I’ve studied famine and humanitarian relief for more than 30 years, and I wasn’t prepared for what I saw during a visit to Ethiopia last month. As I traveled through northern and central provinces, I saw imported wheat being brought to the smallest and most remote villages, thanks to a new Chinese-built railroad and a fleet of newly imported trucks. Water was delivered to places where wells had run dry. Malnourished children were being treated in properly staffed clinics.Continue Reading →
In the next few months, the African Union is set to choose its next Chairperson: the woman or man who will lead the Commission and guide the entire continent for the next four years, or possibly eight. It’s a hugely important post, and Africans should care who fills it.
The Chairperson is in charge of […]Continue Reading →
Why Corruption is Only Part of the Story in the Misgovernment and Immiseration of Africa — Africa loses at least $50 billion a year—and probably much, much more than that—perfectly lawfully. About 60 percent of this loss is from aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations, which organize their accounts so that they make their profits in tax havens, where they pay little or no tax. Much of the remainder is from organized crime with a smaller amount from corruptionContinue Reading →
The past few weeks have seen important developments in the realm of international criminal justice. On March 24th, the ICTY convicted Radovan Karadzic of genocide and other crimes against humanity over atrocities committed by Bosnian Serb forces between 1992 and 1995. The same week, the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber confirmed 70 charges against […]Continue Reading →
I have been studying young men in youth gangs in Latin America and Caribbean, mainly in the poor neighborhoods of Medellín, Colombia, for the better part of a decade. I have sat down and talked to lots of young men in gangs, some whom had left gangs, and even their girlfriends and mothers. I have also spoken to young men who didn’t join gangs that came from the very same neighbourhoods and conditions of poverty. Is it possible to trace their trajectories to male adulthood and the processes of socialisation that led some into the gang whist not others? Yes, I think it is. Is it possible to draw up a neat list of causal factors to explain these processes? Well, that is a little more difficult, but it is something we should debate.Continue Reading →
Scientific evidence from a range of disciplines confirms the close connections between early developmental processes and subsequent behavior. Thus, traumatic stress in early childhood can have enduring effects, that in extreme cases may be irreversible despite later remedial or attenuating behavior (Shonkoff et al). A well known example of this coupling between experience and conduct is the case of Romanian orphans, so severely neglected and deprived of sensory stimulation in very early childhood that later intense nurturing failed to reverse serious cognitive and affective deficits (Nelson). Profound neglect is one form of traumatic stressor; violence is another. Research on early childhood confirms the statistical correlation between early exposure to violence, and enduring, often life long, violent subsequent behavior. (Kagitcibasi) Children subjected at home to physical child abuse are more likely to be abusers than those not so exposed; the same is true of children exposed to familial sexual abuse, or of street children who endure police brutality or the violence of gang members from an early age (Rizzini).Continue Reading →
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