Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Para Todos Todo – The New Politics of Distribution

Posted in African Politics, Reviews by ruben eberlein on October 27, 2015

$_35My review of James Ferguson’s new book, Give a Man a Fish, has been published by Blätter des Informationszentrum Dritte Welt (iz3w). This interesting collection of essays describes the rise of new welfarism in the Global South, especially in Southern Africa. Contrary to the talk about the demise of state intervention in times of neo-liberalism, more and more people receive cash payments by their governments in countries such as Namibia, Zambia, South Africa or Brazil and Mexico. Ferguson discusses this development and its consequences for progressive scholarship and activism. Read the review here (German).

Advertisements
Tagged with:

Killing Fields South Sudan: A War That Pays Off

Posted in African Politics, South Sudan by ruben eberlein on April 25, 2015

Hititel05gh were the expectations of the people in South Sudan when the country gained independence from the Sudan. But the time of peace only lasted a little more than two years. Since December 2013, two fractions of the ruling SPLM/A are at war with each other over power, money and positions. No side of the opponents is interested reaching a lasting peace agreement, because for them, the war pays. It demonstrates also the total failure of the Western mediators which supported the independence of South Sudan as a magic bullet against the decade-long conflict between North and South. Read my text on the subject in the latest issue of Konkret.

Tagged with: ,

Cultural Production in the Neoliberal Periphery

Posted in Culture, Ghana, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on June 18, 2013

hiplifeMy review of Jesse Weaver Shipley’s Living the Hiplife. Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music was published by Blätter des iz3w in its June edition. It is a wonderful book which gives an in-depth account of current trends in cultural production and cosmopolitanism in Africa. Read an English translation of the text here. (more…)

Critical Whiteness: An Old Critique for a New German Debate

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

Political activists in Germany are six steps behind again when it comes to discussions about racism and imaginations of Africa and Otherness at large that moved the US and UK, for instance, decades ago. And make the same mistakes again. The debate about “Critical Whiteness” is getting more and more a carneval of identity politics negatively connoted, self-flagellation and victimization. The latest example is the aggressive intervention of political activists at a taz-sponsored event on racism. There is antivenom against this kind of thinking, and it is out for eleven years now: Achille Mbembe’s “African Modes of Self-Writing”, still relevant and already a modern classic. Read it if you don’t know it!

Book Review: African Conflicts and Informal Power (ed. by Mats Utas)

Posted in African Politics, Cote d'Ivoire, DR Congo, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Reviews, Sierra Leone, Uganda by ruben eberlein on April 19, 2013

ImageMy review of the recommendable book “African Conflicts and Informal Power. Big Men and Networks”, edited by Mats Utas of Uppsala’s Nordic Africa Insitute, has been published by Blätter des Informationszentrums 3. Welt (iz3w). Contributors to the five country and five thematic studies include Morten Bøås, Henrik Vigh, Mariam Persson, Maya Mynster Christensen, Karel Arnaut as well as other specialists on African conflicts. Editor Mats – an expert of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Somalia – has his own website; visit it for fresh and first-hand information on those countries as well as Mali, the DRC or Kenya (guest authors post there regularly).

Tagged with: , , ,

Kenya: Impunity for Murder and Theft Continues

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Kenya by ruben eberlein on December 4, 2009

Read an article about the massive abuse of power in Kenya by Jan Bachmann, a political scientist based in Oxford, and myself in the current issue of Konkret. You can download the original article as pdf here.

Kenya: Eating Until it Cracks in a ‘Government of National Impunity’

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Kenya by ruben eberlein on October 14, 2009

Next month’s issue of Konkret will have an article about state violence, impunity and the theft of public resources in Kenya, written by Jan Bachmann and me. The ‘government of national impunity’ comes under increasing international pressure to go against those responsible for the deadly fights after the elections 2007. ‘Given that some of Kenya’s most ambitious and thrusting young politicians have blood on their hands, it’s very hard to see those really responsible for the 2008 violence being held to account’, we hear from Michela Wrong, author of It’s Our Turn to Eat.

In Guinea Conakry, the Dadis Show Is Over

Posted in African Politics, Guinea-Conakry by ruben eberlein on October 1, 2009

More than 130, perhaps up to 200 Guineans are estimated to have been killed by the army and police in the capital Conakry on 28 September. About 150 women are said to have been raped. They wanted to take part in a protest rally against the intentions by the military under Moussa Dadis Camara to prolong its stay in power after elections planned for early 2010. There are reports that the looting, firing and stealing by ‘security forces’ continues. The Dadis Show in which high-profile political entrepreneurs had to appear on TV and confess their misdeeds finally came to an end.

Niger Delta: Bomb Attacks and an Amnesty

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Nigeria by ruben eberlein on September 24, 2009

After a massive military intervention, the Nigerian central government wants to pacify the oil-producing Niger Delta with an amnesty. This strategy will most likely fail, but nevertheless prepare the ground for the 2011 elections. Read an updated English version of my text published by Konkret 9/09 here or download the original article as pdf. (more…)

US Policy Towards Somalia: More of the Same, Once Again

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on September 15, 2009

gunmansomaliaThe killing of a suspected al Qaeda militant cell leader in Southern Somalia by US special forces is big in the news. French soldiers are also suspected to have taken part in the raid which left several people dead. Taken together with the arms shipment and the finance of weapons acquirements by the US (see Foreign Policy’s report here), nothing points to a new approach of the Obama administration vis-à-vis the war-torn country.