BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: Politics

  1. 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…

  2. What are the consequences of conflating the Middle East with the Muslim World as geographical designations?

    The exonymic neologism ‘Middle East’ was coined by US Navy Captain Alfred Mahan in 1902 in an attempt to delineate a seamless territory centering on Persia, Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf (Culcasi, 2010, 585). Since then, the term has been used to describe a plethora of countries, spanning three continents, contributing to its obfuscation as a geographical and cartographic object. This confusion is caused because the Middle East is an abstraction of various distinct and heterogeneous countries which have little physiographical, geographical, historical, cultural, or political unity. In attempting to categorise the Middle East, it is often mistakenly conflated with…

  3. Interview with an Ex-Minister of State: Rolf Lüders

    Rolf Lüders, Minister for Finance and Economy in 1982-3 under Pinochet’s military dictatorship in Chile, is a leading economist and academic at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and as it happens, one of my lecturers during my year abroad in Santiago. Lüders graduated from the University of Chicago with a Master’s degree in 1960, where he was taught by economic luminaries Arnold Harberger and Milton Friedman. Friedman is of course the infamous father of monetarism who influenced the likes of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. In the 1970s, Lüders became part of the Chicago Boys, a group of neoliberal…

  4. ‘Popular Imperialism’ in the USA: A Necessary Debate

    In 1898, with victory in the Spanish-American War and the official annexation of Hawaii, the United States suddenly found in its possession a significant overseas empire stretching from the Caribbean, across the Pacific to the South China Sea. The acquisition of these territories was a process of many years, and intervention in the Cuban War of Independence, as well as the annexation of Hawaii, was debated in the press and by politicians in the preceding decades. As Americans came to terms with their new colonial possessions and came face-to-face with often hostile colonial subjects, imperialist and racist sentiments were expressed…

  5. The Rendition Dystopia

    ‘Power is not a means; it is an end.’ – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four. The date 11 September 2001 is undoubtedly identified among the global population as one of the most significant dates in modern history. The acts of terror committed in the United States on that day continue to resonate with countless others across the world. Attacks such as those upon Paris in November 2015 and the Brussels bombings in March 2016 serve as stark reminders of the capabilities of human beings in causing harm to others. However, almost 15 years since the start of the War on Terror,…

  6. Sport: A Tool of Colonial Control for the British Empire

    Sport, as we know it, found its roots in the British Empire. Many of today’s most popular sports including cricket, football and tennis, were organised and codified by the British in the nineteenth century.[1] However, assessing the motivations behind this vast programme of sporting dissemination still remains relatively under-explored. This is puzzling considering that the spread of sports was a key branch of cultural imperialism, much like the spread of Christianity across the colonies. Sport, like religion, provided an opportunity for Britain to take cultural control of her Empire, whilst also encouraging British attitudes towards class and race to spread….

  7. Fractured Society: France and Islam

    France is still reeling from the horrendous attacks on its capital which left 130 dead. It asks itself: why us? While Islamist terrorism is a much worse scourge in countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, in our Western bubble it is France that has suffered most: from Mohammed Merah’s murderous rampage in Toulouse and Montauban in 2012, to the Charlie Hebdo attacks at the beginning of this year, to the recent massacre in Paris. Meanwhile, a report by the French Senate in April estimated that of the 3000 plus Europeans who have left to fight for ISIS, at…

  8. The Irresistible Illusion of Success: Has Britain Learnt Anything From Afghanistan?

    On 16 January 2015, the last Victorian died. It is an incredible idea that at the start of 2015, Ethel Lang, who was born a subject of Queen Victoria, was even alive. During the course of Ethel’s life there have been many game-changing historical events: the founding of the British Labour party, two World Wars, the production of atomic weapons, and the invention of the Internet, Facebook, and the iPad, to name but a few. Thus, it is no wonder that crinoline-clad Victorianism in the present day feels alien. This feeling, however, is illusory. The Victorian era should not be…

  9. The Economic Case for Open Borders

    Ever since the human race evolved in Africa some 200,000 years ago, humans have spread to all corners of the globe in search of better living conditions. This global spread of humanity is what distinguishes humans from most other living species. Of course, it is evident that movement of peoples did not end with complete migration to all parts of the world. Today, humans are tightly packed into a global economy that links all parts of the world through a complex economic and social system in which everyone is dependent on strangers from across the globe. In fact, Canada has…

  10. Do we really want a ‘UKIP of the left’?

    Following Douglas Carswell’s victory in the Clacton by-election (with an astonishing 59.7%), more serious questions are being raised about the legitimacy of UKIP’s threat to the three core parties in Britain. UKIP is incontrovertibly developing as an established figure in British politics with its mild successes in the May 2014 European elections and more recently, their first ever elected MP. With many right-leaning voters struggling to distinguish between Labour, Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats, UKIP is offering a viable alternative. So, as many writers have asked, why isn’t there the option of a ‘UKIP of the left?’ Personally, I wouldn’t vote…