Power Archives - ROAPE
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Power Tag

One year ago, in December 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo went to the polls after a delay of two years. The election saw president Joseph Kabila cede office to his opponent Felix Tshisekedi in a shift that was widely interpreted to be a compromise deal cut to exclude his popular rival. Zoë Marriage describes how international interventions, donors and the international mineral markets are deeply linked to the extension of presidential power, and to the shaping of conditions for violence. Despite resistance, and the new government, the international political economy built on four centuries of violent extraction in the Congo remains in place. Altering power relations at an international level is essential....

Benjamin Selwyn’s The Struggle for Development challenges the dominant view that argues human development can only be achieved through continued economic growth and industrialisation. In this review, Andy Wynne praises a book that aims at the total reconceptualisation of human development, to see development as a process of resisting and ultimately transcending capitalist exploitation....

Responding to the debate on the changing nature of imperialism on roape.net, Walter Daum challenges Patrick Bond’s defence of David Harvey. Daum argues that while there is no question that the ‘East’ has gained relatively in wealth, this does not mean that there has been an epochal shift in the flow of value; it is extremely dubious that the directional flows of centuries have reversed and that the East, including China, is draining value from the West. ...

This blogpost by Meera Sabaratnam is based on her recent book 'Decolonising Intervention: International Statebuilding in Mozambique', which argues that by challenging forms of received wisdom or analysis one may challenge the unjust distributions of power that underpin them. Sabaratnam challenges the Eurocentric habits of analysis have characterised much of the literature on international statebuilding, that focuses principally on the interveners while obscuring the interpretations and viewpoints of the intended recipients of intervention...

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....

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....

In this report on an important workshop held at Jimma University in Ethiopia, the authors look at the opportunities for the decolonization of knowledge. This detailed reflection holds important lessons and examples for readers of roape.net, who share a commitment to radical and critical scholarship of and from the continent and who are likewise immersed in decolonizing projects in their respective spaces and institutions. ...