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A long period of capitalist crisis has amplified uneven and combined development in most aspects of political economy and political ecology in most parts of the world…
A long period of capitalist crisis has amplified uneven and combined development in most aspects of political economy and political ecology in most parts of the world, with a resulting increase in the eco-social metabolism of profit-seeking firms and their state supporters. This is especially with the revival of extraction-oriented corporations, especially fossil fuel firms, which remain the world’s most profitable. What opportunities arise for as multi-faceted a critique of “extractivism” as the conditions demand? With ongoing paralysis of United Nations climate negotiators, to illustrate, the most critical question for several decades to come is whether citizen activism can forestall further fossil fuel combustion. In many settings, the extractive industries are critical targets of climate activists, for example, where divestment of stocks is one strategy, or refusing access to land for mining is another. Invoking climate justice principles requires investigating the broader socio-ecological and economic costs and benefits of capital accumulation associated with fossil fuel use, through forceful questioning both by immediate victims and by all those concerned about GreenHouse Gas emissions. Their solidarity with each other is vital to nurture and to that end, the most powerful anti-corporate tactic developed so far, indeed beginning in South Africa during the anti-apartheid struggle, appears to be financial sanctions. The argumentation for invoking sanctions against the fossil fuel industry (and its enablers such as international shipping) is by itself insufficient. Also required is a solid activist tradition. There are, in 2014, two inter-related cases in which South African environmental justice activists have critiqued multi-billion dollar investments, and thus collided with the state, with two vast parastatal corporations and with their international financiers. Whether these collisions move beyond conflicting visions, and actually halt the fossil-intensive projects, is a matter that can only be worked out both through argumentation – for example, in the pages below – and through gaining the solidarity required to halt the financing of climate change.
The World Bank report Changing Wealth of Nations 2018 is only the most recent reminder of how much poorer Africa is becoming, losing more than US$100 billion annually from…
The World Bank report Changing Wealth of Nations 2018 is only the most recent reminder of how much poorer Africa is becoming, losing more than US$100 billion annually from minerals, oil, and gas extraction, according to (quite conservatively framed) environmentally sensitive adjustments of wealth. With popular opposition to socioeconomic, political, and ecological abuses rising rapidly in Africa, a robust debate may be useful: between those practicing anti-extractivist resistance, and those technocrats in states and international agencies who promote “ecological modernization” strategies. The latter typically aim to generate full-cost environmental accounting, and to do so they typically utilize market-related techniques to value, measure, and price nature. Between the grassroots and technocratic standpoints, a layer of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) do not yet appear capable of grappling with anti-extractivist politics with either sufficient intellectual tools or political courage. They instead revert to easier terrains within ecological modernization: revenue transparency, project damage mitigation, Free Prior and Informed Consent (community consultation and permission), and other assimilationist reforms. More attention to political-economic and political-ecological trends – including the end of the commodity super-cycle, worsening climate change, financial turbulence and the potential end of a 40-year long globalization process – might assist anti-extractivist activists and NGO reformers alike. Both could then gravitate to broader, more effective ways of conceptualizing extraction and unequal ecological exchange, especially in Africa’s hardest hit and most extreme sites of devastation.
Neoliberalism’s global scale crisis has been most acute in Africa, in terms of economic welfare, human suffering, ecological damage, and policy sovereignty. Social…
Neoliberalism’s global scale crisis has been most acute in Africa, in terms of economic welfare, human suffering, ecological damage, and policy sovereignty. Social opposition to the first rounds of dissent was quelled during the 1980s, and export-led growth strategies finally appeared to pay off when, during 2002–2011, commodity prices soared and “Africa Rising” became the watchword. However, as commodity prices plateaued during 2011–2014 and then crashed, authoritarianism has revived. The reimposition of neoliberal policies, a new round of unrepayable foreign debt (in part associated with Chinese-funded infrastructure), and renewed austerity are all bearing down. From internal elite circuits, this threatens to unleash a well-known combination of neoliberalism, neopatrimonialism, and repression by authoritarian leaders. New rounds of protests, often arising as a direct result of these economic catalysts, were witnessed in some of the most famous sites of struggle such as Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, Nigeria in 2012, and South Africa at various points in recent years. Ongoing strife has also brought intense pressure on governing regimes in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Sudan, Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, leading to major political reforms and even changes in regimes. This chapter examines the dynamics of this process to expose the neoliberal foundations of rising authoritarianism accompanied by repression – and resistance – across the African landscape.
The aim of this paper is to analyse the recent changes in the role played by Africa as a traditional natural resources supplier for the world economy in a multipolar…
The aim of this paper is to analyse the recent changes in the role played by Africa as a traditional natural resources supplier for the world economy in a multipolar context. We highlight, on the one hand, how Africa remains a prominent supplier of critical minerals needed for information and communication technologies (ICT), including platinum, vanadium, coltan, chromium, manganese, zirconium, etc., and how the boomerang effect results in Africa also importing electronic waste. On the other hand, we show how the BRICS’ growth model, based on a very intensive use of natural resources acquired through international trade, is now being fuelled by Africa too. BRICS countries (especially China and India) are making foreign direct investments in Africa using their state companies to ensure the supply of natural resources under favourable economic terms. Thus, Africa appears as a disputed territory between the old domination of the advanced capitalist countries and emerging powers like the BRICS. However, this should not mask the fact that the European Union and North America are still the dominant foreign powers in the continent. Finally, we discuss which scenarios are open to further this multipolar moment, particularly in the wake of the great crisis.
As of November 2021, six out of the 12 United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations are in Sub-Saharan Africa, spread between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)…
As of November 2021, six out of the 12 United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations are in Sub-Saharan Africa, spread between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Western Sahara, Mali, Central African Republic, Abyei, South Sudan and Darfur. When considered alongside other recent conflicts in Liberia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire and Mozambique, many of these conflicts are driven and sustained by resource looting of oil, minerals, timber, gas and fertile land and sand. Although other factors, particularly colonialism, the creation of poorly governed states, ethnic polarization, greed and extremism contribute to violence, the author argues that resource looting is central. Taking the DRC as the case study, the purpose of this paper is to examine why traditional UN peacekeeping, grounded in the international liberal order, has failed to efficiently deescalate wars and armed conflicts that are driven by resource looting and how alternative homegrown peace strategies can be more effective.
Deploying peacekeeping, peacebuilding and resource governance and theories, this paper examines the current UN peacekeeping efforts to increase our understanding of how alternative peacekeeping strategies found in African cultures, particularly indigenous epistemologies can be used to engender sustainable peace and security. The second argument is that sustainable peace and security cannot be solely exogenous, without integrating African cultural heritage, specifically African indigenous knowledge systems or epistemologies, a factor that is consistent with people’s right to self-determination and agency.
Peacekeeping that is exogenously enforced has failed to create sustainable peace and security in the DRC.
To the best of the author’s knowledge, this paper is original, based on the research conducted in the DRC. Following the academic writing norms, the data is backed up by literature.
Argues that strong social analysis can make a large contribution to understanding and fighting HIV/AIDS plus other infective diseases. Contends a global perspective is…
Argues that strong social analysis can make a large contribution to understanding and fighting HIV/AIDS plus other infective diseases. Contends a global perspective is necessary to rethink our approach to infections as, globally, the virus seems to be strengthening, generally. Describes, through case studies, the transition of HIV outbreaks in South Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Indonesia. Makes the case that HIV/AIDS is deeply tied up in fundamental structure and processes.