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olamalu

olamalu

Belarus and Russia, a table for signing documents. Official documents for signatures, pens and flags of States on the table.

The taking of journalist Roman Protasevich from a commercial airline flight has further estranged Belarus from an outraged west and will force the country deeper under the influence of an increasingly powerful Russian Federation. Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega were detained at Minsk airport after a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania was forced to make an emergency landing in the Belarusian capital on May 23. The incident sparked widespread backlash from the west, leading the UK and the EU to ban Belarusian aircrafts from entering the their airspace and the latter announcing preparations for another round of sanctions. The incident was received very differently in Russia. Moscow expressed support for Lukashenko’s decision – albeit relatively mutedly – …

Until now, the UK’s prevailing approach to global conflict and mass atrocities has been one of response and of firefighting. As a result, it too often resulted in missed opportunities to help mitigate harms. Whether in Rakhine in Myanmar in 2017, in Central African Republic in 2014, or Syria in 2011, the window of opportunity to help vulnerable populations closed before the UK had properly recognised the trajectory of violence. There is much to pick through, question, and challenge when reading the new vision for the UK’s international policy as set out in the outcomes document of the year-long Integrated Review of Defence, Development and Diplomacy published by Her Majesty’s Government on Tuesday. But—and particularly with regards to conflict, stability …

Welcome to the OxPol Blogcast, a podcast where we will be sharing research, analysis, and experiences from members of the University of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations. On each, episode we will talk to a guest about a piece they’ve written for the OxPol Blog. Then, we’ll discuss their larger research agenda, their insights on conducting political science, and their time at Oxford. On the inaugural episode of the OxPol BlogCast, host Chase Harrison talks to DPhil student Christine Sheldon about the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. They go on to discuss her research on coalitions and her work on natural speech processing. Read Christine’s original blog post here

In 2009, Nobel Prize laureate and former Chief Economist of the World Bank Paul Romer proposed the concept of ‘charter cities.’ In contrast to special economic zones, charter cities were envisaged as quasi-sovereign units located within existing states which were to be maintained by a foreign guarantor nation or nations. This arrangement would not merely construct a separate economic framework for the designated territory, but also establish a legal and political system autonomous from the host state. This, Romer believed, would create city-scale epicentres to stimulate economic development within the Global South. This piece examines Romer’s project and questions the immediate feasibility of such a project by taking into account the ‘stickiness’ of ideas regarding the territorial sovereign state.  Since 2009, the idea of charter …

In a letter published in The New Statesman, a number of Oxford academics argue that the current government position is bad policy, bad politics and a betrayal of a proud British tradition. Dear Prime Minister and Home Secretary, We the undersigned are dedicated to creating a socially just world.  We spend our working lives supporting and promoting research, initiatives, and projects which will create a fairer and more equitable society for everyone.  Among our number are many leading experts on community cohesion, asylum, refugees, migration, politics, public opinion, policy and law.  We believe the Government’s current position on the European refugee crisis is misguided and requires urgent change. Britain has a long and proud tradition of providing sanctuary to those in …

Recently the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee ran an open public competition to find who can write the best Preamble – or introductory statement – for a modern Written Constitution for the UK. We are delighted to announce that Richard Elliot, a DPhil student at Jesus College, Oxford, was selected as winner in the public category. His Preamble reads, United, we stand in celebration of the diverse voices that make up the great chorus of our nation. Confident in our individuality, and steadfast in our shared values and common purpose, we—the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland—have come together in the spirit of self-determination in order to establish the principles of our law and governance. By this …

Max Muir speaks to Lois McNay, Professor of Political Theory at Oxford University and Fellow of Somerville College, about her new book, ‘The Misguided Search for the Political’. She argues that radical democratic theorists, in their search for the abstract essence of politics itself, have ushered in a dangerous silence on the lived experience of inequality and oppression. Without addressing the ‘social weightlessness’ of their theories, these radical democrats find their emancipatory credentials seriously undermined. Max Muir: Hi Lois, thanks for chatting with us. Your new book is called ‘The Misguided Search for the Political’. Why exactly is that search misguided? Lois McNay:  The book is a reaction to something we’ve seen over the last twenty or thirty years in …