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.

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.

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.