The Importance of Memory in Shaping East Asian Relations

The Memorial to the Nanjing Massacre, Nanjing, China. Photo: Cornelius Kibelka via Flickr.

Criticising the realist lens of analysis in IR seems akin to beating a dead horse. Many theorists of international relations (IR) have given countless reasons that a purely realist lens of analysis is flawed. Yet although they reject political realism in the abstract, many theorists will return to it when analysing countries that are less… Continue Reading ➤

I hate to admit it but, on Russia, Boris is right

Photo: Kiril Konstantinov (EU2018BG) via Flickr

Boris Johnson is not an enigma, he is an anachronism. A throwback to a time when floppy-haired Etonians with names like Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson (Boris’ friends and family know him as Al) presided over the Foreign Office as though it were their own personal fiefdom. A stopped clock is right twice a day but… Continue Reading ➤

Putin Crafts Spectacle for Re-election Landslide

Source: Wikimedia commons

It is election day in Russia and the country’s incumbent president, Vladimir Putin, has his victory in the bag. The impending 2018-2024 term is expected to be Putin’s fourth in power, since the former KGB agent, once deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, relieved a widely unpopular Boris Yeltsin of the presidential sceptre in 2000. Nevertheless,… Continue Reading ➤

Mexico’s digital future: moving beyond technological determinism

Source: Pixabay

On the 31st of March 2018, phase 1 of Mexico’s new wholesale mobile network, Red Compartida (Shared Network), will launch. There are big expectations for this project, expected to cover 95% of Mexico’s vast territory: it will bring cheap, reliable data to millions (along with all the digital products and services this will facilitate) by… Continue Reading ➤

FEMEN’s Inna Shevchenko: We took our bodies and made them into instruments of feminism

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Tucked away in plain sight just walking distance from Saint-Germain-des-Prés stands the cosy, mahogany-kissed Café Bonaparte. Just like its immediate vicinity – once the nucleus of French intellectual thought, frequented regularly by the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway, and, in distant, former times, grand Encyclopédistes such as Voltaire – the café… Continue Reading ➤

Legal Weed: A Green Dawn in the Golden State

A Dispensary in Montréal. Photo: Flickr

Less than three years ago, Jerry Brown, the Governor of California stated his opposition to cannabis legalization by questioning if it possible to have a great state while it’s inhabitants are “getting stoned”. However, just like David Cameron, he was forced to acknowledge that public opinion was against him when on November 8, 2016, Proposition… Continue Reading ➤

Storm in a Samovar: The Unlikely Wonders of Russian Revolutionary Porcelain

Plate with Suprematist Composition by Kasimir Malevich, (1923). Photo © The Petr Aven Collection.

Pyotr Aven, whose porcelain formed part of an acclaimed exhibition at the Royal Academy last year, came to Cambridge last month to speak about his collection publicly for the first time.  Of all the words in the English language that have ever been paired with ‘revolutionary’, it is hard to think of one more deadeningly prosaic than… Continue Reading ➤

Have we finally run out of luck?

Source: Jerry Cummins

Human existence is frustratingly and sometimes terrifyingly arbitrary. Society seems to change chaotically. Nature throws us major curve balls all-too-often, with tsunamis, floods and earthquakes causing utter devastation and loss of life with little or no warning. The world can be a scarily unpredictable place, and for many people, the point of politics is to… Continue Reading ➤

Inequality in resilience to environmental shocks: now more important than ever?

Freetown, Sierra Leone, after a landslide in August 2017 which left  1,141 dead or missing. 
Source: Flickr

Although natural disasters strike indiscriminately, the extent of the damage caused is anything but random. Similar events still produce disparate levels of destruction according to the development of the affected country, and as is the case with many global tragedies, the countries worst affected tend to be those that are least developed. Natural disasters are… Continue Reading ➤

Germany’s Dilemma: The Disastrous 2017 Election & Its Consequences

Merkel in 2017. Photo: EU2017EE via Flickr.

Four months after the 2017 federal election, when Germany finally formed a government through a coalition of Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU and Martin Schulz’s SPD, the nation breathed a sigh of relief. The election season had been gruelling. But despite the resolution of its electoral crisis, Germany, once seen as the ever-constant giant holding together… Continue Reading ➤