By Richard Dowden

After a lifetime’s shut commentary of the continent, one of many world’s best Africa correspondents has penned a landmark publication on existence and demise in glossy Africa. It takes a advisor as observant, skilled, and sufferer as Richard Dowden to bare its truths. Dowden combines a novelist’s present for surroundings with the scholar’s grab of ancient swap as he spins stories of cults and trade in Senegal and standard spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the influence of oil and the net on Nigeria and relief on Sudan; and examines what has long past so badly mistaken in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. Dowden’s grasp paintings is an try and clarify why Africa is how it is, and permits its readers to determine and comprehend this fantastic continent as a spot of suggestion and large humanity.

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Additional info for Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

Sample text

What is missing in the multilayered governance alternative is a sense of why politics matters. Where official aid agencies and international financial institutions currently claim to intervene in poor countries in the name of development or in the name of the poor, they face the same criticisms as past colonial rulers: they cannot claim to be representatives of recipient country populations and they cannot be held accountable by them. The very idea that external actors can create ownership hints at the way that, in defining ownership as commitment to externally defined reform agendas, donors have denuded the concept of the key source of its progressive content: its potential to attach to popular aspirations.

In International Relations in Political Thought: Texts from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War, eds. C. Brown, T. Nardin, and N. J. Rengger (2002) (pp. 486–93). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Morrissey, O. and Verschoor, A. 2006. What Does Ownership Mean in Practice? In The IMF, World Bank and Policy Reform, eds. A. Paloni and M. Zanardi. London, Routledge, 276–91. , and Toye, J. 1991. Aid and Power: The World Bank and Policy-Based Lending. First ed. Vol. 1. London, Routledge. Nelson, J.

J. S. Mill famously limited his argument for non-intervention in the case of ‘barbarous’ peoples. Although the language jars now, this is a qualification worth noting because many of the contemporary arguments against Mill’s general principle of non-intervention also draw on arguments about the nature of reason and will in African societies that relate to Mill’s definition of barbarism. Our disagreement in this chapter is with widespread contemporary characterization of Africans as ‘less reasoning’.

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