Ugandan Alchemy or The Resource Curse?

Here is a nice illustration of the resource curse from relatively recent history- taken from the UN The pink line shows Uganda’s gold production The blue line shows Uganda’s gold exports   Note the way in which gold exports, but not gold production, suddenly increases immediately following the entry of  Ugandan troops into the Congo […]

A Very Brief History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This year I’m using the DRC as a major case study in underdevelopment (it is last on the UN’s HDI rankings after all) – Here’s my (mainly cut and paste from Wikipedia) very brief history of the DRC – I’ll add in video links, general links, pictures and extracts from numerous books laters…  The Stuff […]

I want a HERTI for my birthday

For those of you that don’t know – a HERTI is a drone – a  ‘High Endurance Rapid Technology Insertion’ drone – Or a five-metre long, unmanned, remote controlled aircraft produced by BAE systems – the kind that the Ministry of Defence tested out inAfghanistan between 2007 and 2009. BAE drones are programmed to take off and […]

My top four examples of elites getting away with crime

So in week 2 this term – we look at what the crusty old men at the AQA label the ‘Marxist’ perspective on crime – part of what they say the ‘Marxist’ perspective is involves the Criminal Justice System being unfair – here are four examples that support this view – four examples of elites getting […]

Violence Costs, Peace Pays – The Global Peace Index 2011

Key findings from the Global Peace Index 2011   2011 Global Peace Index from Vision of Humanity on Vimeo. 2011 Global Peace Index from Vision of Humanity on Vimeo. Iceland is the most peaceful country, Somalia the least. The two worst performing indicators were the likelihood of terrorist attacks and violent demonstrations within countries – Despite […]

Libya – another war for oil?

BBC breakfast’s Sussanna Reid needs a bit more practise at faking it – it was painfully obvious that she’d just been told to wrap an interview up early when a pesky guest on Saturday’s breakfast show dared raise the point that the only thing that can explain why we’ve invaded Libya to protect democracy protesters but not, […]

Thinking Allowed – Donating to Disaster Victims

People are much more likely to give money to help victims of natural disasters than to help people who have been victims of human made disasters. This is according to the latest research by Dr Hanna Zagefka. She draws on a comparison between the £300 million donated to 2004 Tsunami victims and the mere £30 […]

Website of the Week – The Global Peace Index

This is an excellent resource for A level students studying Global Development – and it also demonstrates the ‘macro approach’ to Sociology extremely well. The Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks Independent countries by their ‘absence of violence’. The Index is composed of 23 indicators, ranging from such things as a nation’s level of military expenditure […]

It’s a holiday in Eritrea – don’t forget to pack some cheese

I haven’t been posting over Christmas because I’ve been on holiday in Eritrea – so I think it appropriate to do a post based on a few observations of this little known country. For A level students studying Global Development Eritrea, you can, for the sake of the exam, pigeon hole Eritrea as an example of a country […]

The Hague – where leaders of poor countries face trial for war crimes

A couple of items from ‘The Week’ highlighting two recent court cases demonstrate how power can distort international criminal justice – In the first case, Jean-Pierre Bemba, the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has gone on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. […]