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Geography Archives: Sierra Leone

Race to Revolution

A History of a Counter-Revolution

Gerald Horne.  The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America.  NYU Press, 2014. In the conventional, celebratory liberal historical narrative about the Founding Fathers, the post-revolutionary persistence of slavery in the United States, along with women’s lack of essential political and legal rights, has long been regarded as […]

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Europe Between the Pit and the Pendulum

If you have ever read Edgar Allen Poe‘s gruesome stories you may recall feelings of horror like those which made me, still a youngster, cringe and shudder.  I have similar feelings when I hear of bloodthirsty, barely-hidden “concerts” by German Neo-Nazis, which too often lead to violence against subjects of their hatred: hippy-type leftist youngsters […]

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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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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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Humanitarian Blues

  Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War, Verso, 2008. All is not well within the world of humanitarian aid organisations.  In his new book, The Thin Blue Line, Conor Foley, an experienced aid worker, discusses many of the problems associated with the burgeoning relationship between contemporary aid organisations and recent […]

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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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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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The Bottom of the Barrel: A Review of Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done about It

Summary Paul Collier, in an attempt to bring development economics to a wider audience, has written a book that departs from what he calls the “grim apparatus of professional scholarship.”  The result is a book that is almost entirely unverifiable.  What is verifiable turns out to be an elaborate fiction.  Collier’s thesis is based upon […]

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No Human Being Is Illegal

In April 2006, hundreds of thousands of immigrant rights protestors marched in cities across the United States.  They countered prolonged debates about the pros and cons of comprehensive immigration reform with a short but sweet affirmation, scrawled on placards: “No Human Being Is Illegal.”  Their direct assertion challenged the deeply entrenched practices of our government […]

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PNU’s Coup: How Can Kenyans Fight Back?

  PART ONE From the look of things, it would appear that we are still a long way from resolving the serious post-election crisis that is gripping and almost crippling Kenya. Even after Raila Odinga and the Orange Democratic Movement considerably softened their pre-conditions for internationally mediated talks with their opposite numbers by dropping their […]

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Blood Diamond

Blood Diamond

With awards season now upon us, Leonardo DiCaprio seems poised for a walk down the red carpet at next month’s Academy Awards.  Having already garnered two Golden Globes nominations for best actor (one for his performance in The Departed and the other in Blood Diamond), an Oscar nod is likely to follow.  Many filmgoers who’ve […]

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