BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: Current Affairs

  1. Confinement Chronicles: Freshers’ in Lockdown

    “Despite the potential for a mass outbreak looming over our heads, Josephine Butler students, and Durham students writ large, have shown a true resilience and a fighting spirit.” Jessica Pabon, a Butlerite fresher, discusses lockdown anxieties, homesickness and enjoying university life during a pandemic.

  2. Disenfranchised Youth: The Effect of Sanders’ Campaign’s Suspension on young Americans

    When, on the 8th April, Bernie Sanders announced that he was suspending his campaign, he congratulated Joe Biden and said that he will work with him in order to “move our progressive ideas forwards.” Yet, across the US, young voters have lost hope, and many have pledged that they will not vote for either Biden or Trump in the upcoming presidential election. They see no blue light at the end of the tunnel. It is not surprising that the youth of the US would feel disappointed at this development, two- thirds of voters under 45 voted for Sanders. Conversely, two-…

  3. In the wake of IS: “Holding them to justice”, and “deradicalisation”

    After many years of war and fear, the body which calls itself Islamic State has seen its territory reduced to only a few hundred square metres. However, as their support weakens, this gives rise to a new problem; how do we deal with those individuals who left the UK to fight for IS, but now want to return home? The issue is a complex one, given the brutal actions of IS and their direct attacks on UK land and citizens, on which many have strong opinions. More than 900 people travelled to Syria and Iraq from the UK; of this…

  4. Corbyn’s Pragmatic Populism

    “Comrade Corbyn. Loony lefty. Bearded Trot.” The British right-wing press routinely depicts Jeremy Corbyn as someone who will establish a Marxist administration over the United Kingdom should he become Prime Minister (Cammaerts et al 2016: 9). An outlier in the Labour Party for many years following his election to parliament in 1983, few predicted his rise to the office of party leader in 2015. His 2017 election manifesto featured many elements that typified his political and social stances, such as the establishment of a £10 minimum hourly wage by 2020, reintroducing the 50p rate of tax on the highest earners…

  5. Repealing the Eighth: Ireland, Gender Stereotypes, and Abortion Law

    Ireland is to have a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which recognises the right to life of the unborn as equal to that of the pregnant person.[1] Ireland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, permitting abortion to be carried out only where the pregnant person’s life is at risk from physical illness or suicide.[2] Abortion is illegal in all other circumstances, even where there is a serious risk to health, the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or the foetus has a fatal abnormality. Those  requiring abortions must travel abroad,…

  6. Myanmar and the Political Culture of Silence

    Since August 2017, the international community has issued tentatively scornful denunciations of the Myanmar government and its “crackdown” on the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority that has resided in the country for generations. One month later, and with over 600,000 of the one million Rohingyan population displaced by Burmese military forces, government officials and heads of state have condemned the abuses, murders and rape. Many have described the situation as ethnic cleansing: strong words, with grave historical reverberations and the promise of reactivity.   And yet global opposition to the Myanmar authorities has amounted to little more than rhetoric, political…

  7. Tea and Baba Ghanoush: the LAF, Hezbollah and Lebanese National Memory

    The overspill of fighting through the porous Syria-Lebanon border is regarded by Washington as a red line in the escalation of regional hostilities. Its chosen strategy to address this concern involves bolstering the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), and promoting the institution as Lebanon’s sole legitimate security force. As such, even as the U.S. cut funding for moderate democratic forces in Syria, the LAF has received an additional $120 million in military hardware to complement the $1.5 billion invested since 2005.[1] These efforts imply intent to undermine Hezbollah’s hegemony in Lebanon by counteracting its substantial military support from…

  8. The Plague: Is it still a threat in 2017?

    Nuclear warfare, climate change and…another bout of Black Death? Although listing the plague alongside other present-day threats to humanity sounds ridiculous, the threat of this medieval disease is still very real. In fact, it has recently been reported that fleas in Arizona have tested positive to plague bacteria and that a public health warning has been issued to residents.[1] Thousands of people still contract the plague every year, with outbreaks primarily concentrated in Africa. Although underreported and largely ignored by the western media, Madagascar, the most adversely affected country, has been the nucleus of twentieth-century plague cases since 2014. But…

  9. Identity Violence and Discrimination in Football: A Social Media Problem?

    During the time that it has taken you to reach this stage of the article, you might otherwise have used those valuable seconds to send a ‘tweet’, post a picture on Instagram, or ‘react’ to a video showing two well-known footballers enjoying a rather questionable handshake celebration on Facebook. However, while you may have spent your time doing that, the chances are that others were abusing theirs, instead directing a snide and offensive comment towards another individual, purely because of their beliefs, the colour of their skin, or the place they call home. A social media revolution For the younger…

  10. This Girl Can: The Cost of Empowerment

    I was recently sent a link by a male colleague to a website where one could apply to be the next face of Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign. This was actually a joke on his part as, in the eyes of my friend, the movement has many problematic and even damaging aspects. For a while it was difficult to comprehend why someone, who is by no means sexist or unpleasant, would chose to deprecate a campaign that most women would be proud to be associated with. Yet, upon further evaluation of This Girl Can one will encounter a flaw…