Showing posts from June, 2012

Links & Contents I Liked 31

Hello all, A good week for interesting links, photos and documentaries! Football is about to start, so I suggest you just sit back, relax and scroll the links in the meantime! Enjoy! New on aidnography How peacebuilding has become a ritualised space-Summary of my PhD project To make rather unexciting PhD research a bit more exciting, there's already an interesting development since I published the post on Tuesday: The full version of the thesis is no longer available from the University of Sussex website and this is unlikely to change any time soon. One of the organisations from Germany is concerned with my research approach and I am currently working with the university on ways to keep the thesis accessible in the public domain. Development Nothing invokes the good old days of air travel like a PanAm Boeing 747 at JFK Airport...The year is 1973 amd 'volountourism' wasn't even invented yet ;)! Actually, there is a more appropriate reason why the picture and the lin

How peacebuilding has become a ritualised space-Summary of my PhD project

After a long journey, I am finally able to share my doctoral thesis How peacebuilding has become a ritualised space- An aidnography from Germany and Nepal with you. In the unlikely event that you are not as excited as I still am and you don’t want to jump straight to the full 233 page document here [see 'Update' below], this post provides a more accessible overview. The post comes in three sections, starting with the brief abstract  of the project, followed by a short-ish summary of findings that you can also download here as a pdf file. Finally, there’s the table of contents as a teaser to what to expect should you add the thesis to your reading list. I also sent out a Thank You Email to many friends and colleagues who contributed information, advice and sometimes ‘just’ an open ear to the process and I’d like to extend those Thank You’s to the development blog community as well! If you have any questions, comments or require more reading ;) –just drop me a message!  U

Links & Contents I Liked 30

Hello all! With a slight delay this week's link review is a bit shorter and more 'conservative' than last week's, dare I say, more exciting one around the theme of stories and storytelling . Actually, this week's focus is on social media-and failing law schools-but the two are not really related... Enjoy! New on aidnography Development blogging-How to have fun, avoid disappointment & be a strategic writer Development Confusion and Delay (repost) There is nothing quite like being a parent. I have ridden motorcycles in shorts, sometimes with no helmet, and I have crashed twice – once into a BMW; I have traveled through war zones on two continents, and I have remained standing during a mortar attack; I have eaten “happy pizza” in Cambodia, drunk coca tea in Bolivia and been able to keep down fermented cow blood/milk/urine in Sudan; I have handled live cobras; I have been shot at; I have had the symptoms of both dengue fever and malaria; I once went for two weeks

Development blogging-How to have fun, avoid disappointment & be a strategic writer

There have been a few interesting posts on the ‘how to’ (and why) of (development) blogging, e.g. by Chris Blattman , Joitske Hulsebosch , Duncan Green or Tyler Cowen ). The development ones tend to focus on important ‘housekeeping’ rules, but blogging is more than ‘don’t be snarky’ and ‘write about things you know and care’. I want to add a few more, let's call them, meta-points about development blogging that I have learned since I started blogging in the middle of 2010. Blogging is (still) responsive to agenda set elsewhere On most days and on most topics development blogging responds to something (conference, event) or someone (journalist getting something wrong). You can use it to your advantage and ‘join the debate’ but that also means you need to be prepared and respond in a timely manner. My posts on the initial Kony 2012 video , female bloggers or Charles Kenny's MBA contemplations were all responses wrote to enrich an ongoing debate. If taken at least half-ser

Links & Contents I Liked 29

Hello all! This week's collection of links turned out to be dominated by the 'storytelling' theme: We are a 'storytelling animal' as new book confirms; a video diary of a war reporter, poetic reflections on 'dating a girl who travels', a personal account of a professor on his struggles with academia and alcohol in the quest to become 'bulletproof' and an article on mining and local resistance in Ecuador are all great stories and examples of how beautiful, violent, poetic and contradictory dealing with development and academic professionalism can sometimes be. There's more for you to explore and enjoy, of course, e.g. on taxes in Africa and on the deficiencies of NGOs' stress management. Make stories part of your lifestyle ;)!   New on aidnography ‘Crucial days’ for Nepal. Still? Again? And for how long? Reading some of the recent articles on Nepal, I was faced with an almost philosophical question: What if the ‘transition’ from the ‘old’

Does the WWF help the industry more than the environment?

New book and WWF's legal threats instigate new debate in Germany As strange as it may sound in a globalised world, but there is currently an interesting development-related debate going on and the chances are high that you haven’t heard about it. The problem is that the discussions around the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) have been almost exclusively taking place in Germany and German media. Almost a year ago I wrote a post on a documentary ( The WWF and the industry-What role for environmental organisations in the age of multinationals and biofuels? ) that caused quite a debate in Germany over the role of the WWF, particularly WWF's relationships with multinational companies and the risk of 'greenwashing' their logging and agricultural endeavours. Although this documentary is now available in English and even nominated for an award, except for a short note on the author’s website The silence of the Pandas- What the WWF isn´t saying" has been nominated i

‘Crucial days’ for Nepal. Still? Again? And for how long?

Reading some of the recent articles on Nepal, I was faced with an almost philosophical question: What if the ‘transition’ from the ‘old’ to a ‘new’ Nepal wasn’t really a process, but a convenient discursive construction to keep people motivated and hide the fact that many of the Kathmandu-based elite still don’t have a ‘vision’ for Nepal? Or maybe there is no ‘vision’ at all in the 21 st century if your country is lodged between India and China and exposed to global development models? I have come across three articles recently that capture the current challenges quite well in their different ways. Seymon Brown and Vanda Felbab-Brown wrote a piece for the NYT ( Nepal, on the Brink ofCollapse ) and according to most observers gave a somewhat accurate description of the current situation, even if some claims about the risks of a ‘failed state’ may be a bit alarmist. Sara Shneiderman and Mark Turin’s letter to the NYT was a helpful qualification and addition: ‘ Still, Nepal has m