Perspectives Magazine Edition 40

Page 1







EDITORS' NOTES This is the 40th edition of the Perspectives magazine. To get to that number has required years and years of editors and deputor editors working hard, expressing themselves and handing the magazine over, better than they found it. I want to thank all of them for this, as it has given me the chance to take the reins, especially as it has been such an enjoyable experience. Here’s to another 40. To lead this edition, our feature article, written fantastically by Zach Roberts, focuses on the cooling of tensions between western developed states led by the US, and the rising powers of China and Russia. We see it most noticeably with escalating situations in Ukraine but also in Taiwan. As we move into this multipolar age, more showdowns like these are probable. A new cold war may well be afoot. 2022 is a critical year for elections. In our previous edition we covered some from Hungary and Brazil, but this time France and the Philippines feature. They are more examples where populism as well as left-wing and right-wing politics are on the ballot. What happens in these countries could be crucial for the course of global politics in this decade. Another key theme in this edition is the challenges UK society faces. Its biggest police force, the Met, is currently amid a reputational crisis, with negative story after story about them. Leadership, it seems, and change is required. Additionally, we have a brilliantly-written piece by Matthew Oulton about the extraordinary powers invested in the Government from the new Borders Bill and how it threatens our rights and liberties. Staying with the UK, the magazine finishes with a for and against on the future of the monarchy, amid the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s ascendency to the throne. It's an increasingly pertinent debate and one unlikely to go away any time soon. On a final note, thank you to all the writers in this edition for creating such engaging pieces, especially amid term, and to the editorial team for helping create such a great magazine. Thank you and enjoy!

Creating this latest edition, the fourth and last one I will be partaking in, has been a wonderful experience as always! Especially considering we have now reached 40 print editions -- a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the previous editorial teams before us. Our print magazines are always filled with incredibly well-written articles on a myriad of topics, and this edition is no exception. We cover topics ranging from the French and Philippine presidential elections, the US midterms, contested issues such as sportswashing in Qatar, the UK Nationality and Borders Bill and Met police catastrophe, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and Australia’s decision to invest in protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, we delve into issues that are widely underreported on in the West, including the volcanic eruption in Tonga and its effects, Love Jihad and Hindu nationalism, Colombian ecocide and attacks on Indigenous populations, the newly elected and youngest leader in Chilean history, and the trend of coups overtaking Western Africa. As always, we finish off with a debate, this time on whether the British monarchy should be abolished, and two fascinating book reviews. This edition, our feature covers the shift in geo-political relations, specifically discussing the current Ukraine crisis and the implications this may have on waning US hegemony. The US has been the largest economic, military, and political force on the planet for the better part of a century, and even though the Cold War ended a little over 30 years ago, we could potentially be entering a “New Cold War”, as our edition’s title suggests, which poses a threat to the global status quo. Precariousness and heightened tensions seem to be the new norm, a result of the instability caused by various factors, including the slow demise of liberal democracy, the rise of authoritarianism, the pandemic, and the climate crisis. Being informed on what is going on around the world is more crucial than ever. A tremendous thank you to the writers and our editorial team for your contributions to this newest edition. It has been a great pleasure to have worked alongside everyone over the past year and a half! Enjoy!






Lily Meckel - 2nd Year PAIS student from Frankfurt, Germany

Lim Shuyu - 1st Year PPE student from Singapore

Surina Rumpal - 1st Year PAIS and GSD student from Buckinghamshire, UK

Ravi Maini - 1st year PAIS and French student from Leicester, UK

Visit our webiste at for articles on the latest stories from across the globe. Plus, access our latest podcasts as well as old editions of our magazine.



March 2022


CONTENTS Profile: Gabriel Boric by Catharina Schaufler-Mendez A Spate of Coups by Rose Buxton

5 6

Ecocide in Colombia by Marta Franques


New Cold War: What the Ukraine Crisis means for the Global Political Order by Zach Roberts


Western-Tolerated Fascism: the Case of Love Jihad and Hindu Nationalism by Jazir Mohammed


2022 Philippines Election: Who will replace Duterte? by Alice Standen


French Presidential Election 2022: Can Macron cling on to Power? by Ravi Maini


Tonga's Volcanic Eruption: Tensions are Brewing Beneath the Surface by Lim Shuyu


Need to Know: The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline by Bálint Áron Ferenczi


2022 Midterms: An Evaluation of Biden's Presidency and a Democratic Congress by Jhanvi Mehta


Sportswashing in Qatar by Elon Gothlin


$1 Billion Australian Dollars – enough to fight against environmental catastrophe? by Kalli Jayasuriya 18 The Met Police: Law Enforcement or Law Breakers? by Surina Rumpal


The UK Nationality and Borders Bill is a calamity that must be stopped by Matthew Oulton


Book Reviews by Niall Hawkins and Ollie Gee


For and Against: UK Monarchy by Ben Morley and Will Allen 22








Gabriel Boric is about to become Chile’s youngest president ever at 36 years old, after winning the presidential election run-off vote this past December. He defeated his opponent, José Antonio Kast, in the second round of elections, obtaining 56% of the votes and being elected with the highest number of votes in Chile’s history. He succeeds outgoing President Sebastian Pinera, an ultra-conservative billionaire, after running on an anti-neoliberal platform as the presidential candidate of the Apruebo Dignidad coalition, which includes the Broad Front and the Communist Party. Boric has pledged to end the neoliberal model, which massively stratified Chilean society since its establishment during the Pinochet dictatorship, and has persisted even after the country’s transition to democracy, further exacerbating inequalities. He has stated that, “if Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave”.



To the people of Chile, Boric represents a new kind of political leader: young, progressive, and an agent of the people. Boric has for years now fought for the rights to free education and the abolishment of student loans, a crucial issue amongst young Chileans. He has also called for the establishment of a universal, publicly-funded healthcare system, similar to the NHS, promoted a law for increasing the minimum wage and establishing a 40-hour working week, and has proposed creating a state-run lithium extraction company in an effort to protect the environment from foreign and private interests, all issues of incredible importance among Chilean society. Additionally, he supports the recognition of LGBT rights, including legally recognizing non-binary identities, expanding current gender identity law, and same-sex marriage. Due to his support of abortion rights, Boric also has a large female supporting base.

As President, Boric will be contending with various challenges, including inflation, an overheating economy, a fragmented Congress, heightened inequalities, climate catastrophe, and the effects of Covid-19. Boric must refrain from becoming just another politician making promises he couldn’t keep, betraying the very people that helped elect him by bowing down to neoliberal and centrist interests. The repercussions of Covid-19 – recessions, corruption, poverty, insecurity, low-employment – will continue to tear through the nation, and the continent as a whole. What is desperately needed is a divorce from neoliberal policies and a Catharina Schaufler-Mendez is a focus on the people and the environment. There is ten- third-year PAIS and GSD stutative hope for this, as the Latin American left sees its dent from Vienna, Austria. resurgence. Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Panama, and now Chile have seen a left-wing tide take over, with Brazil and Colombia likely candidates as well. This can be attributed to the new left-wing embracing feminism, environmentalism, and social justice, attracting masses of young voters. What is required now is for leaders like Boric not to turn their backs on their people. March 2022 5

IMAGE: Flickr / Diputadas y Diputados de Chile

With only a few weeks remaining until his inauguration in March, Boric has already softened some of his more radical views. He has even thrown investors a ‘bone’ by his choice of Mario Marcel, the current Central Bank head, as the new Finance Minister. However, this may be less reflective of Boric’s own views, instead being a necessity, as he is faced with not only a divided nation, but a fractured Parliament. Boric needs to create a path for dialogue with the opposition parties in parliament, as his coalition only has 37 of the 155 seats in Congress, meaning in order to pass legislation, Boric will most likely have to shift towards the centre. However, Boric still plans on putting Chile down a path of sustainable growth through a fair redistribution of wealth.

Boric’s political engagement has an extensive history. As president of the University of Chile Student Federation, he rose to prominence as a leading figure during the 2011-2013 Chilean student protests, which fought to end for-profit higher education among other things. In 2014, while still in his twenties, he became a lower-house legislator, joining the National Congress and representing Chile’s southernmost region, Magallanes. He is also a founding member of Social Convergence, one of the parties constituting the Broad Front, a left wing coalition, formed in 2018. In 2019, during civil unrest in the nation, Boric was at the forefront of negotiating an agreement, which laid the foundations for a referendum to change the Constitution, another remnant of the dictatorship.







is the Economic Council of West African States (ECOWAS). They have come under fire for poor responses to the undermining of democracies. Responses to coups are fast and stringent, but unconstitutional change goes unnoticed. There is no easy answer here. Some commentators argue that ECOWAS and the AU should respond with strength, freezing assets and imposing sanctions. Otherwise, they argue, regional bodies become complicit in creeping militarization. However, this has significant flaws. Sanctions harm the poorest civilians, not the coup elites. This population is already disillusioned with regional institutions, and with French and other Western involvement. Harsh economic measures will harden this stance, and the resulting security vacuum may be filled by other states, particularly Russia - who’s allegedly state-linked mercenaries have been linked to atrocities in other parts of the continent. The US has stated that the Burkinabe coup may mean it can no longer cooperate with the state, while France is debating pulling more troops from Mali. Debates about the legitimacy of the presence of former colonial powers are ongoing but removing resources from already stretched militaries is risky. Similarly, measures being applied unevenly discredit ECOWAS. Burkina Faso has escaped the same economic sanctions as Mali and Guinea. Without regional respect, authorities don’t have the leverage to challenge juntas. Malian demonstrators have been pictured holding signs reading ‘Down with ECOWAS.’ However, coups cannot be accepted as a legitimate form of government. The biggest threat from a coup is that once a military regime is there, they’re there. Democratic governments can be voted out or overthrown, but you clearly cannot launch a military coup against the military. There are already signs that the new regimes are

solidifying their position. Mali’s Colonel Assimi Goïta persuaded ECOWAS to agree to a longer transition timeline and has postponed elections for four years. Chad’s military has banned demonstrations and used force against protestors. There are also concerns that this new collection of military leaders will be able to prop each other up. Guinea’s border with Mali has remained open, despite the ECOWAS embargo. Often, coups receive popular support out of hope for new elections, yet these are looking increasingly unlikely. If this pattern continues, observers should look to other states in the region. In Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara is eying up a third term, while in Niger, a recent corruption scandal involving missing millions from the country’s defence procurement has heightened discontent among an exhausted military. Only with clear regional oversight of autocracy, and well-supplied and strategized military responses to the Sahel crisis can the question of West African democracy be addressed.

Rose Buxton is a third-year PAIS student from Bath, UK.

IMAGE: Unsplash/ FAME World

We’ve all seen the meme of the Zimbabwean general telling the world that this is not a coup. The sight of men in military fatigues on national television providing assurances of a transition back to civilian rule is not new. In the Sahel region, old democratic leaders are tumbling. Mali has seen two coups in less than a year, Burkina Faso’s military deposed a controversial president, Guinea’s Alpha Conde was removed from power after a disputed election, and in Chad, the military swiftly installed the son of its recently deceased leader as president. Further attempts in Guinea-Bissau and Niger have also been fought off. Each of these coups has grown from specific country contexts, but clear trends emerge. They have happened in weary countries, who have been fighting a lengthy war against jihadists and militias, often without the necessary equipment or supplies. Attacks on civilians and deaths are frequent, and millions have been displaced. By and large, civilian governments have failed to control the insecurity. People are angry. In Burkina Faso, the catalyst for the coup was an attack on a camp in Inata, which killed 53 people. There was public outrage after it emerged the soldiers had died starving, as the base had run out of food. Civilians are also losing faith in ageing democratic leaders. Burkina Faso’s Roch Kaboré had never attended a soldier’s burial or visited injured troops. There is also a trend of presidents attempting to unconstitutionally run for a third term. Guinea’s election was disputed, and opposition figures were arrested. Al Jazeera quoted a Guinean living in Senegal saying “we have no choice. We have a president who is too old, who no longer makes Guineans dream, and who does not want to leave power.” Many believe that democracy is important, but in the context of the Sahelian conflict, they would rather support whoever gives the best chance of survival. The responsible regional body



ECOCIDE IN COLOMBIA community Emberá fled gunfire and deadly fighting by canoe, from the northeastern town of Catrú in Chocó -- a region that has commonly faced clashes from armed groups aiming to secure control of its profitable coca trade and gold mining industry. The continuous lockdowns have placed many Indigenous communities throughout Colombia, who were already vulnerable to organised attacks and land encroachment from illegal establishments and paramilitary groups, at a greater risk. Indigenous leaders fear that their situation has worsened in the past year, as illegal miners and land grabbers take advantage of the lockdowns to facilitate their attacks on Indigenous territories and communities. The Indigenous communities of Colombia are not only fighting for social peace, but also for Pachamama, or Mother Nature. Ancestral communities that live in areas such as Las Delicias and Chocó, are among the least damaging to the planet, yet they have become the most vulnerable victims to climate change. Members of Indigenous communities are being murdered for protecting their land, which their identity and culture are heavily interconnected with. Activist Elena Teresa informed UN News, “You can’t solve the climate crisis without including Indigenous Peoples and without protecting their territories.” These Colombian landscapes are sacred and should be protected for environmental conservation, however, it is clear that the peace pact isn’t enough. Even if certain regions are being recognised as endangered, they are not being treated in the appropriate way. Indigenous activist Daniela Balaguera has reported to UN News that climate change is a matter of life and death: “We are being threatened with the second extinction of our cultural practises, which is extremely worrying because it would be the second massacre, the second annihilation of our people.”

Indigenous Peoples are being killed for protecting their planet, but nobody faces consequences for killing the planet. Hindou Oumarou, an Indigenous environmental activist from Chad, claims that ecocide being regarded as a crime would act as a catalyst for environmental protection. The human rights organisation, Global Witness, reports that as the climate emergency exacerbates, violence against communities protecting their land and our planet worsens. The acknowledgement and implementation of laws against ecocide is not an immediate solution to the destruction of land and Indigenous communities, but a necessary step towards changing attitudes. It is vital to recognise that Indigenous wellbeing is strongly tied to environmental concerns. We have seen a change in attitude towards environmental matters in the Colombian Supreme Court, where the Colombian Amazon was recognised as a ‘subject of rights’ in April 2018. The court acknowledged that the “fundamental rights of life, health, the minimum subsistence, freedom, and human dignity are substantially linked and determined by the environment and the ecosystem”. Progress such as this provides hope that the necessary precautions will be implemented to prevent the mass killings of Indigenous Peoples and the land they are protecting, however further action is desperately required.

Marta Franques is a third-year French and Theatre student from London, UK.

IMAGE: Flickr/ Filth Filler

Colombia’s peace deal has reached the five year mark, and the nation is running out of time for achieving peace. Despite the 2016 peace pact with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) being one of the most extensive in modern history, awarding a Nobel Peace Prize for the president at the time, this great attempt at peace is withering in rural Colombia. Mass killings, mass displacements, and the murders of Indigenous leaders have increased since 2016 according to the United Nations, exacerbated through lack of state intervention. The arrival of COVID-19 in the Colombian Amazon has additionally prompted an escalation in the conflict between armed forces and Indigenous communities. This cycle of violence is expected to worsen in 2022, which raises concerns of a civil ecocide. Members of the Indigenous Nasa community of Las Delicias, entered the new year in a month of mourning for 14-year-old Breiner David Cucuname, who died in a conflict between FARC rebel dissidents and the region's ancestral organisation, Indigenous Guard. Juan Carlos Chindicué, a member of Indigenous Guard -- or Kiwe Thegnas in the Nasa Yuwe language -- explains the organisation as, “a collective and voluntary effort to defend life through the administration of their own law, peaceful resistance, the use of Indigenous legislation, the defence of human rights and the promotion of peace in territories marked by violence.” Their main threat today comes from associations of dissident FARC, who disagree with the 2016 peace deal and are destroying Indigenous ancestral landscapes through illicit gold mining and cultivation of coca - the raw ingredient for cocaine. However, the death of Cucuname is not a singular accident, rather a fateful tragedy for many Indigenous Peoples in Colombia. In the midst of the 2020 lockdown, the Indigenous

March 2022




WHAT THE UKRAINE CRISIS MEANS FOR THE GLOBAL POLITICAL ORDER Ukraine were a smoke-andmirrors campaign in a feeble attempt to justify the conflict. While Putin continued to deny any plans to invade, he conveniently published a list of demands for Ukraine and NATO, as if some sort of classic Soviet villain from a James Bond film. They included that NATO must deny membership to Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries, and rollback its military deployment across Central and Eastern Europe. Putin also stated that the current NATO arrangement and any planned expansions present a ‘serious threat’ to Russian domestic security. Finally, Ukraine, Putin says, has to address its failure to rectify the ‘genocide’ of separatists in the Donbas region Putin reiterated later, claiming Western powers were “ignoring Moscow’s security concerns” and “using Ukraine as a tool to contain Russia”. Conversely Ukraine felt ‘used’ in what appeared to be an issue that had little to do with them as a sovereign state, and far more to do with the fact that Ukraine is politically supported by NATO, which recognises them as an ‘aspiring member’. Since the invasion, Putin’s demands have only increased and evolved, with further threats made to Sweden and Finland, ominously warning them that any attempt to join NATO themselves would be met by ‘swift’ Russian retaliation.

Putin continues to speak ‘on behalf of Russia’ but the protests of citizens across the country, and the concerned, if not petrified, looks of his senior military officers in security briefings say otherwise. It is far more likely that the motivation behind the attempted occupation of Ukraine is purely down to Putin – and to understand why it is important to consider and understand the more personal contextual details. Vladimir Putin is a former KGB (Russian Security Service) agent, serving for 16 years and reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring in 1991 in pursuit of a political career. Born in 1952, this will have meant he lived and served through the peak years of the Cold War and will have seen it fall apart around him. For an individual as blatantly deranged as him, it is likely that, sadly, the invasion of Ukraine boils down to a psychotic vanity project. President Biden said himself that he believes Putin’s overall aspiration is to restore the Soviet Union, and by starting with Europe’s largest country, it would send a huge message of his, and Russia’s, intent around the world. Other factors also work in Putin’s favour. Ever since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine has been no stranger to conflict, with the fighting between Ukraine and Russian Separatists having seen over 14,000 deaths in 8 years. This gives Russia an excuse to latch onto, as he said on state television, citing the need to protect the lives of ‘Russian citizens’ in Ukraine. Additionally, without formally joining NATO, Ukraine is not entitled to the membership perk of its ‘attack one, attack all’ policy. If a country were to attack the UK for example, the rest of NATO would be obliged to engage in a war with the invading nation. As the rest of the world watches on, there is an overwhelming fear that little more can be done to help Ukraine with the looming threat of either full-out European war for the first time in 75 years, or worse, a nuclear fallout that would kill millions. One nation that will certainly be paying close attention is China.

IMAGE: Unsplash/ Artur Voznenko

On the 24th of February, Europe fell into stunned silence, as the largest concentration of firepower on European soil since the Cold War marched into Ukraine from neighbouring Russia. Just 3 days later President Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces to be put on the highest possible alert, as NATO countries and the EU continue their escalation of economic sanctions and financial support for the Ukrainian military. This invasion followed over a month of Russian military presence on the Ukrainian border, something Russia insisted was on grounds of national security, a rationale that no one bought. This tension has been brewing ever since the reunification of Germany in 1990. In the 90s, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic all joined NATO, much to Russian protest, which was only worsened by the acceptance of seven more countries, including some former Soviet states, into the organisation (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) in 2004. Putin’s obsession with NATO’s ‘Eastern Expansion’ as a security threat to Russia is thus by no means valid. This expansion ended over 15 years ago, why now is it suddenly an issue? The answer, many currently believe, is it never was. Simply, the weeks of propaganda and excuses leading up to the invasion of




The threat to Taiwan is at least great enough to trigger a response from the island, with their President, Tsai Ing-wen, ordering the creation of a task force specifically assigned to study how the tensions 5000 miles away in Ukraine could impact the security and sovereignty of Taiwan, adding in a public statement that she ‘empathises’ with Ukraine’s current predicament. This all comes at a time when the global hegemony appears at its most vulnerable. Ever since the end of the Cold War, the USA was quick to swoop into the power vacuum and assume a position at the top of the global hierarchy, a move that has led to several foreign policy efforts to expand both its politics and economics globally, particularly in volatile regions. This led to a 1990s-2000s era of military interventions, notably in the Middle East and Bosnia. However, with countries like China’s and Russia’s ever-growing wealth and global status, this hegemony continues to be questioned. Despite their economic partnership, these two nations will no doubt be in direct competition to fill the power void if there ever was one. China will be looking over their shoulder at Kazakhstan, a country that separates China from Russia and is only a partner with, and not a member of NATO. If Putin were to continue his hypothetical expansion and hostile takeover of neighbouring states, many deem Kazakhstan a viably next target. On a national security basis, there is no way China would accept that move, as it would give Russia an additional border with China, something that would very likely be deemed an act of aggression directly against China. If Russia wishes to continue its rampage and expansion, or China decides to follow suit, economically they need each other – but it would be unwise to categorise this relationship as anything more intimate, and thus we can remain optimistic that the West’s worst fear – a war against an allegiance of China and Russia – is still far from happening.

Putin’s actions are abhorrent, and while the rest of the world prays for Ukraine, on a grander scale, it seems incredibly unlikely that Russia will be able to go any further, let alone shake the global power structure. But what remains consistent it seems, is growing doubt over the longevity of American hegemony. The continual growth of Russia, and especially China, cannot be stopped. While we cannot predict how long it will be before the global order is properly challenged, it is moments like these that make it feel like the beginning of the end of this current era of world politics. This new Cold War shows little sign of going away just yet.

Zach Roberts is a second-year Law and PAIS student from Aylesbury, UK.

IMAGE: Flickr/ Becker1999 (image of protestors - modified) and Unsplash/ Flickr/ Dmitry Djouce (Russia image)

5000 miles away in Eastern Asia, a similar scenario has been ticking away for decades, with China staking a claim to Taiwan and refusing to accept its sovereignty ever since members of soldiers of the former Chinese Republic, who were defeated in the Chinese Civil War, sought refuge on the island in 1949. Again, there is a difficult web of international state relations to unpack in this region as well as in Ukraine. Taiwan has long been supported by the West, particularly, by the USA as part of its ongoing war of passive aggression against China. The added difficulty to Taiwan is that they are only recognised as a sovereign country by 14 other countries, and thus there is plenty of suggestion that China is keeping a close eye on the developments in Europe. Ever since the 2014 annexation of Crimea, Russian-Chinese relations have grown ever stronger, as it was the Chinese that singlehandedly supported Russia economically and diplomatically whilst the rest of the world froze the nation out of the global order. In the last year, trade between the nations hit a new high of £108bn, with China being Russia’s biggest trading partner for years now. So it is perhaps a surprise, albeit also reassuring, to see China openly call out Russia’s actions and push for a diplomatic solution with Ukraine. The more pessimistic, however, fear that this could simply be a selfish action from China to disassociate from Russia, and potentially hope that if Europe is overly occupied with Ukraine, then a swift operation could mean that Taiwan falls under Chinese control before Western leaders can even get up to react. What will surely be reassuring to Taiwan, however, is the impact of what Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, calls the ‘anti-war coalition’, with stronger sanctions on Russia than expected, more extensive military support, and the Western-trained army fighting better than expected. The response of NATO and others to Russia because of this crisis is likely to be a decisive factor in China’s decision to occupy Taiwan.

March 2022







been detained under sedition laws too. Progressive activists have been charged under the McCarthyite UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) simply for espousing anti-establishment views. To understand this looming crisis of persecution and democratic decay we need to look at India’s distinct political economy and the role of the international community in facilitating this. India is a land of great diversity and culture, a crucial bedrock for the development of modern civilisation. However, it is a land of great paradox. It has the third highest number of billionaires, yet 70% of people live on less than $2 a day. It has a ‘superpower’ economy, ranking sixth in GDP, yet 77% of its wealth is concentrated in 10% of its population. There’s minimal welfare provision, despite India being the third largest spender on the military and investing heavily into space exploration. The world’s largest ‘democracy’ is in the midst of rampant cronyism and autocratic chauvinism. These examples are very much the contradictions of a neoliberal capitalist system vehemently adopted in the 1980s to replace the former developmental state established after independence. Despite India’s supposed intentions to ‘liberalise’ the market and strengthen liberal democracy, the turn to the anarchy of the market has instead left it with a brazen oligarchy, in which large swathes of an autocratic middle class (the rest being politically apathetic) are willing to sacrifice democratic ideals if doing so means greater prosperity. India’s politics since liberalisation have created a huge vacuum, which allows parties to increasingly attract voters on very sectional and identity-based lines. The demise of the Congress party inevitably saw the bold rise of the BJP and the wider Hindutva movement. What has been the response from the supposed bastions of liberty and tolerance? Human Rights vi-

olations serve as a crucial pretext for strained relations between the West and Russia and China, whether it be Putin’s assassinations of dissidents abroad, or the detainment of Uyghurs in China. In stark contrast, the West’s reaction to its own puppet states violating their well-esteemed liberal-democratic principles seems to be highly negligent, if not grossly comedic at best. Not only did Biden turn a blind eye to this crisis, he invited India to his very own ‘Summit for Democracy’ giving Modi the platform to spout his erroneous rhetoric of how the democratic spirit as well as the rule of law and pluralistic ethos were “ingrained in Indians”. More worryingly, Silicon Valley tech firms like Meta and Twitter have been horrendously complicit in the mass transmission of fake news and hate speech targeting Muslims and minorities. As Rana Ayyub correctly points out, this spread of misinformation is simply just the “cost of business” for the social media despots. It is evident that democracy, and freedom for India’s minorities, can only prevail through changes in the wider international system.

Jazir Mohammed is a second-year History and Politics student from Nottingham, UK.

IMAGE: Unsplash/ Gayatri Malhotra

India has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, around 200 million people. Yet it has arguably one of the worst crises of Islamophobia in the Global South. In recent years, hundreds if not thousands of Muslims have been routinely attacked in the street, had their businesses shut, and faced police brutality, with others killed in mob lynchings. Women have been sexually harassed online in the form of disgusting ‘online auctions’. Various sections of the Hindu nationalist movement have been reprehensibly calling for increased persecution and even genocide of Muslims with impunity. Ludicrous conspiracy theories have flourished, such as Muslims being the main spreaders of Covid, as well as the infamous Love Jihad thesis -whereby Hindu nationalists deceitfully claim that Muslims are on a supposed mission to forcibly lure Hindu women into marriage en masse with the goal to make India a muslim-majority nation. In a country where more than 90% of all marriages are arranged, largely between people from the same religious community, this groundless conspiracy has not only fuelled the Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) vigilantes’ ambitions, but has incited demagogic responses by establishment politicians who have exploited this fallacy to further their campaign of hatred. Many BJP-ruled states have passed so-called “anti-conversion laws”, which, whilst seemingly about tackling coercion and maintaining religious freedom in marriage, are implicitly another attempt to criminalise and subjugate Muslims. The Indian state is laissez-faire towards prevailing mob rule and hate crimes, but ferociously leviathan to anyone who dares challenge it. Such growing authoritarianism has not just been exemplified by harsh government retaliation towards protest movements against the controversial citizenship bill and the farmers acts, journalists have



In the Philippines, an upcoming election scheduled for May 9th “heralds winds of change”, as the country prepares to elect a new president, vice-president, 12 senators, and a new term for local officials. Key issues for many voters will be the pandemic response, the previous president’s corruption scandals and accusations of human rights abuses, and relief for local communities following the devastating effects of Typhoon Rai, which landed in December 2021. However, the candidates on the tentative list have been dropping like flies: while there were 15 presidential candidates in December, it dropped to ten in mid-January, and only five attended the first forum for presidential candidates in February. While the current and controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte, has announced his retirement, the elections have already been filled with controversy. One candidate, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., faced a petition seeking to bar him from running in the election. The petition argued that he was not eligible to run due to a past tax conviction, but was dismissed by the Philippines election commission, which ruled there were “no grounds to cancel” his candidacy. However, the petition is only one of many seeking to bar Ferdinand Marcos Jr., known popularly as Bongbong Marcos, from running in the election. This is because his father, Ferdinand Marcos, ruled as a dictator under martial law from 1972 until 1981. Following the People Power Revolution, a civil resistance campaign against regime violence and electoral fraud, Marcos was overthrown in 1986, more than 20 years after first becoming president, and later died in exile. Many fear that Bongbong Marcos will follow in his father’s footsteps if he is elected. Another controversial candidate is Marcos’ running-mate, Sara Duterte, daughter of the current president. One of her policy ideas is to urge

Congress to pass a military conscription law, similar to one in South Korea, which would mean all citizens would serve in the military once they reached 18 years of age. Another vice-presidential candidate, former Congressman Walden Bello, criticised this campaign and argued that demilitarisation was key to resolving “disaster preparedness [and] social welfare”. Notably, this conscription policy was advocated for by President Duterte during his time in office amid security issues, such as China’s presence in the South China Sea, but failed to gain any traction. Despite these criticisms, Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte have attracted popularity in Southern Leyte, which saw 79.54% voter turnout in the 2019 elections. The Marcoses have a stronghold in the north, whilst the Dutertes’ base is in the south, which has made the two frontrunners on a national scale. Marcos is also leading in most pre-election surveys but will have to contend with pro-democracy forces campaigning against him. Their main opposition is Leody de Guzman, who represents a “pro-labor and pro-people stance”, and whose running-mate, Bello, criticised Duterte’s conscription policy. He claims he will order the recovery of the Marcos’ wrongfully obtained wealth, as well as exhume dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ remains if he is elected president. In addition to focusing on economic, political, and social development, de Guzman and Bello have made it clear that they are campaigning strongly against what they call the “Marcos-Duterte Axis of Evil”. Another strong opponent is the only female presidential candidate, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, who is currently the vice-president under Duterte and previously defeated Marcos in the 2016 vice-presidential race. However, she entered the race late and has failed to gain widespread support, especially since her proposed

anti-dynasty bill, which she co-wrote as a legislator, has made her enemies among those who support the rampant nepotism within the political system. Other notable candidates include former soldier and police officer Panfilo Lacson, former boxer Manny Pacquiao (who presented a “22 rounds agenda”), and current Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. Lacson is just one of many former soldiers and cops running for positions in the 2022 election, with the highest number coming from President Duterte’s party, PDP-Laban. While it seems that the Marcos-Duterte ticket could preserve the rule of two political dynasties in the Philippines, the president and vice-president are elected separately in what is known as ‘split-ticket voting’. This means that, despite seeming to be popular candidates, there is still a chance for a coalition between parties if only one is elected. However, a published paper on the phenomenon found that political dynasties previously had adverse effects on the Philippines, such as “the perpetuation of poverty and underdevelopment… and the prevalence of massive corruption”. It may be too early to determine the political future of the Philippines— but it is certainly one to watch.

Alice Standen is a second-year History and Sociology student from Bristol, UK.

March 2022


IMAGE: Flickr/ Ilocos Norte







prising is the rise of the journalist Eric Zemmour. His rapid jump in the polls to 14% has taken aback many centrists, as well as Le Pen herself, who is said to be concerned about how many of her voters Zemmour will steal come April. If Marine le Pen is considered to be far-right, then Zemmour unfortunately goes much further. His distrust of the media and fondness for conspiracy theories display all the elements of Trumpism, imported into France. This includes having convictions for hate speech after his comments on unaccompanied migrant children, saying: “They’re thieves, they’re murderers, they’re rapists. That’s all they are. We must send them back. These people cost us money”. This highly inflammatory rhetoric has been compounded by his endorsement of the ‘great replacement’ conspiracy– the unfounded idea that ‘native’ French people are being replaced by Muslim immigrants, who are systematically undermining the values of the French Republic. The challenge to Macron from the left has received far less attention in comparison. Indeed, much of the coverage about the left is about its decline. The spectacular fall from grace of the Parti Socialiste stands out especially; it controlled the presidency last in 2012, but now is polling at just 3%. One exception is Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the far-left, who is doing a little better, but still well below what would be needed to make it to the second round of voting. The point being here that France has swung quite significantly to the right since 2017.

The entry of Zemmour into the race has led to suggestions that French political discourse has been well and truly ‘Zemmourised’ – with all candidates shifting themselves to the right so as to not lose their voice in a campaign which is being touted as a fight for France’s survival going into the future. With the left divided and splintered between several candidates who, as of yet, have failed to be able to unite around a single candidate, they stand little chance of seriously challenging Macron. Given there’s infighting galore on the left, and even somewhat between the right, Macron remains the favourite to win, and he might just cling onto power until 2027. Whatever happens, one thing is clear: the next president will have to grapple with questions of national identity, pandemic recovery, the EU, and much more. It’s now up to the French people to decide who is best for the job.

IMAGE: Unsplash/ Anthony Choren (French Flag) and Flickr/ EU2017EE Estonian Presidency Follow Emmanuel Macron

This April France is heading to the polls for the first time since 2017 to decide who will be its president for the next five years. Since Macron’s centrist movement La République en Marche disrupted the political climate in 2017, and his head-to-head with Marine le Pen of the Front National (now the Rassemblement National), it is fair to say that a lot has changed. France has since grappled with numerous challenges, including terrorism, the Gilets Jaunes protests, and of course Covid-19. Even for someone like Macron who, as a former Minister of the Economy, had some government experience under his belt, the presidency has been far from an easy ride. Twists and turns include uproar over pension reforms and, more recently, the French government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Vaccine passes have especially proved controversial. Just a few weeks ago, he even went as far as to say: “the unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off ”. Whilst his political opponents rushed to condemn his direct remarks, it looks as if his message has been getting through so far, with more than 90% of France’s adult population double-jabbed. Even with some successes, it isn’t surprising that he faces many challenges. What is significant though is that his serious political opponents, if polling is to be believed, are almost exclusively on the right and far-right of the political spectrum. To the right of Macron is Valérie Pécresse of the Républicans. Currently polling at 16%, she is hoping to get through to the run-off in the 2nd round, where it is suggested that she would pose the greatest threat to Macron’s chances of re-election. Now to delve into the realm of the far-right. Potential challengers here are Le Pen once again, this time under a supposedly revitalised party name of ‘National Rally’. This was part of an attempt to detoxify the perception of the party as racist and antisemitic, especially under the previous leadership of her father, Jean-Marie le Pen. More sur-

Ravi Maini is a first-year Politics and French student from Leicester, UK.



The volcano Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai erupted on January 15th, just 65 kilometres from Nuku'alofa, Tonga's capital. The eruption sent a plume of ash soaring into the upper atmosphere, and triggered a tsunami that destroyed hundreds of homes on Tonga’s nearby islands, with at least 3 people perishing as a result of the eruption. This eruption has been a disaster for the country's more than 100,000 residents, decimating everything in its vicinity in a short span of 11 hours. Tongans are now labouring to clear the heavy layer of ash that has buried everything, restore clean drinking water, and recoup from crop loss, which is estimated to be worth about 39 million Tongan pa'anga (US $17 million). Australia, New Zealand, and the UK have been quick to respond, using their air-force and naval carriers to make contactless drops of supplies including water, food, hygiene kits, and tents, as well as water-treating and telecommunications repair equipment. Despite the swiftness of foreign aid to help on the ground, local authorities have treated the aid with great precaution. Tonga has requested for no foreign humanitarian workers to land in the nation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All assistance work is currently done by locals through organisations such as the Red Cross. This approach reveals the careful considerations Tonga has put into its volcano-recovery contingency plan. Is this just Tonga heaping Pelion upon Ossa, or is this warranted prudence? This cautiousness has made

recovery slower and much more inefficient. Given the scale of the damage, this is worrying for international organisations providing aid. Considering Tonga’s sprawling archipelago, the devastation has destroyed transportation routes, making it significantly harder for aid to reach far-flung regions. Tonga’s halting acceptance of aid might turn out to do more harm than good: They are treading in dangerous waters. Whilst Tonga battles the aftermath of the eruption and the tsunami, it must do its best to circumvent the impending wave - a tsunami of COVID-19. Tonga is experiencing its first rush of cases following the arrival of relief ships from neighbouring countries, an alarming issue, as only 60% of Tonga’s population is fully vaccinated. Any future infections may proliferate beyond the government’s control, causing an epidemic in a place where education and healthcare are not readily available to combat such a health crisis. This might be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Additionally, communication with the global community has been severely hampered by damage to the remote archipelago’s sole fibre-optic undersea cable, hindering recovery. With limited transport and manpower being ferried into the Polynesian kingdom, it is nearly impossible to expect restoration efforts to be completed within a week, as is being claimed by the nation. By transferring the brunt of the blame onto the volcanic eruption, Tonga is able to deflect castigations, depoliticize the narrative, and, at the same time, garner international sympathy and aid. Many articles have claimed the blast event of the eruption as a “once in a millennium” event, alluding that Tonga could not have foreseen and mitigated the devastating impacts. However, this is a misrepresentation of the matter at hand. Even if the volcanic eruption was not of such a great magnitude, Tonga would not have been able to cope with its aftermath. The country did

not give out volcanic eruption alerts even though there had been clear signs something was wrong. Additionally, Tongans were unprepared to handle an eruption. The country’s gross oversight is anachronistic, considering its high susceptibility to natural disasters due to its non-ideal geographical location. Tonga’s volcanic eruption might reflect the insufficiencies of current volcanological reports. On scientific grounds, volcanologists are seeking to improve their research methodologies to better predict other geological disasters. However, it should not overshadow the government’s lack of preparedness and allow the Tongan government to deflect responsibility. More is expected of the government, yet it continues to remain silent as Tonga drags its feet through recovery. As the region continues to be shaken by earthquakes, Tonga still needs to keep its guard up. According to preliminary investigations of ash from January 15th, the eruption was fuelled by a new batch of magma emerging from deep under the Earth. Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai could be active for a long time, with unknown consequences for Tonga's inhabitants. Is trouble brewing under the surface, or will this be the last undersea eruption Tonga will see in the foreseeable future? Tonga Geological Services is receiving information from a group of worldwide experts to decide their next step. The experts are considering three scenarios where the eruption might either cease, continue at a low level, or another massive blast could occur. All eyes are on Tonga as it scrambles to salvage whatever remains.

Lim Shuyu is a first-year PPE student from Singapore.

March 2022


IMAGE: Unsplash/ Yosh Ginsu





Nord Stream 2 is a natural gas pipeline built under the Baltic Sea connecting the western coast of Russia to Germany planned to expand the direct transfer of natural gas from Russia to Europe supplementing the already existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline with almost doubling its capacity of gas supply. Nord Stream 2 once put to use would be able to transfer 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year. This amount of gas (equivalent to 10% of Europe’s current gas consumption) could be used to heat 26 million homes in Germany and therefore mitigate Europe’s current energy crisis. The £8.3 billion pipeline – on which construction works finished September 2021 – is owned by Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom.

The German government have long referred to the project as a solely economic and commercial issue without facing that gas transits are one of Russia’s most important political weapons and not acknowledging the potential increase of Russian influence as a result of the project. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasised this even as late as December 2021, claiming the approval of the pipeline will happen in a “completely non-political way”. As Russian military preparation went forward, tensions increased within the new German government between the SDP and the Greens as vice-chancellor Robert Habeck claimed that from a geopolitical viewpoint the pipeline is a mistake. In the past few weeks Scholz eased his position claiming Germany will consider sanctions on the pipeline in case of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.



HOW DOES THE PROJECT STAND IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT WAR IN WHAT WILL MOST LIKELY HAPPEN? UKRAINE? The current war between Russia and Ukraine put the project once again to the spotlight of international politics as a potential subject of sanctions against Russia. As Nord Stream 2 is fully built and currently awaits approval from German authorities, potential sanctions could not only affect the amount of gas transport to Germany but could even go as far as not putting the pipeline to use. Following Russia’s recognition of two Moscow-backed separatist regions in east Ukraine, German Chancellor Scholz claimed the approval process for the pipeline had been put to halt, while the US imposed sanctions on the company building the pipeline and its officers. The longterm prospect of these sanctions and the future of the pipeline is uncertain.

As Europe is facing a severe energy crisis by constantly rising energy prices contributing to an increase in inflation rates, the German government faces domestic pressure in order to use supplementary sources of energy, for which the new pipeline could be a solution. However, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the future of the pipeline might depend on larger geopolitical factors. Western countries so far have responded quickly by halting the project and sanctioning Russian actors. In the long run, the future of the project therefore will depend on the decision of Western powers between reducing energy prices by putting the pipeline to use or continuing the geopolitical pressure on Russia through sanctions on the pipeline. Bálint Áron Ferenczi is a second year PPE student from Budapest, Hungary.

IMAGE: Flickr/ Dirk Vorderstraße


The new pipeline bypasses Ukraine and Poland, two traditional transit countries for Russian natural gas, weakening their geopolitical status, as with the completion of the pipeline, Russia could supply Western Europe with gas even if it shuts transport through these countries. This risks a loss of $1.2 billion transit fees a year for Ukraine. Besides this, the biggest fears around the project concern Europe’s reliance on Russian gas imports. Russian gas already accounts for around 40-50% of the continent’s gas consumption and critics warn that as Russia uses gas as a geopolitical weapon, a further rise in this ratio could increase Russian dominance within the EU by Russia being capable of influencing European energy prices based on its own political interests.

Authentic Greek Streeet Food 29 Bath Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 3AF






er Democrats retain Senate control following the midterms, a fragile benefit centred on Vice President Harris’s ability to exercise a tie-breaking vote. Some Democrats accuse Biden of being out of touch with voters by focusing on the climate crisis and voting rights instead of traversing through uncertainties from the pandemic. Rep. Tim Ryan (D – Ohio), who is running for an open Senate seat, has criticised his party for not attending to voter anxieties associated with the pandemic: economic insecurity, school closures, and the failure to provide coherent masking and testing guidance. He furthermore condemned the Biden administration for failing to push through its domestic agenda to bounce back from the devastating consequences of Covid and undo the Trump presidency’s damage. This grievance highlights that Democrats need to act swiftly on clarifying their intentions. Recently, the White House failed to push through voting rights legislation, had their vaccine and testing mandate for large employers struck down by the Supreme Court, faced tensions with Russia over a potential invasion of Ukraine, and oversaw inflation rising to a 40-year high. Simultaneously, Biden has been constrained in pushing his domestic priority, an expansive $2.2 trillion spending, tax policy, and climate reform bill, due to opposition from a centrist Democrat and Republicans. This hasn’t set the Democrats up with the best precedent to carry forward into the midterms. Biden’s ambitious policy and spending proposals have been castigated as “reckless spending” and chastised for having a hold on Democrats to push this through. Furthermore, to rub salt into wounds, Republicans have underscored Biden’s major foreign policy setbacks, particularly Afghanistan. The woes of the Democratic party have delighted Republicans, who grapple with an image problem

they seek to rectify following the Capitol insurrection. Republicans are using Biden’s failures to drive their bid to regain Congressional control, with a focus on his crumbling legislative agenda, the failure to tackle Covid anxieties, and inflation. Following months of facing blame for stoking the January 6 riots, and Trumpublicanism’s lies over the 2020 elections, coupled with the growth in right-wing activists who may alienate mainstream conservatives, Republicans see themselves in a position to exploit Biden’s woes and dent his competence, rather than plan a course correction. Biden gambled his presidency on the notion that voters would commend his party for manoeuvring the nation towards economic progress following a deadly pandemic. Nevertheless, after a year of historical levels of job and stock market growth and wide vaccine accessibility, Biden hasn’t focused on promoting these successes. Democrats insist more needs to be done to market the party’s accomplishments, or risk jeopardising the midterms taking the direction of an off-year election, where Democrats faced a spew of surprise backlash in New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. Bradley Beychok, from the Democratic group American Bridge 21st Century, insisted it is crucial to sell the party’s successes, rather than focus on loathing, if the Democrats are to be successful in the midterms.

Jhanvi Mehta is a second-year History and Politics student from Leeds, UK

IMAGE: Flickr/ COP26

The US midterm elections in November this year are a test as to whether the Democrats can retain their slim majority in both houses of Congress. They are an evaluation of Biden’s presidency and a referendum on the Democrat-controlled government. With the midterms just nine months away, the Democrats are yet to confront pressing questions that urgently need addressing and unequivocally define what their party stands for. The Democrats were already forecast to oversee a rocky election year, as the party in power traditionally loses seats during the first presidential term. Presidential popularity is also a deciding factor when it comes to losses. The Biden administration’s legislative agenda in the run-up to these crucial midterms is shambolic, with Democrats raising concerns they may witness profound losses if a move in presidential strategy is absent. Aggravations within the Democratic party range from the liberal faction, which believes it is dejected by the inability to deliver a courageous policy agenda, to the wariness of moderates, who are concerned with losing suburban voters and had been confident of a return to normalcy after the 2020 elections. The Democrats have failed to enact their legislative priorities and Biden’s pledge to transform a broken system, a notion candidates will have to battle with in these elections. Looking ahead at the current projections of the Democratic party, there are several important races to watch. These include Pennsylvania and Ohio – where there are open US Senate seats to contest, and New Hampshire and Wisconsin – where Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is a key target for Democrats. The governor race is likely to be the centre of political drama in Georgia, though this may uplift the prospects of Sen. Warnock, who is seeking a full term after beating Kelly Loeffler in a runoff last year. A single state can establish wheth-



SPORTSWASHING IN QATAR workers to their employers. This system prevents workers from changing jobs or even leaving the country, which on top of late and non-payment of wages, prohibition of trade-unions, and failure to enforce labour laws on companies that abuse their workers, results in migrant workers getting trapped in a cycle of abuse. Although governmental reforms have been introduced to address these issues and placate international audiences, implementation and enforcement has been weak, and the reality for many migrant workers in Qatar remains harsh. Other significant human rights issues in Qatar include restrictions on free-speech, criminalisation of same-sex relationships, and a lack of accountability for violence against women and minorities. Despite the egregious reality faced by migrant workers involved in stadium construction, FIFA president Gianni Infantino stated that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a: “celebration of football and social inclusion”, and went on to claim that “FIFA is the only governing body that looks after and cares about the entire world”. The complete and utter lack of responsibility and near comical hypocrisy of such statements reveals the depth of the sportswashing being committed in the chase of ticket sales and huge profits. A number of national teams, including Denmark, Norway, and Germany have spotlighted issues of human rights violations in Qatar ahead of the tournament, however, up until this point no real boycott has taken place. Player protests are likely to persist in the build up to the event, however Nasser Al Khater, the chief executive of the tournament's organising committee, is reportedly “not worried about it”, and insists that “people must recognise the progress Qatar has taken”. This progress, however, remains ever ambiguous, and indepen-

dent investigations, such as one made by Amnesty International, provides evidence to suggest that human rights violations related to the World Cup are not being taken seriously enough. As a lifelong football viewer and fan, the usual excitement and glamour that precedes the World Cup is, for me, missing. Beyond the controversial decision to host the tournament during the Winter, which directly clashes with the usual football frenzied summers that I have come to anticipate and cherish, tournament organisers and authoritative governments have simply not upheld the ever-inclusive, socially conscious image that they have tried so hard to sell. Although hosting the first Middle Eastern World Cup should be an exciting step in the widening of inclusivity within football, building this progression off the backs of exploited labourers in some of the least inclusive regimes in the world takes away any and all meaning from the progress made. It remains unclear if sportswashing will be meaningfully addressed on an international stage. Governmental bodies remain hesitant due to their political affiliations, and organisations such as FIFA have no reason to change their ways as long as their quotas are filled. What is clear, however, is that 2022 is set to be one of the most politically charged years in sports in recent history.

Elon Gothlin is a third-year Management student from Stockholm, Sweden.

IMAGE: Unsplah/ Rhett Lewis

With the Beijing Olympics well underway, the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia just around the corner, and the World Cup in Qatar coming later this year, it seems that 2022 is a great year for authoritative regimes looking to cover up their atrocious human rights violations. ‘Sportswashing’, as it has been coined, has become increasingly prevalent as a method for nations and corporations to polish their public image and reputation through prestigious sporting events. Although a relatively new term, sportswashing has been around for decades, with a notable historical example being Hitler’s attempt to showcase German and Aryan superiority during the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. 86 years later, leveraging the glory of the Olympics to cover up human rights atrocities remains a relevant strategy. Fans are quick to forget that the Winter Olympics host, China, continues to practice its inhumane internment of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, among a long list of other human rights violations. Other examples include the enormous investments made by the UAE into Premier League club Manchester City, and Saudi Arabia’s £305 million acquisition of Newcastle FC, both of which Amnesty International described as “brazen attempts to ‘sportswash’ a country’s deeply tarnished image through the glamour of the game”. Qatar, the next in line to host the FIFA World Cup, has become a central target for sportswashing allegations. Since Qatar first won its bid to host the World Cup back in 2010, 6,500 migrant workers have died in the country, the majority of which were involved in blisteringly hot, low-wage, and dangerous labour, according to a report by The Guardian. Migrant workers, primarily from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, fall victim to what is called the ‘Kafala’ system, a sponsorship-based employment which legally binds migrant

March 2022







What makes the situation even more immoral, if that is even possible, is the fact that prior to January 2020, in April 2019, fire chiefs made an appeal to Morrison to centralise and streamline resources for emergency services. They foresaw tragedy. They recognised the importance of a collective capacity and a collective response. In the end, the PM refused to meet with these emergency leaders. One word can summarise his attitude and actions towards the environmental crises: non-existent. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the 2020 Climate Change Performance Index ranked Australia as the sixth-worst performing out of 57 other countries. Australia was absent from the UN’s Climate Action Summit that took place in September 2020, and withdrew funding from the Green Climate Fund, which is a global fund that allows countries in financial difficulty to access monetary resources for adaptation and mitigation. Likewise, Morrison has shown reluctance to legislate Australia’s performative commitment to the Paris Agreement; there are no concrete national mechanisms or goals in place. As a result, not only is he a passive bystander within his own country, he is actively distancing Australia from collective international action to save life on Earth. Despite this, he is adamant that Australia’s environmental strategies are supreme and sufficient. Morrison’s impressively eco-hostile CV aside, let’s critically analyse his promise to invest a large sum of capital into protecting the Great Barrier Reef. As previously mentioned, this move is most likely an attempt to save face, not just with his electorate but also with UNESCO. The agency threatened to remove the Great Barrier Reef from its World Heritage List if action was not taken to prevent further damage. Only time will tell if the invest-

ment will be successful. Jon Day and Scott Heron at The Conversation doubt that it will do much. As they rightfully argue, money should be invested in weaning Australia off fossil fuels and moving onto renewable energy sources. Instead, a portion of the investment is destined to go into developing scientific technologies, such as heat-resistant corals and coral seeding. However, technology does not address the root cause. It is only a plaster that may produce unwanted side effects. I believe that the correct way to tackle environmental issues is to approach them holistically. They are all connected and derive from one thing: capitalism’s need for constant growth. It is not enough for Morrison to focus on the Great Barrier Reef. He must reverse his prior complacent and isolationist response to climate change. He must listen to his electorate. He must prioritise collective action that is inclusive of Indigenous and non-Indigenous issues and concerns.

Kalli Jayasuriya is a MA Gender and International Development student from Coventry, UK.

IMAGE: Unsplash/ Carles Rabada

In late January 2022, the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, officially declared state plans to invest $1 billion into protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Increasing temperatures have accelerated and worsened coral reef bleaching, a problem that other reefs around the world face. Since 1910, Australia’s average temperature has increased by 1.4 °C. Add to this unregulated tourism and overfishing and we end up with a nasty tangled web of decreasing biodiversity. Given that foreboding environmental crises are interconnected and transnational, Scott Morrison’s decision will have far-reaching effects. Not just materially, but also politically. It is only mere coincidence, then, that this ‘ecological’ commitment, which is highly uncharacteristic of Morrison, comes before a fast-approaching general election. Research shows that environmental action is a political tool that is wielded when it will result in electoral benefits for political representatives. Thus, Morrison’s real motive behind his decision reflects the wider inter-governmental approach to climate change: ‘rhetoric makes us look good’. Environmental destruction affects life on earth unevenly and unfairly -- the least culpable are often the most victimised and least powerful in society, which means that top-down action only occurs when it is guaranteed that it will allow those in powerful positions to retain their elite status. Morrison is only superficially performing the role of ‘eco-warrior’, as his actual track record leaves a lot to be desired in the way of environmental consciousness. We only have to think back to Morrison’s heavily critiqued response to the horrific bushfires that Australia suffered in January 2020. Whilst the everyday Australian witnessed a ravaging inferno, the PM was vacationing in Hawaii!



From Wayne Couzens’ repulsive abuse of power in kidnapping, raping, and murdering Sarah Everard, to the jokes made afterwards by other Metropolitan (Met) Police officers, there is an ongoing crisis of not only a misogyny, but racism and homophobia within the Met Police. The resignation of former Met Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick has been welcomed with open arms, with the hope that we will begin to see institutional change on all levels within the Met Police Force. Dick was the leader of the operation that got Jean Charles de Menezes wrongfully shot 7 times in the head in 2005 after being mistaken for a suicide bomber. This counterintuitively got her promoted to deputy assistant commissioner. Dick’s repertoire is perfectly summed up by Simon Edge, author of “The End of the World is Flat” -- ‘failing upwards’. In more recent years, her officers forcibly dragging women from Sarah Everard’s vigil and referring to her murderer as a “bad ‘un (one)” strengthened calls for her resignation. The last straw was the leak of Charing Cross Met officers’ texts regarding hitting and raping women. One of which was sent to a female officer and reads “I would happily rape you”. Others included texts about attending a festival dressed as known sex offenders and a molested child. This highlights the toxic culture of sexism, misogyny, and

exploitation of power within the force. Misogyny is not the only problem plaguing the Met. Racism has run rampant for far too long in the force. This ranges on a spectrum from racial bias in stop-and-searches to people of colour within the Met experiencing both overt and indirect racial discrimination. Despite London being one of the most diverse regions of the UK, the Met is arguably one of the most racist institutions within the country. Bas Javid, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner (who is responsible for professional standards) has said that some Met Officers “have racist views and are racist”, but denied that the Met was a “racist organisation”. This is a blatant lie. In a system where 80% of all stop-and-searches are performed on Black people, where officers are 4x more likely to use force on Black people, and where officers make racist jokes and humiliate their POC co-workers -- the Met’s racial overtones are unmistakable. Officers have come forward with their personal experiences of racism within the Met. One officer cited their supervisor referring to him as a monkey and has been jeered for the way he spoke. The insults were incredibly severe: he had even been called a drug dealer. Another account revealed that senior leaders suggested Black people were not clever enough for the Met. As ex-Commissioner Sir Paul Condon said in 1998, “racism in the police is much more than ‘bad apples’”. It has become ingrained into the system and deep-rooted reforms are needed to combat this. There should be racial bias screening upon recruitment as well as immediate sanctions for officers being racist. The irony is that law enforcement themselves are the lawbreakers -- from discrimination to committing actual crimes. In recent news, Julian

Bennett, a senior commander in the Met Police, who developed a drugs strategy and oversaw the dismissal of two officers for drug use, was found to have taken LSD, magic mushrooms, and cannabis whilst on holiday in France in 2021. The fact that he will be sacked, rather than face criminal charges highlights how weak this corrupt system is. There is a desperate need for change within the force. A recent YouGov survey found 47% of women and 40% of men said trust in police has decreased since the murder of Sarah Everard. It is crucial the police win over the public’s trust in order to establish healthy relationships between the general public and law enforcement. However, as it stands, with officers fining Londoners for sitting on park benches over lockdown, and racism in stop-and-searches, this will take a lot of work and time. This is why Dick’s resignation couldn’t come at a better time. Her successor will hopefully put a conscious effort to rebuild the bridge burnt between the public and law enforcement. Reform needs to happen on every level, from the bottom up. There is already a huge demand for change. We need better press coverage and scrutiny, as well as more public engagement, which will come as the public regain their trust in the force. It will be interesting to see how Dick’s successor approaches this mammoth task, and to what extent they will be successful. . Surina Rumpal is a firstyear PAIS and GSD student from Buckinghamshire, UK.

March 2022


IMAGE: Flickr/ Number 10







izenship by them, it would make sense for the UK to treat that person as a foreigner. There are certain acts, especially relating to conflict against the UK, that could warrant revocation of one’s rights as a citizen. This, however, is a major step. It’s an enormous deal to decide that someone’s crime is so bad that they no longer deserve to be considered by our courts. After all, when a Brit commits a crime, we all bear some of the blame for it. Our system should be tough on the causes of crime internationally too. The Nationality and Borders Bill, currently making its way through the House of Lords and towards becoming law, would exacerbate this issue massively. It would relax the restrictions on the Home Secretary and remove the requirement to inform someone their citizenship had been revoked, rendering a legal challenge much harder. Since the Government cannot make a person stateless, it establishes, in practice, a two-tier citizenship status. Those of us, like me, who have no other citizenship cannot be stripped of it. My partner, and the millions of people who have dual nationality are not so lucky. The Government, if they pass this bill, could remove her citizenship and she may never even know. There is obviously a racial element to this policy. Whilst many British dual nationals live in the oft-forgotten province of Northern Ireland, there are also over 6 million dual nationals living in England and Wales. These people, according to ONS data, are predominantly non-white, with many British nationals descending from the Indian sub-continent. It’s telling that Shamima Begum had her citizenship removed – casting aside our moral responsibility for her to the rest of the world – but the terrorists of the IRA did not. This bill would enshrine a two-tier citizenship system to the detriment of non-white Brits. It is an outrage. The Bill is approaching its third

reading in the House of Lords. Whilst the Lords will undoubtedly try to stymie the worst elements of it, the Government appears determined to push it through. We therefore have two options available to mitigate the Bill’s damage: protest the Bill’s passage and, crucially, any uses of the Bill. British citizens should not have their rights taken away from them, and if the Home Secretary attempts to do so unjustly, she must face prolonged and persistent protest. Secondly, we must ensure that the next government quickly and quietly removes this Bill. All too often the degradation of civil liberties can become a slippery slope. Whether the next Home Secretary is from the Labour Party or the Conservative Party (it’s a low bar with Ms Patel), they must cast out this law. We, like most, are a nation of immigrants. The UK has been defined by wave after wave of immigration, with the culture of these isles changing for both the migrants and for those already here. A two-tier citizenship system is unacceptable. Citizenship is not a privilege; it shouldn’t be something the Government can take away at will. It’s about time that our government ends its dog-whistle politics. This sort of behaviour doesn’t show the UK in a good light. It makes us appear inward-looking, xenophobic, and, frankly, un-British.

Matthew Oulton is a third-year Economics student from Merseyside, UK.

IMAGE: Unsplash / Caspar Rae (left image) and Unsplash/ Kyle Bushnell (right imnage)

My partner and I were both born in the UK. We are both full British citizens. To deny either of us our rights as a British person would be contrary to the entire concept of citizenship, which, if you’re going to accept the idea of nation states at all, is a necessary condition. She and I should be entirely equal under the law. And yet we are not. You see, my partner’s family is Northern Irish. As a result, she, like millions of other Britons, is entitled to claim Irish citizenship alongside UK citizenship. Indeed, this choice is a key principle of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of conflict in the UK and Ireland. Whereas I have no citizenship except my British citizenship, my partner is also Irish. Of course, there are benefits to Irish citizenship. My partner can live and work in any European Union country she wishes, as well as in the UK. She can claim diplomatic protection from an Irish embassy, and could vote in Ireland if resident there. But her British Citizenship is also valued less by our government. Today, under current British law, if the Home Office deems it ‘conducive to the public good’, they can remove a British person’s citizenship. To be clear, being able to remove citizenship is not a crazy idea. If the UK were to be at war, for example, and a person left our country to fight for a foreign adversary and was offered cit-


BOOK REVIEWS NIALL HAWKINS REVIEWS THIS ORIENT ISLE Elizabethan England might not initially appear to be a period we would wish to emulate in the present. By the 1590s our sceptred isle was devastated by famine, plague, war, and civil disobedience, all kept precariously at bay by a decaying queen and a government with itchy fingers as plots circulated over Elizabeth’s expected demise. In his gripping history of the 16th and early 17th century Elizabethan foreign policy, Jerry Brotton brings to light a pivotal geopolitical and cultural moment in the ebbing reign of the Tudors. This Orient Isle not only provides a crucial exposition of how a ‘globalised’ Tudor economy and society was well in the works by the end of Elizabeth’s reign but also how relations with the Islamic world in this period, including the Ottoman Empire and beyond, were far more precocious and opportune than previous scholarship, and present-day international relations, assumes. Brotton supplies us with a wide-reaching and intimate history, covering popular culture and the dramatics of London playhouses through to high politics, foreign policy, trade, and, perhaps most enlightening, travel. That ordinary English men in this period ventured as far as present-day Uzbekistan or Iran and lived to relay their stories is only made more interesting by Brotton detailing the noxious influence of the Islamic world on London’s fashion, culture, and consumption. Anyone interested in the orientalism of Edward Said should read this book. It vindicates Said’s theories from an entrenched standpoint, but also provides a glimmer of evidence for what England could once have been, beyond inflated counterfactuals. Brotton colours a picture of England in the 1500s and 1600s that saw both mutual enrichment, cultural nourishment, and fulfilment of curiosity in its relations with the Islamic world. This book is an amalgamation of enlightened and globalised history, succinctly narrated to be entertaining and lucid.

IMAGE: Penguin Books Limited / This Orient Isle

Niall Hawkins is a third-year History and Politics student from Berkhamstead, UK.


The Anglo-German relationship is one that has been at the forefront of global politics since the beginning of Germany’s 150-year history. This is certainly central to John Kampfner’s analysis of modern Germany in “Why the Germans Do It Better”, in light of Brexit and recent German politics. From a well-informed British viewpoint, this book provides a thought-provoking account of the perception of modern German politics. Much of Kampfner’s praise for the foundations of the ‘grown-up country’ that Germany has built in recent years can be attributed to the stability and strong leadership that Angela Merkel fostered. This particularly shone through in immigration policies during the refugee crisis and the defeat of rising far-right populist nationalism in German politics. The book also praises the reintegration of Eastern Germany following the collapse of the communist Soviet Union as a sign of Germany’s continually high standard of upholding democracy, which is particularly important, as many countries have experienced increasing levels of authoritarianism in recent years. Rebuilding is one of Germany’s major successes, notable from its turbulent past, as Kampfner lauds the societal and moral response following the events of World War Two. The book also notes that Germany’s ensuing economic ‘miracle’ and industrialisation have led to the country’s increased importance on the global stage, shown by a relatively peaceful foreign policy, working relations with the likes of Russia, the UK, USA, European nations, and Germany’s role in the European Union. IMAGE: Waterstones / Why the Germans Do Although at first glance the title, “Why the Germans Do It Better” seems one-sided, KampIt Bettr: Notes from a Grown-Up Country fner also analyses Germany's areas for future improvement, such as climate change response and environmentalism, underdeveloped former industrial towns, and intelligence foreign policy weakOllie Gee is a second-year German and Economics student from nesses. Kampfner’s evaluation of Germany is one of the more successful recent political books on Germany, providing an insightful and encompassing understanding of recent German politics. Manchester, UK. March 2022





This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. It is a remarkable achievement of longevity. Not just in age, but also given the upheaval the world has seen in that time. The Monarch’s institution may be in chaos but, at its core, there is still light at the end of the tunnel. As the Queen reaches this milestone, the organisation she has dedicated her life to, without doubt, is in complete crisis. The Queen’s son Prince Andrew is embroiled in a damaging civil case over sexual relations with a minor. This, combined with his enduring friendship with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has left his reputation in tatters. Plus, there was ‘Megxit’, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle departed from the official duties and public face of the royals to flee the pressure, racism, and savage press. Despite these truly alarming episodes, the monarchy and Royal Family need not be abolished, but reformed. It must be watered down with only the monarch and their immediate family receiving any attention. That should somewhat reduce their entitlement and decrease the funds they are given. The rest can work for their living, much like Harry and Meghan, and many other Royals way down the line of succession. The essence of the monarchy ought to be seen as its most important contribution. It allows the UK to have a separate Head of State to the leader of its Government. Critically, this means the Prime Minister is answerable to someone. Without bluster or politics, they must explain their actions to one individual. Be it Brexit, the breakup of the union, or partying in Number 10, they have to face questions. Each week, the PM enters a room where they are not in charge or most senior. 22


That is rare globally and, for the sake of stability, invaluable. The great thing about the UK monarch is they are at the top of the pile but have no power at all. Everybody is answerable to someone with no sway. It’s a check on the Prime Minister and Government, and a tool for stability; in a way, it prevents extremism and corruption. The Monarch always has the power to not grant laws Royal Assent. It has been over 300 years since the Crown invoked such a right. Yes it is undemocratic but, if facing a despotic government, it could be vital to prevent subjugation and uphold freedoms. Withholding Royal Assent is all about assurance. If it is ever desperately required, then we will all be thankful that that option is technically possible. The longevity of the role, too, is comforting. A Prime Minister, in the annals of history, is gone in the blink of an eye. But the monarch remains a constant public presence. The Queen, for instance, has ruled through boom and bust, peace and war, and from Churchill to Johnson. Through all of that, she is a mainstay. Even if the world is crumbling, she will be there, every year, at 3pm to deliver her Christmas Day message. A slimmed-down Royal Family can give us the constitutional stability and longevity we need without creating painful headlines. Plus, this would still maintain the enormous economic benefit generated by them. According to Forbes, the Royal household contributes just under £2 billion pounds to the economy each year. Most of that money comes from tourism, paying ordinary members of the public’s wages in hotels, airports, train stations, and at the palace itself. The money that goes in is far

less than the money that comes out for the wider economy. The Government paid the family over £80 million in 2020 to cover their official travel and palace maintenance costs. Admittedly, their catalogue of palaces is rather ridiculous considering the amount of relative poverty in the UK. Reform must also address this. Evidently, the state should not fund the upkeep of royal summer and winter palaces. Regardless, this economic and touristic contribution, emanating from the pull on the monarchy’s history and grandeur, is critical to so many people’s livelihoods and to the country at large. The monarchy and Royal Family has always been slow to change. But it needs to. If it can slim down its public-facing role and reduce its intake of government funds, it has a long future ahead of it. Our economy will be bigger as a result. The monarchy will continue to provide a constitutional backstop and prevent Prime Ministers from becoming too greedy and corrupted by the intoxicating qualities of power. As there has always been, there will be a constant stable figure through all the joy, crises, and sorrow the country will face as the years tick by. And that is reassuring.

Ben Morley is a second-year Politics and International Studies student from Bedfordshire, UK.

IMAGE: Flickr/ Brian Shamblen





The Queen has reigned for a commendable 70 years - so long that the country is about to hold the first platinum jubilee of its history. Many in the country have only ever known one monarch: Queen Elizabeth II. Importantly, this will likely be the last major event before the death of the Queen and the subsequent ascension of King Charles III. A new phase is on the horizon, one where the monarchy will have to remake its image and relationship with the country – a perfect time to talk about change. The country seriously needs to evaluate this institution, which holds such a central role in our democracy. This ideal is the monarchy’s biggest hurdle in its argument for continuation. Today, the monarchy sits increasingly awkwardly amongst our country’s parliamentary and electoral institutions. It is antiquated and forces the political system to bend to its shape – something that is increasingly stretching our democracy. Meanwhile, the country sees practical debate on the monarchy as an untouchable topic – we need to dispense with this feeling before the moment for change passes us by. The rule of law and democratic norms have, in recent years, been stretched to breaking point by a monarchy awkwardly wedged in the demo-

cratic system. Government power, the legislative process, and the constitution all rely on the monarch in various ways. Prerogative powers are vested in the Prime Minister – this has given rise to an ever more powerful executive, who faces no checks and balances thanks to the constitutional arrangements involving the monarch’s position as head of state. In 2019, the Queen had to silently accept the PM’s unconstitutional behaviour, as it would be outrageous for her to wade into the matter. This intersection of monarch and democracy outright fails today – Boris Johnson has helped make the case for an elected head of state who is entrusted with checking a power-hungry PM willing to repeatedly run roughshod over the constitution. Germany serves as a prime example – the country’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier used an address to issue a rare but scathing rebuke of politicians who had brokered payments for PPE deals… sound familiar? In the UK such dodgy practises went unchecked. This modern head of state can bring a democracy’s failings to light, and in doing so protects the rules governments and leaders must abide by. The need for change is all the more pressing as the UK backslides towards the status of a ‘flawed democracy’. Today, the UK has radically changed since the last ascension. The monarchy has periodically tried to keep peace, but attempts have fallen flat, providing evidence it’s past the point of mere reform. The country has become increasingly secular and multi-ethnic, whilst the monarchy remains a narrow hereditary selection of the country. At the next coronation, the monarch will continue the tradition of taking the sacral anointment, some-

thing that will juxtapose with the realities of a modern UK, with a multi-faithed population. For reference, all other monarchies have abandoned this tradition. Why shouldn’t the head of state have a covenant more in line with the country – even through election, giving rise to a head of state that looks more like the country? Ceremonial presidents provide such a template for a stable future head of state based on an electoral system. Abolishing the monarchy should, of course, come as part of a larger package of constitutional reforms – electing parliaments second chamber, expanding and deepening fundamental rights, and the dispersing of political power to a more local level – reforms which a new head of state will be central to. A modern head of state would strengthen and renew our democracy, allowing the country to reassert itself on the world stage as a full- throated advocate for the fragile ideal of democracy. It would be refreshing to have a conversation about what kind of modern state we want to be. It would also benefit our country to imagine what a leader’s contract to the nation should embody, and the background that individual has (one based on merit not privilege.) This all comes at a pertinent time, with the county questioning itself after years of upheaval through Brexit and a global pandemic. Now is the time to lay out the evolution our democracy requires: to think seriously about replacing the monarchy with a dynamic future-facing system – an elected head of state can provide what our modern democracy needs.

Will Allen is a second-year PPL student from Oxford, UK.

March 2022


IMAGE: Unsplash/ Mark De Jong (left image) and Unsplash/ Emily Wang (right image)


SUPPORTING THE STUDENT VOICE IN PAIS In PAIS we value your feedback; we know this is a challenging time and we want to do all we can to support you to succeed. Based on your ideas, we have put together an exciting agenda of events, activities and opportunities this term and beyond - please check our emails, social media and webpages for more details.

Academic Support Academic support for students is a top priority in PAIS so please: - Sign up for our Virtual Common Room chats on a range of topics including essay writing, wellbeing and the liberated curriculum. - Benefit from our online workshops on essay writing for second years and finalists - Benefit from our online workshops on preparing for your online open book exams.

Study Choices In response to your feedback, we have put together detailed online guides on making your study choices, including which modules to take, which assessment methods to choose and advice on applying for postgraduate study.

Student Voice We want to hear from you and have a number of opportunities for you to feed-back on your course throughout the year including via your Course Reps and our end-of-year module evaluation surveys. There is also the National Student Survey (NSS) which will open for finalists on Monday, 8th February we would love you to complete it!

Employability Series Following your feedback, we are running an Employability Series with a number of exciting speakers from a range of careers speaking at events this term. Details will be shared shortly.

Events and Seminar Series Embed yourself in the PAIS research culture and attend our Wednesday Research Seminar Series which is open to all PAIS staff and students. Finalists are also encouraged to join the Burning Issues: Geopolitics Today MA lecture series which focuses on contemporary world politics. Follow Us on Social Media to find our more: