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International Politics Security

The International Law of War and Russia’s ‘Special Military Operation’

Moscow has refused to call its actions in Ukraine a ‘war’, instead suggesting that it is simply conducting a ‘special military operation’. Such an unyielding position is inherently steeped in the international law of warfare. By refusing to issue an official Declaration of War against Kyiv, the Kremlin is cherry-picking jus ad bellum norms in order to paint its actions as a “[humanitarian] intervention by invitation”, feeding into its perception of Ukraine as an unviable state, whilst also seeking to avert a myriad of unfavourable domestic implications which would be triggered by a State of War.

North America Politics Security

Opinion: The Attempted Assassination of Brett Kavanaugh and Far-Left Extremism

This article, following this author’s analysis on far-right extremist violence, examines and analyzes the recent uptick in political extremist violence in the United States. The recent thwarted assassination attempt on US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh shines a spotlight on far-left extremism, a security issue long-neglected by US authorities. While it is much less deadly than either jihadism or far-right extremism, far-left violence is very real: multiple “lone-wolf” extremists inspired by anti-government sentiment have committed acts of violence in the past five years, while far-left extremist organizations have repeatedly exploited peaceful protests to wreak revolutionary havoc. Sharpening political tensions in the US – largely stemming from the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the coming midterm elections – mean further acts of far-left violence are increasingly likely. 

China Debate Corner Politics

Opinion: A Review of Bill Hayton’s latest book, “Invention of China”

An in-depth review of Bill Hayton’s latest book, “Invention of China” stands out as an accessible and expertly crafted examination of the origin of modern Chinese political thought.

North America Politics

“Our Tradition is Revolution”: Patriot Front and the Future of Far-Right Extremism

The restructuring of the U.S.’s far right landscape over recent years has resulted in the rise of a chimera-like extremist organization: Patriot Front. Eschewing both centrally directed violence and the pitfalls of other far-right groups, Patriot Front seeks to repackage its fascist beliefs in a way that appeals to a broader swath of the discontented right wing. Patriot Front’s focus on more subtle right-wing iconography,“big-tent” fascism, and explicitly appealing to young males suggest that this group will persist where others have failed, in building a far-right movement for the next generation. 

Latin America Politics

Colombia’s Democracy Under Threat? Legislative Elections End in Chaos

Colombia’s governing right was defeated in March’s legislative elections. However, significant discrepancies between the preliminary and the final vote count have led to  allegations of fraud and calls for a nation-wide recount. Ahead of crucial presidential elections this month, this crisis is likely to foster further distrust and popular disenchantment with Colombian politicians and the state more generally.

Latin America Politics

A Major Shift? The Significance of Colombia’s Upcoming Presidential Election

The results of Colombia’s 13th March presidential primary elections have shed light on who the leading candidates are for the country’s approaching presidential election on 29th May. Leader of the Historic Pact (Pacto Histórico) coalition and ex-guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro stood out among his competitors by receiving 3 million votes, the largest number of votes received by any candidate during the primaries. Federico Gutiérrez, former mayor of Medellín, emerged as his closest competitor, netting around 1.4 million votes.

Insights Latin America Politics

Opinion: Colombia’s Violent Start to 2022: A Key Electoral Cycle

The New Year has not had a happy start for many Colombians: An already alarming security situation is currently escalating into new record levels of violence in several parts of the country. Although the perpetrators vary regionally, the main affected are the same: the civilian population in general, and social leaders and human rights defenders in particular. In addition to the weak response of the Colombian state so far, observers expect a further deterioration linked to the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. 

Debate Corner Europe Politics

Does Scotland Need the EU?

Scottish independence is trusted back into the spotlight after the Brexit referendum, and EU membership is key to that dream. However, Britain does not oppose Scottish independence alone, as Scotland leaving the UK and joining the EU helps Catalonia argue for their own independence from Spain.

Europe Politics

Opinion: Leveling Up Britain: Long-awaited White Paper Details Promised Post-Brexit Economic Policy

In the first week of February 2022, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published a long-awaited White Paper. The White Paper details a series of promised policies espoused by the Conservative Party aimed at helping grow the UK’s economy, while balancing regional inequalities.

Europe Insights Politics

Italy’s Presidential Election: What Comes Next?

On 29 January 2022, after eight rounds of voting, Italy re-elected Sergio Mattarella as President of the Republic. To many, this result came as a surprise, because Mattarella himself had clearly expressed his intention to step down based on moral grounds: while not expressly forbidden by the Constitution, the re-election of an incumbent head of state should be avoided–as then President Antonio Segni put it in a speech delivered in 1963 and recently cited by Mattarella–because the sheer possibility of it may create incentives for the incumbent to engage in acts meant to favor his or her re-election, de facto calling into question the impartiality of the President.