Showing posts from October, 2012

The rough guide for setting up fake-ish academic conferences

Like many academics, I receive invitations to obscure global conferences on a fairly regular basis. They usually go hand in hand with links to so-called ‘open access journals’. Since I may get into legal trouble singling out specific conferences or organizers I felt inspired to write down a few essential criteria that ensure your conference will not be taken seriously by the academic community: 1. Set up a website – it should be a simple html-site based on a design template from 1997 (for inspiration, here's a link to my previous post on dodgy open access journals ); make sure it’s not linked to a university, organization or association (.com is the way to go!); don’t let a native speaker proof-read your announcement. 2. Make sure that you don’t have a specific title for your conference and that it covers whole disciplines or ideally more than one! Global academia is inclusive and interdisciplinary. The ‘annual conference on social science, economics, politics and humanities’ w

Links & Contents I Liked 48

Hello all, Maybe I should rename this post to 'links I dislike' , because there are really a few links I like for the fac t that I can disagree with them, e.g. refer ring to Rio Tinto as a 'shared value' development partner, or doing research on failed project management in Africa. And Bono's 'humbling realizations' are not that humbli ng after all, but then again, he it the Bon o-Man...enough with the ranting, th ough . Do check out a n interesting piece on remittances, agree with Duncan Green on why conferences are so bad and indu l ge in some guilty-pleasure reading around huma nitarian dating, plus there are funny academic-nerdy tumblrs, too! Enjoy! New on aidnography How do we help? (Book review) Even less than great introductory texts on the 'aid industry' deserves a proper review... Development How do I get started in a career in development? I plan in the coming months to provide a series of interviews and discussions with development prof

How Do We Help? (book review)

There is a fair amount of competition for attention on introductory texts on the history and con cepts of ‘development’. Since a new academic year has started recently and students (and teachers...) are probably already overwhelmed with literature I decided to add two more titles to pote ntial reading lists. Patrick Develtere’s ‘ How Do We Help - The Free Market in Development Aid ’ is the first one and a second new textbook review will follow soon. I liked the idea of reading a textbook from a continental European academic as opposed to Anglo-Saxon writing that dominates the market. But in all fairness, ‘How Do We Help’ is only a partial success and recommendation. Right from the introduction I had difficulties understanding the ‘free market’ notion that is hinted at in the subtitle. As far as I could tell from statements like we seek to demonstrate that at present the market dimension has gained the upper hand at the expense of the arena, and especially at the expen

Links & Contents I Liked 47

Hello all, This has been a gre at we ek for picking up interesting stuff from around t he blogosphere! Some insights from Nepal, Afghanistan and Cyprus first before a substan tial section on reflections on the chances and limitations on social entrepreneurism , (aid worker) well-being and transnational lifeworlds (great piece on the evolut ion of the baggage tag for travel nerds!); The 'Aid Prayer' from Nigeria is a must-read, but make sure to check out the academic section on how traditional writing skills prepare under-performing high schools for better results and why governments pretend to like social scientists with PhDs... Enjoy! Outsourcing peace With the integration of ex-Maoist combatants almost completed, the army is keen to improve its public relations and wants to project its role as an international peacekeeping force with a good record overseas. It is keen to diversify its activities at home as well as abroad, and although the UN has no such thing as perman

Links & Contents I Liked 46

Hello all, Invisible Children are back with a new video/documentary-and the blogosphere is not exactly exploding with reactions...still, if you haven't done yet, check out Tom Murphy's post (and maybe mine, too ;). Serious reading this week includes a really interesting piece on Afghanistan and the growing critique of foreign experts and expertise, a detailed study on psychological distress for humanitarian aid workers and a discussion on the burning question 'What on earth is a "Political Settlement"'? On the lighter side, there's the 'First World Anthem' , an exciting project on a Nairobi-based NGO version of 'The Office' and the question whether watching reality TV shows turns everyone into anthropologists! Enjoy! New on aidnography The Kony 2012 video franchise, or: Invisible Children’s latest ‘Move’ Tom Murphy's take on the latest Invisible Children video is also worth reading: Little Movement in Invisible Children's Latest Vi