Arab Spring

‘Hope': a new fund to promote women’s rights in the Arab Spring countries (and happy International Women’s Day)

Duncan Green - March 8, 2014

This International Women’s Day post comes from Serena Tramonti (right), with contributions from Rania Tarazi (left), both of Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) team Three years ago, weeks before the centenary of International Women’s Day,  I remember sitting in my living room in Manchester, watching on TV with hope and astonishment the brave women and men who were taking to the streets in the …

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Has the Arab Spring Failed? Not yet, reckons the Economist – Highlights from its excellent Special Report

admin - July 16, 2013

By blog-reader standards, the Economist’s Special Reports can be pretty long (15 pages in this case), but they are sharply written and stuffed full with great stats. As long as they steer clear of economic policy, they are also not as ideology-laden as some of the magazine’s other content. So if you can spare half an hour, read this week’s report on the Arab Spring by …

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How have a series of global shocks changed the way we think about development?

admin - May 9, 2013

This piece appears in today’s Ottawa Citizen The past five years has been a period of extraordinary global turbulence. The turmoil has struck as three “shocks” — the financial crisis, a breakdown in the world food system, and the Arab Spring — combined with a slow motion train wreck in the form of the seemingly inexorable onset of chaotic climate change. Together, these are having …

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Arab Spring v Muslim Tigers: what’s the connection between human development and revolution?

admin - January 30, 2013

Just before the Arab Spring kicked off in early 2011, I was happily linking to some really interesting work by Dani Rodrik (one of my development heroes) on ‘muslim tigers’, pointing out that in terms of human development, the top 10 performers since 1970 were not the usual suspects (East Asia, Nordics) but Muslim countries – Oman, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria all …

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What’s New in Development? Introducing the Second Edition of ‘From Poverty to Power’

admin - January 10, 2013

Here’s what the new edition of FP2P adds to the first (in case you want to save yourselves a few quid). This was recently published by the UN University as part of its ‘WIDER Angle’ series Updating a book on contemporary events can be unnerving. In the intervening years, events and new thinking combine to expose theweaknesses of any text. Even more so with a …

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Is there a global crackdown on civil society organization and if so, how should we respond?

admin - July 18, 2012

I’ve got a nasty feeling that we could be heading towards a strategic train wreck on the role of civil society in development. Let me explain. Increasingly (and not just among NGOs), development is understood in terms of politics, power, and struggles to redistribute the latter. That has produced a shift in resources towards advocacy and influencing, as a complement to more direct programming and …

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Northern winter, Southern spring + Gramsci rules: looking back on 2011

admin - December 19, 2011

Here’s my contribution to the flood of ‘2011 retrospective’ articles, published on the Guardian site today What you make of 2011 depends on your vantage point. The year’s events look completely different depending on whether you are sitting at the bottom or the top, in the old north or the old south. From the bottom, this was a year of protest and revolution, toppling tyrants …

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New directions in philanthropy – report from the Bellagio Summit

admin - November 15, 2011

Summits are clearly losing altitude these days if people like me are getting invited. But when it’s the Rockefeller Foundation’s legendary lakeside conference centre at Bellagio, on Italy’s Lake Como, you’d be crazy to say no – it’s every bit as exquisite as everyone says (see pic). The Summit in question is on ‘The Future of Philanthropy and Development in the Pursuit of Human Wellbeing’ …

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Yemen: Arab Spring meets Fragile State + Resource Constraints

admin - March 24, 2011

Our regional director for the Middle East, Olga Ghazaryan, recently pointed out just how many development buzzwords are being bloodily explored in her region right now – transition to democracy in Egypt; Responsibility to Protect in Libya, and Yemen is looking like a combination of revolution in a fragile state and a dystopian vision of a resource-constrained future. So what to read on Yemen? In …

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