Mapping the world's opinions

Welcome to International Relations

This is a place to read about and contribute to discussions about international relations. Discover the controversies surrounding the world of globalisation, diplomacy and governance.
Welcome to International Relations
Welcome to International Relations
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Will China's rise as a global superpower be peaceful?

It has become evident that in the next few years China will surpass the United States economically and is also making huge progress towards closing the gap in military and technological capability. With this in mind, will China's rise will remain peaceful? Or will violence erupt as China upsets the current world order?

International Relations , Politics

Should the UK have remained in the EU?

Now that Brexit has happened, the UK has officially left the European Union. As the transition period continues and the effects of the decision to leave the EU begin to be felt, we will begin to be able to evaluate whether it was the right choice. Is the UK really stronger upon leaving the EU? Or would it have been better off to remain united?

History , International Relations , Politics

How will the coronavirus affect globalisation?

World leaders now describe Covid-19 as the 'silent enemy'. Several have called the pandemic a 'war'. For the first time in history, every nation on Earth is battling a common foe. What this will mean for globalisation remains unknown. Global connectivity is, on the face of things, being eroded, as free movement stops and people 'stay and shelter'. Yet, the world is also increasingly united, as t...

International Relations , Politics

Nationalism before the Nation?

Nowadays, we are used to both the nation-state and the idea of nationalism. However, it is possible to have one without the other. Authors have written about nationalism for centuries, but the nation-state as we know it has existed a relatively short amount of time. So, did nationalism predate the nation?

History , International Relations , Politics

What are the options on a second Brexit referendum?

Theresa May’s Brexit deal contains little to please Brexiteers or Remainers. As it stands, it will be very difficult for Brexit to end in a way that is satisfying for anyone. Should there be a second referendum on Brexit, so that people can vote with a better understanding of their options?

Economics , International Relations , Politics

Is socialism ethical?

Socialism is the political belief the government should redistribute wealth to close the economic gap in society. Many argue that this is a far better way to live, as all citizens can life with the secure knowledge that they will be protected by the state. But is it ethical for this to happen because the state took money away from another citizen?

Economics , History , International Relations , Philosophy , Politics , Society

Mapping the world's opinions.

Is herd immunity the best way to beat coronavirus?

The British government is alone in the world in espousing herd immunity as a serious public health response to COVID-19 or coronavirus. They assume a high number of the population will inevitably get infected whatever is done, so their aim is to have as many low-risk people infected as possible. Since immune people cannot infect others; the more there are the faster we kill its exponential growt...

Health , International Relations

Will the UK move away from a two party system?

British politics continues to be dominated by the Conservative and Labour Party, but with the emergence of smaller 'protest' parties and the dominance of the Scottish Nationalist Party in recent General Elections, is it realistic to believe that two party politics has a future in the UK?

International Relations , Politics , Society

What is the future of NATO?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was formed in 1949 as a Western military alliance to deal with the growing threat of the Soviet Union. However, since the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, it has struggled to define itself in the 21st century. This has led some to speculate whether NATO has a future. What is the purpose of NATO? Is NATO still relevant today? And is it t...

History , International Relations , Politics

What is the future of the European Union?

In recent years the European Union has faced a litany of challenges, from the Eurozone crisis, the migrant crisis, and Brexit, this has led many to speculate whether the days of the European political and economic union are numbered?

Economics , International Relations , Politics

Will coronavirus change the world?

First encountered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the new coronavirus disease COVID-19 has spread rapidly within China and reached many other countries as well. COVID-19 is highly transmissible, with no vaccine or treatment currently available, and on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Will the coronavirus le...

Health , International Relations , Society

Were the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki morally justified?

Was President Harry Truman justified when he authorised the use of nuclear weapons against Japanese civilians? Did the bombings end the war with fewer deaths than an American invasion of Japan would have resulted in? Or was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki unimportant to Japanese military leaders when they decided to surrender?

Ethics , History , International Relations , Politics

Is the United States exceptional?

American Exceptionalism is a pervasive force in the United States. Since the founding Americans have believed themselves to be freer than the other nations of the globe. It is a philosophy which can been seen on both the political right and left in the United States. This exceptionalism has given Americans a feeling of almost divine mission, but is it in any way justified?

International Relations , Politics , Society

Is torture ever justified?

Torture is the intentional use of extreme physical suffering on a non-consenting, defenceless person for the purpose of breaking their will. While it is a horrific act, defendants argue that torture can produce information that is extremely valuable to governments and can save many lives.

Ethics , International Relations

Were there any positives to European Colonialism?

European empires from the early modern period to the twentieth century dominated much of the globe. Scholarship on Imperialism has focused on the destruction and exploitation that these European colonies wrought on their subjects and territories. However, were there any positive results from this process?

Economics , History , International Relations , Politics

Is BDS anti-semitic?

The boycott, diversify, and sanction movement targets Israel and is considered by supporters of Israel to be fundamentally anti-semitic.

International Relations , Politics , Religion

What are the solutions to the Israel Palestine conflict?

What started as intercommunal violence between Israelis and Arabs in the 1920s evolved over the course of the twentieth century into a full-blown civil war and open conflict. After much bloodshed and the dawn of a new century, what would a solution to the Israel-Palestine situation look like? Is peace even a possibility for one of the world's longest-running conflicts?

History , International Relations , Politics

How should the West deal with Vladimir Putin?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in power for two decades. In that time he has rebuilt Russia's military, imprisoned and killed political opponents at home and abroad, annexed Crimea, gone to war with Georgia and Ukraine, deployed troops to Syria, and plundered the country. An increasingly authoritarian figure, Putin continues to divide Western countries, how should they deal with him?

Economics , International Relations , Politics

What are the advantages and disadvantages of globalization?

For its proponents, globalization improves citizens' lives via the unbridled distribution of jobs, capital, and technology across international borders, promoting peace through deeper economic ties between nations. For its detractors, the globalized movement of goods and people has fueled inequality, led to the destruction of the environment, and created a race to the bottom, keeping workers' sala...

Economics , International Relations , News , Politics , Society

What are the forms of European anti-Semitism?

Anti-Semitism is prejudice or hatred against Jews. Those feelings are tied to a number of different issues and express themselves in different ways.

History , International Relations , Politics

Does the West still value human rights universally in light of its dismissal on Khashoggi's death?

The West used to be the loudest voice advocating for human rights. But Western governments' evasive stances on the horrifying death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi government dissident, suggest this is no longer the case. In the light of huge economic links and political turbulence, are human rights still valued in western civilization?

Ethics , International Relations , News , People , Politics , Society

Is a world without any borders a good idea?

Millions of people risk their lives trying to cross borders into other countries. Some are fleeing violence and persecution, others are looking for better economical opportunities or to be reunited with family members. What are the pros and cons of a world without borders?

History , International Relations , Politics

Should universities no-platform controversial speakers?

Universities are meant to be the burgeoning hubs of idea exchange, yet denying controversial speakers a platform on campuses has become increasingly acceptable. Are there good reasons to no-platform inflammatory speakers?

Education , Ethics , International Relations , Politics

Why did the US lose the Vietnam War?

Vietnam was an undeniable failure for the United States government. Despite expending more than $141 billion, and 56,000 American lives, the world’s largest military superpower was unable to achieve its sole strategic objective: to prevent Vietnam from falling under communist control. Historians are deeply divided over the reasons that led to US defeat. Most attribute the loss to several factors t...

History , International Relations , Politics

Are anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism the same thing?

With the UK's Labour Party, the French Parliament, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the US all at the centre of rows over anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, what is the relationship between the two concepts? Is either acceptable? Or do both words describe damaging and dangerous prejudices against Jewish communities across the globe?

Ethics , History , International Relations , Religion , Society

Should countries accept immigrants?

Donald Trump wants to build a wall. The United Kingdom tries to leave the European Union in an attempt to regain sovereignty over its borders. Every year, thousands of people drown in the Mediterranean while trying to cross over into the EU. At the same time, many European countries sell citizenship to wealthy individuals. Do states have a right to pick and choose who may enter into their respecti...

Ethics , International Relations , Politics

Was Bolivian President Evo Morales ousted in a coup?

Bolivia has been a site of political upheaval since Evo Morales, president of the country for 13 consecutive years, declared his victory in the October 20th election. The streets have been filled with both violent and peaceful protestors. Some argue against the legitimacy of the vote. Others defend the re-election of the left-wing, indigenous leader. On November 10th, Morales resigned and sought p...

International Relations , News , Politics

Should there be a united Ireland?

The status of Northern Ireland has been the subject of intense debate and decades of violence, known as the Troubles. Though Northern Ireland is now at peace, the question of whether it should remain in the United Kingdom or join the Republic of Ireland remains a source of contention. Should there be a united Ireland?

History , International Relations , Politics

What is a Nation?

Are nations ancient or modern? Are they natural or artificial? Are they a tool of liberation or coercion? Despite many predicting globalisation would make them obsolete, nations are now back in fashion in a world where leaders tout America First, the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese People, and Hindutva. Understanding the nation now seems more important than ever.

International Relations , Politics , Society

Is western liberalism obsolete?

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times that western liberalism is obsolete. Its obituary is being written by everyone from former Trump adviser Steve Bannon to Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and journalists like Edward Luce and James Traub. Authoritarian China is ascendant. Free trade, the rule of law, freedom of movement and toleration are in troub...

International Relations , Philosophy , Politics , Society

Should Catalonia become independent?

The demand for Catalan independence has risen greatly in the past few years, to the disappointment of the Spanish government. Is the Catalan drive for independence justified?

Economics , Ethics , International Relations , Politics

What are the views on the US - China trade war?

Donald Trump's protectionist economic policies led to the introduction of tariffs on $250 billion of imports from China. President Xi Jinping responded with tariffs of his own, affecting some $110 billion worth of US-made products. As the two global economic behemoths enter a trade war, what are the implications for both economies and the rest of the world?

Economics , International Relations , News , Politics

What is Italy's Immigration Debate? (2018)

In 2016, over 180,000 migrants reached Italy by irregular means. During the first ten months of 2018, this number had dropped to under 21,000. Although the number of unauthorized immigrants in Italy has been decreasing over the last decade, racial tensions have increased after a mix of anti-immigrant campaigns, fake news and horrific tragedies. As a result, “immigration” is the nation’s most discu...

International Relations , Politics

Should Julian Assange be extradited?

Following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum, Julian Assange was arrested and removed from the country's embassy in London. He faces charges in the US of conspiracy to break into a computer, relating to Wikileaks' publication of more than 250,000 classified military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010. Should Assange be extradited to the US to face these charges? Was he doing a p...

International Relations , News , People , Politics

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