Topic: Conflict and Security

War, Guns and Votes: what to make of Paul Collier’s latest book?

War, Guns and Votes builds on the strongest section of Collier’s best selling ‘Bottom Billion’ – his investigation of the ‘conflict trap’ that afflicts a disproportionate number of the poorest counties, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (Collier’s real passion). The book is in equal measure hugely stimulating and deeply exasperating. Stimulating because he is an original […]

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Natural disasters will hurt 50% more people by 2015. Why? Climate Change + Inequality

There has been some striking progress in reducing the death toll from natural disasters in recent decades. While Cyclone Sidr killed around 3,000 people in Bangladesh in 2007, similar or weaker storms killed 100 times that number in 1972 and 45 times more people in 1991, largely because governments and local communities have since taken […]

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Is the world running out of water?

Excellent overview of water scarcity in last week’s Economist. Here are a few highlights ‘The overthrow of Madagascar’s president in mid-March was partly caused by water problems—in South Korea. Worried by the difficulties of increasing food supplies in its water-stressed homeland, Daewoo, a South Korean conglomerate, signed a deal to lease no less than half […]

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Oxfam license to operate in northern Sudan revoked

This entry was posted by Oxfam Media Unit on March 5th, 2009 at 12:00 pm – don’t think I’ll risk any editorializing on this one: ‘Oxfam GB has begun to temporarily relocate international staff to Khartoum and some national staff to state capitals in Darfur while it appeals the government’s decision to revoke its registration […]

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How are effective states going to emerge in Africa?

[Sorry to anyone who got a premature alert yesterday – hit the wrong button!] There’s nothing like a visit to Africa – in this case ten days of book promo and financial crisis impact interviews in South Africa and Zambia, to get you thinking about the role of the state. In Southern Africa, as on […]

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What would a global food security policy look like?

Sticking to yesterday’s theme of food, check out ‘The Feeding of the Nine Billion‘, an excellent new paper by Alex Evans. Alex combines the skills of academic and consultant with his insider experience as a former special adviser to Hilary Benn, then UK Secretary of State for International Development. He specialises in what George Lakoff […]

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A Billion Hungry People – remember the food price crisis?

Read this paragraph: ‘Despite the recent creation of a United Nations High Level Task Force, there is still little coordination or collaboration among UN organisations, the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors. There is no functioning global mechanism to ensure coordination and policy coherence of the various actors, thus adding complexity to the […]

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Harrowing blogs from Oxfam staff in Gaza

To get a feel for life in besieged Gaza right now, have a look at some riveting eye witness accounts here. Oxfam staffer Mohamed Ali writes ‘We have one day left of food and the nappies I bought two weeks ago are nearly gone. They are not good quality as little has been able to […]

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Reasons to be Cheerful: progress on international justice, arms control, economic and social rights and democracy in Africa

After Monday’s fairly depressing post, I thought I’d add some good news, from an unlikely source. Perhaps because it can break free from its heavy ideological baggage of laissez faire, the further the Economist strays from economics, the better it gets. This week’s issue has some really nuanced reporting on the impact of the International […]

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3 crystal ball overviews on global security – not looking good

The futurologists (from NIC, ippr, and DCDC) have been busy, with varying degrees of success. The US Government’s National Intelligence Council has a good report out, ‘Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World.’  Media coverage has focussed on its predictions of US decline and the ‘rise of the East’, but it’s much richer than that. Here are […]

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