Topic: Politics

Global Britain or Little Britain? We may find out this week

Sam Nadel, Oxfam’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, reflects on a bad week for the UK. Cast your mind back to December 2016. Boris Johnson, then UK Foreign Secretary, is speaking at an event at Chatham House, laying out his vision for the UK’s role in the world. Just six months earlier, the UK had voted to […]

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Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights. Book Review

How many friends and relatives can you buy the same book for as a Christmas present, without getting into trouble for your lack of imagination? Difficult Women has everything – a great and funny writer in Helen Lewis, and a fascinating and page-turning introduction to the history of northern, mainly UK, feminism. Here’s the pitch: […]

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What are we seeing so far on Emergent Agency in Covid? Top insights, plus next steps.

Spent an intense two hours last week on a webinar discussing the initial findings, hypotheses etc of our Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid project. We had some great panellists (Laurence Cox, Yogesh Ghore, and Katherine Marshall) on social movements, livelihoods and faith organizations, respectively. I cross examined, Irene Guijt chaired, and a good […]

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Glass half empty or half full? Debating the underlying narrative on the US election.

My colleague at Oxfam America, Paul O’Brien, has a book out on Monday (review to follow) on the agenda for a Biden-Harris administration. He must have been chewing his nails more than most on election night. Since then, we’ve had an interesting exchange on what lessons to draw for the wider progressive movement – broadly, […]

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Branko Milanovic is discussing his new book with me tomorrow (Friday). Here’s what we’ll be talking about

This repost from last year is a blatant promotional puff for tomorrow’s conversation with Branko Milanovic on his latest book, Capitalism Alone. You can watch it on YouTube here (Friday 13th, 4-6pm GMT). We’ll be on as part of the LSE’s ‘Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking and Practice’ lecture series, which has moved to […]

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Why don’t Faith Groups and Anti-Corruption Activists Work Together More?

Guest post by Katherine Marshall, who will be one of the panelists at tomorrow’s webinar on ‘Emergent Agency in a time of Covid 19’ (register here) Religious actors and transparency/accountability advocates ought to be natural allies, but all too often, they barely communicate, much less work actively together. That is a huge missed opportunity for […]

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An Uplifting Account of Civil Society Responses to Covid

A couple of posts to whet your appetite for our seminar on Thursday on ‘Emergent Agency in a time of Covid-19’. Last week Civicus, the global network of civil society organizations (CSOs) published an excellent report on ‘Solidarity in the Time of Covid-19’. It’s an upbeat 60 page snapshot of a vast amount of CSO […]

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Initial Findings on Emergent Agency in a time of Covid – launch webinar and briefing

In September we kicked off a really interesting project on ‘Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid’, asking people if they wanted to be part of a collective effort to share and discuss the grassroots responses to the pandemic and start to explore their longer-term legacy. The response was encouraging (even a bit overwhelming!), and […]

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Book Review: How to Rig an Election, by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas

Thought I’d repost this book review from 2018 today. No particular reason…. A lot of the power of a successful book is in its ‘big idea’ – the overall frame that endures long after the detailed arguments have faded in the memory. On that basis, ‘How to Rig an Election’ looks set to do very […]

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Which developing countries have managed to reduce income inequality and why?

The wheels of academia grind slowly, but eventually grind out some fascinating stuff. Five years ago, I was involved in a series of conversations about the need for research on the history of redistribution in developing countries. What can we learn from low/middle income countries that have actually managed to reduce inequality (a bit like […]

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Malawi is the only place where democracy has improved under Covid. 80 countries have got worse.

Blimey. You never know when a tweet is going to hit the spot and get a lot of retweets and likes. That’s what happened this week with a map I tweeted from The Economist, taken from an article entitled ‘The pandemic has eroded democracy and respect for human rights’ (gated). Quite a lot of questions […]

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Voices from the pandemic frontlines: Health worker protests and proposals from 84 countries

Guest post by Jennifer Johnson for the Accountability Research Center The COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented strain on health care systems around the world. Frontline health workers have faced great risks, from lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) to discrimination and harassment. Some face repercussions for whistleblowing or walkouts. This evolving situation has given rise […]

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