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Release Peace: THe Magazine

The Big Stories

This section is made for those who want to see the bigger picture. We cover the challenges of the twenty-first century for you. We connect the dots. From great power politics to cyberspace.

The Big Stories: Geopolitics & Global Trends

It might seem perfectly logical to believe that having the high ground during a conflict means an ultimate victory. But what if we take outer space into account? Would the weaponization of outer space by a single actor necessarily mean their absolute domination over terrestrial matters? Surprisingly, controlling outer space may have a smaller impact than one might think.

A human right is a universal standard for how every person ought to be treated or what they ought to have access to. Human rights are inherent. A cantilever argument is used in human rights discourse to argue for the recognition of a new human right because of its similarities with an existing human right. That is, the same moral logic can be used for both.

How did Sweden turn from trying to develop nuclear weapons itself as a method of self-protection to the becoming the White Knight of nuclear disarmament it so prominently is today? Sweden has continually promoted disarmament policies and spoken out against nuclear testing which has resulted in the Scandinavian nation gaining the nickname the ‘White Knight’ by academics and international institutions alike.

A common misconception is that the global population just continues to grow. But the story is not so straightforward. According to the UN, the rate at which the global population is growing has in fact been in decline since its peak in 1988. The World Economic Forum states that global fertility rates have declined by 50 per cent in the last 70 years.

Almost 95% of all space technology that currently resides in Earth’s orbit can be classified as dual-use, meaning it can be used for both civil and military purposes. And the majority is. Most satellites have the capability to perform various military actions, be that reconnaissance or surveillance or any other form of information gathering. But some other developments in space are less expected, yet just as lethal.

A few years ago Fiji's government was facing international isolation. The post-coup economy of the beautiful island, crippled by tough sanctions, was in chaos. But the vacuum did not last for long. Instead of lashing out at the international community, Fiji turned to an old friend to come to the rescue. What happened next tells something we should all know about the current global power struggle between China and the West.

At the 2022 Boao Forum for Asia, China's President Xi Jinping unveiled what he termed a “Global Security Initiative” (GSI). The security initiative builds on the “Asian model“ of security. What is China's understanding of this model and how will it shape global security and its relations with the United States?

Originally called the UKUSA, a "communication agreement" between Britain and the U.S. was created one year after the second World War had come to an end to deepen the relationship between the two victorious countries. The agreement was shortly after extended to include Canada in 1948, and Australia and New Zealand in 1956, thereby creating what is today known as the Five Eyes network.

In the words of former US President Ronald Reagan, “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. Asking a state to give up the most powerful weapon in existence may seem like a mammoth, or even impossible, task. Yet denuclearisation is not unheard of. Ukraine, South Africa, and Libya have given up their nuclear weapons programmes. We take a historical look at those cases.

From the Colombian rainforest to the valleys of Jordan and Israel: Climate change does not only impact the natural environment, but also the security dynamics of large swathes of land, borders between countries, and the conditions for war and peace. The field of "Climate Security" is a new, fascinating academic endeavour into the nexus of climate change and security studies.

There is currently no effective cure against AIDS. In the 1980s, the disease was stigmatised as a “gay plague” by many commentators in Europe and the US. This led to a profound lack of research on AIDS and HIV. An approximate 36 million people have tragically died since the epidemic peaked. But there is hope.

Deep in the Indo-Pacific a security dialogue between the US, India, Australia, and Japan is being re-born to keep a certain rising dragon at bay. Though originally established for the purpose of maritime cooperation after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the coalition now has a much broader agenda and one specific goal.

Female genital mutilation or ‘FGM’ is defined by the World Health Organisation as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. Consideration of the long-term implications of FGM provokes a lump in one’s throat, devastation over the treatment of women and girls in today’s world, and sombre admiration for the resilience of FGM survivors.

The Belt and Road Initiative nears its 10-year anniversary. It is designed to redevelop trade routes connecting China to the rest of the world, effectively reconstructing a modern-day Silk Road. However, this initiative goes beyond laying down the infrastructure for trade. Let’s deconstruct exactly what the Belt and Road initiative means and which political consequences it might have.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded 102 times since 1901 and the number of nominations has grown over the years. The current record for candidates was in 2016 when a total of 376 candidates were submitted. The Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in the world. But how is it determined and who can make submissions in the first place?

In October 2021, Najla Bouden took office as Prime Minister of Tunisia, and she became the very first female prime minister of the Arab world. From Singapore to Slovakia, Tanzania to Kosovo, a growing number of women are taking office as Head of their State. Women used to take on historically "masculine" attributes to ascend to leadership positions. Has our notion of "power" already changed?

It’s 9am. You plan the day: Work until 4pm in your preferred café, while the sound of a language you don’t understand becomes white noise in the background. Later you plan on city site-seeing, sampling new cuisines, and living as locals do to the best of your ability. At night you research your next destination. Maybe Indonesia? Or South Africa? Those countries embrace digital nomads and we shall have a closer look at how that works in practice.

Watching a war movie can make you wonder how soldiers, who repeatedly experience life-threatening situations, still have determined and confident looks on their faces. Once the war is over, the heroes return home and live happily ever after. We walk out of the cinema or switch off the television, while the movie's happy ending radiates a glow of relief over us. But is it really that easy in real life?

Many of the key minerals for building electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar plants can be found in Africa and South America. This opens promising opportunities for local economies. However, the world risks exploiting the resources of the future the same way as we exploited the resources of the past.

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