ROAPE Journal

Fight the Fire

ROAPE’s Janet Bujra reviews a major new book on climate change. Jonathan Neale’s book, Fight the Fire: Green New Deal and Climate Jobs, goes beyond the symptoms of climate change and focusses on the causes. These are to be found in the scientific facts, but equally relevant, the social relations of globalizing capitalism. Neale calls for a global mass movement that can confront the forces that are destroying the planet.

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Microcredit – South Africa’s New Gold Rush

Milford Bateman argues that apartheid was replaced with a venal market-driven economic system which has at its heart the supposedly poverty-reducing and empowering concept of microcredit. Yet microcredit has been an unmitigated disaster for South Africa's poor.

Utsa Patnaik on Agrarian History and Imperialism

Max Ajl speaks to the Marxist economist Utsa Patnaik about agrarian history and imperialism. Her work on the economic history of India and other countries under colonial rule, shows how the experience deepened food insecurity and unemployment, trends which reemerged again under neoliberalism. The interview was conducted as part of the activities of the workshop on ‘Agriculture and Imperialism’ in November 2018, Beirut, Lebanon, organised by the Thimar Collective.

Suicide in Tunisia: acts of despair and protest

In a blogpost drawing attention to the large number of suicides by immolation in Tunisia, Habib Ayeb explains that there has been an average of between 250 to 300 suicides per year since 2011. These desperate political acts are intended to draw attention to the dire social and political conditions experienced by millions of Tunisians in the years since the revolution (and the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi in December 2010). Translated by Max Ajl, the blogpost looks at the origins of the Tunisian revolution, and broken promises.
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Insurgency in Cabo Delgado: capitalist penetration in the periphery of the periphery

The insurgency in northern Mozambique is threatening a multi-billion investment in natural gas production. Sara Stevano and Helena Pérez Niño explain how the violence in northern Cabo Delgado is part of a longer script of capitalist penetration into periphery regions.

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The Failure of Left Movements in Africa

Firoze Manji writes that discontent has been growing across the continent, with spontaneous eruptions and mass uprisings that have in some cases resulted in the overthrow of regimes. In such circumstances, one would have thought that this would have been fertile grounds for the emergence of strong left working class movements across the continent. But why has this not happened?

Kenya’s Cartels: the Power of Bandits in Suits

Koert Lindijer writes how the gap between rich and poor is enormous in Kenya. From the perspective of poor inhabitants - the majority - Kenya’s elite is rich thanks to massive corruption. Lindijer writes about the depth and extent of this corruption and the valiant efforts to bring the elite to justice.

Africa’s Turn to Industrialize?

ROAPE’s Laura Mann discusses a recent workshop held at the London School of Economics on 3 May, which brought together leading economic geographers and political economists to discuss new prospects for industrialization and transformation in African countries in light of shifts in the global economy.

Endangered Archives in Africa

In October scholars and archivists on Africa came together in Lusaka, Zambia, for a workshop on the theme of “Endangered and Post-Colonial Archives in Eastern and Southern Africa.” Co-organised by the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR) and the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA), and part-funded by the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) the workshop explored the challenges and realities of preserving “endangered” material in Eastern and Southern Africa, and to plan and discuss practical steps that could be taken now and for the future to preserve and promote endangered historical material in the region.

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Africa’s Capitalist Cul-de-Sac

The first installment of this three-part blogpost John Smith summarises evidence showing that, during the neoliberal era, African poverty has increased both absolutely and relative to the income and wealth of the average person in Europe and North America, notwithstanding the much-hyped rise of Africa’s middle class.

Rwanda’s Green Revolution

Supported by major international donors, the Rwandan government has lofty ambitions to modernise the agrarian and land sector. These reforms are part of a broader call to implement a Green Revolution across Africa. The authors of this blogpost insist on a more nuanced, in-depth and multi-faceted approach in order to understand the distance between centrally-planned policies and the realities of rural livelihoods.

From the Blog

Insurgency in Cabo Delgado: capitalist penetration in the periphery of the periphery

The insurgency in northern Mozambique is threatening a multi-billion investment in natural gas production. Sara Stevano and Helena Pérez Niño explain how the violence in northern Cabo Delgado is part of a longer script of capitalist penetration into periphery regions.