ROAPE Journal

Structural inequalities and the political economy of citizenship

Baindu Kallon reviews Robtel Neajai Pailey’s new book, Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa, which looks at dual citizenship and unpacks the relationship between citizenship, identity and development in Liberia, Africa’s first Black republic. The issues in the book, Baindu argues, reflect the lasting legacies of structural inequalities and exclusion that have shaped Liberians both at home and abroad.

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Financialisation and Illegal Capital Flight

For years illegal capital flight from South Africa has resulted in a staggering loss of wealth for the country. For roape.net Ben Fine investigates efforts to curb these flows of wealth. He argues that capital flight not only shifts resources elsewhere as is commonly presumed, it also shifts speculation elsewhere – capital flight is financialised.

Authoritarianism and Markets: Agricultural Reform in Rwanda

A recent ROAPE blog provided evidence of some negative impacts of the agricultural reform in Rwanda, and several ROAPE articles have critiqued claims of success. Chris Huggins author of a new book, Agricultural Reform in Rwanda: Authoritarianism, Markets and Zones of Governance, critically examines the political economy of contemporary agricultural reform in Rwanda.

Food Sovereignty and the Environment: an interview with Habib Ayeb

For roape.net Max Ajl interviews radical geographer and activist Habib Ayeb about food sovereignty, the peasantry in North Africa and film-making. Ayeb is a founder member of the Observatory of Food Sovereignty and Environment and Max Ajl is a sociologist, activist and an editor at Jadaliyya and Viewpoint. The interview was conducted on March 4, 2018, in Tunis, Tunisia.
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Structural inequalities and the political economy of citizenship

Baindu Kallon reviews Robtel Neajai Pailey’s new book, Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa, which looks at dual citizenship and unpacks the relationship between citizenship, identity and development in Liberia, Africa’s first Black republic. The issues in the book, Baindu argues, reflect the lasting legacies of structural inequalities and exclusion that have shaped Liberians both at home and abroad.

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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

China’s spatial fix and Africa’s debt reckoning

Ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Tim Zajontz looks at the immense amounts of debt African governments owe Chinese lenders. This debt is central to capitalist accumulation and financial extraction from the African continent. Zajontz argues that Chinese capital is now pivotal to the global circuit of capital and China, just like other creditors, uses debt for the conquest of Africa and its resources.