Uganda has signed a pipeline deal with Tanzania and Total to transport crude oil from Uganda’s Albertine region to Tanzania’s Tanga port for refining, but the secrecy that surrounds this $3.5 billion project attracts questions around its viable benefit to the citizenry. For Uganda, this oil presents huge opportunities and significant risks.
Proposed Uganda pipeline. Wikimedia Commons
At all London Tube stations, there is a consistent reminder to “mind the gap between the train and the platform.” This is to always alert travelers about the risk of not taking the necessary precautions when entering and leaving the train wagons. It is precisely to avoid any accident that may arise when they miss a step and get trapped in the gap between the train and the platform.
I apply this analogy to Uganda’s oil resource programing and the highly theorized ‘resource curse’ or ‘paradox of plenty’ or the ‘poverty paradox’ to insist on Uganda’s need to ‘mind the gap’ between her oil resource and the likely outcomes.Read More
The revelations in the Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) of Terje Rød-Larsen’s links to Jeffrey Epstein are a reminder that personal goals, dreams and ambitions can become entwined in professional choices in unfortunate ways – including for well intentioned foreign policy actors.
Terje Rød-Larsen and IPI staff in 2017. Photo: IPI / Wikimedia Commons
The International Peace Institute in New York, the think tank Terje Rød-Larsen led for years, has received millions of kroner from sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s foundation. The man who in his time contributed to negotiating the incredible Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO has seen his international status fall from ‘star diplomat’ to that of a hustler kicked out of his own institute.
For the Norwegian authorities, the problem is that over the years, Rød-Larsen’s think tank has also received over NOK 130 million of Norwegian government funding. This has caused both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Office of the Auditor General to instigate investigations into Rød-Larsen’s working practices and networks.
For those of us who have been following Norwegian peace diplomacy for a while, this fall from grace did not come as a total shock.Read More
They outline three causal mechanisms – or pathways – for environmental peacebuilding:
(a) the contact hypothesis,
(b) diffusion of transnational norms, and
(c) state service provision.
These insights offer opportunities for both applied policymaking and future social science research about how to build and sustain positive peace. The piece brings together a large range of recent research on post-conflict environmental peacebuilding, citing examples from East Timor, Nepal, South Sudan, and Colombia, among others.
Attacks in the USA and reports of pandemic-related harassment of Asians has brought the #StopAsianHate conversation to Norway. In the summer of 2020, the conversation about discrimination and racism spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement also brought forth topics like the experience of adoptees from South Korea. And the murder of Johanne Zhangija Ilhe Hansen in 2019, which we know was racially motivated, has also been named by Norwegian youth as part of the greater conversation around growing up with an Asian background.
Stop Asian Hate. Photo: Victoria Pickering / FLICKR
Debates about racism often get stuck in the question of what “counts” as racism or not, or to what extent something is racist based on the intentions of the one saying or doing something. Meanwhile we hear an increasing number of stories from youth sharing the experience of both extreme racist incidents and everyday types of discrimination in which they are treated differently based on their appearance.
We know these are not isolated incidents. We also know that racism and discrimination is not a constant in everyone’s lives – quite the opposite, in fact.Read More