Author profile: Adam Groves

Adam Groves has an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy from Oxford University and a BSc in International Relations from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Adam co-founded the website in November 2007.

The London Riots: from greed to responsibility

Adam Groves • Aug 9 2011 • Articles
Yesterday, for the first time since moving to London, I felt scared. I left my office in Southwark at about 6pm, and arrived in Peckham twenty minutes later to find hundreds of masked and hooded kids running up and down my local high street.

The advocacy politics of NGOs: shaping society to respond to climate change

Adam Groves • Jul 13 2010 • Articles
In his seminal article The Tragedy of the Commons, Garret Hardin described a dilemma whereby individuals, acting independently and in rational pursuit of their own self-interest, will ultimately destroy shared, limited resources, even when it is accepted that this is not in anyone’s long-term interests. Today, climate campaigners see this unfolding before their eyes. But what does it mean for the study of advocacy politics?

Shell and Society: Securing the Niger Delta?

Adam Groves • Jun 10 2009 • Essays
Transnational Oil Companies struggle to operate in the face of widespread anti-oil protests and civil conflict in the Niger Delta. Shell, in particular, has faced considerable security challenges since the emergence of an active civil society in the early 1990s - most notably manifested by MOSOP. The brutal repression of that group proved ultimately counterproductive and Shell now aims to build a security-development nexus in partnership with local people. However, the policy is based on a paradox.

What is the Relation Between Nationalism and the ‘colonial difference’?

Adam Groves • Jun 26 2008 • Essays
This essay draws on the work of Partha Chatterjee to argue that a distinction might be drawn between political and cultural nationalism. Whilst political nationalism sought to challenge the notion of ‘colonial difference’ in the outer realm, cultural nationalism sought to maintain it (albeit reformed and reshaped) in the inner realm. This contradictory process continues to have important consequences for Africa today.

Explaining African State ‘failure’: Does the State Make the Nation or the Nation Make the State?

Adam Groves • Jun 23 2008 • Essays
In seeking to explain ‘tribalism’ and ‘state failure’ in Africa, academics often point towards the misalignment of the nation and the state: either the post-colonial state has failed to make the nation, or nations have descended into ‘tribalism’ in the process of carving out a state. What is common in these two presumptions, is that all African nations or states have the power to make their counterpart; by extension, the ‘failure ‘of such processes is rarely problematised beyond domestic politics and historical references to the impact of colonialism.

Achievements and Limitations of Nation-building in Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe

Adam Groves • Jun 19 2008 • Essays
Recent months have seen inter-ethnic conflict in Kenya, exclusivist attacks aimed at immigrant populations in South Africa and continuing controversy surrounding the future of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Cases such as these expose serious societal tensions within some contemporary African states, including those traditionally considered the continent’s ‘success stories’. In light of this, it’s pertinent to ask about the achievements and limitations of nation-building in Africa.

NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting to Define its Future

Adam Groves • Jun 18 2008 • Essays
Almost sixty years after it was first formed, NATO has changed a great deal from the organisation which once prepared to fight the Red Army in Germany’s Fulda Gap. This essay will argue that the alliance is now fighting fto define its future, in Afghanistan.

Ethnicity, Identity and the 2007-2008 Electoral Violence in Kenya

Adam Groves • May 25 2008 • Essays
Violence surrounding the recent election in Kenya has gained high-profile media coverage in Europe and North America. In this context, the dynamics of nationalism and ethnicity in Africa—and popular understandings of the role of ‘identity’—represents a pertinent subject for critical analysis.

Donor-NGO Relations: Resource Exchange & Interdependence?

Adam Groves • Apr 14 2008 • Essays
In the context of an expanding global civil society, the role of NGOs is attracting increasing attention. This essay will critically assess the notion that there exists a ‘strategic interdependence’ between international donors and local NGOs by analysing the resource exchange which occurs between them.

NGOs in New Wars: Neutrality or New Humanitarianism?

Adam Groves • Mar 15 2008 • Essays
With the end of the Cold War and the rise of global civil society, NGOs have played an increasingly prominent role in world politics. Yet due to the nature of their work, they often struggle to remain effective amid complex political, military and social dynamics. Specifically, NGOs face real problems when operating in ‘violent environments’.

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