Politics and International Relations
Applied in: Winter 2013
University Offers: Bath, Exeter, Oxford Brookes, Royal Holloway, University Of Reading
A couple of years ago, I stayed with the family of the Tunisian Minister of Transport who played a key role in the creation of the Democratic Party. Through him I learned much about the struggles between his party and the Muslim Brotherhood and the tentative steps taken by the interim government towards trying to establish a democracy. In Turkey I stayed with some Turkish friends on the Asian, non-tourist side, of Istanbul. I discovered that the districts on that side of the Bosphorus were surprisingly vibrant and cosmopolitan; afterall not so dissimilar from London or Paris. At the end of the day it seems that many different cultures strive for a similar type of lifestyle. Recently there has been much unrest in a number of Middle Eastern countries. The question which arises is whether stable democracies can really be established and flourish in these countries?
Perhaps, a democracy is not the best solution for all peoples and even if it is, can it really be imposed by external powers or does it need to evolve and mature over time? Indeed in The Politics, Aristotle accepted that the democratic political system suffers from a number of flaws. Maybe we should take a closer look to what Machiavelli had to say on how to keep peace in countries which have recently undergone unsettled times. In the Prince he explains that fear can help ensure that populations are kept under control. Democracy gives power to the people, but unfortunately often the people are either not ready to assume the responsibilities that go with it or are too ethically or culturally divided. On hindsight this was the case with Iraq.
This summer I attended an intensive International Relations summer course at Oxford with electives in experimental psychology, public speaking and debating. It gave me an insight into global governance, sovereignty issues and human rights and I learnt about various types of political systems and their effects on fostering international peace and reducing conflicts. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and participating in debates. Outside of the French Lycee, I read widely about social issues, politics, geography and history. I am a member of the National Geographic Society in Kensington. Over the last year, I have attended evening lectures, including recently their interesting lecture on “A Journey by Raft through Sierra Leone and Liberia” delivered by William Millard. In large part, he discussed how two governments are aiming to set up a cross border national park and the obstacles that need to be resolved in order to achieve this. Establishing the park is of vital importance to prevent deforestation in the area and in turn to protect a number of endangered species.
One of my work experiences was spent at Hearst Magazines. This was highly enjoyable. It helped me to develop my confidence and how to work as part of a team required to meet printing deadlines. My article on the Whitstable Oyster Festival was published on the Good Housekeeping website. On my eDofE expedition, I worked as part of a group, preparing meals and using my orientation knowhow to find our way across some challenging terrain. I am currently providing French tuition to two girls. This is a bit of a challenge as they are quite young, but I am learning to be patient and what it is like to teach, rather than to be taught. I regularly play tennis and volley-ball with friends and over the last 4 years, I have done some intensive Badminton training at the lycee.
As countries become more and more interconnected, there will be a greater need to find global political, environmental, security and economic solutions. Where possible, I wish to become involved in finding global solutions for bringing harmony between countries and to enable developing and other countries to benefit both economically and politically. The study of Politics and International Relations should provide me with an excellent platform for my career.