The effectiveness of United Nations Peacekeeping (UNPK) has been debated over the course of its 70-year history. Peacekeepers have shown that they are resilient among crises and adaptable in the 21st century’s ever-changing landscape. This article explores the historical context of United Nations Peacekeeping, from its foundation to the contemporary era, specifically examining their mission’s establishments and breakthroughs and their respective influence in shaping the course of peacekeeping for the years to come.Continue reading “United Nations Emergency Force I (UNEF I): The Stepping Stone of United Nations Peacekeeping”
The novel coronavirus pandemic has already sparked much speculation on how the international order as we know it will undergo profound changes, with suggestions that it will forever be divided between what happened BC (before coronavirus) and AC (after coronavirus). If some lament, others cheer and others are not yet willing to accept the end of the liberal international order, yet few would neglect that a return to the past is unlikely. The pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing dynamics from protectionism and nationalism to great power politics and ideological competition. While this definitely means that the health crisis has highlighted the deep flaws of our current multilateral system, it has simultaneously exposed the world’s tremendous need for an international system of collective problem solving, of which, this article argues, the EU should be at the forefront.Continue reading “The European Union and the future of post-Covid multilateralism”
The onslaught of the COVID19 pandemic has brought upon us a troubling year. The potency of the virus has seen the health systems around the world fall under immense pressure. Additionally, the imposition of various restrictions on social and economic activities in order to contain the spread of the virus, have consequently exacerbated the misery of vulnerable groups worldwide. The bereft refugees are inherently a part of these groups and stand defenseless in what one might affirm as the greatest health emergency in over a century. The Rohingya are, as labelled by the international community, the most persecuted minority on earth and these victims of neglect stand on the crossroads of survival as the pandemic aggravates their plight.Continue reading “The unrelenting onslaught on the Rohingya: A COVID19 Reality”
Following the fall of the Soviet Union’s European empire in 1989, there was some hope within security circles that the end to near-constant confrontation and conflict in Europe had finally been achieved. In 1991, three quarters of a century had passed since the outbreak of the First World War; very few in government could remember a time when the threat of continent-wide conflict was lower than in that year.
The newly-formed European Union (EU) saw the potential to establish a new security situation on the continent; as late as 1999, the EU declared it its aim to see “a stable, democratic, and prosperous Russia…governed by the rule of law and underpinning a prosperous market economy”. Fifteen years later, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill incorporating Crimea into the Russian Federation, directly violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the process. So what happened? How, in less than two decades, did we get from the end of history to the new Cold War?Continue reading “New Faces on Old Tensions: Understanding the Decline of EU-Russian Relations”
For centuries, mining has been an important economic activity for the generation of wealth in Peru. Since the mid-2000s, the commodity boom – which involved the rise of metal prices at a global level – has enhanced the relevance of mining activities within the national economy, representing about 15% of the annual GDP. This has translated to an average 5.5% economic growth rate during these last two decades. Rather than facing the resource trap – whereby countries that depend on an abundance of natural resources may experience economic contraction due to international market price volatility – Peru took advantage of the favourable economic conditions. It partly used that wealth to foster sustainable development and improve living standards around mining areas. However, the socioeconomic benefits, such as “reducing poverty in half and improving income distribution” have been limited mainly because of the government’s systemic mismanagement of resources. The continuous growth of the informal economy and the rise of illicit economic activity, such as the illegal extraction and export of gold, the below-standards working conditions, and the impairing of water quality in rivers near mining areas, has demonstrated the government apparatus’ inability to adapt and respond with effective measures to ensure wealth redistribution and sustainability.Continue reading “Can mining corporations promote socio-economic development in Peru?”
Rising cybercrime is one of the countless ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and similarly to the spread of the virus, it is the wider population that can help mitigate the impact of such crime. COVID-19 related cybercrime has much less to do with hooded teens slouched over RGB keyboards and more with targeted exploitation of our ever-changing vulnerabilities as the global pandemic spreads.
While the romanticized notion of a mastermind hacker has never held true outside of Hollywood, the fact that cybercrime has risen significantly since the onset of the pandemic is very much real. Many are now looking at ways to solve this issue especially when there is no single body held accountable.
The repercussions of COVID-19 on the state of worldwide cybersecurity, shows it is necessary to properly educate the wider population on contemporary cyber risks.Continue reading “Cybercrime and COVID-19: an unfortunate partnership”
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been widely reported that marginalised groups in societies have been disproportionately impacted by the outbreak. Among those who are likely to suffer greater consequences the migrant communities across the world.
Migrants endure the consequences of the pandemic to a greater extent when compared to other groups – such as natives – for various reasons. Firstly, migrants often suffer from unequal access to basic services such as healthcare. This is more common for those on short-term visas or in irregular situations. In situations where migrants are granted access to healthcare services in the host nation, they remain constrained due to the lack of linguistic diversity in service provision, xenophobia, and limited knowledge of the host country.Continue reading “Migration and pandemics: an Immiscible Mix”
‘Our most pressing challenge is keeping our planet healthy. This is the greatest responsibility and opportunity of our times.’
Those words were pronounced by Ursula Von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, when she urged the European Parliament to back her European Green Deal (EGD) aiming to make Europe Carbon Neutral by 2050.
Origin of the Problem
Farmland is a private good in Germany, owned and cultivated by roughly 374,000 agricultural businesses (Federal Ministry of Food 2010). Participating in a market economy, each of these businesses tries to maximise their profitability. Profitability in agriculture is mostly determined by the crop output per cultivated area (crop yield), which leads the market players to constantly seek out technology that increases productivity (Tongeren 2013). If the additional revenue from applying a certain technology exceeds its investment costs, farmers will adopt it. A central nutrient to increase crop productivity is Nitrogen, which is one of the core ingredients of fertilizer (Tongeren 2013). Organic fertilizers (such as liquid manure) are available at very low costs in Germany due to the extensive livestock population. If overall demand for liquid manure is low, livestock farmers will even give it away free of charge (Matheis 2014). This encourages farmers to apply large amounts of organic fertilizers to their farmland in order to guarantee a maximal crop yield. However, the practise only achieves minor productivity improvements as the relationship between nitrogen availability and crop productivity can be described as logarithmic: Productivity growth declines with increasing availability of Nitrogen (Leghari et al. 2016). Additionally, the practise causes substantial portions of fertilizer (and nitrogen) to spill over into the environment (Deutsche Welle 2018).
This is the second of two winning papers from the Policy Hackathon event hosted by our European Affairs and Defence & Diplomacy Policy Centres on 17 October 2019. It was co-written over the course of fifty minutes by a team of students (see below), and edited by our Head Editors for publication on the blog.