Smartphone addiction: An emerging global digital epidemic

This is the second in a series of blogs from the finalists of this year’s Policy Idol competition. These blogs were originally presented as policy pitches at the live final of the competition earlier this year. Policy Idol is an annual competition open to all staff and students at King’s.

By Meena Nayar and Gemma Scott

Smartphone use has increased exponentially in the last decade, with more than 2.3 billion users worldwide in 2017. Smartphones have made staying in touch easier and given us constant access to the internet and social media, with many of us now seemingly unable to function without one. However, emerging scientific research suggests that many of us are becoming addicted to our smartphones, leading to a host of negative health and social consequences. Continue reading

The future of UK food production: reducing meat consumption and fostering innovation

This is the first in a series of blogs from the finalists of this year’s Policy Idol competition. These blogs were originally presented as policy pitches at the live final of the competition earlier this year. Policy Idol is an annual competition open to all staff and students at King’s.

By Louis Phelps

Meat consumption has reached unprecedented levels. Global production is now at 300 million tonnes each year and is predicted to increase 75 per cent by 2050. The industry currently generates around 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector. Continue reading

What future for Franco-British security and defence cooperation?

This post originally appeared on the website of the Institut Montaigne.

Is Brexit a threat to the Franco-British defence and security cooperation ? Three questions to Dr Benedict Wilkinson, Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London.

Seven years after their signature, what is the impact of the Lancaster House Agreements on both France and the United-Kingdom (UK)?

At its most basic, the Lancaster House Treaties have made security and defence cooperation between the UK and France broader and deeper. For the French, the Treaties were mainly about getting the UK on board with their ambition to improve wider EU defence cooperation. In this, they were mostly successful. The British not only wanted to improve defence cooperation at the EU level, but also wanted a mechanism for engaging with the other leading European defence power outside of the EU framework. In this, they too, were mainly successful, for instance, in signing agreements in sectors such as missile production, nuclear and UAVs. Overall, then, the Treaties have had a positive impact: both parties have achieved their objectives and the partnership has become consequently more robust and encompasses a wider variety of areas.

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Shortlists and Swagger: How can we increase the number of women in parliament?

By Laura Jones

As I wrote in my last blog, Britain continues to make only glacial progress in its number of female parliamentarians, something The Times columnist and former Conservative MP Matthew Parris puts down to women’s perceived lack of ‘swagger’ – they don’t match local party members’ idea of how an MP should act and talk, and so highly qualified candidates put forward by Party HQ fail to make it to the final candidate list. Continue reading

Shortlists and Swagger: What’s behind the glacial progress of women in parliament?

By Laura Jones

It’s possible to detect a certain paucity of ambition in celebrating Britain taking its place as 38th in the global rankings of anything, but something like this was evidenced in the string of headlines last week touting the record breaking achievement of a 32 per cent female parliament. Although this was an improvement on the UK’s previous position at number 47 in the world, leapfrogging past Sudan and landing just south of El Salvador, it leaves us far behind much of Europe.  Continue reading