Some people might say that if the human race were to be wiped out, it wouldn’t be as a result of a disease or an asteroid, but rather foreign policy and international relations, with the rise of nuclear politics and Trump's ascent to power. The end of the world seems closer than we think. Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson’s ‘Why Nations Fail: The origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty’, questions why institutions in the U. S. A are more ‘economically successful’ than those in Mexico, with whom they share a border. The authors imply that the answer lies ‘in the way different societies were formed in the early colonial period’. I agree with this conclusion, but also think the answer may be due to the way in which each nation is governed and how government policies shape their economic success, development and overall satisfaction of their population. This book sparked my interest in International Relations as it discusses the relationship between nations that have been colonised and their colonisers, and also questions the sustainability of the Chinese economy, which in recent months has experienced 6. 7% growth. Linking this with the knowledge of economic growth that I have gained through my studies, has led me to conclude that the politics of a nation have a fundamental role to play in its overall prosperity.
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My fascination for global affairs and politics stemmed from my interest in the rise of extremism, especially as a result of the rise in terror attacks committed in London. Especially that of the London Bridge terror attack, which was very close to home. This particular event led me to read ‘The Clash of Civilizations and the remaking of world order’, in which Huntington states that “Islamic extremism would become the biggest threat to world peace”. I attended a lecture at the LSE where, Professor Kepal discussed The Middle East after ISIS introducing me to numerous factors that have shaped the current state of the Middle East - widening my understanding of conflicts in the region. At Birmingham University, I took part in a debate tackling the issue of ‘why foreign fighters join ISIS’ which therefore led me to the conclusion that whilst I understand how Huntington can come to such a conclusion, the influence of Western culture and the interference of the West in global affairs has led to political instability in those nations. Which is evidently seen in the interference of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, where the political upheaval stems from the interference of the Soviet Union in the unrest in Afghanistan as a result of the mujahideen's attempts to overthrow the communist government. Such experiences not only prepared me for contents of a politics and international relations degree, but also exposed me to university life as I was forced to acknowledge the multiple interpretations on the biggest threats to global peace.
Beyond my academic interests, I have participated in voluntary fundraising for charities such as Starlight and Water AID, primarily through hosting a charity week at my secondary school and sixth form as an acting charity rep in the leadership team. I also have organised events such as treasure hunts and sports tournaments for the younger years and assisted my local food bank with collections by arranging a weekly donation rota for each year group. These activities have enabled me to develop organisation skills as well as teaching me how to relate with less fortunate individuals. I also play Netball for the all-girls team at school which has made me a strong team member. I hope to continue to be involved in similar activities when at university and build on these skills.
I intend on pursuing a career in the United Nations in order to increase the stability in an ever-diversifying global environment, particularly considering the rapid pace of globalisation. I believe the key to this stability is in understanding the various cultures that exist and being mindful of the events of the past in order to not allow history to repeat itself. Studying an International Relations and Politics at degree level will undoubtedly equip me with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out this aim.