Archive for the ‘1’ Category

This BBC news item highlights French sensitivities to the use of the tricolour. The trigger–a contest winning photo of a man using it to wipe his behind…


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A Trilingual Sign

Interesting article on the relationship between religion, language and the nation


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The formation of Nations

Thought this was an interesting article which highlights what we were talking about last week that globalization is something old and has intensified over centuries as opposed to being a product of neo-liberalism of the past 30 years. Even though Nations were processes which drew boundaries, they were very much formed by people who were relativley free to travel without such bounded restrictions.


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This week we will be discussing how Climate Change can affect National Policy and shape the political landscape of particular countries. Because Climate Change is a truly global phenomenon which transcends national boundaries, good relationships between countries is essential for the successful implementation of environmental management. As a result, the politics of climate change is ingrained with national sentiment.

Even though the dangers of Climate Change are increasingly publicised, often national interests outweigh the importance of this global concern. Industrializing countries such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Ecuador have often sacrificed environmental preservation in order to catch up economically with more developed countries such as the U.S and the U.K

Brazil has for decades relied on its extensive policies of deforestation and has been at the receiving end of much protest from international non-governmental organizations. Its increasing competitiveness on the world agricultural market has been a political priority meaning it has prevailed over implementing ecological concerns. In a country where 80% of recent deforestation of the Amazon has taken place, Brazils challenge is to balance national and international pressure with economic demand needed to sustain its own citizens.


Equally, other big Nations such as Russia is continuing to put the Russian people first.Recently Russian prime-minister Vladimir Putin controversially decided to re-open the Baikalsk Paper Mill near the UNESCO heritage Baikal Lake. The rationale behind this decision was to re-energise the local economy which heavily depends on the work of the paper mill. Despite the protests, economic growth has been prioritised over ecological preservation of the lake.


The worry of climate change has also merged smaller nations together creating alliances which have attempted to ease the burden on individual countries for making their voices heard. The Pacific Island Forum is an example which has allowed islands such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu among others to mobilise at a much larger scale.

In Copenhagen December 2009 this alliance showed resilience through insisting that smaller nations will not be bullied by bigger ones as the below video indicates.

Therefore the challenge for nations is to decide between purusing domestic goals against that of greater global security. However, with increasing international pressures, the question remains how long will it be until failure to cooperate internationally will result in conflict?

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Too left-wing to be German

I came across two cases in February when German citizenship was rejected on grounds of socialist ideology. The first case I heard of occurred in the city of Hanover. A 20-years-old Syrian from the Socialist German Labour-youth (SDAJ) was denied citizenship because of his political engagement; apart from that he is regarded as “well integrated”.

The second case is more prominent as it concerns a young spokeswoman of “Die Linke”, who left the youth organisation of the SPD in 2007. Social-Democrats have moved to the right under Schroeder, which is one of the reasons why the Left Party has been on the rise ever since. This party is now well established in the federal and several regional parliaments. As the successor of the governing party in the GDR, it remains however under observation by the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution. Membership of this party has been stated as the only reason to deny citizenship: anything left of the SPD seems not good enough to gain German nationality.

The latter decision has drawn much attention in Scotland: Jannine Menger-Hamilton is the daughter of a former Scots soldier. There is an article in English in the Scotsman about this case: http://news.scotsman.com/world/No-you-can39t-be-a.6102347.jp

The former case has been described in Hanover’s local newspaper (in German): http://beta.haz.de/Hannover/Aus-der-Stadt/Uebersicht/Hannover-verweigert-Einbuergerung-wegen-politischen-Engagements

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