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Politics 23/10/2017 – Who Has a Right to Belong?

88 News Image by European Commission DG ECHO Being stateless is a very precarious and dangerous situation to be in. A stateless person is not a member of any of the two hundred or so states that exist today. Since states are responsible for protecting and providing for their members, to be stateless is to find oneself without all the things that states provide. There are a number of ways in which people become stateless. It can happen at an individual level. A person might want to move from state A to state B. State B says: give up...

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Politics 23/10/2017 – Cyber Weapons as a Game Changer: A Critical Reflection

88 News Image by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann Cyber weapons are a game changer. At least, that is the case if we take at face value Marty Edwards’ – head of the control systems security program for the US Department of Homeland Security – assertions regarding Stuxnet. It is certainly true that cyber weapons are a new weapon in the arsenals of militaries around the globe and that they represent innovative, some might say exciting, opportunities for exploiting the cyber dimension for warfare purposes. This piece will critically reflect on the characteristics of cyber weapons and the nature of war to...

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Politics 23/10/2017 – Infrastructure and Contemporary Security

88 News Image by Jeremy Brooks Life in the urban age is underpinned by infrastructure: cables, wires, pipes, rails, roads and so on. As the connective tissue of the city, infrastructure was a defining feature of urban modernity. In the contemporary era, as the city is eroded as a meaningful unit of analysis, it is infrastructure (or the lack of it) that defines urban life. However, infrastructure is often not the explicit object of public debate – particularly because it is made up of things that are inanimate, often invisible or out of sight, and largely opaque due to...

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Politics 23/10/2017 – Transforming IR Education in Japan

88 News Image by Nguyen Hung Vu In recent years scholars have started to consider alternative approaches to the study of International Relations (IR). For example, the concept of “Global IR” was introduced at the International Studies Association (ISA), aiming to go “beyond its hitherto American and Western dominance” and call for “a universal, inclusive discipline”. Tickner and Wæver’s (2009) book on International Relations Scholarship Around the World adds to this trend. Japan is no exception. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) proposed in May 2013 the “Super Global” Universities (SGU) project, in addition...

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Politics 23/10/2017 – ‘Warm Bodies’: A ZomRomCom Discourse on Counterinsurgency

88 News Image by Jamie McCaffrey This piece analyses the zombie film Warm Bodies (2013), in which a romance between two members of clashing cultures — human and zombie — serves as a cultural representation of the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency strategies in the Middle East. According to Raphael S. Cohen, counterinsurgency is a “competition with the insurgent for the right to win the hearts, minds, and acquiescence of the population,” and has traditionally been recognized to require precise military action to eradicate the insurgents and a softer approach to influence the transformable local population, including economic support, reconstruction, propaganda,...

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