Sexual PoliticsVol 13 No 2 (2023)
I am thrilled to bring to you the second and final Leviathan issue for this academic year. The theme of this issue, along with the interpretative and critical collection of articles contained within, takes much inspiration from Kate Millett’s formative piece of radical feminism: ‘Sexual Politics.’ For those unfamiliar with Millett’s work, Sexual Politics (1970) focuses on the omnipresence of male authority – which has become ‘legitimised’ through tacit acceptance of patriarchal traditions – along with the functioning of power within sexual relationships. Perhaps most significantly, Millett postulated that ‘sex has a frequently neglected political aspect,’ and in doing so inaugurated a discussion broadly seeking to understand, criticise, and analyse the principles underpinning the distribution of power between the sexes and within sexual relationships. The pieces in this issue amplify the depth and breadth of this ongoing discussion.
Supported by the Edinburgh Political Union, myself and the team at Leviathan have tried to inspire wide-ranging and diverse conversation, providing students with a platform to critically consider the substance and form of ‘Sexual Politics.’
This issue opens with Rob Robinson’s timely piece examining the increasingly contentious nature of legal and media discourse surrounding queer, trans, and non-binary people, which tends to misrepresent these individuals as predatory and dangerous. Ewa Zakrzewska’s then analyses the domestic and transnational experiences of LGBTQ+ Polish migrants through a focus on both lived experience and the personal views of Polish LGBTQ+ youth on their own migration. Examining the intersection of culture, experience, and patriarchy, Keisha Frimpong demonstrates how the continuing practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) across some African nations is rooted in entrenched teachings about sexuality, which itself is a product of traditional patriarchal norms.
Remaining within a similar thematic focus of gender-based violence, Johanna Nesselhauf analyses the relationship between gender inequality and gender-based violence. To facilitate this, Nesselhauf presents a case study on femicide in Honduras to draw together her focus on gender-based violence in private and public institutions, the silencing of women, and the role of intersectionality. Analysing arguments made by scholars of feminist theory and the constructivist school of thought, Stanley O’Brien considers which political theoretical perspective is most useful when seeking to address the issue of sexual violence in war.
In a wonderfully explorative piece, Sophia Georgescu demonstrates how mushrooms – as a valuable source of life and culture – pose a challenge to patriarchal dominance. Milly Holt then discusses why abortion bans in the US sustain a racist and sexist society. Holt’s central argument is hinged on how the consequences of abortion bans reinforce inherently racist, sexist, and economic disparities across the US. Considering the quite contentious issue of sex work in feminist discourse, Karoliine Pärlin examines liberal, radical, and intersectional strands of feminist thought, and how they elevate or silence different voices in the broader sex work debate. Looking at a similarly contentious issue, Esme Patton reviews gender bias in divorce courts. In particular, Patton highlights that gender bias can be viewed on both sides of the spectrum i.e., regarding both mothers and fathers.
Three longer pieces will supplement this issue in its online format. First, Jade Taylor employs an intersectional feminist analysis to demonstrate how liberal feminism’s focus on the achievement of individual rights through a legal framework is insufficient when seeking to attain social justice in sex work and reproduction. Through a comparative analysis of anti-feminist discourses in Hungary and South Korea, Rosie Inwald discusses how the distortion of masculinities under such rhetoric has disrupted efforts towards gender equality. Finally, Julia Bahadrian considers gender in the realm of global politics – which has in recent years witnessed a slew of ‘successful’ and transformative female leaders. To explore this, Bahadrian analyses existing literature, along with a range of factors such as environment, the Covid-19 pandemic, and gendered power dynamics. These three articles can be found online at: http://journals.ed.ac.uk/leviathan, under the ‘ISSUES’ tab.
On a personal note, I will be graduating this summer and therefore moving on from Leviathan after three years on the team – first as Regional Editor, then as Chief Regional Editor, and finally as Editor-in-Chief. Though this period has not ever been without challenges, it has been intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding throughout. In particular, Ethan and I are immensely proud of the work we have done this year to give the journal a new stylistic direction, supported by the rest of the Leviathan team, the Edinburgh Political Union, and our friends at the Edinburgh College of Art.
Finally, I would like to welcome next year’s Executive Committee: Jay McClure as Editor-in-Chief, Grace Hitchcock as Deputy Editor-in-Chief, and Devrath Jhunjhunwala as Treasurer/Secretary. I encourage each of you to take this opportunity in your stride, whatever challenges it might bring.
I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Leviathan. We have certainly enjoyed producing it.
We The PeopleVol 13 No 1 (2022)
I am pleased to present to you the first issue of Leviathan for the 2022-23 academic year. You may already be familiar with the idiom to which this issue takes its name: ‘We the People’ forms the opening words of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States (1787) and, perhaps less commonly known, the Preamble to the Constitution of India (1950). It is a phrase one associates with themes of liberty, equality, justice, and general prosperity – all central tenets of what many contemporary societies strive towards. Yet, when confronted with such a phrase today, we might contemplate what ‘We the People’ signifies linguistically, politically, and so forth: Who is ‘We’? What is meant by ‘the People’? Indeed, is ‘We the People’ now an empty marker of a lost sense of community or civility between individuals, even nations?
Supported by the Edinburgh Political Union, myself and the team at Leviathan have tried to encourage wide-ranging and rigorous academic debate, providing students with a platform to discuss the indeterminate subject of ‘We the People.’
We begin with Jay McClure’s piece concentrating on coups in the Sahel, which discusses how France has used economics to perpetuate colonial structures in the Sahel and what the future looks like for this region. Remaining within a similar thematic boundary of contemporary conflict and its colonial roots, Aleksandrs Skulte considers the growing role of Russia’s imperial identity. Skulte’s piece discusses the historic roots of this imperialism, the failure to build a strong nationalist identity in Russia, and the factors driving imperialist resurgence in the present-day. Isabela Prendi then considers how present-day Kosovo has failed to combine state building with human security following conflict, stifling sustainable progress and long-term development.
Against a backdrop of increasingly populist tendencies within politics globally, Sara D’Arcy Shepherd writes about the momentous election of Giorgia Meloni as the Prime Minister of Italy, and the implications this has for Euroscepticism and the European Union going forward. Following this, Nicholas Hurtado discusses the future of UK-EU relations. Hurtado presents the European Political Community as the potential framework for evolving the benefits of both parties, whilst analysing the consequences of the post-Brexit British agenda.
As the effects of anthropogenic climate change increase in both severity and frequency, our last two pieces place this reality into a broader consideration of responsibility and sustainability. Gabriel Sanson Gomez employs Post-Growth Theory to reflect on the current energy crisis, whilst Sophia Georgescu dissects responsibility, calling for the restructuring of ‘people’ in addressing the climate emergency.
This issue comes as a result of a great deal of work by myself, my Deputy Editor-in-Chief Ethan Morey, and the rest of the team at Leviathan. I would like to thank you all for your continued hard work and input, not just during the semester but over the holiday period. I would also like to thank the Edinburgh Political Union and especially the Executive Committee for their continued support.
If you like this issue, I want to encourage you to write for us in the future. Our next issue, ‘Sexual Politics’, will be open for submissions soon. This theme is one that I am particularly excited for our writers to explore.
I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we have enjoyed producing it.
AgencyVol 12 No 2 (2022)
For ours and many past generations, the question of individual and community freedom and choice has been at the forefront. From the looming existential threat of climate change to the globalising force of neoliberal capitalism, it often seems that agency is confined to the government or corporate realms.
For this issue of Leviathan, we asked our contributors to focus on the concept of agency itself to highlight the complex ways in which grassroots organisations, nationalist states, individuals moving through the powerful current of social media algorithms, and people caught between forces of oppression–to name a few examples– negotiate agency today.
Gabriel Gomez interrogates the approaches in Costa Rica to climate change, arguing for a future that puts indigenous land rights above profit and on a level with environmentalism. Seungcheol Lee dissects the South Korean state’s increasing presence in the lives of its citizens since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over in North America, Quinn Farr analyses the extent to which the United States Supreme Court is becoming politically polarised and its wide-ranging effects on the American rule of law. Meghan Gauld focuses on American influence abroad, questioning the assumptions of superiority underlying US foreign policy in
recent decades. Syeda Mahmood details the activism and hardships of the Khwajasira community in India. Focusing on the role of the state, Jack Liddall compares nationalist causes in Punjab and Tamil Nadu and
their differing relationships with democracy in India. Over to Africa, Harvey Graham argues that the South African COVID-19 vaccine distribution program could be a blueprint for the rest of the world. With the reality of Brexit slowly coming to fruition, Jasmine Thompson proposes a way forward for Ireland with identity as a focal point. Mouna Chatt outlines the conflicting position of Muslim women in Denmark, underscoring their agency amidst repression. On a global scale, the rise of right-wing extremism as propelled by social media and algorithms is traced by Natasha Prentice.
This issue is brought to you by a team of students at the University of Edinburgh who are themselves from a variety of backgrounds. We are proud of our hard work through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
On a personal note, our entire Executive Committee graduated in the spring of 2022 and will thus be moving on from Leviathan. For all of us, working on this journal was an incredibly gratifying experience; it challenged us intellectually and brought together an amazing community. We have made lifelong friends and a product we are proud of.
We hope you enjoy reading this, Volume 12 Issue 2 of Leviathan. We sincerely enjoyed making it.
CommunityVol 12 No 1 (2021)
As the COVID-19 pandemic settles into the new status quo, the power of the community to come together—and to divide—is increasingly evident. From the global discussion of systemic racism instigated by the Black Lives Matter protests
in the summer of 2020, to the military disarray and coups of Myanmar, to COP26 in Glasgow, Leviathan centred our focus on the theme of Community to propel thoughtful discussion amongst the student body.
Together with our friends from Edinburgh Political Union (EPU), we have striven to engage students in a series of passionate debates. While the EPU hosted a number of engaging events including a discussion with Former Presidential Advisor Dr. Peter Feaver on America and the world and a panel discussion on Political Apathy, we helped students enter the conversation through academic writing.
The pandemic presented a series of challenges for Leviathan, and in response, we are publishing all of our articles in print as well as online. Our articles grasp a wide array of perspectives on the broad theme of community. Doing so allowed for more optimism during a time of unprecedented turbulence.
Our contributors and editors have worked tirelessly to bring the highest level of academic political writing to our student body and beyond. Darina Stoyanova investigates the complex role of violence in the Venezuelan city of Caracas, focusing on the barrio communities. In India, Tharun Venkat ambitiously explores the relationship between religion and politics
in the postcolonial era. Back to the UK, Jack Liddall explores the seemingly contradictory forces of decentralisation and centralisation of political power in the UK post-devolution. Claire Rose Reilley Panella evaluates instances of mutual aid networks that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic and their long-term efficacy, while Paul Gerard Tomlinson explores
the role of food banks in the United Kingdom as both necessary charitable organisations and, simultaneously, a sign that large-scale governance has shortcomings. Alex Lemery analyses climate talks and the role of the international community and dynamics between certain nations. Krisztina Kocsis provides an inclusive take when making an argument concerning the states of nuclear weapons after the Cold War.
We wouldn’t have been able to work on so many amazing articles had it not been for our own community: our writers, regional editors, copy editors, peer reviewers, and our administrative team. We hope that you will enjoy reading Leviathan as much as we enjoy bringing it to you!
Veronica Greer, Editor-in-Chief
Sofia Farouk, Deputy Editor-in-Chief
Lia Weinseiss, Treasurer-Secretary
UnprecedentedVol 11 No 1 (2021)
IdentityVol 10 No 2 (2020)
ChangeVol 10 No 1 (2019)
With the climate crisis looming, populist leaders firmly entrenched in the former beacons of moderation, Brexit altering the geopolitical landscape of Europe, further polarisation of the political scene in the US, mounting divisions within the EU, instability in the Middle East, struggle for power of former strongmen of Sudan and Zimbabwe, protests in India and recession in Japan, Change couldn’t be a more topical theme for Leviathan. Unsurprisingly, surgical masks and umbrellas, representing outbreak of coronavirus and protests in Hong Kong respectively, come to symbolise the beginning of the third decade of 21st century. Together with our friends
from Edinburgh Political Union (EPU), we have strived to engage all of the students in a series of passionate debates. While the EPU hosted a number of engaging events such as Justin Ho’s talk on protests in Hong Kong, we helped students enter the conversation through academic writing.
Leviathan offers a wide array of perspectives on change, through five articles in the printed issue and more than ten available online. By doing so, we fulfil our mission of sparking accessible and meaningful conversations.
Sonia Lilja explores the potential of Iranian cinema as a force of positive change for women, showing how innovative filmmakers are challenging traditional barriers in promising ways. In China, Jackson Paul Neagli shows how certain possibilities of knowledge productions are foreclosed through a nuanced system of conditional autonomy. Pedro Rogerio Borges de Carvalho is equally ambitious, considering avenues of regulation for autonomous weapons systems and the potential ramifications for warfare as we know it shouldn they be allowed to develop unchecked. Maria Gharesifard contextualises decades-long middle eastern fault lines from an increasingly exigent ecological perspective, bringing human need and resource depletion to bare on civil conflict. Finally, Brindley Fortuin unpacks the complex history behind last year’s parent protests in South
Arica, showing how nuances of design and geography have entrenched apartheid’s legacies even as culture is renegotiated and changed in educational settings and beyond.
We wouldn’t have been able to work on so many amazing articles had it not been for our team. In the past months, Leviathan has become the largest student-led peer-reviewed journal in Scotland. Not only have we expanded our team to fifty people, but also we managed to foster community and boost the skills of our team members. The production process has been expanded to include peer reviewing, more copy editing and more comprehensive writers’ training. For the first time, we accepted international writers from outside the university, dropped quotas of number of articles per section and composed insightful writers’ guides to allow people of all skills to contribute to Leviathan.
We hope that you will enjoy reading Leviathan as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.
Robert Jacek Włodarski, Leviathan Editor-in-Chief
Emily Hall, Leviathan Deputy Editor-in-Chief
AtonementVol 9 No 2We are proud to introduce Leviathan’s second issue of this year: Atonement. History, including that of the past several decades, is a box filled with tragedy. For many, these collective tragedies form the cornerstone of national identity; they all demand recognition and satisfaction. In this issue, writers have explored how nations and peoples have dealt with, or failed to address, the wrongs that bind us together. Writers discuss the difficulties of atoning for past wrongs as well as how current turmoil is often fed by unaddressed grievances. In a piece that strikes at the heart of atonement, Angus Leung explores the difficulties necessarily associated with nation-states apologizing on behalf of individu-al wrongdoers. Basing his essay on the successes and failures of real state apologies, Leung looks at how the process of reconciliation can be disrupted by individual victims and perpetrators ignoring the official line and rejecting the opportunity for atonement. In our Latin America section, Sofia Caal looks at practical and cultural barriers to reconciliation in Guatemala. Caal details the recent trial of Jose Efrain Rios Montt, former president of Guatemala, for genocide against the Maya Ixil and other indigenous peoples. Highlighting the rampant racism and discrimination faced by the prose-cutors during the trial, Caal calls attention to the societal barriers that can prevent recognition of past crimes and true reconciliation. Conor MacLennan looks at the extend to which the divisions and harms of the past continue to affect the present. MacLennan examines at the legacy of colonial rule in Liberia and how the divisions and prejudices it engendered continue to impact Liberian politics, even though the Americo-Liberians themselves have largely emigrated. Jacob Milburn explores the ways in which atonement processes often overlook certain issues, particular sexual and gender-based violence. In his look at UN-sponsored reconciliation in Timor Este, Milburn details how institutions have consistently overlooked cases of rape and sexual violence during conflict, denying justice to victims. In our Europe and Russia section, Guy Stewart discusses the deleterious effects of ignoring or covering up national tragedies in his article on recognition and non-recognition of Francoist crimes during and after the Spanish Civil War. Stewart details how these unad-dressed wrongs are bringing old tensions to the surface of Spanish politics now that the Socialist government has decided to face the country’s dictatorial past. When unaddressed, past injustices often have echoes in present practices; Rob Bazaral describes how a legacy of discrimination against Haitians is replicated in the modern Dominican Republic through abusive and exploitative la-bor practices on bateyes. Through a series of interviews, Bazaral lets batey workers speak to their own experiences and frustrations about working in a country that fails to acknowledge or address its legacy of discrimination and abuse. We hope that this issue will spark and contribute to interesting discussions about forgiveness, redress, and mercy in modern politics. We are also proud to sponsor Retrospect, the University of Edinburgh’s History, Classics and Archaeology Magazine. The Executive Committee hopes you enjoy this issue; may it inspire many interesting discussions. Sincere thanks to the entire team of Leviathan that made this issue a possibility, all of our writers, and the publishing and political community in Edinburgh.
EliteVol 9 No 1 (2019)
PrideVol 8 No 3 (2018)
DissolutionVol 8 No 2 (2018)
It is my pleasure to present to you our second issue of the 2017-2018 academic year: ‘Dissolution’. All over the world, political choices impact local communities, nations, and international networks. This can sometimes lead to alarmist discourses lamenting the dissolution of society’s foundation. Taking these discourses with a pinch of salt, writers in this issue have investigated current dynamics of construction and reconstruction of our systems.
Some writers focus on the effects of global economic and political changes on local communities. In the Asia & Pacific section, Ewan Forrest denounces the tragic impact of the Indian government’s investment in extractive industries on the lives of local Adivasi communities. When these same industries leave, the consequences can be detrimental too: Abigail Wise explains how the decline of coal-mining in Appalachia precipitated today’s opioid crisis.
Counter-movements from communities that were previously repressed can, in turn, impact overarching institutions. In Ireland, the influence of the Catholic Church has declined, and pro- choice movements have gained popular support. This, according to Seán Leonard, raises hope for the upcoming referendum on abortion in May 2018.
The Catholic Church still holds a traditionally important role in many parts of the world, and the impact of some individuals, like Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, can be decisive in encouraging pro- democracy trends. Abrahim Assaily profiles him for the African section.
Sometimes, grassroots movements can escape their founder’s control. In 2017, Tarana Burke was the face of the #MeToo movement. Now, as Samuel Phillips writes, she fears that the movement has been turned into a witch-hunt, putting the spotlight on aggressors rather than creating a community of survivors of sexual assault.
Amid all these articles, some writers focused on broader political and economic dynamics. In the International section, Orson Gard shares his vision for a Holistic Development Strategy. Some writers took a more sceptical stance, arguing that the events we observe, far from being transformations, are merely part of a cyclical order. In the Middle East section, Michael Drax wonders whether or not Iraq will succeed in breaking free from an enduring cycle of violence.
This issue is the result of impressive teamwork, and I would sincerely like to thank the whole team. It has been a pleasure to work with you, and to see everyone improve together. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Copy Editors, whose meticulous reviews are invaluable.
This journal could not exist without the support of professors throughout the University of Edinburgh. We would like to the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science for the continued support. Although we regret the absence of lectures this March, the team would like to express its support for the University staff. We hope they will be heard.
Finally, if you found this issue as inspiring as I did, I would like to encourage you to write for our last issue of the year, ‘Pride.’ I am thrilled about the theme, and cannot wait to read your submissions!
I enjoyed reading the diverse perspectives and ideas that students at the University of Edinburgh have to offer; and I hope you will as well.
Hide and SeekVol 8 No 1 (2017)
The New GenerationVol 7 No 3 (2017)
Media and PerceptionVol 7 No 2 (2017)
The IndividualVol 6 No 3 (2016)
The Status QuoVol 7 No 1 (2016)
Welcome to Issue I, Volume VII of Leviathan.
It is with great pleasure that I present to you an issue on ‘The Status Quo’. This issue explores how the existing state of affairs is being actively maintained and challenged in numerous domains, and the implications of these challenges.
The surprise election of Donald Trump as President of the United States just a few weeks ago represents one of the most widely covered—and perhaps most influential—challenges to the status quo. As such, the cover photo for this issue depicts Mr. Trump, as he has come to represent a physical manifestation of discontent with the existing state of affairs in American politics.
Yet the factors which contributed to the election of Mr. Trump are not unique. As the articles in this issue demonstrate, the discontent of citizens with the manner in which their country is run is quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Several writers examine the rise of those who feel their government does not adequately represent them, or that the existing order does not benefit them. Alexander Brotman examines the influence of reactionary politics on upcoming French elections, and Sofiane Aklouf profiles the resulting growth in popularity of Marine Le Pen and Le Front National. However, Sam Taylor illustrates an alternative approach to discontent in his profile of Jill Stein, analysing the reasons why people vote for third party candidates—and why these candidates run—despite low chances of electoral success. Similarly, in the Latin America and Caribbean section, Mark Wilson argues that the Columbian people were justified in voting against a government deal, as Columbia counter-intuitively risks perpetuating the violent status quo by pursuing a sub-standard peace accord.
Moreover, recent challenges to the existing state of affairs have not been confined to national politics. Bernard Lluminca analyses Germany’s concurrent desire to maintain their international status as the leading power on the continent while also weathering domestic emotional and cultural crisis brought on by the massive influx of migrants. This issue also features an entertaining and thought-provoking point-counter point argument conducted between Jeff Justice, a former professor, and Camilla Hallman, an undergraduate, regarding the future of liberal democracy as the dominant form of government.
Additionally, some writers chose to focus on more positive implications of challenges and changes to the status quo. In the Middle East and North Africa section, Samin Ahbab argues the power of online education has the capacity to reinvigorate stagnant education efforts in Egypt, Lebanon, and Algeria. Controversially, writer Jordan Lee defends the rise of the populist left in Europe as a legitimate challenge to a broken political system, and Samuel Phillips postulates a ‘Post-Karimov’ Uzbekistan. Finally, two writers focus on how migration can beneficially alter the status quo. Sophie Waters examines how the empowerment of the Eritrean diaspora is contributing to the disintegration of an oppressive regime, and Soleil Westendorf analyses the importance of Costa Rica to Latin American asylum seekers.
Let me conclude by offering massive thanks to my Deputy Kanzanira Thorington, my Production Chief Betzy Hänninen, and the entire Leviathan staff, without whom publishing this issue would not have been possible. I would also like to thank Darya Gnidash and the Edinburgh Political Union, as well as Dr. Ailsa Henderson and Dr. Sara Dorman of the School of Social and Political Science, for their continued advice and support.
It is with excitement that I also announce that, for the first time, Leviathan will be accepting Letters to the Editor to be published in our next issue. I would encourage each of you check our newsletter and social media accounts for information regarding the next theme, and to learn more about submitting letters. If something in this issue strikes a chord with you, or if you disagree with a point here, send us your argument in less than 500 words, and we may choose to publish it in the next issue. The deadline for both Articles and Letters to the Editor for Issue II will be 31 January 2017. We look forward to reading your submissions.
I hope each of you finds this issue as timely and thought-provoking as I did. Sincerely,
Nicholas G. Pugh
Dangerous IdeasVol 5 No 3 (2015)
It is my pleasure to present to you Leviathan’s final instalment of the academic session. This issue is about ideas and their ability to inspire fear, reform, and revolution. We discuss censorship, religion, radicalism, the role of the individual, the merits of violence, economic threats, and the subversion of conventional wisdom on democracy, nuclear proliferation, and the environment. In short, we explore the destructive and healing capacity of thought.
But why ‘dangerous’ ideas? In his memoirs, the writer and comedian Stephen Fry defends the importance of familiarising ourselves with concepts that make us uncomfortable. Discourse around ideas often borrows from notions of health and cleanliness. An attitude might be unhealthy, discontent might breed like bacteria, and a conviction might spread like a virus. An ideologue is considered pure, while the most unseemly thoughts are deemed inflammatory, like eczema or arthritis. But although we can universally and objectively agree that conditions like ‘cholera, typhus, and typhoid are unhealthy, we are unable to come anywhere close to consensus as to the healthiness or otherwise of ideas’.
Some of the articles herein advocate heterodox approaches to global and regional crises; others warn us away from the tempting but false promises of simple and potentially toxic solutions. We welcome this diverse number of interpretations and believe that they all deserve to be heard. We are grateful to our new and returning contributors for the hard work and boldness reflected in their writing.
This is the first-ever issue of Leviathan to use a colour photograph on its front cover. The image was taken during the late-2013 protests in Kyiv, but might as well be portraying Athens, Cairo, or Ferguson. It depicts a moment of politics at its most primal, the moment when an idea ceases to be ethereal and takes on the form of a Molotov cocktail soaring towards a phalanx of government enforcers. Read in the context of Ukrainian resistance at the time, it tells us that liberalism – to tyrants – is still a dangerous idea in the 21st century.
In light of this, I reject the notion that ideas should be considered secondary to ‘objective interests’ in our understanding of politics. The recent attack on Charlie Hebdo and the culture of radicalisation in Europe attest to the visible capacity of ideas both to provoke ire and to inspire violence. From the Silicon Valley to the streets of Hong Kong, the life of the mind continues to drive the forces of social change. To some, like the extremists of Boko Haram, learning itself is a dangerous idea.
As in previous issues this year, we chose to highlight seven articles as special profile pieces in each region. We found the propositions in these stories to be fascinating, thought-provoking, and worthy of your attention. The conflict in Nigeria was born out of a struggle to end drastic inequality, yet the extremist ideas of northern militants threaten to impoverish the region even further, according to Andrew Barlow. In a rejection of much of Western scholastic arrogance and complacency, Yuechen Wang argues that democracy is neither likely nor desirable without a reconceptualisation of the Confucian social doctrine that underlies the foundations of Chinese society. David Kelly insists that political theory cannot exist separately from human undertaking, particularly the undertaking of individuals who change the course of history. Latin American and Caribbean societies must exorcise the demons of xenophobia in order ensure a progressive future, warns Kanzanira Thorington. Alejandro Salamanca Rodríguez explains why the misrepresentation of dangerous ideas undermines the intellectual integrity of honest debate. Vilde Sofie Rodin investigates ways of reining in and reforming America’s drone programme. Finally, Lene Kirstine Korseberg challenges the traditional understanding of the social contract and emphasises the need to come up with alternative theories of authority. We hope these profiles capture a variety of perspectives and present a mosaic of our chosen theme.
Leviathan will begin hiring new staff members for the coming academic session in September of 2015. Although the journal is quite young, our alumni can already be found at The Financial Times, the European Parliament, the Pentagon, and the City of London, as well as in the halls of the University of Chicago, the Naval Postgraduate School, and King’s College London. If you are interested in editing, production, or fundraising for the journal, I encourage you to get in touch. Working at Leviathan is an opportunity to promote your credentials, meet new people, and help others.
For five full years, we have served as the leading platform for political writing at the University of Edinburgh. With pride, I can report that the state of the journal is stronger than ever. With sadness, I must announce that this is my final issue as editor in chief. The three years in which I have been involved in producing the journal and leading this excellent team have amounted to the greatest experience of my life, and no other endeavour thus far has made me feel prouder or more fortunate. Although I will miss Leviathan and this university, I have every confidence that the incoming editor Jessica Killeen will continue our legacy of student thought and engagement.
As ever, I would like to thank our loyal readers, esteemed contributors, and dedicated members of staff. I would particularly like to express my appreciation for Lene Kirstine Korseberg, Maxwell Greenberg, and Prof. Ailsa Henderson for their crucial and continued role in ensuring the success of this journal. Additionally, Leviathan could not exist without the support of the University of Edinburgh PIR Department and the PIR Society. The individuals who constitute this community have made this the best year for us yet. Our new team will doubtlessly carry on this journal’s tradition of leadership and innovation. I wish them luck and look forward to seeing what comes next.
Thanks for a great year, and I hope that you enjoy the talent and vision reflected in these pages.
Marko John Supronyuk
Editor in Chief
BordersVol 5 No 2 (2015)
On behalf of the Leviathan journal, I am pleased to present to you our second instalment of the academic year. In this issue we discuss border conflicts, rules of international law, attitudes towards identity, the changing nature of sovereignty, and the limitations of diplomacy. In short, we explore the building and breaking of boundaries and conventions.
This is the first-ever issue of Leviathan to use a photograph rather than a painting on the front cover. We wanted this decision to emphasise our view of borders not just as abstract concepts or markers of sovereign territory but as starkly real and deeply personal stories of separation, struggle, and resilience. For example, the partition of India, analysed by Nishad Sanzagiri for this issue, must be understood not just in the context of colonial geopolitics, but also as a process that left millions of families displaced, mistreated, and torn apart. Likewise, as Will O’Sullivan points out, in order to meet the challenges of Kenya’s broken education system – an invisible border – we must understand the conditions and needs of the pupils as well as the political culture within the country. Throughout our discourse, we must never lose sight of the real people affected by international politics.
Several of the articles herein deal with the issue of building a Europe whole and free. Can this continent truly be united in transcending the borders of sovereignty, nationalism, and culture when so many divisions exist even within nations? In ‘Die Mauer im Kopf ’ contributor David Kelly describes the ghosts that still haunt Germany a quarter of a century after its reunification. The photograph on the front cover of this issue recalls the days leading up to reunification, featuring the Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate in 1989. While the former was for many decades a physical mark of division, the latter has since become a symbol not just of German but of European openness, integration, and peace. In a reflection of the time period, one of the most prominent graffiti on the wall reads, in Russian letters, ‘glasnost’.
Contrary to popular belief, however, the fall of the Berlin Wall was not an inevitability, according to Mary Elise Sarotte’s recent book The Collapse. With much uncertainty and a still-powerful East German state, the fall of the wall was “accidental and contingent” in the way it came about. The Brandenburg Gate, located in no-man’s-land between east and west Berlin for much of the Cold War, was opened again. The fact that such formidable borders can simultaneously be so fragile strikes at the heart of the ambitions and insecurities of our shared humanity.
Continuing the practice we started in Leviathan’s ‘Power’ issue, we decided to highlight seven stories as special profile pieces in each region. These analytical items reflect some the most important global trends of today. Territorial disputes in the East China Sea are heating up, allowing China to flex its military and political muscle and potentially provoking the wrath of the United States. The spread of Ebola in West Africa should alert the international community to the importance of present and future cooperation against natural enemies that do not respect state borders. The war in Ukraine re- ignites an old debate concerning small states’ right to self-determination in the face of geopolitical bullying. Increased ISIS activity in Syria, Iraq, and several other countries demonstrates how unsuitable modern Middle Eastern borders fail to prevent terrorism and sectarian conflict. In the United States, the recent crisis involving unaccompanied Central American children on the border calls attention to the country’s broken homeland security system and the failing of the political class to recognise the human implications of bureaucratic rules. Finally, we investigate the tension between national sovereignty and financial markets in a globalising world. We hope that these profiles convey our understanding of borders through a compelling and captivating narrative.
I would like to extend some words of thanks. First, to our readers, whose interest and enthusiasm keep the staff motivated and make me believe in the future of this journal. It is the readers who take the published word and through their feedback turn it into a dialogue, making this endeavour worthy of the scholarly character to which it aspires. Further, we must recognise the work of our contributors as particularly commendable: it takes a special kind of resolve to voluntarily take on extracurricular academic writing. By projecting their views into the wider community, Leviathan hopes to ensure that its contributors’ toil is not in vain. Finally, the commitment of staff members who edit, produce, and fundraise for the journal cannot go unnoticed. These brilliant individuals have maintained their dynamism throughout the academic year, and working alongside them is a pleasure and a privilege.
Leviathan continues to benefit from the academic, financial, and administrative infrastructure provided to us by the Department of Politics and International Relations and the PIR Society. To them, too, we owe a debt of gratitude. Our bonds grow stronger with the passing of time, creating a community of colleagues and friends that I am confident will last for years to come.
I hope that you enjoy the talent and vision reflected in these pages.
Marko John Supronyuk
Editor in Chief
PowerVol 5 No 1 (2014)
Welcome to the fifth year of Leviathan!
It is with tremendous gratitude and pride that I present to you the first instalment of this volume. Five years amounts to an anniversary, and I knew that the theme of this issue had to reflect that.
Whether in the offices of Edinburgh academics, in the halls of Westminster, or in Wall Street boardrooms, leaders in all fields are fascinated, sometimes obsessed, with power. But that fascination is not only limited to those at the top. It permeates popular culture, and we can see it in ourselves as we root for our favourite power-hungry characters in Game of Thrones and House of Cards.
The latter series is delightfully and disturbingly sinister, depicting a person who, like the rulers in Orwell’s 1984, seeks power not for ‘wealth or luxury or long life or happiness’ but for its own sake. Frank Underwood assures us that ‘power is the old stone building that stands for centuries.’ But does the murderous anti-hero delude himself, like the mighty king of kings in Shelley’s Ozymandias? Perhaps power is just a house of cards.
And though it’s true that even the greatest empires crumble and fall, some power structures remain unbending. The world over, the fight against the tyranny of oppressive ideology has seen varying degrees of success. The crimes perpetrated by ISIS and Boko Haram, the introduction of harsh anti-gay legislation in Russia and parts of Africa, and the continuing failure to liberate and empower women demonstrate that the battle between liberalism and bigotry is not over, and progress not inevitable.
For this issue, we asked Leviathan contributors to research the lives and careers of people representing each of the regions we cover, plus, on popular demand, the international Christine Lagarde. The seven powerful individuals profiled herein are leaders and innovators in the fields of politics, business, finance, literature, and information wars. Some are heroes, some are villains, and some have yet to show their true colours, but all have shaped the fate of their region and the world.
We are happy to welcome for the first time Prof. Tao Xie of Beijing Foreign Studies University. His account of China’s pursuit of soft power provides us with a captivating insight into the subject. Meanwhile, University of Edinburgh graduate and EUSA President Briana Pegado reflects on power dynamics and the stories we tell in ‘Understanding Power’. Some of the best, and at times poignant, student writing we have hosted can be found in ‘Reconceptualising Power’ by Iqan Fadaei and ‘Another Country: Power in Northern Ireland’ by David Kelly.
Leviathan has come a long way in five years, and honourable mentions are in order for the journal’s trailblazing alumni. In particular, I would like to recognise my predecessors Maxwell Greenberg, Natasha Turak, and former creative director Adrie Smith as individuals who continue to inspire our work today.
The painting chosen for the front cover of this issue is The Victory of Lord Duncan by John Singleton Copley. It is on display in the Scottish National Gallery and depicts a moment in the aftermath of the Battle of Camperdown, one of the most significant naval victories in history. The leader of the Dutch forces offers his sword in a display of defeat, but Admiral Adam Duncan refuses, saying only ‘I would much rather take a brave man’s hand than his sword.’ Gentlemanly, merciful, and indeed most British. The gallantry, however, is made less charming by the striking presence of a burning ship, a reminder that however courteous the facade, this handover of power was brought about through brute force and imperial might.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the subject matter, Leviathan received a record number of submissions, making this the largest issue yet. Regrettably, we could not accommodate all articles in the printed version. We would like to thank all our contributors and encourage them to submit again for the February 2015 issue Borders.
Leviathan’s Power issue was brought into existence by a dedicated staff of twenty, who, between them, are gaining expertise in ten fields of study, speak fifteen languages, and have lived in twenty-five different countries. I would like to thank the Leviathan team, the PIR Society leadership, and the PIR Department at Edinburgh University for their wonderful work and support.
It is my first issue as Editor in Chief, and I can genuinely say that this product is a work of love. It sometimes feels impossible to be creative or to pay attention to detail when one is bogged down with the many managerial concerns that come with running an organisation. This is why, in addition to everyone else on the team, I would like to extend special gratitude to Deputy Editor in Chief Lene Kirstine Korseberg, Chief of Production Jessica Killeen, and Fundraising Director Juliana Fentress. The journal could not have met the standards of quality, integrity, and professionalism expected of it without their work and ideas.
We hope that you find the finished product worthwhile and thought-provoking.
Marko John Supronyuk
Editor in Chief
Scottish IndependenceVol 4 No 3 (2014)Welcome to the final issue of Leviathan’s fourth year. This special edition contains the thoughts of two Members of the European Parliament, one Member of the Scottish Parliament, the Lord Rector of the University of Edinburgh, and a number of students on the topic of Scottish Independence. The upcoming referendum, on 18 September, 2014, will allow Scots an historic say on their constitutional future. The vote, however it goes, will have profound impact on the policies of devolution and federalism in a European context. It will inform our understanding of the rights of small nations, of nationhood and issues of identity, and, more broadly, it will inform the political philosophy underpinning issues of secession and the conversation on which, if any group, has a right to secede, and in what circumstances. If it is a Yes vote, I think it will be a cause to rejoice for academics, if only because of the extraordinary opportunity to inform the construction of a new state out of an ancient nation. This issue takes a critical look at the possibilities, pitfalls, and promises of Scottish Independence. There was no requirement, for this issue, for submissions to remain unbiased. In fact, partiality was encouraged. For this special edition, we have done away with regional columns, temporarily, to focus on public policy issues surrounding the independence debate. This issue should serve as a ‘Voter’s Guide’ of sorts, informing the understanding of a number of policy areas loosely based on the policy areas outlined in the Scottish Government’s White Paper: Politics and Constitution, Economics, Business, and Finance, Health, Welfare, and Social Protection, Justice, Immigration, and Home Affairs, and International Relations, Security, and Defence. It has been the best experience that I have had at University, being your Editor in Chief. Our team has worked very hard, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I’ll miss it, but Leviathan has so much potential, and still so much left to build. Thank you for the opportunity to lead this Journal, and to work with you all. Leviathan will also be bidding farewell to our Production Chief of two years, Adrie Smith, as she graduates. Leviathan has existed for four years, and Adrie is responsible for fully fifty percent of what the Journal is. Her presence will be missed by the entire Leviathan and PIR Soc community, though we are sure she will traffic in interesting and noteworthy pursuits after graduation! Thanks to the Department of Politics and International Relations and the Politics and International Relations Society for their continued generous support of Leviathan. Finally, I would like to thank all student-staff members of Leviathan and all students who contributed to this issue. The issue you have before you represents their capabilities and hard work. Sincerely, Maxwell Greenberg
War & PeaceVol 4 No 2 (2014)Welcome, If one were to take a walk around George Square, asking students of politics or international relations on this campus what they hope to do with their degree, many students I know, many of you reading this now, with a sheepish grin for fear of sounding trite, might answer something like “because I want to do my part in building a more peaceful world.” This issue also comes at a particularly potent moment to discuss issues of war and peace. The centennial of the First World War provides an opportunity to ask uncomfortable questions. Though formal global empires have crumbled, do we live in a world free of imperialism? Though we now have a United Nations tasked with providing a forum capable of maintaining peace, is the world a more peaceful place? Has the likelihood of Great Power war actually diminished? By exploring questions of war making and peace building, inevitably, we must ask, what causes war? Is violence innate to mankind and empathy something we must impose upon ourselves? If institutions like the United Nations cannot impose an order of peace on the world, can ideational forces? Can religion? In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God.” In Muhammad’s Last Sermon, Muslims are implored to “Hurt no one so that no one can hurt you.” How, then, do we make sense of 35 Christians killed in bomb blasts in Baghdad churches on Christmas Day, 2013? How can we explain the slaughter of 22 Muslims fleeing violence in the Central African Republic on 19 January by a Christian militia? This issue takes a critical look at how wars are fought, how, or if, peace is built, and whether or not any individual can actually make an impact. The cover of this issue, a cavalry charge by the Royal North British Dragoons (The Scots Greys) at the Battle of Waterloo, is an 1881 painting by Lady Elizabeth Butler called ‘Scotland for Ever.’ The image screams nationalism, it romanticises war, and conjures an image of heroism in the face of death. We chose to feature it because the painting was used in propaganda by both the British and Germans in the First World War. That seems a fitting irony for a look into the hypocrisy and terror of war. This glorious image of Scots charging to battle, dressed in the regalia of Empire seems quite removed from the political reality of early 21st century Scotland. As we debate Scotland’s constitutional future and place in the world ahead of next September’s referendum on the question of Scottish independence. In anticipation of the referendum, Leviathan will publish our third and final instalment of the 2013-14 academic year, featuring a broad analysis of issues in the referendum debate by students, academics, and politicians. We hope that it can serve as a non-partisan, academic, voter’s guide on all policy areas touched by the possibility of an independent Scotland. Thanks to the Department of Politics and International Relations and the Politics and International Relations Society for their continued generous support of Leviathan. Additionally, as our loyal readers may have noticed, this is the first issue of Leviathan ever to partner with another Society here at the University of Edinburgh. We would like to thank the European Union Society, our partners for this issue, for their contributions. Additionally, we very much appreciate the contribution of John Clifford, friend of the EU Society, and Austrian Honorary Consul to Scotland. Finally, I would like to thank all student-staff members of Leviathan and all students who contributed to this issue. The issue you have before you represents their capabilities and hard work. Yours, Maxwell Greenberg, Editor in Chief
Feminism & GenderVol 4 No 1 (2013)
It is with tremendous gratitude and pride that I present to you the rst instalment of Leviathan for the 2013-14 academic year.
is instalment represents the hard work and thoughts of twenty three students, two members of sta , and a fourteen member committee, making it the largest edition of Leviathan yet. As past readers will already have noticed, we have begun a new year with a fresh and, we hope, welcome series of changes to Leviathan.
We have introduced a new regional format to the Journal, with articles divided into six regions, and comparative pieces included as International submissions. We hope that this makes it easier to navigate the Journal. We have also introduced a new logo which we hope will make Leviathan instantly recognisable on campus. It features the crown, sword, and sceptre, traditional symbols of sovereignty in the West, from the etching of the Leviathan that is the cover of Hobbes’ seminal work. We hope that the St. Andrews Cross that the sword and sceptre are crossed inside of will evoke the Scottish nature of this Journal and University.
Inside, readers will nd the thoughts of students and members of sta on the topic ‘Feminism and Gender’. Feminism has a ected the political development of all nations, as well as informing the way in which we theorise about politics and international relations. How we interact in society is governed by gender expectations. Di erent societies have radically di erent norms and attitudes towards gender. Can we reconcile those norms? Should we? What role, if any, do human rights play in the debate?
e intersection of feminism and gender with politics is contentious and relevant, and I invite readers to challenge their own norms, attitudes, and privilege as they engage with the thoughts of our contributors.
ere are a tremendous number of people who deserve thanks, as Leviathan is truly a team e ort. e editors, production team members, events team, and fundraising team, led by Marcus Gustafsson, Adrie Smith, Tanya Turak, and Naomi Je erson, respectively, have put in many hours of e ort and thought into the Journal. e work before you is proof of their capabilities.
ose Editors in Chief who are my predecessors, Natasha Turak and Uday Jain have also been enormously helpful throughout the cra ing of this work. eir legacy and assistance are appreciated by all who enjoy Leviathan.
I’d like to thank Adrie Smith, especially, without whom the Journal would surely be lost. She is responsible for cra ing the redesign of the journal, production of the journal, for our new brand, and for unrelenting good advice.
e University of Edinburgh and Politics and International Relations Society have the humble thanks of the entire Leviathan community for their generous support of our e orts.
We hope that you nd this sampling of analysis, opinion, and academic debate from students at the University of Edinburgh thought compelling.
Maxwell Greenberg, Editor in Chief
DevelopmentVol 3 No 3 (2013)
It is with pleasure that I welcome you to Leviathan’s last instalment of the 2012-13 academic year. For three years now, Leviathan has drawn on the work of students and staff alike to discuss, debate, and analyse the myriad political and cultural issues pervading current events. Leviathan strives to offer rich political material from a wide spectrum of viewpoints, presenting unique frameworks for our content as we explore a variety of themes. The theme for this issue is Development.
The Development issue aims to address some of the most signi cant social and political challenges relevant today—our writers tackle a range of topics including gender, sustainability, healthcare, military aid, the economics of happiness, Scotland’s independence, Indonesia’s rise, China’s risks, and more.
As a society, we pursue development in a variety of forms. Wealthy nations thrive on technological advancement, but how much of it helps those countries less fortunate? International summits and billions of dollars are committed to reversing the tide of environmental degradation and climate change, whilst powerful interests and the engines of consumerism stand as erce obstacles. Western countries that once led innovation are now mired in recessions and failing education systems. All eyes are on Asia, whose booming population and markets are shifting global power dynamics. Meanwhile, sectarian violence and terrorism threaten democracy and human rights across several continents. Governments appear more and more out of touch with their constituents. What kind of aid truly fosters empowerment? Is the road to progress paved by large organizations and governments, or by small grassroots and non-pro t movements? How can such a diverse range of entities collaborate to effectively create more prosperous communities around the world? What is our generation’s role in this process? What are the threats to development... and is it always a desirable thing?
It is with pride and gratitude that I thank my team and all of the writers and artists who dedicated their time and work to this issue, and every issue under my editorship. As I pass the mantle on to the next Leviathan editor, Maxwell Greenberg, I wish him and his team the very best of luck. The Edinburgh University Politics and IR Society—the journal’s founder and winner of the 2013 EUSA Global Award—has been indispensable to Leviathan through its constant support and academic contributions. Finally, our success would not be possible without the generous help and guidance of the University’s Politics and IR department, who continue to lead the way in exceptional scholarship and teaching.
As always, we encourage you to read, ponder, and critique relentlessly. Our hope is that Leviathan not only challenges you to think differently, but also inspires you to add your voice to the debate. We await your feedback and look forward to your future involvement. Stay updated by following our brand new Twitter page @LeviathanEdUni, and we welcome your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers, and enjoy.
Editor in Chief
JusticeVol 3 No 2 (2013)
Welcome to the seventh installment of Leviathan! As Edinburgh Universtity's student-run politics and current affaris journal, we aspire to provide you with a platform for discussion and debate on today's critical political developments. As you flip through through the pages of this journal, we hope you come across material that is new to you, that fuels your interest, and that perhaps even inspires you to contribute to Leviathan yourself.
This winter, we examine the ever-tumultuous arena of global politics throuh the prism of "Justice". How can we conceptualize such a fundamental human need? From governance and human rights to the environment and poverty, what is the source of injustice, and how can it be eradicated? Who suffers and who benefits from oppression and corruption across countries and polities? This issue of Leviathan features a wide range of timely topics including America's drone wars, Britain's education system, corruption in South Asia, EU immigration, and more.
Many thanks are owed to the dedicated work of the whole Leviathan team, who--despite winter flues, looming deadlines, and multiple time zones--never failed to deliver brilliantly, We are immensely grateful to all who have attended our fundraisers and donated to our efforts. Finally, generous support form the Politics and International Relations Department and the PIR Society has been invaluable, as they foster student interest and discourse through a wide variety of weekly talks, socials, and debate panels.
We hope this issue of Leviathan inspires you to reflect, question, and draw your own analyses on the myriad topics pertaining to justice in our community and in our world. We invite you to visit our brand new website, leviathanjournal.com, where you can find our past issues online adn learn more about the journal. Questions and comments shoudl be directed to email@example.com, and we welcome your feedback.
Cheers, and enjoy.
Editor in Chief
EnvironmentVol 3 No 1 (2012)
As Leviathan enters its third year of production, I wish to extend a warm welcome to our readers, new and old. Leviathan aims to shed light on the crucial yet sometimes overlooked issues of our political environment, stimulating thought-provoking analysis and debate. We examine today’s issues through a variety of themes in an effort to offer new perspectives. The theme of this issue is “The Environment”.
As a generation, we face unprecedented obstacles. We face mounting debt, social unrest, and environmental decline, among a multitude of other quandaries. This issue of Leviathan features articles on topics from climate change to energy harvesting, the global food crisis to humanitarian development. On such a vast scale, it is dif cult to gauge our role as individuals—how much power do we have, both independently and collectively, to affect positive change? Is our generation to blame? Re-usable shopping bags and eco-bulbs may not change the world, but they have clearly contributed to a trend. Businesses nd increasing incentives to “go green”, but at which point do commercial interests and the environment come into con ict? Can we achieve economic prosperity without causing environmental degradation? And how do resources and environmental policies gure in the grand scheme of geopolitics and power?
With a constant focus on the international sphere, this issue includes discussions on solar energy in Europe, pollution in China, the presidential election and energy policy in the US, water scarcity in South Asia, and more. We invite you to read, ponder, and offer critique by sending your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As each issue is put together solely by Edinburgh University students, many thanks are due to the hardworking and tireless efforts of Leviathan’s writers, editors, illustrators, fundraisers, and production team members, without whom this journal would not exist. Leviathan is generously supported by the University’s Politics and International Relations Department, who have enabled us to pursue professionalism and quality, and to whom we owe boundless gratitude. The Politics Society has also been a steadfast foundation for our work, and continues to offer enlightening political discussion though its many events during the year. Finally, my personal appreciation goes out to Uday Jain and Ryan Jacobs, my predecessors, who through unwavering dedication founded and built this journal.
Cheers, and enjoy.
Natasha Turak Editor in Chief