My colleagues Lisa Ann Richey, David Simon, Ilan Kapoor & Stefano Ponte with a timely guest post as the International Studies Association’s (#ISA2019) annual meeting kicks off in Toronto. The topic is once again the journal Third World Quarterlywhich is sponsoring the reception of ISA’s Global Development Section and the broader questions these discussions raise for higher education and academic publishing.
Olivier Van Beemen’s Heineken in Africa-A Multinational Unleashed is probably one of the most readable, nuanced and critical accounts of ‘multinationals doing business in Africa’ that I have read so far. Looking at the iconic Dutch beer brewer Heineken’s operations across the continent, Van Beemen presents case studies that dispel many myths about sustainability, corporate social responsibility and the contribution global companies make across Africa economies. Heineken in Africa is not on a crusade that shakes an angry fist against the evils of capitalism or condemning a multinational company and its product. Van Beemen uses his unagitated and meticulously researched style to the fullest advantage to present country-specific case studies of the brewer’s problematic relationship with power, politics and profits.
Right from the beginning Van Beemen makes it clear that Heineken’s business in Africa has always been very profitable. This has not been despite the stereotypical assumptions …
The David Lammy/White Saviour versus Stacey Dooley/Comic Relief debate is an excellent opportunity to look at some of the core elements of ritual communication behind many debates in international development-especially when charities and celebrities are involved!
At the time of writing the debate has already followed the first seven or eight steps and I’m pretty sure that it will go full circle between now and Red Nose Day 2020…
1. Don’t learn from past debates It is worth remembering that this is not some obscure debate a few development bloggers have pointed out. In late 2017, Comic Relief got called out for their video of sending Ed Sheeran to Liberia.
The Sheeran-fronted Comic Relief
video, during which the singer offers to pay hotel costs for street
children in Liberia, verged on “poverty tourism”, according to the jury. (...)“Ed Sheeran has good intentions,” she said. “But the problem is the
video is focused on Ed Sheera…
We were saving the best for last this week and enjoyed Kate Wright's keynote on Who's reporting Africa now? today!
Development news: UNHCR & asylum for sale in Kenya; the never-ending crisis in Western Sahara; donating beer; cheap antibiotics in Kenya; everyday sexism on Nigeria's street markets; learning from DRC's mining deals; Botswana's Heavy Metal Queens; career in the humanitarian sector; Syria-8 years into the conflict; Caribou Digital turns 5, ictworks turns 10!
Our digital lives: Facebook's AI maps Africa; AI monitoring staff in UK companies.
Publications: Australia is serious about banning orphanage tourism & exploitation; local response to Indonesia's earthquake; mental health in Syria.
Academia: Huge fine for predatory publisher; the case for decolonized anthropology; the trouble with teaching evaluations.
After the Economist’s piece on the (non-)value of doing a PhD and some comments later (e.g. Prometheus doesn't read the Economist (I like the slightly cynical dichotomy between ‘civilians’ and the ‘academic insiders) or the '100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School' (they are only halfway through so check it out regularly in the future...) I had an interesting conversation with a prospective PhD student a few days ago.
This was not the first time that I had been approached about doing a PhD and I always try to be as frank as possible, even playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ when it comes to the complicated ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ decision-making process. At the end of our conversation I sat down and tried to summarize a few important and generic points from the point of view of doing a PhD in Development Studies and in the UK.
I understand that every case is different and involves a range of motives, options and rationales, but there a few important questions and topics t…