On July 29th, the New York Times journalist Rukmini Callimachi published a fascinating account of the role of hostage-taking in the operations of Al-Qaeda and other militant groups. Along with the article, the Times published several letters between members of Al-Qaeda leadership in the Sahara and in Yemen, which its reporter found in [...]Continue Reading →
Alex de Waal has published a newly released article in African Affairs, “When kleptocracy becomes insolvent: Brute causes of the civil war in South Sudan.” Below is the abstract, full text available through the journal:
South Sudan obtained independence in July 2011 as a kleptocracy – a militarized, corrupt neo-patrimonial system of governance. By the [...]Continue Reading →
“Are you looking for the museo?” Having taken the wrong metro exit, I surely looked like the standard lost gringa standing on a corner in the old neighborhood of Barrio Brasil on Santiago’s west side. It was on that corner that I found that a simple request for directions to the Museum of Memory could [...]Continue Reading →
The Carnegie Working Group on Corruption and Security last month published a paper, Corruption: The Unrecognized Threat to International Security.
It’s an important paper: it points to the striking fact that corruption is closely associated with state fragility, and that militant insurgencies are closely associated with opposition to kleptocratic regimes.
It’s also work in [...]Continue Reading →
I argue that the Chadian political marketplace is characterized by five main patterns: externally-derived rents, the gap between politico-military entrepreneurs and the cheap combatant labor force who participate in “rent-seeking” rebellions, a violent mode of governing associated with a decentralized control over the instruments of coercion, the structural weakness of the civilian opposition trapped between repression and cooptation, and the exclusion of women.Continue Reading →
As the Second World War drew to a close, Winston Churchill remarked, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” Even though historians read Churchill’s magnum opus on the war with a highly critical eye, observing his selectiveness and slant, his narrative of the decade from 1935-45 still dominates the popular [...]Continue Reading →
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