Eve E. Buckley is associate professor of history at the University of Delaware.
The present volume is an attempt to theorise Africa’s [under-]development with a view to provide a sustainable enduring framework of operations that will arrest the elusive predicament of the continent while taking it forward from its current position of passivity. It rethinks and re-imagines a number of externally imposed problematic mechanisms used (un-)consciously in Africa, with the intention to raise awareness and foster critical thinking in scholars and scholarship on African development. With its predicament-oriented theorising, the book is a pacesetter on how to think and research Africa’s [under-]development. It is also an invaluable asset for social scientists, policy makers, development practitioners, civil society activists and politicians.
The book likewise aims to provide an argument for the developmental role of the state — one which has been the subject of a long-standing debate among development scholars. In addition, the book accounts for the role of civil society organizations, particularly their involvement in multi-stakeholder participation. Through different case studies, this book explains the outcome of public policy decisions as combinations of efforts among government and civil society actors, to ensure the creation of the most optimal public good. Finally, the book takes a comparative perspective, i.e., there are cases that directly or indirectly implicate the regional character of public policies that result in the creation and distribution of regional public goods.
This book is ideal for a seminar course. It is particularly intended for students in production agriculture, rural sociology, economics and public policy, environmental sciences, geography and land use planning, and other social sciences. Its rich insights make it a useful source of information for policy makers. It can also be used as a reference by professional economists and other researchers interested in issues relating to sustainable agricultural and rural development. While the coverage of some topics is, by necessity, more technical, the book is compiled with a general audience in mind. Thus, it should be of interest to anyone concerned with agriculture, natural resources and rural issues, particularly as they relate to the future of agriculture and of rural communities.
Recent advances in the reach and technological sophistication of identification systems have been nothing less than revolutionary. Since 2000, over 60 developing countries have established national ID programs. Digital technology, particularly biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans, has dramatically expanded the capabilities of these programs. Individuals can now be uniquely identified and reliably authenticated against their claimed identities. By enabling governments to work more effectively and transparently, identification is becoming a tool for accelerating development progress. Not only is provision of legal identity for all a target under the Sustainable Development Goals, but this book shows how it is also central to achieving numerous other SDG targets.
Yet, challenges remain. Identification systems can fail to include the poor, leaving them still unable to exercise their rights, access essential services, or fully participate in political and economic life. The possible erosion of privacy and the misuse of personal data, especially in countries that lack data privacy laws or the capacity to enforce them, is another challenge. Yet another is ensuring that investments in identification systems deliver a development payoff. There are all too many examples where large expenditures—sometimes supported by donor governments or agencies—appear to have had little impact.
Identification Revolution: Can Digital ID be Harnessed for Development? offers a balanced perspective on this new area, covering both the benefits and the risks of the identification revolution, as well as pinpointing opportunities to mitigate those risks.
Drawing on Ordnance Surveys and archival materials, Jim Clifford uses historical geographic information systems to map the migration of Greater London’s industry into West Ham’s marshlands and reveals the consequences for the working-class people who lived among the factories. He argues that an unstable and unhealthy environment fuelled protest and political transformation. Poverty, pollution, water shortages, infectious disease, floods, and an unemployment crisis provided an opening for a new urban politics to emerge.
By exploring the intersection of pollution, poverty, and instability, Clifford establishes the importance of the urban environment in the development of social democracy in Greater London at the turn of the twentieth century.
For Deep Down Dark, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Héctor Tobar received exclusive access to the miners and their tales. These thirty-three men came to think of the mine, a cavern inflicting constant and thundering aural torment, as a kind of coffin, and as a church where they sought redemption through prayer. Even while still buried, they all agreed that if by some miracle any of them escaped alive, they would share their story only collectively. Héctor Tobar was the person they chose to hear, and now to tell, that story.
The result is a masterwork or narrative journalism—a riveting, at times shocking, emotionally textured account of a singular human event. A New York Times bestseller, Deep Down Dark brings to haunting, tactile life the experience of being imprisoned inside a mountain of stone, the horror of being slowly consumed by hunger, and the spiritual and mystical elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place. In its stirring final chapters, it captures the profound way in which the lives of everyone involved in the disaster were forever changed.