Migration and pandemics: an Immiscible Mix

 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”

The European Green Deal or How to Overcome the Tragedy of the Commons

‘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. 

Continue reading “The European Green Deal or How to Overcome the Tragedy of the Commons”

Policy Recommendation to Reduce Nitrate Pollution of Water Bodies in Germany

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). 

Continue reading “Policy Recommendation to Reduce Nitrate Pollution of Water Bodies in Germany”

The Chinese Perspective: Troubled Waters in the South China Sea

The South China Sea dispute has the potential to destabilise a region that is one of the most economically significant in the world, and home to around two billion people. Most analyses on this topic focuses on how China should be countered, without paying much attention to Chinese interests and motivations.  Continue reading “The Chinese Perspective: Troubled Waters in the South China Sea”

The Impact of Detention Time on Migrant Mental Health in the UK: Prioritising Children’s Welfare

The UK’s immigration detention facilities are among the largest in Europe. Here, immigration detention refers to the Home Office’s practice of detaining asylum seekers and applicants for asylum and humanitarian protection for immigration-related purposes. Continue reading “The Impact of Detention Time on Migrant Mental Health in the UK: Prioritising Children’s Welfare”