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Conference Report: “Comparative Regionalism: State of the Art and Future Directions”

Conference Participants

Participants of the Comparative Regionalism Conference

During the first week of November, the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) had the honour to host a conference on comparative regionalism in partnership with the Research College (KFG) “The Transformative Power of Europe” at the Free University Berlin.

KFG-directors Prof. Tanja Börzel and Prof. Thomas Risse together with GovInn director Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti and senior research fellow Dr. Frank Mattheis combined forces to bring together authors of the recently published Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism with experts in Africa. After two similar events of the KFG in Singapore and Rio de Janeiro, Pretoria constituted to third and last stop for the authors to engage in a global dialogue.

GovInn invited colleagues from various South African universities with a track record in studying regionalism but also African experts with practical experience in supporting regional integration. The different panels addressed regionalism from a variety of angles by looking at specific governance issues (e.g. the politics of regional migration), geographic specificities (e.g. what makes regionalism in Africa distinct?) and the broader connections between regionalism across the globe (e.g. how do interregional diffusion processes work?). The debates touched on a broad variety of issues of central relevance to Africa, including the gap between formal regional organisations and regionalising actors on the ground.

The debates were also informed by the current higher education crisis in South Africa. The roundtables witnessed debates about ways to address Eurocentrism in the study of regionalism, not by provincialising regionalisms but by combining the production of regional knowledge with a dialogue between sub-disciplines and theories.

Prof. Risse in action

Prof. Risse in action

GovInn and the KFG turned out to be well placed to congregate scholars from the wider field of comparative regionalism so as to collectively engage with crossing the boundaries of their disciplines and regions. Yet, as discussed in the closing roundtable, the eclecticism produces new challenges for methodological rigour, funding schemes and selection criteria of academic journals. The momentum generated by the growing number of scholars interested in the study of comparative regionalism generates many new questions and challenges for the field to take into account as it further institutionalises in research programmes and state of the art.

Conference Programme “Comparative Regionalism”

“Regional Migration Governance in the African Continent: Current state of affairs and the way forward” 10.11.2016

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) has just released its latest research report on the current state of affairs and the way forward on regional migration governance on the African continent. The report is released in collaboration with The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) and was made possible with generous funding from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit gGmbH (GIZ), Germany Globalvorhaben Flüchtlinge on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ).

Authored by GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti and Deputy-Director Chris Nshimbi under the title of “Regional Migration Governance in the African Continent: Current state of affairs and the way forward” the report gives an overview on migration legislation as well as policy initiatives and their implementation in West, East and Southern Africa. Further, it points to future scenarios of regional migration in Africa and gives political recommendations to external actors. The study builds on the discussions of this year’s Potsdam Spring Dialogues on the topic of “Pathways Towards Coordinated African Migration Governance. The African Regional Organisations’ Role”. The Study has been submitted by the UNESCO-UNU Chair in Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement of People of the University of Pretoria. The full Report can be viewed here.

 

Call for papers ‘Transnational conflicts in Africa: Migration, mobility and peace’

Geographies for Peace

2017 IGU-UGI Thematic Conference

23-25 April 2017

La Paz, Bolivia

Transnational conflicts in Africa: Migration, mobility and peace

While wars and conflicts in Africa generally occur within the territorial boundaries of affected states, they tend to spill over across borders into proximate and neighboring countries. Most victims of such wars and conflict also share historical and ethnic backgrounds with kith and kin in neighboring countries and tend to flee, for refuge and asylum, to the peaceful proximate neighbors. Cases have been recorded in which governments in the conflict ridden states openly accused their neighbors of fueling the conflict in the accuser’s territory. Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda in the Great Lakes Region are good contemporary cases in point. This session will explore the dynamics of the transnational nature of conflicts in Africa and examine the relationship between conflict and the spatial mobilities of borders, as well as the migration regimes within which states that share contiguous borders in given geographic territories are embedded. In this CFP, we invite papers that interrogate these themes as well as topics including, but not limited to:

How do the contiguous border regimes in Africa precipitate the fueling of transnational conflict?

What patterns do such conflicts follow?

Who are the victims and the perpetrators? Could transnational dynamics of conflict provide the basis for negotiating lasting peace or, on the contrary, do they fuel conflict?

Are there any linkages between, among others, coloniality of borders, conflict, and sociocultural and ethnic relations?

What role could the porosity of borders in Africa play in sustaining and perpetuating conflict?

Could the porosity of African borders and migration patterns also provide a foundation for building peace?

Contact:

Dr. Christopher Changwe Nshimbi (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

csnzed@gmail.com

Dr. Inocent Moyo (University of Zululand, South Africa)

minnoxa@yahoo.com

An abstract of no more than 250 words in English or Spanish should be sent to csnzed@gmail.com and minnoxa@yahoo.com and geographiesforpeace@gmail.com on or before 1 December 2016.

For more information on the conference visit the website here.

Call for papers ‘The African Union and African Economic Community: Territorial and economic arrangements for peace in Africa’

Geographies for Peace

2017 IGU-UGI Thematic Conference

23-25 April 2017

La Paz, Bolivia

The African Union and African Economic Community: Territorial and economic arrangements for peace in Africa

Concerned with the plight of especially women and children as major victims of wars, civil conflicts, human rights violations, humanitarian disasters, gender-based violence and violent conflicts, and genocide, the African Union (AU) has committed to speeding-up actions that will “silence the guns by 2020” in its Agenda 2063, in order to make peace a reality for all people in Africa. This resonates with sustainable development goals (SDGs) 5 and 16 to achieve gender equality and promote peace, justice and strong institutions for development. These attempts conform with the AU’s plans to establish a continental free trade area (CFTA) in 2017. The CFTA should lead to the establishment of the African Economic Community (AEC) in 2028, according to the Abuja Treaty for the Establishment of the AEC. Besides low intra-regional trade, persistent war and conflict are commonly cited as a major reason and evidence of the failure of regional integration, in Africa at least. In this regard, a connection exists between conflict on the one hand and regional integration and peace on the other, based on the understanding that peace is essential to unimpeded trade, development and inter-state cooperation. Against this background and in this CFP, we invite papers that interrogate these themes as well as topics including, but not limited to:

How does obsessive regard for territorial sovereignty impact on the readiness and the extent to which the supranational AU, the AU Commission (AUC) and respective member states can and intervene in domestic conflicts occurring in African states?

Does the absence of war guarantee a peace that ensures distribution, location and spatial organization of economic activities leading to successful regional integration?

Practically, how can ambitions to establish a single geo- political and economic space from Africa’s tapestry of states, economies, cultures and customs by the AU be translated into a mosaic of grassroots, meso- and macro- level actors committed to peaceful coexistence?

Contact:

Dr. Christopher Changwe Nshimbi (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

csnzed@gmail.com

Dr. Inocent Moyo (University of Zululand, South Africa)

minnoxa@yahoo.com

An abstract of no more than 250 words in English or Spanish should be sent to csnzed@gmail.com and minnoxa@yahoo.com and geographiesforpeace@gmail.com on or before 1 December 2016.

For more information on the conference visit the website here.

‘The rubber will hit the road for developing countries at COP22 in Marrakech’ 04.10.16

 

In her latest op-ed for The Conversation, GovInn senior research fellow Dr. Camilla Adelle considers the implications of African states swift adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement ahead of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) taking place in Morocco. The discrepancy between the US$ 100 billion promised to developing countries to assist with climate change and the actual number mobilized is problematized against the accepted OECD report claiming a figure of around US$ 57 billion which is accepted as credible. Read the full article here.

Africa remains a target as Global South ‘land rush’ moves to production

“Africa remains a target as Global South ‘land rush’ moves to production” The Conversation, 11.10.2016

This article was originally published on The Conversation

Now, almost ten years have after the term “land grabbing” first entered the popular imagination, large-scale land acquisitions remain shrouded in secrecy.

The Land Matrix Initiative aims to shine some light in the deals by providing open access to information on intended, concluded, and failed land acquisitions that have taken place since the year 2000. Over recent years, both the quality and the quantity of the data have improved considerably.

This led us to take a fresh look at the current trends in international large-scale land acquisitions.

The start of production

The Land Matrix records more than 1,000 deals covering 26.7 million hectares of contracted land, equal to about 2% of the arable land on Earth.

Most of these deals cultivate pure food crops, and crops that have multiple uses, such as oil seeds. Palm oil is the single most important crop driving large-scale land acquisitions.

Palm oil production in Côte d’Ivoire. Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

One of the most striking things we found about land deals is their increasing rate of implementation. While speculation was discussed as one of the main drivers of the “rush for land” in earlier years, our data indicates that about 70% of the deals have now started activities on the ground.

Compared to previous figures published in 2012, the number of operational projects has almost doubled. For most deals, it takes less than three years to enter the production phase.

Development of size under contract and size under operation. Authors’ calculation based on the Land Matrix data, April 2016, Author provided

For a subset of deals – 330 out of 1000 – we are familiar with the area under production. This means we are able to look into the implementation of these deals over recent years.

The chart above shows that while the area under contract increased rapidly since 2004, (red bars), the area under production has only increased since 2011 (blue bars). Today, about 55% of the contracted area is under production.

Africa remains a target

Africa remains the most important target area of land acquisitions, with deals concluded in many countries across the continent.

Africa accounts for 42% of the deals, and 10 million hectares of land. Land acquisitions are concentrated along important rivers such as the Niger and the Senegal rivers, and in East Africa.

The second most important region is Eastern Europe, mostly due to the large average size of land per deal: 96 deals covering 5.1 million hectares of concluded deals. One single deal in Ukraine by the company UkrLandFarming covers an area of 654,000 hectares alone.

Another emerging trend is that investors from the Global South have gained in importance. Malaysia is now the leading investor country, with Singapore at number four (the USA and UK are second and third). Global South investors show a strong preference for investment in their own region.

Most investors are still based in Western Europe, and their interests in 315 concluded deals cover nearly 7.3 million hectares. Private sector investors account for more than 70% of the concluded deals. So we know that governments are not the main driver of large-scale land acquisitions.

But investors are part of complex chains, which often include state-owned entities. This means the indirect impact of governments through these entities, and also through policy and trade agreements, is likely bigger than what we can see in the data.

Increased competition

We find that land acquisitions take place in relatively highly populated areas, dominated by existing croplands. About one-third of the area acquired was formerly used for smallholder agriculture – implying an increasing competition over land use between investors and local communities.

We will only see the full impact of the deals in years to come. Positive impacts of large-scale land acquisitions generally include more local jobs and better access to infrastructure. On the negative side, loss of access to land and natural resources, increased conflict over livelihoods and greater inequality are frequent issues.

Given their increasing rate of implementation, the topic of land acquisitions remains hugely important, with many deals entering the production stages for the first time. The fact that land deals often target areas that have been used before hints at considerable socioeconomic and environmental implications for the target regions. And the more we know about these deals, the better we can understand how they will affect local people.

 

EVENT “International Land Deals for Agriculture: Fresh insight from the Land Matrix” 11 October 2016 10.00

Date: Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Time: 10:00 – 11:00 with light refreshments served after
Venue: GovInn Headquarters, Old College House, University of Pretoria Main Campus (Hatfield) RSVP essential: https://goo.gl/forms/bOuQV5AgYjcWI8XO2 by 10 October 2016.
Queries: info@governanceinnovation.org

Land Matrix
Around the world, 26.7 million hectares of agricultural land have been transferred into the hands of foreign investors since the year 2000. This means that these investors possess approximately 2 per cent of the arable land worldwide, or roughly the equivalent to the total area covered by United Kingdom and Slovenia together. This finding comes from a new report entitled Land Matrix Analytical Report II: International Land Deals for Agriculture, to be released on 11 October worldwide. The report provides detailed information on who is buying up farmland in which regions of the world and how this land is being used. It also highlights the economic, social, and political impacts of land grabs.

“This report is very relevant considering the recent decision by the International Criminal Court to hold company executives, politicians and other individuals criminally responsible for environmental destruction and land grabbing,” said Wytske Chamberlain, University of Pretoria researcher who will present the report along with Land Matrix coordinator Saliou Niassy.

From 11 October 2016 the report is downloadable from www.landmatrix.org

About the Land Matrix

The Land Matrix is a global and independent initiative that collects data on land acquisitions in low- and middle-income countries. Its goal is to promote transparency and accountability in decisions over land and investment. It is coordinated by a network of international research institutions and organisations.

Land Matrix Invitation 11.11.2016

Land Matrix Project Support Unit:
Saliou Niassy, Coordinator, Email: saliou.niassy@up.ac.za;
Gaia Manco, Communication officer, Email: media@landmatrix.org

“The Future of Democracy in Europe and Africa”

 

 

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-12-22-16-pm

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) invites you to the Rethinking Development  seminar on the topic “The Future of Democracy in Europe and Africa” Presented by Professor Leonardo Morlino.

Leonardo Morlino is Professor of Political Science and Deputy Vice Chancellor at LUISS University, Italy. He’s one of the world’s leading experts of democracy and democratization and was President of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) (2009‐12). He is the author of more than 30 books and more than 200 journal essays and book chapters published in English, French, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Chinese, Mongolian, and Japanese. His most recent books include Changes for Democracy (Oxford UP, 2011). He was also one of the three editors of the International Encyclopedia of Political Science (8 voll., Sage Publications, 2011), which won the Honorable Mention of Darthmouth Medal for reference publishing in all domains of knowledge. Morlino is directing a new research project on the impact of the global economic crisis on democracy.

Date: Monday, 24 October 2016
Time: 17:30‐19:30
Venue: GovInn Headquarters, Old College House, University of Pretoria Main Campus (Hatfield). Building no. 24 on the attached map.
RSVP essential: contact Neil Kasselman (neil.kasselman@governanceinnovation.org) by 20 October 2016.

UP-Campus-Map-GovInn-building-24

 

24-10-2016-future-of-democracy-in-europe-and-africa-leonardo-morlino-invite
Nepad Atlas

Atlas – A New Emerging Rural World in Africa (2nd edition)

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) are proud to announce the results of their scholarly collaboration with NEPAD on a new, revised and supplemented edition of the atlas A New Emerging Rural World – An Overview of Rural Change in Africa. The atlas was officially launched at the second Africa Rural Development Forum, organised by NEPAD in Yaoundé from 8 to 10 September 2016. The atlas reports on the dynamics at play within the rural world in Africa and on territorial restructuring within the continent.

This second, revised and supplemented edition of the atlas A New Emerging Rural World takes stock of rural restructuring in Africa, both North and sub-Saharan. It relates data on demographics, population, urbanization and resource use with spatial and economic dynamics, both on a continental scale and through several regional examples. It is a totally original tool, and is intended to fuel the debate on the main regional and continental development issues.

It is published jointly by CIRAD and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development, a technical body of the African Union), with financial support from the Agence française de développement (AFD), and fits in with NEPAD’s new Rural Futures Programme, which is intended to support territorial dynamics and structural change for sustainable development of the continent.

The atlas comprises 24 spreads and 77 illustrations, and is the fruit of collaboration between 53 authors, 23 from CIRAD and 20 representatives of African institutions (including six GovInn researchers). It will be supplemented and updated regularly.

The atlas was widely praised by the participants in the 2nd Africa Rural Development Forum organized by NEPAD in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 8 to 10 September 2016, and is due to be presented shortly to the European Union, the main donors in the rural sector and African Heads of State at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in late January 2017.
It is available on line, in English and French.

For more information on the Atlas as well as a look at the fourth infographic spread click here, or the NEPAD webpage here, to view the other corresponding spreads visit the CIRAD webpage here.

‘Visible and invisible bordering practices: The EU-African migration conundrum and spatial mobility of borders’

 

In his latest article with Inocent Moyo (Department of Geography, University of South Africa), GovInn deputy-director Chris Nshimbi interrogates the European Union’s (EU) and Africa’s relationship on international migration issues. The paper employs the concepts of displacement and humanitarianism in an effort to frame the EU-Africa relations on migration in the context of borders, boundaries and frontiers. The findings suggest that issues of militarisation, securitisation, restrictive and, sometimes, draconian immigration regimes do not provide sustainable solutions to the migration crisis facing Europe. Theoretically, the paper attempts to understand better, the way the EU and Africa engage each other on international migration issues, in the context of border studies. Empirically, the paper positions itself in policy engagements and the quest for practical solutions by the two continents in view of the migration crisis currently facing Europe. Read the full article here.