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GovInn and ESA-SSA at European Union in International Affairs 2018 (#EUIA18) – Brussels, Belgium

GovInn and ESA-SSA at EUIA

This year, the sixth conference on the European Union in International Affairs (EUIA) took place once again at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Brussels (Belgium). Over 300 members of the academic community gathered in the centre of the European city from 16 to 18 May 2018.

As in the previous 2016 edition, GovInn was well represented with a delegation comprising research fellows John Kotsopoulos and Frank Mattheis. For the European Studies Association of Sub-Sahara Africa (ESA-SSA) the two researchers organised a panel on rethinking EU-Africa relations, which was well-attended and covered in social media. In addition to presenting their research stemming from GovInn’s research project “EU-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order (ERGO)”, the two researchers also served as discussants in this and another panel. The full programme can be found on the conference website.

The conference was also an ideal venue to advertise the ESA-SSA network to new members and to advance collaboration plans, ranging from joint future workshops to a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding in the making between the University of Marburg(Germany), the Catholic University of East Africa (Kenya) and GovInn.

The EUIA Conference is organised every two years by the Institut d’Études Européennes at the Université Libre de Bruxelles(IEE-ULB), the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel(IES-VUB), theUnited Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies(UNU-CRIS) and Egmont – the Royal Institute for International Relations.

Article ‘The EU-Africa summit is now the AU-EU summit. Why the upgrade matters’, by Frank Mattheis and John Kotsopolous, 04.12.2017

GovInn’s Senior Researchers Frank Mattheis and John Kotsopoulos published the article ‘The EU-Africa summit is now the AU-EU summit. Why the upgrade matters‘ in The Conversation

African and European heads of government gathered last week in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for their 5th summit since 2000. For the first time, the African Union (AU) rather than “Africa”, officially appears as the European Union’s partner. While plenty has been discussed about youth, migration, security and governance less is being said about the shift from an EU-Africa to an AU-EU summit. Is this just a case of semantics? After all, the AU has been the key organiser of these triennial summits since they started in 2000. Or are there larger implications? We think there are.

 

Read the full article here: https://theconversation.com/the-eu-africa-summit-is-now-the-au-eu-summit-why-the-upgrade-matters-88185

‘The EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership and global environmental governance: Towards effective multilateralism after Copenhagen?’, by Adelle & Kotsopoulos, 06.07.2017

GovInn’s Senior Researchers Camilla Adelle and John Kotsopoulos published the article ‘The EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership and global environmental governance: Towards effective multilateralism after Copenhagen?’ in the South African Journal of International Affairs.

This paper uses an analytical framework drawn from organisational studies to unpack and evaluate climate change relations under the EU–South Africa Strategic Partnership. The article finds that, while the EU and South Africa share a common purpose and high-level climate goals, many of the formal organisational structures set up under the partnership to tackle climate change and the environment are weak and have fallen into disuse. At the same time several factors outside of the strategic partnership, such as South Africa’s hosting of the Durban climate change meeting, have played a significant role in promoting climate cooperation between the two partners. Therefore, while the strategic partnership creates an additional opportunity for climate cooperation, it is by no means the only or even the most important instrument in the EU’s foreign policy tool box for negotiation and dialogue.

Read the full article here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10220461.2017.1345321

‘Letter From Pretoria’, on EU-SA relations by John Kotsopoulus and Camilla Adele, 26.05.2017

GovInn’s Senior Researchers John Kotsopoulos and Camilla Adele the ‘Letter From Europa‘ at Carnegie Europe.

South Africa is experiencing a period of political and economic turmoil that has consequences for the country’s focus and consistency in its international relations, including with respect to the EU.

Read the full article here: http://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/70016

Join the The European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa.

‘Can the relationship between Europe and Africa stand the test of time?’, The Conversation, 29.03.2017

Govinn’s Senior Researcher  published the article ‘Can the relationship between Europe and Africa stand the test of time?‘ in The Conversation.

Controversially, the agreement served to perpetuate African dependency on Europe. Even the Lome Convention’s much touted “non-reciprocal” principle, which was supposed to nurture African industries, further attached them to Europe. The convention eventually met strong criticism as a system of “collective clientelism”, which was perpetuating dependency and “elite capture” in Africa. This contradictory relationship between dependency and progressive thinking has made Africans understandably circumspect.

Read the full article here: https://theconversation.com/can-the-relationship-between-europe-and-africa-stand-the-test-of-time-75136?

The quiet rise of medium-scale farmers in Malawi

The Quiet Rise of Medium-Scale Farms in Malawi

Ward Anseeuw and John Kotsopoulos, along with Thomas Jayne and Richard Kachule published a paper on Land Vol 5, No19

 

Abstract

Medium-scale farms have become a major force in Malawi’s agricultural sector. Malawi’s most recent official agricultural survey indicates that these account for over a quarter of all land under cultivation in Malawi. This study explores the causes and multifaceted consequences of the rising importance of medium-scale farms in Malawi. We identify the characteristics and pathways of entry into farming based on surveys of 300 medium-scale farmers undertaken in 2014 in the districts of Mchinji, Kasungu and Lilongwe. The area of land acquired by medium-scale farmers in these three districts is found to have almost doubled between 2000 and 2015. Just over half of the medium-scale farmers represent cases of successful expansion out of small-scale farming status; the other significant proportion of medium-scale farmers are found to be urban-based professionals, entrepreneurs and/or civil servants who acquired land, some very recently, and started farming in mid-life. We also find that a significant portion of the land acquired by medium-scale farmers was utilized by others prior to acquisition, that most of the acquired land was under customary tenure, and that the current owners were often successful in transferring the ownership structure of the acquired land to a long-term leaseholding with a title deed. The study finds that, instead of just strong endogenous growth of small-scale famers as a route for the emergence of medium-scale farms, significant farm consolidation is occurring through land acquisitions, often by urban-based people. The effects of farmland acquisitions by domestic investors on the country’s primary development goals, such as food security, poverty reduction and employment, are not yet clear, though some trends appear to be emerging. We consider future research questions that may more fully shed light on the implications of policies that would continue to promote land acquisitions by medium-scale farms.

The article, which belongs to the “Special Issue Changing Land Use, Changing Livelihoods” can be downloaded here

Note: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.