Ami V. Shah Profile picture
Mar 17, 2018 22 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
So #GeorgeClooney and #Prendergast are writing about #corruption and #conflict in #Africa and I need more caffeine to get started on this........
Alright: Friends, Romans, Countrymen. Toddler is napping. I've had another cup of tea. And there's a pile of marking in front of me. Seems like a good time to take on this article... comments right now will be short/brief... 2/
Second: the ridiculous head-in-the-sandness of all of this, and the international and global connections of the conflict and the war economies is astounding. 4/
I mean - the story is: the area has lots of cool fancy expensive resources. Leaders are horrible Africans. They are thus greedy and corrupt. And are so vile that they'll use horrific forms of violence. The cause must be the greed 5/
And corruption. I mean, what else could be involved in conflict in Africa? LET'S SOLVE IT ALL AND SHOW HOW MORAL WE ARE AND USE SANCTIONS. 6/
Yeah. About that. Um -- I think a longer-term history of conflict in the *region* (not just SSudan/Sudan), that includes the Cold War, proxy wars, militarization, etc... might just be helpful. As could, potential, the push for "peace and elections" 7/
to "solve" the Sudan Civil War. Let's also not forget about the various commodity chains linked into the extraction of natural resources. 8/
THIRD (and perhaps most dangerously) - the tropes in this article are tired and stale bros. (ahem, read that in multiple ways, friends). *Dangerously* tired and stale. 9/
Yet again, Africans are corrupt, greedy, amoral, violent, willing to use 'vile' forms of violence to capture their spoils. 10/
Yet again, Western responses can curtail, influence, command, force the outcome.... (Yup, worked well at the end of the Civil War....) (And the irony of intervening without acknowledging previous interventions. If it goes wrong, it's them. Right? We did it. Thanks!) 11/
And, YET FREAKING AGAIN, a particular case gets extended to ALL of Africa -- the generalizations here are outstanding. "African conflicts"... "Africa". Dude, we don't generalize New York with Idaho. What are we doing here? Specificity matters. Congo isn't South Africa. 12/
South Sudan isn't Ghana. 13/
Angola isn't Egypt. 14/
Sierra Leone isn't Kenya.15/
And Rwanda is not the standard by which all conflict in Africa should be understood. 16/
We've said it before, and let's all say it again: AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY. 17/
Sigh. This drivel gets published and republished and shopped around and read and then reproduced as potential policy. And expertise is thrown out the window. 18/
As I've argued elsewhere, the democratization of policy and development space (through participation of celebs, the general public, etc.), which may itself be a type of radical politics, often leads to very conservative conceptualizations of places and solutions. 19/
I'd also argue that no where gets the brunt of this more than the variety of countries on the African continent. 20/
For reference, article was published here:…

Thanks for following along. Fin. 21/21

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