'The big, era-defining questions and, at last, the subtle, tenable answers, teased out without clich or compromise. A vital volume at a critical moment.'
Dr Augustus Casely-Hayford, Director, Africa '05
'This book dispels the myth of a uniformly hopeless, hungry continent. It shows just how extraordinarily diverse Africa is and how much it has changed in the last 20 years.Full of fresh thinking on problems that face Africa and new African approaches to development.'
Richard Dowden, Director, Royal African Society
This ground-breaking book, with a foreword by former President of Ireland (199-997) and UN Human Rights Commissioner (1997 2002) Mary Robinson, uniquely distils the complex issues surrounding Africa at the beginning of the 21st century.
African and Western scholars provide a fascinating 'map' for the reader to navigate between issues such as urban and rural livelihoods, the potential of fresh water fishing, health, the HIV/AIDS crisis, conflict and efforts at peacemaking. Also included are critical assessments of Africa's role in the global economy, the growth of regional economic cooperation within Africa, the influence of ethnicity on the continent's politics, the evolution of its political institutions, and the impact of Africa's legal systems on its development. A substantial introductory essay by the editors measures the distance Africa has travelled and the lessons it has learned since Africa in Crisis, the classic Earthscan book, was published in 1985.
Ben Wisner is visiting research fellow at DESTIN, London School of Economics and at Benfield Hazard Research Centre, University College London, and visiting professor of environmental studies, Oberlin College, USA. Camilla Toulmin is Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development. Rutendo Chitiga is a freelance writer and editor, and has a postgraduate degree in environment and development.
Table of Contents
Introduction * Need for a Replacement for Africa in Crisis * Homogenizing Complexity * Twenty Years on from Africa in Crisis * What's Happened to the Crisis since Africa in Crisis was Published? * Arguments Old and New * Signs of Success * Running Out of Time? * How Can Our Book Contribute? * Part I: Human Ecology * Land-based Livelihoods * What are Rural Livelihoods? * Unfolding Livelihoods in West Africa * Two Cases * Fishing Livelihoods: Successful Diversification, or Sinking into Poverty? * Diverse People and Livelihoods * Fisheries as a Growing Livelihood Opportunity * The Attraction of the Fisheries Sector * Effects on Livelihood Security and Sustainability * Coping Strategies at Micro and Macro Levels * Urban Livelihoods * Framing Urban Livelihoods * Making a Living * Maintaining Social Networks and Urban Communities * Mounting Collective Action * The Challenge of HIV/AIDS * HIV/AIDS and its Potentially Devastating Impacts * Positive Anomalies * Avoiding the Trap * Food Security * Food Security: The Definitional Quandary * Vulnerability Discourse, Monitoring Practice and Food Aid * Description of Famine Early Warning Systems in Africa * Critical Assessment of Early Warning Systems in Africa * Recommendations for Best Practice * Part II: Institutional Change * The Global Economic Context *The Promise of Globalization and Achievements * The Failed Promise of Growth * Explaining the Poor Performance: Has Africa Adjusted? * Africa Maladjusted: The Low-growth Path * Legal Frameworks * The Roots of African Poverty and Vulnerability * Can African Governments Use Law to Restructure Dysfunctional Institutions? * How Africans Designed Laws * Legislative Theory and the Use of Law for Institutional Transformation * Gathering the Facts * The Politics of Decentralization * Fetters on Decentralization * Means of Resistance: Powers Transfer and Institutional Choice * National Institutions for Development: The Case of Botswana * Theorizing the Botswana State * Elite Unity, Underdevelopment and State Autonomy * Conscious Leadership and Class Unity: The Foundation of State Capacity * Identity and National Governance * The Colonial State and Legally Inscribed Identities * Post-colonial Dilemmas * Political Identity: A Methodological Consideration * Regional Economic and Political Institutions * The Southern African Development Community (SADC): A Historical Overview * Regional Transformations in the 1990s: Implications for SADC * Institutions for Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking * Human Rights and Conflict Management in Africa: Five Propositions * Enhancing Understanding * Part III: Conclusions * Agenda for Action * What African Civil Society can Do * What African Governments can Do * What Donors and International Organizations can Do * What Non-governmental Organizations can Do