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HRH The Queen meets deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at private audience in Hillsborough Castle this evening.
Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Martin McGuinness and the Not So Uncommon Transition From Terrorist to Statesman

With the death of Martin McGuinness, the former Provisional IRA senior commander  turned peace-maker and Deputy First Minister, one is struck that such a transition was simultaneously, impressive and outrageous. I had the opportunity of meeting McGuinness last January when I interviewed him. I was struck by his warmth and generosity in taking time out […]

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Posted in Conflict, Europe, Security Issues, Terrorism, UK News, World0 Comments

Image by the Prime Minister's Office.

In Retreat

  Brexit, Donald Trump and the growing nationalism wave sweeping across the Western world represent a new political backlash against globalisation, which might seriously threaten the world liberal economic order and global security. In her much-anticipated speech on 17 January, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced her plans for a “Hard Brexit”, which will end […]

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Posted in Europe, Global Economy, US, World0 Comments

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In Defence of Belgian Counterterror Policy

On March 22nd 2016 the two consecutive bombings at the Brussels’ Zaventem airport and the Maalbeek metro station brought Belgian counterterrorism policy under heavy scrutiny. With the Paris attacks foreshadowing an impending threat, the Belgian security alert had been raised to critical levels since November 2015. Yet in spite of warnings from numerous countries, the […]

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Posted in Europe, European Union, Security Issues, Terrorism, World0 Comments

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Trump, the CIA, and the Historical Fallacy

Image courtesy of Michael Vadon. Donald Trump is correct: The American intelligence community misled us about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. So that means it’s also mistaken about Russian cyberattacks on the United States. Right? Wrong. On New Year’s Eve, Trump called the Central Intelligence Agency’s claims about WMD a “disaster”—his signature slur—and implied […]

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Posted in Russia, US, World0 Comments

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The Strength of the Bear: Russia in a Post-Cold War Context

  On the cusp of a war in which millions lost their lives, borders shifted and modern warfare was revolutionized, Winston Churchill made an observation of Russia: “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” For decades, Russia has fascinated […]

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Posted in Russia, Syria, World0 Comments

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Enemies of Expression in Istanbul

Turkey has a history of strict censorship which still remains a prominent issue in modern day Istanbul and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Media censorship is at an all time high with 140 press censorship cases already known in the country, newspapers have been shut down and journalists imprisoned. Now censorship is spreading to the […]

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Posted in Culture, Europe, Middle East, Political Security, Turkey, World

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Serious Games: Crisis and Russian Athletics

Due to the International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) June 17th decision to maintain the suspension of the All-Russian Athletic Federation (ARAF), Russian track and field athletes will be largely ineligible for competition in the 2016 Olympic Games. Due to contrasting statements by the IAAF and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on June 21st, however, there reportedly remains […]

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Posted in Europe, Russia, World

Image by Lawrence OP

Scotland’s Renewed Route to Independence

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is certain to have far reaching consequences both domestically and internationally. Dominating early headlines is the idea that this decision could lead to the fragmentation of the UK as geographic divisions have been thrown into sharp relief. With Northern Ireland and Scotland both voting to remain – Scotland […]

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Posted in Europe, European Union, Global Economy, Scottish Independence, UK News, World

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From Brexit to Breakup: a Scottish View on the EU Referendum

CC Image courtesy of Rareclass This piece was also published in Huffington Post on 23rd June 2016 Something we in Scotland learned the hard way in 2014 is that referendum questions are dangerous because they make both choices on the ballot paper seem equally plausible. By giving the people a choice we somehow assume that […]

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Posted in Europe, European Union, Germany, Global Economy, Refugees, Scottish Independence, UK News, World

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Britain’s EU Referendum Demonstrates the Volatility of Populist Politics. Is the US Listening?

In trying to puzzle through the populism animating the right and left after the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2015 European migrant crisis, we can draw a worrying parallel between the UK referenda and social and economic populism in the US. As in the US presidential race, the UK’s Remain/Leave debate is complex: it […]

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Posted in Europe, UK News, US, World

Image by Abegum

The ‘Pure Wind’ of the Leave Campaign Shows Contempt for UK Voters

George Orwell famously wrote that “Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Having lived through the Scottish independence referendum, it is hard to believe that less than two years on from that experience the people of the UK are […]

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Posted in Europe, European Union, UK News, World

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The Renaissance of Right-Wing Populism – Learning from the Case of Austria

Many parts of Europe currently face a renaissance of the xenophobic political right. Thus, it is certainly no coincidence that in a recent issue of the “New Statesman” Rowan Williams reminds us that “the toxic brew of paranoia and populism that brought Hitler to power” may not be so far away from liberal democracies as […]

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Posted in Europe, European Union, World

Image by European Parliament

The EU: Democratise or Disintegrate

On 9th February 2016, Yanis Varoufakis, the unofficial leader of the ‘Democracy in Europe Movement 2025’, and a coalition of activists gathered together in Berlin to launch the ‘DiEM25’ manifesto.  They declared: ‘The EU will be democratised. Or it will disintegrate!’ The former Greek finance minister believes the European Union to be a beautiful conception, […]

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Posted in Europe, European Union, World

Secure fencing surrounds the Detention Center on Christmas Island, Australia. In 2015 some 150 male asylum seekers to Australia were being held here.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: On the History and Legality of Detention Centres

It’s official: Australia’s “Stop the Boats” campaign is a success. Or so the government claims. Back in 2013, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott ascended to his post in part because of his pledge to “stop the boats,” or, in less catchy rhetoric, to prevent asylum seekers – mostly arriving by sea from the Middle East […]

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Posted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Conflict, Europe, Iran, Political Security, Refugees, Syria, UN, World

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