Post Tagged with: "Africa"

Modern Piracy as a Subject of Academic Enquiry

Modern Piracy as a Subject of Academic Enquiry

Piracy remains on the fringes of academic research interests, often seen as an exotic and rare phenomenon, often studied in connection with terrorism and other forms of crime, this despite an increasing number of attacks over the last years. Indeed, over 282 attacks were recorded worldwide in 2007 – an increase of 41% from the previous year; the surge seemed to continue in 2008.

Nigeria’s Post-Military Transition: “Democracy is not a Day’s Job”

Nigeria’s Post-Military Transition: “Democracy is not a Day’s Job”

Despite Nigeria’s transition to democracy there are trends towards identity-driven political agitation by well-armed youth militia or vigilante groups engaged in acts of violence as responses to alienation from the state, economic decline, unemployment, and the militarization of society by decades of military rule. This underscores the persistence of militarism within some sections of civil society in a ‘democracy-from-above’ which has in practice largely favoured vested interests, and all but closed the prospects for political participation, dialogue and grassroots democratization.

Africa without Europeans

Africa without Europeans

It is the very nature of ‘otherness’ in the experience of Chinese contact with Africa – the fact that it stands outside the pattern of international relations and historical memory – which forms of one of the key features of this relationship to this day. This notion of ‘difference’ allows us to see in these relations on the periphery, something deeply significant about the broader shape of international relations in the contemporary period

International NGOs in Africa: the politics of democracy without votes

International NGOs in Africa: the politics of democracy without votes

The growing presence of international NGOs (INGOs) in Africa is both a manifestation of, and a major reinforcement for, a political process which is neither democratic in the traditional sense nor authoritarian. Voting takes place, but most governments use the advantages of incumbency to ensure their regular re-election. Opposition parties with little prospect of victory have limited scope for demanding changes in governmental behaviour or policy. NGOs, in contrast, are less easily ignored.

Migration and State-making: Explaining Xenophobia in South Africa

Migration and State-making: Explaining Xenophobia in South Africa

What has become of the idea of the Rainbow Nation, the triumphant trope broadcast by the irrepressible Nobel Laureate, Desmond Tutu, and in which all the country’s people, under Nelson Mandela, rejoiced?

The Zimbabwe Crisis and R2P

The political and humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe continues to cause great concern. This article considers whether R2P offers a framework for a national and, if necessary, an international response to the crisis. It is argued the UN has other diplomatic tools which could be more effective at this stage.

The Politics of Displacement in Kenya

In this brief piece we will look at Kenya’s politics of displacement. Recent violence in this important East African country left over a thousand dead from police bullets, fires and machetes and around 600, 000 displaced. Whilst such violence reaches back into the colonial period, the combination of bad government and the revival of multi-party elections is also central.

China, Darfur, and the 2008 Summer Olympics: An Intolerable Contradiction

Despite the common claim that China can’t be moved by international pressure from human rights or advocacy groups, the campaign to link genocide in Darfur to Beijing’s hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games has thoroughly belied this notion. It is a campaign which must not give way to political expediency.

China’s Ties with Africa: Beyond the Hysteria

If questions about Sino-African relations could be reduced to their essence, these could be summarized as three main points. Firstly, China is not a unitary actor. Second, there is a degree of scapegoating of China and its alleged negative impacts upon Africa. Third, ultimately, it is up to African leaders to manage their relations with China to benefit their own economies and citizens.

Shell, Nigeria and the Record Price of Oil

Although all oil companies operating in Nigeria have faced the same basic problems, Shell has acquired far and away the worst reputation, particular in the Niger Delta with minority ethnic groups. This stems from alleged exploitation of oil and gas resources and environmental pollution resulting partly from long term gas flaring. Indeed, the company’s activities have not only become central to the dysfunctional politics of the Niger Delta, but may be fuelling rising global oil prices.

Democracy, Tribalism and Hunger: The View in Kenya

As in the other five slums in the city, people in Eastleigh are poor. They survive on far less than the average daily wage in Kenya, which is equal to about one and a half U.S. dollars. Lack of food is only one of their troubles. The political turmoil has exposed and exacerbated decades-worth of tribal tensions. While apparent to many Kenyans, for most of the international community, those tensions were hidden under the thin veneer of an emerging democracy with steady economic development and relative state stability.

The Future of the ANC in South Africa: Cross-Roads and Blind Corners

With high level corruption scandals, bitter leadership rivalries and battles for the very ideological soul of the party, the African National Congress (ANC) has not had a more turbulent 18 months since the party split in the late 1950’s. The party leadership’s response to this crisis will define both the future of the ANC and of South Africa itself.

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