March 2017

Part I: Examining the Threat of Right-Wing Extremism | The United States

The spectre of right-wing extremism is no stranger to most Americans. From Dylann Roof’s massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to the Oklahoma City bombing, right-wing extremism has a long history of violence. However, the concept of right-wing extremism itself is a rather controversial topic in the US, one that is often overshadowed and downplayed. It was Republicans who decried a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism as an unfair characterisation of veterans and the political right. Any discussion on the matter is immediately classified as a political attack against conservatism, derailing any meaningful insight into the potential threat and prevalence of this extremist thought.

The Digitised Dragon: China’s Cyber Intelligence, Security and Future Monitors

In July 2016, Finnish cyber-security firm F-Secure published a White Paper entitled ‘NanHaiShu: RATing the South China Sea’. The article discussed the identification of a Remote Access Trojan, a malware which targeted organisations associated to the international territorial dispute in the South China Sea since 2015. Based on technical and motivational characteristics, the malware was attributed to threat actors from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The identification of NanHaiShu validates findings detailed an earlier study about China’s evolving intelligence strategies in cyberspace, and its move away from outdated mosaic techniques. Armed with a firm foothold in the technological research, development and manufacturing sector, there could be little doubt about the continued sophistication of China’s operational cyber-security capabilities being used in its plans for global market expansion. The recognition of cyberspace as an operation domain has revealed a clear indication of cyber-security’s intimate relationship with global geopolitics, and the subsequent effects on how state coordinated cyber-espionage will be conducted.

A bellwether for Europe? Dutch Parliamentary Elections – 2017

A political storm is brewing in the Netherlands.

With the far-right firebrand, Geert Wilders, level in the polls with incumbent Mark Rutte in the upcoming Dutch parliamentary elections on March 15th, it appears that this storm may bring with it the wind of change that Europe’s political elite fear.

In this second edition of our global election series, we examine how Wilders’ ability to dictate the narrative around the election is having a profound effect on not just Dutch voters, but also on the upcoming elections in Europe and the future of the EU.

An Ideological Revolution?

The French Presidential Elections – 2017

Vote with your head, then vote with your heart. For almost 200 years, this has been the guiding principle behind France’s 2-round election system. If there is no clear majority in the first round of elections, then the two most popular candidates go through to a straight run-off two weeks later. The system was designed to limit the potential for violent swings in political sentiment during elections. A barrier of sorts, to keep the hot-heads and agitators from any real source of power.