January 2016 has been a tumultuous month in international politics. For starters, as David Cameron’s renegotiation of Britain’s EU membership has developed, it looks increasingly uncertain as to whether the “essay crisis” Prime Minister’s gamble will pay off. It is eminently possible that 2016 will go down in history as the year of Brexit – with all of its likely economic and geopolitical consequences. Look out next month for the Globalist’s series of articles, interviews and podcasts on this issue – showcasing an array of analytical insights from various viewpoints.
Yet there is an even bigger question hanging over Europe than that of Brexit: the migration crisis. The Cambridge Globalist has no editorial line on this issue, or any others – and we are an open platform for strong, thoughtful analytical writing from any angle on this and all topics. But certainly, in the broader media, debate on the migrant crisis has been emotional and polarised. Our first Editors’ Pick offers a novel take on the issue. In ‘Equality Before the Law’: The New Cultural Imperialism‘, our new Perspectives Editor, Sam Bird, argues that far from being repelled from the coasts of the continent, migrants should be treated as ‘new Europeans’. For many the spate of sex attacks in Germany and Sweden has problematised the issue and led to a marked decline in support for welcoming migrants from the Middle East. However, Sam asserts that the key is not prosecution and deportation, but rather the “education, education, education” of Middle Eastern migrants with liberal values.
Present this month, as always, is the global crisis of climate change. The dust has settled on the Paris climate change agreement, and in our second Editors’ Pick, our new International Politics Editor Eleanor Deeley argues that, for the most part, the deal is “a lot of hot air”. The agreement constitutes “an undeniable leap forward in climate change negotiations”. But the commitments are not enough “to halt large scale environmental change by the end of the century and to protect the world’s most vulnerable” – especially in light of the lack of legally binding targets for cutting emissions.
The issue of climate change foregrounds the fact that progress is by no means an exclusively positive concept. Industrialisation across the globe has led to vast increases in living standards – but at a terrifying ecological cost. In a magnificent piece of photojournalism, our third and final Editors’ Pick uses visual media to tackle the ambivalence of progress head-on. Peter Sutoris’ ‘Remembering Progress’ uses a camera to capture the “contradictions reflected in frozen moments”. Perhaps his most striking image comes from Hanover, New Hampshire in 2009, just a few months after Barack Obama’s inauguration. A gigantic, shiny new Ford van squats in front of ancient TV set, on the ground of a dusty old drive in front of someone’s garage. This simple image shows how telling the seemingly mundane can be. The resplendence of the massive van shows just what vast progress has been made in neoliberal America – at the same time as there are vast swathes of the enraged, left behind by the country’s politico-economic framework.
With the US Presidential elections in November, 2016 will go down in history as the year we see the potency or the limits of the rage of the America left behind.
Others you may have missed this month
Editorial: Monkey see, monkey do: Welcome 2016
God save Corbyn? Why the left needs religion
A new dawn for an old party? Post-election politics in Tanzania
Britain’s housing crisis: What George Osbourne isn’t telling us
Malcolm Turnbull: a fraud, or Australia’s new hope?
Globalising innovation: How developing countries can be competitive in a tech-driven world
Christine van Hooft
China’s economy: The great leap backward?
The junior doctors’ strike: Your money or your life
“Equality before the law” : The new cultural imperialism
Science & Tech
India – No longer the pharmacy of the developing world?
Universal basic income: What if robots make all the sandwiches?
Does test match cricket have a viable future?