Links I Liked

January 5, 2022

     By Duncan Green     

Confusing words used a long time ago

This made me feel ancient

Bad news on multiple fronts from the aid and development sector.

‘The Government of India’s decision to refuse renewal of Oxfam India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration will severely affect the ongoing humanitarian & social work in 16 states across the country.’

From Save the Children: ‘With profound sadness we confirm two of our staff are among the burnt bodies found in Myanmar after an attack by the military on Xmas Eve. Both new fathers working on education for children. The UN Security Council must convene & take action to hold those responsible to account.’

IRC: ‘the systems set up to prevent and address humanitarian crises are broken. 3 reasons:

1: Rise in “internationalized internal conflicts” – internal conflicts (countries fighting against non-state armed groups such as militias or opposition groups) where outside countries are backing one side. (E.g. Yemen)

2: Move to multipolar world means more and more vetoes at UN Security Council, which is becoming more irrelevant to conflict resolution (Syria, Palestine).

3: much of the conflict in the world today is driven by non-state actors – local opposition groups (Yemen); criminal gangs (Honduras and Haiti); armed groups (Sahel) = hard for a system set up to negotiate conflicts between states.’ Ht Tobias Denskus

On more positive notes (weirdly):

Desmond Tutu by Rowan Williams

Desmond Tutu, the right kind of egotist. RIP. This from Rowan Williams ht Andy Coates

And from Matthew Sherrington:

‘I heard him speak a few times while at Oxfam. I’ve always remembered this joke. “When the white man came, he had the bible and we had the land. He said let us pray. When we opened our eyes, we had the bible. And he had the land.”’

Kirsty McNeill: ‘Seven lessons about social change from 2021. We need big ideas; our job is to end culture wars, not win them; defending democracy comes first; we need to organise; those with the best stories win; invest in infrastructure; start a leadership revolution.’

What my 20 years in Afghanistan taught me about the Taliban – and how the west consistently underestimates them. Brilliant essay by Sippi Azarbaijani Moghaddam on the use of public “performance”, often violent to communicate and consolidate power.

GDP’s Days Are Numbered. Excellent overview of what kinds of measurement will really help policy, and the emerging consensus on alternatives to GDP by Diane Coyle ht Ranil Dissayanake

What was the most iconic inequality moment in history? – vintage Max Lawson piece on Jeff Bezos’ phallic space event and other contenders. Meanwhile, ‘Britain’s highest earners have been donating less to charity despite their soaring incomes, while donations from everyone else have risen‘. If only the government could come up with some less discretionary way to deal with the growing ‘generosity gap’……

Finally, thanks to the MA students of Sheffield Hallam Manifesto for this decolonizing academia manifesto – handy checklist – how’s your institutions doing? ht Bryony Vince

Decolonising manifesto
January 5, 2022
Duncan Green