South Sudan Analyst and Adviser to both the Church Council and to the country’s Catholic Bishops
“Peace usually has a price,” an Irish missionary friend is fond of telling me (especially after a drink or two), “and working for peace is harder than working for justice”. He was very involved in South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle, and he knows what he's talking about. The price is often paid by those who are perceived as holding the moral high ground, and by the victims. It involves looking for a “win-win” situation, which necessarily involves compromise.
Rose Jaji (PhD)
University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Women appear in much of the literature on violence as victims because violence is generally understood in terms that limit it to its direct or physical form, which is predominantly associated with men. The main result of masculinization of violence and its limitation to physical attack in the study of gender and violence is the pathologization of women, which obscures their political agency. Although women’s perpetration of direct violence is limited and largely unobtrusive relative to men in many conflict situations, women are conspicuous in perpetration of cultural violence, which Galtung (1990, 29) defines as “any aspect of culture that can be used to legitimize violence in its direct or structural form.” Cultural violence takes numerous forms that include art, science, ideology and language. Although it appears to be harmless, cultural violence justifies and legitimizes direct violence (Galtung 1990), and the two forms of violence are mutually constitutive. Cultural violence renders the idea of direct violence a palatable and appropriate response to perceived enemies identified through political ideology articulated through relevant language in Zimbabwean politics. The political discourse in Zimbabwe constitutes an integral component of cultural violence whose distinctive characteristics are name-calling and hate speech, which are exemplified by the depiction of political adversaries as puppets, traitors, and enemies who are a threat to the country and need to be “crushed.”
Mahmood Mamdani, PhD.
Director of the Institute of Social Research at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University, NY.
In June 2010, Mahmood Mamdani was appointed Director of the Makerere Institute for Social Research (MISR) in Kampala, Uganda, which he since developed into what is arguably the premier center for graduate education in the social sciences and the humanities on the continent. On December 1, 2018, at the Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association in Atlanta, Georgia, Mamdani delivered the Hormood Lecture. His theme was “Decolonization and higher education: the experience of Makerere Institute of Social Research.” Parts—on the history of intellectual debates over the nature of the African university—of Mamdani’s lecture have appeared in this London Review of Books article. A major influence on Mamdani’s mission for MISR was the late Samir Amin, the Egyptian intellectual who passed away in August 12, 2018. Soon after Amin passed, we published a post by Max Ajl on Amin’s contributions to historical social science—and revolutionary theory. Ajl concluded that Amin’s contributions span an almost mind-boggling breadth. After hearing Mamdani remembering Amin, I approached him about publishing that section of his remarks on Africa is a country. He obliged. – Sean Jacobs.
Abel B.S. Gaiya, A student of Christian apologetics and social theology
Walt Rostow (1959) infamously put forth a five-stage theory of economic development, extrapolating from the experiences of the great industrialized nations. However, as dependency theories strongly pointed out, the conditions under which those countries industrialized is significantly different from those that prevailed after decolonization. In addition to this, democratic capitalism experiences turbulence, which I argue makes development under this global system a struggle against powers and against what I call “Burawoyan Cycles”.
Ramiro Eugenio Álvarez, PhD Candidate at Università degli Studi di Siena
Santiago José Gahn, PhD student at Università degli Studi di Roma Tre
What drives economic development? What is the nature of the external constraints that developing economies face? What is the role of industrial policy and the central banks in the development process? These were the core questions that were posed in the recent webinar series on Development in the 21st Century, organized by the Economic Development working group of the Young Scholars Initiative (YSI). These four meetings were particularly oriented towards examining notions such as distribution, patterns of specialization, industrial policies and balance of payment constraints. The discussion of such phenomena is especially important in a context of deep academic divides regarding the drivers of economic development.
Rose Jaji (PhD), University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Young people in Africa are faced with bleak economic prospects and limited employment opportunities regardless of their professional qualifications. Notwithstanding statistics showing that young people below the age of twenty-five constitute the majority of the population in Africa at more than 60% (Ibrahim 2019), African governments have not done enough to create opportunities and give young Africans hope for a better future on the continent. Against this background, migration has captured the imagination of many young Africans despite countless deaths on the Mediterranean Sea as boats unsuitable for the voyage to Europe capsize. African migrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea are survivors of the perils of the journey to North Africa including the trans-Saharan passage and slavery. There has also been another migration trajectory to the Middle East, predominantly undertaken by young African women. But what prospects await young Africans who arrive in Europe? And how have African migrant women fared in the Middle East?
Independent Researcher and Author
For lovers of the French game “Jeu de Dames,” one would think of the version "who loses wins.” Is this African democracy? Those in power have to answer with concrete and edifying examples. In such a case, one must have the courage to integrate into our Constitutions the right to cheat, the right to theft, the right to co-optation, the right to lie. If all this is done, our African elections would hardly be denounced; the winners would be elected without social tension, or any contestation; injustice will give way to justice. But as long as the dictionary of falsehood borrows its words from the lexicon of truth, it is to be feared that we will still be in the midst of these divisions which will only delay the development we wish for our countries.
The Sudanese Revolution: A Different Political Landscape and a New Generation Baptized in the Struggle for Change
Deputy Chairman of the SPLM-N and Secretary for External Affairs for the Sudan Call.
Sudan is facing multiple crises of nation-building, democratization, social justice, gender equality and the need for sustainable development. All these require a paradigm shift and structural changes on the basis of a blueprint that has sufficient national consensus and will eventually lead to building a modern state on equal citizenship.
The ongoing non-violent Sudanese revolution is the widest peaceful mass movement that Sudan has ever witnessed since its independence in 1956. It has involved rural and urban Sudan, women, youth, students, professionals, political parties and movements, civil society groups, and activists from all walks of life, including anti-dam and anti-land grabbing movements and others. It has also attracted, in a limited way, some Islamists from the new and older generations who are for change. Protests have continued for almost two months, which has provided Sudan’s political life with new blood, baptizing a new generation whose courage and abilities have re-energized the entire society and provided confidence that democratization and building a new Sudan is possible.
Adjunct Language Professor at The Institute of World Politics
Many politicians and ordinary citizens in the United States and other countries in the western hemisphere have been following the political turmoil and human rights violations against ordinary citizens in Venezuela. However, what many might not have heard of is that in Sudan, people have been oppressed and their civil liberties have been violated for half a century. The Republic of the Sudan, a country in Northeast Africa, where Islamic-oriented military regimes have dominated national politics since independence in the 1950s. Sudan is on the brink of a seismic political change as peaceful protesters march throughout its cities and the seat of power in the cosmopolitan capital Khartoum.
Anschaire Aveved, PhD.
Anthropologist and Independent Researcher
Two separate notions on who is an Anglophone have been gathering attention and shaping up against one another since the onset of political unrest in the North-West and South-West administrative regions of the Republic of Cameroon. The first and prevailing notion, especially outside of the country, is that Anglophones are English-speakers of the country’s English-speaking area corresponding to the former British Southern Cameroons.. In the background of this notion is the assumption that Anglophones are the bulk of Cameroonians, wherever they are, who have been presumably educated in English and have thus become, more or less, the bearers of English language and British culture. Common law and the British-inspired educational curriculum have been epitomized by the demonstrations of lawyers and teachers as the expression of that culture and its resilient façade in the country’s political institutions.
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