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Geography Archives: Nigeria

A Letter to The Economist

25 August 2009 To the Editor The Economist Dear Sir, This is with regard to the review of my book Listening to Grasshoppers that appeared in The Economist. If this letter is long, ironically it is because the factual errors in the review are so many. In an attempt to highlight my “flawed reporting and […]

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Appeals Court Rules against Shell Nigeria, Allows Plaintiffs to Seek Further Information to Establish Connections to United States

New York, June 3, 2009 — Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the District Court decision dismissing the Wiwa v. Shell plaintiffs’ claims against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Ltd. (Shell Nigeria).  The District Court had dismissed the case against Shell Nigeria on March 4, 2008, finding it did not have jurisdiction […]

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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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Sweet Crude

  “For fifty years, crude oil has been flowing from under the feet of the people of the Niger Delta.  For fifty years, they have been promised that this would mean a better life.  This promise has never been kept.  Now, the people have had enough.” Sandy Cioffi is a Seattle-based film and video artist.  […]

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Interview with Ken Saro-Wiwa, Jr.

  Part 1 Part 2 Ken Saro-Wiwa, Jr., the son of Ken Saro-Wiwa, is the author of In the Shadow of a Saint: A Son’s Journey to Understand His Father’s Legacy (2001).  Omoyele Sowore is a Nigerian human rights activist and the publisher of Sahara Reporters.  This interview was produced for Sahara Reporters and brought […]

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Africa: Tractored Out by “Land Grabs”?

JOHANNESBURG, 11 May 2009 (IRIN) — Rich countries and firms are leasing or buying massive tracts of land in developing nations for the production of food or biofuel.  An area equivalent to Germany’s farmed land is at stake, and tens of billions of dollars on offer.  On the plus side, agro-industrial production could develop underused […]

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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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The Case against Shell

Dear CCR Supporter, On May 26, 2009, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), co-counsel EarthRights International (ERI), and other human rights attorneys will bring oil giant Shell to federal court in New York for the start of a landmark trial for corporate accountability.  CCR is pleased to make two exciting announcements as we draw nearer […]

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Africom: From Bush to Obama

“Our community is expanding: MRZine viewers have increased in number, as have the readers of our editions published outside the United States and in languages other than English.  We sense a sharp increase in interest in our perspective and its history.   Many in our community have made use of the MR archive we put […]

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Tracing the Development of Islamic Criminal Law

  Rudolph Peters.   Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-first Century.   Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.  xi + 219 pp. $30.99 (paper), ISBN 978-0-521-79670-5; $74.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-521-79226-4. In his Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law, Rudolph Peters has provided an excellent, accessible, clearly delineated, […]

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Seized! The 2008 Land Grab for Food and Financial Security

Today’s food and financial crises have, in tandem, triggered a new global land grab.  On the one hand, “food insecure” governments that rely on imports to feed their people are snatching up vast areas of farmland abroad for their own offshore food production.  On the other hand, food corporations and private investors, hungry for profits […]

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Intermediaries, Interpreters, and Clerks

  Intermediaries, Interpreters, and Clerks: African Employees in the Making of Colonial Africa.  Madison University of Wisconsin Press, 2006.  342 pp.  $45.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-299-21950-5. In the 1970s and 1980s, an edited volume focused entirely on African colonial intermediaries such as interpreters, translators, clerks, and secretaries would not have aroused much interest from historians of […]

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Iran: Comprehensive Sustainable Development as Potential Counter-Hegemonic Strategy

The questions regarding variations in social development, economic progress, and political empowerment have produced a voluminous literature over the past century, and because of the complexity of these issues, much important reflection will continue well into the future.  In the early 1980s, a United Nations’ Commission coined the term “sustainable development” as a public statement […]

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Third World: Is Another Debt Crisis in the Offing?

While taking a significant toll on public revenues,1 repayment of the public debt has, since 2004, ceased to be a major concern for most middle-revenue countries and for raw material-exporting countries in general.  In fact the majority of governments of these countries are having no trouble finding loans at historically low interest rates.  However, the […]

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