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  • Author: Joshua C. Burgess
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Obama administration should demonstrate renewed resolve to counter growing extremism in the region and build lasting stability, starting with a joint U.S.-French statement during President Francois Hollande's visit to Washington this week.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Madagascar is on the cusp of exiting a five-year political crisis compounded by economic disorder and international isolation. Presidential elections in late 2013 were endorsed as credible following the victory of Hery Rajaonarimampianina. The return to democracy paves the way for renewed international support. However, division entrenched by former President Marc Ravalomanana's exile has polarised the country. The coup regime of Andry Rajoelina was characterised by socio-economic malaise, rampant corruption, institutional decay and the breakdown in the rule of law. The political system, which is the primary obstacle to sustained recovery, needs much more than a cosmetic makeover; fundamental reform is necessary. The African Union, Southern African Development Community and International Support Group for Madagascar must support Rajaonarimampianina's efforts to balance political interests in a marked departure from the traditional winner-take-all approach; reform and strengthening of key democratic institutions; and reform and professionalisation of the security sector.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: Mohamed Salah Tamek
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Morocco has had a largely successful record of countering violent extremism within its borders, including the dismantling of numerous cells linked to al-Qaeda core or its North African offshoot, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Thousands of suspects have been arrested for perpetrating assassinations, assaults, and robberies; huge caches of heavy weapons have been confiscated; and authorities have foiled many attempts to attack security services, tourist attractions, diplomatic delegations, and places of worship for Christians and Jews. In addition, two channels of recruitment for jihadists in Mali were dismantled in late 2012, and two months ago, Moroccan and Spanish security forces jointly dismantled a transnational cell recruiting fighters for Syria and Mali.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Syria, Morocco, Northern Mali
  • Author: Andrew Engel
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Long-simmering tensions between non-Islamist and Islamist forces have boiled over into military actions centered around Benghazi and Tripoli, entrenching the country's rival alliances and bringing them ever closer to civil war. On May 16, former Libyan army general Khalifa Haftar launched "Operation Dignity of Libya" in Benghazi, aiming to "cleanse the city of terrorists." The move came three months after he announced the overthrow of the government but failed to act on his proclamation. Since Friday, however, army units loyal to Haftar have actively defied armed forces chief of staff Maj. Gen. Salem al-Obeidi, who called the operation "a coup." And on Monday, sympathetic forces based in Zintan extended the operation to Tripoli. These and other developments are edging the country closer to civil war, complicating U.S. efforts to stabilize post-Qadhafi Libya.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Religion, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Libya, Tripoli
  • Author: Freedom C. Onuoha
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since Nigeria's return to democracy in May 1999, armed nonstate groups have significantly undermined the country's internal security environment, largely using young men as foot soldiers. Among these groups, Boko Haram has grown to become a serious national, regional, and international concern. Estimates of the death toll from Boko Haram attacks since 2009 range as high as ten thousand fatalities. With Boko Haram and other groups seemingly gaining in strength, questions arise as to why young men join them in the first place and what the government and other actors can do to prevent it. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups conducted in Nigeria in 2013 suggest that poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and weak family structures make or contribute to making young men vulnerable to radicalization. Itinerant preachers capitalize on the situation by preaching an extreme version of religious teachings and conveying a narrative of the government as weak and corrupt. Armed groups such as Boko Haram can then recruit and train youth for activities ranging from errand running to suicide bombings. To weaken the armed groups' abilities to radicalize and recruit young men, the Nigerian government at all levels, perhaps with support from interested international actors, could institute monitoring and regulation of religious preaching; strengthen education, job training, and job creation programs; design robust programs to aid destitute children; promote peace education; and embark on an anticorruption campaign. Addressing the conditions that make it possible for insurgents to recruit young men in Nigeria can significantly diminish the strength of the insurgency, if not eliminate it altogether.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Benjamin Edwards, Serdar Yilmaz, Jameson Boex
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Sierra Leone is a small West African country with approximately 6 million people. Since 2002, the nation has made great progress in recovering from a decade-long civil war, in part due to consistent and widespread support for decentralization and equitable service delivery. Three rounds of peaceful elections have strengthened democratic norms, but more work is needed to cement decentralization reforms and strengthen local governments. This paper examines decentralization progress to date and suggests several next steps the government of Sierra Leone can take to overcome the remaining hurdles to full implementation of decentralization and improved local public service delivery.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Robert H. Bates, Steven Block
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Writing in the 1990's, William Easterly and Ross Levine famously labeled Africa a "growth tragedy." Less than twenty years later, Alwyn Young noted Africa's "growth miracle," while Steven Radelet less effusively pointed to an Africa that was"emerging" and noted its rising rate of economic growth, improving levels of education and health care, and increasing levels of investment in basic infrastructure: roads, ports, and transport. In this paper, we address Africa's economic revival. In doing so, we also stress the political changes that have taken place on the continent. Once notorious for its tyrants – Jean – Bedel Bokassa, Idi Amin, and Mobutu Sese Seko, to name but three – in the 1990s, Africa joined the last wave of democratization; self-appointed heads of state were replaced by rulers chosen in competitive elections. In this paper, we assert that the two sets of changes – the one economic and the other political – go together, and that, indeed, changes in Africa political institutions lent significant impetus to its economic revival.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Aili Mari Tripp
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: One of the most interesting developments in African politics since the mid- 1990s has been the increase in women's political participation. Women are becoming more politically engaged and seeking representation at all levels, from local government to legislatures and even executive office. To state the obvious, access to political power is important to groups that have historically been excluded from formal and informal politics because it means being able to have control over basic decisions affecting one's life in areas including health, education, and access to land and resources, among many others. Many women seek power to affect how justly resources are divided in society and how equitably policy decisions are made.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Emile Ouédraogo
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Vivid examples of weak military professionalism in Africa are regularly evident in news accounts of instability on the continent. Militaries collapsing in the face of attacks by irregular forces, coups, mutinies, looting, human rights abuses against civilian populations, corruption, and engagement in illicit trafficking activities are widespread. This pattern persists decades after the end of colonialism, despite billions of dollars of security sector assistance and longstanding rhetoric on the need to strengthen civil-military relations on the continent. The costs for not having established strong professional militaries are high: persistent instability, chronic poverty, deterred investment, and stunted democratization.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Human Rights, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jason Marczak, Peter Schechter
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Why is now the right moment to commission a poll on the US public's views toward Cuba and US-Cuba relations? Why is a new, nonpartisan Latin America center reaching out to grab the third rail of Latin American foreign policy in the United States? Both good questions. Sometimes in foreign policy, structural impediments or stark policy differences will stymie progress in a certain area. Relations with China could not proceed until the United States recognized a “one China” policy that forever downgraded US relations with Taiwan. An activist foreign policy with Africa was impossible until the United States denounced apartheid.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Cuba, Latin America
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Justin Sandefur
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Across multiple African countries, discrepancies between administrative data and independent household surveys suggest official statistics systematically exaggerate development progress. We provide evidence for two distinct explanations of these discrepancies. First, governments misreport to foreign donors, as in the case of a results-based aid program rewarding reported vaccination rates. Second, national governments are themselves misled by frontline service providers, as in the case of primary education, where official enrollment numbers diverged from survey estimates after funding shifted from user fees to per pupil government grants. Both syndromes highlight the need for incentive compatibility between data systems and funding rules.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nicola Deghaye, Tamlyn McKenzie, Petronella Chirawu
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Recognising inequality is at the heart of the South African 'development problem', Oxfam commissioned the Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD) to produce this report, which is divided into two parts, to enable an understanding of the dimensions of inequality in South Africa and to provide Oxfam with a set of basic measures against which it could measure its success in dealing with inequality.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Health, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Brooke Smith-Windsor, José Francisco Pavia
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Later this year, the mandate of one of the most successful NATO maritime missions in history - counterpiracy operations off East Africa in the Gulf of Aden region - will expire. The question presently facing NATO's 28 members states is whether to subsequently retain a presence in a region where the threat is now considerably reduced, or alternatively, refocus resources to where they are conceivably needed more to secure Allied interests. This paper makes the case for judicious consideration of a potential rebalance to Africa's new maritime hotspot: the Gulf of Guinea to the continent's West where threats to regional, Euro-Atlantic and international security and prosperity are on the rise. While recognizing that any decision to realign strategic priorities is ultimately a political one, this paper explains why the factors to justify greater Alliance capacity building (Cooperative Security) in the Gulf of Guinea region already exist in four vital respects: (1) Allied interests at stake; (2) international legitimacy for action; (3) established strategic guidance for the employment of Allied maritime and other means outside NATO territory; (4) relevant Allied operational competencies and expertise.
  • Topic: NATO, International Cooperation, International Security, Maritime Commerce, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Guinea
  • Author: Barry Carin
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: African countries are currently engaged at the United Nations (UN) to determine the post-2015 framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The post-2015 goals matter because they will guide the priorities of UN agencies, the multilateral development banks, bilateral development assistance and civil society organizations. It is in Africa's interests to ensure the post-2015 framework is congruent with African priorities. African Union negotiators must take a strategic approach in the current process to select the post-2015 development goals.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Patrice Sartre
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The Gulf of Guinea has become notorious for its violent conflicts and political instability. This insecurity has its origins in bad governance, corruption, and failures of social and economic development. Violent power struggles and competition for the control of economic assets periodically cause crises to flare up, and these tend to be persistent and widespread. The international community has worked to move countries in the region onto a stable trajectory. West Africa has also made efforts to develop a coordinated approach to the region's challenges through a common security architecture. Such subregional initiatives may ultimately prove most conducive to long-term stability.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This report examines the increase in drug trafficking and consumption in West Africa and their impact on the state and on society. It concludes with recommendations on how the region can respond humanely, effectively and preemptively to these problems.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, War on Drugs, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Elizabeth Fraser, Malambo Moonga, Johanna Wilkes
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is facing high rates of urbanization and increasing food insecurity. The informal food economy addresses food insecurity by providing access to affordable food and significant employment opportunities to the urban poor in SSA. The Committee on World Food Security should recognize the informal food economy as a critical governance issue. Different policy approaches need to be taken into account to address the diverse needs of the informal food economy, including the needs of "survivalist" traders, larger constrained enterprises and female vendors. Municipalities in SSA often have restricted budgets, which hinder their ability to appropriately govern and support the local informal food economy. Increases in municipal budgets to align with food security needs in urban Africa should be considered as decentralization continues across SSA.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Labor Issues, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Rachel Spichiger, Edna Kabala
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelhoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of leasehold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform. The 1995 Lands Act introduced the privatization of land in Zambia and provided for the conversion of customary into state land, with the hope of attracting investors. However, the Act has been unevenly implemented, at least in rural areas, in part due to problems plaguing the land administration institutions and their work, in part due to opposition to the main tenets of the Act from chiefs, the population and civil society. Civil society, with donor support, calls for more attention towards women's precarious situations with regard to access to and ownership of land under customary tenure, but it still expresses a desire for customary tenure to remain. However, civil society also recognizes that customary practices are often also discriminatory towards women who depend on male relatives for access to land.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Rachel Spichiger, Paul Stacey
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Ghana has been implementing a land administration reform since 1999. The Land Administration Project (LAP), an ambitious programme supported by donors, aims to strenghten land administration institutions and increase land holders' security of tenure on both state and customary land. This working paper reviews the literature on this land reform process, with a focus on issues related to gender. At first absent from the 1999 Land Policy, gender concerns were later incorporated into the project and a gender strategy was developed in 2009, with the goal to mainstream gender in land-related agencies and activities. Although donors have contributed to the gender strategy, the inclusion of gender equality has not been at the forefront of their priorities.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Gender Issues, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Russia's annexation of the Crimea and subsequent meddling in Ukraine does not constitute a game-changer. It is just a reminder that at least since the war with Georgia in 2008 Russia has been and still is playing the same game: a "game of zones",aimed at (re)establishing an exclusive sphere of influence. Many of us Europeans had forgotten that, or had pushed it to the back of our minds, preferring to believe that we were not engaged in a zero-sum game in our eastern neighbourhood.
  • Topic: Security, Sovereignty, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East