Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sovereign Capability: Refugees

Since the Arab Spring the question of refugees has become increasingly stressed in domestic, nation-state politics in the European Union. Being a driving force behind the rise of far-right political parties throughout the European Union that hold xenophobia as a principle. On 21 May 2015 data was extracted and published by Eurostat, the department of statistics for the European Commission, about the asylum applications and decisions in the European Union in 2014. The following graphs present a quantitative analysis of Eurostat's data coupled with and crossed by other data collected from various public national sources.

Figure 1: Sovereign Capabilities: Refugees
Figure 1: Sovereign Capabilities: Refugees

In political discussions about the refugee question facing the EU today, a position of helplessness is taken by the sovereign power in saying something along the lines of "we just can't". The reasons why the asylum status of so many refugees is rejected are excessively complex and not the subject of analysis here. Instead of resorting to political ideology, a new logic is sought.

There is an intricate line between 'capacity' and 'capability'. The former largely purports an objective frame of analysis, whereas the latter shifts from the realm of technical possibility to that of awareness, agency and ultimately, politics. The analysis conducted here seeks to shed light on the frontier between these two concepts by devising a metric, entitled here as 'relative capability', that is the result of a basic formulaic operation between national population, sovereign land area, and GDP.

Figure 2: Sovereign Capabilities: Refugees
Figure 2: Sovereign Capabilities: Refugees

This project seeks to call into question the relation between demographic, geographic and economic prosperity with the sovereign distribution of rights to others. By bringing national policy to the fore, it is ultimately two forms of absolute politics – ideology and opportunity – that becomes visible.

Figure 3: Sovereign Capabilities: Refugees
Figure 3: Sovereign Capabilities: Refugees

List of sources:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Political Climate: The Greek Referendum

The Greek Referendum was reported under the Business section of The Guardian. With the no vote having won, an archive is collected of the event's development, almost entirely taking place live on line in real time. We can look back using's Internet Archive Wayback Machine to view the public archive of The Guardian's June Business section. Key dates of the event are June 25, 26 & 27. On June 25th talks broke down and on June 27th Tsipras made his speech and officially launched what I can only term a war. The archive has been subject to massive manipulation of what is and what can be publicly recorded, and how. This folder is an extensive archive of the events. It was developed around the media retrieval protocols and available procedures for retrieving as much pertinent information as possible. Having witnessed these events on these websites, the pertinence of information is subjectively determined and represent a highly personal and intimate reading of profoundly historical events. Evidentiary procedure was followed as extensively as possible. If we follow the logic of remote sensing data and satellite tasking, someone tasked the Wayback Machine to take a picture of these websites this many times at these times. If this is indeed the case: who? Are these the only records of the extensive amount of reporting that took place? What happened to the tasks that must have been made of June 26 and 27's Guardian Business Livefeed? What happened on June 28? Where are the records?
Additional material to The Guardian Business Livefeed is included in the archive, including major news events that shaped the course of events and critical commentary made during.

I have and continued to liveblog the events via social media. Facebook, Twitter
June 6th, 2015