Featured

Friday Reading List

Marketing Director Andrea Velazquez’s Friday Reading List is composed by several articles that discuss the various social and political effects the COVID-19 pandemic has produced around the world.

COVID-19 in The Philippines: The Case Against A Dangerously Inadequate Response: Contributing writer Lauryn Lin writes about the “highly militarized response” of the Philippines to coronavirus restrictions; and how the circumstances of COVID-19 are giving president Duterte room to broaden his regime of cruelty.

Continue reading “Friday Reading List”
Featured

A New Era of Persecution and Protest: What the Citizenship Amendment Act Means for the Future of India

India’s Citizenship Amendment Act passed by Prime Minister Modi is causing a dangerous divide amongst religious groups in India. With great suffering and resistance fueling the protest, many are fighting back to maintain a unified nation. 

by Isana Raja
Staff Writer

“My lifetime earnings are all but in ashes.” Business owner Mohammed Azad said about when he awoke to find his shop in shambles. The market, located in a Muslim neighborhood of New Delhi, had sustained Azad and his family for years. But now, it has been vandalized and utterly destroyed, leaving behind a legacy of crumbled concrete—  charred and indistinguishable. Residents of the area in the conjoined buildings all had to flee their homes as well, as fire from a tear gas chemical made its way through the street. 

Continue reading “A New Era of Persecution and Protest: What the Citizenship Amendment Act Means for the Future of India”
Featured

Op Ed: Latin America’s League of Socialist Dictators and the Call to Stop Romanticizing Socialism

Sometimes it is hard to comprehend the magnitude of what is being glorified. Socialist rhetoric and how it led to the demise of Bolivia. 

by Sofia Meador Sauto
Staff Writer

I cannot help but laugh at my friend as she throws her middle finger up at capitalism and proceeds to tell Alexa to turn off her alarm. Can’t help but chuckle at the stereotypical anti-capitalist rebel, walking down Library Walk with her Birkenstock sandals, preaching about the wonders of all the “free” stuff socialism has to offer. Nor can I help but roll my eyes and smirk at the memory of my professor last quarter who while conveying a talk replete with anti-capitalism and anti-neoliberalism sentiment, dropped his Mercedes car keys. Have these people not seen the detrimental state their socialist wonders are in? Oh, the sentiment of self accomplishment these heretics must feel when going against their dysfunctional capitalist system. 

Continue reading “Op Ed: Latin America’s League of Socialist Dictators and the Call to Stop Romanticizing Socialism”
Featured

Understanding the Decades Long Kashmir Conflict

by Ariana Roshanzaer
Staff Writer

Kashmir is a region in the Himalayas, spanning over 86,000 square miles, and has long been contested for by India and Pakistan, at the center of a conflict between the two countries. Part of this conflict stems from past colonial British rule. In 1947, the British empire granted India independence and Muslim citizens were given separate electoral districts, but the Muslim minority clamored for their own nation, and in the same year, Pakistan was formed. The maharaja (a Sanskrit term for “ruler”) at the time, Hari Singh, decided to join India, even though he originally wanted the region to become independent. India had helped defend the region when Pakistani tribesmen invaded Kashmir. Singh signed the agreement, since India said that Kashmir had join them in order to receive military assistance. Both countries have now claimed Kashmir in full, although the reality is that both countries only have control over certain regions, which are referred to as “Indian-administered Kashmir” and “Pakistan-administered Kashmir”.

Continue reading “Understanding the Decades Long Kashmir Conflict”
Featured

War, Sea, and Wall: The Triple Tragedy of Refugees Fleeing to Greece

Kara Tepe Refugee Camp on the Greek island of Lesbos by United Nations Photo

by Raafiya Ali Khan
Staff Writer

The Oxford English Dictionary defines sea as the continuous body of saltwater that covers the greater part of the earth’s surface. While the literal meaning of sea can be discovered easily by just a few clicks on the internet, it symbolizes much more than merely a body of water for those attempting to traverse its treacherous waves. The sea is a natural paradox; it is used as a means of survival for most, yet it can also lead to the ultimate end: a watery death. Refugees know the risk of maritime travel, yet choose to sail in dangerous conditions, hoping to arrive at lands that may promise them a better future, rather than the war-torn ones they have left behind. As of 2018, most refugees arriving on Greece’s shores and applying for asylum are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, escaping a civil war, as in Syria’s case, or violence resulting from domestic unrest and political crises. The most prominent example of the perils refugees face is encapsulated in the 2016 Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini’s story. 

Continue reading “War, Sea, and Wall: The Triple Tragedy of Refugees Fleeing to Greece”
Featured

Op-Ed: COVID-19, “Pandemic Diplomacy,” and Re-shaping of the World Order

COVID-19 Outbreak World Map.

by Siddharth
Graduate Fellow Editor

It is safe to say that no other single event in the 21st century after the 9/11 attacks has had a greater impact in the geopolitical arena than the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. What began as a disease traced to a wet animal market in China, COVID-19 is already shaping geopolitics across the world. While in a democracy, civil rights groups would have almost surely ensured that no wild animals (let alone endangered species like pangolins) could be sold for consumption, in China, the authoritarian government has allowed wet animal markets to flourish. As a result, here we are, a delicacy for some has transformed into becoming a global pandemic with China itself as its biggest victim.

Continue reading “Op-Ed: COVID-19, “Pandemic Diplomacy,” and Re-shaping of the World Order”
Featured

How Kurdish Women are Setting The World Standard for Feminism

A female Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighter works on her laptop after arriving in the southern Kurdistan city of Dohuk on May 14, 2013.

by Olivia Bryan
Staff Writer

From within the American female progressive movement alone, historic strides in the recent decade come to mind. Leading examples range from the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements against sexual misconduct, to the first Muslim and American indigenous women elected to Congress, and the traction of the nationwide Women’s March protests after United States President Donald Trump’s inauguration. While these are certainly no small feats, it should be noted that western women are not the only women at the cutting-edge of the feminist movement.

Continue reading “How Kurdish Women are Setting The World Standard for Feminism”
Featured

UCSD Event: Is Populism Reshaping Social Protection in Latin America?

As more right-wing populist leaders appear throughout Latin America, Brazilian economist Tiago Falcão gave a presentation at the Institute of the Americas to speak on how this new phenomenon will influence government social spending programs. 

by Rebeca Camacho
Managing Editor

With the rise of populist leaders all throughout the world, scrutiny of social welfare programs reclaimed attention in the political sphere. On Wednesday, January 29, 2020 the University of California, San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy and Center on Global Transformation hosted Pacific Leadership Fellow and Brazilian economist Tiago Falcão, who gave a presentation on the resurgence of populism and its implications on social welfare programs in Latin America. The event took place in the Malamud Room, located in the Institute of the Americas where many scholars, researchers, and industry experts meet to evaluate developments in the region.

Continue reading “UCSD Event: Is Populism Reshaping Social Protection in Latin America?”
Featured

Pegging on The Petro: Venezuela’s Crypto-friendly Strategy to Save a Failing Economy

With the rise of cryptocurrencies in the world market, many Latin American countries are now integrating the digital coins into their national economies. For Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, betting on crypto could be the last resort.

by Sebastian Preising
Staff Writer

What does a country do if they are suffering from hyperinflation, rampant government corruption, and are bordering on total economic collapse? Some states may choose to adopt another nation’s currency or elect anti-corruption politicians, others are starting to turn towards  unconventional solutions. In Venezuela, Bitcoin has already begun steadily replacing the hyper-inflated Bolivar as the nation’s primary transaction currency. In the last week alone, Venezuela reportedly traded over $350 billion Bolivars for Bitcoin, and continues to do so at an increasing rate. 

Continue reading “Pegging on The Petro: Venezuela’s Crypto-friendly Strategy to Save a Failing Economy”
Featured

China’s Paradox: Economic Stimulation vs. Climate Catastrophe Aversion

Environmental inspectors in northern China have found that seventy percent of the businesses they examined failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution. (Photo by Ella Ivanescu)

by Rachel Chiang
Staff Writer

This is a familiar story: China is to blame for climate change, with twenty-seven percent of global greenhouse gases emanating from within its borders. Operating under the desire to generate capital, the “authoritarian” Chinese state condones crippling levels of pollution, to the point at which face masks are daily necessities embraced by residents of Beijing. Any efforts to be environmentally conscious in the United States are futile since China will continue the reckless expansion of its carbon footprint.

Continue reading “China’s Paradox: Economic Stimulation vs. Climate Catastrophe Aversion”
Featured

UBI: The Global Antipoverty Experiment

by Tenzin Chomphel
Editor in Chief

The back and forth of the best way to resolve extreme poverty, wealth inequality, and just taxation, may often appear endless to most. While global poverty is lowering at a rate of roughly sixty-eight million people per year, that still leaves an unacceptably high level of poverty around the world. Domestically, the United States experiences an estimated thirty-eight million still in poverty, and inequality has additionally been on the rise, with the bottom ninety percent of households accounting for less than a quarter of the total wealth.

Continue reading “UBI: The Global Antipoverty Experiment”
Featured

AI: Changing the Tides of Water Sustainability

By Tanvi Bajaj
Staff Writer

In 2015, Senator James Inhofe confidently stepped onto the Senate floor, carrying a snowball. He then explained how global warming (and, in effect, climate change) could simply not exist since it was cold enough outside for the snowball he was holding in his hand to form.  

While laughable, Senator Inhofe’s argument is indicative of the centuries of neglect the environment has suffered at human hands. 

Today, sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, forests are burning, and animals are dying. 

It’s clear that something needs to change. 

Continue reading “AI: Changing the Tides of Water Sustainability”
Featured

A Peacemaker, Who Might Oversee the Collapse of His Own Country

By Max Lyster
Staff Writer

In October, Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, won the Nobel Peace Prize 2019. It might have been the case that many people were perplexed by this surprising announcement because they simply had no idea who Ahmed was. On closer inspection, it is clear why he won the prestigious award: being a fighter for democracy, human rights and peace.

Continue reading “A Peacemaker, Who Might Oversee the Collapse of His Own Country”
Featured

Bolivia In Crisis: The Legacy of Evo Morales

by Marc Camanag
Staff Writer

Although there is little consensus on whether Bolivia’s recent shift in leadership constitutes a coup, there is a power struggle plaguing the nation. Amidst widespread protests, it is clear that the resignation of former president Evo Morales carried very real consequences for the Latin American nation and its people. But to what extent? The fall of Morales — the country’s first indigenous president — after nearly fourteen years in office sparked violent protests between his native loyalists and defected police forces. While mostly rooted in deep-seated fears of regression, strong opposing ideologies in Bolivia date back to earlier times involving oppressive post-colonial structures

Continue reading “Bolivia In Crisis: The Legacy of Evo Morales”
Featured

Opinion: No Crackdown in Hong Kong

by Marshall Wu
Staff Writer

When Hong Kong was returned to China by the end the of its lease to the United Kingdom in 1997, among the agreements made between the United Kingdom and China was a fifty-year guarantee of one country, two systems. After over one hundred years under British rule, today Hong Kong is uniquely part-Western and part-Chinese. It is no longer the same city it once was under Chinese emperors. This is apparent in a common viewpoint among Chinese today, who may find Hong Kongers ‘spoiled’. In dramatic difference from the city of Shenzhen, fewer than thirty minutes north, Hong Kong has truly become a dual-language populace. In Hong Kong, cab drivers speak English and street signs retain both Chinese and English spellings.

Continue reading “Opinion: No Crackdown in Hong Kong”
Featured

The Closure of the WTO Appellate Body: The End of World Trade As We Know It?

by Pankhuri Prasad
Staff Writer

Is the world coming to an end? Hopefully not. But it could be the end of world trade as we have known it for the past two decades. During a course I took in the winter of 2018, my International Economics and Politics professor mentioned how the World Trade Organization (WTO) may face a severe crisis in the near future. At the time, the likelihood of such a crisis seemed low and distant. However, with the end of 2019 looming near, international trade is quickly heading into uncharted waters as the Appellate Body of the organization is facing extinction.

Continue reading “The Closure of the WTO Appellate Body: The End of World Trade As We Know It?”
Featured

Hong Kong: Caught Between Foreign Fires

by Rachel Chiang
Staff Writer

Hong Kong is in the midst of political mayhem. Decades-long concerns are emerging as Hong Kong goes through the most tumultuous period in recent history. What began as a series of protests against an extradition bill has metamorphosed into a widespread opposition movement to police brutality, Beijing, and government ineptness. The presence of violence and foreign intervention has had damning implications for economic advancement and societal stability.

Continue reading “Hong Kong: Caught Between Foreign Fires”
Featured

The C’est La Vie Paradox: A Perspective on Student Loans

by David Ramirez
Staff Writer

While student loans may be categorized as the gateway to a chance at a better future, the price we pay for our education has increasingly become a matter of reaching the bottom-line for many of our academic institutions. American political-analyst and historian Thomas Frank once said, “For profit, higher education is today a booming industry feeding on the student loans handed out to the desperate.” According to The Economics of Public Issues anthology collection, the colossal conundrum intertwined in student loans is massive and growing bigger by the day, at around $1.3 trillion, such that this surpasses the total auto loan debt for all Americans. But, what is the solution to the student loan crisis? Well, it depends on how you define it. 

Continue reading “The C’est La Vie Paradox: A Perspective on Student Loans”
Featured

China, Hong Kong, and Basketball: How One Tweet Started a Firestorm in the NBA

by Nicholas Kishaba

Staff Writer

In March, demonstrations began in the streets of Hong Kong, largely in protest against a bill which would essentially allow the Chinese government to extradite fugitives from regions they do not currently control, such as Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong. Since then, Hong Kong City Leader Carrie Lam has agreed to withdraw the bill, however, as protests have increased in both frequency and violence, protesters’ demands have consolidated into a call for democracy. Among other demands such as amnesty for arrested protesters, and an inquiry into police brutality, there are also demands for the resignation for Lam, who is believed by the protesters to be a pawn for Beijing.

Continue reading “China, Hong Kong, and Basketball: How One Tweet Started a Firestorm in the NBA”