Editorial: COVID-19, Inequality, and Social Stratification in Africa

Associate Professor Franklin Obeng-Odoom has published a new editorial in the African Review of Economics and Finance entitled “COVID-19, Inequality, and Social Stratification in Africa”. The article is open access and can be found here.

Abstract

The global health emergency reflects systemic global inequalities central to which is social stratification in Africa. While existing analyses frame Africa as needy of global ‘help’, this editorial argues that whether in terms of the economics of inequality, pandemics, or recovery, Africa can teach the rest of the world key lessons.

New Article: Afro-Chinese Labour Migration

Associate Professor Franklin Obeng-Odoom has published a new article in the Forum for Social Economics entitled “Afro-Chinese Labour Migration”. It can be found here.

Labour migration is, perhaps, the most widely discussed economic issue today. Yet, its underpinning theory and its empirical tests have remained largely Western-centric. In turn, the causes, effects, and policy options for the substantial, but widely neglected, Afro-Chinese labour migration, are poorly understood. By systematising existing data, this article shows that Afro-Chinese labour migration experience is far more complex than what neoclassical economics suggests. Driven, or, at least moulded, not so much by the migrant as a rational utility-maximising individual but by holistic processes of ‘circular, combined and cumulation causation’, Afro-Chinese migration, and Afro-Chinese relations, more generally, have contributed to economic growth, but at the cost of much socio-spatial displacement, and socio-ecological degradation. Added to these social costs is widespread labour exploitation. So, the insidious attempts by the state, business enterprise, corporate finance, and capital to consider migration as a ‘spatial fix’ for economic growth are questionable. Seeking to wall out migrants, embarking on widespread surveillance, pursuing migrant scape-goating, and framing migration as a Malthusian problem are, however, not a panacea. The social costs of migration need to be directly redressed, among others, by redesigning the institutions that shape the conditions of labour. Doing so would require leaving behind neoclassical economics theories of migration and exposing their vested interests. Social economics theories and theorising that more comprehensively address the labour migration problematique and strongly emphasise the coupling of migration, economic, and social policy can usefully be considered as alternatives.

Editorial: Global Climate Emergency: after COP24, climate science, urgency, and the threat to humanity

Development Studies Professor Barry Gills and Leeds Beckett University Sociology Professor Jamie Morgan have published an urgent editorial about the global climate crisis in the journal Globalizations.

The abstract is below, and the full article is free to read, here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.2019.1669915

Global Climate Emergency: after COP24, climate science, urgency, and the threat to humanity

by Barry Gills & Jamie Morgan

This Special Editorial on the Climate Emergency makes the case that although we are living in the time of Global Climate Emergency we are not yet acting as if we are in an imminent crisis. The authors review key aspects of the institutional response and climate science over the past several decades and the role of the economic system in perpetuating inertia on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Humanity is now the primary influence on the planet, and events in and around COP24 are the latest reminder that we live in a pathological system. A political economy has rendered the UNFCCC process as yet a successful failure. Fundamental change is urgently required. The conclusions contain recommendations and a call to action now.

Press Release: Fight­ing for biod­iversity loss in Mad­a­gas­car re­quires greater col­lab­or­a­tion between re­search­ers and man­agers

Development Studies Lecturer Aili Pyhälä has been working as part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the University of Helsinki to help fight biodiversity loss in Madagascar National Parks by working with park managers and studying their perceptions of how to best handle protected areas. Dr Pyhälä is also a lead author of the resulting article based on their findings. Check out the press release below for more information, and the link to the open access article!

Fight­ing for biod­iversity loss in Mad­a­gas­car re­quires greater col­lab­or­a­tion between re­search­ers and man­agers

Pyhälä, A., Eklund, J., McBride, M. F., Rakotoarijaona, M. A., and Cabeza M. 2018. Managers’ perceptions of protected area outcomes in Madagascar highlight the need for species monitoring and knowledge transfer. Conservation Science and Practice. In press. doi: 10.1002/csp2.6.