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.
(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
(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.
Ed. by Alex de Waal with Jennifer Ambrose, Casey Hogle, Trisha Taneja, and Keren Yohannes
(Zed Books 2015)
Conflicts in Africa, Asia and Latin America have become a common focus of advocacy by Western celebrities and NGOs. This provocative volume delves into the realities of these efforts, which have often involved compromising on integrity in pursuit of profile and influence.Examining the methods used by Western advocates, how they relate to campaigns in the countries concerned, and their impact, expert authors evaluate the successes and failures of past advocacy campaigns and offer constructive criticism of current efforts. Taking in a range of high-profile case studies, including campaigns for democracy in Burma and Latin America, for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza, and opposing the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, the authors challenge the assumptions set forth by advocacy organizations.
Advocacy in Conflict was developed from the 2013 World Peace Foundation Student Seminar, Western Advocacy in Conflict: Methods, Impacts and Ethics, and is edited by Alex de Waal, with Jennifer Ambrose, Casey Hogle, Trisha Taneja and Keren Yohannes with contributions from many of the seminar participants. The seminar briefing full text available as a PDF download.
JULIE FLINT AND ALEX DE WAAL
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
|Advocacy in Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Transnational Activism, Alex de Waal, Jennifer Ambrose, Casey Hogle, Trisha Taneja, Keren Yohannes eds., Zed Publishing, 2015|
|War in Darfur and the Search for Peace. Alex de Waal editor. Harvard University Press, 2007|
|Islamism and its Enemies in the Horn of Africa. Alex de Waal editor. Hurst & Co. and Indiana University Press, 2004|
|Young Africa: Realising the Rights of Youth and Children. Alex de Waal & Nicolas Argenti eds., Africa World Press, 2002|
|When Peace Comes: Civil Society and Development in Sudan. Alex de Waal & Yoanes Ajawin eds., Red Sea Press, 2002|
|The Phoenix State: Civil Society and the Future of Sudan. Alex de Waal & A. H. Abdel Salam eds., Red Sea Press, 2001|
|Who Fights? Who Cares? War and Humanitarian Action in Africa. Alex de Waal editor, Africa World Press, 2000|
Reports & Occasional Papers
Media Articles & Op-Eds
Interviews & Lectures
Polity Books: June 2021
The book explores how 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.
Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2018
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.