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Politics 23/10/2017 – Iranian Influence & Advancement in Iraq

88 News Image by Hamed Saber The Middle East is not a region known for peace and stability. However, the level of instability and violence that it is currently experiencing is a new phenomenon. In the post Saddam Hussein world, Iraq has experienced unprecedented levels of chaos and disorder. This has provided a fertile environment for non-state actors, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), to rise and take advantage of the volatile socio-political landscape. This terrorist organization has been able to successfully utilize the weaknesses of this region to advance its own agenda and substantially...

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Politics 23/10/2017 – Who Matters in World Politics?

88 News Image by Jeanne Menj Black lives matter. We have been tweeting for a year. Race isn’t real, I tell my students. I cite the genetic evidence. West Africans are closely related to Europeans. I lie. …. you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of...

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Politics 23/10/2017 – Why Understanding Religion Matters in Post-conflict Zones

88 News Image by Ben Sutherland The Catholic Church runs 5,435 hospitals around the world, a figure not far from the number of registered hospitals throughout the United States of 5,686. In a 2011 survey in Afghanistan 74% ranked religious leaders as one of the three most trusted institutions and 25% went to religious leaders to solve land disputes. These are some of the many statistics that show the extent of the resources and legitimacy of religious institutions in developing countries. For those interested in looking to local communities and indigenous groups to lead their country’s peacebuilding and development...

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Politics 23/10/2017 – Sacred Cows and the Idea of Political Economy in Southern Africa

88 News Image by Damien du Toit “Hands up all those who remember Political Economy?” “Mmmm…not many it seems.” This fictional exchange on an idea that once was at the centre of conversations over the liberation of southern Africa, says much about the ways in which the vocabulary of politics has changed over a decade. It illustrates that keywords and key-phrases are not stable: the word freedom, for instance, has been colonised by the notion of the “free” market, just as political economy has been by eroded by new thinking on the relationship between politics and economics. These shifts...

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Politics 23/10/2017 – Going to University, or Not?

88 News Image by Fred Dawson August is a big month for school leavers in the UK (and in a lot of other places). Students get their A-level results (or similar) and then almost half of them embark onto a university degree. This is a very exciting time for those students, but also one that often leaves them disoriented. Going to university has become something of a dominant process in UK schools. The application cycle opens in the early Autumn – with final year students making their initial enquiries and attending open days often a year or more before...

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