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Afghanistan’s Incompetent Army

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Dire leadership, poor education and corruption: the Afghan army is performing poorly By Cameron Chippindale When NATO formally ended its combat operations in Afghanistan on December 28th 2014, few observers were deluded enough to have high hopes for the independent performance of the Afghan National Army (ANA). This pessimism was shared by the U.S military which began to prepare for this day as early as in November 2012. For all those…

Division Will Prevail in Northern Ireland

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Unionists losing majority at Stormont will not bring a new unity to the population By Alan Locke Seismic change is happening in Northern Ireland. On 3rd March, for the first time since its formation in 1925, Nationalist (pro-Irish reunification) parties have a majority at Stormont, where Unionists (pro-Union with the UK) had held the reins of power in Northern Ireland since the first elections were held in 1921. One may…

Against Capital Punishment

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Reject state-sanctioned murder, even if we accept individual responsibility By Eponine Howarth On December 2nd 2016, Nie Shubin was declared not guilty by the Supreme People’s Court, in Liaoning Province, China. It replaced the first verdict from 1995 which had judged the twenty-one-year-old guilty of rape and murder. Twenty one years after his execution, Nie Shubin was acquitted. His father, Zhang Huanzhi, at the announcement, collapsed into sobs shouting: “My son,…

Tensions Between Russia and the Baltic states

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Invasion by the superpower is a realistic threat from President Putin By Cameron Chippindale Many commentators on post-cold war rivalries denounce the idea of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States as a preposterous fantasy of paranoid Russia-watchers. This is not so. Russia invaded and annexed Crimea and holds sway over the rebels now running parts of Eastern Ukraine. These are rebels it has supplied with the cutting edge of Russian…

Is Macron a Competitive Candidate?

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By Yllka Krasniqi French presidential candidate poses an option for voters dissatisfied with the left and the right Macron, the former Minister of Economy and finance under President Hollande, is running as a candidate in the French presidential elections for his new party, “En Marche!” (Moving On!) The 39-year old politician has presented an option for those in France who are dissatisfied with both the left and the right. Positioning…

Obama’s Drone War: A Review

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by Cameron Chippindale The controversial foreign policy has been a mix of success and failure In early 2009 the newly inaugurated President Obama gave the order to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to dramatically increase the scale of America’s drone warfare programme in Pakistan. What had once been a limited and sporadic programme under Bush became the infamous “unblinking eye”, a vast fleet of merciless predator drones humming almost constantly…

The Long Read: Why I’m Leaving the LSE

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By Aiden Singh It is the main organ of the human nervous system. It regulates our sleep patterns, produces our vision, and ensures the proper functioning of our vital organs. And, most importantly to social scientists, it is responsible for our decision-making and social interactions. Yet the human brain – the organ that is ultimately responsible for the development of organised government, the market mechanism, and our legal systems –…

Ending the Moroccan Conflict 

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The Fractured Republic: Renewing the American Social Contract in the Age of Individualism

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By Preslav Tonkov In his treatise, The Politics, Aristotle laid the foundations for modern political science by suggesting that “man is by nature a political animal”. The essence of Aristotle’s argument is that we cannot live outside of society because we are naturally sociable creatures, and that we will always strive to live under a form of polity along with others. In modern times, the most enduring form of polity…

Corbyn Blamed as Labour Loses Crucial Copeland Byelection to the Tories

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By Oliver Wheeler The Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership took a big hit on Thursday when Labour lost Copeland constituency in Cumbria, a seat the party has held since its creation 85 years ago, to the Conservatives: the first instance since 1982 (when the newly formed SDP split the vote on the left in Mitcham & Morden) that the opposition has lost a byelection to the government. Labour managed…