Governance Uncovered: Local Politics and Development
A conversation with Prince Guma, Astrid Haas, and Patience Mususa on urban Africa
It’s a mashup! GLD's Jeffrey Paller join up with the Ufahamu Africa podcast to talk to Prince Guma, Astrid Haas, and Patience Mususa. Each is an expert on the urbanization of the continent.
The episode responds to Jeffrey’s recent article in This Week in Africa, “Five Trends that will Shape Urban Africa in 2023,” which highlights:
- Innovative forms of affordable housing
- Gentrifying neighbourhoods
- Heightened focus on emerging cities
- Confronting flooding
- The impact of big tech
Prince Guma is a researcher of cities, infrastructures and technologies in eastern Africa. Astrid Haas is an independent urban economist supporting cities and has worked extensively with city governments across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. And Patience Mususa is senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala.
Books, Links, & Articles
- Young Feminists Network (YFN)
- “Five Trends that will Shape Urban Africa in 2023.” by Jeffrey Paller
- Politics and the Urban Frontier: Transformation and Divergence in Late Urbanizing East Africa by Tom Goodfellow
- Gizo-Gizo!: A Tale from the Zongo Lagoon by Emily Williamson
- Seeing Like a City by Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift
- Disrupted Urbanism: Situated Smart Initiatives in African Cities by Nancy Odendaal
- Fragments of the City: Making and Remaking Urban Worlds by Colin McFarlane
- Rethinking Smart Urbanism: City-Making and the Spread of Digital Infrastructures in Nairobi by Prince Karakire Gura
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54. The Civil War in Sudan: History and Current Political and Humanitarian Crises01:00:30EPISODE TRANSCRIPTThis episode of Governance Uncovered focuses on the Sudanese civil war. Our first guest Munzoul Assal, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Khartoum and the University of Bergen, gives us insight into Sudan's complex history. Then, we'll hear from Dr. Iman Ahmed, a global health specialist with a focus on migration and refugee studies. She discusses healthcare challenges faced by doctors in Sudan. Finally, Dr. Khalid Mustafa Medani, Associate Professor of Political Science and Islamic Studies at McGill University, emphasizes the need for international attention to address humanitarian aid delivery challenges and political solutions in the crisis. The guests provide a comprehensive overview, highlighting the war's roots in political struggles and offering perspectives on healthcare issues and diaspora initiatives.Links:"A Love Letter to Sudan" - Interview with Professor Munzoul Assal by Åse Johanne Roti Dahl, communication adviser at CMI, May 2023. www.cmi.no/news/3137-a-love-letter-to-sudanGlobal Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism: grfdt.com/Sudan Doctor's Union: www.sdu-canada.ca/Sudan Doctor's Union donations campaign link, established on Zeffy: www.zeffy.com/en-CA/fundraising/…-a5c5-0f67021c45aaAfrican Studies at McGill University: asdmcgill.com/Doctors Without Borders Sudan: www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do…%20support."Sudan: How a tea-seller displaced by conflict led her family away from hunger." Article by Mohamed Elamin, World Food Programme, 2 August 2023.www.wfp.org/stories/sudan-how-t…ly-out-hungers-jaws
53. Diaspora Mobilization in Times of Crisis: Lessons from the MENA Region43:53EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Governance Uncovered is a podcast by the Governance and Lcoal Development Institute at the University of Gothenburg. This podcast is supported by the Swedish Research Council.In this episode, we have Dalia Abdelhady, Associate Professor in Sociology at Lund University, joining us in a conversation on diasporas. We'll discuss how events back home, whether natural disasters or political crises affect diaspora communities and how they engage with their homelands. We are also joined by Hamza Ouhaichi, a board member of the Moroccan Association in Malmö, Sweden, and a PhD student in computer science at Malmö University. Hamza will talk about how they work with community support at the Moroccan Association in Malmö and their recent emergency response efforts after the devastating earthquake in Morocco.Don't forget to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And without further ado, let's get into the episode!References:Abdelhady, D., & Aly, R. (Eds.) (2022). The Routledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Diasporas. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429266102Abdelhady, D. (2011). The Lebanese Diaspora: The Arab Immigrant Experience in New York, Montreal and Paris. New York University Press.Abdelhady, D., & Aly, R. (2022). Coming to and coming from the Middle East: the unfolding of diaspora. In D. Abdelhady, & R. Aly (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Diasporas (pp. 1-19). Routledge.
52. Controlling Territory, Controlling Voters: Book Interview with Michael Wahman35:33EPISODE TRANSCRIPTIn today's episode, we are joined by Michael Wahman, Associate Professor at Michigan State University's Department of Political Science.Host Ellen Lust and Michael discuss his book Controlling Territory, Controlling Voters, recently published by Oxford University Press. Michael's research leading up to this book, which spanned seven years, delves into the complex topic of electoral violence in Zambia and Malawi.The interview delves into the concept of electoral violence, examining its manifestations and its broader impact on the electoral process. Michael's research highlights the significance of low-scale violence and the fear it instills among voters, especially women.Furthermore, the interview explores the concept of geographically polarized electoral systems, a critical framework for understanding when and why electoral violence occurs. Michael explains how competition over territory, rather than individual voters, becomes a focal point in these systems, making election violence a tool for controlling space and shaping electoral outcomes.Michael also provides some practical implications of his work, emphasizing the importance of taking low-scale violence seriously, working with domestic election observers, and finding local solutions to de-escalate election violence.Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe if you liked the episode! And drop us a note on what you would like to hear next. We always like to hear from you!Reference: Wahman, Michael. (2023). Controlling Territory, Controlling Voters: The Electoral Geography of African Campaign Violence. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198872825
51. Understanding Ceasefires: A Conversation with Marika Sosnowski35:45EPISODE TRANSCRIPTIONThis podcast is supported by the Swedish Research Council. In this episode, we're joined by Marika Sosnowski, a postdoctoral research fellow at Melbourne Law School. Marika and host Ellen Lust discuss Marika's new book Redefining Ceasefires: Wartime Order and State Building in Syria. The book challenges traditional notions of ceasefires and examines their effects on governance beyond just halting violence. Marika emphasizes the complexity of ceasefires in Syria, particularly in the context of local governance. She discusses the case of the 2016 nationwide ceasefire and how it affected governance dynamics in different areas in Syria. She mentions that while violence decreased overall, targeted assassinations of key governance figures increased, leading to unexpected consequences for local governance efforts. The conversation also explores the disconnect between international perspectives on ceasefires and the perspectives of those living in conflict zones. Marika suggests that a human-centered view of ceasefires, focused on the needs and goals of those directly affected, could yield different outcomes. Overall, the interview sheds light on the multifaceted nature of ceasefires, their impact on governance, and the importance of considering local perspectives and needs when analyzing their effects.Mentioned work: Sosnowski, Marika. (2023). Redefining Ceasefires: Wartime Order and Statebuilding in Syria. Cambridge University Press.Sosnowski, Marika. (2023). "Fear and Violence, Loyalty and Treason: Settlement of Status in Syria." International Studies Quarterly. https://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/router/5996379d-fdb6-4363-9389-2a9e5e6bc039
50. Global Value Chains, Multiculturalism, and Civil Service Exams: Insights for Societal Progress59:34EPISODE TRANSCRIPT In this episode, Oliver Harman, Cities Economist for the International Growth Centre's Cities that Work initiative based at Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, and Riccardo Crescenzi, Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science, will be discussing their book "Harnessing Global Value Chains for Regional Development: How to Upgrade through Regional Policy, FDI, and Trade." They highlight the significance of considering global value chains at the regional level and the importance of coordination between different levels of government for effective policy implementation.Next, we're joined by Rebecca Grace Tan, a Lecturer at the National University of Singapore, who delves into her research on Singaporean politics, migration, citizenship, multiculturalism, and nationalism. She explores how the Singaporean state navigates the challenge of cultural pluralism while cultivating a common national identity, particularly through their framework of multiracialism.Selected Work: "Renegotiating Multiracialism: the grassroots integration of new migrants’ ethnic identities in Singapore," Asian Ethnicity. "Defanging Public Discontent in an Authoritarian Regime: Grassroots Volunteering and Immigration in Singapore," Commonwealth and Comparative Politics.Our final guest is Nick Kuipers, an assistant professor of political science at the National University of Singapore. Nick discusses his study on civil service exams and their impact on representation in municipalities, as well as individuals' attitudes. He uncovers the unintended consequences of high-stakes exams, which exacerbate the representation gap between privileged and underprivileged groups. Nick also sheds light on how passing or failing these exams affects individuals' satisfaction, social cohesion, and national identification.Selected Work: Forthcoming. "City Size and Public Service Access: Evidence From Brazil and Indonesia" (with A. Post). Perspectives on Politics.Forthcoming. "Failing The Test: The Countervailing Attitudinal Effects of Civil Service Examinations," American Political Science Review.This podcast is produced by the Governance and Local Development Institute, University of Gothenburg, and supported by the Swedish Research Council.
49. Between Borders: Refugee Return Dynamics and Integration Realities42:15EPISODE TRANSCRIPT In this episode of Governance Uncovered, we focus on refugee migration and integration as we're approaching World Refugee Day, which falls each year on the 20th of June. World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to acknowledge the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. Joining us today is Daniel Masterson, from the University of California, who will talk about his recently published paper in the British Journal of Political Science: Dynamics of Refugee Return: Syrian Refugees and their Migrant Intention. In this paper, Daniel and his co-authors, Ala Alrababah, Marine Casalis, Dominik Hangartner, and Jeremy Weinstein, look at what makes Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon decide to return home. Then, we'll hear from Isabell Schierenbeck and Andrea Spehar from the University of Gothenburg. They have looked at street-level bureaucrats in and Syrian refugee interactions in Sweden, Jordan, and Turkey. They have a book in Swedish publish on this work, called Migration i välfärdsstaten: att implementera integrationspolitik, (English translation: Migration in the Welfare State: To Implement Integration Politics).
48. Breaking Barriers: Women's Political Participation and Activism in China, Iran, and Egypt.33:21EPISODE TRANSCRIPTIn this episode, we'll focus on gender activism and women's political participation in three different countries. First, we'll talk to Minglu Chen about the current state of women's representation in politics in China; where some progress has been made in recent years, but Minglu now fears that the country is taking a step back. Minglu has extensively written on women's representation in China, and we are excited to have her share her insights with us.Then, we'll hear Shirin Saeidi and Nermin Allam on how gender activism takes place in Iran and Egypt, how it has evolved during the past decade, and what progress has been made. They'll talk about how the September 2022 protests in Iran and the Egypt 2011 uprisings have affected how women engage in activism and are recognized by society. GuestsMinglu Chen, Senior Lecturer in Government and International Relations, and a Member of the China Center at the University of Sydney.Mentioned research: “Innocent Young Girls": The Search for Female Provincial Leaders in China.Shirin Saeidi, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Arkansas and Director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies.Mentioned research: Women and the Islamic Republic: How Gendered Citizenship Conditions the Iranian State, Cambridge University Press 2022. Nermin Allam, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University-Newark.Mentioned research: Women and the Egyptian Revolution: Engagement and Activism during the 2011 Arab Uprisings, Cambridge University Press 2017.
46. Navigating Crises: Understanding the Impact and Road to Recovery48:39EPISODE TRANSCRIPTIn times of crisis, societies are forced to confront difficult challenges and make tough decisions. This episode delves into the complexities of crises, exploring different aspects of how they impact societies and the ways in which communities can recover and rebuild. Our first guest, Will Todman, discusses his research on how energy infrastructure is affected during conflicts. Next, we hear from Professor Rabia Polat, who shares her findings on Turkish local authorities' reception of Syrian refugees. The episode also includes a discussion on the recent earthquake in Turkey and the crisis response efforts that followed. Finally, Mohamad Alashmar brings a Syrian perspective to the table, discussing the impact of the earthquake on already fragile areas in Syria and exploring local initiatives and international aid. Together, these interviews and discussions provide a comprehensive look at crises and the complex road to recovery.GuestsWill Todman, fellow in the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.The mentioned report: Powering Recovery: Reform, Reconstruction, and Renewables in Conflict-Affected States in the Arab WorldThe mentioned project: Powering Recovery in the Middle EastRabia Polat, professor at Isik University in Instanbul, Department of International Relations.The mentioned research:Polat, R. K., & Lowndes, V. (2021). How does multi-level governance create capacity to address refugee needs, and with what limitations? An analysis of municipal responses to Syrian refugees in Istanbul. Journal of Refugee Studies, 35(1), 51–73. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feab101Lowndes, V., & Polat, R. K. (2020). How do local actors interpret, enact and contest policy? An analysis of local government responses to meeting the needs of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Local Government Studies, 48(3), 546–569. https://doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2020.1825386Mohamad Al-Ashmar, Ph.D. student and research fellow at the center for Syrian studies at the University of St Andrews, School of International relations.Mohamad is also a part of MERNID, the Middle East Research Network on Internal Displacement and SARN-UK, Syrian Academics and Researchers Network - UK.