Published Opinions

Submitted from Students Worldwide


Thoughts and prayers. These are the words surrounding the Las Vegas area after the tragedy that occurred on October 1, 2017 at the Route 91 Festival: the deadliest shooting in modern American History. Those words hit everyone around the world. For Las Vegas residents, those words hit home. These events always seem like pictures and video on a distant screen until it becomes your hometown. For locals, this was an attack on not only their country but their city, their home, their family, their friends, and themselves. The lives that were lost were more than names on a paper; they were mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, husbands, wives, and friends. This event affected more than the 59 people who died and the 514+ people who are injured. It affects their families, this city, this country, and the globe. As the number of people who have died and injured continues to rise, the number of people affected likewise escalates

With a horrific event like this, there needs...

September 29, 2017


Recent discussions on Bridge the Divide have centered around the North Korean threat of nuclear war, what the global response should be, and  how to deal with Kim Jung Un as a leader. Diplomacy with China, US, and other actors have also been widely discussed. In her follow-up, Maria Martin urges us to remember the real people suffering everyday at the hands of the Kim regime. 

Following Donald Trump’s statements at the UN and the apparent unstoppable missile race of Kim Jong Un, the North Korean issue has become one of the most searched terms on Google in the last months. The massive public interest, along with the tense situation in the region with regards to the trial and impact of several rockets in Japanese territory, has placed the Kim Regime in an international relations hurricane.     

North Korea long been the subject of academic studies and a main issue of concern in international analysis. Nonetheless, the missile program seems to h...

September 21, 2017


In previous weeks Bridge the Divide has placed a specific focus on the role politics plays in academia. Several of you have shared your opinions in the discussion and in the live ambassador roundtable held last week. To close out our exploration into the topic, Kymberley Chu explores different reasons why there is an increasing political polarization in academia and what some are doing to combat it. 

Concerns about the political polarization within academia have become inescapable in recent years. Intellectual diversity in higher education promotes a variety of ideological viewpoints that may solidify our critical thinking skills and open ourselves to others’ rationals. However, the majority of liberal professors in most educational institutes may exert an echo chamber that prohibits this growth. According to Nicholas Kristof, most universities lack tolerance towards ideological and religious beliefs. In fact, the Pew Research Centre reports that 58% of Republicans...

From the Barcelona terrorist attack to the killings of innocent students in Peshawar, Pakistan, the globe has been plagued by numerous terrorist attacks. According to the New Yorker, the deaths as a result of terrorist attacks have increased nine-fold since 2000. The emergence of religious extremist groups such as Al Qaeda has provoked fear and violence, exacerbating political instability and socioeconomic disruption in the globalized world. The major presence of terrorism in the modern world has promoted counterterrorist policy formulation worldwide. Intergovernmental offices such as the UN’s Office of Counterterrorism and social initiatives such as Life After Hate are just a few examples of how groups all over the world have dedicated themselves to combating terrorism in the 21st century. In our first Deep Dive, we will closely inspect terrorism in the 21st Century and the rise of Counterterrorism as a response to this growing global threat.

Terrorism Basics

In order to truly understan...

Question: How should countries address the Syrian Refugee Crisis?

Creating International Emergency Panels: Written by Dalya Al Masri, Canada

The Syrian refugee crisis began long before it sparked attention from international media outlets. To fully understand the complexity of the refugee crisis, one must look to the source of where it all began. Syria has been engaged in a civil war between the government of President Bashar Al-Assad, and several opposing forces. Entering the seventh year of war, over 500,000 casualties have been claimed, and more than half the country's’ population (approx. 12 million) have been dispelled from their homes and forced to relocate.

The conflict commenced in 2011, influenced by an Arab Spring in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, each of whom saw their presidents overthrown. When Syrians began peacefully protesting the Assad Regime, President Assad ordered the mass killing of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators and imprisoned others. Lack of freedom, violation of hu...

August 16, 2017

As impossible as it may seem, the issue of the media's role in politics continues to grow more contentious with each new issue that arises. Over the past few weeks, our community has engaged in thoughtful conversation over whether or not this powerful presence is a benefit to society through its ability to inform the public and keep politicians accountable, or counterproductive to the political climate through spreading bias and misinformation, intentionally or unintentionally. Here's a few highlights from what people had to say.

From the Op-eds

The media’s hard approach on the government is vital and should be supported. Important social advocacy campaigns would have had no impact if the media had not played its part. From anti-tobacco campaigns to issues like climate change and global warming, all have been put up by today’s media, to make the common man aware of his world. With the technological advancements, the effects of media have increased to a whole new level. With apps, an...

Question: Does the Media have a Positive Impact on Society?

The Impact of Media on Today's Modern World Cannot be Undermined: Written by Hussein Usmanrch, Pakistan

In the recent years media has faced extreme criticism and has been a subject of a huge debate. With the Trump government’s clear views against the media due to its hard approach on his policies and ideas as one example, it is clear that  many political leaders don’t go well with such mainstream criticism. Analyzing today’s societies reveals that the influence of media has become greater than ever. From social media platforms, whose authenticity can be questionable to mainstream media channels and programs that are run by seasoned journalists and are backed by intensive research, we can easily comprehend that a broad spectrum exists when it comes to identifying its role as either positive or negative.  

Let’s probe in a bit deeper on why today's free media is the biggest accountability agent, that creates a p...

This week, members of the Bridge the Divide community weighed in with their thoughts one of the most quickly growing threats to national security. It was also the first week with the format including a roundtable on the same topic. As such there was plenty to talk about. Here are some of the highlights from what readers though the response should be.

From the Op-eds:

"The abuse of human rights is the primary reason for us to intervene in North Korean politics, while the secondary reason is to maintain the balance of power in South-East Asia. The strained diplomatic ties between North Korea and South Korea cause the exploitation of millions of innocent lives, and the tense relations between China and North Korea are important calls to action for the international community. A revolution is needed in order for North Korea to regain its basic fundamental rights, and for this revolution to take place, leaders have to wake up a revolutionary spirit among the international community."



In 2013 China unveiled its ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. Funded extensively by Chinese, the infrastructure runs through the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa connecting the vibrant East Asia economic circle at one end and developed European economic circle at the other. The project has two components: the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB),which would be established on the Eurasian land corridor from the pacific coast to the Baltic Sea, and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The SERB focuses on bringing together China, Russia and Europe, linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through the central Asia and West Asia, and connecting China with Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean. The 21st century MSR in turn is designed to go from China's coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean by one route, and from China's coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacif...


“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”

― Benjamin Franklin.

Free speech is understood as one of the basic pillars of democracy, and a right that is fundamental to any free society. A state cannot claim to be truly equal, just, or free, without the opportunity to express thought without fear of government repression. In principle, freedom of speech is a notion that should be have an intrinsic value. Nevertheless, it has become a highly debated topic in recent years. The reality is that freedom of speech is fundamental, yet also an unavoidable double-edged sword. There remains no coherent global (or even regional) understanding on this rights application. Even Europe and the United States have vastly different conceptions of free speech, and whether there should be limitations to it.

The debate often arises from the fact that the same protections that guarantee free speech necessarily allow ha...

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