Can Twitter​ and diplomacy coexist?

Donald Trump has more than 53 million Twitter followers. What does that mean for American diplomacy? And setting aside Trump’s idiosyncrasies for a moment, what does Twitter itself mean for the relationship between diplomats and the public?

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Proud Americans?

Theodore Roosevelt declared in a speech in 1907 that an American can be defined as someone who is ‘in every facet an American, and nothing but an American’, with sole loyalty to ‘the American flag’ and ‘the American people’. The national anthem of the United States, The Star-Spangled Banner, is undoubtedly a potent symbol of what it means to be American. Written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, the poem that later became the national anthem illustrates American perseverance in the face of Britain’s relentless naval bombardment of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. The national anthem thus serves as a reminder of how the American nation had to be fought for, which also evokes the experience of the Revolutionary War. It is therefore a powerful representation of the American national character – one that emphasizes such values as liberty, valor, and patriotism.

Performance, Persona, and Politics: How gendered stereotypes are used to foment political legitimacy

Politics concerns itself with the distribution of resources, rights, and liberties as well as who controls their distribution. As such, politics is about power, as the ability of individuals to decide how things are governed is determined by their power to enforce decisions. To cultivate the necessary authority and power to enforce decisions political legitimacy is required. Political legitimacy shapes who has power and how they can use it, which in turn has a tangible impact on our lives via political power’s ability to dictate what we can do, who we can associate with, and how we view the world around us. The same applies in the opposite direction. For individuals to fight for their rights they must have a grasp of how to gain power and how to cultivate political legitimacy, leveraging their environments and contexts to gain the necessary momentum to secure their wellbeing. With that, this article seeks to explore how individuals have sought to foment political legitimacy through the use of gendered stereotypes to gain political power.

Homage to Catalonia

The tension between the local and the national is not a recent development in human affairs. From America’s “Out of Many, One” to Europe’s “Ever Closer Union”, political thinkers and politicians have recognised the need to address this friction. The failure to resolve it led to the Confederacy seceding from the United States of America, the Republic of Ireland breaking away from the United Kingdom, and, more recently, the United Kingdom voting for Brexit.

Social Movements and Asymmetrical Warfare in an Information Era

In the society we are in now , in which key social structures and activities are organised around electronically processed information networks, social media becomes, as journalist Walter Lippmann said, a “pseudo-environment” critical in shaping public opinion. The entire world is able to see the asymmetrical relationship predominant in modern conflicts throughout society- notably during key events such as the crisis in Myanmar, the beating of Catalonia voters by Spanish police and police brutalisation towards African Americans in America. The infamous photograph from 1972 of the “Napalm girl”, Phan Thị Kim Phúc OOnt, caused a massive outcry and led to protests globally against U.S. involvement in the Vietnamese War, and led to huge pressure on the American government to withdraw their troops. Similarly, the photo of a drowned Syrian child, Alan Kurdi, laying in the sea, caused widespread sympathy for refugees as well as a decrease in anti-refugee rhetoric in many Western countries. This shows a close relationship between the role of media in worldly affairs. As warfare continues to evolve, the camera has become an essential weapon to be examined- particularly in how it is used in conflicts and pressure for change, both by state and non-state actors.

The Separatist Farce

Spain is currently facing its worst crisis since the return of democracy. Catalan nationalism has been a looming threat to Spain’s stability since its origin; but it is now, at the height of its power and influence, when this threat has materialised into a separatist movement ready to break with Spain at any cost and in any way…

A European Legacy: Helmut Kohl and Simone Veil

Amidst threats to European integrity and credibility, Helmut Kohl and Simone Veil, two pillars of European history and lifelong believers in the European idea, passed away in June 2017. With isolationist and Eurosceptic trends gaining more traction recently in countries such as France, the UK and Italy, it is an adequate time to look upon the achievements of two such figures. While each of them is renowned in their respective country for their national policies, they shared the conviction that an important way to achieve those was through European integration and cooperation, and that national and supranational interests were not necessarily at odds…

Political Divisions in the European Union

I was born in Sofia. I’ve lived in Bulgaria, Hungary, France, and now the United Kingdom. Four very different countries, yet very similar in many regards. I was born French and Bulgarian, and the European Union has had a significant impact on my life: I don’t remember showing my passport at border checks, I’ve been able to spend summers in a dozen of European countries, and I am in the third year of an International Relations degree at King’s College London. Also, I have only seen war through a television screen, I have never been arrested arbitrarily, and I am able to express my uncensored opinion in this paper. The EU, its achievements, and the idea of a unified Europe are all very important to me. That’s why I can only be critical of its failures.