Modern Wordfare – The semantics of Obama’s war against ISIL

It is now fourteen months since President Barack Obama revealed his plans for dealing with ISIL: a “search and destroy” policy with no US troops on the ground, reliant on air power and allied ground forces. Since then, the war against ISIL has dragged on and after fourteen months of …

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Trolling ISIS: The West Battling Jihad on Social Media

Social media propaganda. Source: birgerking, Flickr CC The breakthrough of social media has given different actors the ability to communicate their message to an immense audience in a matter of seconds. It has provided individuals and organizations with the ability to spread ideas, mobilize supporters, and perhaps even start revolutions. …

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Video Technology: Improving Regular Media and Preventing Global Injustices?

The rapid evolution of digital technology has changed how we interact with the world around us. New technology has made it possible for even common people to share newsworthy information, which was previously the exclusive role of journalists and police. Bystanders witnessing a crime can easily record crucial information if …

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Where is Central Asia? A strategic grey-zone lost to the world

Central Asia has been the source of strategy and conflict for thousands of years. The region has been a backdrop for some of the most important trade routes in the world, most notably the Silk Road. It has been coveted by both regional and international powers, among them the Persian …

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No cure for anti-vaccine hysteria?

In 2014, the United States has seen the greatest number of measles cases since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000. The same trend can also be seen in many European countries. For that reason, the discussion about vaccination is back on the agenda and with it a debate about …

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The Mediterranean Migration Crisis: How Will the EU Respond?

In 2014, over 3,000 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Violence in Syria, Eritrea and Libya has contributed to the rise in migrants attempting to reach Europe’s borders from Africa and the Middle East. Many people turn to illegal smugglers who often …

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New Zealand, is it time for re-branding?

New Zealand has been stuck in a perpetual identity crisis, but perhaps a solution is on the horizon. Taking inspiration from companies such as Apple and Starbucks maybe an image makeover is what this country needs to move forward out of their postcolonial slump. The proposed re-branding is to change …

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The British Press: Sensationally Eurosceptic

Inflammatory rhetoric by the British Press. Source: Duncan Hull, FlickrEuroscepticism in the United Kingdom is hardly a new concept. Ever since the UK joined the European Communities in 1973, British people have been particularly sceptical about the way cooperation with continental Europe impacts their country’s internal affairs. The UK has traditionally been characterised by a remarkable capacity to be unhappy fully inside the European Union, while also being unhappy to be completely outside. An instrument often used to convey this Eurosceptic sentiment is the country’s press. A large part of the British press has traditionally been in the habit of employing inflammatory rhetoric when reporting EU affairs.

by Nikolaos Tsitonakis

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Freedom of the Press in Burma: En route to democracy?

Photo: Wikimedia commons.After decades of an authoritarian regime dominated by military rule, Burma has seemingly begun to reopen its doors and welcome democracy. Most notably these changes have been marked by constitutional reforms, the release of political prisoners, and visits from prominent political officials for the first time in decades, such as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011. However, even under a new constitution, the Burmese military is guaranteed a quarter of the seats in parliament and freedom of the press remains tied to policies from the 1960s.

by Sofia Murad

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Ciao Berlu! How does Berlusconi do it?

Berlusconi: immortal political survivor? Or boorish, manipulative clown? Photo: DonkeyHotey on flickr.The abuse of office, the soliciting of underage girls for sex, political blunders, alleged mafia connections, yet charismatic, energetic, brilliant and rich? During the course of his flamboyant political career, the phenomenon Silvio Berlusconi has been applauded and booed for his actions and character. It would seem that the inhabitants of Italy are intertwined with Berlusconi in a complicated, paradoxical love-hate relationship.

Berlusconi first entered politics in 1994, when the Italian parliament was severely fractured. Although Italian politics is often noted for its unstable nature, the opposite is true. After the Second World War, the Christian Democrats, representing the democratic centre, were in power for most of the time as the Italian Communist Party (PCI) was expelled due to external pressure from the United States. However, scandals concerning allegations of corruption at the end of the 80's ended the Christian Democratic party’s political dominance. After these events, a lack of unity was prevalent within Italian politics, opening the way for Berlusconi. By presenting his political party, 'Forza Italy' (Go Italy), as a fresh alternative to the existing political landscape, he earned the majority of the vote and became Prime Minister for the first time in 1994.

by Benny Wilbrink

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