What does ‘Security’ mean? Great (and well-written) paper from IDS

Duncan Green - February 14, 2017

I have been known in the past to be a little snippy about the writing style of esteemed colleagues from the Institute of Development Studies. So in the interests of balance, I want to celebrate a beautifully written, lyrical paper by IDS’ Robin Luckham. Whose Security? Building Inclusive and Secure Societies in an Unequal and Insecure World (OK, they could have worked on the title) …

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Book Review: Alex de Waal, the Real Politics of the Horn of Africa

Duncan Green - March 1, 2016

There’s a balance to be struck in writing any non-fiction book. Narrative v information. How often do you return to the overarching storyline, the message of the book, the thing you want the reader to take away? How much information – facts, names, dates, events – do you include? Too much storyline, and the book feels flimsy. Too much information and the reader gets lost …

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What can violence/conflict people learn from the governance debate (and vice versa)? Report back on a day discussing new IDS research

Duncan Green - November 18, 2015

I recently spent a day among conflict wonks (a thoroughly charming and unscary group) to discuss IDS’ research programme on Addressing and Mitigating Violence. There are piles of case studies and thematic papers on the website (here’s a collection of abstracts); this seminar was part of bringing them all together into some kind of overarching narrative. The starting point for the programme was the World …

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Today’s grimfographic: how many people die a violent death, where and how?

admin - July 29, 2013

From Action on Armed Violence using data from the Geneva Declaration’s Global Burden of Armed Violence report (whose link seems to be down at the moment). Key points to note: Only one in 8 violent deaths occur in the ‘conflict settings’ so beloved of news coverage. Most of the rest are ‘intentional homicides’ committed in gun and drug-plagued (but supposedly non-conflict) countries like El Salvador …

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Commodities of War: What the people without guns say about life, death and fear in the DR Congo

admin - November 20, 2012

I was supposed to be in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week, with today being devoted to visiting the Kanyaruchina camp (right) for ‘internally displaced people’ (IDPs) near Goma. Instead, the trip’s been cancelled, I am still in London and Kanyaruchina has been abandoned, as some 30,000 people have fled (again). The reason is the sudden escalation in fighting between the M23 guerrilla group and …

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Violence and development – what are the links?

admin - December 2, 2011

Why don’t we talk about violence more? That was the question posed to a bunch of Oxfamistas this week by Jenny Pearce, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University. Jenny’s my guru as well as a friend – back in 1982, fresh back from Latin America, I attended her course on the region’s politics and economics, which I subsequently took over teaching and turned into …

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Rape is not the only story in the Congo

admin - January 14, 2011

Emma Fanning is Oxfam’s protection manager in the DRC If you’ve been following the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently – and given its unchanging, grim headlines, it’s not surprising if you haven’t – the story has probably been about rape. Large scale, brutal, dehumanising rape. The Congo has been dubbed the « rape capital » ; in just one attack in Walikale, a mining …

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What will this year’s World Development Report say about Conflict?

admin - June 8, 2010

The WDR is published in the fall, but this year’s WDR director, Sarah Cliffe, gave a preview of its contents at Harvard recently. The Report will focus on ‘conflict affected countries’ (CACs). What most caught my attention was her typology of three types of ‘neglected violence’ that offer particular challenges for policy-makers (comments from Ed Cairns, our conflict guru, in square brackets): 1. Repeat cycles …

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Cleaning up Dirty Elections – what works?

admin - October 15, 2009

The Centre for the Study of African Economies in Oxford (home to Paul Collier, among others) is putting out some fascinating two pagers on its work, including two recent papers on ‘dirty elections’. In ‘Cleaning up Dirty Elections’ Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler go to work  on a new data set spanning nearly 30 years and 155 countries (suggesting that the CSAE is expanding its …

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