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Author Archives: Ruerd Haringsma

Ruerd Haringsma, 4th year International Relations student at the University of Groningen, traveler, part-time adventurer and reader of books, searches the deep, dark caverns of the internet to bring you the most fresh, astounding and arcane news of international relations. He also has a beard.

The Sixth Great Extinction?

Reports about the changing climate and human’s role in it are plenty. The prognosis these studies give are often snowed under by the fierce debates that follow them, questioning the effects these changes in temperature really will have. A recent study however comes with a new angle: the extinction rate. And according to it, we’re ’at the verge of a ... Read More »

A Master’s Memoirs

As the weather is getting from ‘nice’ to ‘brilliant’, the exam periods are coming closer like dark clouds on the horizon and students again face the toughest period of the academic year, where every day confronts them with a devilish dilemma between the Noorderplantsoen and the UB (park vs. university library). Add to this the stress of rounding up the ... Read More »

Free but not Fair

With the continuous crisis in Ukraine taking most of the media’s attention, a dubious election in the heart of Europe passed silently. In Hungary, the popular but controversial prime minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz-KDNP party retained their power in a seemingly ‘free’ election. Ruling party Fidesz however took preemptive measures to manipulate the outcome, making the elections far from ... Read More »

The Shame of our Time: Human Trafficking (Modern Slavery)

Men, women and children, working extensive days of hard labour in bad conditions without or little pay and no possibility to leave. Impossible as it might be for us to imagine the complete absence of freedom, these practices are not just taking place in distant, shady sweatshops or backstreet brothels in developing countries –human trafficking is very real and happening ... Read More »

A Civilian Force Opposing A Drug Cartel

The war the Mexican government is waging against drug cartels has dragged along for years and resulted in nothing but more instability and civilian casualties. The government simply doesn’t seems to be able to get a grip on these huge organizations. As a reaction to this, a new ‘force’ entered the game and already has one of the major cartels, ... Read More »

Move Over Somalia, here´s Africa´s Next Failed State

After 20 years of bloody conflict and several failed international interventions, Somalia finally seems to have turned the tides and to be heading towards stability. Although Al-Shabab is still a serious threat, it is losing ground to the troops of the African Union. This of course is great for Somalian government, the African Union and the Somali people in general, ... Read More »

Our Future is Bright

Overpopulation, global food shortages and water wars. What the future will be like is unclear, but it will most likely be grim. The current trajectory of humankind is heading towards utter disaster. The aforementioned examples will be determining the face of our future world. Right. Doomsday predictions have been around ever since mankind learn the ability to speak, but so ... Read More »

Review: The Act of Killing

How do you make a documentary of a massacre, a genocide, when there are no living survivors willing to speak about it? When the massacre itself is still celebrated and its perpetrators are deemed ‘heroes? The answer is as simple as brilliant; you make the documentary about these ‘national heroes’, the ones who proudly talk about how they killed over ... Read More »

The Successful UN Intervention

After thirteen years, the UN peacekeepers are leaving East Timor. Their job is done; peace has found its way again to the small country and seems to have taken firm root. Sadly, this is far from always the case after a peacekeeping mission – what made East Timor such a success? East Timor, 20th of September 1999. After a referendum, ... Read More »

Turkey is, but are the Turkish ready for peace?

“Watch out for Kurds, they bad. They steal you. Me no like Kurds.” The trucker that gave me a ride is telling me this with an expression of disgust on his face. “They different, bad people.” The unilateral ceasefire declared by the PKK last Saturday is a step in the right direction and gives the impression that after 30 years ... Read More »