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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

Regions without borders

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

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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

GovInn honored to be part of regional migration policy formulation

As part of the Migration for Work Research Consortium (MiWORC), GovInn is pleased to announce the final research report on social security and social protection of migrants in South Africa and SADC as well as its contribution to the formulation of regional policy on migration in Southern Africa.

Release of research report on social security and social protection of migrants in South Africa and SADC

The MiWORC Team is pleased to announce the publication of:

The research conducted for MiWORC Report #8 took place under MiWORC’s Work Package 4 on migrant workers and access to social rights and portability of social benefits in South Africa and the region. The report was written by Bob Deacon, Marius Olivier and Reason Beremauro.

The policy update on the SADC Labour Migration Policy Framework reports on the adoption of this document in 2014 and has relevance to the recommendations made in Report #8 as well as Report #1 A region without borders? Policy frameworks for regional labour migration towards South Africa.

Printed copies of both the report and the policy update can be obtained upon request from the African Centre for Migration & Society at Wits University. Please email miworc@migration.org.za or phone 011-717-4033.

Key messages in the report:

  • Social protection to which migrants are formally entitled within South Africa is often not accessed.
  • Informal modes of mutual social protection among migrant communities are often unsupported.
  • The inability of former migrant mine workers to access social security benefits requires urgent attention.
  • Access to social protection by all cross-border movers within a region is the key to regional social integration.
  • The sections of the 2014 SADC Protocol on Employment and Labour which address social protection need implementing.

Abstract of the report

This report highlights the realities of and issues around the provision of social protection for international regional migrant workers within the Southern African Development Community. The report tackles the contested policy question of which institutions or regional authorities are responsible for meeting the social protection needs of migrants.

The importance of this work lies both in the contribution which the researchers are able to make to literature on the subject of social protection and the recommendations they make to both SADC and individual countries. The primary argument of this report is that extending access to forms of social protection to migrants is key to real regional integration. Although migrants have some constitutional and legislative protection, in many instances legal stipulations exclude and discriminate non-nationals from accessing assistance and security.

Drawing on extensive qualitative field work, the report is able to highlight the vulnerabilities of these migrants and the difficulties they encounter when trying to access social services in foreign countries. Faced with these challenges, migrants are often found to assist one another through informal and social networks in order to meet social service needs.

Finally, the report also highlights the laws and practices which hinder access to pension, death, and disability benefits for migrant workers or their families once they leave South Africa and return home.

For more information and a list of all the publications containing all research findings, please see the consortium’s website www.miworc.org.za.

Copyright © 2015 Migrating for Work Research Consortium (MiWORC), All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up for the MiWORC mailing list, or interacted with the research consortium or expressed interest in its research findings.

Our mailing address is:
African Centre for Migration & Society
University of the Witwatersrand
P O Box 76, Wits,
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2050
South Africa

Website:
http://www.miworc.org.za

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.

Building regions from below: Informal cross-border trade and regional integration in the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite (AFRTJ)

The 15 member-state Southern African Development Community (SADC) started out in April 1980 as the Southern African Development Co-ordinating Conference (SADCC) and changed into SADC in August 1992. SADC aims at integrated regional development through formal regional institutions and seeks an economic union through the successive stages of regional integration as espoused by economic theory. This has consequences for the movement of factors of production in the region including labour, capital, goods and services. This research investigates the activities of informal cross-border traders and migrants in the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite in general and the SADC region in particular, with a view to understanding the contribution of such actors to the integration of the said regions. Informal (ethnic) entrepreneurs, local non-state actors, relevant officials from local, provincial and national government in the target areas and relevant officials from, among others, SADC, COMESA, EAC inform the research through interviews. The research gives special attention to persons living in towns, areas, etc. that are proximate to the borders of the countries that form part of the sample for the study. The research also relies on various theories and approaches, such as sociological exchange theory and international political economy approach, and presents historical, socioeconomic, and political accounts observable in the study target areas and populations.

Duration: 2014-2019
Funding: National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Technology (RSA)
chris_field1

GovInn deputy director Chris Nhsimbi conducting research on cross-border trade

Sara Mercandalli

Senior Research Fellow

Bio

Sara Mercandalli

Sara Mercandalli

Sara is a researcher from CIRAD seconded to GovInn since 2015. She is a development economist, specialized  in agriculture and rural development and holds a PhD in economics from the University Paris XI.

In recent years, her research focused on labor migration and rural households’ livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa looking in particular at the migration development nexus and policy implication in the context of sub-Saharan demo-economic transition. More recently, she has been expanding her research angle towards issues related to employment and structural change in rural areas, with a public policy analysis focus.

Before joining GovInn, she worked in Latin America and Africa as a project manager in fields such as institutional strengthening of the agricultural sector, agricultural extension and integrated rural development.

Within GovInn, Sara contributes to the axis on the Governance of the Commons and Transboundary Governance.

 

Research interests

  • Labor migration
  • Rural employment
  • Structural transformation
  • Rural development policy in Southern Africa

 

Projects

AFGROLAND Project

Determinants and drivers of migration in Africa (MIGRAFRICA) 

 

Links

You can find a list of her research publications here: https://cirad.academia.edu/SaraMercandalli

 

Contact

Email: sara.mercandalli@cirad.fr or sara.mercandalli@governanceinnovation.org

 

Channel Africa SABC

Towards an African passport?

From Channel Africa, SABC

At the just ended 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU Summit) held on 30-31 January 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme: “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”, the Executive Council of AU deliberated on and requested the Commission to present detailed roadmaps for implementation of, among other flagship projects, The African Passport and Free Movement of People. GovInn Researcher and Co-Director, Chris Nshimbi, participated in panel discussion on the idea of an African passort on the African Dialogue program on SABC’sChannel Africa, 16 February 2015.

Call for applicants BTC

Call for applications: 1-year scholarships in policy analysis, governance and development

Call for applicants BTC
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

The Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC), in collaboration with GovInn – The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, the Post-Graduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural development of the University of Pretoria, is offering one year scholarships in the fields of policy analysis and governance regarding development, for Master’s students engaging in their last/thesis year. The bursaries aim at promoting empirical fieldwork and research at the Master’s level.

Who should/can apply?

  • Students with an educational background in either sociology, political science, public administration, geography, anthropology, political economy, or socio-economy
  • Motivated students, with a well-structured research project, intending to finalize their Master’s thesis within 12 months
  • Master’s students engaging in their last/thesis year
  • Southern African citizens (priority will be given to South African students and South African related topics)

Which fields and topics are focused on?

  • Topics related to the broad field of development policy, in particular related to agriculture, rural development and natural resources governance in rural areas (agricultural and rural development policy, water policy, natural resource management, land reform, food security, etc.)
  • Topics related to public policies and governance – as the main object of research – will be prioritized.

What is included in the scholarship?

  • The scholarship will cover a monthly stipend for 12 months, 1-year registration fees and research costs related to the fieldwork for the Master’s thesis.

How to apply?

Applications should include:

1) A well-structured research project, including title, objectives, hypotheses, initial methodology and literature review, awaited results, preliminary calendar, academic/institutional set-up (discipline and supervisor) (3p. max)

2) Student’s CV

Applications should be send to Dr Ward Anseeuw (ward.anseeuw@up.ac.za) and Dr Magalie Bourblanc (magalie.bourblanc@cirad.fr), with the supervisor in CC.

Application process and calendar:

Deadline for applications: February 28th 2015
Selection outcome announced by University of Pretoria and BTC: April 2015
Starting date bursary: April 2015

For additional information, contact ward.anseeuw@up.ac.za and/or magalie.bourblanc@cirad.fr

Chris Nshimbi giving his presentation in Singapore

Voices from Outside: Re-shaping International Relations Theory and Practice in an era of Global Transformation, Singapore 2015

GovInn’s senior researcher Chris Nshimbi took part in the International Studies Association (ISA)’s Global South Caucus (GSCIS) Conference in Singapore (8-10 January 2015). He shares his work and conclusions with us. 

by Chris Nshimbi

At the International Studies Association’s Global South Caucus Conference in Singapore I presented two papers (titles and abstracts below) and chaired a session on “Foreign Investment, Transnational Corporations and Civil Society.”
The theme was “Voices from Outside: Re-shaping International Relations Theory and Practice in an era of Global Transformation.”
It provided a great chance for sharing some of GovInn’s ongoing research and findings from that research with international scholars from the global south. It also provided a wonderful opportunity for the exchange of ideas, networking and establishment of new relationship.
The caucus developed the theme “in view of the mutuality of interest between the caucus and ISA’s
first president from the global south, Professor Amitav Acharya.

Recognizing that international relations research and scholarship is deficient with respect to the inclusion of perspectives from the south, the caucus aims, through conferences such as these, to pioneer the integration of marginalized voices into “mainstream” scholarship.”

I contributed to the conference with two papers:

  • Globalization and the threat of marginalization: towards a definition of marginalization

Abstract: This paper discusses the threat to sideline some actors from the activities that characterize globalization in the contemporary global political economy, in an attempt to definite marginalization. The absence of a definition and literature conceptualizing marginalization motivates this study. To meet its objectives, the paper addresses the question:

How does globalization threaten to marginalize some actors from the global economy?

The paper reviews existing literature on marginalization across disciplines and that literature which employs the term without defining it. The review outlines factors that characterize marginalization and, with the help of conventional regional economic integration theory, examines regional integration among strategies that those threatened with marginalization collectively use to avert the threat. The paper presents marginalization as a condition or process where some areas and actors in the global political economy participate less in and are being pushed to the margins of globalization and corresponding activities. Marginalization emerges as a governance issue where those so threatened engage the global political economy to mediate and negotiate activities on their own behalf, especially when purported global institutions fail them. Moreover, all areas and populations in the world are, without exception, susceptible to marginalization.

  • Oscillations: Short-term domestic policy considerations and regional integration in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa

Abstract:

Do short-term domestic considerations make member states neglect long-term goals for regional integration?

The question is addressed by examining the evolution of regionalism in Southeast Asia and eastern and southern Africa. The IPE theory, realism, provides the core lens for viewing the evolution. A comprehensive outlook incorporating other IPE, historical, and sociocultural approaches is concurrently adopted and the examination conducted at international, state, and grassroots levels. Colonialism, independence, policy reforms, crises and grassroots cross-border interactions affect regionalism. A notable phenomenon is also revealed: if integration represented the opposite of fragmentation, then the evolutionary behavior of, respectively, Asian and African regionalism is comparable to an oscillating pendulum. Members are sometimes keen on regionalism but withdraw at other times. Regional states should turn from claiming state sovereignty against regional goals. Regionalism would also flourish if regional leaders focused less on consolidating domestic power. Authorities should encourage grassroots cross-border activities to promote bottom-up integration.

Call for abstracts: IGU 2015 Regional Conference, Moscow: “Regional integration in Southern Africa”

logo_classic_igumoscow17-21 August 2015, Lomonosov Moscow State University (LMSU)

In 1991, the African Union (AU) through the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) made a commitment towards integrating the African continent. In the AU’s integration agenda, the establishment of the AEC, is the ultimate expression and manifestation of the integration of the African continent. This integration is to be founded on eight regional economic communities (RECs) of which the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is one.

Ideally, successful integration in and of the respective RECs should translate into the success of the continental integration agenda. Africa on the other hand has in the past two decades experienced renewed growth, acquiring tags such as the rising sun. Therefore, this session proposes to discuss the challenges, prospects and opportunities that SADC has against its objective of an integrated southern Africa.

As one of the pillars of the proposed AEC, what are the economic, social, cultural and environmental challenges and trajectories of integration at the regional level in southern Africa?
For example, given the increasing levels of migration and the corresponding desire by some states to tighten cross border movement, is the idea of integration feasible, let alone sustainable?
Is a completely or partially integrated SADC region even possible?
What can SADC learn from the other regional economic communities on the African continent and other parts of the world?
What issues does the SADC region need to address in order to enhance integration?
How and does SADC relate with other RECs in Africa and outside in view of the continental integration agenda?
What can other RECs in Africa and other parts of the world learn from the SADC experience?
What can SADC learn from other regions?

SUBMISSION PROCEDURES:

Interested authors should register and submit abstracts (200-250 words) via the MOSCOW IGU Regional Conference website in the link provided below by selecting “Regional integration in Southern Africa: Changing socioeconomic balances in Africa and prospects for continental integration” under the “Session” drop down menu.

WEBSITE FOR REGISTRATION: http://www.igu2015.ru/instruction-abstract-submission

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING ABSTRACTS: 31 January 2015

NOTIFICATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE ABSTRACT REVIEW: 1 March 2015

Download the call for abstracts here

For further information please contact:

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

Or

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