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  • Author: Chinyere G. Okafor
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: The Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) was adopted in Nigeria after unsustainable foreign indebtedness caused grave economic crisis, which spun off political and social turmoil. Its adoption in 1986 by the Babangida military regime, was pushed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), as the only viable solution to Nigeria’s problems. Rather than provide relief, the adoption of SAP imposed extreme neoliberal austerity policies that pushed many middle class families into poverty, causing some to migrate both within the country and abroad. “Diary of an American Woman” is the story of three characters, Ola, Love, and Fakar. The story presents an account of three migrations: internal migration within Nigeria, external migration to America, and patrilocal movement from parental to marital abodes. Ola keeps a journal about her immigrant experience in America, which unfortunately is lost with her luggage in Nigeria. Fakar discovers the journal in his workplace and begins to read it. Ola’s immigrant experience in America as recalled in her diary reveals the underbelly of life of a Nigerian in America to the hotel janitor.
  • Topic: Debt, International Political Economy, World Bank, Military Affairs, Literature, IMF
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Mary Boatemaa Setrana, Steve Tonah
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: This paper describes the nature of migrants’ return to Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, and the strategies employed by the returnees to establish links with their relatives and friends, as well reintegrate into their neighbourhoods, and participate fully in city life. Using interviews and observations carried out among 30 return migrants and some migrant associations, the paper concludes that return migration is a negotiated process among family members. Migrants face several challenges including finding accommodation and jobs, establishing contacts with former colleagues and friends, meeting the high expectations of extended family members, and adjusting to the poor infrastructural facilities in the city. Return migrants are able to surmount these difficulties with support from family members, friends, colleagues, and a host of social organizations and networks.
  • Topic: Migration, Urban, Social Groups
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Afia Serwaa Zakiya
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: This paper explores the broad issues of Gender, Water and Migration among rural dwellers in Ghana. Particular emphasis is paid to women who seek to improve their life chances and reduce their level of poverty through out-migration from their indigenous homeland primarily to urban and small town enclaves. It updates research on migratory trends in Ghana and examines the socio-economic and health conditions of rural women as a consequence of poor access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The politics of water access and impact of globalization and disasters, among other factors, are raised to highlight how such phenomena linked to issues of climatic change and migration, can lead to loss of indigenous knowledge (IK) in rural communities. The paper ends with an overview of how one organization, WaterAid Ghana (WAG), is attempting to alleviate rural women’s poverty by providing sustainable WASH services delivery and advocating for WASH as a basic essential service and right. The use of culturally appropriate and endogenous development is proposed, with the right requisite levels of local and government leadership and financing, to reduce WASH related poverty, support rural development and reduce migration of men and women to overburdened cities where slums are developing without adequate WASH services and negative health outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Globalization, Migration, Poverty, Water, Women, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Kennedy Eborka
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
  • Abstract: This paper is an attempt to examine the nexus between return migration and development in Nigeria. The paper reveals that the bulk of return migrants in the country are the repatriated, while the rate of return of professional migrants is low. It was observed that the ability of migrants to contribute to homeland development is influenced by their destination; those from Europe and North America are more likely to act as agents of change than their counterparts within Africa. A major obstacle to the return of professionals is the unfavorable living and investment conditions in the country. The paper concludes that for efforts to stimulate return of innovative migrants to succeed, genuine attempts must be made, to provide an enabling environment to make return a worthwhile endeavor for migrants.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Paul Fishstein
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)
  • Abstract: AREU conducted field research in Badakhshan, Balkh, Helmand and Nangarhar Provinces during the three agricultural years from 2010-11 to 2012-13, to explore the dynamics of opium poppy cultivation: the history of government policies and programmes and the ways in which these policies and programmes affected the ability of rural households to maintain their livelihoods.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Natural Resources, Rural
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Ramin Jahanbegloo
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: When the definitive history of democratic thought in the 20th century is written, both Mohandas K. Gandhi and Isaiah Berlin will take their places as the two most distinguished theorists of the pluralist tradition. As history goes, Gandhi and Sir Isaiah never met and the latter never wrote any piece on the former. However, Isaiah Berlin visited India in 1961 and met with Jawaharlal Nehru, but he never considered seriously the views of Gandhi as an anticolonial leader. In his talk delivered in New Delhi on 13 November 1961 on ‘Rabindranath Tagore and the Consciousness of Nationality’, Berlin presents himself as a person who is ‘shamefully ignorant of Indian civilization, even of what is most valuable and most important in it’ (Berlin, 1996: 249).
  • Topic: Multiculturalism, Ethics, Philosophy, Pluralism , Morality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Driessen
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Abstract: Much of the recent literature on the evolution of political Islam in the Middle East and North Africa has debated the extent to which Islamist political parties have become “secularized” in their political goals and rhetoric. In these studies, a comparison between the political secularization of Islamism and Christian Democracy is often alluded to, but rarely explored in depth. The two political religious movements share much in common with regards to their historical encounter with political liberalism and their intuitions about an ideal religious society. An uncritical comparison, however, obscures significant differences in the relationship of either movement to democratic institutions, traditional sources of religious authority, and the religious citizens of their nations. This paper qualifies the historical, institutional, and theological similarities of political Islam and political Catholicism. In doing so, it emphasizes the importance of the legacies of Catholic Christendom and Muslim Dar al-Islam as transnational, pre-Westphalian religious political orders and the idea of religious authority found in either. After articulating these bases of comparison, the paper considers how these religious legacies remain present in the transition to Christian or Muslim Democracies by exploring the rhetoric of Catholic civilization or Muslim civilization found in Pope Pius XII and Rachid Ghannouchi’s discourses on democracy.
  • Topic: Democracy
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Rahim Azami, Massouda Kohistani, Lena Ganesh
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)
  • Abstract: In the recent socio-economic culture of Afghanistan, as in most countries since the industrial revolution’s introduction of the artificial division between production and reproduction, women’s participation in the labour economy, whether productive or reproductive, has been invisible and unaccounted for in much policy-making, planning and budgeting. In parallel, socio-cultural practices specific to Afghanistan—often an uncertain mix between the Shari’āh and the customary laws followed by different ethnicities and tribes—have adversely affected the living conditions of women and girls. As a consequence, women’s practical and strategic needs have not been addressed by consecutive regimes. In parallel, the discourse of women’s human rights has not permeated much of the more recent rhetoric around “gender empowerment” to materially and politically improve the lives of women and girls in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Economic Policy, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Kathryn Tidrick
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: When I last spoke at the India International Centre, in 2007 after the publication of my biography of Gandhi, I was asked during the question period how anyone who was not a devotee of Gandhi could possibly understand him well enough to write a book about him. The chairman, Professor Madan, politely moved on to the next question before I had a chance to reply. But I wanted to reply and said to the questioner that Gandhi was an important historical figure as well as an object of devotion, and his life required the kind of scrutiny customarily given to such figures. I remember adding that though I had begun to think about the book while I was living in India, I had sometimes felt as I was writing it, after I had left India, that I was glad not to be experiencing the weight of Indian devotion to Gandhi as I wrote. That was the only occasion, to date, on which the legitimacy of my undertaking a piece of writing, my entitlement to do so, has been questioned to my face, though the poor sales and few reviews of the book suggest that some other people may have found the undertaking presumptuous.
  • Topic: History, Legitimacy
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Bharat R. Sharma
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: Since this lecture is part of a series dedicated to water, I will try to give a complete flavour of this natural resource. Water has also been called amrit in Indian mythology and is seen in many cultures as the nectar, or elixir of life. Earlier, when there were few large cities or industries, people were poor and their requirements were modest. Yet while the demand for water has risen in the recent past, it is important to bear in mind that since the time the earth was created, the total amount of water has remained almost the same except during the last few years when climate change has brought about certain variations, but little perceptible change, in the total amount of water available for human and ecological use. We all know that sufficient water is not available for producing enough and quality food for all of humankind. Presently, there are about 6.5 billion people on the planet and we grew by almost twice during the last fifty years. The present world population is expected to further double in the next fifty years. The big question, therefore, is whether there shall be sufficient water to grow enough food for all of us in the future.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Water, Food
  • Political Geography: India, Global Focus