2013-2014 Committee:

Editor-in-Chief Popy Begum
Publisher Chris de L'isle
Typesetter Chris de L'isle
Cover Design Hana Ross
Webmaster Rina Hay
Editorial Committee Helena Beeley,
Popy Begum,
Chris de L'isle,
Arnold Mathijssen,
Helen Todd
SCR Review Committee Meghan Campbell,
Martin Ceadel,
Elizabeth Frazer,
Dori Kimel,
Chris Lintott,
Jonathan Leader Maynard,
Oliver Ready


Volume 9 of The New Collection is available as a PDF download from here.


Rupert Allison A Short History of the Universe
Popy Begum Women and Human Trafficking in West Africa and the United States
Chris de L'isle Organised Religion and the State in Tibet
Rina Hay Social Criticism in Russian Crime Fiction of the 1860s
Evgenia Ivanova Citizenship, Myths, and... (Naked) Women
Daniel Mwiha Mburu Has the 'War on Terror' Undermined the International Human Rights Law Regime? An Optimist's Answer

A Short History of the Universe
Rupert Allison

The Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP2) experiment at the South Pole recently provided compelling evidence that the very early universe underwent a period of rapid expansion called inflation. In turn this can help to explain many current astronomical observations, with inflation ultimately being responsible for seeding small fluctuations in the density of the early universe, which, under gravity, grew to form the stars and galaxies we see in the universe today. In light of this revelatory discovery, in this article I take stock, summarising the prevailing view held by the modern cosmologist on the history and current state of the universe.

Women and Human Trafficking in West Africa and the United States
Popy Begum

Crime is dominated by men,but historically there have been occasions and circumstances when women play greater or lesser roles in crime. There has been much debate about the reasons for the different rates of involvement in crime between men and women, including those that rely on biological, psychological and social foundations, but most researchers seem to accept that a combination of factors account for the difference. Yet rates of involvement in crime, and the types of crime that women engage in change over time. The example of the West African "trafficked" women described in this article does not answer the question about whether women are more or less criminal today, or if so, what the sources of that increase might be, but it does suggest that our explanatory frameworks need to better understand the motives and the actions of the actors.

Organised Religion and the State in Tibet
Chris de L'isle

Before the Communist Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1959, organised religion (the sangha and the state were intertwined in a mutually beneficial relationship, which gave the state security and moral authority while religious institutions gained revenue and secular power. The demise of this system is presented by the modern Chinese government as the fall of a despotic regime and the abolition of serfdom. I argue that this misrepresents the relationship between the Tibetan state and its religious institutions and that the relationship was actually beneficial to the state, the sangha and the Tibetan people.

Social Criticism in Russian Crime Fiction of the 1860s
Rina Hay

This paper examines the works of a range of authors of Russian crime fiction of the 1860s, a period of great social change in Russia, which saw the emancipation of the serfs and a total overhaul of the judicial system. I will explore how authors view these changes and how they incorporate various elements of social criticism into their work.

Citizenship, Myths, and... (Naked) Women
Evgenia Ivanova

This paper looks at how abstract ideas important for citizenship, such as justice, freedom, equality, and patriotism, are represented in order to capture the imagination of political actors. Focussing on produced fantasies and images the paper seeks to understand how the political imaginary is sexed and what role it plays in inspiring individuals to take certain political roles and actions. More specifically, it examines the function of female nudity and sexiness in the representation of many abstract political ideas. It is suggested that the feminine and sexualised character of many symbols has a significant role in motivating the political agency of male citizens by making abstract political ideas symbolically more engaging.

Has the "War on Terror" Undermined the International Human Rights Law Regime? An Optimist's Answer
Daniel Mwihia Mburu

This essay considers the question whether the war against terror has undermined the international human rights law regime, defined as the framework in place to ensure that substantive human rights, such as the right to life and the right to a fair trial, are respected, fulfilled and protected. I argue that the wr against terror has not undermined the human rights regime. Rather, what the war against terror has revealed is a fundamental weakness in the human rights regime; one that lies in the regime's lack of an effective means to prevent states - more so the powerful ones - from committing human rights violations when fighting terrorism.