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  • Author: Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, Danny Yagan
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: We construct publicly available statistics on parents’ incomes and students’ earnings outcomes for each college in the U.S. using de-identified data from tax records. These statistics reveal that the degree of parental income segregation across colleges is very high, similar to that across neighborhoods. Differences in post-college earnings between children from low- and high-income families are much smaller among students who attend the same college than across colleges. Colleges with the best earnings outcomes predominantly enroll students from high-income families, although a few mid-tier public colleges have both low parent income levels and high student earnings. Linking these income data to SAT and ACT scores, we simulate how changes in the allocation of students to colleges affects segregation and intergenerational mobility. Equalizing application, admission, and matriculation rates across parental income groups conditional on test scores would reduce segregation substantially, primarily by increasing the representation of middle-class students at more selective colleges. However, it would have little impact on the fraction of low-income students at elite private colleges because there are relatively few students from low-income families with sufficiently high SAT/ACT scores. Differences in parental income distributions across colleges could be eliminated by giving low and middle-income students a sliding-scale preference in the application and admissions process similar to that implicitly given to legacy students at elite private colleges. Assuming that 80% of observational differences in students’ earnings conditional on test scores, race, and parental income are due to colleges’ causal effects – a strong assumption, but one consistent with prior work – such changes could reduce intergenerational income persistence among college students by about 25%. We conclude that changing how students are allocated to colleges could substantially reduce segregation and increase intergenerational mobility, even without changing colleges’ educational programs
  • Topic: Income Inequality, Economic Inequality, Higher Education, Economic Mobility
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dina Wahba
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In my visit to Egypt in late March 2018, two things were happening simultaneously: the demolition of Maspero Triangle, the neighbourhood I have been working on for my case study, and the re-election of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for his second term. There was a big campaign banner, one of many engulfing Cairo, with El Sisi’s face and the slogan “You are the hope”. This banner on 6th of October bridge was overlooking the neighbourhood as the bulldozers were hard at work demolishing what was for years the homes of over 4000 families spanning generations. I was in a taxi trying inconspicuously to take pictures of the banner and wondering what my interlocutors would say when I ask them about how they view this promise of hope overlooking the destruction of their homes. I was also marvelling at the almost nonsensical sequence of events. In 2011 Maspero was one of the most militant neighbourhoods, among many in downtown and old Cairo (Ismail 2013), that defended the occupation of Tahrir Square. As it was adjacent to Tahrir, it played a crucial role in sustaining the square during the first 18 days of the uprising. Seven years after the revolution, the neighbourhood was faced with complete erasure. How did we get here? I argue for the productivity of looking at Egyptian politics through the lens of affect as a possible way to answer this question. As Laszczkowski and Reeves argue in their edited book Affective States (2017) “Affect is at the heart of those moments when the political catches us off guard or when it leaves us feeling catatonically suspended, wondering where we are, how we even go there, and when this became so ordinary”. In this paper, I examine one such moment: the demolition of Maspero neighbourhood that coincided with the re-election of Abd El Fattah El Sisi in early 2018. I investigate state-society relations and the shifts throughout those moments by looking at how one neighbourhood negotiated their survival that culminated in their removal. Much like the wider socio-political context in Egypt and the story of the Egyptian revolution itself, Maspero is a story of a negotiated failure. A youth-led movement that demanded basic rights, exhausted various political tactics to lobby the government and failed the bigger fight, but scored some victories, such as the ability of some 900 families to come back to Maspero after the development project is over. I argue that Maspero can uncover much about the wider political tribulations since 2011. The case offers a lens through which we can see political openings and opportunities, clampdowns and closures as well as the current regime’s agenda for ensuring that what happened on 25 January 2011 does not happen again. I claim that one of the tactics of the regime is to systematically deconstruct the politics of the urban subaltern that played a major role in the revolution (Ismail 2013) through urban reconfiguration as well as new and old methods of affective co-optation and coercion. In her analysis of state-society relations, Cilja Harders argues that “political science tends to privilege macro-level perspectives” rendering the urban subaltern as only passive subjects of political transformations (Harders 2003). I argue that this has not changed in analysing the aftermath of the revolution. Few studies discussed the role of the urban poor in the revolution; however, many scholars neglected the politicisation of the urban subaltern when analysing transformation (or lack thereof) in Egyptian politics in the last few years. After eight years, the situation seems bleak and the task futile. To argue for any kind of change, let alone transformation, one must be blind to the strong backlash against any attempt to capitalise on the temporary gains of the revolution. The only story left to be told seems to be one of failure. The utter failure of a reformist movement to impose even partially its agenda for change (Bayat 2017). However, the case of Maspero neighbourhood and its youth alliance allow me to trace the revolution back into the everyday politics of citizens in a crushing struggle with the regime to examine whether the revolution disrupted informal traditional ways of doing politics. Rather than examine radical or even reformist regime or legal changes in national politics, I am interested in informal politics and its disruption. “It is in the local scale that power relations become tangible and abstract concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘politics’ observable” (Hoffmann, Bouziane & Harders 2013, 3). Building on the work of scholars of everyday politics, street politics and politics from below, I focus, therefore, on the street and, more specifically, Maspero, a neighbourhood adjacent to Tahrir Square that lived the revolution with all its tribulations, a neighbourhood that affected and was affected by the revolution. I find Salwa Ismail’s work on the role of the urban subaltern in the revolution productive in unpacking and tracing the “everyday” in the Egyptian revolution. “The infrastructures of mobilisation and protest lay in the microprocesses of everyday life at the quarter level, in their forms of governance and in the structure of feelings that developed in relation to state government” (Ismail 2012, 450). Ismail’s argument highlights the quarters or neighbourhoods as spatial political laboratories where the urban subaltern, through rigorous negotiations and “every day” encounters with the different arms of the state, accumulates knowledge about modes of governance and how to resist them. This was obvious in the role that the urban subaltern played in the revolution and was reflected in the narratives of my interlocutors and highlighted in some of the scholar’s accounts of the revolution. In Ismail’s (2012) account of the “backstreets of Tahrir”, she narrates several important “battles” in informal neighbourhoods that she believes were vital to the success of the revolution. These “battles” manifest the moment of convergence between locally grounded grievances and national revolutionary politics. “The account of the battles serves to draw attention to the place of popular quarters in the geography of resistance, and to the spatial inscription of popular modes of activism”. (Ismail 2012, 446) The importance of Ismail’s account is in linking popular resistance to the spatial characteristics of the quarter, which brings up the question of what will happen to popular resistance when the neighbourhood is gone. I argue that the removal of entire neighbourhoods has a political purpose, that of dismantling the political laboratories and crushing street politics. In discussing the battles in Tahrir, Bulaq Abu Al-Ila features prominently in sheltering activists, defending the occupation of the square and engaging in prolonged street fights that exhausted the police and kept it from reclaiming the square. Ismail (2012, 448) links the neighbourhood’s repertoire of contention to a history of patriotism that goes back to the resistance of the French colonial conquest, again highlighting a spatially bounded accumulation of generational knowledge and affective register of popular resistance. The aim of my endeavour is not just to highlight the role of the urban subaltern in the revolution and the subsequent politicisation and depoliticization and what one may learn from it. It is also to link this to what the state has been learning about countering any possible future mobilisation in order to foresee state strategies of radically altering the “every day” modes of governance and with it modes of resistance and to connect this to the urgency of urban restructuring processes happening in Cairo on an unprecedented scale since the 1990s. Asef Bayat (2012) explores the politics of the urban subaltern in “neoliberal cities” in an authoritarian regime. Bayat offers the concept of “social non-movements” to analyse street politics (2012, 119). According to him, the streets are vital to the urban subaltern: he writes that “[t]he centrality of streets goes beyond merely the expression of contention. Rather, streets may actually serve as an indispensable asset/capital for them to subsist and reproduce economic as well as cultural life” (2012, 119). Bayat describes the ongoing conflict over the public space between the state and the urban subaltern as “street politics” (Bayat 2009). These ongoing processes consequently create the “political street”, hence, politicising ordinary citizens through their struggles over urban space. Some of the questions that arise here and reflect the limitations of Bayat’s arguments in this point of history relate to what happens to “street politics” when the urban subaltern loses the “political street”. Reflecting on the case of Maspero neighbourhood, what happens to the politicisation and cultural and economic appropriation when they are relocated to Asmarat, a far-off gated community out of central Cairo? What happens to the politics of the urban poor when they lose their “capital”? And, what kind of political and spatial affects are tied to this dispossession? One of the challenges of studying Maspero was to understand the affective attachments that people had to the neighbourhood. Drawing from the literature on street politics and Asef Bayat’s notion of encroachment (2009), I could understand materially the reasons why forcefully displacing people from their homes could be traumatic. However, as I witnessed them mourn the neighbourhood it became clear to me that there are reasons beyond what this literature can offer. Here, affect theories can be helpful. Yael Navaro Yashin calls for “a reconceptualization of the relation between human beings and space” (2012, 16). Yashin critiques what she calls “the social-constructionist imagination” in its focus on conceptualising space only through what humans project on it. Building on Teresa Brennan’s work on the transmission of affect, Yashin argues for affective relationality between humans and their environment. However, she does not take an object-centred approach but combines the human subjective approach with one that explores that “excess” in the environment that she studies through the lens of affect. Yashin’s work on the collision of the phantasmatic and the material is essential in understanding the “affect” of the neighbourhood. According to Yashin, “the make-believe is real” (2012, 10). Reflecting on the case of Maspero, the affective attachments that the inhabitants of the neighbourhood developed was built around the material, the encroachment, and the social networks but moved beyond this. To them, Maspero is their country and their home. Below one of my research interlocutors, a male resident of Maspero in his 30s explains to me the attachment of the people to Maspero Triangle. “We belong to this place; it is part of us, and we are a part of it. This place holds our memories and childhood. This is something that officials never understood. But we felt it. In this place I used to play, when I am upset, I like to sit in this place and talk to my friends. We are attached to this place not just because it is close to our work. We are linked spiritually to this place; our hearts are attached to this place. I do not want to go out. I do not want to live even in Zamalek, which is very close to us. I do not want to live there. We are attached to this place.” Nigel Thrift (2007) argues that for the political importance of studying affect in cities and affective cities to trace how affect and cities interact to produce politics. The interactions between space, bodies and affect are linked to political consequences. Thrift goes further to point to the political engineering of affect in urban everyday life and what might seem to us as aesthetic is politically instrumentalised. This engineering of affect can have various political aims. To erase emotional histories, create new affective registers or mobilise old ones in urban settings through urban restructuring (Thrift 2007, 172). Thus, it is not farfetched to argue that the urban restructuring of cities is linked to eliciting or inhibiting political responses. The massive plan of the Egyptian government to drastically change downtown Cairo, a space that witnessed a revolution has interlinked political and affective goals. It aims at erasing the affective register of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and inhibits the politics of the urban poor.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations, Revolution, Urban, Youth Movement
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt, Maspero
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The first reflection about the geopolitical environment that Bulgaria faced after the tectonic systemic shifts in the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century thirty years later is that the efforts of the country to influence the transformation of the Balkans into a regional security community were successful. The second reflection is that Bulgaria was not able to influence effectively a similar development in the Black Sea area. Both the Balkans and the Caspian Sea-Caucasus- Black Sea area were conflictual knots of relations inherited from the Cold War divide. While the traditional European great powers that polarized the Balkan system of international relations pushing the small countries one against the other and the United States had the strategic interest of pacifying the South Eastern region of Europe, the dominating great power in the Black Sea area – Russia, aimed at preserving the opportunities of coming back to the territories that the Soviet Union lost after its collapse by preserving various degrees of conflictness in the neighbouring countries. Depending on the general condition of the Russian economy and state as well as its domestic political status different opportunities were either designed or just used to preserve the profile of Russia of the empire that sooner or later will be back. What are, in this regard, the perceptions in Bulgaria of the annexation of Crimea?
  • Topic: Security, International Security, Geopolitics, Conflict, Empire
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Caspian Sea
  • Author: Tchinda Kamdem Eric Joel, Kamdem Cyrille Bergaly
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Cameroonian farmers face two tenure systems: a modern regime and a customary regime. These two regimes are perpetually confronting each other, putting farmers in a total uncertainty as to the regime to adopt to ensure the sustainability of their ventures. This study aims to assess the influence of land tenure security on agricultural productivity through credit access. To achieve this goal, a two-stage sampling technique was applied to data from the third Cameroon Household Survey (ECAM 3). The number of farmers selected for the analysis was 602. These data were analysed using descriptive and three-step recursive regression models. The results of the analysis reveal that land tenure security improves agricultural productivity through the credit access it allows. A proof of the robustness of this result has been provided through discussion of the effects of land tenure security in different agro-ecological zones and through a distinction between cash crops and food crops. The overall results confirm that land tenure security positively and significantly influences agricultural productivity. The regression has also shown that the size of the farm defined in one way or another, the perception of farmers on their level of land tenure security and therefore indicates the intensity with which land tenure security influences agricultural productivity. The recorded productivity differential indicates that smallholder farmers, because they keep small farms, feel safer and produce more than those who keep medium-sized farms. The results also show that land tenure security significantly improves the value of production per hectare of food products that are globally imported into Cameroon. Therefore, we recommend that the public authorities promote land tenure security by reinforcing the unassailable and irrevocable nature of land title, but also by easing the conditions of access to it.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Political Economy, Economic structure, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Lewis Landry Gakpa
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the consequences of interaction between political instability and foreign direct investment (FDI) on economic growth of 31 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in order to analyse one of the channels through which political instability affects economic growth. To achieve this objective, the study relies on a dynamic panel procedure and the Three Stage Least Squares Method to estimate a model of simultaneous equations over the period 1984-2015. The empirical results indicate that political instability affects economic growth directly and indirectly through its impact on foreign direct investment. We also highlight the simultaneous character of the relationship between political instability and the level of economic development in Sub-Saharan African countries. The results of the study then corroborate the idea that political instability hinders growth and thus calls for measures to improve the quality of political climate, which is one of the conditions necessary for a country’s economy to benefit from foreign direct investment.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, Political stability, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Botswana
  • Author: Kouassi Yeboua
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: For a long time, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries have been experiencing persistently high budget and current deficits. This study was undertaken to empirically test the “Twin Deficits Hypothesis” in these countries. The analysis was conducted within the framework of the Panel Vector autoregressive (VAR) approach over the period 1975–2013. In contrast to the conventional view which claims a one-way relationship between budget and current account deficits, the results show that budget deficits lead to a deterioration in the current account balance, and vice versa (bilateral relationship). We also found that budget deficits have an impact on current account balance mainly through imports.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Budget, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: This study sets out to estimate the determinants of household economic wellbeing and to evaluate the relative contributions of regressed-income sources in explaining measured inequality. In particular, a regression-based decomposition approach informed by the Shapley value, the instrumental variables econometric method, and the 2007 Cameroon household consumption survey, was used. This approach provides a flexible way to accommodate variables in a multivariate context. The results indicate that the household stock of education, age, credit, being bilingual, radio and electricity influence wellbeing positively, while rural, land and dependency had a negative impact on wellbeing. Results also show that rural, credit, bilingualism, education, age, dependency and land, in that order, are the main contributors to measured income inequality, meanwhile, the constant term, media and electricity are inequality reducing. These findings have policy implications for the ongoing drive to scale down both inequality and poverty in Cameroon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Inequality, Economic Inequality, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Ebaidalla M. Ebaidalla
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Despite the importance of non-farm income in the livelihood of the rural population in Sudan, information available on its size and determinants is scanty. This study examined the patterns and determinants of decisions to participate in non-farm activities in rural Sudan. It also investigates whether the determinants of participation in non-farm activities vary across agriculture sub-sectors and income groups as well as among males and females. The data for this study was sourced from the Sudanese National Baseline Household Survey (NBHS) conducted by Sudan’s Central Bureau of Statistics in 2009. The results show that non-farm income is a crucial source of livelihood, contributing about 43% to household income in rural Sudan. The results of multinomial logit and probit estimation methods indicate that educational level, mean of transportation, lack of land and lack of access to formal credit are the most significant factors that push rural farmers to participate in non-farm activities. Surprisingly, the effect of household income was positive and significant, implying that individuals from rich households have higher opportunity to engage in non-farm activities compared to their poor counterparts. Moreover, the analysis revealed some symptoms of gender and location disparities in the effect of factors that influence participation in non-farm activities. The study concluded with some recommendations that aim to enhance the engagement in non-farm activities as an important diversification strategy to complement the role of the agriculture sector in improving rural economy in Sudan.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Rural
  • Political Geography: Sudan
  • Author: Reuben Adeolu Alabi, Oshobugie Ojor Adams
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: This study examined the impacts of the e-wallet fertilizer subsidy scheme on quantity of fertilizer use, crop output and yield in Nigeria. The study made use of the Nigeria General Household Survey (GHS)-Panel Datasets of 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 which contain 5,000 farming households in each of the panel. We applied relevant evaluation techniques to analyse the data. The results of the impact analysis demonstrate that the scheme has generally increased the yield, crop output and quantity of fertilizer purchase of the participating farmers by 38%, 47%, and 16%, respectively. The study concludes that increased productivity, which the scheme engenders, can help to reduce food insecurity in Nigeria. Provision of rural infrastructure, such as good road network, accessibility to mobile phones, radio, etc., will increase accessibility of the small-scale farmers to the scheme or any other similar agricultural schemes in Nigeria.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Income Inequality, Economic growth, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Niger
  • Author: Yahya Abou Ly
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The empirical context of this research is in an environment where malnutrition is a real public health concern. The objective of this study was to identify the determinants of the nutritional state of children under the age of five years in Mauritania. Using data obtained from multiple indicators cluster surveys (MICS) in Mauritania in 2007 and 2015, we undertook fixed-effects clusters techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity. The empirical results demonstrate that the age and sex of a child, level of education of the mother, the standards of living of the household, the area of residence, the availability and use of health care services and access to drinking water are all important factors for the good health of children in Mauritania. These findings suggests improvements in nutritional health, for example, by education of girls until completion of secondary school; an improvement in the conditions of households that are headed by women and an expansion in the coverage rate of multi-purpose health centres.
  • Topic: Health, Food, Children, Food Security, Child Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mauritania
  • Author: Dongue Ndongo Patrick Revelli
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Understanding how domestic prices adjust to the exchange rate enables us to anticipate the effects on inflation and monetary policy responses. This study examines the extent of the exchange rate pass-through to the Consumer Price Index in Cameroon and Kenya over the 1991-2013 period. The results of its econometric analysis shows that the degree of the exchange rate pass-through is incomplete and varied between 0.18 and 0.58 over one year in Kenya, while it varied between 0.53 and 0.89 over the same period in Cameroon. For the long term, it was found to be equal to 1.06 in Kenya and to 0.28 in Cameroon. A structural VAR analysis using impulse-response functions supported the results for the short term but found a lower degree of pass-through for the exchange rate shocks: 0.3125 for Kenya and 0.4510 for Cameroon. It follows from these results that the exchange rate movements remain a potentially important source of inflation in the two countries. Variance decomposition shows that the contribution of the exchange rate shocks is modest in the case of Kenya but significant in that of Cameroon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Monetary Policy, Exchange Rate Policy, Economic Policy, Inflation
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Albert Makochekanwa
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The main objective of the study was to investigate the impact of policy regulations on investments in mobile telecommunications network infrastructure in all the 15 member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The research employed panel data econometrics to achieve its stated objective. Estimated results shows that the coefficient of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is positive and statistically significant, implying that an increase in this variable results in increase in demand and this in turn motivates infrastructure investment in mobile telephone. The coefficient on the previous level of mobile telephone infrastructure investment variable (Invkt-1) was found to be positive and statistically significant. This means that there is a systematic positive association between the previous level of mobile telephone infrastructure investment and the current. The coefficient of the main variable of interest representing mandatory unbundling (Regkt) was found to be positive and statistically significant. This implies that, overall, mandatory unbundling access regulation boost infrastructure investment in mobile telecommunication. Regression estimates shows that the coefficient on one of the variable of interest, political constraint (POLCON) has a negative and statistically significant impact on determining the level of mobile telephone infrastructure investment in SADC countries. Whilst this result is against expectations, one possible explanation may be presence of high level of rent seeking behaviour.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Regulation, Economic growth, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Negou Kamga Vincent de Paul, Nda’chi Deffo Rodrigue
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Despite free basic vaccines administered by the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), there is still a fairly high death rate of children aged 0-5 worldwide due to vaccine-preventable diseases. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region due to low levels of vaccination. This study analyses the effect of birth order on the immunization status of children in Cameroon, considering the contribution of cultural, economic and community factors. To do this, it uses data from the Demographic and Health Surveys of 1991, 1998, 2004 and 2011 produced by the National Institute of Statistics with the support of UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank and USAID. The EPI module was administered to 3,350, 2,317, 8,125 and 25,524 children under five in 1991, 1998, 2004 and 2011, respectively. The multinomial probit model makes it possible to find that birth order has a negative and highly significant effect on the full and timely immunization of children under five and the impact increases with birth order. Moreover, the impact of birth order increases after adjusting for cultural factors. This increase indicates that, beyond the effect of birth order, cultural factors are at the root of prejudices leading to the abandonment of children. Considering children under two years of age, and vaccines taken during the first four months, the corresponding birth order effect points to the benefits of routine immunization and response campaigns in promoting immunization of children under five.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Health Care Policy, Children
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Amal Eqeiq
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article explores border crossing and the Palestinian city as a literary metropolis—two major themes in the works of emerging Palestinian novelists in Israel. It looks at the “re-Palestinization” of urban space by writers who belong to a post-Oslo generation of Palestinian intellectuals that left villages and small towns in Israel to go and study, work, and live in the city. What distinguishes the literature of this generation is its negotiation of border crossing in a fragmented geography and its engagement with the city as a space of paradoxical encounter between a national imaginary and a settler-colonial reality. Based on a critical reading of their works, the article argues that Adania Shibli and Ibtisam Azem challenge colonial border discourse, exposing the ongoing Zionist erasure of the Palestinian city and creating a new topography for Palestinian literature. The article also traces the role of these writers in the “twinning” of Haifa and Ramallah starting in the late 1990s, and it examines how this literary and cultural “sisterhood” informs spatial resistance.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Deborah Gordon, Frances Reuland
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Earth's temperature is rising to dangerous levels. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is increasingly urgent. Although carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas, short-lived climate pollutants like methane are rapidly accelerating global warming in the near term. Methane emissions are on the rise. The global growth in oil and gas production and consumption is a prime driver. A new report released today by researchers at the Watson Institute identifies a multi-pronged approach for mapping and measuring methane and provides new tools to more effectively manage this super pollutant. Under a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, authors Deborah Gordon, Watson Institute Senior Fellow, and Frances Reuland, former Brown University Researcher, assess the many ways that methane escapes from the oil and gas sector, both unintentionally and purposefully. Using a first-of-its-kind model under development, the Oil Climate Index + Gas, they estimate that oil operations are at greater risk for intentional venting and flaring of methane while gas operations pose a higher risk of inadvertent fugitive methane and accidental releases. The ability to focus detection and policymaking on the operators who bear direct emissions responsibility holds out the best prospects for methane reductions worldwide. While governments, NGOs, and companies continue to improve their methods to pinpoint and measure methane, difficulties remain. Overcoming these barriers requires: increased transparency and data collection; improved oversight through monitoring, reporting, and verification; regulations and binding agreements; research and development (R&D) and technology transfer; and financial incentives and penalties. In order to offer durable climate solutions, efforts to mitigate methane must be designed to withstand future political pressures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Science and Technology, Pollution, Fossil Fuels, Methane
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: This year’s Democracy Report shows that the trend of a third wave autocratization – the decline of democratic regime traits – continues and now affects 24 countries. When we weight levels of democracy by population size – because democracy is rule by the people and it matters how many of them are concerned – it emerges that almost one third of the world’s population live in countries undergoing autocratization. Yet democracy still prevails in a majority of countries in the world (99 countries, 55 percent). This section analyses the state of democracy in the world in 2018 and developments since 1972, with an emphasis on the last 10 years. Our analysis builds on the 2019 release of the V-Dem dataset.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Developing World, Democracy, Populism
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Ukraine, India, Brazil
  • Author: Howard Coombs
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada has built on the findings of the Netherlands’ report, Lessons Learned from Commitment of Reservists in Operations (LLRO), and provided an overview of NATO ability for the international deployment of reservists by specifically examining the pre-deployment phase of operations. Through both national questionnaires and research, Canada has collected, analyzed and communicated key observations and lessons from NATO NRFC member and partner nations to address the institutional support and structures required to set the conditions for the force generation and successful deployment of capable, multi-purpose, integrated reserve forces. This has resulted in a comparative analysis of the triad of military, family and employer support that enhances the deployment of NATO reservists prior to operations.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Military Affairs, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Abdülrahman Ayyash
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: On 28 January 2011 – as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians demonstrated on the day dubbed the “Friday of Anger” – Muslim Brotherhood member, Sameh, was demonstrating with several thousand others in Mansoura in the Nile Delta (120 km north of Cairo). As demonstrators began to throw stones at the State Security Investigations building, Sameh stood in front of them shouting “peaceful”. He was hit in the chest by a stone meant to hit the building in one of the city's most prestigious neighbourhoods. Two years later, Sameh was arrested on an array of charges, including joining the Brotherhood and committing acts of violence against the state. A few months later, he told a friend waiting on death row that he considered the Muslim Brotherhood to be apostates and that he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (Daesh) and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Sameh's case is not unique. According to several detainees – including current prisoners spoken to over the phone – there are ongoing changes among detainees who have spent most of their lives as Muslim Brotherhood members. Egyptian prisons host tens of thousands of political detainees – perhaps more than 60,000 according to Human Rights Watch.2 Arrests have mainly targeted members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters. However, with increased armed attacks against the army and police, arrests have also targeted alleged supporters of Daesh, al-Qa’ida, and Islamists affiliated with smaller organizations. The Egyptian National Council for Human Rights documented prison overcrowding at a rate of at least 160%,3 forcing the authorities to build 20 new prisons since the military coup in the summer of 2013.4 Importantly, this has led to an increased exchange of influences and ideologies among detainees from diverse backgrounds. Detainees – those held after referral to the judiciary or sentencing – are often relocated during their detention, including frequent transfers to temporary detention centres during court hearings, or when brought before the Public Prosecution or for medical treatment. This further facilitates communication with different prison populations and discussion and exchange of ideas between detainees. This paper does not dwell upon traditional classifications imposed on Islamic movements in terms of moderate and extremist trends. Nor does it go into detail regarding the mechanisms of individual radicalization, though it does encourage further study. Instead, we focus on the developmental dynamics of Muslim Brotherhood youth and sympathizers in Egypt, especially those who were arrested during the breakup of sit-ins supporting former President Mohamed Morsi. Developmental dynamics refer to the conditions and contexts which Brotherhood members and sympathizers experience in prison. These inform broader understandings of issues including state and society relations, and social mobility through jihad as opposed to social mobility through the Brotherhood. This paper also discusses the ways in which the Muslim Brotherhood manages its members inside prison, and its attempts to maintain the Brotherhood's administrative and intellectual organization. It is based primarily on information collected during 10 rare phone interviews with current prisoners. It is also based on additional phone and face-to-face interviews with former prisoners inside and outside Egypt. The interviewees come from five different cities and have been in at least seven prisons, including Tora, Wadi al-Natroun, Mansoura and Gamasa; for security and technical reasons, it was not possible to expand the research cohort. The paper is also based on reviews of articles written by detainees, press reports, opinion pieces, and research papers dealing with the complex social phenomenon of the Muslim Brotherhood from different angles.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Prisons/Penal Systems, Arab Spring, Protests, Ideology
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt, Mediterranean
  • Author: Ayşe S Kara
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: AURUM Journal of Social Sciences, Altinbas University
  • Abstract: Dünya çapında en çok ciro yapan şirketlere bakıldığında bu şirketlerin gelişmiş ülkelerde faaliyet gösterdiği görülür ancak nasıl bir ironidir ki bu şirketler faaliyet gösterdikleri topraklarda üretimde yetersizlik ve gelir dağılımında eşitsizlik problemine çözüm getirmekte çoğunlukla başarısız olmaktadır. Özünde, şirketlerin kuruluş amacı topluma katkı sağlamaktır; şirketler, fakirliği azaltmada ve yaşam standardını yükseltmede toplumların güçlü kaynaklarıdır. İki anahtar slogan olan ‘herkes için üretim’ ve ‘gelir dağılımında eşitlik’ kurumsal sosyal sorumluluk (KSS) kavramının temelini oluşturur. Değişen rekabet anlayışıyla sürdürülebilirliğin gittikçe önem kazandığı global toplumda şirketler; ekonomik, çevresel ve sosyal performans yönetim politikalarını hesap verilebilirlik, şeffaflık ve sürdürülebilirlik ilkeleri doğrultusunda sergilemek durumundadırlar. Kurumların sosyal sorumluluk projelerini artan bir hızla hayata geçirme gayretlerine tanık olsak da kavram için ne bir üniversal tanım ne de uygulamalara yönelik bir standart vardır. Günümüz piyasası sosyal refahı arttırmaya yönelik çalışmaları ödüllendirmektedir; bu da, işletmeler arasında kendini bu alanda en iyi göstermek için yarış başlatmıştır. Bu yarışı konu alan en popüler argüman ise KSS çalışmalarının araç mı yoksa amaç mı olduğudur. Bu çalışma literatürde yer alan teorileri, model, öneri ve eleştirileri detaylarıyla ele alıp sosyal ve ekonomik hedeflerin birbirinden ayrı mı yoksa farklı mı olduğunu irdelemeyi ve KSS için kapsamlı bir tanım önermeyi amaçlamaktadır
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: 70 years ago Bulgaria and the Peope’s Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations. As a small country we are proud to be among the first that recognized the new great state and to have a record of long and constructive relations throughout this period. Despite the differences in the socio-political systems the bilateral relations of our countries are at its peak. The PRC is a key partner of both Bulgaria and the European Union (EU), to which my country belongs. I am personally grateful to the organizers of the high-level symposium for this first visit of mine to understand the sagacity of a Chinese proverb, I paraphraze, it is better to see something once than read about it one hundred times. China proved – and this is a lesson for all, that direct copying of experience and models of development of other countries may lead to nowhere. A methodological lesson in statecraft given by China from the end of the 70s of the last century till nowdays is that thinking big and whole while recognizing the truth in the facts of life, opening to the rest of the world and persistently reforming in a strategically chosen direction is the right way to success. The ability to take the best from the experience and wisdom of the past, sincerely seeking to share the achievements of mankind is a Chinese accomplishment that deserves to be studied by present and future politicians, including in my part of the world.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Bulgaria
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report provides insights into building a gender sensitive climate smart agriculture while reducing the vulnerability of women, youth and refugees to the adversity impacted by climate change. It shows that successful mainstreaming of climate change in the agricultural sector and implementation of gender sensitive climate resilient agricultural policies, programmes and practices require strong and reliable climate information services and early warning systems, enhanced technical and institutional capacities, enabling legal framework, and strong monitoring and reporting mechanisms. A strong commitment to innovative climate financing and increasing budget allocation for climate change to the sectors especially Local Governments (LGs) is also essential.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Gender Issues, Government
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Paul Bagabo, Onesmus Mugyenyi, Siragi Magara, Paul Twebaze
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This publication draws from the literature on contract transparency as well as interviews with key experts in Uganda's extractives sector. It concludes that while legal frameworks on transparency and disclosure provisions exist, they have not been effective in ensuring that citizens gain access to information on the details of the contracts; and the level of contract transparency and disclosure in the oil and gas sector is higher than in the mining sector. While information on mining licenses is provided on the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development website and the mining cadastre is publicly available, vital information on actual deposits and revenue sharing is not publicly available. Uganda is party to several transparency initiatives and publicly committed to joining the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Despite the membership to these initiatives, the level of transparency and disclosure of extractives contracts is still low. In order to ensure that contract transparency contributes to increased accountability in the sector, this publication makes several recommendations.
  • Topic: Oil, Natural Resources, Democracy, Citizenship
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Mirriam Muhome-Matita, Takondwa Chauma
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Mobile financial services are gaining prominence and could be a possible avenue for fast-tracking financial inclusion in developing countries, including Malawi. However, adoption and usage of such services remains low among the Malawi population. This study investigates the influence of financial literacy on financial behaviour of individuals in Malawi, specifically use of mobile phone-based financial transactions. Descriptive and econometric analyses were conducted using cross-sectional data obtained from the Reserve Bank of Malawi. Findings reveal that the likelihood of using mobile financial services increases with increasing levels of financial literacy, type of employment and peri-urban residence. Furthermore, men are more likely to transact on mobile phones than females and that although income levels matter in the use of mobile financial transactions, the magnitude of effect is negligible. Results suggest opportunities for expanding access to financial services and products such as differentiation in financial literacy education by characteristics of population including gender of users. Informal settings do not preclude expansion of digital payments, and therefore financial product innovation and addressing rural resident’s constraints to access mobile financial services is crucial.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Labor Issues, Income Inequality, Labor Policies, Banks
  • Political Geography: Malawi
  • Author: Hafsa Kanjwal
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 5 August 2019, the Indian government unilaterally changed the legal status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, undermining its own constitutional process and completely annexing a territory that remains disputed in the international arena. In a statement to the Indian parliament, the Indian Home Minister announced the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status enshrined in Article 370 of the Indian constitution, as well as the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories to be directly governed by the central government. Since then, the government has placed Indian-occupied Kashmir on lockdown. Despite restrictions on the movement of reporters and human rights observers and a clampdown on communication infrastructure (including the internet and some phone services), there have been reports of widespread human rights abuses including extrajudicial detentions (including of minors), torture, sexual violence, and lack of access to basic medical and healthcare services.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Territorial Disputes, Self Determination, Colonialism, Empire
  • Political Geography: India, East Asia, Kashmir
  • Author: Ng Ser Song
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Illicit drug use exacts a high cost on abusers, their families, and ultimately society as a whole. Livelihoods are lost, relationships are destroyed, children suffer, and the wider community pays a hefty price through a resulting worsened crime situation. Singapore has hence adopted a harm-prevention approach to drugs, incorporating educational, legal, and rehabilitative measures. While we acknowledge that there is a variety of approaches to drug policy globally, our approach has worked well for our local context and enabled people here to live to their fullest potentials.
  • Topic: Crime, Health, Law, Criminal Justice, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Singapore, Global Focus
  • Author: Mani Shankar Aiyar
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Elected three times to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, and nominated by the President to Rajya Sabha, the upper house, for a further six years, Aiyar has served for 21 years in the Indian Parliament, been conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award (2006), and been a Cabinet Minister for five years (2004-09). He has authored seven books, including Confession of a Secular Fundamentalist, and edited the three volumes of Rajiv Gandhi’s India.
  • Topic: Religion, Law, Democracy, Citizenship, Religious Law, Secularism
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Edward Newman, Gëzim Visoka
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Kosovo’s small size belies the major impact it has had on the evolving international order: the norms and institutions that shape the behavior and practices of states and other international actors. In three controversial policy areas— humanitarian intervention, international peacebuilding, and international recognition—Kosovo has been the focus of events and debates with far-reaching and globally significant effects. This article will present and discuss these three subjects, and then conclude by considering how Kosovo’s future may continue to be tied to the shifting contours of international order in the context of renewed great power geopolitical rivalry.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Humanitarian Intervention, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Jacqueline R. McAllister
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 24 May 1994, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY or Yugoslav Tribunal) made history by becoming the first international court to indict a sitting head of state: Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević. Since Milošević’s rise to power roughly a decade before, forces either directly or indirectly under his control had unleashed a reign of terror first in Croatia, then in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and finally in Kosovo. Indicting Milošević was no small feat: he did everything in his power to cover his tracks. Moreover, in order to secure crucial evidence (e.g., intelligence and satellite imagery linking Serb forces to crime sites) and the support necessary to actually put Milošević on trial, the ICTY required the backing of Western powers, which—until the Kosovo War in 1999—viewed Milošević as a vital, yet unsavory guarantor of peace in the region. Reactions to the indictment were mixed. While the Yugoslav Tribunal’s supporters heralded the indictment as a legal triumph that brought Milošević to his knees, its critics emphasized that, at best, the indictment was irrelevant and, at worst, an extraordinary gamble that had the potential to thwart an end to hostilities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Law, Humanitarian Intervention, Ethnic Cleansing
  • Political Geography: Europe, Yugoslavia, Central Europe
  • Author: Atifete Jahjaga
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Our first question is about the ethnic cleansing that happened during the Kosovo Campaign. It is estimated that 20,000 Albanian men and women experienced sexual violence between 1998 and 2000. Many survivors of sexual violence have been hesitant to speak up, and there were also many mass killings that are only now being discovered. How, in a general sense, did you approach these issues as president given the lack of information, and how has the lack of information made the justice process more difficult?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Law, Humanitarian Intervention, Ethnic Cleansing
  • Political Geography: Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Armenia
  • Author: Wesley K. Clark
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The countries of Southeast Europe contain numerous ethnic groups that are united by shared geography but divided by language, history, and culture. These nations are located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, and, for centuries, were subjected to Turkish invasion, Austro-Hungarian resistance, Russian Pan-Slavism, Venetian culture along the Adriatic coast, and the respective weights of Islam, Roman Catholicism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Melding these groups into the state of Yugoslavia at the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference proved only a temporary solution: with the death of Yugloslav President Josip Tito in 1980, the fractionating forces became dominant, and by 1991, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Bosnia were each struggling to secede or survive against a Serb-dominated Serbia-Montenegro.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Russell Buchan
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The essence of espionage is the non-consensual collection of confidential information. Espionage takes different forms depending upon the identity of the perpetrator and the nature of the confidential information targeted. Political espionage describes the state-sponsored theft of confidential information, and its purpose is to shed light on the capabilities and intentions of other state and non- state actors. Economic espionage is also state-sponsored, and it involves states stealing trade secrets from companies located in foreign jurisdictions, usually with the intention of passing this information to domestic companies so that they possess a competitive advantage. In contrast, industrial espionage is perpetrated by non-state actors insofar as it entails companies stealing foreign competitors’ confidential information without the support or assistance of a state.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Law, Business , Espionage
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nicholas Eftimiades
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Throughout recorded history, nations have employed spies to support foreign policy goals and military operations. However, such clandestine activities seldom become the subject of foreign policy themselves, and intelligence and related activities are rarely subject to public review. Yet in the People’s Republic of China, a massive “whole-of-society” approach to economic espionage is creating a new paradigm for how nations conduct, view, and address intelligence func- tions. In fact, a key element in the United States-China trade war is Washington’s insistence that Beijing cease stealing American intellectual property and trade secrets. China denies the claim, but hundreds of recently prosecuted espionage cases prove otherwise. These espionage activities are changing the global balance of power, impacting U.S. and foreign economies, and providing challenges to domestic and national security, as well as foreign policy formulation. Domesti- cally, they threaten economic security, the protection of critical infrastructure, and intellectual property rights.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Law, Espionage
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Calder Walton
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Spies, election meddling, disinformation, influence operations, data har- vesting: at present, it seems barely a moment passes without another intelligence scandal breaking on our news feeds. Following Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack on the 2016 U.S. presidential election—which was intended to support Moscow’s favored candidate, Donald J. Trump, and undermine his opponent, Hillary Clinton—the media frequently labeled the operation “unprecedented.” The social-media technologies that Russia deployed in its cyber-attack on the United States in 2016 were certainly new, but Russia’s strategy was far from unusual. In fact, the Kremlin has a long history of meddling in U.S. and other Western democratic elections and manufacturing disinformation to discredit and divide the West. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, has reconstituted and updated the KGB’s old Cold War playbook for the new digital age. This paper, an exercise of applied history, has two aims: first, to understand the history of Soviet disinformation, and second, to make sense of Western efforts to counter it during the Cold War. Doing so provides policy-relevant conclusions from history about countering disinformation produced by Russia and other authoritarian regimes today.
  • Topic: Elections, Cybersecurity, Democracy, Election watch, Espionage
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: This essay is a historical inquiry into the issue of the intelligence community’s standing—its prestige and credibility in the eyes of the executive, Congress, the press, and the public. Its premise is that the intelligence community needs a high reputation for both competence and morality to serve the best interest of national security.
  • Topic: Democracy, Domestic politics, Espionage
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The current Egyptian political scene reveals an important paradox: since its ascendancy to power in 2013, the military-led authoritarian government has not faced significant challenges from civil society despite systematic hu- man rights abuses and continuous societal crises. Apart from limited protests by labor activists, student movements, and members of syndicates, Egyptians have mostly refrained from protesting, instead hoping that the government will improve their living conditions despite a rising poverty rate of 33 percent, an inflation rate between 11 and 12 percent, and unemployment at eight percent. This popular reluctance to challenge the authoritarian government has continued to shape Egypt’s reality since the collapse of the short-lived democratization process from 2011–2013.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Rule of Law, Protests, Dictatorship
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Cristina Flesher Fominaya
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, hundreds of protests spread across the world. Remarkably, despite the diversity of polities, regimes, and socioeconomic status across countries, these protests share two core demands to a varying degree: greater, more meaningful, or “real” democracy; and greater economic justice. While these are two distinct demands, they cannot be sepa- rated from each other. Although initially (and understandably) the protests were interpreted in direct relation to the global economic crash, especially in those countries hit hardest by the crisis and austerity politics, it soon became clear that the protests also reflected a crisis of representative democracy.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis, Protests, Global Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carl Death
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Can protest really make a difference? Can social movements change any- thing? Do campaigns like those for fossil fuel divestment rapidly snowballing across campuses, cities, churches, and institutional investors in North America, Europe, and elsewhere have any real impact on global political economies of energy? This article argues that the answer to all of these questions is a qualified “yes.” The fossil fuel divestment campaign is a specific manifestation of environ- mental protest, which, since emerging in 2011, has changed some things and has the potential to change others more profoundly.1 Considering the case of the fossil fuel divestment campaign in detail can illuminate important insights about the role of protest in contemporary global politics. Protest movements can impact the world, as evidenced by both the fossil fuel divestment campaign and longer histories of other divestment movements that have contributed to significant struggles for structural change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Natural Resources, Protests, Global Warming, Fossil Fuels
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: David E. Kiwuwa
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The People Power Movement (PPM) in Uganda has its roots in the growing politics of discontent in Africa and across the world. On the continent, the growth of popular movements has been evident in countries like Zimbabwe, Sudan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, and Tunisia to mention but a few. These public protests have increased notably in number with their most significant recent manifestation being the Arab Spring. An important aspect of these pro- tests is the central role played by youth movements such as Y’en Maarre (Fed Up) in Senegal, Balai Citoyen (The Civic Broom) in Burkina Faso, and La Lucha (The Struggle) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the past decade, mass uprisings in Africa have accounted for one in three of the nonviolent campaigns aiming to topple dictatorships around the world. With twenty-five new nonviolent mass movements, Africa has experienced almost twice as many as Asia, the next most active region with sixteen. What is common to all these movements is not only the active and public expression of discontent but also the existence of a long entrenched and increasingly indifferent ancien regime whose priority is political survival. In some ways, one could argue that emerging protests are largely a continuation of incomplete democratic struggles in authoritarian or semi-democratic regimes.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Democracy, Domestic politics, Protests
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Dana Moss
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Transnational social movements play a critical role in the fight against authoritarianism, and a growing field of diaspora studies shows that exiles, émigrés, emigrants, and refugees are especially well positioned to undermine dictatorships from abroad. Given their cross-border ties, diasporas often mobilize against abuses taking place in their homelands, move aid to war zones and refugee camps, and fuel revolutionary social change. Exiles who gain the right to protest and lobby in their places of settlement can also become powerful players in international relations. Iraqi expatriate Ahmed Chalabi, who helped to justify the United States-led invasion of Iraq by fabricating evidence of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, is just one example of how influential exiles can be when exacting revenge on the autocrats who abused them.
  • Topic: Diaspora, Authoritarianism, Democracy, Protests
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Christine Leuenberger
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Maps and mapmaking have traditionally enjoyed the prestige of privileged and objective sources of knowledge. Within the geographic community and the public at large, it was assumed that the natural world was observable and could be rendered in pictorial form. Cartography is therefore not like psychoanalysis. It does not deal with internal phenomena hardly accessible to direct observation. Land and cityscapes do not need to be inferred or deduced. They are presumed to be susceptible to the scientific method in a most unproblematic fashion. Geographers, cartographers, historians of science, and science studies scholars, however, have increasingly questioned maps as objective representations. They have analyzed the social production of maps and maps’ link to society, culture, and geopolitics. They have found that mapmakers inevitably present a particular vantage point, one tied to certain social interests, values, and practices.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Occupation, Settler Colonialism, Cartography
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza, West Bank
  • Author: Parag Khanna
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Parag Khanna is a leading global strategic advisor, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is the founder & managing partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. Parag’s newest book is The Future is Asian: Com- merce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century (2019). He is author of a trilogy of books on the future of world order beginning with The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), followed by How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011), and concluding with Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization (2016). He is also author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State (2017) and co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012). In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED Magazine’s “Smart List.” He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Cartography
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Coalter G. Lathrop
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: On land, the political map of the world has been relatively stable since the end of World War II: with some significant exceptions, most countries are, spatially, as they were in 1945 or shortly thereafter. Land borders are mostly set, and the major state-to-state territorial disputes that persist today are—again, with some notable exceptions—disputes over relatively small areas, mostly tiny insular features with negligible inherent value.
  • Topic: International Relations, Geopolitics, Navy, Oceans and Seas, Cartography
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luis da Vinha
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In his memoirs of his final years as one of the United States’ most prominent foreign policy decision-makers, Henry Kissinger offers an anecdote involving President Nixon and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. As part of the celebration of the UN’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Ramgoolam was invited to dine with Nixon at the White House on 24 October 1970. The gathering nearly created a diplomatic faux pas due in large part to the admin- istration’s confusion regarding the geography of Africa. According to Kissinger, the national security staff mistook the country of Mauritius—U.S. ally and island nation located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar—for Mauritania, a northwestern African nation that had broken diplomatic relations with the United States in 1967 as a result of U.S. support for Israel during the Six-Day War.
  • Topic: International Relations, War, Geopolitics, Peace, Cartography
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Yury Fedotov
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In drug policy, the problems are never far from the headlines. From opioid overdoses and violence in the Americas to growing tramadol abuse in Africa and methamphetamine trade in Asia, drug threats to health, development, safety, and security are proliferating. Global opium and cocaine production have hit record levels. Drugs are killing people, and governments everywhere are struggling to respond.
  • Topic: United Nations, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Law Enforcement, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Khalid Tinasti
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Evidence indicates that the “war on drugs” has failed to achieve its stated objectives of eliminating or reducing the production, consumption, and trafficking of illegal drugs. In 2016, an estimated 275 million people used drugs globally, and the value of the drug trade is estimated at between US$426 and $652 billion, an increase from 208 million drug users and $320 billion of market turnover a decade ago.1 Furthermore, the war on drugs has created major negative unintended consequences impacting global development objectives: mass incarceration, a thriving illegal drug market, the spread of infectious diseases, urban violence, and human rights violations. These unintended consequences prompted a global movement to address the problems created by drug control policies, based on evidence that while drug use is harmful, harm can be mitigated with the right mix of policies.
  • Topic: Crime, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul D. Kenny
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Rodrigo Duterte promised in his campaign for the Philippine presidency that he would dump the corpses of the country’s drug dealers and addicts into Manilla Bay and “fatten all the fish there.” He boasted of pushing criminals out of helicopters. He promised death on the scale of Hitler. “God will weep if I become president,” he said.
  • Topic: Crime, International Law, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Laos, Myanmar
  • Author: Ethan Nadelmann
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Described by Rolling Stone as “the point man” for drug policy reform efforts and “the real drug czar,” Ethan Nadelmann has played a leading role in drug policy reform efforts in the United States and globally since the late 1980s. His advocacy began while teaching politics and public affairs at Princeton University (1987–1994). He founded the drug policy institute, The Lindesmith Center, and later the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), which he directed from 2000 until 2017. He also co-founded the Open Society Institute’s International Harm Reduction Development (IHRD) program.
  • Topic: Crime, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Domestic politics, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Hermann Kreutzmann
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2017, global opium production peaked at more than 10,000 tons. Ninety percent of that opium originated in Afghanistan—a record production level for that country—making Afghanistan the world’s leading opium producer, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Afghanistan has been the world-market leader in opium production since the 1990s, surpassed historically only by the British Empire prior to the mid-nineteenth century Opium Wars.2 Coincidentally, the First Opium War took place at the same time as the Anglo-Afghan military encounters commenced. During the so-called “Great Game” between Russia and Great Britain for geopolitical domination in Central Asia, Afghanistan played a relatively negligible role as far as opium was concerned. At the time, it only supplied limited quantities from Badakhshan to Kashgar in Xinjiang. By contrast, Great Britain—a prosperous and powerful empire—represented the largest global dealer in opium.
  • Topic: Narcotics Trafficking, Violence, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Prudence Bushnell
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 6 April 1994, the airplane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Bu- rundi was shot out of the sky over Kigali, Rwanda. Within hours of the crash, Rwanda’s fragile power-sharing agreement negotiated in the 1993 Arusha Peace Accords became history. Fighting erupted in the streets among forces of the Hutu-dominated Rwandan interim government military and the largely Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Moderate members of the Hutu opposition and Tutsi political figures and citizens became the first targets for slaughter.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Geopolitics, Leadership
  • Political Geography: United States, Rwanda, Burundi
  • Author: Erin Jessee
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: Erin Jessee is Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in History at the University of Glasgow. She has over a decade of experience conducting oral historical and ethnographic fieldwork in confict-afected settings, particularly in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Uganda. She is the author of Negotiating Genocide in Rwanda: Te Politics of History, which was published in Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Oral History series in 2017. She has also published several articles in notable journals such as Memory Studies, Conflict and Society, History in Africa, Oral History Review, and Forensic Science International, among others.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Genocide, International Cooperation, International Law, Humanitarian Intervention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Rwanda, Global Focus