Iraqi alcohol ban: eradication of secularism

By Shuting Xia, on 22 January 2017

Written by Zeidon A. Alkinani

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In every period of time, to maintain the dominance and influence of the ruling elite, Iraq has witnessed the suppression of a certain group. Common examples would include the Ba’athists’ repression towards the Iraqi Communist Party following their coup against the first Prime Minister of the Iraqi republic, Abd al-Karim Qasim in 1963, and the Shiite-led governmental De-Ba’athification following the 2003 United States-led invasion of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital creep

By Shuting Xia, on 14 January 2017

Written by Ahmed Elgen

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Whilst we in the U.K. have been gripped by tumultuous events both at home and abroad, important changes to the way we live have almost gone unnoticed. The boundaries of the Internet are shifting. The last 26 years since the invention of the World Wide Web has allowed users unprecedented (or rather unpresidented) freedom to explore and roam the pastures of the digital world. The shifting sands of time are moving us away from this blissful, innocent beginning, towards the overwatch of the state; the annexation of the digital realm has begun.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fifty years since the Abortion Act- why are Northern Irish women still having to fight?

By Shuting Xia, on 29 December 2016

Written by Kate Regan

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In August 2015 the High Court in Belfast held that the abortion laws of Northern Ireland were incompatible with section 4 (2) of the Human Rights Act and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which attest to the rights to private and family life. This declaration of incompatibility was the long awaited public assertion that so many had been waiting for: recognition that current abortion legislation in Northern Ireland serves to violate the fundamental rights of the women who live there. The ruling (in a case brought forward by 25-year-old Sarah Ewart) signalled something fundamental – not only for the several hundred women (less prudent estimates suggest double that figure) who travel to the UK mainland every year to avail of a legal termination, but for all Northern Irish women by opening the door to real and meaningful change on this issue. Read the rest of this entry »

Global environmental politics: Shortcomings of current efforts and the underlying reasons why disturbing trends persist

By Simone R Nielsen, on 16 December 2016

Written by Sabin Selimi

 Image courtesy of the UNFCCC, via Flickr

Image courtesy of the UNFCCC, via Flickr

The global biosphere acts as a single system, where environmental degradation and other environmental impacts of each country affect the whole: it is not enough to limit our environmental governance to the state level only. Such a single system makes a coordinated response from a group of countries a necessity for reversing the current global environmental decline. Global environmental governance (GEG) is a concept in environmental policy that advocates sustainable development as the supreme consideration for managing all human activity. GEG challenges are substantial. It is important to note that to find consensus among countries in the international arena about what sustainable development means – how to finance such sustainable development and what institutions and international laws are required to do in response to environmental issues – is an urgent task.

The interconnectedness of the global environment and the interdependence of countries are beyond dispute. A common action is essential to protect the environment and climate, to manage its marine resources and preserve biodiversity. The need for a coherent GEG is clear, but constructing such governance in the face of many competing national interests has proven to be difficult.

The difficulty of constructing GEG is made greater as the current international system of environmental governance is in complete anarchy with no central authority to control and craft strong environmental protections at the global level. This system consists of three components. One component is a collection of intergovernmental organisations such as the Read the rest of this entry »

Yemen – a critical juncture

By Simone R Nielsen, on 14 December 2016

Written by Ella Bowie

Photocredit: Global Journalist/Asmaa Waguih

Photocredit: Global Journalist/Asmaa Waguih

Resolution to the conflict in Yemen appears unlikely. The future President of the United States, Donald Trump, will play a decisive role in the trajectory of this conflict. However, he and his cabinet must act carefully.

As the international community tries to make sense of a turbulent global political climate, the war in Yemen continues; quietly, lethally and without an end in sight. The Saudi-led campaign against the Houthi rebels to reinstate President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi appears futile, while the absence of a clear leader in the country has led to societal neglect, triggering a humanitarian crisis. 14 million citizens are in need of food aid. 11,400 are reported dead. Settlement appears unlikely. Political leaders and the wider international community are at a critical point in this conflict, and inaction is not an option.

Nonetheless, a silence surrounds Yemen. The UN along with US Secretary of State John Kerry have argued that progress must be made, however there is little consensus as to how to proceed. Upon taking office, President-elect Trump must act considerately and decisively to halt what Human Rights Watch have described as “war crimes”, committed by Saudi and coalition forces.

Unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest that Mr Trump has a Read the rest of this entry »


By Shuting Xia, on 6 December 2016

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IPPR is very excited to announce the launch of its very own photography competition! In the lead up to the journal, IPPR is running a competition with calls from any and all SPP students to submit a photograph of their choice in conjunction with the theme of this year’s publication – Borders and Boundaries.

Here at IPPR we value a personal interpretation of the theme and would like to encourage our internationally diverse students to capture their experiences over the holidays and return to us with their depictions of the world at frontier.

The deadline for this is 12pm on 3 February 2017 (Term 2, week 4). The top three photos will be published in this year’s journal, with first place receiving a special prize. Many of the remaining photos will be displayed as part of a visual mini-series on our online blog. The results will be announced the following week, on 10 February 2017.

Please send all submissions and queries to IPPR’s Head of Editorial at and/or the Deputy Head of Editorial at . Each photo submission must have been taken by the applicant. Along with your submission, please remember to include a short description of the photo, including the context, date and location of the shot.

Good luck!

IPPR Editorial Team