Leviathan is the leading student-led academic journal at the University of Edinburgh. It was founded in 2010 as a means for students to elevate political discourse through rigorous research and open-minded discussion. Here, we read more, help you write better and allow you to be part of Edinburgh’s amazing student community.

Leviathan’s editorial staff remains committed to working with students from all backgrounds and skill sets to express informed opinions and start conversations. Where there is a will to learn, there is no story too difficult to tell.


Current Issue

Vol. 14 No. 1 (2023): Borders and Belonging
					View Vol. 14 No. 1 (2023): Borders and Belonging

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to bring you our first issue of Leviathan for this academic year: ‘Borders and Belonging.’ In a world that increasingly challenges established notions of identity and dimensions of all kinds, this issue covers a range of topics that shape our understanding and place within the contemporary world. When we think about borders many of us may think of national borders on a map, stagnant and unchanging. However, as the essays in this issue exemplify, our world is shaped by many types of borders and rarely are even the borders of states as concrete as we imagine. Similarly, our notions of belonging often artificially restrict how we view and interact with the world. The pieces in this issue of Leviathan seek to challenge the fixity of both borders and belonging, and present unique perspectives on how the world is constructed by our social interactions.

Thanks to the hard work of the Leviathan editing team and the support of the Edinburgh Political Union, this issue of Leviathan includes more and longer essays than our previous issues. This has allowed us to provide a platform for more students to express their ideas and issues they are passionate about. Under the theme of ‘Borders and Belonging’, our writers have presented a diverse set of views on the complex intersections between identity, culture, and geographical boundaries, offering nuanced perspectives on the human experience of inclusion and exclusion.

Our issue begins with Amelia Chesworth’s highly relevant investigation of the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing the important of territory in the historical dispute. Isabella Chambers follows, examining the ways in which social media challenges predominant perceptions of refugees and their stories. Directly addressing issues of belonging, Molly McKenzie analyses the dangers of allowing states to strip citizenship from individuals, which leaves many stateless. Following, Samhita Gadang demonstrates the harmful effects of the ‘model minority myth’ which exemplifies the Asian American communities but simultaneously isolates them. Drawing on personal experience, Nina Shariff argues that in contrast to traditional concepts of territorially bound ethnic or national groups, the Ismaili community has maintained a sense of identity and community despite the community’s transnational nature. Jordan Fox focuses on Hong Kong, and the development of a distinct Hong Kong identity that continues to exist despite Mainland China’s efforts. After, Allie Mackey observes the disconnect between the US Democratic Party’s promises and the Party’s concrete actions especially in areas such as housing and policing. Grappling with the overturn of affirmative action in the US, William Fieni-Thies argues in favour of other policies to address the critical inequality in higher education.

Addressing directly the nature of borders, Johanna Nesselhauf provides the Spanish-Moroccan border as a case study for the socially constructed nature of borders and the impact of borders. Examining the history of Hong Kong, Adeline Cheung presents the concept of ‘liminality’ to understand Hong Kong identity and arguing in favour of a more imaginative approach to current debates about Hong Kong. Recounting the tragic history of the Armenian Genocide, Julia Bahadrian analyses how the event has shaped Armenian culture and the groups self-perception. Revisiting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gwynne Capiraso provides an account that focuses on the role of British imperialism in fermenting war. Finally, Emily Wilkinson provides a wonderful deconstruction of the myth of Nordic perfection by emphasizing the regions troubled relationship with the Sámi people.

This issue is only possible thanks to the committed work from the Leviathan team, our writers, and the Edinburgh Political Union. I would like to thank you for all that you have contributed over these months and the time that you have given up making this issue as great as possible. We have already begun work on our next issue of Leviathan, ‘Revolt and Reform’, which will be even larger than this issue.

I hope that you enjoy reading these pieces as much as we have been working on them!


Jay McClure


Published: 14-Mar-2024
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