When carrying out fieldwork in Rwanda, there was a bar in Kigali I’d go to in the evenings. I was always the only white person there and I would sit outside with some nice cold beers, a cigarillo, and a book getting nicely toasted. On one occasion, a big air-conditioned vehicle drove up, stopped, and […]

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Socialism 2049

The state we are in Since the early 1970s – and even then only for quite small spaces and for some people for some periods – it is difficult to portray capitalism as offering an optimistic future for humanity. Growth has been weak and unstable, there have been many economic crises, wages have been stagnant […]

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Africa’s developed politics, the West’s underdeveloped interventions

* Spoiler alert: in the interests of brevity and clarity, I am going to make lots of huge generalisations throughout this blog *   West is best? In Britain and the West more generally, there is a long-standing, entrenched, and powerful assumption that African politics is broken. One constantly comes across statements and arguments about […]

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It’s not just about us

Europe endures a sporadic but constant stream of terrorist attacks in its cities. These are carried out by individuals or small groups. Larger attacks in London, Madrid and Paris involve bombings and mass shootings. Smaller attacks by individuals involve assaults and the running down of civilians. It is extremely easy to exaggerate these events, to […]

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Endgame politics

This is a bad time to indulge in futurology. The presence of ‘shock’ political events encourages all kinds of hyperbolae. The historiography of predictive political analysis is an embarrassment of errors. Looking at a recent set of changes and announcing a ‘new’ something or other distracts from deeper continuities or similarities with times passed. Nevertheless. […]

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