My Summer Reading is Heavily Skewed Towards East Asia and Stephen King

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Like many people, I’ve been trying to catch up on some recreational reading before the summer ends.

I’ve been reading a lot on East Asia, especially China recently. I’m almost done with Deborah Brautigam’s (2009) “The Dragon’s Gift: the Real Story of China in Africa”, which I skimmed through in 2011 for school essays. Brautigam’s main thesis is that China’s engagement with Africa, aimed at mutually beneficial partnerships, is inspired by its experience with Western and Japanese donors during its process of development. I recently started Martin Jacques’ (2009) “When China Rules the World: the End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order”, I picked the book after…Read More »

Scholarships and Development Opportunities No. 14

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INTERNSHIP: SOCIAL POLICY FOR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT AT THE UN INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Deadline: 19 July 2015

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous research institute within the UN system that undertakes multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues. Through our work, we aim to ensure that social equity, inclusion and justice are central to development thinking, policy and practice.

UNRISD is now accepting applications for a three-month internship position, starting in August 2015, to assist with the projects “Towards Universal Social Security in Emerging Economies”, “New Directions in Social Policy: Alternatives from and for the Global South”, and Read More »

Buhari should Phase-Out, Not Remove Petroleum Subsidy

Democratic governments are likely to face two interrelated problems in implementing difficult economic reforms. First, is the unpopularity of these measures among citizens who are likely to shoulder the most burden. Second, is the difficulty in employing a practical approach to implementation. Reforming Nigeria’s money-guzzling fuel subsidy regime, now an urgent matter in the context of dwindling government revenues since 2014, is both unpopular and the practicalities of its reformation are yet to be fleshed out.

Fuel subsidies are considered inefficient in standard economistic thinking, as a…Read More »

“EITI was the Wrong Focus” and other Highlights of the Natural Resource Governance Conference

Last week, I was at a conference organised by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), formerly Revenue Watch Institute, on the challenges and opportunities presented by falling commodity prices. It was attended by the best in the academia, in policy and in civil society in the field.

A breakdown of the panels and speakers is available on the NRGI website.

There were a couple of things which stood out that are worth highlighting and documenting.

First, at the opening plenary, was…Read More »

Publication: ‘Why Goodluck Jonathan Lost the Nigerian Presidential Election of 2015′

Our publication (with colleague Dr Olly Owen) in the July edition of the journal, African Affairs is out. We wrote a brief on the Nigerian presidential election in March 2015, assessing why the election was exceptional in many respects, why many previous predictions including ours of a runoff or an outright Jonathan/PDP victory did not come to pass, and why and how Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) lost the elections.

An e-version is available on the African Affairs website here:

‘Why Goodluck Jonathan Lost the Nigerian Presidential Election of 2015′Read More »

Understanding Nigeria’s Historic Elections and Why They’re So Contentious

Photo credit: Washington Post

It is common to hear policy makers, development experts and pundits talk about the need to “build strong institutions” in Africa as the solution to governance challenges without quite understanding what processes building or modifying these “institutions” entail. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in their 2012 tour de force, Why Nations Fail, provide a compelling explanation of how extractive or inclusive institutions emerge and determine societies’ political stability and economic prosperity. Their retrospective analysis shows how we are often unaware of this institutional change as it occurs. In Nigeria, the cloud of uncertainty around its forthcoming elections on 28 March is indicative of a process whose outcome will fundamentally alter its political system with implications for the rest of the African continent.Read More »

Happy International Women’s Day 2015

Prominent women's rights activist, Mrs. Maryam Uwais's thought-provoking T-shirt. 1st May 2014
Prominent women’s rights activist and human rights lawyer, Mrs. Maryam Uwais’s thought-provoking T-shirt at the BringBackOurGirls Sitout Abuja, Nigeria. 1st May 2014. Photo Credit: Personal Collection

The International Women’s Day 2015 was officially on Sunday 08 March 2015. This is a celebration of women, but also a reminder of the need to attain gender equality, equity, parity, equilibrium or at least, some form of justice, fairness and fairplay. The Aljazeera Magazine has a special issue on “What Women Want“.

I shared a few thoughts on twitter mainly on achievements made so far in Read More »

Apply: The World Bank Group Analyst Program

From the website:

The World Bank Analyst Program is a new and unique opportunity for exceptionally talented young people with a passion for international development to contribute to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Through this structured three-year program, you will work in an intellectually challenging and culturally diverse environment within a specific practice, region, or Read More »

The Politics of Inequality – DLP Annual Conference 2015

Photo credit: DLP
Photo credit: DLP

On Thursday 12 February, the Development Leadership Programme (DLP) held its 2015 Annual Conference on the theme of the politics of inequality, at the University of Birmingham. I presented parts of my doctoral research as a panelist in the session on “Inequality and Political Settlements”.

With a resurgence in academic, policy and media interest in inequalities and the implications for Read More »