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.