Lorenzo Fioramonti at the Free University in Berlin

“How numbers rule the world” at Free University, Berlin

On 4 September 2014 GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti presented his latest book “How numbers rule the world” at the Free University in Berlin. The lecture was organised by The Berlin Forum On Global Politics

“Framing Environmental Problems” by Magalie Bourblanc

“Framing Environmental Problems: Problem Entrepreneurs and the Issue of Water Pollution from Agriculture in Brittany, 1970–2005” by GovInn researcher Magalie Bourblanc was included in the special selection that the Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning on the occasion of the The 9th International Conference on Interpretive Policy Analysis.
The papers included in the selection are described as “excellent examples of the deployment of interpretive and critical approaches in the field of environmental policy and planning”.

Abstract: The claim that public problems are constructs is now widely recognized as justified and was first established in social problem theory. The high instability of problem definition activities in the case of water pollution coming from agriculture in Brittany demonstrates this particularly well. The objective of this article is to describe ways by which an environmental movement organization (EMO) conceives its activities of public problem construction. Inspired by social movement theory, but aiming at overcoming its weaknesses, the paper seeks to highlight the influence of EMO endogenous meaning production in problem construction processes, a dimension often overlooked even by framing theory. In a bid to support that claim, the paper shows the influence of the affective dimension over the strategic one within the problematization process. Forging a conceptual distinction characterized by a perceived problem and strategic definitions, the paper underlines the fundamental interrelated nature of these two components and consequently emphasizes the reciprocal dependence of the perceived problem over the strategic (either material or cognitive) definitions. Finally, the paper evokes the benefit and impact of this conceptual distinction on the policy-making process. Read the full paper here

Land matrix in action: “Among the Senegalese Mother-Earths

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera features result from our LandMatrix  land monitoring project to describe the struggle of Senegalese women against land-grabbing multinationals. Read the full article here [Italian]

Private sector must address challenges of the 21st century

THE Corporate Governance Index 2014, which GovInn released last week in partnership with the Institute of Internal Auditors of SA, provides a worrying snapshot of the state of business performance in SA.

The index finds that the leadership skills, accountability and overall conduct of public and private corporations have worsened over the past year. GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti comments on the perilous relationship between economic and political powers on Business Day, South Africa’s leading business newspaper.

If public officials take bribes to favour a few at the expense of the public good, then it is worth asking: where does the money come from? And the answer usually is: from business.

The simplistic juxtaposition between corrupt government and virtuous business does not pass the reality check.

Read the full article here

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iiasa.org.za/resource/collection/1FD175F0-82CB-40AF-9127-7A91E5C1058C/2014_Corporate_Governance_Index_report.pdf

GovInn, in partnership with the Institute of Internal Auditors of South Africa, has just released the results of the Corporate Governance Index 2014. To download the report please click here: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iiasa.org.za/resource/collection/1FD175F0-82CB-40AF-9127-7A91E5C1058C/2014_Corporate_Governance_Index_report.pdf

Does it really matter to snub Mugabe? by Christopher Nshimbi

GovInn research Fellow Christopher Changwe Nshimbi comments on the absence of Zimbabwe at the recent US-Africa summit. What are the responsibility of the Africa Union and of SADC towards the citizens of Zimbabwe? 

AU and SADC should have ensured free and fair elections in Zimbabwe 2013. However, the AU has inherent weaknesses regarding intervening in domestic stalemates as in Zimbabwe and Cote d’Ivoire. SADC should strengthen rules regarding elections, citizens’ rights in electoral processes and SADC’s enforcement role. Moreover, SADC and the AU should revise their approaches to state sovereignty.

Do you agree? Read it all on the Nordic Africa Institute Forum website NAIForumLogo_TEST

“Time to liberate ourselves from a misleading statistic” by Lorenzo Fioramonti

 

South Africa is on an economic roller coaster. After the five-month strike in the platinum mines and turmoil in the metal sector, our country is still grappling with a credit downgrade and gloomy forecasts for economic growth.

 

Pundits warn that if the gross domestic product (GDP) does not pick up in the coming months, a recession will be inevitable, with disastrous consequences for all of us. Our eyes are all on this magic number. But what is GDP? Is GDP really helping us measure the state of our economy? Or is it a misleading indicator that contributes to wrong policy decisions, especially at a time of growing unrest and dissatisfaction with the transformation of the economy?

Read the full article on South African economy and the inadequacies of GDP, on Business Day, South Africa’s leading business newspaper.