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Geography Archives: Ethiopia

The New Scramble for Africa

  Is current U.S. foreign policy in Africa following a blueprint drawn up almost eight years ago by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, one of the most conservative think tanks in the world?  Although it seems odd that a Democratic administration would have anything in common with the extremists at Heritage, the convergence in policy and […]

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Social Origins of the Tent Protests in Israel

It started in mid-July, when Dafni Leef, a Tel Aviv filmmaker, was met with a hike in her rent that she couldn’t afford to pay.  Instead of moving to a new apartment, she moved to a tent on Rothschild Boulevard, the city’s sleekest thoroughfare, and set up a Facebook event calling for her compatriots to […]

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Public Spending on Education in India

The failure of the Indian state more than six decades after Independence to provide universal access to quality schooling and to ensure equal access to higher education among all socio-economic groups and across gender and region must surely rank among the more dismal and significant failures of the development project in the country.  It is […]

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Somalia, US, and the Dual-Track Letdown

Somalia in particular and the Horn of Africa in general are at such a volatile stage that any misstep — domestic or foreign — could only further exacerbate their perilous condition.  One such potential misstep is the recently proposed US foreign policy toward Somalia known as the Dual-Track approach. First, a brief background: In 2006 […]

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The Globalising Wall

Walls have a longstanding relation both with freedom from fear and subjugation to another’s will.  After 1945, walls acquired an unprecedented determination to divide.  They spread like a bushfire from Berlin to Palestine, from the tablelands of Kashmir to the villages of Cyprus, from the Korean peninsula to the streets of Belfast.  When the Cold […]

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Somalia Aid

Somalia Aid

Fahd Bahady is a Syrian cartoonist.  This cartoon was published in his blog on 2 October 2010; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.  See, also, Merle David Kellerhals, Jr., “United States to Strengthen Engagement with Puntland, Somaliland” (America.gov, 27 September 2010); Sophia Tesfamariam, “Ethiopia: It Is in the Minority Regime’s Interest to Perpetuate […]

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The Global Water Crisis Should Be a Top Priority Issue

In recent years, climate change seems to have elbowed out other environmental issues to become the No. 1 global problem.  But the alarming problems of water — increasing scarcity, lack of access to drinking water and sanitation, pollution, flooding — are equally important and an even more immediate threat. On 28 July, the UN General […]

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Revealing Moments: Obama, WikiLeaks, the “Good War” Myth, and Silly Liberal Faith in the Emperor

War Crime Whistleblower in Obama’s Sights, War Criminals Not Private First Class Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old U.S. Army intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq, is being prosecuted by the Obama administration for disclosing a classified video showing American troops murdering civilians in Baghdad from an Apache Attack Helicopter in 2007.  Eleven adults were killed in the […]

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Curing Post-Copenhagen Hangover

In Copenhagen, the world’s richest leaders continued their fiery fossil fuel party last Friday night, ignoring requests of global village neighbors to please chill out. Instead of halting the hedonism, Barack Obama and the Euro elites cracked open the mansion door to add a few nouveau riche guests: South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, China’s Wen Jiabao […]

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Regarding the Further Measures in Afghanistan

  Notes of Anatoly S. Chernyaev Gorbachev: My intuition tells me — something is worrisome.  I am afraid we are losing time!  Everybody is getting used to it.  I guess they say, well, there is a war going on, everything in its turn, such is life.  “The strange war!” — soon they will attach this […]

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The State in Africa

Vernacular Politics in Africa

  1 The republication of Jean-François Bayart’s classic book-length essay, The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly, is an opportunity to reflect on the hypotheses he raises and their application to Sudan and especially Darfur.  Bayart’s book mentions Sudan only in passing but the scope of his ambition is certainly relevant to Sudan […]

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The Responsibility to Protect, the International Criminal Court, and Foreign Policy in Focus: Subverting the UN Charter in the Name of Human Rights

It was just a matter of time before members of the collapsing left enlisted in the imperial attack on the most fundamental principles of the UN Charter, and added their voices to the growing chorus of support for Western power-projection under the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (R2P) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).  But this […]

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The Original Seal of Massachusetts

“Come Over and Help Us”: A History of R2P

Address to the United Nations General Assembly Thematic Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect, the United Nations, New York,  23 July 2009 The discussions about Responsibility to Protect (R2P), or its cousin “humanitarian intervention,” are regularly disturbed by the rattling of a skeleton in the closet: history, to the present moment. Throughout history, there have […]

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Nation-States as Building Blocks

  Paul Nugent.  Africa since Independence: A Comparative History. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.  xix + 620 pp.  $99.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-333-68272-2; $35.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-333-68273-9. This is a masterful work of usable academic history.  By sharply delineating diverse trends in scores of countries, it applies expert analysis to sub-Saharan Africa, “the continent which has been […]

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The Many Faces of Humanitarianism

  Humanism and Human Rights Who or what is the ‘human’ of human rights and the ‘humanity’ of humanitarianism?  The question sounds naïve, silly even.  Yet, important philosophical and ontological questions are involved.  If rights are given to beings on account of their humanity, ‘human’ nature with its needs, characteristics and desires is the normative […]

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Lessons from History: The Case against AFRICOM

  Africa has historically been less of a priority to U.S. foreign policy planners than other regions, such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.  This was certainly the case when George W. Bush took office in 2001.  But during the course of his tenure, “Africa’s position in the U.S. strategic spectrum . […]

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