My name is Jack and I studied for my BA Politics undergraduate degree at the University of Portsmouth. Throughout my undergraduate course I studied a multitude of different topics ranging from political philosophy, to global political economy, to strategic and security studies. My undergraduate dissertation title was: ‘Sino-African Relations: A new wave of Colonialism?’ which utilized secondary sources and data to investigated the nature into which the growing Chinese economic presence in Africa constituted a new form of colonialism. What I concluded from this project was that China has used neo-liberal mechanisms to create an unequal relationship which largely favored their own economic interests above that of the less, more dependent economies of the African states, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo which was used as a case study given a large investment deal (Sicomines) in 2008, equating to US$9 Billion.
I am currently studying for my masters degree in International Relations also at the University of Portsmouth. Within the masters I have undertaken several units: Challenges to the European Union; Global Governance; Nation and Identity; and Contemporary Security In International Relations Providers And Challenges.Although I have not yet undertaken my final project, the main topic is regionalism and the current working title is: ‘To what extent does the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation constitute an anti-western alliance’ . This project will aim to look at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a whole, and then its members, aiming to avoid a western orientated perspective and analysis. What it I hope to convey is the idea that the institution is not set up to be anti-western however the very idea of stronger regional identity and cooperation, around an institution which is normatively polar to that of the west is inherently challenging to western powers.
Other interests which I actively pay interest to is the media and its role in politics. A topic which has recently with the rise of Trump and social media ‘news’ come to the fore of political discussion. An issue I have qualms with is the growing polarization of news networks, who instead of finding and disseminating the news, rather spend time framing news in ways that ‘sell’ to their audience, or a rather more sinister position, to manipulate the views of the masses in order to influence political discourse.
I have spent several years now in academia, and hope to continue to spend more, as I find the search for knowledge a satisfying experience which is constantly aided by the ever-changing nature of international politics.