In August of 2013, the Syrian opposition accused the Assad government and its affiliates of chemical weapon strikes on the east and southwest towns of Damascus, killing 1,300 civilians. As the Syrian government denied such claims, the members of the United Nations Security Council deliberated on the need for international military intervention. The question of Syrian sovereignty over its internal affairs were weighed against the international community’s need to protect civilian lives and norms against chemical weapons use. In September of 2013, the United Nations unanimously adopted a disarmament resolution to eradicate Syria’s chemical weapons and its production facilities.
The international community’s outcry against Syria’s ‘war crime’ -albeit delayed- is reflective of the growing role of interactions between the world’s nation-states, its intergovernmental, non-governmental and transnational organizations, and an emerging global civil society. Coined as ‘International Relations’ or IR, this discipline of political science attempts to understand and systematize this whirlpool of complex interactions, and how such military, economic and cultural exchanges between sovereign states shape the lives of individuals and communities.
Then, the goal of the McGill International Review (MIR) is just this: to critically analyze and question how the interactions of big players trickle down to affect small individuals; how one man’s self-immolation can shake an entire region; how nations’ sovereignties can be delegitimized upon governments’ failure to protect the population.
It is our hope that MIR’s online venture provides a more readily accessible platform for a student-led discourse on international relations. It is also our belief that we, as young members of the academia and the global society, can provide perspectives through different lenses, create alternative solutions, and fearlessly critique mistakes without layers of compromise and old ideology.
On this note of youthful optimism, we welcome you to the online publication of McGill International Review.
-The Editorial Board of the McGill International Review Online