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Revolution, Reform, and Stasis in the Maghreb
by Frederic Volpi
“Beyond idealistic notions of an ‘Arab Spring’ that would bring forth liberal democracies throughout the region, today there is a realization that many shades of gray remain in the (formal and informal) institutional orders after the uprisings."
Ethiopia After Meles: Stability for How Long?
by Lovise Aalen
“[A]lthough the institutionalization of the ruling party organization after Meles’s death ensured the immediate survival of the Ethiopian regime, we should not confuse short-term stability and growth with long-term sustainability.”
South Africa’s Emerging Soft Power
by Elizabeth Sidiropoulos
“South Africa’s moral authority and willingness to play an active role in the world gave it unique leverage with both the global North and the South.” Eighth and final article in a series on soft power around the world.
Perspective: Africa’s New Political Homophobia
by Marc Epprecht
New anti-gay laws in Nigeria and Uganda are part of an emergent trend of scapegoating sexual minorities as a distraction from governance failures. But sanctions are not the answer.
Books: Rethinking the African Past
by Elizabeth Schmidt
A new book by Frederick Cooper seeks to change our understanding both of Africa’s role in the global economy over the centuries and of how the independent nation-state replaced colonial rule.
The Jobs Crisis Behind Nigeria’s Unrest
by Kate Meagher
“Celebration of Nigeria’s economic recovery sits awkwardly with the realities of catastrophic poverty and unemployment in both the north and the south of the country.”
Why Protests Are Growing in South Africa
by Elke Zuern
“While the ANC retains a firm grip on power, factionalism within the party, corruption, and an increasing distance from ordinary people undermine its ability to deliver on its promises.”
Making the Most of Africa’s Growth
by Luc Christiaensen and Shantayanan Devarajan
“Direct dividend transfer programs are promising as an additional instrument to reduce inequality and increase the poverty-reducing powers of economic growth in resource-rich countries.”
Will Rwanda End Its Meddling in Congo?
by Thomas Turner
“[T]he arrest of Ntaganda and his trial should serve as reminders to the Rwandan authorities that their interference in DRC is no longer acceptable, if it ever was.”
Perspective: Millennium Goals Miss Africa’s Progress
by Charles Kenny
The international community has hailed impressive strides toward the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, but Africa lags because of a late start, despite its more recent successes. Will the next set of goals avoid arbitrary and unrealistic targets?
Books: The Scramble for Africa’s Farmland
by Joshua Lustig
Development expert Lorenzo Cotula, in a forthcoming book, examines investment deals for massive tracts of African agricultural land and their consequences for local people and traditional livelihoods. In doing so he uncovers a number of prevalent misconceptions.
Lions, Tigers, and Emerging Markets: Africa’s Development Dilemmas
by Anne Pitcher
“Much of Africa’s wealth is unevenly spread across the continent and tends to be concentrated in resource-rich countries with large populations.”
Somalia at the Tipping Point?
by Ken Menkhaus
“While transitional politics and the war against Al Shabab are dominating headlines, . . . a combination of intense pressures is making subsistence livelihoods less and less viable and producing massive, irreversible migrations with enormous long-term implications for Somalia and Kenya.”
Kenya Struggles to Fix Itself
by Jacqueline M. Klopp
“[T]he country has bought a short amount of time in which to entrench the new constitution, wield it for reform, and battle ghosts of the past.”
Between Democracy and Militancy: Islam in Africa
by Leonardo A. Villalón
“[T]he effort to try to distinguish between good and bad Muslim ideologies may be much less important than the need to support functional political institutions.”