Reviews - ROAPE
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Reviews

Reviews

ROAPE Online publishes reviews of academic and political books as well as fiction, exhibitions, social movement events and film. Our reviews examine the scholarly debates within Africa political economy, but can also focus on important cultural events taking place on the continent and elsewhere. The recommended length is 800 words or up to 2,000 for a review article of several books, films or events.

  • Nataliya Mykhalchenko reviews a book that describes the devastating impact of tax havens and capital flight for Africa. The book details the intricate relationship between capital flight, global corporations, bank secrecy and the elites, i.e. the power-accumulation nexus. As a proportion of total wealth, Africa is the most afflicted continent in the world. For example, elites on the continent hold approximately USD 500 billion in financial wealth offshore, roughly 30% of total financial wealth held by Africans....

  • Remi Adekoya reviews a new book on the exploitation and underdevelopment of Africa. Extracting Profits by Lee Wengraf is a treasure-trove of facts and figures about Africa for anyone interested in the political economy of Africa’s past, present and future. However, Adekoya argues that for any systemic change to occur on the continent there must be a shift in the mind-set of those in charge, otherwise all that will be achieved is the replacement of one set of looters by another, only this time holding up different slogans....

  • Bettina Engels reviews a new book that traces the history of Burkina Faso’s student movement. The book by Lila Chouli demonstrates how the movement's development is closely connected with the general political struggles in the country and how organised students have positioned themselves in opposition to the state and ruling elite and questioned the very political and economic system itself....

  • In a review of Jörg Wiegratz’s 'Neoliberal Moral Economy' based on years of research in Uganda, Yusuf Serunkuma Kajura discusses the central observation of the book that fraud (theft, short-termism, corruption, trickery etc.) has become widespread in contemporary capitalist societies. Wiegratz argues that the impact of the World Bank and IMF enforced structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), to a system of cooperation and trust in society has fundamentally altered Africa's moral economy....

  • Colin Fancy reviews The Fall, an extraordinary play about a protest movement in South African in 2015-16 which has had an enormous impact in the West –  witness the campaign to tear down the racist Confederate statues in USA. The Fall, he argues, is about a struggle that we must fight simultaneously with our activist sisters and brothers in South Africa....

  • On the launch of the English edition of Zohra Drif's extraordinary autobiography 'Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter', Sarah Grey spends an evening with Algeria's national-liberation heroine in Washington. In unflinching detail and with piercing honesty, Drif describes the struggle against French occupation and colonialism in Algeria, and her vital role in the Battle of Algiers in the late 1950s....

  • In a review of an important recent exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya, Craig Halliday writes that ‘Sensing Nairobi’ (8-30 June, 2017) sought to capture, reflect and define Nairobi’s ambiguous urban landscape....

  • In a review of an important recent book on the origins of capitalism, Andy Wynne argues that the authors provide an important introduction towards a truly global history of capitalism. The development of capitalism in Western Europe was possible because of its ‘backwardness’ and with the vital inputs and roles of a range of more advanced non-European societies. ...

  • In a world where the logic of capitalism forces the unemployed into precarious employment, yet insists that we all constantly ‘improve’ ourselves, Faisal Garba reviews two books that ask what is the role of knowledge production....

  • Harry Verhoeven praises the fine-grained analysis in a new book on Rwanda which has the potential to decisively move beyond widespread caricatures of Rwanda under RPF supremo Paul Kagame as either a ‘slowly democratising developmental state’ (as infatuated aid officials conveniently assert) or as a ‘totalitarian’ leader where no resistance is possible. Yet there are serious weaknesses that speak to the approach taken by the author....