Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Nigeria: Out of Control

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on March 3, 2015

titel03_start-27aa41c0This text deals with the background of Boko Haram’s terror in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. It appeared in the current issue of Konkret magazine. I had a short interview with Murray Last who researches societies in Northern Nigeria for five decades now. “To be truthful, no one knows exactly what’s up either within Boko Haram or within the army. So there’s a mountain of speculation out there. If, as a journalist you wanted to visit Boko Haram, you’d not get far – they don’t want, nor need, such visitors, neither Nigerian ones nor foreigners”, he comments. You can download the article as pdf.

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Nigeria: Before the Elections

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on February 27, 2015

nigeriaelectionRead my article about Nigeria’s situation shortly before the elections which have been postponed to end of March. Not only Boko Haram poses a real danger for a smooth election, but also politicians who arm groups of followers and use them as violent enforcers. Will a new (or not so new) leadership have real consequences for Nigerian “democrazy”? I doubt it. However, the time of elections offers young and able men and women for a short time the possibility to earn some Naira extra. You can download a pdf of the text here.

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DR Congo: Kabila Forever

Posted in DR Congo by ruben eberlein on February 6, 2015

Read my text on the recent violent suppression of opposition protests against a suspected postponement of the elections in November 2016. 40 people lost their lifes during the riots in Kinshasa and other cities of the country. The article appeared in Jungle World. You can also download a pdf of the article.

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Complicate Africa: “Bye bye, Barbar”

Posted in African Politics, Culture by ruben eberlein on January 26, 2015

Here is my text on cultural and social identities in Africa which appeared in the October 2014 issue of Konkret magazine. It is the fifth and final part of a small series on theory and daily life on the continent. I try to explain why ordinary people in Africa use a wide range of different identities in their daily lifes and report on the phenomenon Afropolitanism and the discussions about this concept. You can download the article here (in German).

Global Counter-Insurgency

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on March 3, 2014

titel03_start-00d3a369Leading German politicians advocate a more ‘active role’ for their country in crisis-ridden zones of the world, also militarily. Think tanks and a number of scientists call for an explicit formulation of interests in Africa. But the current debate on an expanded role especially in Africa already reveals a good part of German interests on the continent: the containment of migration, the roll back of insurgencies and the protection of business opportunities on the ‘continent of chances and growth’ are high on the agenda. Read my text in the latest issue of Konkret (pdf, German).

Nigeria: Boko Haram Exacerbates Its Terror Against Civilians

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on February 22, 2014

BokoHaramThe Islamist sect Boko Haram intensifies its attacks in the North of Nigeria. Not much is known about the structure of the organisation. Read an English version of my text for Jungle World here.

The assailants arrived late afternoon in the small town Konduga near Maiduguri in the Northeast of Nigeria. Mallam Baba Abubakar, an inhabitant of Konduga told the Nigerian daily Vanguard of two armoured personnel carriers, five pick-ups painted in the camouflage colors of the army and five motorcyles. (more…)

Youth in Africa: Caught in a “Social Moratorium”

Posted in African Politics by ruben eberlein on February 5, 2014

Africa’s youth is on the move, it is often said. But where is this journey leading to? In my fourth article for a series on theory and everyday life on the continent for Konkret, I tackle this question with the help of selected literature which focuses on the navigation of young people in the shifting and stormy weather that coins the life in many African countries. You can download the article (German) here.

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Nigeria: Homophobia Rules

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on February 2, 2014

The Nigerian government tightens the laws against homosexuality. Most of Nigerians welcome this step. Read an English translation of my comment that appeared in the recent issue of Jungle World (pdf in German here).

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Tom Lodge: Neo-Patrimonial Politics in the ANC

Posted in African Politics, South Africa by ruben eberlein on January 17, 2014

Politics in Africa is best understood when taking into account both official and highly personalised relationships of those in power. South Africa has long been cited as an exception of this rule. In the latest issue of African Affairs, however, Tom Lodge describes the creeping and rising influence of neo-patrimonial politics within the ANC. A must-read for everyone interested in the Rainbow Nation.

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The Informal Sector in Africa: Obligated to the Patron

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on December 28, 2013

My text about the informal sector, or better the “real economy”, in Africa was published by the weekly Jungle World a week ago. I explain the sheer dominance of the informal with reference to Jean François Bayart’s paradigm of extraversion. You can read the text as html or download a pdf of the page here.

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