which named groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, and Al-Shabab based in Somalia. 121 Such groups are able to continue to spread Jihadist propaganda, thus ensuring a continuation of Al-Qaeda based radicalisation. This leads to the question as to how Al-Qaeda can continue to communicate internally, as well as reach out to new members, if they are deprived of the safe-haven of Afghanistan. The Internet offers a moderately secure platform for this activity, and provides radicalisers with a vast array of resources. 122 One example of this online radicalisation is the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula publication Inspire, which provides advice on bomb making as well as spreading the jihadist message in a ‘colourful, professionally produced online magazine’. 123
It is through online sources of radicalisation such as Inspire that lone-wolf124
Bruce., From the War on Terror to Global Counterinsurgency, Current History,
December, 2007, p. 425. 116
Guardian, Video of London bomber released, July 2006, available from <http://
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/jul/06/july7.uksecurity1> (accessed 3rd April 2011). 118 Jenkins,
Brian., Al-Qaeda in its Third Decade – Irreversible Decline or Imminent Victory?, RAND
Corporation, 2012, p. 9. 119 Ibid., 120
Hoffman, Op. Cit., p. 10.
121 Home 122
Office, Op. Cit., p. 10.
Ibid., p. 34.
Robyn., “Make a Bomb in your Mums Kitchen”: Cyber Recruiting and Socialisation of ‘White
Moors’ and Home Grown Jihadists, Australian Counter Terrorism Conference 2010, p. 57. 124 A
lone-wolf is described by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political
Violence as an ‘individual pursuing Islamist terrorist goals alone, either driven by personal reasons or their belief that they are part of an ideological group’.
terrorism can spawn, with individuals becoming self-radicalised through reading such material. 125 This threat has been recognised in the UK, following incidents such as the attempted murder of the MP Stephen Timms in May 2010, where the motive was revenge for him voting in favour of the Iraq war. The perpetrator - Roshonara Choudhry, a student from King’s College London 126 - had had no contact with other terrorists, and had in effect been self-radicalised.127 These collective points considered, it could be argued that the war in Afghanistan cannot defeat the terrorist ideology as it does not address the root causes, such as the historic continuation of armed struggle, and thus it is difficult to justify the continued cause of the war as being about defeating terrorism. Terrorism Should Not Be Considered A Cause For War As We Can Contain It Through Other Methods The question could be asked as to what should be done if terrorism is not a cause for war in Afghanistan. The UK Contest strategy outlines the four pillars of UK counter-terrorism as Pursue, Prevent, Protect, and Prepare. 128 Under the Pursue pillar - which is the most relevant when referring to the war in Afghanistan - the UK is encouraged to work further with ‘other countries and multilateral organisations to enable us to better tackle the threats we face at their source’.129 This could be realised in the sharing of intelligence with allies in order to effect disruptions of terrorist cells overseas. Indeed the US has experienced considerable success with their campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, as well as the assassination of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, notwithstanding accusations of collateral damage and the killing of innocent civilians. One particular example of this was the killing of the head of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Anwar an-Awlaki, in September 2011. President Obama described the death as ‘a major blow to Al-Qaeda's most active operational affiliate [and that an-Awlaki took] the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans’. 130 If the UK could contribute to, or conduct our own targeted strikes, either using aircraft or Special Forces, then it could mitigate the need for troops to be in Afghanistan in the numbers, which they are today. Of course it is important that Afghanistan does not return to being a failed state and a terrorist safe-haven once we withdraw in 2014, but this risk could potentially be reduced by properly training and equipping the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). This is easier said than done, and the several examples of ANSF being infiltrated by the Taliban and turning their weapons on British forces are a case in point. However if this were successful then it would enable them to conduct the majority of counter-terrorism work on our behalf.
125 Torok., 126 The
Op. Cit., p. 57.
Guardian, Roshonara Choudhry: Police interview extract, November 2010, available from <
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/03/roshonara-choudhry-police-interview> (accessed 8th April 2012). 127 Pamtucci,
Raffaello., A Typology of Lone Wolves: Preliminary Analysis of Lone Islamist Terrorists, The
International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, March 2011. p. 18. 128 Home 129 Ibid.,
Office, Op. Cit., p. 10.
Obama., Remarks in President Obama Welcomes New Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, The White House Blog, September 2011, available from <http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/ 2011/09/30/president-obama-welcomes-new-chairman-joint-chiefs-staff> (accessed: 3rd April 2012). The Spectrum | edition 03 66
A further example of this Pursue strand of Contest is the UK government investing in ‘developing the capability and capacity of our overseas partners’. 131 It is unclear what this actually entails, however it is likely to include the training and equipping of friendly states where terrorists groups, which target UK interests, are active. There is evidence that the UK is implementing this strategy in Pakistan, however in June 2011 the British team of military advisors who were training the Pakistan border-police (presumably in counter-terrorism) were expelled as a consequence of the Bin Laden raid. 132 Although the success of this strand of counter-terrorism is difficult to measure, and there is no data publicly available, the question has to be asked; if our forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan could they be more effective in countering the threat of terrorism by conducting this type of overseas training. It is through strategies such as these that suggest our presence in Afghanistan is no longer required, as it is possible that the objective of disrupting terrorism can be accomplished through other means. Conclusion This article has argued that terrorism is not a continued cause for the war in Afghanistan through three points. Firstly, Al-Qaeda have been disrupted and dispersed from the country. This analysis has been reiterated by the Foreign Affairs Committee and several high profile counter-terrorism practitioners. AlQaeda has continued to operate from other countries which are either fragile or failed states, and they have had moderate success in persisting with their Fatwa against the West. Secondly, the British operation in Afghanistan will not destroy the terrorist ideology. Al-Qaeda consider the current conflict to be hundreds of years old, and merely removing them from Afghanistan - although it has damaged the organisation - will not stop it from spreading its propaganda, continuing attacks, and furthering its cause.
They are already continuing this through online radicalisation, which is feeding and enabling
lone-wolf terrorism. Lastly, it is possible to contain terrorism through other means and the Pursue pillar of the UK’s Contest strategy advocates working with multilateral organisations to tackle terrorism. The US has demonstrated a level of success with their drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere, and the UK has deployed teams to Pakistan to assist in the training their border guards. All these factors considered, terrorism is not a continued cause for British involvement in the war in Afghanistan. The sooner this is realised by policy makers, we can stop the increasing death toll and suffering experienced on all sides, as well as learning a valuable lesson for the future.
Home Office, Contest - The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering Terrorism, July 2011, pp. 10, 25, 29, 46, 48.
Crawford, Neta (2011). Civilian Death and Injury
Foreign Affairs Committee (2011). The UK’s
in Afghanistan, 2001-2011. Boston University, p.
Foreign Policy Approach to Afghanistan and
Pakistan. House of Commons, pp. 76, 77.
Hoffman, Bruce. (2007) From the War on Terror
Jenkins, Brian. (2012). Al-Qaeda in its Third
to Global Counterinsurgency. Current History, p.
Decade – Irreversible Decline or Imminent
Victory?. RAND Corporation, pp. 9, 10. Pamtucci, Raffaello (2011). A Typology of Lone Wolves: Preliminary Analysis of Lone Islamist
131 Home 132 The
Office, Op. Cit., p. 48.
Guardian., Pakistan expels British trainers of anti-Taliban soldiers, June 2011, available from <http://
www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/26/pakistan-expels-trainers-anti-taliban-soldiers> (accessed: 3rd April 2012).
Terrorists. The International Centre for the Study
of Radicalisation and Political Violence, p. 18.
(accessed: 3rd April 2012).
President Obama (2011). Remarks in President
The Guardian (2010). Roshonara Choudhry:
Obama Welcomes New Chairman of the Joint
Police interview extract, available at: http://
Chiefs of Staff, The White House Blog, available
choudhry-police-interview (accessed: 8th April
chiefs-staff (accessed 3rd April 2011).
The Guardian (2006). Video of London bomber
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
released, available at:
Upon the US (2004). The 9/11 Commission
w w w. g u a r d i a n . c o . u k / u k / 2 0 0 6 / j u l / 0 6 /
Report, p. 225.
july7.uksecurity1 (accessed April 2012).
The Daily Telegraph (2010). David Cameron’s
Torok, Robyn (2010). “Make a Bomb in your
Tribute to British soldiers in Afghanistan, available
Mums Kitchen”: Cyber Recruiting and
Socialisation of ‘White Moors’ and Home Grown
Jihadists. Australian Counter Terrorism
Conference, p. 57.
3d April 2012)
U.S. Department of State (2009). Chapter 5:
The Guardian (2011). Pakistan expels British
Terrorist Safe Havens and Tactics and Tools for
trainers of anti-Taliban soldiers, , available at:
Disrupting or Eliminating Safe Havens. Country
Reports on Terrorism, p. 1.
The Spectrum | edition 03 68
Acknowledgements KCL Think Tank Committee 2012-’13 Core Committee President – Sebastiaan Debrouwere
Vice-President - Melanie Pinet
Treasurer – Herman Park
Secretary-General – Adam Malczak
Journal Editor – Juliette Vix
Policy Centre Coordinator – Jona Kulenovic
Business/Economics Policy Centre President – Alessandro Nuccetelli
Events Organiser – Morgan Lochead
Publicity Officer – Hamza Amor Current Affairs Policy Centre President – Moritz Maiworm
Events Organiser – Isabel Kelpie
Events Organiser – Eleonore May Michels Defence/Diplomacy Policy Centre President – Dina Zaher
Events Organiser – Lara Nonninger
Publicity Officer – Bradley Willis Education Policy Centre President – Grace Healy
Events Organiser – Olivia Haddow
Publicity Officer – Manon Glaser Energy/Environment Policy Centre President – Dorothea Baltruks
Events Organiser – Elena Pravettoni
Publicity Officer – Manoue Roumy Guerry
Publicity Officer – Jessica Dunford
Healthcare Policy Centre President – Rosemary Grain
Events Organiser – Zahra Schneider
Events Organiser – Evelyn Brown
Publicity Officer – Fatimah Dhorowa
Law Policy Centre President – Michelle Liptakova
Events Organiser – Max Scantlebury
Publicity Officer – Christy Braham Communications Head Of Publicity – Aylan Aliyeva
Online Media Officer – Bradley Willis
Copywriter – Kathryn Hale
Camera – Dulcie Lee
Photographer – Manon Glaser
Photographer – Hamza Amor
Photographer – Emmelyn van Zanten
PR and Brandbuilding Officer – Bernie Wong
External Think Tank Liaison – Tom Williams Think Tank Liaison – Yeji Lee
Think Tank Liaison – Hugo Sharp
“In this, the Society’s second publication, I should like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to this year’s sponsors: KCLSU, the King’s College London Annual Fund and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. Without their financial support the important work of the Think Tank would not be possible.” Herman Park (Treasurer, 2012-2013)’
Contributors Cedric Cordenier
Alice Daeun Lee
Peter G. Cornett
The Spectrum | edition 03 70
KCL Think Tank Society is a proud co-founder of CampusPolicy | the first and only global network of independent student think tanks tanks.
Founded in the wake of 2010’s student protests, 'The Spectrum' is Britain's oldest student-run policy journal. It offers students the opport...
Published on Sep 24, 2013
Founded in the wake of 2010’s student protests, 'The Spectrum' is Britain's oldest student-run policy journal. It offers students the opport...