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Charting the Nexus: A Comparative Analysis of the Relationship between Education, Economic Growth, and State Formation in Pakistan and South Korea
With the advent of the ‘knowledge economy’, the role of education in development has, arguably, changed substantially (Green, p16, 2007). The concomitant advances in science and technology, especially Information and Communication Technology (ICT), can be harnessed by developing countries to realise economic development, provided they have either a workforce endowed with sufficient levels of human capital to assimilate and transfer this knowledge in order to establish an indigenous industry, or they are able to convince foreign multinationals that there is a sufficiently skilled workforce for them to invest (Green, p16, 2007). Education, however, should not only be considered as an instrument of economic policy through which to stimulate growth; as a political tool educational policy can be orchestrated to facilitate state formation by manipulating pupils’ perceptions of their national identity. It may well be the case that the resulting increase in social cohesion, and sense of national unity, may also have positive externalities in terms of effects on development but such effects are likely to be omitted from analysis which concentrates solely on the role of education in promoting skills formation. Therefore, by examining both the political and economic consequences of education policy, through a comparative analysis of Pakistan and South Korea in the second half of the 20th Century, this paper will seek to develop a holistic picture of the role of education in international development.
ANALYSING THE IMPACT OF QUALITY EDUCATION ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA
‘Of all the issues facing development economists, none is quite so compelling as the question of economic growth’ (Ray, 1998)
Article 45 of the Indian Constitution obliges the state to provide free and compulsory education for all children, up to the age of 14, and initially envisaged that this would be achieved by 1960 (Dréze & Sen, p17, 2003). Fifty years later, this goal of Universal Primary Education (UPE) has been incorporated into a rights based approach to education through international frameworks, such as ‘Education For All’ (EFA) and the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ (MDG) (UNICEF, 2007). The 2009 ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill’ does not, however, fully comply with the assurances the Indian government made at Jomtien, where it acknowledged expansion and development of the early years curriculum as an integral part of the EFA objectives, as it does not cover children under the age of 6 (Singh, 2009). Given that the Bill confers on individual states the responsibility to provide free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school within a period of three years from the commencement of the Bill, it is hard to envisage that India will fulfil its 2015 MDG commitments concerning access to education, let alone address inchoate concerns about the abysmal quality of Indian schools which continues to discourage many parents from sending their children to school, and yields extremely low average attainment of those pupils who do attend (Singh, 2009; UNDP, 2011, Dréze & Sen, p10, 2003).
The perpetrators behind Europe’s first suicide attack, on the London transport network, were British nationals thus realising the fears of those who had expressed concern that radicalisation could lead to the emergence of home grown terrorism. In response to increased counterterrorism efforts from the UK government, decentralised home grown terrorists cells have had to operate with increasing autonomy that has denied them access to specialised training and compromised the sophistication of their attacks. In spite of a number of failed and thwarted plots, the recent attack on Drummer Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks in London emphasises that this threat remains significant and represents the failure of government policy to prevent the marginalisation of sections of the Muslim community in particular. Given the global context in which Radical Violent Takfiri Jihadi (RVTJ) terrorism operates, the ability of any single government to prevent its citizens being used against it as part of a ‘ju-jitsu’ strategy is questionable, but the UK’s history of lax immigration and granting asylum suggests that adopting policies which foster greater integration would help to mitigate this threat.
‘What we’ve learned since 9/11 is that the threat is not something that’s simply coming from overseas into the United Kingdom. What we’ve learned, and what we’ve seen all too graphically and all too murderously is that we have a threat which is being generated here within the United Kingdom.’
DAC Peter Clark (2006)
The threat of home grown terrorism manifested itself in the nation’s psyche with the simultaneous and coordinated suicide attacks in London on 7th July 2005 (Sengupta, 2005). In the wake of the attack, it was acknowledged that the threat from home grown terrorists was increasing and that the Police were frantically trying to track thousands of Britons suspected of planning, financing or encouraging attacks (Clarke, 2006). The aim of this paper, therefore, is to investigate the extent to which home grown terrorism poses a credible and enduring threat to the security of the United Kingdom. It will begin by developing an understanding of the notion of home grown terrorism and focus on Richard Reid, the Woolwich attackers and the 7/7 bombers as examples of the threat posed by home grown Islamic terrorists. It notes that this is not an exclusively Islamic phenomenon but will examine the UK’s history of immigration and analyse how this may encourage home grown terrorism as a response to marginalisation. In conclusion, it will question whether the international spectre of RVTJ terrorism can really be broken down to the local, national level and suggests that attacks from home grown terrorists are indicative of the failure of government counterterrorism policy rather than a surge in domestic extremism.
For the purposes of this investigation, terrorism describes premeditated acts of violence perpetrated for political, religious and/or ideological ends, against civilian targets to inflict harm, and intimidate the public and coerce government or state compliance with the goals of the perpetrator (Hutchinson & O’Malley, p1098, 2007).
The emergence of home grown terrorism is indicative of ‘pendulum interplay’ whereby terrorists continually adapt their strategy to stay ahead of the state’s counterterrorism apparatus, which in turn adapts to tackle these new tactics (c.f. Wolf & Frankel, p272, 2007). The concerted counterterrorism campaign launched in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks forced terrorist organisations, such as al Qaeda, to adopt a more decentralised structure epitomised by home grown terrorists which are represented, in the contemporary process of radicalisation, as bottom up- grass roots movements that evolve from the determined efforts of self-starters (Mullins, 2007). Such cells are a valuable asset as they are fantastically loyal to the public orders of senior military commanders yet come at, essentially, zero cost to the organisation (Kohlman, p97, 2008).
Whilst it may be premature to claim that the emergence of home grown terrorism is proof positive that al Qaeda exists now only as an ideology rather than an organisation, it certainly represents an innovative mechanism through which such organisations have the potential to thwart the state’s counterterrorism apparatus (Kohlman, p97, 2008). The critical advantage that home grown terrorists possess is that they are often unknown ‘clean skins’ which are unlikely to elicit the attraction of the intelligence services and, therefore, such attacks maintain the element of surprise, emerging ‘out of the blue’ (Sengupta, 2005). As MI5’s own Behavioural Science Unit concluded (Travis, 2008), it is not possible to draw up a typical profile of the ‘British terrorist’, rather those who do evolve into terrorists are a ‘diverse collection of individuals, filling no single demographic profile, nor do they all follow a typical pathway to violent extremism’. If terrorists merely reflect the communities in which they live and techniques such as profiling are unable to fill the intelligence vacuum, the state is confronted with a paradox: how to infiltrate suspected plots amongst its ‘law-abiding’ citizens without infringing their civil liberties? One such instrument of legislation that would facilitate this is the government’s controversial Communications Data Bill which would grant access to all Briton’s web browsing history and details of messages sent through social media (BBC, 2013).
Home grown terrorist cells are decentralised components of a terrorist organisation and, therefore, highly autonomous. Greater autonomy, however, means less opportunity to receive specialist training in explosives and firearms from veterans within the movement, and the group instead has to rely on their own resources and initiative to gain the prerequisite skills set (Mullins, 2007). This tends to result in a more ‘amateurish’ capability at the operational level as evidenced by Woolwich attacks reliant solely upon extreme levels of violence, and also the failed attempts of the ‘Shoe bomber’, the ‘21/7’ bombers and the ‘Christmas Day bomber’ all of whom were, ostensibly, radicalised in the United Kingdom (Malnick, 2013; Mullins, 2007; Klausen, 2007; Frankboner, 2010).
Richard Reid, the aforementioned ‘Shoe bomber’, is currently incarcerated in the United States for his failed attempt to bring down a transatlantic airliner (Klausen, 2007). Whilst his case characterises the amateurish nature of home grown attacks, it is more remarkable for its illustration of how terrorist organisations can spread uncontrolled around the world like an ‘ideological virus’ (Kohlman, p97, 2008). By radicalising sympathetic British fanatics who will perpetrate acts of terrorism independently, and are already in situ and familiar with cultural idiosyncrasies, al Qaeda need not embark on far riskier and ambitious plans to infiltrate border security by inserting foreign nationals (Kohlman, p97, 2008). There are now significant numbers of al Qaeda terrorists in UK prisons and concerns that these may be acting as incubators for promulgating its ideology and grooming potential home grown terrorists (Hannah, Clutterbuck & Rubin, 2008). It was at Feltham Young Offenders Institution that Reid converted to Islam and, upon his release, he continued his interest in religion by attending the Mosque serving Brixton’s convert community at which he first became involved with extremists (BBC, 2001). As the number of al Qaeda prisoners has increased since the start of the ‘War on Terror’, the challenge for the state is to prevent this firebrand ideology continuing its growth within the confines of a bored and vulnerable prison population.
The Woolwich Attackers
Michael Adebolago, one of the Woolwich Attackers, was held in prison in Kenya in November 2010 after being arrested en route to join extremists al-Shabaab in Somalia and towards the end of 2012 he had become of sufficient interest to the Security Service for them to attempt to recruit him as an informant (Glover et al, 2013). These attempts failed and the increasing frequency of inquiries and interviews the service conducted with family members suggests mounting concern. Fellow conspirator Michael Adebowale had also been detained by British Police two months prior to the attack on Drummer Rigby. The mechanisms through which two extremists were radicalised in the UK, whether through the internet or extremist preachers, is not immediately apparent, however their attack had very real consequences. The assault was characterised by extreme levels of violence with a small arsenal of weapons including knives and a firearm, but the lack of sophisticated explosives or technical knowledge enabled them to conduct and plan this in relative isolation without the need to branch out and contact technical experts in the wider extremist network that would risk a digital footprint attracting the attention of the authorities. Although the attack itself was relatively unsophisticated, the ‘propaganda of the deed’ was disseminated rapidly through social networks; whilst Margaret Thatcher was able to deny the IRA the ‘oxygen of publicity’ through state control of limited media outlets, blow-by-blow first hand accounts of the Woolwich attack were appearing on twitter almost before the firearms units had arrived on the scene (Wilkinson, p145, 2006; West, 2013) .
The 7/7 bombers
The attacks on the Capital are a salient reminder that, whilst the majority of attacks from home grown cells lack the sophistication to pose a credible threat, it only needs a handful of such attacks to be successful for al Qaeda to claim progress towards its larger objectives (Kohlman, p97, 2008). Husain (p119, 2007) claims that home grown British suicide bombers are a direct result of Hizb ut-Tahrir disseminating ideas of jihad, martyrdom, confrontation and anti-Americanism, and nurturing a sense of separation amongst British Muslims, but as the perpetrators behind this attack confirm it is somewhat of a logical fallacy to conflate involvement with political extremism with involvement in political violence and terrorism. Indeed, the group’s ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan exemplified the ‘normal’ life of a young family man highly regarded by his peers, thus confirming the findings from MI5’s Behavioural Research Unit that it is, precisely, the absence of connections to political extremists that makes it hard for intelligence agencies to identify such home grown terrorists (BBC, 2005; 2007).
Every country has its unique cultural identity and profile that can influence the likelihood of home grown terrorism; consider, for instance, its history of immigration or the extent to which it has assimilated immigrants into society (Mullins, 2007). It is axiomatic that the less integrated and more socially isolated Muslims are in the West, the more likely they are to experience feelings of exclusion, disillusionment and resentment which may act as a catalyst for involvement in terrorism (Mullins, 2007). It is from this perspective that the UK appears especially vulnerable to home grown terrorism given its lax immigration policies, which allow large numbers of unskilled workers from countries such as Pakistan, and its stance on asylum (Mullins, 2007). In particular, the UK has failed to integrate the 2nd and 3rd generations of immigrants into society leaving them vulnerable to extremist influences as they confront the dichotomy between their religious heritage and a secular West (Silber & Bhatt, 2007).
The endogenous terrorist threat to the United Kingdom is manifest: the attacks on London’s transport network in 2005 and Drummer Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks in 2013 emphasise, the disconnect between sections of the British Muslim community and the wider society. Such home grown attacks which have made it to the operational phase though have, for the most part, been amateurish as the concomitant autonomous preparation necessarily eschews the expertise of those individuals elsewhere in the terrorist organisation in order reduce the likelihood of detection by the intelligence agencies. The 7/7 bombers, however, were able to cause significant damage ‘out of the blue’ in spite of this automatic stabiliser, not by developing a sophisticated device but by coordinating four relatively unsophisticated attacks simultaneously. This is indicative of the pendulum interplay between terrorist organisations and the government that will continue to evolve.
Given the globalised society and the revolution in communications, organisations such as al Qaeda have managed to extend their reach and it is likely that they will continue to find willing domestic actors in the UK, and elsewhere, to act as proxies for their campaign of violence predicated on issues that affect the global ummah. The marked threat to the UK from home grown terrorism vis-à-vis other countries, such as the United States, reflects a failure of government, and to an extent society, to integrate immigrants into the community and prevent a sense of marginalisation, amongst British Muslims in particular. By facilitating more inclusive policies the government may be able to mitigate the threat from home grown terrorists, but as the Woolwich attacks demonstrate, in the absence of an Orwellian dystopia evolving from the introduction of the government’s proposed Communications Data Bill, it will never be completely eliminated.
BBC News (2001) Who is Richard Reid? 28th December. Retrieved 30/05/13 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1731568.stm
BBC News (2005) The bombers. Retrieved 30/05/13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/05/london_blasts/investigation/html/bombers.stm
BBC News (2007) Profile: Mohammad Sidique Khan. Retrieved 30/05/13 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4762209.stm
BBC News (2013) Tory-Labour pact could save data bill, says Lord Howard. Retrieved 29/05/23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22673156
Clarke, P (2006) Homegrown terrorism on the rise in U.K., USA Today, 2nd September 2006. Retrieved 30/05/13 http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-09-02-britain-terrorism_x.htm
The Daily Telegraph (2010) Profile: Faisal Shahzad, accused Times Square bomber Wednesday 05th May. Retrieved online 29/05/13 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/7681030/Profile-Faisal-Shahzad-accused-Times-Square-bomber.html
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Prime Minister David Cameron recently took the largest business delegation ever assembled with him on his state visit to India. With ambitions of doubling UK-India trade by 2015, there are tremendous opportunities for British firms to benefit from India’s economic growth. Given the changing economic landscape, providing our pupils with experience of working on collaborative projects alongside their Indian peers should help prepare them for myriad opportunities in the Global knowledge economy.
Project Jugaad is a collaborative research project into the role of mathematics in technology between pupils at Southfields Academy in the UK and Bluebells school in India. It was designed to be open-ended in order to allow these top set pupils the opportunity to push themselves by going beyond the confines of the syllabus. Two pupils from each country are randomly assigned to a group and given the following brief:
Choose an area of Technology that interests you and investigate the role of mathematics in order to produce a presentation and share your findings with other groups.
The group is structured such that everyone has a specific position (Project Manager; Chief Researcher; Digital Engineer; Communications Director) and once they have been provided with each other’s e-mail addresses they are free to communicate however they want. In order to facilitate cultural understanding, pupils have been encouraged to produce a 3-minute video on ‘Life in London/ Delhi’ with the best one being selected to be screened in the partner school immediately before the final. There is a week to go before the deadline but I have already been impressed with some of the topics including space, mobile phones, cars, medicine and Group H’s draft presentation on Maths in Electricity which actually introduces the concept of calculus . The four best research projects will be selected and those groups will then have to present their findings to both schools via Skype after which point the winning team will be chosen.
To find out more about Project Jugaad visit http://projectjugaad.yolasite.com/