Topic: Politics

Is the African Diaspora the Continent’s “Secret Weapon”?

Diasporas are often treated as foreigners in their adopted homes and as traitors in their place of birth, despite often hidden cultural and economic contributions. In this post, first published on the LSE’s Africa Centre blog, Behailu Shiferaw Mihirete writes about the potential hidden within the African diaspora across the globe.  Behailu is a is […]

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The African Continental Free Trade Area is expanding, but who will benefit?

Brenda Kombo is a socio-cultural anthropologist and lawyer based in Nairobi, Kenya. On April 2, 2019, The Gambia ratified the agreement establishing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In doing so, it joined 21 other African countries, thus helping usher the agreement into force as the threshold of 22 ratifications was reached. But what does this really mean for Africa? […]

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The UK’s new Development Minister, Rory Stewart, is a genuine intellectual – here’s a review of his book on Fragile States and the Failings of Western Intervention

Rory Stewart became the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development on Wednesday. We now have a minister with a genuine commitment to, and knowledge of, international development – for the last two years he has ducked out of his ministerial duties to come to speak to my LSE students. After his first lecture, I […]

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Six things INGOs need to fix to be fit for the future. Mark Goldring’s outgoing reflections

Guest post by my former boss Mark Goldring, first published in the March edition of Governance and Leadership Magazine. Mark was chief executive of Oxfam GB from 2013 until January 2019. This article is based on a talk given to Civil Society Media’s NGO Insight Conference in November 2018. My last year as chief executive of […]

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Trying to do something about climate inequality in Sweden

Guest post from Robert Höglund, Head of communications for Oxfam Sweden and coordinator for the network The Climate Goal Initiative.   One of the aspects of inequality that always struck me as especially bizarre is the double inequality around climate change. The richest 10 percent of the world who is most to blame for climate […]

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Will aid help or undermine Mindanao’s new start? Scott Guggenheim is worried.

Community Development guru Scott Guggenheim emailed some provocative thoughts on my piece last week on Mindanao, with much wider relevance to the localization debate, so I asked him to turn it into a blog.   I like your piece but I’m a bit longer in the tooth than you and so slightly less optimistic. You […]

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Is a progressive Islamic revolution happening in the Philippines? Impressions from Mindanao

First instalment from my recent visit to the Philippines: Something fascinating and strikingly promising is going on the Philippines island of Mindanao. It has very little to do with the grisly headlines of extra-judicial killings and President Duterte’s bloody ‘war on drugs’. It looks like a progressive Islamic revolution is in progress, combining elements of […]

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Are INGO advocacy and campaigning up to today’s challenges?

This post by Oxfam researcher Ruth Mayne was originally published by the UK network of development NGOs, BOND We know from successful campaigns in the past, such as the anti-slavery movement of the 19th century, that it is possible to achieve intentional systemic change, and that civil society can play a pivotal role.  But are […]

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Links I Liked

Thanks FT for this chart of toppling despots after the ouster of Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir. In the Arab Spring 2.0 (Sudan and Algeria, so far), the military jump in to forestall a revolution, toppling dictators when popular pressure becomes overwhelming. But what comes next? Recent precedents (Egypt, Thailand) are hardly encouraging. Cross country comparisons […]

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A New Scramble for Africa?

Not a single one of my LSE students reads the Economist. That may be down to the selection bias of people wanting to take my course on activism, but I think they’re missing out. If, like me, you’re liberal on social issues, sceptical on economic laissez faire, and just plain confused on politics, then at […]

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Who you Gonna Call? Engaging ‘Public Authorities’ for Rapid Crisis Responses

I’m doing some interesting work with Tom Kirk at LSE as part of the CPAID research programme, on the way donors/aid agencies understand power (aka ‘public authority’) in fragile/conflict settings. As seems to be the way in academia, Tom does all the work, and I get to add my name to the result – what’s […]

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Book Review: Nanjala Nyabola, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya

Most of the stuff written about online activism is primarily based in the North (eg New Power, which I reviewed recently). So I was v excited to find a book written by a Kenyan (Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi) about how New Power applies to […]

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