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The Heads of Armenia and Azerbaijan meet…and very little happens

Knowing the vitriol that is generally associated with this topic and having lived with an Armenian and Azerbaijani at the same time, having to act much like a diplomat of the Minsk group all the time, I would like to take this opportunity at the beginning of this article to state one thing. If I […]

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The possibility of Scottish independence: is the ‘One Nation’ notion in peril?

Alex Salmond’s white paper, entitled ‘Scotland’s Future’, seems to have attracted a lot of media coverage – but it whiffs of both (self-)importance and an sense of underwhelming implausibility. There are two issues that Salmon has tackled in this white paper. Firstly he tackles the elephant in the room, Scottish independence from the UK. He […]

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Euroscepticism: the spectre that compromises the UK’s economy

If there is one thing that stands out as extraordinary in this debate, it is the assertions put forward by the UK’s Chancellor George Osborne. He constantly claims that the recent crisis was caused completely by the irresponsibility of the Brown government, and uses this as his primary line of defence when tackling the popular backlash […]

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EU and US surveillance: invasion of privacy vs. preservation of security

As an introductory disclaimer, it is undeniable that most democratic countries and its citizens who hold liberty in high regard will support the idea of a right to privacy and its conceptual sister, the right to information. By contrast, the emergence of news that the NSA tapped into technology and cyber-data with the supposed assurance […]

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Elections Azeri Style!

One could almost be forgiven for not realising that Azerbaijan has just had a presidential election. Yes, the BBC has run an article on it and the news of the vote has made it into Western media, whereas elections in Belarus often fail to do, but it was a brief report in forming readers of […]

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Could the Department for International Development still learn a thing or two about global education reform?

Since 2010, the Department for International Development (DfID) has taken a controversial decision to pump foreign aid into low-cost private schools in developing countries (Nigeria, Ghana and Pakistan, to name a few) due to a need for investment in public education systems that, if anything, are growing exponentially. This move sparks a change in mentality for […]

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Vladislav Surkov: The Return of the Puppet Master in Russia

A cataclysm occurred on the 14th of May; at least it was an upheaval for two postgraduate students at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES) at the University of Birmingham. Such a momentous occasion called for a morning of coffee at the Starbucks to debate the issue and its connotations for Russia. […]

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Banning Golden Dawn is not the Answer

In the past week there have been increasing calls to ban the Greek far right party, known as Golden Dawn. Since the party has achieved national representation by winning 18 seats in the Greek Parliament, it has been making headlines in Greece, Europe and the World in general. This attention has come in the form […]

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Pope Francis: a modern representative of God?

In a recent interview with a Jesuit journal in Italy, Pope Francis declared that he wants to establish a “new balance” in the Catholic Church by encouraging more involvement from women in key decisions and a less perjorative focus on the LGBT community, divorce and abortion. The Pope called for the Catholic Church (and wider […]

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Should the LGBT Community Worry About Russia?

In recent weeks, the Russian government has come under fire for a recent amendment to a law on child protection which prohibits the promotion of homosexuality to under 18’s in Russia. The punishment for breaching this law varies with the BBC saying an individual can risk a £78 fine while an organisation could be fined […]

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Public Service Reform: Is the Coalition failing to learn from Labour’s mistakes?

In 2003, Tony Blair gave a speech to the Fabian Society on the subject of public sector reform.  He argued that after years of Tory underfunding and privatisation, Labour had – and would continue – to reform public services to make them work for a modern society.  The speech was largely spin and guile (he […]

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