To Subsidize, Systemize, and Sustain Conflict in the DRC

Wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo

International involvement in the violent clashes the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has faced since the dwindling of the Cold-War can be summarized into three terms: subsidization, systemization, and sustainability of conflict. This essay will draw out in detail why the international ‘response’ to clashes in the DRC is anything but an intervention and more indicative of the creation and maintenance of a political economy of conflict surrounding natural resources. The principal mechanism of exchange shown in this economy will be resource theft and weapons smuggling, with rebels groups acting as proxies for foreign interests facilitating an ultimately self-defeating quasi-state security apparatus for traders. Understanding how this economy of conflict works is acutely relevant in predicting future relations in the DRC and progressing towards a lasting peace. It is worth noting the DRC arguably has never had non-violent elections, and a new round of presidential elections are coming up in November.

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One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: The 2007 Global Crisis and Our Future

Have the worst wounds of the crisis been avoided? We might have cauterized the injury with an infection still inside. To name a few: advanced economies, the European Union (EU) and emerging nations face dire economic imbalances; archaic geopolitical style maneuvering is occurring at rising rates in Eastern Europe while Africa and the Arab region are bleeding migrants in alarming numbers. Even if you do not add in a changing climate, these relations will not equal a description of ‘smooth sailing’ for global economics in the foreseeable future. At the very least, they show an expressed need to move away from crisis economics as a ‘new normal’ and return to the ability to use conventional Keynesian models of economics. If taken as critical, as they should be, there is a need for broad structural changes that would see new models of economics that temper global arrangements in exchange for a more powerful state.

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To Build a Review of Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo

To Build a Review of Dead Aid

Dambisa Moyo confounded developmental economists and academia in 2009 with her pointed critique of the assistance regime surrounding development in sub-Saharan Africa when she published Dead Aid. Since that time, the ideas professed by Moyo have been considered rather profound yet divisive. Niall Ferguson sums up the initial basic question Moyo asks in his foreword to Dead Aid. Ferguson states, “why, ask Moyo, do the majority of sub-Saharan countries ‘flounder in a seemingly never-ending cycle of corruption, disease, poverty, and aid-dependency, despite the fact that their countries have received more than US$300 billion in development assistance since 1970” (Ferguson, 2009). Moyo claims within the writings of Dead Aid that the support or aid given to sub-Saharan Africa has failed in its scope by making the region poorer and that there are alternatives to the regime of assistance.  This essay will summarize and critique Dead Aid but also apply the findings to the broader debate on global integration. Moyo gives readers within Dead Aid a particular insight into the duality between ‘no-strings’ attached foreign direct investment (FDI) typified by the Eastern style of support to the Western ideology of democracy building as a contingency to aid.

Before diving into the summary and critique of Dead Aid, a few words on the uniqueness and background of Dambisa Moyo are in order. Moyo has a few significant benefits to the majority of theorist’s writing about sub-Saharan Africa. In borrowing from and summarizing Ferguson’s foreword to Dead Aid, Moyo is a black female born and raised in Zambia, a sub-Saharan African nation (Ferguson, 2009). On those merits alone she represents a perspective that should not be ignored. However, her education and career have taken her from places like Havard University all the way to Oxford University, and then to the professional world of economics with Goldman-Sachs for eight years in New York City (Ferguson, 2009). With her education and personal demographics, readers can see how she developed quite visceral views to aid in sub-Saharan Africa.

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International Political Harmony: A Chinese Creation

International Political Harmony:

A Chinese Creation

This essay attempts to argue that China’s international political economy (IPE) reflects a new understanding of international relations theory (IRT) that can be partly defined by Western ideologies but constitutes an independent approach. China’s approach to global trade in the 21st century does possess numerous threads of thinking that resemble the Western IRT of Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism. None of those ideas can stand alone and adequately define how China assesses or acts about the phenomenon of globalization. Viewing China as a constructivist would, through identity and perspective, you can begin to see how Chinese thinkers are developing IRT through a uniquely Chinese narrative. Using resources about a perceived trade war with the United States will highlight the possible development of a new IRT built upon harmony and not solely based on the spectrum between self-interest and cooperation.

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