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Author Archives: Claire Defossez

As third a year IRIO student I have found my interest in cultures, languages and art. I aim to provide you with articles about striking events that ocurred and make you think a little to form your opinion on any matter. As you can see this website is full of wide-ranging interesting articles, so definitely read on!

A Tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

On the 23rd of March this year, Asia lost one of its most peculiar leaders: Lee Kuan Yew, the very first prime minister of Singapore. This man, who was known for his seemingly totalitarian regime was nevertheless a dearly beloved and admired leader among his citizens. Through Western eyes it seems a strange paradox to have a population bound by ... Read More »

Xi’s Fight Against Corruption: A Hoax?

Corruption in China has been a longstanding truth that remains today. In 2013 the PRC was ranked 80th out of 178 countries in the Transparency International’s Corruption Preceptions Index. Since the 1980s widespread surveys have been carried out to the public and have shown that corruption represents one of the top concerns of the general public. However, as China has ... Read More »

Semester Abroad: A Little Taste of Expat Life

About seven months ago I was waiting in line at Schiphol Airport, jumping around like a little kid seeing a puppy for the first time. This very moment was what I had been waiting for ever since I was in my last year of high school. Finally, I was going on my exchange and the destination was even beyond what ... Read More »

Caught Between the Great Powers: Azerbaijan

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the peculiar Republic of Azerbaijan has risen out of Russia’s shadow and has increasingly been entering the world stage. This oil-rich state finds itself adhering to the stereotypes of oil states. As the most prosperous country in the Caucasus, it also fosters the corresponding corruption and oppression. The current president of Azerbaijan, Ilham ... Read More »

The Market Dynamics of University

The way we gain our academic knowledge is changing. We are no longer students, but consumers. Universities are no longer arenas of knowledge sharing and transferral, but profit-seeking suppliers. The goal of enrolling oneself in university has shifted from self-refinement to being sketched against a cost-benefit analysis of financial input and resume accreditation. This change is explainable, perhaps unavoidable even, ... Read More »

Spain’s identity crisis

Like many countries, Spain experiences increasing pressure coming from right-wing parties due to the economic crisis. Minister Mariano Rajoy has introduced the tightening of abortion laws, meaning an almost total ban on abortion except in the case of rape or severe danger of the woman’s mental or physical state. This proposal comes from the Partido Popular, a conservative center-right party, ... Read More »

Hollande’s fall off the governmental pedestal

Recently, it became public that French President François Hollande has been having an affair with actress Julie Gayet for two years. The news reached the headlines of reputable international and European papers and websites such as the BBC and LA Times. Public opinion in France’s neighbouring countries was judgemental to say the least. Surprisingly, the French themselves were rather laconic ... Read More »