Topic: Conflict and Security

We love road blocks; flushing toilets and murder rates: random facts about Latin America

The Economist has a big report on Latin America this week, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the start of its struggle for independence (unfinished business, some would say). Here are some of the more striking statistical nuggets and other bits and pieces. The region has 15% of the world’s oil reserves, a large […]

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So do food price spikes cause riots or not?

I’m a big fan of Chris Blattman’s blog (as the number of ‘hat tips’ – [h/t] – on this one demonstrates), but he lost it a bit in his recent post on food riots. Here’s what he says: ‘Globalization and growth should reduce price spikes in future. More countries are producing crops. Climate shocks in […]

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Channel 16: a new crowdsourcing initiative on disasters and conflict

This is exciting – a new crowdsourcing initiative on humanitarian emergencies that combines wikipedia, youtube and Ushahidi to dig deeper, be more user-generated and more linked to taking action than standard media coverage. It’s called Channel 16, and here’s the blurb: “Named after the broadcast frequency of an international distress signal, Channel 16 creates a […]

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New books on development: bad microfinance; climate change and war; what works; inside the World Bank; mobile activism

One of the perks of writing a blog is that I can scrounge review copies of development-related books. I’m sure they’re all fascinating and I really want to read them but alas, they don’t come with extra hours in the day attached. So I now have a growing pile by my desk that is in […]

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Where have we got to on fragile states and what comes next?

Another week, another conference. This time it’s hosted by the UK development ministry, DFID, which among other things, has an impressive track record of funding research on development issues (declaration of interest – I worked for DFID for a year in 2004, and sometimes advise them on research issues). This week’s gabfest is called ‘The […]

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Who runs the world? The rise of the G5

The G5 countries will police each other and everyone else A thought-provoking and perversely optimistic take on 21st Century geopolitics from Paul Collier in this month’s issue of Prospect. It’s too well-written to edit, but in short, what he is saying is that the world will be run by the US, China, Japan, India and the […]

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

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 […]

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Morality or self-interest? Chatham House's new paper on UK Foreign Policy

Moral suasion or enlightened self-interest? Surely we need both! Are development advocates more convincing when they adopt the language of hard-bitten realism, or should they stick to starry-eyed idealism? This old conundrum returned as I read Alex Evans and David Steven’s new paper, ‘Organizing for Influence: UK Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty’, published […]

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What is the future of UK development policy?

Consensus on size But tensions on coherence And definition This run of posts on aid is starting to seem endless (you probably agree….). But this one, on the outlook for UK aid, is the last of the series, at least for now. From tomorrow, I’ll be getting back to the usual random scattergun stuff, but […]

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What to make of the leaked US development strategy?

First the plug: I’m in the US at the moment (for quite a long time, if the ash cloud has anything to do it) and will be speaking at Oxfam America in Washington DC on Tuesday at 12 noon (1100 15th St NW, 6th floor). Subject: the UK elections and development policy. Co-speaker Jim Kolbe […]

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Final Thoughts on Vietnam and the American War

As you’ll probably have realized by now, I spent last week in Vietnam, managing to take in everything from debating industrial policy with the IMF in the Hanoi Hilton to discussing survival strategies with lottery ticket sellers in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City (working for an NGO can be amazing sometimes). Everywhere you […]

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How can the international system cope better with crises? Good new paper

Alex Evans of Global Dashboard is always interesting on risk and global institutions. His latest paper, with Bruce Jones and David Steven takes such a long view that it feels pretty cosmic. But here’s my attempt at a summary/highlights of ‘Confronting the Long Crisis of Globalization: Risk, Resilience and international Order’ (far too many syllables […]

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