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Book Launch: “African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t?”

 

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and the University of Pretoria’s Department of Political Sciences, in association with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), are pleased to announce the launch of “African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t”, a book edited by Steven Gruzd and Yarik Turianskyi (Programme Head and Programme Manager of the Governance and APRM Programme at SAIIA).

 

‘African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t?’ focuses on political and social aspects to assess the current state of governance and accountability in Africa. While important strides have been made, governance reforms have been rather slow, complex, inefficient and difficult to implement.

This book seeks to explore and unpack some of these issues, building on the work of SAIIA’s three-year programme on Governance and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Chapters by both governance experts and governance practitioners discuss continental efforts to set Africa on a steady and sustainable path, such as the African Union’s (AU) 50 year development plan, Agenda 2063, the emerging African Governance Architecture (AGA) and examine the interplay between the AU’s African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) and the APRM.

At domestic level, this book looks at a mixture of traditional and innovative accountability processes. To what extent do African parliaments hold executives to account, and fulfil their oversight mandates? How effective are African ombudsmen in promoting and protecting the rights of citizens? And new methods of holding those in power to account are emerging. Increasingly, technologies – in particular smart phones – are being used to monitor election results, survey citizen opinions and provide oversight.

For Africa to develop, it seems clear that it needs good governance. Without it, corruption thrives, maladministration is pervasive and citizens are denied essential services. This book examines where Africa is headed in the governance realm, and what lessons have been learned on its journey.

Date: Thursday, 2 June 2016

Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Venue: GovInn Headquarters, Old College House, University of Pretoria Main Campus (Hatfield)
RSVP essential: http://goo.gl/forms/WLzW1M6GKu by 30 May 2016.
Queriesinfo@governanceinnovation.org

More information on the book can be found on the SAIIA website.

Networks of Cross-border Non-State Actors: The Role of Social Capital in Regional Integration

Chris Changwe Nshimbi, co-director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, published a new article named ‘Networks of Cross-border Non-State Actors: The Role of Social Capital in Regional Integration’ in the Journal of Borderlands Studies.

borderlands coverThis paper examines the contribution of networks of cross-border grassroots non-State actors to regional integration. It uses three assumptions to determine whether sub-regional schemes augment regional integration: (a) networks of grassroots non-State actors connect communities that share common backgrounds, histories and cultures; (b) interactions in the networks generate a trust that stabilizes them and contributes to network efficiency; and (c) where these networks straddle State boundaries, they integrate the economies that host the communities of actors in the networks and thus enhance integration. The paper achieves its objective by illustrating these assumptions in the context of sub-regional integration in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa. A thorough review of the literature on regional and sub-regional integration, borderland studies, etc. is conducted along with the use of social capital and historical, socioeconomic and political accounts to illustrate the role of informal networks in integration. Because networks, norms and trust dominate conceptual discussion of social capital (Schuller, T., S. Baron, and J. Field. 2000. Social capital: A review and critique. In Social capital: Critical perspectives, eds. S. Baron, J. Field, and T. Schuller, 1–38. Oxford: Oxford University Press.), the paper conceptualizes the terms in the context of social capital. Participant observations, face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions conducted during extensive fieldwork between September 2013 and November 2014 at selected border posts, in the major border towns of the adjacent provinces of the ZMM-GT, in markets and villages in the contiguous border areas of the growth triangle also provide the primary data employed in the analysis. Sub-regional initiatives contribute to development, as does macro-regionalism. Unlike Southeast Asians, people in southern Africa are primarily driven by the need for survival and operate less on ethnic lines. However, a clear demonstration of social capital and cohesion is evident here. Leaders in Africa should encourage cross-border ethnic and kinship ties rather than abuse ethnicity for political gain.

The article can be found here.

“Electorates are losing faith in representative democracy” Business Day, 26.04.16

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In his latest op ed for Business Day Live GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti considers representative democracy in light of the current global political environment. Is representative democracy really a good ‘fit’ for governance of a state? Does representative democracy allow for real representation? Moreover does it assist economic development and can it allow for fruitful participation by voters in their own governance beyond merely exercising their “civic duty”? Read more here.

The ATLANTIC FUTURE monograph – out now

The ATLANTIC FUTURE monograph entitled “Atlantic Future. Shaping a New Hemisphere for the 21st century: Africa, Europe and the Americas”, edited by Jordi Bacaria and Laia Tarragona, from CIDOB, has just been published in March 2016. The book can be downloaded on the ATLANTIC FUTURE website.

The monograph provides a synthesis of the ATLANTIC FUTURE project, along with its main results and an update on the research work carried out over the past three years of the project. The monograph, which forms part of the project’s outreach goal, is intended to reach an interested public, academics and political and economic decision-makers, who will be able to see the Atlantic Space as a laboratory for globalisation and the multilateral solutions required to face the world’s new challenges.

GovInn senior researcher Frank Mattheis, together with Anna Ayuso and Elina Viilup, contributed the chapter “Regional Cooperation, Interregionalism and Governance in the Atlantic”, covering the complex network of Atlantic governance from an interregional perspective as well as of the convergence and divergences occurring in this space.

New Rules for Global Justice: Structural Redistribution in the Global Economy

New-Rules-for-Global-Justice-1

Published by Rowman & Littefield GovInn Director Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonit’s new book will be launched at ISA in April in Atlanta, Georgia. Co edited by Jan Aart Scholte, faculty Professor in Peace and Development in the school of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg and Alfred Nhema, Chief Executive Officer at the Pan African Development Center the book explores global equality and distribution in relation to states, class, gender and race using examples drawn from nations like Zimbabwe and Australia. It presents proposals to mitigate public discontent with global inequality via “new rules” which can overcome issues of finance, food security, migration, climate change and corruption.

 

Regions without borders

Extended deadline for abstracts: “Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging”

Regions without borders

 

“Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging: Migration, Xenophobia and Social Cohesion in the Southern African Region”

Migration is not new in the Southern African region. Its long history dates back to the late 19th century into the colonial, post-independence and post-Cold War eras, and into the late 1980s and early 1990s when most economies in Southern Africa underwent neoliberal economic reforms and structural adjustments. The economic reforms coincided with the end of apartheid in South Africa. South Africa’s emergence as the economic hub of Southern Africa coupled with the long history of migration across Southern Africa makes South Africa a destination of choice for various categories of migrants including labour, informal traders, medical, education and training, cultural and kinship relations, etc. The post-reform and post-apartheid period has thus witnessed increased immigration into South Africa from Southern and other parts of Africa. The increase in numbers of immigrants in South Africa has created tensions and hostilities directed towards immigrants. The African immigrants in South Africa have thus been constructed as the problematic new comers who take away jobs from South Africans and strain the national socioeconomic infrastructure, pressuring government and limiting its ability to provide essential socioeconomic services and employment to its citizens. This social topography, which has elevated South African citizens and led to the relegation of immigrants to the subaltern, with calls for their evisceration and interpellation, partly explains the so-called xenophobia and discourse around xenophobic attacks currently prevalent in South Africa since the early 2000s. While foreigners and agencies such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) brand targeted attacks on foreigners and their businesses by South African citizens as xenophobia, South African authorities rather brand such attacks as acts of criminality, or even ‘Afrophobia’, and not xenophobic. Against this background, this session proposes to (a) gain a proper understanding and conceptualisation of the notion xenophobia and (b) deliberate ways in which social cohesion can be promoted to encourage harmony between foreigners and South African citizens. The dearth of scholarly engagement in academia and policy attention in government circles around regional migration, xenophobia, local integration and social cohesion in Southern Africa makes engaging in this discourse imperative.

 

SUBMISSION PROCEDURES:

Please follow Congress website link below to register and submit your abstract (200-250 words). On the Abstract Submission page your “Intended Session” will be listed under Political Geography. Check the “Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging: Migration, Xenophobia and Social Cohesion in the Southern African Region” box to proceed with your submission.

 

WEBSITE FOR REGISTRATION:

 

http://www.igc2016.org/dct/page/70047

Conference Date: 21-25 August 2016, Beijing China

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31 March 2016

Notification of Acceptance: 30 April 2016

Deadline for Early bird Registration: 15 May 2016

 

Further information:

Dr. Inocent Moyo

Research Fellow: Department of Geography

UNISA, Florida Campus

Tel: +27 72 106 2632

Email: minnoxa@yahoo.com

 

Or

 

Dr. Christopher C. Nshimbi

Research Fellow & Deputy Director: Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn)

Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria

Tel: +27 12 420 4152

Email: chris.nshimbi@governanceinnov

 

Regions without borders

Extended deadline for abstracts: “Sociocultural Encounters in Geography”

Regions without borders

“Sociocultural Encounters in Geography: Borders, Borderlands, Grassroots Non-State Actors and the Southern African Regional Integration Project”

Call for Abstracts – Deadline extended

The geographical and socio-economic landscapes of the contiguous border areas in Southern African suggest de facto processes of regional integration. The historical, socio-economic and cultural interactions, enhanced by geography, that characterise these borderlands form sub-regions that not only defy border controls but also achieve alternative processes of regional integration. This has not received much scholarly attention and recognition from policy makers. Therefore, this session takes, as its point of departure, the debates around borders, borderlands, sub- and regional integration and aims to interrogate the place of local, grassroots non-State actors and their rich historical, socioeconomic and cultural interactions facilitated by geographic proximity in Southern Africa’s borderlands, in the SADC’s regional integration project. Hence the questions; do “spaces of flows” replace “spaces of places” in Southern Africa’s borderlands? Are economic regions outside formal state organisation likely to emerge in these contiguous border areas? Contrary to top-down approaches to regional integration, the session will explore alternative approaches to regional integration in the SADC and advance perspectives that question current thinking and conceptualizations of regional integration in the Southern African region and in Africa, in general. Several questions shall, therefore, be explored such as: how does the role of grassroots non-State actors in the Southern African region compare with other parts of the world?

Conference date:

 21-25 August 2016, Beijing China

SUBMISSION PROCEDURE:

Please follow Congress website link below to register and submit your abstract (200-250 words). On the Abstract Submission page your “Intended Session” will be listed under Political Geography. Check the “Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging: Migration, Xenophobia and Social Cohesion in the Southern African Region” box to proceed with your submission.

 

WEBSITE FOR REGISTRATION:

http://www.igc2016.org/dct/page/70047

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31 March 2016

Notification of Acceptance: 30 April 2016

Deadline for Early bird Registration: 15 May 2016

 

Further information:

 

Dr. Christopher C. Nshimbi

Research Fellow & Deputy Director: Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn)

Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria

Tel: +27 12 420 4152

Email: chris.nshimbi@governanceinnovation.org; christopher.nshimbi@up.ac.za

 

Or

 

Dr. Inocent Moyo

Research Fellow: Department of Geography

UNISA, Florida Campus

Tel: +27 72 106 2632

Email: minnoxa@yahoo.com

 

Regions without borders

Call for Abstracts for the 33rd International Geographical Congress: Shaping our Harmonious Worlds

Regions without borders

Call for abstracts

 

 

“Sociocultural Encounters in Geography: Borders, Borderlands, Grassroots Non-State Actors and the Southern African Regional Integration Project”

The geographical and socio-economic landscapes of the contiguous border areas in Southern African suggest de facto processes of regional integration. The historical, socio-economic and cultural interactions, enhanced by geography, that characterise these borderlands form sub-regions that not only defy border controls but also achieve alternative processes of regional integration. This has not received much scholarly attention and recognition from policy makers. Therefore, this session takes, as its point of departure, the debates around borders, borderlands, sub-and regional integration and aims to interrogate the place of local, grassroots non-State actors and their rich historical, socioeconomic and cultural interactions facilitated by geographic proximity in Southern Africa’s borderlands, in the SADC’s regional integration project. Hence the questions; do “spaces of flows” replace “spaces of places” in Southern Africa’s borderlands? Are economic regions outside formal state organisation likely to emerge in these contiguous border areas? Contrary to top down approaches to regional integration, the session will explore alternative approaches to regional integration in the SADC and advance perspectives that question current thinking and conceptualization of regional integration in the Southern African region and in Africa, in general. Several questions shall, therefore, be explored such as: how does the role of grassroots non-State actors in the Southern African region compare with other parts of the world?

SUBMISSION PROCEDURES:
Please register and submit your abstract (200-250 words) at the IGC China 33rd International Geographical Congress website by following the link below. On the Abstract Submission page your “Intended Session” will be listed under Political Geography. Check the “Sociocultural Encounters in Geography: Borders, Borderlands, Grassroots Non-State Actors and the Southern African Integration Project” box and proceed with your submission.

WEBSITE FOR REGISTRATION:
http://www.igc2016.org/dct/page/70047

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING ABSTRACTS:
15 February 2016

CONFRENCE DATES
21-25 August 2016, Beijing China

NOTIFICATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE ABSTRACT REVIEW:
16 April 2016

For further information please contact:

Dr. Christopher C. Nshimbi
Research Fellow & Deputy Director: Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn)
Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria
Tel: +27 12 420 4152
Email: chris.nshimbi@governanceinnovation.org; christopher.nshimbi@up.ac.za

Or

Dr. Inocent Moyo
Research Fellow: Department of Geography
UNISA, Florida Campus
Tel: +27 72 106 2632
Email: minnoxa@yahoo.com

Neil Kasselman

Regions without borders

Call for Abstracts for the 33rd International Geographical Congress: Shaping our Harmonious Worlds

banner 04 15 0.2

Call for Abstracts

“Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging: Migration, Xenophobia and Social Cohesion in the Southern African Region”

Migration is not new in the Southern African region. Its long history dates back to the late 19th century into the colonial, post-independence and post-Cold War eras, and into the late 1980s and early 1990s when most economies in Southern Africa underwent neoliberal economic reforms and structural adjustments. The economic reforms coincided with the end of apartheid in South Africa. South Africa’s emergence as the economic hub of Southern Africa coupled with the long history of migration across Southern Africa makes South Africa a destination of choice for various categories of migrants including labour, informal traders, medical, education and training, cultural and kinship relations, etc. The post-reform and post-apartheid period has thus witnessed increased immigration into South Africa from Southern and other parts of Africa. The increase in numbers of immigrants in South Africa has created tensions and hostilities directed towards immigrants. The African immigrants in South Africa have thus been constructed as the problematic new comers who take away jobs from South Africans and strain the national socioeconomic infrastructure, pressuring government and limiting its ability to provide essential socioeconomic services and employment to its citizens. This social topography, which has elevated South African citizens and led to the relegation of immigrants to the subaltern, with calls for their evisceration and interpellation, partlyexplains the so-called xenophobia and discourse around xenophobic attacks currently prevalent in South Africa since the early 2000s. While foreigners and agencies such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) brand targeted attacks on foreigners and their businesses by South African citizens as xenophobia, South African authorities rather brand such attacks as acts of criminality, or even ‘Afrophobia’, and not xenophobic. Against this background, this session proposes to (a) gain a properunderstanding and conceptualisation of the notion xenophobia and (b) deliberate ways in which social cohesion can be promoted to encourage harmony between foreigners and South African citizens. The dearth of scholarly engagement in academia and policy attention in government circles around regional migration, xenophobia, local integration and social cohesion in Southern Africa makes engaging in this discourse imperative.

SUBMISSION PROCEDURES:
Please register and submit your abstract (200-250 words) at the IGC China 33rd International Geographical Congress website by following the link below. On the Abstract Submission page your “Intended Session” will be listed under Political Geography. Check the “Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging: Migration, Xenophobia and Social Cohesion in the Southern African Region” box and proceed with your submission.

WEBSITE FOR REGISTRATION:

http://www.igc2016.org/dct/page/70047

 

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING ABSTRACTS:
15 February 2016

CONFRENCE DATES
21-25 August 2016, Beijing China

NOTIFICATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE ABSTRACT REVIEW:
16 April 2016

For further information please contact:
Dr. Inocent Moyo
Research Fellow: Department of Geography
UNISA, Florida Campus
Tel: +27 72 106 2632
Email: minnoxa@yahoo.com

Or

Dr. Christopher C. Nshimbi
Research Fellow & Deputy Director: Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn)
Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria
Tel: +27 12 420 4152
Email: chris.nshimbi@governanceinnovation.org; christopher.nshimbi@up.ac.za