March 2018 - ROAPE
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March 2018

Lucien van der Walt and Peter Cole discuss a new collection, Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW, that helps recover the story of an important generation of international revolutionaries who battled racial discrimination and repression. They look at a history of radical resistance to capitalism and racism—frequently by anarchists and syndicalists— which has often been ignored. ...

ROAPE's second workshop on radical transformation in Africa, co-hosted with the Nyerere Resource Centre, to be held in Dar es Salaam on 16-17 April, will reflect with political economy scholars and progressive activists on the existing conditions in Africa in the context of the current phase of neo-liberal imperialism and how progressive forces can effectively intervene in and promote progressive politics during the current conjuncture....

African Farmers, Agrarian Transformation and Critical Agrarian Studies By Ray Bush The new page on roape.net Critical Agrarian Studies engages with the most important issue of our time: namely, how can we deliver food availability and accessibility at an ecological and financial cost affordable for Africa’s poor and in a way that is sustainable for the planet. This raises challenging empirical and theoretical issues of power dynamics in the production, distribution and exchange of food and over what types of food will be prioritised in a democratically organised global food regime.  It raises issues in the framework of world food systems on how food is managed by transnational as well as national corporate and economic actors and processes, and how their power and legitimacy can be challenged by social movements and rural resistance to among other things, contract farming, agribusiness, water, land and other asset privatisation. The...

In a robust defence of his arguments, John Smith continues to challenge David Harvey’s understanding of global capitalism and imperialism. Many important changes have shaken the world in the last thirty years, but imperialist Europe and North America continue to drain wealth from Latin America and Africa, as well as from parts of Asia. Yet China’s growing challenge to imperialist domination and the spread of global capitalist depression means that we no longer live in a post-World War II world, we live in a pre-World War III world. Harvey’s compass on these developments remains profoundly faulty. ...

In this extract from the editorial of our quarterly journal (Vol. 44, Issue 154) editor Tunde Zack-Williams discusses papers on Kenyan politics, debt and neoliberalism on the continent, gender oppression in Egypt and the collapse of Zimbabwe’s military and the intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The editorial introduces the issue in the context of the Mugabe’s fall from power, Zuma removal from the presidency and the recent elections in Sierra Leone. ...

In this blogpost Daniel Bin argues that Africa is probably the most significant area of so-called land grabs, one example of dispossession. However, radical political economy must be clearer about what we mean since most discussion of dispossession neglects a consideration of actual capitalist accumulation. For some, the simple occurrence of dispossession seems to be enough to associate it with primitive accumulation or even with capital accumulation....

An Ansoms writes about the systemic problems within the ongoing rural transformation process in Rwanda. She points to deeply embedded systemic problems within the country’s ongoing rural transformation. The current model, she argues, is implemented through a rigid top-down authoritarian system and is blindly obsessed with reaching performance targets. Unless these problems are addressed it risks Rwanda’s economic, social and ecological future....

In this blogpost Tim Di Muzio describes how the perspective of capital as power may help to understand, explain and critique aspects of political economy in Africa. Old traditions and perspectives, Di Muzio argues, continue to have a stranglehold on political economy yet the approach of capital as power offers insights closer to the actual practices of capitalists. How might this perspective be mobilized to understand, explain and critique various aspects of African political economy? ...