Monthly Archives: November 2016

Culture Counts

Benjamin Nielsen is a conservative student at the Department of War Studies. His academic interests include diplomacy, the history of European international relations, comparative European politics, and Western philosophy.

 

churchill.jpegWhen the United Kingdom, in June, decided to leave the European Union, most of my teachers and fellow students reacted with a mixture of bewilderment and anger. “How can more than 17 million people find the European Union so repulsive?”

When the American people, last Tuesday, elected Donald John Trump as the next president of the United States, the anger and bewilderment among teachers and fellow students returned with even greater force. “What makes more than 59 million Americans vote for this racist, sexist, homophobic person?” (Apart from the prospect of getting to see more of his incredibly beautiful and elegant wife, obviously).

Baffled and visibly disgusted by the outcomes of the EU referendum and the US election, students and teachers are now searching for explanations as to how all this could happen. But where should we start? In the unreadable, empty and fatuous writings of Foucault? In the pseudo-scientific scholarship of Saïd? Do we start with a bit of Gramscian nonsence? Or just the blatant drivel of Deleuze? Surely, these neo-marxist turtlenecks would tell us that it’s all about the bourgeosie versus the suppressed workers. Not surprisingly, some ‘intellectuals’ have already framed the election of Trump in terms of class politics.[1]

The only problem with this explanation is that neither Brexit nor the election of Trump have much to do with economic circumstances or inequality. As Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, Erik Kaufmann, clearly illustrates the far most important issue for both Brexiteers and Trump voters was/is immigration. In order words, Trump-voters and Brexiteers are primarily people who first and foremost prioritize cultural continuity and reject fundamental socio-ethnic change. The real explanation for Brexit and the election of Trump is thus to be found in the realm of culture.

How do we respond to this “anti-immigrant movement of exclusion” which now includes if not the majority then a very significant and ever increasing part of the Western population? Well, being a student in this day and age, I’ve come to learn some of the most typical solutions:

1: We could arrange a ‘Tolerance and Anti-racist protest march” in Shoreditch during which we will shout abuse at people who don’t have the same opinion as us.

2: We could try and make #fuckPatriotism trending on social media.

3: We could write another angry facebook-rant about neoliberalism. Or Bush. Or Blair. Or Israel.

4: We could all gather in an organic coffee shop in Soho and write a blog on hetero-normativity, stereotypes and structural sexism while we eat gluten-free avocado wraps and listen to 84 hours of non-stop Tracy Chapman.

5: We could arrange a panel “discussion” – of course only with participants we agree with.

Are any of the 5 solutions above useful? Of course not. But maybe they can give you an idea of why the liberal-left is about to become even more disliked than Piers Morgan.

The only real solution is for all – including the most unworldly parts of academia – to accept and acknowledge that culture counts. In every nation-state, there will come a point where the uncontrolled influx of immigrants and the continuous breakdown of traditional norms and values will begin to threaten the very foundation of the nation – the shared cultural identity and heritage among its citizens. And the first people to feel this threat are the ordinary men and women who live normal lives. This is not an extreme nationalist theory – it’s a moderate conservative observation. Until the established political parties in the Western world begin to value, protect and acknowledge their nations’ cultural basis, more and more people will see no other option than voting for otherwise extreme and unappealing persons like Trump and Le Pen.

[1] See e.g. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fall-of-the-unions-paved-the-way-for-donald-trump-1478886094 or https://twitter.com/JohnBew/status/796296245849497600

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God bless America and the rest of the world in times to come

By Julia Huentemann, 1st year student from Germany studying BA International Relations at King’s College London.

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Even though I wished the results of the presidential elections were different, I do not find the outcome surprising.

After Brexit, these elections once again reveal how well established parties/politicians have obviously failed to sufficiently acknowledge the needs and sorrows of a broad range of the population. I believe that – just as with Brexit – the majority of the Trump supporters used their vote in order to express fear.  They have reached a point at which they have nothing to lose anymore.  The desire for change has become the driving force for their actions and decisions, no matter how questionable the candidate running for presidency and the consequences might be.

The United States is not an individual case. My home country, Germany, is experiencing a similar development with the German government not actually having a realistic understanding about what is an acceptable burden to place on its citizens. Obviously, a well- earning and well-educated citizen is able to deal with the constant influx of refugees in a much more relaxed way than a member of a low-earning, less-educated class. After all, the members of a well off upper class do not live next door to the refugee camp. They do not have to compete for employment and their children do not have to be afraid of not getting allocated to the favoured kindergarden/school etc.

Anyway, this privileged position is not enjoyed by a vast majority of the population and the influence this vast majority can have is obviously being underestimated. Despite general commitment shown towards the refugees by the general public, we should not neglect the fact that this influx of “strangers” is causing huge fear and envy among the citizens being worse off than the average. They fear of being deprived from privileges and now having to compete against an enormous number of newcomers. This fear is universal in its nature and applies to both Americans in their anxiety about immigrants from Mexico & Co. as well as Germans and their anxiety about refugees from Syria & Co. No nation simply exists of wealthy and privileged. There always exists an equal proportion (if not even more) of poor, uneducated and narrow minded. And still those less privileged have to be considered as equal, especially in their right to vote.

The outcomes of the elections show that the gap between rich and poor, educated and uneducated is becoming wider and wider. Here I see the most urgent need for action not only in America but also in Europe. Education, and with it the opportunities for social upward mobility is, among other things, a prerequisite for a functioning and sustainable democracy.

Democracy in itself has its limitations. It assumes every citizen to be mature, to make rational decisions to promote the common good but this is rather an unrealistic illusion. As long as everyone is content, values such as tolerance, freedom and solidarity are being promoted, but as soon as there is a tendency towards misery, rather negative sentiments move to the focus of attention. And those sentiments are very unlikely to conform to such honorable values as tolerance, etc.

Without social equality it will become increasingly difficult for liberal-democratic governments to acquire a majority in governmental elections and the presidential elections in the US is just one example revealing this ugly truth. We should acknowledge the fact that Trump, other than Hillary Clinton, has managed to see and incorporate the desires of the so-called “silent majority” into his campaign. We should acknowledge the fact that Trump was able to use the weaknesses of democracy (namely the dissatisfaction of the people) to his advantage, which is not illegitimate as a means of acquiring power, and that this has made him a successful candidate.

If we truly believe in the concept of democracy, we still have to respectfully accept what the people in the United States have voted for. There is no point in complaining about the outcome of the 2016 elections, even if it is tempting to do so, to join the ones proclaiming a global apocalypse. Future politicians can actually learn a lesson from the recent developments, may it be Brexit, the refugee crisis or the presidential election. There is an urge for an increasing awareness of the needs of the less privileged who feel neglected by the establishment. Too many events have proven this social group to be underestimated in its actual impact upon the outcome of public votes from which they must and cannot be excluded.

Instead of complaining about the past, we should attempt an optimistic outlook into the future as things never turn out to be as bad as they might have seemed. We should have faith in the American population, we should have faith in the survival of democracy and we should understand it as a chance to return to more solidarity in Europe. I strongly believe that the outcome of those presidential elections provides enough motivation for European nations to form a closer union in order to withstand Trump´s America and to be considered as a serious partner on equal level. God bless America and God bless the rest of the world.

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The geopolitical enigma of India-Pakistan

Ammar Yasir Nainar is a first year student studying BA.International relations in the Department of War studies. He is currently a research analyst at the KCL Crisis team 2016-2017 and has also worked as a research volunteer for Mr.Maroof Raza (Consulting Strategic Affairs Editor Times Now) news channel in India. He follows the south Asia region with particular importance towards India-Pakistan relations and Sino-Indian strategic relations.

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The world is increasingly being aware of the rivalry which exists between India and Pakistan. All the way from Pathankot to the killing of Hizbul Mujahedeen leader Burhan Wani to the Uri attacks and surprisingly the much debated surgical strikes conducted by India on PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir), these events have led to a conclusion: India-Pakistan relations are at their nadir. For someone who follows the South Asian region and in particular India-Pakistan relations, these events are not something new.

Tracing the origins of this rivalry

The India-Pakistan rivalry seems to be rooted in the historical narrative of the formation of Pakistan in 1947. The Quaid-E-Azam (Father of Nation) of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah used Islam as a political tool to bargain a separate nation for the Muslims in India. Once Pakistan was established, the state was unified on a tri colon which is succinctly put forth by Hussain Haqqani- a renowned Pakistani diplomat and author in his book “Pakistan: between Mosque and Military” where he argues “Islam, hostility towards India and the Urdu language were identified as the cornerstones of this new national ideology”. Thus, Pakistan since its inception has always had resentment towards India which explains the intensity of this rivalry.

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What has India done?

The Indian national security establishment has always been in pursuit of a well-focused and robust policy towards Pakistan’s acts of state sponsored terrorism. Let it be the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament or the 26/11 Mumbai attacks or even the 1993 Bombay serial blasts, the Indian national security establishment has had vast number of debates on what should be India’s posture towards Pakistan? India always looks to mobilize international opinion for condemning Pakistan’s state sponsored terrorism and diplomatically isolate Pakistan which the South block (Ministry of External Affairs, India) has recently been upping the ante on. Likewise, India has called off its participation in the SAARC Summit scheduled to be held during November 2016 in Islamabad. This strongly conveys India’s anger through recognized diplomatic channels.

Surprisingly, this has never motivated Pakistan to alter its foreign policy towards India or they aren’t even diplomatically isolated in the world. The Chinese have vested interests in Pakistan especially with the USD $46 billion for the China-Pakistan Economic corridor and the Gwadar port. Therefore, the Chinese are systematically trying to prevent Pakistan’s isolation in the world by vetoing many UN resolutions proposed by India which aim to declare Pakistan as state sponsor for terrorism.

The divergence of options:

Nevertheless, the recently conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads in POK have signaled the world that India is no more “pussy-footing” on its policy towards Pakistan, perhaps it is going to adopt a muscular posture which could bring Pakistan to its knees for exporting terror on Indian soil.

I feel India has a spectrum of options in its hat for achieving this objective. Though the nuclear dimension of both nations discourage them from waging a conventional war like that of 1947, 1965, 1971 or 1999, it has certainly motivated India to look out for other innovative methods which could help accomplish its objective. Therefore, I am going to throw light on one such option which is the Cold Start Doctrine.

The Cold Start Doctrine:

The cold start doctrine was founded in 2004 post the slow mobilization of forces during Operation Parakram in 2001-2002 following the attacks on the Indian parliament by militants from Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The cold start doctrine embodies India’s limited war capabilities and allowed India to obtain an offensive posture vis-à-vis its usual defensive posture towards Pakistan. Dr. Walter Ladwig describes the Cold Start doctrine as

The goal of this limited war doctrine is to establish the capacity to launch a retaliatory conventional strike against Pakistan that would inflict significant harm on the Pakistan Army before the international community could intercede, and at the same time, pursue narrow enough aims to deny Islamabad a justification to escalate the clash to the nuclear level.”

Emphasizing on the military jargon of the cold start doctrine the Indian army’s offensive power would be restructured into eight small division sized “integrated battle groups” that have the capability of launching multiple strikes into Pakistan from different areas (Ladwig). The Indian air force and naval aviation is also expected to pitch in and give close air support to the integrated battle groups which could literally bring Pakistan to its knees.

A very famous book “Not War, Not Peace?” written by Toby Dalton and George Perkovich also do throw light on the significance of the cold start doctrine to be a “provocative strategy” which could eventually compel Pakistani military and the rogue ISI intelligence organization to act on such terror groups whom they have been nurturing since the very formation of Pakistan. The cold start doctrine is an operational asset of the Indian army where even the UN Envoy to Pakistan Maleeha Lodhi has been on record to say that “India’s cold start doctrine should be contained”.

What lies ahead?

This arch-rivalry does seem quite enigmatic and complicated. However, looking at the current dynamics emerging in this relationship and certain assets of India like the Cold Start doctrine, I would like to conclude by saying that India does have the wherewithal to keep Pakistan at the bay.

References

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/IS3203_pp158-190.pdf

http://www.dawn.com/news/1285327

http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/lost-opportunities-in-operation-parakram/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-37702790

Images:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1153105

http://new.resurgentindia.org/india-pakistan-relations-the-inevitable-future/

 

 

 

 

 

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Donald Trump and the World – IR Today Editorial

Following on from our previous posts showing you KCL reactions to Trump’s victory, here are our respective editors’ reactions and thoughts of what the Trump presidency may mean for the rest of the world.. 

Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump Holds Election Night Event In New York City

 

East Asia and the Pacific – Kaeshini Sivananthan

 

“The natural response for Asia will be to integrate more internally. If there is to be no TPP then regional trade liberalization agreements will need to be pursued. This will encourage and be encouraged by a strategic retreat by the US from Asia, which has been perhaps the most worrying signal from Trump the campaigner. In Asia, Trump’s victory may be an important geopolitical win for China; as for Russia in the European sphere. Large economies like China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines with sufficient domestic demand and resources could be less negatively affected by rising trade barriers. China would, however, have to hasten its ongoing economic recalibration, which may not be a smooth process. And all economies’ potential growth rates would be to some extent reduced by a weakening of the trade-based impetus to improved efficiency.”

 

South Central Asia – Ruk Sarda

“For South/Central Asia Trump presidency could mean several things, (there’s no official Trump policy on the region yet)! It’s not a good sign for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Muslim countries in the region. Trump has called Pakistan ‘the most dangerous country in the world’ and there’s strong feeling that Pakistan will suffer under Trump, especially with Muslim immigration bans to the US. India on the other hand will likely have good relations with the US. PM Modi has welcomed Trump and would actively encourage a firm stance against Pakistan. Trump has also stated his desire to review the visa system, stating he wants to keep those Indian students that go to the US to study.”

 

Europe – Adam Holub
“It is difficult to speculate on the implications of the rule of Donald Trump for Europe as he has never coherently articulated his foreign policy. At the moment, the important thing is to watch out for who will head the offices in Trump’s cabinet that have influence on the formation and execution of FP. We can at least speculate on what’s at stake, though. NATO and the EU: among the scares is the suggestion that Trump’s presidency could cast doubt on the fundamental assumption of this collective security organisation which is the undisputed commitment of the USA to the protection of its members. Newt Gingrich, a man who might become the Secretary of State, has famously declared that he’s not sure he’d “risk a nuclear war over some place which is the suburbs of St. Petersburg” when referring to the sovereign baltic country and a NATO member Estonia. This would mean that the leaders of European countries would have to start thinking about the enhancement of their own defence capacities and perhaps even more autonomous and more exclusively continental collective defence coordination, perhaps within the existing European institutions. Russia: The Russian president has welcome Trump’s election with hopes for improvement in the relations between the two countries. It is yet to see to what extent is this alleged change in the direction of US-Russian relations wishful thinking or political PR on the side of both men. However, in the context of the above suggested loosening of the NATO umbrella, the Russians could face significantly less opposition regarding their activities in Eastern Europe and in some cases even support: the recognition of the Russian annexation of Crimea could be on the agenda, we will have to watch out for the lifting of the sanctions among other things as well. UK: Finally, much attention should be paid to the relations between the UK and the US. The UK has put itself in a special position by deciding to depart from the EU and the US will have to play a necessary role in its adaptation to the post-EU situation. Far from being securely settled in her office and while being under the threat of an imminent general election, Theresa May has already tried to set her own premiership in a tune resembling Trump’s alleged emancipatory mission for the forgotten and those left behind. It’s too early to say but “ceteris paribus” I do see a potential for a interesting partnership there. Anyway, now is time to wait and pay attention to details, the situation is far from clear.”

 

Middle East and North Africa – Tabby Urban

“For the MENA region, the Trump presidency can mean a number of different things. For one, it could mean less interference due to Trump’s focus on domestic policies, although he has also vowed to destroy ISIS through military means in the region. If he heads down the more isolationist route regarding foreign policy and intervention, this could leave a vacuum of foreign influence, one which Russia seems more than happy to fill. On the issue of Iran, Trump has openly condemned JCPOA, which could threaten the US relationship with Iran, but it could also open the door to prosperous “back room” diplomacy, outside of the international spotlight. At present, it is not clear which route Trump will take, but his presidency has the potential to prove advantageous for MENA leaders such as Assad.”

 

Latin America – Paula Aghon

“Trump’s victory has already started to have an impact in the Latin American region, so the 4 years to come could bring about many changes. The Mexican peso suffered a historical drop, and with Trump’s constant attacks against NAFTA, the future of relations between the US and Mexico is unclear. As part of his campaign, Trump vowed to place high tariffs on imported goods from the country, and to block remittances until Mexico pays for the wall, as well as vilifying Mexicans by calling them “rapists” and “bad hombre(s)”. So, its safe to say relations are tense, but President Peña Nieto hopes they can work together in this “challenge”. For the rest of the region, Trump’s presidency comes at an important time of political change. Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba amongst others, have shifted towards more friendly and open relations towards Washington, pushed by President Obama. Trump has previously threatened to reverse Obama’s deal and advances with Cuba, but has also claimed he is in favor of normalizing relations between the two. Once again, his policies haven’t been very clear, so this is also unclear. Overall, putting asides the economics and politics, Trump’s rhetoric has already had and will continue to have a great impact on the perceptions of Latinos in the US. Throughout his campaign, there have been numerous incidents of attacks and intimidation directed towards Latinos. Hard working immigrants and even natural born citizens of the US with Latino heritage will face even more discrimination and hatred because of false and careless accusations made throughout the elections.”

 

 

 

Africa – Juline Wiernasz

“Africa is a continent that the new occupant of the White House seems to know poorly. One of the few similarities between Hillary Clinton’s program and Donald Trump’s program was the little space they gave to Africa. But on the Republican side, to the lack of interest can be added a great ignorance of the continent. Africa has therefore not been a priority of Trump’s campaign, which focused mainly on the American economy and the relocation of its industries in South America and Asia. Nevertheless, a few points can be noted. An isolationist president could arrange the affairs of some African leaders, especially those looking to play extra time in power and who could not stand the moral lessons of Barack Obama. Several have already expressed their satisfaction about Trump’s victory. As for the economy, the new president might be less burlesque in business than in front of the American people. Walid Phares, one of Trump’s advisors on international policy issues, told Voice of America in August that the United States would show solidarity with African countries. Moreover, the political platform of the Republican Party notes the “extraordinary potential of Africa”, advocating for closer ties with “African allies” by “investment, trade and the promotion of a democratic and free market “. A program which also calls for strengthening economic and military cooperation with countries “under the assault of terrorism”, quoting Boko Haram or Al Shabaab. However, not a word of Power Africa, the vast plan of electrification of sub-Saharan Africa that was encouraged by Barack Obama. As for Muslim Africans, if Trump keeps his promise of a complete halt to the entry of Muslims into the United States, millions of Africans will have to be banned from the US. It is thus difficult to predict the African policy of the future president. In this matter as in others, uncertainty hovers.”

 

North America – Nico Seidman

“The U.S. president elect definitely holds most power at home. With both the House of Congress and Senate controlled by the Republicans, passing laws will be easier than for Obama, as will undoubtedly appointing Supreme Court Justices. First on the agenda for President Trump will be repealing Obamacare, taking away affordable healthcare from over 15 million people. Next we expect late Antonin Scalia’s spot on the Supreme Court to finally get filled, and quickly enough at that. Sarah Palin is currently being considered for Secretary for Education, so don’t hold your breath for the U.S. school system to improve any time soon. Meanwhile, Trump has exclaimed that “we need more fighter jets, ships, and soldiers.” Because spending more than the next 7 countries combined to fund your military is not enough, Mr Trump plans to increase this. Finally, the Canadian immigration website crashed around the time it became clear who the winner was on Tuesday night. Indeed, many Americans will be looking over the border wishing Justin Trudeau led their country. The Canadian prime minister did graciously congratulate Trump on his victory, yet predictions on U.S.-Canada relations don’t look much better than others, as Trump has been advocating scrapping NAFTA, the free trade deal between the two countries that facilitates $1.8 billion on a daily basis.”

 

Mass Media and the Press – Andrei Popoviciu and Millie Radovic

“Yet again the pollsters have failed to predict the outcome of the voting. This brings the question of whether they need to reconsider their techniques or whether this wave of populism is simply one that the mainstream media cannot quite adapt to yet, and that they instead need to reconsider their outlook on the Western political landscape. Sensationalism certainly peaked during the presidential race, bringing into question of whether our media is deteriorating or whether it is changing to represent a larger portion of society. As for the future of the press, Mr Trump is accustomed to removing journalists from his press conferences, so needless to add President Obama may have been right when he joked that this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner was the last. His press secretary will certainly have an interesting and difficult job, yet we wonder whether his aides will give him back his Twitter account.”

 

KCL Reactions to #Trump

8th of November hit us like a hurricane. Everyone has something to say, especially people from the War Studies department at King’s. Take a look at what students and professors from our department have to say about the American election.

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Students

“The day that racism becomes some sort of patriotism, America is no longer America”

“What’s funny is that it’s not low level racism anymore. Resembling Brexit, the ascendancy of trump will now legitimise draconian behaviour i.e. “The wall”, “deportation forces” and “ban of muslims”. This was my first election where I myself could vote and although I did not have high thoughts of any candidate, there was clearly a moral side against a racist, sexist and deplorable side. I will still go to the US in pursuit of further education and it being my country of birth (yes Trump I am one of those “anchors” you so want to get rid off). America is still a beautiful place with endless opportunities (as we saw last night) and we shouldn’t allow someone like trump to ruin our futures if we can control it. At times of extreme adversity, we must stand up and face it with dignity…”

Emil Wilson, 3rd year IR

“I cannot believe how much Hillary Clinton, the most qualified and experienced candidate was let down like this. Feminism is very very much needed in today’s world and especially in the most “forward” thinking country.”

Shalini Chatterjee, 3rd year IR

“Look, I’m as crushed as anyone by Trump’s victory but enough with all this moving to Canada nonsense. If one defeat is enough to make you give up on your country then you never loved it in the first place. Tonight the people were stupid, but they have the right to be. That’s democracy and it is still worth fighting for. So we respect the result. We stay engaged. We try to make this work and in 4 years we come back. Or 4 years after that. Or 4 years after that.

Don’t give up the ship.”

Patrick Visser, 3rd year War Studies at KCL

“I am not known for sharing my political views but I will not remain silent this time. Coming from a country and a region which is increasingly becoming radical right wing; and a place which has suffered decades of communism, I know what both look like. I have not publicised it in any way but I was a Hillary supporter since day one. Not because of the ‘woman card’ but because she has the experience, knows what she can and cannot do as a president, and has been dedicated to her country politically for over thirty years. I know she has her flaws but she could truly make a beneficial impact on the US.

The US, a place known for attracting people looking for a place with opportunities, a symbol of freedom and diversity. That same America of chances has become subjected to mockery and harassment. It is not ‘America, what did you do?’, it’s not America that ‘did it’. This decision is a consequence of the way working class white men have been treated in the country, of what the Democratic party did not do in the last years and did not do throughout Hillary’s campaign, and of what many Americans understand wrong about politics. This great land, the strongest country in the world, is now to have a leader who refuses to accept climate change exists, is genuinely racist, is pro-torture (which has absolute prohibition under international law and is seen as the ultimate crime committed against a human being), is a sexist and a homophobe and the list goes on. I am not shocked that that happened, especially given how undemocratic the American elections system is, but I am concerned about what will happen to the Hispanic and African-American minorities, to the LGBT+ community, to gender equality, and to all these people who still hold the idea of the US as a land of opportunities and are scared of the future.

America did not need to ‘get great again’, it was/is great, but it now needs to find its focus and balance again. America, you will go through this night and will rise again… I hope. #prayforAmerica

Ilina Trendafilova, 3rd year IR at KCL

“In his acceptance speech, Trump declared he would reach his hand out to all Americans and ask we work together to improve our nation. When a president asks this we must answer the call to work towards improving the nation. However, with freedom comes vigilance. Trump, you will be our president. And as your people we will do what we ought to do: hold you to account. We’re not all running to Canada and we’re not all going to let you do whatever you want. We are going to try and move forward but if you do one thing which runs counter to the ideals which make us American (inclusiveness, diversity, acceptance, and tolerance) as you did during your campaign, we will be there to push back every time. What makes America great is not that we always choose the perfect leader and have the sunniest of days. What makes America great is that regardless of the circumstance, no matter how dire things may be, the institutions which underlie our politics and our society will continue to stand. Furthermore, our love for each other as Americans who share values (regardless of race, gender, orientation, or religion) has stabilized us through days infinitely darker than the ones we face now. God bless the left, right, center, and god bless the United States of America.”

Derek Eggleston, 2nd year IR at KCL

“Scared that it will give momentum to nationalist and populist mouvements in Europe! Especially with Le Pen and even Sarkozy, who since today has embraced the Trump rhetoric in France.”

Elise Lauriot Prevost, 2nd year IR at KCL

“I am shocked to see Donald Trump being elected as president of the United States.  Somebody holding this undisputedly most powerful office should have a significant amount of diplomatic skill. We can clearly negate that to be the case.  Let us hope that hard-earned peaceful relations among the United States and its allies are not being ruined from one day to another. Let us hope the American ideal of democracy survives this challenge. Let us hope this development to be a motivation for a return to more solidarity in Europe in order to withstand Trump’s America.”

Julia Huentemann, 1st year IR at KCL

“As upsetting as the Trump victory is, this is not the time to point fingers and widen the ideological division between socio-economic classes. When people have such a strong feeling of hate towards politicians and when people would rather vote for a misogynistic, racist, inexperienced candidate instead of someone who is perceived to represent the establishment, there is obviously something wrong with Western politics. Now, more than ever, the Left needs to be united, strong, and hopeful. Taking action towards self-examination and reinvention is the next step.”

Ioana Ilie, 3rd Year War Studies at KCL

“It’s not the results any of us opted for, but it’s the one we got. The American people are sick and tired of the establishment and media taking advantage of them. Though their scapegoat is horrendous, their disillusionment with the current system is understandable. Even though the popular vote was given to Hillary, the outdated electoral college puts Trump as the president elect.  Makes you wonder if the primaries weren’t rigged what could have happened…
But I will stand by my Americans – family members, friends and good people who elected Trump. I will also stand by those who elected Clinton. Now is the time for unity, and if we have to take this route then so be it.  He is my president for now but America will always be my country.”

Anya Wasserman, 2nd Year IR at KCL

“What disturbs me the most is the moment I’ll have to write <<President Trump>> in my essays… That is indeed a scary thought”

Andrei Popoviciu, 2nd Year IR at LC:

“Yes there were MANY Reasons for Trump’s win, but I’m stunned by some people simply dismissing those who voted for Trump as idiots, racists, homophobes, etc. Yes we can’t overlook the nature of his supporters and many of them do have these abhorrent qualities, but equally many are genuinely mad at being labelled as soon as they open their mouths. There is no dialogue anymore, if someone utters an opinion outside of the liberal mainstream – they are not deemed a discussant with another opinion. They are deemed a racist, a xenophobe, or a ‘whacky’ guy stuck in the 1910’s. We have to stop lying to ourselves. These people exist, and dismissing them only alienates them further while making them more aggressive and determined. We have to talk to them, because otherwise it looks like they will crush the us and the ‘liberal/democratic order.”

Stanislav Skryabin, 2nd year IR at KCL

Professors 

Former Head of Department, Professor Theo Farrell

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Anglo-American Foreign Policy Lecturer, Dr. John Bew, summed it up

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Alessio Patalano, lecturer in War Studies on maritime issues in Asia

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Cyber specialist, Professor Thomas Rid

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Our beloved Head of Department, Professor Rainsborough kicked off the night with humour (how quickly those smiles disappeared from our faces):

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Kieran Mitton’s view

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Alexander Hitchens’ parallel with the UK:

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Dr Christine Cheng helped draw up the 2000 UN Millennium Development Goals – she is not too optimistic about human security now:

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Professor Neumann is probably the War Studies lecturer most often seen on TV. And really it is not only his expertise that makes us see why… he speaks for the people:

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Shiraz Maher shocked by the news

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Lastly, Professor Freedman calls US on smooth political transition, is there hope?

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