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 corruption

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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 […]

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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.

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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).

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Mainly it is the militaries, intelligence agencies, media and political scientists that guide our understanding of global terrorism and militant Islamism. Sustainability focused academic disciplines allow deeper analysis and can provide holistic answers to difficult questions such as what are the causes of escalating violence among (Muslim) men and to what extent can de-radicalization and other interventions really be treated as solutions etc. It is very important to let development studies and anthropology influence our understanding of militancy and terrorism. Gender theory that has not quite informed or formed our strategies and/or perspectives on issues of militancy, terrorism and counterterrorism, can in reality play a much greater role in proposing practical and effective solutions.

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Rio de Janeiro, along with other Latin American cities, are in the top of global rankings of cities facing high rates of chronic urban violence, of which men are the main perpetrators as the vast majority of homicide victims. Dominant, hyper-masculine or masculinist norms that uphold violence represent a shared characteristic of state-sanctioned and criminal groups in Brazil – including drug trafficking gangs,[i] militia (mostly comprised of off-duty police) and police forces. Understanding that these hyper-masculine norms are constructed during the socialization of boys, and continue to be reinforced as men are exposed to groups that use armed violence can offer insightful strategies to reducing urban violence. This article presents findings from two studies carried out Promundo starting in 1999. Promundo is a Brazilian-based NGO, which now works in more than 20 countries, that carries out applied research, program development and advocacy related to gender equality and violence prevention.

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