Posts

Leon Mwamba at the GEM-STONES PhD Summer School 2017 In Geneva, 03-07.07.2017

GovInn’s Research Fellow Leon Mwamba discussed a paper titled: «Multinational Non-Governmental Organizations (MNGOs) and Bargaining Power. Translating the HC-MNE Model into an HC-MNGO One” by Mr Manfredi Valeriani from the University of Hamburg. Mr Leon Mwamba underscores that there is a growing importance of civil society potential in international dynamics despite a traditional emphasis on government elites and lobbyists as major actors. He believes that engagement of MNGOs in bargaining processes, in the case of an inclusive governance, is a transformative avenue that allows ordinary citizens not only to (re)shape or influence international political economic order, but to be also main actors of their own change driven by themselves outside of the mainstream. On that note, Mr Leon Mwamba discussed that it is also crucial to scrutinise strategies and nature of MNGOs that claim to be new terrains of participation for citizens in the bargaining process as some of them are simply manipulators or state’s wheeler-dealer organizations at the expensive of epistemic communities.  Mr. Leon Mwamba suggested that the feasibility of this alternative HC-MNGOs bargaining model, in the African context, for example, will depend on the core pressing issues that the alternative model needs to address by taking into account different constraints faced by every structured or unstructured and reformist or transformer civil society organization at local and global levels. Eurocentrism should not be benchmarked by the HC-MNGO bargaining model and a case study is needed to test this alternative model.

‘If Africa is serious about a free trade area it needs to act quickly, and differently’. The Conversation, 09.01.2017

 

In their latest op-ed for The Conversation GovInn Deputy Director Dr Chris Nshimbi and UNISA Senior Lecturer in political economy Samuel Oloruntoba assess Africa’s regional integration project in light of the 2016 affirmation on the continent-wide free trade area in Addis Ababa at the African Union (AU).

Africa is moving towards crystallising an ambitious integration agenda of establishing a continental free trade area  by October. This comes against a backdrop of an apparent trend away from mega-regional trade agreements in both Europe and the US. Read the full article here.

TRAFO blogpost

‘New metres for a wider world’ – Frank Mattheis on interregionalism and Global International Relations

TRAFO blogpost

China and the Africa Union – an entanglement between interregional and regional dynamics (photo credit: Antonia Witt).

The Blog for Transnational Research (TRAFO) has recently launched the publication of a blog series dedicated to the theme ‘Doing Global International Relations‘. GovInn’s Senior Researcher Frank Mattheis contributed the fourth blogpost to the series: New metres for a wider world: interregionalism and Global International Relations.

“Imagining new concepts, using new delineations, and experimenting with new measurements are ways to enter in dialogue with the global world so as to try to understand its essence. Are we ready to change a discipline and our own research, once we realise that the world is not the one our categories painted?”

Read the entire blogpost on the TRAFO website. More contributions to the series will be published on a weekly basis.

GovInn in Groundbreaking seminar on Policy Coherence for Development

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GovInn, as part of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC), participated in a groundbreaking seminar at the West Africa Institute (WAI) in Praia, Cape Verde, organized by the RISC Working group on Development, Equity and Policy Coherence; to analyze Normative Coherence for Development and Inter-regionalism. Deputy Director, Chris Nshimbi, represented GovInn at the seminar, which was coordinated by Prof. Lauri Siitonen (University of Helsinki) and Prof. Harlan Koff (University of Luxembourg), and held on April 27 and 28, 2016. Participants focused on normative development frameworks in different world regions including ECOWAS, SADC, ASEAN and the Andean Community of Nations and examined whether or not the EU respects them in inter-regional relations.

 

“Sport, Security and Language in African and European perspectives”

Student members of the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA) are pleased to announce their soft seminar to mark the European Union’s anniversary. Entitled “Sport, Security and Language in African and European perspectives” the seminar will explore sports migration from Africa to Europe, the multi-linguistic model of the European Union and its applicability to African regional and sub regional organisations as well as the challenges posed to Europe by radicalism and terrorism. The event will take place on Monday the 16 May 2016 in the seminar room at Old College House. GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti will provide opening remarks and guest speakers include GovInn senior research fellow John Kotsopoulos, Sofia Moeira de Sousa (Deputy head of the EU delegation to South Africa) Angelo Fick (ENCA current affairs and news analyst) and Dr. Samuel Adeyemo (senior lecturer at the Department of Education & management policy studies, UP).

 

ESASSA Flyers (2)

 

Date: Monday 16 May 2016

Time: 14:00-16:00

Venue: Seminar room, Old College House, Hatfield Campus, University of Pretoria

 

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

"Africa should avoid copying Europe’s failing experiment" Business Day 30.07.2015

“Africa should avoid copying Europe’s failing experiment” Business Day 30.07.2015

"Africa should avoid copying Europe’s failing experiment" Business Day 30.07.2015GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti discusses the EU crisis from an African point of view: is the EU really the right model of regional integration?

“THE European Union (EU) is generally presented as the most advanced case of regional integration in the world. It has progressed from a system of sectoral co-operation in energy governance among six states in the early 1950s to a multifaceted body of 28 members, with unprecedented powers in areas such as economic and social development, monetary governance, legal affairs and foreign policy.

Its approach to integration has been driven by bureaucratic and economic elites, mostly through technical co-operation among key national departments. There is little doubt that such a top-down approach was a key strength during the takeoff phase of integration, as technocrats managed to forge co-operative mechanisms despite the volatility of politics and the fierce ideological battles of the time. Citizens’ involvement came late, with the first parliamentary elections only in 1979. Albeit marginally on the increase, genuine popular participation in Europe’s affairs has been deliberately kept at bay by its architects. Over time, this has resulted in the populace endorsing a rather utilitarian approach towards the EU: happy to be part of it for as long as the benefits largely outweighed the costs.

Since the late 1990s, however, things have changed dramatically. A continent traditionally marked by progressive social policies, functioning welfare states and high living standards has been turned into a very unequal one, with shrinking budgets to support healthcare and education, but vast resources to subsidise financial markets.” […]

Read the full article on Business Day, 30.07.2015

Disability statistics for inclusive development in SADC member countries

IMG_4926On July 21-22 2015, GovInn and the UNESCO-UNU Chair on Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement of People, in partnership with the African Disability Alliance (ADA), hosted a workshop for practitioners from statistical offices, departments of social development and non-governmental organizations from southern Africa and member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to address some challenges in and provide a platform for the SADC region to share best practices on disability statistics and the development of expertise in methodologies of measurement of populations with disability.

The workshop, under the title ‘Strengthening Capacity for Disability Measurement across Africa’, brought together Bureaus of Statistics and Departments of Labour and Social Development, and Disability Federations from eight of the 15 member states of SADC as well as international organizations including, Christoffel Blindernmission (CBM), the European Union (EU), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The workshop, further, sought to benefit from ILO expertise in exploring ways in which statistics and research could enhance equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

After two days of presentations and deliberations, the participants compiled a list of recommendations that identified practical ways for improving the quality and type of data collected on persons with disabilities in the SADC region through data collection methods such as national censuses, demographic and health surveys (DHS), quarterly labour force surveys (QLFS), etc. Download the workshop report here.