BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: World Issues

  1. 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…

  2. Is Poverty Sexist?

    A new and insidious trend in global poverty has developed, as the burden of destitutions is becoming increasingly gendered. This phenomenon, known as the ‘feminisation of poverty’, is characterised by the disproportionate representation of women amongst the world’s poor and is rapidly intensifying. In spite of the United Nations’ pledge to ensure children of both sexes receive complete free primary and secondary education by 2030 as part of Sustainable Development Goal number four, recent figures show that progress is off track. This is evident nowhere more so than in sub-Saharan Africa, where the share of aid targeted at education has…

  3. 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…

  4. 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,…

  5. Beyond the Olympic Spectacle: Displacement for Development

    As the first South American host, the 2016 Olympics in Rio are eagerly anticipated as an opportunity to attract tourists and business, as well as providing employment and training to assist the city’s economic growth. However, beyond the spectacle and perceived benefits of the event lies a darker interpretation, which implies that the Olympic games are an opportunity for cities to justify removing the poor to enable the accumulation of capital. The large-scale and forced displacement of Rio’s informal ‘favela’ settlements demonstrates how Olympic development enables cities to justify the removal of undesirable, poor and marginalised groups. After hosting the…

  6. 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…

  7. Bioterrorism: Are Biological Weapons a Serious Threat?

    Although science has been hailed with many great discoveries and has saved many lives, it has also been exploited and used to create weapons. Bioterrorism describes the deliberate use of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses or toxins to spread diseases that threaten the lives of many. They are often genetically modified to be incredibly infectious and transmissible, have long incubation periods and evade medical intervention. These diseases can be more devastating than attacks using chemical weapons because they cannot be contained within national boundaries; they can spread throughout the world causing mass scale death. Bioterrorism is not a hypothetical situation,…

  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. Homophobia – What’s the big issue?

    To quote a line from Lily Allen’s song ‘Hard out Here’: ‘Inequality promises that it’s here to stay. Always trust the injustice ‘cause it’s not going away’. When considering homophobia on an international scale, just how much can one read into these lyrics? Countless stories of homophobic and transgender abuse litter the headlines of mainstream news every week. Although the numbers of these types of crime classed as ‘homophobic hate crimes’ are falling, they are becoming increasingly publicised in today’s society. A 2013 survey by Stonewall has reported that one in six LGBT people in the UK (630,000) identify that…

  10. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word…

    Wars do not just end once the armistice is signed and the combatants have agreed to a ceasefire. During WWI, German occupying forces devastated the Belgian economy by requisitioning resources, deporting labourers and moving entire factories to Germany to support the war effort. The Allied bombing of Dresden in World War II left the city in ruins and 25,000 civilians dead. The Kosovo War in the late 1990s left over 200,000 internally displaced in its wake. With the development of total war, the effects of war, and the consequences of decimated populations or devastated infrastructure, persist long after the cessation…