The Security Dilemma

The two most famous strands of international relations theory – realism and liberalism – dictate that the international system is characterised by ‘anarchy’. In 1951 John Herz published a book entitled Political Realism and Political Idealism in which he coined the famous term ‘The Security Dilemma’. “A structural notion in which the self-help attempts of states […]

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The Tyranny of Convenience

“We must never forget the joy of doing something slow and something difficult, the satisfaction of not doing what is easiest. The constellation of inconvenient choices may be all that stands between us and a life of total, efficient conformity” – The New York Times It seems now more than ever that the right choice […]

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Late Night Zinn

Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010), the influential historian and social activist, has several simple quotes that are particularly adept at explaining the role that the average citizen has played in both horrific and progressive moments in human history. The former: “Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from […]

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Ahoy-hoy

When Alexander Graham Bell first invented the telephone he proposed answering it with Ahoy-hoy. What an absolutely lovely thought. My personal preference is the more colloquial ‘a ding-dong’, which I find quite neatly breaks down the initial anxiety of telecommunication.

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Man in Black

Inspired by his discussions with students from Vanderbilt University in 1971, Johnny Cash wrote ‘Man in Black’. The video below is a true gift – an opportunity to glimpse into the creative process, and premiere of a piece of art so pertinent in its time that still resonates today. Well, you wonder why I always […]

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Appassionata

This evening I had the privilege to watch the renowned pianist Stephen Hough perform at Royal Festival Hall. The performance was magnificent – a beautiful balance between the melancholic serenity of Debussy and vitality of Beethoven. With my discounted student ticket, I was not placed far in the back as I initially expected, but right […]

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Democratic Dilemma

Effectively dealing with the millions of refugees that will result from global warming, as well as transforming our entire energy system from fossil fuel dependence to renewable technology, will both require massive infrastructure projects. It appears that these programs will necessitate a centralization of power to manage such a monumental task. Throughout history, large scale […]

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Bewildered Old Man

Whenever we arrive in an unfamiliar environment, what is the first thing we tend to do? We don’t look around at the surrounding landscape, perhaps the sun, the stars, a quiet old man sitting on a stoop across the street casually observing our instinctive 21st century actions. We open the respective map application on our […]

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Urban Dwellers

Why are pigeons in every city that I have ever been to? Did they develop with modernity and the process of urbanization? Or are they, as an old friend of mine once believed, just well disguised robotic spying mechanisms? Well, after a bit of research, I discovered a couple interesting insights into the rise of this […]

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