Welcome to Vox Journal’s online blog, Voxensus. In 2018 we created Voxensus in order to modernize our platform and increase our online presence.  Each week we publish content about current affairs, opinions posts and interviews from a variety of prominent academics relevant to Vox’s PPE focus. The name ‘Voxensus’ is a hybrid of the Latin words “vox” (voice) and “sensus” (perception). Voxensus was created as a platform where students could interact with each other and the committee of Vox. We aim to create a space for academic writers of all levels and backgrounds to voice their opinions on topics of interest within and outside their degrees and to start discussion within the student body on topics they believe are important to bring to light.
 

March 8, 2020

It was no surprise that the US Senate voted to acquit Trump in the 2020 impeachment trial. Two main factors guaranteed Trump’s acquittal, and both of them working together may point to the alarming possibility that any federal impeachment is not a realistic prospect.

Firstly, the partisan voting in both Congress and the Senate is evidence enough that politics is no longer about right vs wrong, but rather red vs blue. Republican Senator Susan Collins stated she would vote for Trump’s acquittal because while she believed he was guilty, she felt he had ‘learnt his lesson’. Or in other words, she’d like to keep her position as senator by pleasing the Republican Political action committee(PAC)’s and ensure her campaign receives its funding. No party wants the stain of an impeached president on their record, and therefore have vested interest in keeping the president in power.

The mere fact that the Republican majority senate voted against hearing the testimonies of key witnesses in a legal tr...

March 8, 2020

In placing our hopes on exceptionalism to guide us forward, we’ve only served to reinforce our own class barriers and give people an excuse as to why the rich get to stay that way.

The United States is my home country. While I have had the pleasure of completing my degree in England, the US has always been my home. However, when I return to the US and talk to friends that are navigating the roulette wheel that is college admissions, I start to see serious problems. Admission to these universities has always been highly competitive. Still, the recent focus on “meritocracy” means that the journey begins in high-powered private elementary schools, continues through middle schools and then onto the inevitable prep school or private high school. Meritocracy is meant to mean that those deserving of it, or those with “merit”, would be able to rise above their circumstances, that magnet schools and generous scholarships would allow for greater social mobility based on ability rather than anythi...

“We talk about Liberalism as emerging from a certain place, and maybe it did, but the western world doesn’t have monopoly over the broader ideas of freedom, justice, and human rights”

We sat down to talk with Dr. Indrajit Roy in the Politics Department at the University of York, who teaches ‘the Rising Powers’ module. He is also a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College and Research Associate at the Department of International Development, University of Oxford. He studies democratic deepening and societal transitions in the Global South. His specific research interests lie in studying citizenship in the 'emerging markets', the connections between political change and social transformation, and South Asian politics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCMkwVGUXT8&feature=youtu.be

1. What is the current state of the implementation of human rights policy within rising powers and what is the power relationship between civil society and the government? For example, in Turkey or R...

Ukrainian screenwriter and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky won his country’s most recent presidential election on 21st April 2019 by a remarkable landslide, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko with 73.23% of the public vote. Perhaps more remarkable is the fact that his portrayed fictional television character, Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko, achieved the same political feat some three-and-a-half years earlier in the hit satirical television series “Servant of the People”, after a viral video criticising internal corruption and cronyism led to his unexpected election. In proving the Wildean adage true, life in Ukraine has begun to imitate art.

In just the span of four months, Mr Zelensky built his political campaign from the ground up and achieved the largest electoral majority in the former Soviet republic since its independence in 1991. The driving force behind this victory is the allure of neopopulism to the disenchanted Ukrainian electorate, an ideology defined as a “political strategy in...

April 20, 2019

In a culture that fetishizes the pursuit of fame, it’s ever more important that lawmakers, media outlets and members of the public adopt the response of the New Zealand Prime Minister in the face of hate.

"He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety - that is why you will never hear me mention his name." - Jacinda Ardern

Acts of terror are committed and inspired by a plurality of reasons; be they religious extremism, ethno-nationalism, social conditions and many others. The causes of these destructive acts are numerous and, in each case, different. What is obvious is at least some terrorists are motivated in part by fame. The New Zealand attacker was no exception. The perpetrator broadcast themselves across Facebook to thousands as they slaughtered innocent Muslims whilst attempting to spread their ideology.

Mainstream media organisations from Sky News to the BBC repeat not only the name of terrorists but also their biography and ideology*. Reports seek only to cat...

March 28, 2019

Guess who's back, back again...

The United States of America has had a long and proud history of meddling in South America. The Cold War saw numerous American sponsored coups and petty dictators propped up all along Central and South America, near universally with horrifying results. In recent years however, America had gone quiet, and, at least for a while, it seemed like America had stopped its interference overseas. However, on the 23rd January 2019, the US supported Juan Guaridó’s claim as President of Venezuela, following a contested election in which the National Assembly refused to recognize Nicolás Maduro as the President (Daniels, Borger and Zuñiga, 2019). While this was a decision made by the Venezuelan National Assembly, support from the US was extremely quick to arrive, with the US declaring its support on the same day. Predictably, Russia, China and several other nations have refused to recognize Guaridó’s claim to the presidency, instead voicing their support for Maduro (D...

March 22, 2019

Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown is an entrepreneur with expertise in advocacy, communications and partnership development. Elizabeth co-founded Uncommon Union in 2013, an organisation with a focus on advocating for global issues and and then Nadia’s Initiative in 2016, a non-profit organisation which aims to increase advocacy for women and minorities in areas of crisis around the world.

Q1. In 2010 you co-founded ‘Choose Haiti’ after spending time in the country as a student. Can you tell us about your experiences in Haiti? Do you think that the lessons that you learned there, can help you in your work for Nadia’s Initiative?

I first travelled to Haiti as a college student. I was part of an "alternative spring break" program at Columbia University with a mission to paint a local school and visit a hospital. Upon my return I struggled to understand the suffering I had witnessed and the international community’s inability to respond to it. Instead of working for an NGO, as I had originally plann...

March 21, 2019

I recently attended an international development society conference. The topic this year was climate change, its effects and policy solutions. We had the opportunity to listen to six speakers who have a vast range of experience in environmental issues including academics, researchers and charities. The talks provided valuable insights into this ‘hot’ topic with case studies from South Africa, Ethiopia, Latin America and Asia. Whilst it is important for our media to bring these discussions into the mainstream and recognise the problems we are creating; such news articles have painted a somewhat miserable picture. Therefore, I firmly believe that now is the time to discuss the practical policy solutions.

Politicians, until very recently, have not advocated for policy reform in this area. As the IPPC reported last year we need far reaching and unprecedented change to tackle these issues (UN 2018). Not just banning plastic straws. But a total reform of our energy systems, business regulatio...

March 20, 2019

Michalis Psalidopoulos was a professor at the Department of Economics of the University

of Athens and since June 2015, he has been an Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

1. You’ve been an Alternate Executive Director at the IMF since 2015. Could you please tell us the main duties and responsibilities of your position?

I work for the Executive Board of the IMF. It consists of 24 constituencies (countries or

group of countries). We convene three times per week (sometimes more than that). We

discuss country and other issues (like digital economy, fiscal implications of aging etc).

Staff prepares reports on every topic and we write memos (called greys in IMF language)

and then we convene at the Board to exchange views and reach decisions. Next to

providing input for these discussions, country representatives act as a bridge between

their authorities and the Fund. Authorities are briefed by us on what is going on here. If

the country is in a program, the Ex...

March 11, 2019

IMAGE: RAYMOND BOYD/MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

When rappers started they were perceived as ‘Public Enemy Number One’ by many because they “fought the power” and expressed themselves in a way that many were uncomfortable with. However, they understood the best way for their struggle to be heard was through politically conscious rap. N.W.A, Public Enemy Number One and Ice- T made it a movement that is still popular today.

Chuck D once said that rap was the “Black CNN” because they presented what was happening in the inner-city in a way that mainstream news could not project. Through N.W.A’s infamous ‘Fuck Tha Police’ they used violent and aggressive imagery which brought forward a harsh reality about police brutality and racial profiling. This song drew plenty of criticism, specifically from the FBI and LAPD,  who felt it oppressed and unfairly portrayed law enforcement. However, it spoke to the black community, where continuous unjust police harassment and clashes were normalized....

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