All of Paradigm Shift’s published content (articles and research papers) can be found here. You can scroll down and navigate the various pages. Topics of focus include global politics, current affairs, international relations, and Pakistan.
Turkey’s foundation as a secular state, as set by its founding father Kemal Ataturk, now clashes with the incumbent President Erdogan’s vision of Islamization. The author uses several examples to showcase how Turkey is now being redirected to its imperial glory – to when Islam was the linchpin of the Ottoman Empire.
On March 8, 2021, hundreds of people in Pakistan’s major cities took to the streets to highlight atrocities against women. This was part of the women’s rights campaign’s biggest mobilization in the country, the Aurat March. The march took place for the 4th year in a row and was met with controversy yet again. This study explores the media’s role in the movement, and more essentially how the print and digital media covered and portrayed this year’s march. The author analyses the portrayal on the basis of five themes: women’s rights, feminism, healthcare for women, violence and harassment, and patriarchy — with the background being the Agenda Setting Theory.
In the wake of the recent normalization of ties between varying Muslim states and Israel, Pakistan was rumored to be following suit. This stirred a debate within Pakistan – with people questioning the pro-Palestinian stance, and the rejection of Israel. The author discusses how Pakistan should continue to maintain the traditional policy towards Israel, and how it would be inadvisable to pursue normalization for limited gains.
The paper discusses the inequities that have continued to exist within Myanmar’s infrastructure since the colonial era. The unrestrained hostility among Myanmar’s ethnicities has caused one of the world’s largest refugee crises. The author presents methods of conflict resolution that may prove effective in resolving the Rohingya conflict.
The second wave of COVID-19 is causing India’s health sector to come apart at the seams – resulting in more than 3000 deaths every day. Prime Minister Modi’s government is being heavily criticized (locally and internationally) for the carelessness in controlling the virus. The author suggests the adoption of more liberal policies, and the abandonment of the Hindutva ideology – which may help in undoing the many wrongs.
Through the example of the Franc of the Financial Community of Africa (CFA franc), the author argues that France is practicing a form of neo-colonialism in Africa. France ensures this euro-backed currency for the 14 states part of the CFA franc zone—12 of these states are former French colonies. In return, it demands 50% of their foreign reserves to be deposited in the French treasury. Moreover, France has maintained a presence in the banks established for the implementation of the CFA franc policy, giving it control over the financial and exchange rate policies of the former colonies.
In the last decade, Islamophobia has been on the rise in France. The situation worsened after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, called Islam a “religion in crisis”, defended blasphemous caricatures, and declared that he would make Islam “compatible” with French republican values and liberate it. The author notes that although the French government claims that it introduced policies like the hijab ban and the religious disassociation in schools, offices, and public areas, to curb radicalism, separatism, and Islamism, they marginalized the entire Muslim community in France. The author asserts that France witnessed a 53% increase in religious violence last year, and if the gap between the French Muslims and the rest of France continues to increase, the Muslim population will become easy targets for terrorist organizations.
The long history of hostility and rivalry between Russia and the United States has internalized mutual suspicion. US political actors use the rhetoric of insecurity and ‘attack on democracy’ by Russia, while Putin builds on the anti-American sentiment. The author discusses how the United States is likely to keep considering Russia a threat due to the ongoing security dilemma, perceptions of identity and security, and implications of human rights violations.
How is it that a land thoroughly washed in the Indo-Persian culture, has now become a follower of Arabization? The article explores the ways in which Arabization has infused itself into Pakistan’s culture and society, gradually effacing its Indo-Persian roots. It also analyzes the impact of the cultural shift on Pakistan’s sociopolitical landscape.
Comparing neoliberalism, Neo-Confucianism, the states representing these ideological approaches and how they handled the pandemic, reveals that China as an authoritative Neo-Confucian state, has been more proficient in handling the virus than the neoliberal states. The author supports this argument by explaining how states like the US, the UK, Italy, Spain, and France have proven themselves incapable of handling the pandemic, while China has effectively limited the proliferation of the virus and ensured the safety of its citizens. The author argues that since the US focuses more on the distribution of power and less on administrative efficiency, it cannot react quickly to unpredictable circumstances.
The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a World Heritage-listed site, is witnessing the destruction of its reefs by the Australian government and India’s Adani Group. Protests and movements by various NGOs and international institutions are spurring the need for conservation initiatives and projects.
The SBP Amendment Act 2021 gives significant autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan. The author notes that due to this autonomy, the bank and its officials cannot be held accountable for illegal acts by any investigative agency, be it the FIA or NAB. Moreover, the bill is quite vague when it comes to defining the authority of the Parliament over the central bank. The author explains that the power given to the State Bank of Pakistan will lead to a lack of policy coordination, and divide the economic objectives of the government and SBP and the forecast about the state of the economy.
Olympics diplomacy is a type of diplomacy that hasn’t garnered much attention in the international diplomatic arena. Both (the hosting and the participating) states try to assert dominance through the performance of their athletes. The Olympics can also build alliances, which was the case with China and the US in 1971. However, China’s alarming human rights violations have called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The author seeks to explain the democratic insufficiencies and the violation of civil and political rights in Myanmar against a backdrop of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words. The violence against the minorities – particularly the Rohingya Muslims – has unveiled cracks that lay just beneath the surface of Myanmar’s so-called ‘democracy’.
The US was never really in control of Afghanistan. Trillions of dollars spent, over a 100,000 casualties, & two decades later – the US is now stuck in a stalemate. Negotiating directly with the Taliban via Khalilzad seemed to be helping the US, but the recent change of date for the withdrawal of troops (from May 01 to Sep 11) can potentially hamper the peace process.
President Trump’s era proved to be markedly different from the traditional policies and narratives of past presidents. President Trump has pursued an increasingly biased foreign policy towards Israel – bestowing Israel with legitimation, and acceptance of its oppressive and violent policies in Palestine. By appointing like-minded officials on important positions, the president had made it clear that he would not be accommodating the Palestinians and their demands.
Pakistan is one of the top 10 most vulnerable states when it comes to cybersecurity. Since cyberattacks can be carried out from any part of the world – with the possibility of the perpetrator never being caught – they present immense challenges for Pakistan. The author notes that 2018 was the most dangerous year for Pakistan due to the number of cyberattacks on the state’s institutions. He not only discusses the challenges Pakistan is facing from cybercrimes, but also provides recommendations for the state to counter them.