Debates: Politics

14 Apr 2014

John Atta Mills the President of Ghana died suddenly on the 24th July 2012. Or at least it appeared sudden to Ghanaians at the time. In fact he had been suffering from throat cancer for some time but his administration had not been open about his health. Serious questions had already...

3 Apr 2014

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) won the Nobel prize for peace on the 11th October 2013 “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”. The Nobel prize committee argued “Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have...

31 Mar 2014

Cluster bombs are weapons that were first developed by the Germans for use in World War 2 and are weapons that have seen continued use in subsequent conflicts such as Vietnam and the first Gulf War. Cluster bombs are usually dropped from planes, when they hit the ground the impact causes the...

28 Mar 2014

Lesotho is a small country of just over 30,355 km2 (12,727 sq. mi) in size with a population slightly over two million which is landlocked and completely surrounded by South Africa, a much bigger country 40 times the size and 26 times its population. This unusual situation of a country having no...

24 Mar 2014

Crimea will on the 16th have a referendum on whether the region should join Russia. It is almost certain that the people will ratify the decision of the Crimean Parliament that they want to be a region of Russia not Ukraine. Ukraine has maintained that such a referendum is illegal so...

18 Mar 2014

On the 27th February 2014 soldiers seized the Crimean Parliament. They did not have insignia but raised a Russian flag above the building.[1] The Crimean Parliament then voted to dissolve the regional government and elected a new pro-...

18 Mar 2014

 

Russia has long seen the post-soviet space, the countries of the former USSR, as its special sphere of interest. It has been willing to engage in military adventures within the region. In response to the latest such adventure, in Crimea launched at the end of February 2014...

11 Mar 2014

The methods that law enforcement agents traditionally use to identify dangerous individuals in public locations involve observation of behaviour and the use of knowledge gained in previous investigations. Officials may even institute random checks in particularly high risk situations. Customs...

6 Mar 2014

The figure of Lenin as the father of modern Russia and that of Stalin as the strong leader par excellence have remained an important part of the Russian identity and its vision of leadership. A nation that spreads over a territory of 1 million square miles with a diverse historical background...

6 Mar 2014

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was founded in 1949 as a political and military alliance binding western European democracies such as Britain and France together with the USA and Canada. It was intended to defend Europe against Soviet communism, which in response built the Warsaw Pact as...

4 Mar 2014

What would Africa look like if women rose to positions of power in politics? How would ‘African governance’ change if women were included within governing bodies? Should quotas for including women be drawn up, and legally set, for all African nations?

When discussing women in...

3 Mar 2014

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, is a military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty. It was founded in 1949 by twelve Allied countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France, originally with the intention to provide collective security for Europe...

21 Feb 2014

What started as a simple protest in February 2011 gained momentum to be one of the most crucial revolutions that attracted the world’s attention. On 16 Feb 2011 in the Libyan city of Benghazi, 200 protesters came to the streets to show support of human rights activist Farthi Terbil...

20 Feb 2014

The United Kingdom held its first national referendum, or direct-democracy vote, in 1975. This vote confirmed UK membership of the European Economic Community (EEC). Since 1975, the EEC has evolved into the European Union (EU), a political as well as economic coalition of countries that...

12 Feb 2014

What is internet governance?

There’s a narrow definition and a broad definition.[1] The narrow definition solely sees the Internet as a technical thing that needs to be programmed and managed: who gets to set domain names, et...

12 Feb 2014

In recent years, there has been much discussion regarding the concept of a European Defence Force (sometimes referred to as the “Euro Corps” or EDF). Such a standing armed force would be drawn from EU member-nations and operate under EU control, in contrast to the existing NATO grouping which...

12 Feb 2014

With the Lisbon Treaty reforms, the EU has sought, amongst other things, to strengthen and to streamline its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and to develop further its Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). As part of this, the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign...

4 Feb 2014

A fundamental point within Acemoglu and Robinson’s (2013) Why Nations Fail is that the prosperity of a nation relies upon an effective power structure. Political institutions need to be democratic, reasonably centralised, accountable, and inclusive, for prosperity to be found and...

24 Jan 2014

Eritrea is a small nation state on the coast of the Red Sea with a history of past struggles. A former colony of Italy, its annexation by Ethiopia via the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3901 following the Second World War led to a thirty year armed struggle for...

23 Jan 2014

In October it was revealed that the United States’ National Security Agency had bugged German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone calls and had been spying on her since 2002[1] – long before she became chancellor in 2005. Although...

16 Jan 2014

Ariel Sharon, who was prime minister of Israel from 2001 to 2006, died on the 11th of January 2014, after eight years in a persistent vegetative state due to a massive stroke. Sharon, who held positions in Israeli governance since 1981, was a highly important figure – but also a...

13 Jan 2014

Africa has been plagued by conflict in the second half of the 20th century and the start of the 21st. 65% of states in Sub-Saharan Africa have experienced an armed conflict since independence with the number of conflicts rising from only one in 1964 to a height of eighteen...

10 Jan 2014

France sent 2000 soldiers, a rapid increase from an initial 550, backed by helicopter gunships and fighter jets to the West African country of Mali.[1] The troops weee being sent both to secure the capital, Bamako, and to the front lines in a fight...

10 Jan 2014

On 18 July 1998, the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court was signed. Pursuant to several decades of drafting and negotiation, the conference at Rome settled the creation of a court with jurisdiction over the most heinous crimes ; namely, genocide, crimes against humanity,...

3 Jan 2014

A cyber attack is an attack on computer based systems to sabotage them or to spy on others, through such means as viruses, hacking, denial-of-service attacks (i.e. DoS - making the network resource or machine unavailable for its intended users), and others [1][2]. Large scale cyber attacks can...

20 Dec 2013

Mercenaries, or dogs of war as they are popularly known, are defined by the UN as combatants who are ‘motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a party to the conflict, material compensation’...

17 Dec 2013

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission[1] held that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects freedom of speech, prohibited the government from putting restrictions on independent...

6 Dec 2013

On the 30th June 2012, Egypt welcomed its first democratically elected government and first elected President; Mohamed Morsi. Their election was the result of months of protest against the previous President Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled over the country for the past thirty years....

6 Dec 2013

Truth and reconciliation commissions use the principles of restorative justice and alternative dispute resolution to help post conflict states recover from pasts characterised by politically motivated crimes and human rights abuses.

The best known contemporary example of this process is...

28 Nov 2013

On Thursday 18 September 2014 people in Scotland will vote on the question 'Should Scotland be an independent country'.[1] What Scotland's relationship with Europe will be in one, five or ten years after the referendum is unclear.

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