Alex de Waal publications

New Pandemics, old politics book cover, image of deathskeleton on horsebackNew Pandemics, Old Politics: Two hundred years of war on disease and it’s alternatives

(Polity, 2021)

The book explores how these scripts were drafted, and their consequences for politics and science in the gap between the outbreak of a new pandemic pathogen and the scientific discovery and application of what is needed for containment and cure. It examines three historic pandemics—cholera in 19th century Europe and India, the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, and late-century HIV/AIDS in Africa and around the world—and the preparedness plans for ‘disease X’ over the last 25 years. The goal is to help explain what is familiar and what is unexpected in the current Covid-19 crisis. The book will make the argument for a critical perspective on the politics of pandemics and in favor of a more democratic and inclusive approach to public health.

Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine

(Polity Press, 2018)

The world almost conquered famine. Until the 1980s, this scourge killed ten million people every decade, but by early 2000s mass starvation had all-but-disappeared. Today, famines are resurgent, driven by war, blockade, hostility to humanitarian principles, and a volatile global economy.

In Mass Starvation, world-renowned expert on humanitarian crisis and response Alex de Waal, provides an authoritative history of modern famines: their causes, dimensions, and why they ended. He analyzes starvation as a crime, and breaks new ground in examining forced starvation as an instrument of genocide and war. Refuting the enduring but erroneous view that attributes famine to overpopulation and natural disaster, he shows how political decision or political failing is an essential element in every famine, while the spread of democracy and human rights, and the ending of wars, were major factors in the near-ending of this devastating phenomenon.

Hard-hitting and deeply informed, Mass Starvation explains why man-made famine and the political decisions that could end it for good must once again become a top priority for the international community.

The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and the Business of Power

(Polity Press 2015)

Alex de Waal’s latest book (Polity Press, September 2015) draws on his thirty-year career in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, including experience as a participant in high-level peace talks, to provide a unique and compelling account of how these countries leaders run their governments, conduct their business, fight their wars and, occasionally, make peace.  De Waal shows how leaders operate on a business model, securing funds for their political budgets which they use to rent the provisional allegiances of army officers, militia commanders, tribal chiefs and party officials at the going rate. This political marketplace is eroding the institutions of government and reversing statebuilding and it is fueled in large part by oil exports, aid funds and western military assistance for counter-terrorism and peacekeeping.

The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa is a sharp and disturbing book with profound implications for international relations, development and peacemaking in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

with Julie Flint.  Darfur: A New History of a Long War

(London: Zed Book, 2nd ed. 2008)

The humanitarian tragedy in Darfur has stirred politicians, Hollywood celebrities and students to appeal for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Beyond the horrific pictures of sprawling refugee camps and lurid accounts of rape and murder lies a complex history steeped in religion, politics, and decades of internal unrest.  Darfur traces the origins, organization and ideology of the infamous Janjawiid and other rebel groups, including the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. It also analyzes the confused responses of the Sudanese government and African Union. This thoroughly updated edition also features a powerful analysis of how the conflict has been received in the international community and the varied attempts at peacekeeping.  
AIDS and Power: Why There is No Political Crisis—Yet

(London: Zed Books, 2006)

Part of a series on burning issues confronting Africa and the world, this book talks about AIDS in Africa – what it means for government and democracy. It argues that approaches to the epidemic are driven by interests and frameworks that fail to engage with African resilience and creativity.

Famine that Kills: Darfur, Sudan

(Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 1989; revised ed. 2004; U.S. ed. 2005)

In 2004, Darfur, Sudan was described as the “world’s greatest humanitarian crisis.” Twenty years previously, Darfur was also the site of a disastrous famine. Famine that Kills is a seminal account of that famine, and a social history of the region. In a new preface prepared for this revised edition, Alex de Waal analyzes the roots of the current conflict in land disputes, social disruption and impoverishment. Despite vast changes in the nature of famines and in the capacity of response, de Waal’s original challenge to humanitarian theory and practice including a focus on the survival strategies of rural people has never been more relevant. Documenting the resilience of the people who suffered, it explains why many fewer died than had been predicted by outsiders. It is also a pathbreaking study of the causes of famine deaths, showing how outbreaks of infectious disease killed more people than starvation. Now a classic in the field, Famine that Kills provides critical background and lessons of past intervention for a region that finds itself in another moment of humanitarian tragedy.

Demilitarizing the Mind: African Agendas for Peace and Security

(Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2002)

This book highlights a central, but neglected component of Africa’s complicated and intractable wars: the militarization of governance. Political cultures of militarism stand in the way of enduring peace, democracy, and the development of civil society. Militarism comes in both right-wing and left-wing guises—the latter practiced by former liberation fronts in power across much of Africa which have all betrayed the ideals that enthused their earlier struggles.  Seven comparative essays, drawn from the experience of conflict and peacemaking, focus on different aspects of militarism in contemporary Africa and ways of overcoming it.

Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa

(Oxford: James Currey, 1997)

Famine is preventable. The persistence of famine reflects political failings by African governments, western donors and international relief agencies. Can Africa avoid famine? When freedom from famine is a basic right or a political imperative, famine is prevented. Case studies from Ethiopia to Botswana demonstrate African successes – but they are often not acknowledged or repeated. Who is responsible for the failures? African generals and politicians are the prime culprits for creating famines in Sudan, Somalia and Zaire, but western donors abet their authoritarianism, partly through imposing structural adjustment programmes. What is the role of International relief agencies? Despite prodigious expenditure and high public profile, relief agencies often do more harm than good. From Biafra to Rwanda, relief has helped to fuel war and undermine democratic accountability. As the influence and resources of UN agencies and NGOs have grown, the chances for effective local solutions have diminished. What is the way forward? Humanitarian intervention and other high-profile relief operations have failed. Progress lies in bringing the fight against famine into democratic politics, and calling to account those guilty of creating famine.

Edited Collections
Book chapters

“Concluding Reflections: Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: Theories of Change”. In Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Beyond, edited by Sarah M. H. Nouwen, Laura M. James, and Sharath Srinivasan, Oxford University Press (February 2021)

de Waal, Alex. “The Horn of Africa and the Yemen Crisis”. In Global, Regional, and Local Dynamics in the Yemen Crisis, Stephen W. Day and Noel Brehony eds., Palgrave MacMillan, 2020

de Waal, Alex. “Sudan.” In Comparing Peace Processes, edited by Alpaslan Özerdem and Roger Mac Ginty, Routledge, April 2019.

de Waal, Alex . ‘Inclusion in Peacemaking: From Moral Claim to Political Fact,’ in Pamela Aall and Chester Crocker (eds.) The Fabric of Peace in Africa, Looking beyond the state, Waterloo ON, Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2017.

de Waal, Alex. “My Fears, Alas, Were Not Unfounded’: Africa’s Responses to the Libya Conflict.”, Libya: The Responsibility to Protect and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention, Aiden Heir and Robert Murray eds., Palgrave Macmillan, May 2013

de Waal, Alex.  “Sudan: Darfur.”Responding to Conflict in Africa: The United Nations and regional organizations.” Jane Boulden ed. 12: 283–306. London: Palgrave Macmillan, May 2013

de Waal, Alex. “An Emancipatory Imperium? Power and Principle in the Humanitarian International.”Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions,  Didier Fassin & Mariella Pandolfi eds., Zone Books, 2010

de Waal, Alex. “Why Humanitarian Organizations Need to Tackle Land Issues.” Uncharted Territory: Land, Conflict and Humanitarian Action, Sara Pantuliano ed., Practical Action Publishing & Overseas Development Institute 2009

de Waal, Alex. “Darfur, Sudan: Ethnicity, Islam and Citizenship.” Religion and Nationalism in Iraq: A Comparative Perspective, David Little & Donald Swearer eds., Harvard Univ. Press 2007 

de Waal, Alex. “Humanitarianism Reconfigured: Philanthropic Globalization and the New Solidarity.”NonGovernmental Politics, Michel Feher ed., Zone Books 2007

de Waal, Alex. “AIDS, Hunger and Destitution: Theory and Evidence for the ‘New Variant Famines’ Hypothesis in Africa.” The New Famines: Why Famines Persist in an Era of Globalization, Stephen Devereux ed., Routledge 2007

de Waal, Alex. “The Challenge of HIV/AIDS.” Towards a New Map of Africa,  Ben Wisner, Camilla Toulmin & Rutendo Chitiga eds., Earthscan 2005

de Waal, Alex. “AIDS-Related Famine: Questioning Assumptions and Developing Frameworks”The Political Economy of AIDS in Africa, Nana K. Poku and Alan Whiteside eds., Ashgate 2004

de Waal, Alex. “Prospects for Peace and Security in the Horn of Africa.” Prospects for Peace, Security and Human Rights in Africa’s Horn, Gunnar Sorbo & Siegfried Pausewang, eds., Fagbokforlaget 2004

de Waal, Alex. “The African State and Global Governance.”Unbinding Africa: Making Globalization Work for Good Governance, Phoebe Griffith ed., The Foreign Policy Centre 2003

de Waal, Alex. “A Disaster with No Name: The HIV/AIDS Pandemic and the Limits of Governance.” Learning from HIV and AIDS, George Ellison, Melissa Parker & Catherine Campbell eds., Cambridge Univ. Press 2003

de Waal, Alex. “HIV/AIDS: the Issue of A Lifetime.” Global Health Challenges for Human Security, Lincoln Chen, Jennifer Leaning & Vasant Narasimhan eds., Harvard, Global Equity Initiative 2003

de Waal, Alex. “Human Rights, Institutional Wrongs.”Rethinking International Organizations: Pathologies and Promise, Dennis Dijkzeul & Yves Beigbeder eds., Berghahn 2003

de Waal, Alex. “Wars in Africa.” Global Insecurity, Mary Kaldor ed., Continuum 2000

de Waal, Alex. “Contemporary Islamic Humanitarianism in Sudan.” Africa, Islam and Development, Thomas Salter & Kenneth King eds., Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh 2000

de Waal, Alex. “Dangerous Precedents: Famine Relief in Somalia, 1991-93.”War and Hunger: Rethinking International Responses to Complex Emergencies, Joanna Macrae & Anthony Zwi eds., Zed Books 1994

de Waal, Alex. “Starving out the South in Civil War.” Sudan, Martin Daly & Ahmad Alsikainga eds., I.B. Taurus 1994

[Expand Non-peer reviewed Book Chapters]

de Waal, Alex and Naomi Pendle. “Decentralisation and the Logic of the Political Marketplace in South”, The Struggle for South Sudan:Challenges of Security and State Formation, Edited by Luka Biong Deng Kuol and Sarah Logan, 172-194. London: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.  2019

de Waal, Alex.  “A Human Security Strategy for the European Union in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea,”: Kaldor, Mary, Iavor Rangelov, and Sabine Selchow, EU Global Strategy and Human Security: Rethinking Approaches to Conflict. London, Routledge. 2018

de Waal, Alex. “Famine and Epidemic Disease,” for the edited volume: African Muckracking: 75 Years of Investigative Journalism in Africa,. Lugalambi, George W. and Anya Schiffrin, eds, Jacana Media.2018

de Waal, Alex. “Rethinking Activism: Social Movements and the State over the Longue Durée,” in Joel Pruce (ed.) The Social Practice of Human Rights, London, Palgrave.2015

de Waal, Alex “Evidence and Narrative: Recounting violence in Darfur, Sudan,” in Sharon Abramowitz and Catherine Panter-Brick (eds.), Medical Humanitarianism: Ethnographies of Practice, 2015

de Waal, Alex. “Sudan: A turbulent political marketplace,” in Mehran Kamrava (ed), Fragile Politics: Weak States in the Greater Middle East, NY, OUP.2015

de Waal, Alex. “Sudan’s Choices: Scenarios Beyond the CPA.” Sudan: No Easy Ways Ahead, Heinrich Boll Foundation ed., 2010

de Waal, Alex. “Preface in Capitalizing on Catastrophe: Neoliberal Strategies.” Disaster Reconstruction,Nandini Gunewardena & Mark Schuller eds., Altamira Pres, 2008 (Commissioned preface)

de Waal, Alex. “The Right to be Nuba.”The Right to be Nuba: The Story of A Sudanese People’s Struggle for Survival, Suleiman Rahhal ed., Red Sea Press 2001

de Waal, Alex. “Humanitarianism Unbound? Current Dilemmas Facing Multi-Mandate Relief Operations.”Political Emergencies in Ethics and Development: On Making Moral Choices in Development Cooperation, C. J. Hamelink ed., Kampen 1997 (Re-publication of African Rights issue paper)

de Waal, Alex. “Some Comments on Militias in Contemporary Sudan.” Civil War in Sudan, Martin. Daly & Ahmad Alsikainga eds., IB Taurus 1994 (re-publication of 1990 seminar paper)

Reports & Papers
de Waal, Alex and Sarah Nouwen, ‘The necessary indeterminacy of self-determination: Politics, law and conflict in the Horn of Africa,’ Nations and Nationalism, 2020; 1-20
de Waal, Alex. ‘The ambiguities of self‐determination: IGAD and the secession of South Sudan.Nations and Nationalism. 2020; 1– 16.Kaldor, Mary and Alex de Waal. ‘Identity formation and the political marketplace,’ Conflict, Security & Development, 20:5, 2020, 519-538.

de Waal, Alex. ‘Somalia’s disassembled state: clan unit formation and the political marketplace,’ Conflict, Security & Development, 20:5, 2020, 561-585

de Waal, Alex. “No End State: Exploring Vocabularies of Political Disorder“, October 2020

Conley, Bridget and Alex de Waal. “The Purposes of Starvation: Historical and Contemporary UsesJournal of International Criminal Justice, Volume 17, Issue 4, September 2019, Pages 699–722,

de Waal, Alex, “Prospects for Democracy in Sudan” series:

de Waal, Alex. “Pax Africana or Middle East Security Alliance in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea?” January 2019

de Waal, Alex. “The Prarie Fire that Burned Mogadishu: The Logic of Clan Formation in Somalia” December, 2018

de Waal, Alex. “Commemorating Starvation in the 21st Century” from an address given at Quinnipiac University October 11, 2018, 

de Waal, Alex. “The Emerging Global Order, Multilateralism and Africa” background paper for African Union Annual Mediators’ Retreat, Alex de Waal, October 2017

de Waal, Alex.  “South Sudan 2017: A Political Marketplace Analysis,” WPF: February 5, 2017

de Waal, Alex and Mulugeta Gebrehiwot.“African Politics, African Peace”, Report by the WPF to the African Union, 2016 (with a preface by Thabo Mbeki and Lakhdar Brahimi)

“Perspectives on Legitimacy: African Peace Missions, Security Sector Governance, Public Authority and Political Legitimacy”, Security Sector Governance program with the Institute of Human Security (March 2016)

“Global Hunger Index 2015: Armed Conflict and the Challenge of Hunger” Washington DC, IFPRI, Dublin, Concern, and Berlin, Welthungerhilfe, by Klaus von Grebmer, Alex de Waal, Jill Bernstein, Nilam Prasai, Sandra Yin, Yisehac Yohannes, Olivier Towey and Andrea Sontag 

“African Union High-Level Panel on Darfur, Darfur: The Quest for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation,” (October 2009). Dr. Alex de Waal, principal author on the drafting team.

With Jennifer F. Klot, Manjari Mahajan, &  Dana Huber, “AIDS, Security and Conflict: New Realities, New Responses,” AIDS, Security and Conflict Initiative, Social Science Research Council (SSRC)(Sept. 2009). Dr. Alex de Waal was the principal investigator and lead writer.

“Joint Learning Initiative on Children and HIV/AIDS, Home Truths: Facing the Facts on Children, AIDS, and Poverty (Feb. 2009). Dr. Alex de Waal was a lead member of the drafting team.

“Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa, Securing our Future,” the Report of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa (June 2008). Having been the originator of CHGA, Dr. Alex de Waal was asked to edit the final report and to write the chapter on governance.

de Waal. Alex. “Sudan: What Kind of State, What Kind of Crisis?” LSE Crisis States Research Centre, Occasional Paper No. 2 Apr. 2007 

de Waal. Alex. “Sudan: International Dimensions to the State and Its Crisis.” LSE Crisis States Research Centre, Occasional Paper No. 3 Apr. 2007

“HIV/AIDS: Africa’s Greatest Leadership Challenge” (Dec. 2000). This is the report of the African Development Forum 2000 for which Dr. Alex de Waal was the lead writer.

“Food and Power in Sudan: A Critique of Humanitarianism,” African Rights (1997). Dr. Alex de Waal was the principal investigator.

“Facing Genocide: The Nuba of Sudan, African Rights” (1995). Based on the first outside visit to the non-government held areas of the Nuba Mountains, Dr. Alex de Waal was the writer of this report. 

“Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance,” African Rights (1994). While Rakiya Omaar was in Rwanda during the genocide conducting interviews and doing research, Dr. Alex de Waal was in London compiling, editing and writing this article.

“Evil Days: Thirty Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia,” Africa Watch (1991). Dr. Alex de Waal, principal investigator. 

“Sudan: Denying the Honor of Living,” Africa Watch (1989). Dr. Alex de Waal, principal investigator.


Articles & Op-Eds

Viewpoint: Why Ethiopia and Sudan have fallen out over al-Fashaga,’ BBC, Jan 3, 2020.


Viewpoint: How Ethiopia is Undermining the African Union,’ BBC, Nov 29, 2020.


‘As Ethiopia’s army declares daily victories, its people are being plunged into violence,’ The Guardian, Nov 24, 2020


Violence in Ethiopia Doesn’t Stay There,’ Foreign Policy, Nov 19, 2020


de Waal, Alex. ‘Tigray Crisis Viewpoint: Why Ethiopia is spiralling out of control,’ BBC, Nov 15, 2020,

de Waal, Alex. ‘The Red Sea: “A vital artery for the world economy”,’ Africa Report, Nov 13, 2020.

de Waal, Alex. ‘Why Trump Wants Sudan to Befriend Israel,BBC, Oct 8, 2020,

de Waal, Alex. “Don’t shoot us, dad”, Times Literary Supplement, May 7, 2019

de Waal, Alex. “What’s next for Sudan’s Revolution?“, Foreign Affairs, April 23, 2019

de Waal, Alex. “Sudan After Bashir,“, London Review of Books, April 18, 2019

de Waal, Alex. “Omar al-Bashir: How Sudan’s military strongmen stayed in power“, BBC, April 12, 2019

de Waal, Alex. “What next for Sudan and its ‘master manipulator’ Omar al-Bashir?” BBC,  April 11, 2019

de Waal, Alex. “In Sudan, Omar al-Bashir Is Out and the Army Takes Over”, New York Times, April 11, 2019

de Waal, Alex. “Mohammed bin Salman should be prosecuted over the Yemen conflict”, The Guardian, December 4, 2018

de Waal, Alex. “What Happens if Mass Starvation Takes Hold in Yemen?” The New York Times, June 14, 2018.

de Waal, Alex. Beyond the Red Sea: A new driving force in the politics of the Horn. African Arguments, June 11, 2018.

de Waal, Alex. We must never forget to remember”.  Irish Times, May 8, 2018.

de Waal, Alex. “Social Nutrition and Prohibiting Famine.” World Nutrition, Vol 9 No 1. April 19, 2018

de Waal, Alex. How can famines be ended?  New Internationalist, April 1, 2018.

de Waal, Alex. “Politics of starvation: The decline in humanitarian effectiveness, Review of Famine in Somalia: Competing imperatives, collective failures, by Dan Maxwell Nisar Majid, January 30, 2018.

de Waal, Alex. “The end of famine? Prospects for the elimination of mass starvation by political action”, Political Geography Volume 62: Pages 184-195, January 2018

de Waal, Alex. Can Somalia Ever Win Against al-Shabab?, Foreign Policy, October 19, 2017.

de Waal, Alex.  “The Nazis Used It; We Use It: The return of starvation as a weapon of war,” London Review of Books, 39/12, 9-12, June 15, 2017

de Waal, Alex.  “Garrison America and the Threat of Global War,” Boston Review, December 5, 2016

de Waal, Alex.  “Making Sense of South Sudan”,  African Affairs, November 14, 2016

de Waal,  Alex. “Legend of Tarzan,” Times Literary Supplement, (Review of Andrew Harding, The Mayor of Mogadishu) October 12, 2016

de Waal, Alex. “The Big Man: A review of André Guichoaua, From War to Genocide: Criminal politics in Rwanda 1990-94.” London Review of Books, November 3, 2016

de Waal, Alex.  “The End of Interventionism” Boston Review, October 13, 2016

Gebrehiwot, Mulugeta and de Waal, Alex. ‘Peace, Security and More Peace: The priorities for the African Union,’ The Guardian, 21 July 2016

de Waal, Alex. “Brexit threatens world peace and security”, Boston Review, June 29, 2016

de Waal, Alex., “Writing human rights, and getting it wrong,” Boston Review, May/June 2016

de Waal, Alex. “Designer activism and post-democracy”, Open Democracy/Transformation, May 17, 2016

de Waal, Alex. “Europe’s challenge in the Horn of Africa”, Open Democracy, May 24, 2016

de Waal, Alex.  “Is the era of great famines over?”, New York Times, May 9, 2016

de Waal, Alex. “The Mediator”, (Review of biography of Maarti Ahtisaari), Times Literary Supplement, May 2016

de Waal, Alex.  “Rising Costs”, (Review of R.W. Johnson, Can South Africa Survive?Times Literary Supplement, April 2016

de Waal, Alex. “Africa’s $700 billion problem waiting to happen”, Foreign Policy, March 17, 2016

Alex de Waal, ‘Assassinating Terrorists Does Not Work,’ Boston ReviewNovember 24, 2015

de Waal, Alex. “Ending Mass Atrocity and Ending Famine”, The Lancet 386, October 17, 2015, 1528-9

de Waal,Alex. “Sisi Goes to Addis Ababa”. The New York Times, January 26, 2015.

de Waal, Alex. “Playing Many Sides, Sudan’s Bashir Tries Again to End his Isolation”. World Politics Review, March 2, 2015

de Waal, Alex. “Militarizing Global Health.” Boston Review, Nov.11, 2014

de Waal, Alex. When kleptocracy becomes insolvent: Brute causes of the civil war in South Sudan.” African Affairs, 113 (452):  347-369, October 2014

de Waal, Alex, Abdul Mohammed. “Handmaiden to Africa’s Generals.”, The New York Times, August 15, 2014

de Waal, Alex. “Why Obama’s $5 Billion Counterterrorism Fund Will Actually Support Terrorism.” Boston Review, June 11, 2014

de Waal, Alex. “Profile in Practice: Toward Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding through Local Perspectives.” Anthropology News,  May 1, 2014

de Waal, Alex.  “Violence and Peacemaking in the Political Marketplace.” Accord, Issue 25: 17-20, April 2014

Conley-Zilkic, Bridget and Alex de Waal. “Setting the Agenda for Evidence-based Research on Ending Mass Atrocities.” Journal of Genocide Research, Volume 16 Issue 1: 55-76, February 12, 2014

de Waal, Alex, Chad Hazlett, Christian Davenport and Joshua Kennedy. “The Epidemiology of Lethal Violence in Darfur: Using Micro-data to Explore Complex Patterns of Ongoing Armed Conflict.” Social Science & Medicine. February 10, 2014

de Waal, Alex and Abdul Mohammed. “Breakdown in South Sudan: What Went Wrong — and How to Fix It.”  Foreign Affairs, January 1, 2014

de Waal, Alex and Abdul Mohammed. “South Sudan must resolve ethnic conflicts to be a nation at peace.”Washington Post, December 29, 2013

de Waal, Alex.“Playing the Genocide Card.” The New York Times, December18, 2013

de Waal, Alex. “Reinventing the World Peace Foundation,” Fletcher Forum 37.3: 85-94 September 24, 2013

de Waal, Alex,  and Bridget Conley-Zilkic, “What Sir William Would Do in Syria,” New York Times, International Herald Tribune September 5, 2013

de Waal, Alex.“Sudan’s Elusive Democratisation: Civic Mobilization, Provincial Rebellion and Chameleon Dictatorships.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies Vol. 31, Issue 2:213-234, 2013

de Waal, Alex and Rachel Ibreck. “Hybrid social movements in Africa.” Journal of Contemporary African StudiesVol. 31, No.2: 303-324, April 3, 2013

de Waal, Alex and Rachel Ibreck. “Alem Bekagn: The African Union’s accidental human rights memorial.”African Affairs , March 13, 2013

de Waal, Alex. “African roles in the Libyan conflict of 2011.” International Affairs, 89.2: 365-379, March, 2013

de Waal, Alex. “Sizzling South Sudan: Why Oil is not the Whole Story.” Foreign Affairs,  February 7, 2013

de Waal, Alex. “Sudan and South Sudan in 2013: Rise or Fall Together.” CNN World, December 20, 2012

de Waal, Alex and Abdul Mohammed.“Putting Mali Together Again.” The New York Times, December 11, 2012

de Waal, Alex.“The Theory and Practice of Meles Zenawi.” African Affairs, December 5, 2012

de Waal, Alex. “Meles Zenawi and Ethiopia’s Grand Experiment.” New York Times,  Op-Ed, August 22, 2012

de Waal, Alex. “How to End Mass Atrocities.”  International Herald Tribune, March 9, 2012

de Waal Alex, Jens Meierhenrich and Bridget Conley-Zilkic. “How Mass Atrocities End: An Evidence Based Counter Narrative.” Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 35:3 (Winter 2011) February 2, 2012

de Waal, Alex. “Getting Somalia Right this time.” The New York Times, February 2, 2012

de Waal, Alex.“The Contest over Peace and Security in Africa.” Open Democracy, February 1, 2012

de Waal, Alex “Remember Alem Bekagn.” London Review of Books, Vol. 34 January 26, 2012: No. 2 16-18

de Waal, Alex. “South Sudan’s Doomsday Machine.” International Herald Tribune, January 24, 2012

de Waal, Alex and Chad Hazlett, Christian Davenport, Joshua Kennedy.“Evidence-based Peacekeeping: Exploring the Epidemiology of Lethal Violence in Darfur.”Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, March, 2010

de Waal, Alex. “The Humanitarians’ Tragedy: On the Escapable and Inescapable Cruelties of the Humanitarian Predicament,” Disasters, February, 2010

de Waal, Alex. “HIV/AIDS and the Challenge of Security and Conflict.” 375 The Lancet 22-23,  Jan. 2, 2010

de Waal, Alex “Reframing Governance, Security and Conflict in the Light of HIV/AIDS.” Social Science and Medicine, January 2010

de Waal, Alex and Julie Flint.“Case Closed: A Prosecutor Without Borders.” World Affairs, Spring 2009

de Waal, Alex. “Mission without End? Peacekeeping in the African Political Marketplace.” International Affairs, Jan. 13, 2009

de Waal, Alex. “Mission without End? Peacekeeping in the African Political Marketplace.” 85 International Affairs, 99-113, Jan. 2009

de Waal, Alex. “On Famine Crimes and Tragedies,” Perspectives, 372 The Lancet 1538-9, Nov. 1, 2008

de Waal. Alex. “Between Exceptionalism and Revisionism: Children and Global AIDS Policies.” IDS Bulletin, Nov. 2008

de Waal. Alex, Jerker Edstrom & Masuma Mamdani, “Introduction: Children, HIV/AIDS and Development Policy.” IDS Bulletin, Nov. 2008

de Waal. Alex. “The Humanitarian Carnival: A Celebrity Vogue.” World Affairs, Fall 2008

de Waal. Alex. “Darfur and the Failure of the Responsibility to Protect.” International Affairs, Nov, 2007

de Waal. Alex. “No Such Thing as Humanitarian Intervention.” Harvard International Review, Mar. 21, 2007 

de Waal. Alex. “The Wars of Sudan.” The Nation , Mar.1, 2007

de Waal. Alex. “Class and Power in a Stateless Somalia.” SSRC Webforum, Crisis in the Horn of Africa Jan. 2007 

de Waal. Alex. “Reflections on the Difficulties of Defining Darfur’s Crisis as Genocide,” 20 Harvard Journal of Human Rights: 25-33, 2007 

de Waal. Alex. “Averting Genocide in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.” SSRC Webforum, How Genocides End, Dec. 2006

de Waal. Alex, Bridget Conley-Zilkic, “Reflections on How Genocidal Killings are Brought to an End.” SSRC Webforum, How Genocides End, Dec. 2006

de Waal. Alex. “I Will Not Sign: Alex de Waal at the Darfur Peace Talks,” 28 London Review of Books 17-20, Nov. 30, 2006

de Waal. Alex. “The Book Was Closed Too Soon On Peace in Dafur.” The Guardian, Sept. 29, 2006

de Waal. Alex. “Darfur’s Fragile Peace.” OpenDemocracy, July 4, 2006

de Waal. Alex. “An Imperfect Storm: Narratives of Calamity in a Liberal-Technocratic Age, Understanding Katrina.” Perspectives from Social Sciences, Jun. 11, 2006

de Waal. Alex. “Personal View on Darfur Peace Talks.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, May 4, 2006

de Waal. Alex,  Seyoum Tafesse & L. Carruth, “Child Survival During the 2002-2003 Drought in Ethiopia.” 1(2)Global Public Health 125-132, 2006

de Waal, Alex. “Evidence For The ‘New Variant Famine’ Hypothesis In Africa,” Justice Africa, (2006).

de Waal, Alex. “Towards a Comparative Political Ethnography of Disaster Prevention.” 59 Journal of International Affairs 129-152, 2006

Whiteside. Alan, Alex de Waal & Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae. “AIDS, Security and the Military in Africa: A Sober Appraisal.” 105 African Affairs 201-218, 2006

Tadesse Berhe, Hagos Gemechew & Alex de Waal, “War and HIV Prevalence: Evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia.” 14 African Security Rev. 107-114, 2005

de Waal. Alex. “An Imperfect Storm: Narratives of Calamity in a Liberal-Technocratic Age.” SSRC Webforum, Understanding Katrina: Perspectives from the Social Sciences, Sept. 2005

de Waal. Alex. “Sudan’s Chance,” Prospect, Aug. 28, 2005

de Waal, Alex. “Chasing Ghosts: The Failure of Jihad in Africa.” London Review of Books, Aug. 18, 2005

de Waal, Alex. “Deep Down in Darfur.” Times Literary Supplement, August 12, 2005

de Waal. Alex. “Who are the Darfurians? Arab and African Identities, Violence and External Engagement.” 104 African Affairs 181-205, 2005

de Waal. Alex. “Briefing: Darfur, Sudan: Prospects for Peace.” 104 African Affairs, 127-35, Jan. 2005

de Waal. Alex. “Counter-Insurgency on the Cheap.” 26 London Review of Books 25, Aug.5, 2004

de Waal. Alex. “Human Rights Organizations and the Political Imagination: How the West and Africa Have Diverged” 2 Journal of Human Rights 1, Dec. 2003

de Waal. Alex,  Alan Whiteside. “‘New Variant Famine’: AIDS and Food Crisis in Southern Africa.” 362 The Lancet 1234-37, Oct.11, 2003

de Waal. Alex. “How Will HIV/AIDS Transform African Governance?” 202 African Affairs 1-23, Jan. 2003

de Waal. Alex. “What’s New in NEPAD?” 78 International Affairs 463-476, July 2002

de Waal. Alex. “Une perspective de paix pour Le Soudan en 2002” 85 Politique Africaine 93-107, Mar. 2002

de Waal. Alex. “On the Moral Solipsism of Global Ethics Inc.” London Review of Books, Aug. 2001

de Waal. Alex. “Democratic Political Processes and the Fight against Famine.” Institute of Development Studies Occasional Paper No. 103, Mar. 2000

de Waal. Alex. “U.S. War Crimes in Somalia.” New Left Review, Sept. 1998

de Waal. Alex. “Exploiting Slavery: Human Rights and Political Agendas in Sudan.” 1 New Left Review 227, Feb. 1998

de Waal. Alex. “Democratizing the Aid Encounter in Africa.” 73 International Affairs 623-39, Oct. 1997

de Waal. Alex. “Exploiter l’esclavage: droits de l’homme et enjeux politiques.” Politique Africaine, Jun. 1997

de Waal. Alex. “Group Identity, Rationality and the State.” 11 Critical Review, 1997

de Waal. Alex. “Contemporary Warfare In Africa: Changing Context, Changing Strategies.” 27 IDS Bulletin 6-16, 1996

de Waal. Alex. “Dix ans de famines dans le corne de l’Afrique: un premier bilan d’action humanitaire.”Politique Africaine 74-87, Jun. 1993

de Waal. Alex. “Sudan: Searching for the Origins of Absolutism and Decay.” 24 Development & Change 177-202,1993

de Waal. Alex. “Ethiopia: Transition to What?” 9 World Policy Journal, Feb. 1992

de Waal. Alex. “A Reassessment of Entitlement Theory in the Light of Recent Famines in Africa.” 21 Development & Change 469-90,1990

de Waal. Alex. “Famine Mortality: A case study of Darfur, Sudan, 1984-85.” Population Studies, 1989

de Waal. Alex. “Perceptions of Poverty and Famine.” International Journal of Moral & Political Philosophy, 1987

Interviews & Lectures

de Waal. Alex. “Commemorating Starvation in the 21st Century”,  Address given at Quinnipiac University on October 11, 2018

Thompson, Megan.  Interview with Alex de Waal, How political and military conflict caused the return of famine, PBS News Hour, March 3, 2018

 Morgan, Kendall. Understanding causes of famines of the past may help put an end to them, Elsevier Connect, February 1, 2018

Magid, Pesha. ‘Turkey plays catch-up with militarization in Red Sea’. Al-Monitor, January 23, 2018

Aizenman, Nurith. ‘What Today’s Headlines About Famine Get Wrong’. NPR, January 19, 2018

The world in 2017: how much do you know? – quiz, The Guardian, December 25, 2017

Francis, Okech. Oil Deal May Win Back Sudan Some Influence Over Former Enemy, Bloomberg, December 14, 2017

Can this generation end world hunger? The Real News Network, December 25, 2017

Lamble, Lucy, ‘British risk complicity in Yemen ‘famine crime’, says Alex de Waal’, The Guardian, November 23, 2017

‘Famine as mass atrocity’: in conversation with Alex de Waal, The Guardian, November 22, 2017

‘Africa’s step to be a continent of peace’, The Christian Science Monitor, July 21, 2016

Thompson, Jason. ‘Why international intervention may be needed to stabilize South Sudan’, The Christian Science Monitor, July 14, 2016

Alex de Waal, interview by Martine Dennis, ‘What’s gone wrong in South Sudan?’ Al Jazeera July 09 2016

Botkin-Kowacki, Eva. ‘Worst forms of famine see decline’, The Christian Science Monitor, June 6, 2016

Alex de Waal, interview by Kevin Sullivan, ‘The Ethiopian Drought’, Sirius/XM’s Catholic Channel’s JustLove, May 18, 2016

William Davison ‘In South Sudan Kiir and Machar kick off ‘new’ rule with 240% inflation, empty coffers, and a mountain of problems’, Mail & Guardian Africa, April 27, 2016

Rae Ellen Bichell, ‘The World Is Not As Hungry As You Might Think’, NPR, October 16, 2015

‘The World Is Not As Hungry As You Might Think’, October 15, 2016, WBGH News

“Sudan Expert: International Community Enabled South Sudanese Corruption”, Al Jazeera America, April 12, 2015

de Waal, Alex. “Can there be a democratic developmental peace?” Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, April 27, 2014

de Waal, Alex. “Lessons for Peacemaking in South Sudan.” Lecture, Juba University, April 14, 2014

Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and the Harvard University Committee on African Studies. 2014. Two Sudans: The Path ForwardHarvard, April 3, 2014

“Examining Vicious Cycle Of Ethnic Violence In South Sudan.”, Host Renee Montagne, NPR, January 20, 2014

de Waal, Alex. “The Responsibilities of an Activist in a Global Political Order.” Keynote Address, University of Dayton, Ohio, October 4, 2013

de Waal, Alex. “Trans-national Organized Crime in Africa: Whose problem?” Remarks from Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, Bahir Dar,2013

Fletcher School Dean James Stavridis interviews WPF Executive Director Alex de Waal, November 21, 2013 (video)

Keynote address, “Responsibilities of an Activist in a Global Political Order”, at The Social Practice of Human Rights: Charting the frontiers of research and advocacy, University of Dayton, Ohio, October 4, 2013 (video)

de Waal, Alex. “Ethiopia and the ‘Meles Zenawi’ doctrine of national security.” Addis Ababa, August 20, 2013

“Oil diplomacy in the Sudans.” By Christopher Alessi,Council on Foreign Relations Interviewer, October 8, 2012

de Waal, Alex. “Contesting Visions of Peace in Africa:  Darfur, Ivory Coast, Libya” Agenda Setting Lecture, University of Limerick, May 2, 2012





Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2018)

In Mass Starvation, world-renowned expert on humanitarian crisis and response Alex de Waal, provides an authoritative history of modern famines: their causes, dimensions, and why they ended. He analyzes starvation as a crime, and breaks new ground in examining forced starvation as an instrument of genocide and war. Refuting the enduring but erroneous view that attributes famine to overpopulation and natural disaster, he shows how political decision or political failing is an essential element in every famine, while the spread of democracy and human rights, and the ending of wars, were major factors in the near-ending of this devastating phenomenon.