Latest Blogs

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  •  Photograph: Bradley L Garrett

    Attack on the drones: the creeping privatisation of our urban airspace By Dr Bradley L Garrett and Dr Adam Fish

    We woke up before dawn and caught the first train to Waterloo, so we could capture some aerial footage in the early morning London light with no one around. We were interested in using a drone to get a vantage point that no rooftop could offer, looking down on the under-renovation South Bank Tower.

  • applying for something

    Why applying for citizenship is an anxiety filled process – and not just for applicants

    As we consider what post-Brexit citizenship might look like, it is crucial to understand the pervasiveness of anxiety and its integral role in shaping policy processes. Here, Anne-Marie Fortier discusses how anxiety is attached especially to English language ability for applicants, whilst also highlighting the role it plays for those on the other side of the process: the registrars checking applications for citizenship or settlement.

  • Why the living wage won’t compensate for tax credit cuts

    Wage poverty is endemic in Britain because wages are thought of as a price for a job, rather than as a means of earning a living.

  • Flooding and resilience: the important role children and young people can play

    Our research shows children play an important role in recovery, helping their families and the wider community. We found that children understand more readily than adults that there will be future floods, and recognise the need for adaptation. Children want to have a role in developing flood prevention and preparedness in their communities. Current flood policy either ignores children or positions them in a group marked ‘vulnerable’. This patronises and disenfranchises children. Understanding their perspectives and capacities could inform more effective policy, enhance resilience and reduce the impact of future emergencies. Children have the right to be heard and actively participate in matters that affect them, in particular flood management.

  • Hactivists aren’t terrorists – but US prosecutors make little distinction

    Activists who use technology to conduct political dissent – hacktivists – are increasingly threatened with investigation, prosecution and often disproportionately severe criminal sentences. For example, in January 2015 self-proclaimed Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison for hacking-related activities including linking to leaked material online. Edward Snowden is currently exiled in Russia after leaking the global surveillance operations of the NSA and GCHQ.

  • What the expansion of the Suez Canal shows about shifts in global shipping

    Egypt has opened a second lane to the Suez Canal amid much fanfare. The US$8 billion dollar expansion adds 35km of new channels to the existing canal and another 35km where existing bodies of water were dredged to make way for larger ships. This will supposedly increase capacity from 50 transits a day to 97 and cut waiting times from 18 to 11 hours, which the Suez Canal Authority claims will more than double annual revenue to US$13.2 billion by 2023.

  • Tax credit cuts and welfare reform are an unwelcome relic of Victorian Britain

    The House of Lords has voted to delay the government’s plans to cut tax credits. The cuts form a significant component (more than a third) of the Conservative government’s plans to reduce the UK’s welfare bill by £12 billion. But George Osborne failed to sufficiently make the case to the upper house that they were part of a wider plan to create an economy that rewards “hard-working people”.

  • The genie is out of the bottle – it’s foolish to think encryption can now be banned

    Politicians have turned their sights on encryption once more following terrorist outrages in Paris and San Bernardino, California. A country that once welcomed encryption, France is now considering outlawing it in the wake of the massacre in its capital. In the US, politicians and law enforcement have made similar demands, as has the British prime minister, David Cameron.

  • Prince Charles for Blog masthead

    Who told Prince Charles he could be Head of the Commonwealth?

    Prince Charles is accompanying his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Malta this year. This is not the first time Charles has attended the biennial gathering of the 53 Commonwealth nations, but his appearance is deeply significant.