Aid Seen from the Bottom

This report investigates community perceptions of the actions carried out by NGOs in Eastern DRC, in Kalehe and Uvira (Ruzizi Plain) territories. These two areas are characterized by a significant presence of humanitarian, development and peacebuilding organizations (NGOs, UN agencies, etc.), along with armed group activism.

Les ONGs vues par le bas

De nombreuses Organisations Non-Gouvernementales (ONGs) œuvrent pour répondre aux crises multiformes dans l’Afrique des Grands Lacs. Ce rapport analyse les représentations communautaires quant aux actions de ces acteurs à l’Est de la RDC, dans les territoires de Kalehe et Uvira (Plaine de la Ruzizi), deux zones caractérisées par la forte présence d’organisations dans les secteurs de l’humanitaire, du développement et de la promotion de paix.

Populism in Ethiopia?

This essay looks at Ethiopian prime Minister Abiy and his Medemer philosophy through Laclau’s concept of the “empty signifier” in order to examine the discursive means through which the Prime Minister has upheld his high level of popularity even when political actions taken on behalf of his party seemingly contravened the very principles of his philosophy.

The struggle for democracy in Burma/Myanmar

At the break of the military coup in Burma/Myanmar in February 2021, residents in many parts of the country would bang their pots and pans in their respective homes every eight o’clock in the evening. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has restrained social mobility, this signaled the beginning of a widespread protest movement against authoritarian rule.

River sand commodity chains in Tanzania

This report aims to provide insight into the nature of sand mining in the Dar es Salaam area, the actors involved, as well as impacts on communities and the environment. It uses a commodity chain framework to better understand sand governance.

The “Freedom Fighter” Bobi Wine

This article examines the use of populist performance as a political strategy, by the Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine, through a video analysis of his campaign events, music videos, and speeches. By identifying the key recurring elements in his strategy, it is demonstrated how populism is manifested through performance.

Populism and conflict

Populism has become a buzzword in popular and media discourses in recent years. Academic debates on the concept of populism—what it is and isn’t, where to look for it and its normative prescription—has been highly contested. From minimal definitions to vernacular descriptions to propositions to drop the concept all together, a considerable but disparate field of study has emerged.

The economy weighs on sand

Humans, by a fallacious sense of ownership claim over the planet, have covered earth with more man-made mass than earth’s natural biomass. That’s saying something. It means that anthropogenic activities have been so drastic, so all-encompassing that in the year 2020 the produced and accumulated man-made objects far exceeded what the earth naturally generates. And it is believed that most of this built object, the infrastructure, and materials around us are made up of one core element, sand.

Mapping Global Sand

This report aims to contribute to the global debate on sand governance. It focuses on construction sand and maps three interrelated elements: (1) the global, regional and country specific trade in sand; (2) the current state of the social-scientific literature on sand extraction, as well as key policy reports (3) other governance efforts in the extractive industries, to provide jumping-off points for policy intervention on sand in light of sand-specific dynamics.

Le passé dans le présent

Le présent rapport analyse l’interaction entre les problèmes d’identité ethnique, la politique et les conflits dans l’est de la RDC, plus particulièrement dans le territoire de Kalehe et sur l’île d’Idjwi, dans la province du Sud-Kivu. Il démontre que ces liens sont ancrés dans des processus historiques à long terme.