How romantic notions of nations fosters national identity

BY YUK-TING HUA Jonathan Haas once said that “one of the favourite pastimes of social scientists over the course of the past century has been to theorise about the evolution of the world’s great civilisations.” From the copious amount of state-formation theories prevalent in IR, the different theoretical understandings of ‘sovereignty’, and the multiple contributions […]

Lessons from saving the whales in saving our planet; the power of identity in shaping international politics.

BY WILL MARSTON Today, the hunting and killing of whales for oil and food would (quite rightly) be widely reviled and condemned, especially in the West. In perhaps the most successful ideational campaign by wildlife campaigners in their history, a widely and deeply held conception of whales as a precious, intelligent and endangered species has […]

What does it mean to be a ‘liberal’?  

BY LUCY ETHERIDGE As we approach the final weeks of 2018, reflections on the year’s politics tend to focus on the process that has been gradual coming-to-terms with the tumultuous events of the preceding two years. Namely the “political earthquake” of Trump’s election in November 2016, closely followed by the Brexit vote of March 2017; both of which shocked even the most politically well-informed.   Unsurprisingly, an abundance of discourse has followed attempting to […]

How does social media affect political polarisation? The Latin American case

Photo credits: ThedePaulia and Political Storm.  This is a summary introduction to a research project answering the question: What Effect, If Any, Does Social Media Use Have On Political Polarisation in Latin American Democracies? It was a summative assignment for the second year Research Project Module in Durham’s SGIA. The full report, including references, can be found […]

On the Prospects of the eSports Industry

Photo credits: oyster.ignimgs.com.  Physical exertion aside, many parallels can be drawn between eSports and its more traditional counterpart: fans pack out venues on a weekly basis to watch their teams play, top tournaments draw in millions of viewers, players practice almost constantly, and hours of analysis go into each specific match tactic. Indeed, the eSports […]

On Asia’s technology giants – and the need to support them

Photo credits: Financial Times. Tencent is a Chinese multinational investing in internet services and products, entertainment and AI.  Since the end of World War II, globalization has transformed the international system. With it has come the demand of advancements in a vast array of social, economic and political areas. Technology, in particular, has been a […]