Topic: Politics

Political Gambles on Development

Stefan Dercon introduces his new book, published today in the UK (review to follow) I am starting to appreciate why historians rarely study contemporary history. Interpreting the present is always hard. I have felt this weight in my two core activities over the last two years: providing advice on global affairs and development issues pertaining […]

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21st century food riots

Guest post by Naomi Hossain & Patta Scott-Villiers In March FAO’s global food price index jumped by 17% to a level unprecedented in its 30-year history. The food riots predicted by the head of the World Trade Organization have already kicked off in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Deadly fuel riots in Peru, rising discontent in […]

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Review: Beef, Bible and Bullets: Brazil in the Age of Bolsonaro, by Richard Lapper

One lesson of recent times is that countries’ global reputations often have little to do with their underlying realities. The Netherlands is not all a happy liberal paradise of coffee houses and cyclists. And Brazil is not all sex, carnival and footballing genius. In the case of Brazil, the world has woken up to this […]

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Localisation: an opportunity for thinking and working politically to deliver?

Lisa Denney tries to restore a little cautious optimism to last week’s Eeyore-ish takes (by me and The Asia Foundation) on the nature and impact of TWP Is thinking and working politically (TWP) on life support? Duncan suggested as much in a recent post.  But a webinar on localisation convened by the TWP Community of […]

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Why do we keep forgetting about dignity? 4 Ways to Address Dignity in Development Programs

Guest post by Annabel Dulhunty, building on this 2018 post from Tom Wein The idea of human dignity frequently appears as a lofty overarching goal for development agencies and programs. Dignity is fundamental to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet practical ways of addressing and measuring the dignity of program participants are frequently overlooked. […]

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Want to Challenge the Elite? Then first Understand What Makes Them Tick

Understandably, perhaps, progressive researchers often prefer to try to understand the lives, challenges and struggles of the poor. Who wants to spend their time talking to sleazy fatcats? But if you want to change things, it’s often necessary to understand the people in charge. So I was very happy when public philosopher and political scientist […]

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What counts as ‘accountability’ – and who decides?

Guest post by Jonathan Fox, introducing his new paper Accountability is often treated as a magic bullet, an all-purpose solution to a very wide range of problems—from corrupt politicians and the quality of public services to systemic injustice and impunity.  Yet accountability reforms struggle to deliver. Has the idea been stretched so far that the […]

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A Brilliant History of the rise and power of Constitutions as a global ‘political technology’

Not sure if this is normal behaviour, but holidays is when I tend to read the big heavy tomes – see previous posts on Piketty, War and Peace, or other random novels. Last month’s holiday saw me chow down on Linda Colley’s The Gun, the Ship and the Pen, a Big Book with the grandest […]

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What to read on Ukraine?

Calling this ‘Links I Liked’ seems even more unsuitable than ever, hence the change of title. Last week, I tweeted a request for thoughtful background pieces, to complement the blow by blow reportage and moral outrage, and this is what I got, with excerpts. Would welcome more links, esp from non-Western sources. And women – […]

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A climate plea: An IPCC Special Report on Children?

More reaction to this week’s IPCC report, horribly overshadowed by events in Ukraine Whether you have one or not, impacts on children often invoke the strongest feelings in times of crisis, be it the recent flood victims of Madagascar or the civilian casualties of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But another thing we know about […]

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