History Personal Statement Example 53

As the daughter of Ugandan refugees, the social sciences have always been poignant in my life. The forced deportation of my parents and 80,000 other Asians by Idi Amin, led to their destitute expulsion from Uganda, providing me with a fuller perspective of the recent Syrian refugee crisis. My multicultural background has bred an innate interest in current and historical international relations which I sate through reading “The Week” and watching “BBC News” regularly.

Through my research of “Man, the State and War’ by Waltz, I first started to look into the components of conflict, these underpinning factors of international anarchy, the structure of states and human behaviour that can be seen throughout history from the Russian Revolution to the fight for Civil Rights. Last summer I spent four weeks in Borneo as a volunteer; it was deeply rewarding helping build a local kindergarten for the community and seeing for myself the consequential impact foreign aid and NGOs can have.

Furthermore, we learnt about the Sandakan death marches enforced on both Australian and British prisoners of war. Learning of this relatively unheard of war atrocity helped cement the benefits of independent research to understand the evolution and nature of conflict.

Economics is a pivotal factor in the way in which countries interact with one another, past and present; this intersection with geopolitics deeply interests me. Beyond the classroom, I have attended lectures from several prominent economists including Ann Pettifor, one of the few economists that predicted the 2008 financial crash. Through her lecture I learnt the importance of real world observations versus abstract theory. This prompted me to think more deeply about real world economics and to read columnists such as Paul Krugman in the “New York Times” and John Kay in the “Financial Times”. Pettifor also talked of the poverty in her home country South Africa and we discussed the need for a stable banking system as a prerequisite for sustainable growth in emerging economies.

Being a part of the IFS Student Investor Challenge provided exposure to the stock markets and aided in nurturing risk analysis skills. A lecture by Steve Davis, a classical liberalist, crystallised my interest in different economic theories, which I explored by studying “The Shock Doctrine” by Klein. This helped place the impact of different policies, such as Friedman’s capitalism, historically and socially. Indeed, history enables us to see the parallels between the modern day economy and those of the past.

The French Revolution was a product of the huge state debt which led to the printing of vast sums of money and a subsequent worthless currency. Prices rose alongside unemployment; business confidence was lost, whilst a few prospered at the expense of the majority. This is a prescient story, repeated in 2008, highlighting the need to study the past in order to learn for the future.

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Didn't include the paragraph about my extra curricular activities etc.


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