In the aftermath of an armed conflict in Africa, the international community both produces and demands from local partners a variety of blueprints for reconstructing state and society. The aim is to re-formalize the state after what is viewed as a period of fragmentation. In reality, African economies and polities are very much informal in character, with informal actors, including so-called Big Men, often using their positions in the formal structure as a means to reach their own goals. Through a variety of in-depth case studies, including the DRC, Sierra Leone and Liberia, this comprehensive volume shows how important informal political and economic networks are in many of the continent’s conflict areas. Moreover, it demonstrates that without a proper understanding of the impact of these networks, attempts to formalize African states, particularly those emerging from wars, will be in vain.
Child Migration in Africa
Author: Iman Hashim, Doctor Dorte Thorsen
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
Child Migration in Africa explores the mobility of children without their parents within West Africa. Drawing on the experiences of children from rural Burkina Faso and Ghana, the book provides rich material on the circumstances of children's voluntary migration and their experiences of it. Their accounts challenge the normative ideals of what a 'good' childhood is, which often underlie public debates about children's migration, education and work in developing countries. The comparative study of Burkina Faso and Ghana highlights that social networks operate in ways that can be both enabling and constraining for young migrants, as can cultural views on age- and gender-appropriate behaviour. The book questions easily made assumptions regarding children's experiences when migrating independently of their parents and contributes to analytical and cross-cultural understandings of childhood. Part of the groundbreaking Africa Now series, Child Migration in Africa is an important and timely contribution to an under-researched area.
The issue of biofuels has already been much debated, but the focus to date has largely been on Latin America and deforestation - this highly original work breaks fresh ground in looking at the African perspective. Most African governments see biofuels as having the potential to increase agricultural productivity and export incomes and thus strengthen their national economies, improving energy balances and rural employment. At the same time climate change may be addressed through reduction of green house gas emissions. There are, however, a number of uncertainties mounting that challenge this scenario. Using cutting-edge empirical case studies, this knowledge gap is addressed in a variety of chapters examining the effects of large-scale biofuel production on African agriculture. In particular, 'land grabbing' and food security issues are scrutinised, both of which have become vital topics in regard to the environmental and developmental governance of African countries. A revealing book for anyone wishing to understand the startling impact of biofuels and land grabbing on Africa.
The Fast Track Land Reform Programme in Zimbabwe has emerged as a highly contested reform process both nationally and internationally. The image of it has all too often been that of the widespread displacement and subsequent replacement of various people, agricultural-related production systems, facets and processes. The reality, however, is altogether more complex. Providing new and much-needed empirical research, this in-depth book examines how processes such as land acquisition, allocation, transitional production outcomes, social life, gender and tenure, have influenced and been influenced by the forces driving the programme. It also explores the ways in which the land reform programme has created a new agrarian structure based on small- to medium-scale farmers. In attempting to resolve the problematic issues the reforms have raised, the author argues that it is this new agrarian formation which provides the greatest scope for improving Zimbabwe’s agriculture and development. Based on a broader geographical scope than any previous study carried out on the subject, this is a landmark work on a subject of considerable controversy.
The recent escalation in the violent conflict in the Niger Delta has brought the region to the forefront of international energy and security concerns. This book analyses the causes, dynamics and politics underpinning oil-related violence in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It focuses on the drivers of the conflict, as well as the ways the crises spawned by the political economy of oil and contradictions within Nigeria's ethnic politics have contributed to the morphing of initially poorly coordinated, largely non-violent protests into a pan-Delta insurgency. Approaching the issue from a number of perspectives, the book offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis available of the varied dimensions of the conflict. Combining empirically-based and analytic chapters, it attempts to explain the causes of the escalation in violence, the various actors, levels and dynamics involved, and the policy challenges faced with regard to conflict management/resolution and the options for peace. It also examines the role of oil as a commodity of global strategic significance, addressing the relationship between oil, energy security and development in the Niger Delta.
Post-war democratization has been identified as a crucial mechanism to build peace in war-ridden societies, supposedly allowing belligerents to compete through ballots rather than bullets. A byproduct of this process, however, is that military leaders often become an integral part of the new democratic system, using resources and networks generated from the previous war to dominate the emerging political landscape. The crucial and thus-far overlooked question to be addressed, therefore, is what effect the inclusion of ex-militaries into electoral politics has on post-war security. Can 'warlord democrats' make a positive contribution by shepherding their wartime constituencies to support the building of peace and democracy, or are they likely to use their electoral platforms to sponsor political violence and keep war-affected communities mobilized through aggressive discourses? This important volume, containing a wealth of fresh empirical detail and theoretical insight, and focussing on some of Africa's most high-profile political figures – from Paul Kagame to Riek Machar to Afonso Dhlakama – represents a crucial intervention in the literature of post-war democratization.
All too often in conflict situations, rape is referred to as a 'weapon of war', a term presented as self-explanatory through its implied storyline of gender and warring. In this provocative but much-needed book, Eriksson Baaz and Stern challenge the dominant understandings of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings. Reading with and against feminist analyses of the interconnections between gender, warring, violence and militarization, the authors address many of the thorny issues inherent in the arrival of sexual violence on the global security agenda. Based on original fieldwork in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as research material from other conflict zones, Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War? challenges the recent prominence given to sexual violence, bravely highlighting various problems with isolating sexual violence from other violence in war. A much-anticipated book by two acknowledged experts in the field, on an issue that has become an increasingly important security, legal and gender topic.
In this highly original work, Mary Njeri Kinyanjui explores the trajectory of women's movement from the margins of urbanization into the centres of business activities in Nairobi and its accompanying implications for urban planning. While women in much of Africa have struggled to gain urban citizenship and continue to be weighed down by poor education, low income and confinement to domestic responsibilities due to patriarchic norms, a new form of urban dynamism - partly informed by the informal economy - is now enabling them to manage poverty, create jobs and link to the circuits of capital and labour. Relying on social ties, reciprocity, sharing and collaboration, women's informal 'solidarity entrepreneurialism' is taking them away from the margins of business activity and catapulting them into the centre. Bringing together key issues of gender, economic informality and urban planning in Africa, Kinyanjui demonstrates that women have become a critical factor in the making of a postcolonial city.
New and Old Wars
Author: Mary Kaldor
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Mary Kaldor's New and Old Wars has fundamentally changed the way both scholars and policy-makers understand contemporary war and conflict. In the context of globalization, this path-breaking book has shown that what we think of as war - that is to say, war between states in which the aim is to inflict maximum violence - is becoming an anachronism. In its place is a new type of organized violence or 'new wars', which could be described as a mixture of war, organized crime and massive violations of human rights. The actors are both global and local, public and private. The wars are fought for particularistic political goals using tactics of terror and destabilization that are theoretically outlawed by the rules of modern warfare. Kaldor's analysis offers a basis for a cosmopolitan political response to these wars, in which the monopoly of legitimate organized violence is reconstructed on a transnational basis and international peacekeeping is reconceptualized as cosmopolitan law enforcement. This approach also has implications for the reconstruction of civil society, political institutions, and economic and social relations. This third edition has been fully revised and updated. Kaldor has added an afterword answering the critics of the New Wars argument and, in a new chapter, Kaldor shows how old war thinking in Afghanistan and Iraq greatly exacerbated what turned out to be, in many ways, archetypal new wars - characterised by identity politics, a criminalised war economy and civilians as the main victims. Like its predecessors, the third edition of New and Old Wars will be essential reading for students of international relations, politics and conflict studies as well as to all those interested in the changing nature and prospect of warfare.
In this revealing new book, Bøås and Dunn explore the phenomenon of 'autochthony' - literally ‘son of the soil’ - in African politics. In contemporary Africa, questions concerning origin are currently among the most crucial and contested issues in political life, directly relating to the politics of place, belonging, identity and contested citizenship. Thus, land claims and autochthony disputes are the hallmark of political crises in many places on the African continent. Examining the often complex reasons behind this recent rise of autochthony across a number of high-profile case studies - including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, and Kenya - this is an essential book for anyone wishing to understand the impact of this crucial issue on contemporary African politics and conflicts.
Why are Latin American cities amongst the most violent in the world? Over the past decades Latin America has not only become the most urbanised of the regions of the so-called global South, it has also been the scene of the urbanisation of poverty and exclusion. Overall regional homicides rates are the highest in the world, a fact closely related to the spread and use of firearms by male youths, who are frequently involved in local and translocal forms of organised crime. In response, governments and law enforcements agencies have been facing mounting pressure to address violence through repressive strategies, which in turn has led to a number of consequences: law enforcement is often based on excessive violence and the victimisation of entire marginal populations. Thus, the dynamics of violence have generated a widespread perception of insecurity and fear. Featuring much original fieldwork across a broad array of case studies, this cutting edge volume focuses on questions not only of crime, insecurity and violence but also of Latin American cities’ ability to respond to these problems in creative and productive ways.
Africa's Return Migrants
Author: Lisa Åkesson, Maria Eriksson Baaz
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
Many African migrants residing abroad nurture a hope to one day return, at least temporarily, to their home country. In the wake of economic crises in the developed world, alongside rapid economic growth in parts of Africa, the impetus to ‘return’ is likely to increase. Such returnees are often portrayed as agents of development, bringing with them capital, knowledge and skills as well as connections and experience gained abroad. Yet, the reality is altogether more complex. In this much-needed volume, based on extensive original fieldwork, the authors reveal that there is all too often a gaping divide between abstract policy assumptions and migrants’ actual practices. In contrast to the prevailing optimism of policies on migration and development, Africa’s Return Migrants demonstrates that the capital obtained abroad is not always advantageous and that it can even hamper successful entrepreneurship and other forms of economic, political and social engagement.
Navigating Colonial Orders
Author: Kirsten Alsaker Kjerland, Bjørn Enge Bertelsen
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Norwegians in colonial Africa and Oceania had varying aspirations and adapted in different ways to changing social, political and geographical circumstances in foreign, colonial settings. They included Norwegian shipowners, captains, and diplomats; traders and whalers along the African coast and in Antarctica; large-scale plantation owners in Mozambique and Hawai'i; big business men in South Africa; jacks of all trades in the Solomon Islands; timber merchants on Zanzibar' coffee farmers in Kenya; and King Leopold's footmen in Congo. This collection reveals narratives of the colonial era that are often ignored or obscured by the national histories of former colonial powers. It charts the entrepreneurial routes chosen by various Norwegians and the places they ventured, while demonstrating the importance of recognizing the complicity of such "non-colonial colonials" for understanding the complexity of colonial history.
The first comprehensive account of the linkage between natural resources and political and social conflict in Africa.
Since 1983 journalist Bill Berkeley has traveled through Africa's most troubled lands-Rwanda, Liberia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zaire-seeking out the tyrants and military leaders who orchestrate seemingly intractable wars. Shattering the myth that ancient tribal hatred lies at the heart of the continent's troubles, Berkeley instead holds accountable the "Big Men" who came to power during this period, describing the very rational methods behind their apparent madness.