Issue III Trinity Term 2013
A plain without a feature, bare and brown, No blade of grass, no sign of neighborhood, Nothing to eat and nowhere to sit down, Yet, congregated on its blankness, stood An unintelligible multitude, A million eyes, a million boots in line, Without expression, waiting for a sign. W.H. Auden "The Shield of Achilles"
The field of international relations is unquestionably a broad and complicated one. Liable to misapprehension, cultural incompatibility and linguistic disconnect, affairs played out on a global stage often have the capacity to feel so alien precisely because the personal element becomes easily lost in translation. Auden’s "The Shield of Achilles" captures this feeling of modern indifference so poignantly. The individual’s voice is subsumed into a mammoth conglomeration of exchanges that makes it difficult to get one’s bearings, and it was in the spirit of healing this breach that the theme of ‘setting precedents’ was conceived for the TT13 issue of SIR and realised by our writers and photographers. From articles on the nature of statehood to the role of feminism, in which both terms are deconstructed to expose fundamental points of conflict and resolution, SIR offers original perspectives on moments of change and challenges traditional attitudes to ‘turning points’ by asking which precedents have been set, if any at all, to shape our understanding of the future of international relations. The articles and photo essays were selected for their engaging style, polemic content and clarity of representation - all of which we hope has been successfully brought to the fore over the subsequent pages. I would like to thank my deputy editors, Zoe Huczok and Liz Culliford, for their hard work and zeal without which this issue of SIR would simply not have been able to exist. My thanks also go to Evie Kitt for her beautiful representation of the shield of Achilles which has pride of place on the front cover, as well as to Helen Reid and Claire Dumbil for their invaluable help along the way. calypso blaj keble college editor tt13
PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS It is with great pleasure that I write the introduction to the third edition of IRSOC’s SIR magazine. As I am sure those of you have attended our events will agree, this has been a tremendously successful term for IRSoc. Among other guests we have welcomed Peter Hitchens, the Colombian Ambassador to the UK and Edward Lucas. It has been great to see our members, question, and challenge and engage with our speakers, once again demonstrating IRSoc’s role as one of the leading spaces for discussion and debate within the university. However, members can never attend every speaker event. Even when we do, the precise details, the nuances of debate, and the unique personality which each speaker brings to the table, can end up as just another hazy memory in the rigour of Oxford life. This is why IRSoc is delighted that SIR magazine has continued to go from strength to strength. The magazine is a unique opportunity to immortalize the opinions and thoughts of IRSoc’s members, musings which may otherwise be forgotten in the rush of the Oxford term. Indeed, this is why I believe that “Setting Precedents” is a pertinent theme on many levels. The first half of 2013 has seen precedents set across the globe. From Pope Benedict’s resignation to North Korea’s nuclear posturing. I hope that the articles here capture the decisive shifts which our generation is living through. However, a precedent is more than just an event. It is a record, something to be built on, interpreted and utilised by future generations. In that sense, the IRSoc and SIR committees would like nothing more than this magazine itself to serve as a precedent: a record of opinion, of intellectual rigour and of cutting edge debate. However, we also hope that this magazine can be built upon by those who come after us, that it can serve as a small step towards something greater. I’d like to thank the IRSoc committee for all their help, dedication and hard work over the past few months. Our events and socials were testament to your efforts! I’d like to thank, our editor, Calypso Blaj, for her enthusiasm, drive and creativity. Our deputy-editors, Zoe Huczok and Liz Culliford have provided their own, invaluable contributions. I’m sure the magazine will be in safe hands under them. You all deserve medals for putting up with my ramblings and limited savoir faire. I extend my best wishes to both committees for Michealmas Term (it’s the crucial one guys, do yourselves proud!) However, above all else, I hope that our events and this publication can serve as precedents. I hope that they have cemented IRSoc’s position is one of Oxford’s most dynamic student societies. Most importantly, I hope that those who lead the society in the terms to come can use build upon, to improve upon them and to drive IRSoc in new and exciting directions.
alex harries st john's college president tt13
THE 140 CHARACTER CULTURE - p. 3 MICHAEL LIVESEY
THE NATURE OF STATEHOOD - p. 5
OLIVIA ARIGHO STILES
¿ VIVA PEÑA NIETO ? - p. 11 INDIA AND CHINA, MAPPING THE FUTURE - p. 14
CAIRO : A PHOTO ESSAY - p. 19 FEMEN : NEW METHODS, OLD ATTITUDES - p. 22
THE THIRD WORLD POPE - p. 25 EMMA BRAND
MONGOLIA : LET THE GAMES BEGIN - p. 28
THE 140 CHARACTER CULTURE THE DEATH OF IDEAS IN THE BIRTH OF TECHNOLOGY
n 17th December 2010 the street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia. The event would set in motion the protests and rallies that embodied the Arab Spring, an historic narrative that continues today. The government official said to have provoked Bouazizi’s suicide, Feyda Hamdi, said ‘it was like a full glass of water, and Bouazizi was the drop that made it overflow’. Within months, the region was engulfed in revolution. 9 in 10 Egyptians surveyed in March the following year claimed to be using Facebook and Twitter to organise protests or spread
ing to life on the streets. 88% of Egyptians and 94% of Tunisians were getting their information from social media. 1.4 millon Twitter users made reference to “#Egypt” within three months in Egypt alone. This was the online revolution par excellence; and it has set a precedent for future activism and popular engagement. The general consensus is that Twitter and Facebook has sped up the process of social activism, and historical change. The impression that one gets is that society’s ability to generate new and unique ideas, and put these into action, has been greatly enhanced by the projection of such ideas onto the
"Public figures stand with their hands tied behind their backs" awareness about them. All but one of the protests called for on Facebook in those two countries up to June 2011 ended up com-
social sphere presented by the Internet. It would appear that human history has reached an entirely new phase: that we are
now hurtling along the tracks of change at breakneck speeds. We might say that the Internet has facilitated the advance of revolutionary movements: mass pressures exerted and organised to advance a unified political agenda. But not all movements are revolutionary. The ‘140 Character Culture’ of social media and reductive headlines has in fact led to a substantial deceleration of progress in evolutionary movements. These are the subtle changes in discourse that shape the world around us and create us as agents within that world. In February 2008 at the Royal Courts of Justice the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gave a lecture on the subject of ‘Islam and English Law’. The lecture was 7,000 words long, and would have needed a 40,000 character tweet in its original form But, it was boiled down in headlines and on Twitter feeds to the bare essentials: that the Archbishop encouraged the integration of Sharia Law
into the English legal system. The 140 Character Culture adopted a very simplistic understanding of a lecture which explored incomparably profound themes and mass-distributed these essentials. In a typical instance like this, we can assume that within 24 hours the story had been tweeted by over a million people, re-tweeted by another million, and had reached most members of the Anglican Church around the world and non-Anglicans living in the UK by the end of the week. But what these millions of people read was not the lecture itself, but the most controversial element of it, with all the depth that Williams had attached to it removed. The moment became the defining issue of Rowan Williams’ career as Archbishop of Canterbury – overshadowing the rest of his diverse agenda. In effect, the reaction of the 140 Character Culture in 2008 impaired discussion of many serious and challenging topics for the rest of Williams’ term in office. From an international relations perspective this meant that inter-faith conferences, for instance, could have far
less significance attached to them than they perhaps merited. This is especially damaging considering the importance of such unique meetings at this particular moment in history – where the very developments discussed in my introduction are changing the relevance of world religions in the ‘melting pot’ that is the Middle East. The example is symptomatic of a general culture that effects all those in public office. The emergence of the Internet as a popular phenomenon had heightened the importance of New Labour-style spin campaigns, focusing on style rather than substance. Public figures stand with their hands tied behind their backs, knowing that what they say may be wildly misinterpreted by a media culture that actively misinterprets information and ideas, and distributes such misinterpretations to a public who are no longer inclined to explore the ideas as expressed in full. Alastair Campbell of all people , the supreme manipulator of public misinformation, recently claimed in a Radio 4 programme that politicians could no longer say anything real, for fear
of being misquoted. This is a dangerous situation. The outcome? Challenging problems are no longer open for frank discussion amongst the highest circles of decisionmaking. Granted, they are open for discussion further down the political hierarchy – which may perhaps encourage further democratisation, as exemplified by the mass revolutions of the Arab Spring. But this discussion very often takes place in very limited circumstances: what can really be said in 140 characters about a complex issue without full consideration of its elements and intricacies? In reality, then, the 140 Character Culture, though making life and news appear to fly by much faster, has actually dredged the forces of historical change back in its own reductionism. What we are witnessing in the proliferation of this culture is not a revolution in the processes of political, social, and economic change. We are witnessing the narrowing of channels for the evolution of information and ideas, and the gradual halt of progress. MICHAEL LIVESEY ST CATHERINE'S college
THE NATURE OF STATEHOOD FROM EAST TO WEST, SHIFTING PARADIGMS REQUIRE SHIFTING SOLUTIONS
t may seem an unusual choice to begin an essay on the nature of the state with a satirical article, especially from a source as irreverent as the Daily Mash, yet an article from November 7th of last year, titled simply “Obama relaunches America as ‘Asfungl’”, has an uncanny power to it: “It was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Henceforth, I declare ‘America’ as we know it has ceased to exist.” On a closer reading, the humour gives way to an almost poignant sadness, for at its heart, the premise – of a state made irrelevant – is profoundly, and painfully true. This is the essence of Philip Bobbit’s fascinating and monumental tome on the development of the state, “The Shield of Achilles”, published in 2002, and doubtless familiar to many. Models of the state compete and conquer in ‘epochal wars’, which ultimately are fought over the question of constitutional legitimacy. New forms rise to exploit the weaknesses of the prevailing model, and the victory of a paradigm eventually makes possible the success of its replacement; the struggles that mark history inevitably
raise as many questions as they solve. The latest in this series of conflicts, Bobbitt argues, is what he calls the “long war”, waged (from 1914-1990) over the question of which governmental system – parliamentary democracy, fascism or communism – would dominate the new form of state. This is the ‘nation-state’, which came into being with the unification of Germany under Bismarck, whose raison d’être is to promote the welfare of its citizens, and whose being is tied inextricably to the idea of a national group; a state of peoples, not territories. The Peace of Paris in 1990 enshrined the victory of parliamentary democracy, with Soviet communism as its final enemy decisively defeated. In the process, however, the nation-state model has been made irrelevant: its successor is to be the ‘market-state’, which aims to maximise not the welfare, but the opportunity of its citizens. This article seeks to examine how three recent episodes – the Arab Spring, unrest in the EU, and constitutional paralysis in the US – have highlighted this. What precedents do these set for the state’s development in the 21st Century, and what answers might we expect to find to the problems thus far encountered?
Combinations of power
The first aspect to tackle is the argument for the relevance of the instances chosen. The three areas – Europe, the United States, and the Arab world –serve as paradigms for the three models of the nation-state that have survived the Cold War, what I will respectively call the technocratic, deliberative and dictatorial. The European Union has increasingly placed its legislative powers in the hands of unelected professional bureaucrats, who are
often at odds with the sovereign wishes of its member states. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is a matter of personal political belief. The United States is the apogee of the deliberative parliamentary democracy, where elected officials work within a stringent legal system and where the process of government is at least theoretically open to public scrutiny. The totalitarian states of the Arab world restrict power to the hands of a minute elite, often members of one family. It could fairly be argued that many countries do not neatly fit one of these models; I would argue, however, that these tend to be combinations of the above. Thus China combines dictatorial control with a technocratic power structure, while Britain, though generally conforming to the deliberative model, vests considerable power in its professional civil service. The difficulties facing the archetypes can thus be seen as emblematic of the problems all nation-states may face.
The fall of dictatorships
The dysfunction is certainly clearest in the Middle East. The so-called Arab Spring has brought a surge of uprisings against entrenched dictators. There is a tendency in the West to assume that the motive behind these is simply a desire for democracy, but it is by no means clear that this is the case. The (largely hereditary) dictatorships, which arose, for the most part, in the aftermath of the Second World War, had an obvious role while the Cold War lasted. The interests of the nation were best served by a leader who could use the delicate balance of power to further its interests: treading the line between two ideological sides is difficult for popular government, which will tend
SIR TT13 to gravitate towards where the interests of the population lie. Likewise, neither the USA nor the USSR was willing to trade the certainty provided by a known leader for a potential capricious democracy – these leaders could thus depend on the support of the side they aligned with, and the on the knowledge that the chaos which could result from change was likely to dissuade either side from intervening in internal affairs without good reason. In today’s multipolar world, however, these advantages have disappeared. The interference of the great powers in the region has stirred subject populations against them. This, coupled with the fact that the only remaining superpower is unable to be seen to actively protect dictators now the argument of defence against a common enemy is gone, means that autocratic regimes are increasingly unable to rely on outside support to survive. As demonstrated by the Arab Spring, Russian and Iranian support is not sufficient to maintain control of a nation, even if it can prolong a regime’s life. The systems that suited the Cold War so well are of little use in the modern world. At the same time, advances in communication technology have made subject populations aware of alternatives: a failure to adapt to changes in the circumstances of the state has necessitated the fall of dictatorships.
The situation in the EU is somewhat different. While there have been warnings of a “Grecian Spring”, it is not necessarily clear that these protests represent a serious threat to the status quo by themselves. Much more influential is the rise of ‘anti-political’ movements, most strikingly the astonishing success of Bep-
po Grillo in Italy, but also seen in the rise of UKIP in the UK, and in the anti-austerity platforms adopted by Hollande and others. The issue seems not to lie in opposition to the measures being imposed, as an example of this consider the general support for austerity measures in Britain, but the manner in which they are enforced. A sense of disassociation between the wishes of populations and
As in the case of the Arab Spring, opportunity, not welfare, drives popular discontent the attitudes of political elites is becoming endemic throughout the developed world, but is perhaps at its most obvious in Europe. While Britain is – given its historic hostility to Europe – in many ways a special case, the problems faced by Monti in Italy and Sarkozy (and now Hollande) in France demonstrate that enmity towards the EU superstructure is growing ever more widespread. As in the case of the Arab Spring, opportunity, not welfare, drives popular discontent: resentment is caused far more by the lack of adequate representation than austerity measures, and economic options are more important than state care. Angela Merkel, whose Germany is one of the few strong economies in Europe, remains popular, while Hollande’s proposed 75% tax is seen as a serious mistake.
This is demonstrated in the case of the third great form of government, the deliberative democracy of the USA. Active opposition to the US government has not been widespread, but the same disillusionment with political leaders is in full bloom. While the cause lies in the hijacking of the political debate by extremes of opinion which do not represent the wishes of most of the population – America has long been hostage to vocal minority views – the symptoms are far more subtle. According to a Gallup Poll from January of this year, Americans are now more concerned about government dysfunction than employment, and dissatisfaction with the political leadership is at its highest since Watergate. The most notable thing about all this is that it has not been caused by a major scandal – US politics has, indeed, been remarkably scandal free of late. That employment and government dysfunction should register together as the primary concerns demonstrates the shifting political ground: effective government now consists in limited action in key areas to promote economic opportunity for its citizens. The overarching theme of the examples above is of popular opinion in conflict with established methods of government. Disillusionment with politics is a result of the shift in expectations. Governments designed to provide ‘welfare’ are increasingly not only unable to do so, but are out of touch with the wishes of their populations. Freedom of choice is more important than absolute standard of living, and this can only be provided by a combination of economic prosperity, popular sovereignty and limited governmental interference in everyday life. How,
then, can we expect to see the state develop as the century progresses? Perhaps the easiest way to investigate this is to examine those institutions which are flourishing under the new global conditions.
Chief among these must of course be China, and similar Far Eastern economies, such as Singapore. China’s fusion of an autocratic state with a free-market model has provided economic opportunity for its citizens without sacrificing political control or conceding human rights. Thus far, it has remained remarkably free of serious unrest. Its sheer size allows it to create internal systems that mimic the effects of globalization, as for example in the case of its internet system: Chinese copies of Western sites allow prosperity and state monitoring to coexist. So long
Resentment is caused far more by the lack of adequate representation than by austerity measures as growth lasts, opportunity need not be curtailed, and serious internal problems can be smoothed over with minimal fuss. If China provides a model for the new dictatorships, then Al Qaeda demonstrates the strengths of an approach which at its heart holds most in common with a multinational company. The terrorist network is to all extents and pur-
SIR TT13 poses a ‘virtual’ state – it has a standing army, treasury, and even rudimentary welfare provisions for its fighters and their families. Like the multinational, it is comprised of geographically distinct groups fighting under one banner, with aims and motives unique to the local circumstances. National sentiment is of little importance, but rather dedication to the cause of global jihad. Dedication to such causes has provided the force behind events in the Arab world, as the election of Morsi’s Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt proves, and can be seen also in the influence of the hard right in American politics; when nationalism fails, other motivations can arise to take its place.
Freedom of choice is more important than absolute standard of living This can be seen in the example of the world’s largest multinational institution, the Catholic Church. While for many years the Church has remained stubbornly resistant to change, the recent election of Pope Francis, following the shock resignation of Benedict XVI, may herald a shift in its role. Through the election of the first New World Pope in its history, the first steps towards a model that recognises the potential for a truly transnational force have been made. The decision displays a desire to redefine the Church
against the European elite that has caused so many problems and shift the focus towards those areas where its influence is flourishing, rather than in decline. Such trends may yet be observed in Western nations. The recent defence pact between Britain and France is a sign that the developed nations are finally recognising the benefits of joint security systems, while still maintaining political independence. The move towards greater European integration is unlikely to be successful unless the national populations can be involved in the governmental process, something impossible while the current EU bureaucracy remains in place. The Arab world is likely to see greater ties developing between governments as Islamic republics replace the old dictatorships, and draw together against the perceived threat from Westernisation. The United States is, in many ways, in a uniquely favourable position, as its geographical separation allows it to ignore potential threats; however, unless the government can resolve its deep seated conflicts, it is likely to find itself increasingly side-lined as American corporations conduct their affairs regardless and state governments take action independently of the centre, as far as the Constitution allows. Unilateral action as a solution to global problems may increasingly provide an answer when official international organisations, such as the United Nations or International Monetary Fund, prove themselves inadequate, whilst groups like the G8 absorb their responsibilities. However what is certain is that the changes of the 21st Century are only just beginning. To return to “Asfungl,” 38-year-old supporter Emma Bradford said: “I’m not sure this is the kind of
change we wanted. “We really wanted the other kind of change, where everything stays the same.”’ Sadly for the fictional Ms Bradford, that is no longer a viable option.since Russia is not a member of the Caucasus security complex (only North Caucasus is located in the geographical area of the region and this geographical proximity is the defining characteristic of a security complex), its relations with the countries of the complex represents a penetration of a great power. And when one great power is involved in a certain issue, others are drawn in as members of a super-complex which goes beyond the limits of one geographical region and covers the international systemic level. This is when Washington and Brussels enter the game; Russia’s concern with Georgia’s potential membership of NATO defines the super-complex, and not the regional complex in Caucasus. In the end, shifting the focus from being exclusively on great powers towards a more balanced approach and incorporation of weak states into the analysis of international relations will benefit the better understanding of the field. Otherwise, the discipline will evolve around not only “essentially contested concepts” (Gallie 1956) but also essentially biased concepts, augmenting the gap between reality and the picture produced by scholarly analysis. Henry GILLOW Magdalen college
¿ VIVA PEÑA NIETO ? RETURN OF THE PRI AND EMERGENCE OF YOSOY132
he PRI is back. Having ruled Mexico for seventy years until it was ousted in 2000, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) is now headed by Enrique Peña Nieto and this March celebrated one hundred days in office. Yet since securing victory against claims of electoral fraud, the return of the PRI has been accompanied by considerable anxiety
from Mexican émigrés in the US as well as many resident Mexicans who fear a return to the autocracy and state repression of the PRI's previous seventy year stranglehold. With Mexico's drug war claiming the lives of over 70,000 since 2006, as well as systemic political corruption and long-term economic stagnation, a sizeable contingent of Mexican voters clearly
hope the party, whose regime was once dubbed the “perfect dictatorship,” will bring an authoritarian solution to a society apparently mired in breakdown and disorder. The volatility of the drug war, its incomprehensible brutality, and the fragmentation of the Mexican Left has left few political options for the Mexican people. With over half of Mexico’s population living in poverty,
which is to say at least 55 million people and an estimated 12% of them in extreme poverty, the PRI's victory arguably has been borne of widespread desperation. Since its election however, there has been nothing to indicate that the PRI have set any kind of precedent in tackling the twin problems of the narcotics trade and the economy. In February prosecutors arrested Elba Esther Gordillo, the head of the teachers’ union, on embezzlement charges which many believe to have been orchestrated ahead of Peña Nieto's planned education reforms. In April it was reported that Mexican drug cartels had dispatched agents to operate in US cities, ensuring an escalation in their cross-border control over the lucrative drugs trade. Most tellingly, in March the PRI voted to back Peña Nieto’s plan to break up the Pemex oil monopoly. Since its controversial nationalisation in 1938 by President Cardenas, Pemex has been viewed with nationalistic pride by Mexicans and represents a fierce rejection of US and British imperialism. Peña Nieto's plans for Pemex
have led the political left to accuse the government of attempting to privatize the oil company, bringing Mexico more into line with US neoliberal trends. So where does this leave the Mexican people? Shrouded in a global crisis of capitalism which appears tied up with the very market forces that the (dubiously elected) President is trying to court, there is a long-standing acceptance that the interests of Mexico are inextricably bound up with those of the US; partly due to the extensive and prolific flow of emigration in recent decades which has forged strong cross-cultural links. In 2011, about 6.1 million Mexicans were living in the US illegally. The US is also Mexico's largest trading partner, accounting for more than half of all imports in 2009. Yet rather than the oppressed workers, of which there are many, it is in fact a student led social movement which has emerged as voicing the most vehement criticism of Peña Nieto and the PRI. “YoSoy132” derives much of its inspiration from New York's “Occupy Wall Street” movement and is named after a Twit-
ter hashtag from the 132 students of Mexico City's prestigious Ibero-America university. In 2012, YoSoy132 challenged the then governor Peña Nieto over human rights abuses and since then the movement has expanded to form a wider social body campaigning for three principal objectives: freedom of expression, freedom of the press through an end to the media duopoly of Televisa and TV Azteca, and a transparent democratic electoral system. Their ideology opposes the encroachment of neoliberalism but is not explicitly anticapitalist, as indicated by part of their manifesto which states: “We are a nonpartisan movement made up by citizens. […] Our desires and demands focus on the defence of freedom of expression and the right to have access to information; with the understanding that both of these are essential to form a conscientious and participatory citizenry.” However, YoSoy132 has been largely confined to Mexico City. This is perhaps unsurprising given Mexico's long history of fierce regional autonomy. The Mexican Revolution
of 1911, which saw the overthrow of the Porfiriato and the eventual establishment of an ostensibly socialist regime under Cardenas in 1934 was characterised by intense regional and local divergences. This has led many historians to allude to the ‘many Mexicos' within Mexico itself; a trend which has continued into recent times, as in 1994 the militant indigenous group Zapatista Army of National Liberation (ZELN), emerged from the poverty-stricken state of Chiapas to dynamically protest in favour of local land rights in the face of globalisation and neoliberal capitalist exploitation. When it first emerged into the Mexican political landscape nearly a year ago, many wondered whether YoSoy132 would prove to be a quasi-Arab Spring. As Peña Nieto's first one hundred unhindered days in office indicates, this has clearly not been the case. Of course, the Arab Spring was framed by a vastly different political culture and was propelled by an ideology and outlook which was at root, far more revolutionary in aspiration than YoSoy132. Equally,
while YoSoy132 is inspired by the Occupy movement, it has not forcefully captured either the world's attention or the imagination of the Mexican people in a comparable way. Although in the context of increased global resistance to capitalism it might be likely that future political dissent in Mexico becomes more explicitly anti-capitalist in nature, YoSoy132 remains cautious in this respect. Rather than setting a precedent, the return of the PRI has been cause for little change. The drug war remains vicious and pugilistic beyond comprehension, and the government's reforms represent little more than neoliberal concessions to the free market. Complicit in the marginalisation of the left in the mainstream media, hostile to the labour movement and reticent on corruption, the PRI ultimately offer nothing new to a Mexico in crisis. When Mexico's much loved agrarian revolutionary Zapata was brutally murdered in 1919, one Zapatista is alleged to have recalled, "se nos cayeron las alas del corazon," translating as: “the wings of our hearts fell.”
The Mexican working people will surely need the hope and vitality borne of social movements like YoSoy132 before an end to endemic corruption, economic mismanagement and democratic violations ensure the wings of their hearts rise again.
INDIA AND CHINA, MAPPING THE FUTURE AS BOTH COUNTRIES GROW IN AMBITION, IS THEIR CONTESTED BORDER A TICKING TIME BOMB ?
olivia arigho stiles somerville college
t is said that the pen is mightier than the sword. This may be true, but combined the effect isundoubtedly even greater. Aside from archaic legislation and historical controversy, Britishimperialism’s civil servants and generals have inked in a major headache for India and China. Acombination of diplomatic indecision with respect to territory claims and imprecision with respect tothe drawing of borders is largely responsible for creating one of the world’s most stubbornly prolonged border disputes.
Much of the 3,325 km frontier between the two countries is contested, though the fiercest disputes are to at the western end in the high altitude desert of Aksai Chin and at the eastern end in the region of Arunachal Pradesh. The current Line of Actual Control (LAC) which forms the de facto border is largely arbitrary, being based partially on the outcome of the 1962 Sino-Indian war fought over territory and partially on historical accident. It is also unsustainable in the long run, and provokes underlying feelings of illwill on either side of the border.
SIR TT13 Security and Securities
Given that a reasonably major conflict and several skirmishes have now transpired over relatively small and inaccessible territory, one would expect this area of the Himalaya to be of utmost importance to both nations. However, neither region is of much economic significance. A Chinese highway connecting Xinjiang and Lazi bisects Aksai Chin as a shortcut, but there are almost no resources and no inhabitants of this freezing wilderness. Even access to the area is difficult for India due to topographical constraints. On this basis, it is somewhat difficult to see why the border issue is so divisive. A closer examination reveals that the situation’s roots are much more political than they are economic however; the confrontation is not about what the regions contain, but about the symbolism that possession of them has in itself and the leverage this accords both nations with respect to other issues. Although India would gain nothing tangible from possession of Aksai Chin, formally ceding this partof Kashmir would undermine its “strategically important” claim to the whole of the Kashmir region. This area is seen as a vital buffer between its economic heartlands and the more fractious regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since it also disputes territory with Pakistan in Kashmir, any acquiescence to Chinese territorial demands in the same region would set a dangerous precedent. It could also create a public relations crisis in a highly nationalistic climate, given India and Pakistani media’s typical adversarial stances to each other and regular denunciation of any policy likely to tip
the balance of power. Indeed, Pakistan is directly followed by China in surveys investigating peoples’ perceptions of their country’s biggest threat, with similar results for the reverse cases. Maintaining the status quo loses neither country anything palpable and prevents catalysing even more severe regional unrest, which is in nobody’s interests.] The story in Arunachal Pradesh is similar. Legally, the area’s border is debatable ; a British treaty drawing the so-called McMahon line (approximately the current border) is debatably in contravention of an earlier treaty, The Simla Accord. However, no alternative border line has stronger credentials on paper or ground. Again, the debate seems initially academic; the region contains a population that is economically relatively insignificant and is defined by hostile geography. Again however, it is the province’s positioning that is important. For India it bolsters the ‘Siliguri Corridor’, which is the narrow strip of land connecting the North-Eastern provinces with the rest of the country. For China, it is a culturally important refuge for Tibetans (including the Dalai Lama) who fled their occupation of the Tibetan autonomous region, and collateral in the dispute over Kashmir.
Dragons and tigers
In the absence of such political concerns, it would arguably make sense to vindicate China of its Aksai Chin claim and affirm India’s sovereignty in Arunachal Pradesh - in effect cementing the LAC. This seems sensible since the de facto border has been reasonably stable, suggesting no vital economic interests are damaged by its position.
Furthermore, avoiding changes in territory possession where possible would avoid the uprooting of people who are more likely to identify with their historical sovereigns, and thus minimise cultural dislocation. China has also indicated in the past, although not recently, that it would accept this solution. But the current power politics surrounding the issue make an agreement of the LAC as the de jure frontier all but impossible to achieve.
Decisive and mutually beneficial change will never happen if the status quo is perpetuated. Finding an alternative solution is further complicated by a marked increase in nationalistic sentiment across Asia. High profile disputes over other economically irrelevant territory such as the Senkaku islands in the South China Sea have fuelled and been fuelled by patriotism in all nations involved. Although without direct interest in these affairs to its east, India feels threatened by China in other ways. It is increasingly hemmed in by the development of its northern neighbour’s ‘String-of-pearls’,– a chain of facilities at ports in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (amongst others) that risk turning the Indian Ocean into the West China Sea. It is also worried about grow-
ing Chinese infrastructure investment in Nepal and Bhutan, fearing an agenda behind the apparent altruism. It is no coincidence that India has been the world’s largest importer of weapons for the past five years, and has recently tested a missile capable of delivering nuclear missile attacks upon most of China. Whilst both countries insist military affairs do not preclude cooperation in other goals, the threat of territory grabs remains an unofficial overhanging shadow on relations. In 2009, the Indian defence minister reportedly informed the armed forces that they should consider China, not Pakistan, as the country’s biggest threat. China’s construction of Highway 219 through Aksai Chin in the 1950s marked the start of a continuous barrage of infrastructure development on its side of the LAC. This spending has accelerated further in recent years, leaving the Tibetan autonomous region with “five fully-operational airbases, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads”. This gives China the capacity to outnumber Indian forces three to one along the border. Undoubtedly, India is behind. But it is rapidly levelling the playing field. For the first time, Arunachal Pradesh will be connected with the mainline rail system in 2013, and vast swathes of previously inaccessible Indian-administered Kashmir are being opened up by new roads. There is every indication that both nations are preparing for a potential land-grab by the other.
Despite all this, both powers may now be at the opportune moment to move forward with the border dispute.
SIR TT13 Several changes to the personnel surrounding the debate have occurred or are due. As part of its Decennial leadership changes, China has a new president Xi Jinpingvii; a new premier in LiKeqiang, who is expected to visit New Dehli in May; as well as a new chief negotiator of the border issue, Yang Jiechi. Recent speeches on the issue have not differed much in words, but the tone has been more urgent; the same commitments are made, but phrases such as “as soon as possible” are added. India is expected to have its next general election in early 2014, and may see a shakeup of power. The incumbent Congress party’s likely prime ministerial candidate is the rather marginalized Rahul Gandhi, who would today lose a vote to the likely BJP candidate, Narendra Modi. Even if the BJP is seen as less accommodating on issues such as this, a fresh look at the issue on both sides seems more likely to benefit the current trajectory than harm it: decisive and mutually beneficial change will never happen if the status quo is perpetuated. There are further reasons to be optimistic that the border situation will at least not deteriorate, and may improve. Even though neither China nor India agree even on the exact LAC,
a number of transgressions every year caused by this uncertainty are effectively managed through cooperation. General JJ Singh, governor of Arunachal Pradesh, publically acknowledged in 2012 that in solving disputes like these, “some give and take is necessary”. This seems to signal a change in approach from the precedent set by India in 1960, when it refused to surrender even an inch of territory to solve the issue. Militaristically, there are plans for joint exercises between the two nations’ armies and soldiers play volleyball against each other across the border. Furthermore, China knows that it cannot afford to spread itself too thinly, and its rhetoric is much more conciliatory in The Indian subcontinent than it is in the South China Sea. Both countries should have a strong interest in cooperation. China is now India’s largest trading partner, and flows look set to increase. This is hardly surprising – two developing giants, one with strengths in hardware, and the other in software, will find many synergies. To carry forward this momentum, agreeing a fixed border could help further increase trade flows in two ways. Firstly, reduced suspicion would foster more cooperation and thus allow easier movement of goods
& people. Secondly, spending would be better targeted towards civilian and business oriented destinations, such as inter-state rail links and tourism cooperation, rather than on the construction of ever more military bases. Fortunately, trade levels continue to rise even in the current atmosphere. And just as agreement facilitates trade, trade facilitates agreement; more trade reduces military tensions and suspicion and helps build consensus. Historical evidence for this link is abundant – Europe owes in part its deep integration to Franco-German trade links overcoming a culture of suspicion after the Second World War – and academic evidence backs it up. India and China cannot solve their border problem overnight. The militarization of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin will likely continue, and a certain amount of suspicion is inevitable when two superpowers find each other divided by ink on a map. But the climate may be shifting in a more constructive direction. New pragmatism from Indian officials and even public recognition from China’s President Xi Jinping that solving the dispute “will not be easy” are to be encouraged. New faces at the 16th round of discussions should attempt to break the mould. New opportu-
nities presented through trade, business and tourism should be exploited. Even if a breakthrough is not immediately forthcoming, both countries must keep striving to improve relations. Further cooperation on transport links, preparedness to discuss major infrastructure such as China’s proposed dams on the Brahmaputra River,nand environmental agreements are all possible, even if lines on maps cannot for the moment be settled. Effective management of a divisive situation will build foundations for abridging solution and prevent its escalation. Whilst good fences make good neighbours, bad borders need not produce bad ones. RUSSELL WHITEHOUSE THE QUEEN'S COLLEGE
"Two years on from the dramatic scenes of the Egyptian revolution, with millions flooding Tahrir Square and cities erupting across Egypt in the name of freedom and justice, the road from dictatorship to democracy continues to be perilous. Political opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood are being hounded into silence while horrific acts of violence towards Copts and Jews has revealed an even more monstrous face of the Ikhwan. Incidents of rape and sexual assault have soared to an all time high and there are few signs of it improving. Yet, not all hope is lost. My month long stay in September 2012 opened my eyes to the hopes and fears of many ordinary Egyptians. If what I encountered is anything to go by, it will be a long time yet before the revolutionary fury that was unleashed in February 2011 will be tamed."
Cairo a photo essay
FEMEN : NEW METHODS, OLD ATTITUDES
HOW THE "TOPLESS REVOLUTION" IS SABOTAGING FEMINISM
n March, a 19-yearold woman in Tunisia called Amina was sent to psychiatric hospital. The evidence of her supposed mental instability: pictures on a Facebook site that had been set up by Amina as an outlet for Femen, an international feminist group originating in Ukraine that Amina hoped to bring to Tunisia, after corresponding with the group’s founder, Inna
James newton Keble college
Shevchenko. According to the American magazine, 'The Atlantic', the photos show her “smoking a cigarette, with ‘My Body is My Own and Not the Source of Anyone's Honor’ scrawled in Arabic across her chest. Another shows her raising her middle fingers to the camera, with ‘Fuck Your Morals,’ written on her torso.” The repercussions were severe as radical Islamist clerics across
the Arab World called for Amina to either be stoned or to receive hundreds of lashings. Yet despite the widespread support of Amina’s cause from prominent figures such as Richard Dawkins, it was the backlash of Femen that has provoked the most discussion and sparked what many see as a crisis in the International Feminist movement. With its controversial and inflam-
matory style of protesting and willingness to tackle divisive issues, Femen believe they herald a change in direction for the feminist movement, setting new precedents for feminist campaign methods and issues. Yet the work of Femen, rather than revolutionizing the feminist movement, in fact reflects and reinforces one of the most problematic aspects of the Western feminist movement: its problem with intersectionality. In response to news of Amina’s admittance to the psychiatric hospital, Femen declared “International Topless Jihad Day” on April 3rd, calling on its members to protest outside Tunisian embassies across Sweden, France, Belgium, Ukraine and Italy. Femen’s mission statement for the day rallied the “naked shock troops of feminism,” as founder Inna Shevchenko is wont to call them, to attack the “lethal hatred of Islamists – inhuman beasts for whom killing a woman is more natural than recognising her right to do as she pleases with her own body.” However, such a defiant call to arms has been interpreted by many as islamophobic, and crit-
ics’ fears are not eased by images such as those of a topless Femen activist protesting outside a mosque in San Francisco; a location nowhere near the intended site of a Tunisian embassy, thus seemingly chosen with the simple and unequivocal intention of targeting an Islamic site. Femen claims to be a radical new tradition in feminism, setting a new agenda and new forms of expression for the international feminist struggle. Shevchenko, in her Guardian article, claims that Femen’s method of protesting “display the new aesthetics of a rejuvenated woman's revolution.” Shevchenko then recounts various Femen protests against leading politicians, notably including Vladimir Putin. When applied to an oligarch whose shows of machismo are a core element of his political campaigning, Femen’s implicit criticisms of the Russian President are pertinent and arresting: “Machismo can be defeated only through feminine rebellion. No authoritarian leader is interested in popular opinion, which would personally hurt him. Femen's tac-
tics aim to do just that: hurt and humiliate them personally.” According to Shevchenko, women must challenge the patriarchal constructions of sexuality by politicising their bodies. Topless protesting forces a re-evaluation of those constructions. The history of pop culture and performance art has shown that the context and nature of nudity, especially female nudity, can be manipulated to convey a plethora of different messages. Femen’s tactics, when aimed at the patriarchy, elicit uncomfortable reflections on the state of gender parity. Yet this was not the aim of “International Topless Jihad Day”, as it was Islam itself that was assailed, including the millions of women for whom Islam is an important and sacred part of their life. Femen claims their objective is to “rethink the history of feminism in its entirety.” Leaving aside the novelty of topless protests as a “rethink,” particularly as shock tactics such as these have been used by several other pressure groups including “Breasts not Bombs” who decry the Iraq war, Femen has in fact continued, rather than revolutionized, one
With its alienating message and extreme tactics, Femen has created a false future for feminism. of the oldest and most insidious traditions in feminism: the tendency of white, Western feminists to disregard and invalidate the contrasting contexts and concerns of women of different ethnicities, in an attempt to impose the values of European societies on others in cultures that bear little relation to their own. Amina Tyler approved of the methods of Femen, utilised them and was punished by her society for that act. But her experience is not, and cannot be, universalised to all women in Islamic countries, or all female adherents to Islam. The treatment of women in certain Islamist societies obviously can be found wanting, and the enforcement of strict dress codes and prohibition of education are both issues that limit the potential of women. Yet these are not the experiences of all Muslim women, just as sexual assault and prostitution are not the
experiences of all non-Islamic women in Western societies. Femen’s activist actions, such as the protest at the San Francisco mosque, dangerously conflate Islamist oppression of women with Islam. To do this is to ignore those women whose experience within Islam is positive, exemplified by the foundation of “Muslimah Pride Day” which was set up as a response to Femen’s initiative and whose followers argued against being “lumped into one homogenous group without a voice or agency of our own.” Al-Jazeera interviewed a number of women who disowned Femen’s attempt to ‘speak for them’ and discussed the various types of liberation that are possible for women. Many believed it was possible to be a liberated woman, a feminist and a Muslim, some finding liberation within Islam. When a link to this discussion was posted on the Fe
men Facebook page, the response by Femen activists was to brand these women “Stupid Muslim women made brainless by the Quran" and "Stupid slaves!" As Jezebel writer Callie Beusman phrased it, “you know that there's something wrong with your protest when its ardent supporters find it appropriate to repeatedly call the women they are "saving" stupid, and to affirm that they have no capacity for making decisions of their own.” Thus Femen’s brand of feminism is not really rethinking the history of its Western tradition as may be hoped. Instead, it is continuing a trend that has dogged the movement since its inception. With its alienating message and extreme tactics, Femen has created a false future for the feminist movement, one that is divisive,exclusionary and offensive for many women in the international community. For feminism to have a global impact, a precedent of co-operation, tolerance and inclusion must be set - an ideal that is sadly far from Femen’s vision. ANNA BAZLEY ST PETEr's collegE
THE THIRD WORLD POPE STEPPING STONES FOR MIRACLES
s the news broke of Cardinal Jorge B ergo g lio ’s election to the Papacy, an excited BBC reporter in Rio de Janeiro claimed that his assent was part of a trend – the rising prominence of Latin America onthe global stage. First the World Cup. Then the Olympics. Now this. If only he was Brazilian.
A few days later, there were reports that Cristina Kerchner, Prime Minister of Argentina, had called on Pope Francis to advocate for Argentina in the Falklands dispute. It is not unheard of for a pope to play this kind of nationalistic role; Pope John Paul II is credited with playing a part in the downfall of the Iron and helping to liberate the inhabitants of
the USSR’s satellite states through his 1979 visit to his native Poland and his offer of support to the Solidarity campaign. What, then, is the political significance of having a pope from Argentina? First, it is necessary to dislodge the ideas of both the BBC reporter and Ms Kerchner. While Latin America has certainly become more prominent
in recent years, it is perhaps a little incongruous to seethe election of Pope Francis as a result of the region’s shifting position in global politics. The Argentine economy may have picked up after its collapse in 2001 largely due to a worldwide increase in demand for its products, but this particular export would not have been chosen for his nationality. It is more likely that he was chosen because of his credentials as a moderate reformer, someone brave enough to make the changes the Catholic Church desperately needs without alienating its more conservative elements. Moreover, he cannot realistically be expected to answer Kerchner’s plea: while as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, part of his role would have been to speak for the needs of the local population, as pope, Pope Francis speaks for the entire Catholic Church. The inhabitants of the Falklands are notpredominantly Catholic, and religion plays no part in the dispute over the territory. It is also not beyond the realm of possibility that the more hyperbolic
To those who are now promising to fix all your problems, I say, ‘Go and fix yourself !' elements in the British press might well brand any such intervention as a kind of Catholic crusade against the Anglican residents of the island. In this particular case, therefore, the Pope’s Argentine credentials give him no political leverage. However, the new pope’s nationality may still have some impact. Pope Francis is the first pope to come from the global South - and it shows. In shunning richly ornamented vestments and opting for the name “Francis” after Saint Francis of Assissi, supposedly the most humble of saints – not to mention spending Maundy Thursday washing the feet of prison inmates - the new pope has certainly set a precedent. Unlike his European predecessors, when Pope Francis calls for social reform it comes from having
witnessed both extreme inequality and the benefits of quasi-socialist economic policy. He claimed in his inaugural speech that he wants “a poor Church, for the poor,” and this emphasis on the poor has been seen throughout his career in the Church. In 2002, at the height of the Argentine financial crisis,he led a plenary conference in Buenos Aires which criticised the neoliberal economic policies advocated by the Mercasur trading bloc, which he named as the cause of inequality within the region, after which he used a sermon to accuse political leaders of being “accustomed to making incredible promises.” He also claimed that the debt solutions offered by the International Monetary Fund were “immoral”, adding, “To those who are now promising to fix all your problems, I say,
‘Go and fix yourself.’” It is perhaps well-timed then that this assertive voice against the evils of freemarket capitalism should be relocated to Europe and broadcast at a time when Europe is desperately trying to save its own common market. Latin America’s recovery since the economic crisis may have had a significant impact on the ideologyof the new pope. Certainly, the region’s economic success after its turn to quasi-socialism under the influence of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, which helped Argentina in particular achieve an annual growth rate of 9% from 2003-2007 and again from 2010-2011, can only have reinforced his earlier views on the need to moderate capitalism in order to relieve poverty. It is also significant that among Jesuits in Latin America in particular, Liberation Theology is highly influential. As a Cardinal, Bergoglio stood against this movement, which has been called “Christianised Marxism” by its detractors. However, there are undoubtedly similarities between the movement’s linkage
of poverty to sin and its stress on acting on theology from the perspective of the oppressed, and the Pope’s professed plans to reassert the Catholic Church’s role in speaking for and helping to protect the most vulnerable members of society. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean predicts 4% growth in Latin America next year, next to the Eurozone’s 0.3%. It may be possible to attribute a measure of this success to Pope Francis, who, while of course never actually having a direct impact on economic policy, was during the financial crisis of the 1990s one of the most vocal campaigners for a new perspective on wealth and poverty, and a new way of dealing with inequality. The fact that for the first time there is a pope who is openly critical of the global economic system and who has seen evidence of the success of an alternative cannot be insignificant. Pope Francis is not going to bring about socialism in Europe, any more than he might advocate for thereturn of “Las Malvinas” to Argentina.
His stance, however, may change the way Europeans and theirleaders view the poor, and view the inequalities and shortcomings of the global economic system. Particularly in this time of economic stagnation, the calls of the first “Southern” pope for social reform may be worth listening to. EMMA BRAND KEBLE COLLEGE
LET THE GAMES BEGIN MONGOLIA'S NAADAM CELEBRATIONS : A DEAD HEAT BETWEEN ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TRADITIONAL CULTURE
he annual Naadam celebrations in Mongolia highlight the tension between economic growth and traditional culture. In July, Mongolia will celebrate “Naadam”, a festival centred on ‘the three games of men’; horse racing, wrestling and archery. Competitions will be held in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, and in villages throughout the country. But Naadam is about far more than sport. It is something like the Olympics and Christmas rolled into one. It is the most significant festival of the year and, above all, a celebration of the traditional Mongolian way of life. Ulaanbaatar hosts “Naadam of the Country,” with a spectacular opening ceremony showcasing the traditional performance arts of throat singing, the horse-head fiddle, contortionists and the biyelgee dance. But most Mongolians would rather go to the countryside for the Naadam in their home districts. Office workers from the capital throw
themselves back into the centuries old traditional lifestyle of gers and horses. As Mongolians are acutely aware, this is a lifestyle under threat. Double digit economic growth fuelled by a mining boom has propelled Mongolia towards modernity with eye-watering speed. From 2010 to 2011 annual GDP growth jumped from 6.4% to 17.3%. Although growth slowed to 12% in 2012, it is expected to remain in double digit figures. Mining revenues will continue to poor in. The Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine alone is expected to boost Mongolia’s GDP by 35% when it is fully operational in 2020. Mongolia is developing rapidly from one of the world’s poorest countries towards middle-income status. Mining revenues are providing the country with unprecedented opportunities, but it comes at a price. The traditional way of life of Mongolia’s herders is becoming increasingly untenable. They are not suited to a modern monetised econ-
SIR TT13 omy – many herders barely use money – and mining activities have caused considerable damage to lands they once used as pasture. The mining companies are widely accused of contributing to climate change that has increased the frequency and intensity of “dzuds,”particularly harsh winters, that have killed thousands of animals and devastated many herders. The prospect of higher incomes in the city has led thousands to Ulaanbaatar, now home to over 60% of Mongolia’s population, whilst the urban population has expanded by 70% in recent years. Mongolians are fiercely proud of their cultural heritage and for many the prospect of the nomadic herders disappearing is a steep price to pay for the comfort of an affluent, westernised lifestyle in the city. Dissatisfaction with the mining boom stems from more than national pride in a unique and fragile culture. It is widely felt that the Mongolian people do not receive a large enough slice of their country’s enormous mineral cake. Although poverty fell by about ten percentage points in 2011, 30% of the population still live below the poverty line. The persistence of poverty is most apparent in Ulaanbaatar where between 50% and 60% of the city’s population live in the sprawling “ger” districts. The ger districts are often referred to by commentators as shanty towns, but this is not quite right. The residents of the ger districts tend to be recent migrants from the countryside who have set up their gers on the city’s outskirts. Gers are not in themselves inadequate forms of housing, yet the problem in the ger districts lies in a chronic lack of infrastructure. There is little in the way of sanitation, running water, electricity
or transport links. Felt tents with wood burning stoves are not suited to an urban setting. Neither are their inhabitants. Skills learnt as nomadic herders on the steppe are not easily transferrable to a service based urban economy explaining why the unemployment rate in the ger districts is thought to be as high as 48%. For many Mongolians, the most obvious effects of the mining boom are chaotic unplanned urbanisation which is straining Ulaanbaatar’s infrastructure to breaking point, the extremely visible poverty of the ger districts, and rising prices. Largely due to the economy’s dependence on commodity prices, the rate of inflation fluctuates widely but has been over 9% since July 2011, climbing to a peak of 17.8% in May 2012. The foreign investors in Mongolia’s mines are widely blamed for the perceived inequity of the distribu-
tion of revenues. Resentment is further stoked by the influence which foreign investors, particularly those from China, are gaining; one resident of Ulaanbaatar referred to the Chinese as “buying Mongolia.” If politicians respond to these popular sentiments with resource nationalism, the enormous potential offered by the country’s mineral wealth could be squandered. Recent developments suggest that the country is moving in this direction. In parliamentary elections last June, resource nationalists advocating local control of the mines won about a quarter of the seats and now make up about a third of the coalition government’s cabinet. However, the presidential election to be held later this month is expected to be won by the incumbent, Tsakhia Elbegdorj. He has been a key figure in the opening of Mongolia to foreign investment and has kept resource nationalism at bay, but interestingly is now showing signs of moving in the opposite direction. New draft mining legislation has provoked criticism from the industry, which sees its restrictions as sufficient to deter all new investment in Mongolian mining. Although he denies it, it has been suggested that President Elbegdorj intends
to renegotiate the Oyu Tolgoi contract with Rio Tinto, a major shareholder and the company managing the project. In the current political climate, it would certainly help his campaign for re-election. But the mining industry is the driving force behind Mongolia’s economic growth and foreign investment is the driving force behind the mining industry. President Elbegdorj knows that antagonising the investors could jeopardise both. Despite popular dissatisfaction, levels of income, life expectancy, and literacy are rising. Poverty is falling. Mongolia is rapidly becoming a modern economy. Whether the opportunities which the mining boom offers are embraced or squandered depends on Mongolia’s politicians. To mitigate the effects of social upheaval and to prevent social unrest escalating, adept policy making will be required. To embrace economic development and modernisation whilst preserving the unique culture so vibrantly expressed during Naadam will be a balancing act worthy of the traditional contortionists at the opening ceremony. Whether the government will achieve this, only time will tell. Let the games begin. KATHERINE CROFT-GIBBONS MERTON COLLEGE
REFERENCES BIBLIOGRAPHIES THE NATURE OF STATEHOOD 'Obama relaunches America as "Asfungl"', 'The Daily Mash', June 8th 2013 http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/obama-delivers-realchange-by-re-booting-america-as-asfungl-2012110748002 Bobbitt, P., 'The Shield of Achilles : War, Peace, and the Course of History' (2003) INDIA, CHINA : MAPPING THE FUTURE Aljazeera report on Kashmiri views towards the powers in the region http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/kashmirtheforgottenconfli ct/2011/08/201186121738346838.html Surveys of Indian and Pakistani citzens on their security based perceptions http://www.pewglobal.org/2011/06/21/chapter-6-howpakistanis-and-indians-view-each-other/ BBC article detailing the history of the border situation http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17738147 Article detailing the diplomatic relationships of Bhutan to India and China http://www.eoearth.org/article/Bhutan ‘The Economist’ article investigating the future of India, from the March 30Th 2013 edition : “India as a Great Power” 'Times of India' article investigating the military situation at the border http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/China-wary-Army-for-mountainstrike-corps/articleshow/18001374.cms? 'India Today' article covering the proposed visit of China’s premier to New Dehli and its implications http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/chinesepremier-li-keqiang-china-prime-minister-manmohan-singh-chinesepresident-india-xi-jinping/1/261651.html Reuter’s blog examining the implications of talks between India and China http://blogs.reuters.com/india-expertzone/2013/04/01/low-key-outcomeassingh-meets-xi-on-brics-sidelines/ "Economic Times of India" article analysing the latest state of the Indian legislative elections http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-02 06news/36949634_1_anti-modi-campaign-bjp-leader-biennial-vibrantgujarat-summit/2 BBC article exploring the border relationship’s recent history http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17738147
Data from the National Informatics Centre of India showing trade relationships http://commerce.nic.in/eidb/iecnttopn.asp Article exploring the relationship between trade and peace Hegre et al, ‘Trade Does Promote Peace’ (2009) - http://www.yale.edu/ leitner/resources/docs/HORJune09.pdf 'The Hindu' article examining the ramifications of the Durban Summit and a meeting between Manmohan Singh and Xi Jinping : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/manmohan-singh-discusses-brahmaputra-issuewith-xi-jinping/article4557593.ece
PHOTO CREDITS THE 140 CHARACTER CULTURE p.4 - hashtag : http://darcymoore.net/2011/08/14/the-hashtag-and-thecitizen/ VIVA PENA NIETO p.11 - Yosoy132 protest : Munir Hadman http://www.flickr.com/photos/munirhamdan/7551697298 INDIA, CHINA : MAPPING THE FUTURE p. 14 - map : 'The Economist', "Fantasy Frontiers", February 8th 2012 http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/05/indian_pakistani_ and_chinese_border_disputes p.17 - landscape (Arunachal Pradesh ) http://www.nitdgp.ac.in/nit10/nitachws p.18 - landscape (Aksai Chin) http://www.defence.pk/forums/world-affairs/159745-aksai-chin-not-disputed-china-hardens-position-showdown-18.html FEMEN : NEW METHODS, OLD ATTITUDES p.22 - members of Femen demanding the liberation of Amina THE THIRD WORLD POPE p. 25 - Francis I http://www.flickr.com/photos/catholicism/8564579207/ MONGOLIA : LET THE GAMES BEGIN Photos by Katherine Croft-Gibbons.
STAFF EDITOR CALYPSO BLAJ DEPUTY EDITORS ELIZABETH CULLIFORD ZOE HUCZOK ILLUSTRATION EVIE KITT (ACHILLES' SHIELD) SPECIAL THANKS TO CLAIRE DUMBILL HELEN REID