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A Cultural and Political History
Afghanistan traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world, from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today. Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. He shows how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite, but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan's rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets. Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers, but it also undermined the Afghan government's authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed. Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan's armed factions plunged the country into a civil war, giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan's isolation from the world. He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September 11 toppled the Taliban so quickly, and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily.
Afghanistan is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the "graveyard of empires" for the British and Soviets, and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate.
Transition under Threat
Many have questioned the wisdom of the international intervention in Afghanistan in light of the escalation of violence and instability in the country in the past few years. Particularly uncertain are Canadians, who have been inundated with media coverage of an increasingly dirty war in southern Afghanistan, one in which Canadians are at the frontline and suffering heavy casualties. However, the conflict is only one aspect of Afghanistan’s complicated, and incomplete, political, economic, and security transition.
In Afghanistan: Transition under Threat, leading Afghanistan scholars and practitioners paint a full picture of the situation in Afghanistan and the impact of international and particularly Canadian assistance. They review the achievements of the reconstruction process and outline future challenges, focusing on key issues like the narcotics trade, the Pakistan—Afghanistan bilateral relationship, the Taliban-led insurgency, and continuing endemic poverty. This collection provides new insight into the nature and state of Afghanistan’s post-conflict transition and illustrates the consequences of failure.
Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation
Postcolonial Cultures, Migration, and Racism
This stimulating and insightful book reveals how increased control over immigration has changed cultural and social production in theater, literature, and even museum construction. Dominic Thomas's analysis unravels the complex cultural and political realities of long-standing mobility between Africa and Europe. Thomas questions the attempt to place strict limits on what it means to be French or European and offers a sense of what must happen to bring about a renewed sense of integration and global Frenchness.
How Neocolonialism and Imperialism Maintained Venal Rules in Africa
Africa�s Best and Worst Presidents seeks to deconstruct the current superstructure that colonialism created and maintains. It chastises and challenges Africans, academics in the main, to revisit and write a true history of Africa. Written by Africans themselves, such rewritten histories should aim to counter the counterfeit narratives which have proliferated, poisoned and diminished African sense of self and self-confidence. The history centred on African perspectives and experiences should go a long way in our quest to truly unfetter Africa from dependency, desolations and mismanagement. This book calls upon all Africans to stand up fearlessly and tirelessly to take on decadent and despotic regimes that have always held Africa at ransom as they get lessons from the best managers of state affairs on whose feats they must expand. The option to critique, cross-examine and dissect past African presidents and their excesses is aimed at giving the young and frustrated generations of Africans the intellectual resources they need to arm themselves in resolve and pursuit of Africa�s emancipation.
Media Coverage of the Humanitarian Disaster in the Congo and the United Nations Response, 1997–2008
Africa’s Deadliest Conflict deals with the complex intersection of the legacy of post-colonial history—a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions—and changing norms of international intervention associated with the idea of human security and the responsibility to protect (R2P). It attempts to explain why, despite a softening of norms related to the sanctity of state sovereignty, the international community dealt so ineffectively with a brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which between 1997 and 2011 claimed an estimated 5.5 million. In particular, the book focuses on the role of mass media in creating a will to intervene, a role considered by many to be the key to prodding a reluctant international community to action.
Included in the book are a primer on Congolese history, a review of United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Congo, and a detailed examination of both US television news and New York Times coverage of the Congo from 1997 through 2008. Separate conclusions are offered with respect to peacekeeping in the Age of R2P and on the role of mass media in both promoting and inhibiting robust international responses to large-scale humanitarian crises.
Somalia’s Aden A. Osman and Abdirazak H. Hussen
Abdi Ismail Samatar provides a clear and foundational history of Somalia at the dawn of the country’s independence when Africa’s first democrats appeared. While many African countries were dominated by authoritarian rulers when they entered the postcolonial era—and scholars have assumed this as a standard feature of political leadership on the continent—Somalia had an authentic democratic leadership. Samatar’s political biography of Aden A. Osman and Abdirazak H. Hussen breaks the stereotype of brutal African tyranny. Samatar discusses the framing of democracy in Somalia following the years of control by fascist Italy, the formation of democratic organizations during the political struggle, and the establishment of democratic foundations in the new nation. Even though this early state of affairs did not last, these leaders left behind a strong democratic legacy that may provide a model of good governance for the rest of the continent.
This volume, titled "Africa's Growing Role in World Politics," includes a selection of papers dedicated to the problems of the contemporary international relations and foreign policies of the African states. Most of these papers were presented at the panels, held within the framework of the 13th International Conference of Africanists "Society and Politics in Africa: Traditional, Transitional and New" (Moscow, Russia, May 27-30, 2014). The book contains many articles devoted to the Western countries' policies in Africa. On the background of the ongoing competition between Washington and Beijing, the US Administration has recently increased the amount of attention it pays to the continent. European Union is also actively developing its strategic partnership with Africa. The authors analyze thoroughly the ongoing cooperation between African states and a great 'emerging donor' and investor - China. They particularly address the question about possible implications of China's African policy for the countries of the continent. Major attention is given to Sudan and South Sudan. One of the urgent problems addressed by this book is the situation with African IDPs and refugees, their life conditions in camps and the measures for their transition to normal life.
Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies
Examining the economic forces that will shape Africa's future. Africa’s Lions examines the economic growth experiences of six fast growing and/or economically dominant African countries. Expert African researchers offer unique perspectives into the challenges and issues in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa. Despite a growing body of research on African economies, very little has focused on the relationship between economic growth and employment outcomes at the detailed country level. A lack of empirical data has deprived policymakers of a robust evidence base on which to make informed decisions. By harnessing country-level household, firm, and national accounts data together with existing analytical country research—the authors have attempted to bridge this gap. The growth of the global working-age population to 2030 will be driven primarily by Africa, which means that the relationship between growth and employment should be understood within the context of each country’s projected demographic challenge and the associated implications for employment growth. A better understanding of the structure of each country’s workforce and the resulting implications for human capital development, the vulnerably employed, and the working poor, will be critical to informing the development policy agenda. As a group, the six countries profiled in Africa’s Lions will largely shape the continent's future. Each country chapter focuses on the complex interactions between economic growth and employment outcomes, within the individual Africa’s Lions context.
Despite all the talk about African renaissance, much of the continent is plagued by poverty and instability. To break out of that cycle, the guardians of African heritage (the old independence freedom fighters turned political leaders and their successors) and much of Afrocentric literature rightly promote African ideas and solutions for African problems. While the idea in itself is noble, the danger is for Africa to close itself off and ignore �outside� technical and intellectual innovations that it desperately needs to advance further. Africa through Structuration Theory - ntu joins the discourse by attempting to restore intellectual freedom and convincingly defends structuration theory not only as the way forward for Africa but also as a legitimate African concept. It is innovative, refreshing and deserves to be heard across the world and appreciated especially by African graduates, current and future leaders of various African institutions or businesses, non-Africans who might hesitate to refer to such a theory when trying to understand and deal with African problems and the wider public who constitute the audience for this book.