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From Impunity to Accountability: Africa's Development in the 21st Century

22nd Social Research Conference November 18-19, 2010

Our decision to devote an issue of Social Research: An International Quarterly and a conference to accountability for Africa's development in the 21st century is motivated by the fact that the region's growth has not made a notable dent in poverty on the continent. Performance in recent years on a range of measures of socioeconomic development and political stability is far from what one might hope it would be. For example, Africa will be the only region where the Millennium Development targets will not be met. Many parts of sub-Saharan Africa suffer from political instability. Economies remain fragile, only a heartbeat away from crisis instigated by natural or global shocks.

 

Many analysts have pointed out that the international community is more concerned about sub-Saharan Africa than its own political leadership is. While there may be some degree of exaggeration in such a claim, the region does, in fact, remain dependent on foreign aid. This is despite the fact that Africa, with rich natural resources and population approaching a billion, has the potential for high and sustained growth.

 

While the region's problems and constraints are varied, we believe the relationship between the people and their government to be one of the most critical. In many of these countries, governments remain unresponsive to the needs of their people and are accountable to their own interests rather than their people. In the special issue of Social Research, on which this proposed conference is based, we will bring the relationship between the governors and the governed into the spotlight once again. By bringing some of our authors together for a frank discussion with each other and the public, we hope to generate a productive debate among social scientists and other experts that might serve to prod policy makers and the international community to take more appropriate actions than those they may be currently engaged in.

 

This conference is made possible by generous support from the Ford FoundationInstitute of International Education (IIE), the integrated New School Graduate Program in International Affairs and Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy, and the Global Studies Program at The New School.

 

To order the related issue of Social Research: An International Quarterly

From Impunity to Accountability: Africa's Development in the 21st Century, Vol. 77, No. 4, (Winter 2010)

PROGRAM

Thursday, November 18

 

KEYNOTE EVENT: BUILDING ON A DECADE OF PROGRESS: SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY FOR A BREAKTHROUGH IN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT

 

Tegegnework Gettu, head of the Africa Bureau, United Nations Development Program; Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations 
Panelists:
Sean Jacobs, Assistant Professor, International Affairs at New School for General Studies
Ronald Kassimir, Associate Provost for Research and Special Projects, The New School
Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, development economist, Professor of International Affairs, The New School

 

Friday, November 19

 

SESSION I: ACCOUNTABILITY, DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT: CAN THE STATE DELIVER?

William Easterly, Professor of Economics, Co-director of Development Research Institute, New York University

DEMOCRACY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Agnès Callamard, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19
ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND IN AFRICA

Befekadu Degefe, former Economics Research Fellow, New School for Social Research 
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA

Moderator: Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, development economist, Professor of International Affairs, the New School

 

SESSION II:  MAKING THE STATE ACCOUNTABLE: INITIAL CONDITIONS AND ROADMAPS FOR THE FUTURE

Nicolas van de Walle, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, Director, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell University and Kristin McKie (presenting), Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Government, Cornell University 
MECHANISMS OF ACCOUNTABILITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Robert Bates, Eaton Professor, Department of Government, Faculty Fellow of the Institute for International Development, member of the Department of African and African-American Studies, Harvard University
DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA: A VERY SHORT HISTORY

George B. N. Ayittey, President, Free Africa Foundation
TRADITIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND THE STATE OF ACCOUNTABILITY IN AFRICA
Mueni wa Muiu, Associate Professor of Political Science, Winston-Salem State University
KUME KUCHA: COLONIAL AND POST COLONIAL STATE AND DEVELOPMENTS IN AFRICA

Moderator: Ronald Kassimir, Associate Provost for Research and Special Projects, the New School

 

SESSION III: MODELS OF THE PAST AND NEW PARADIGMS: EVALUATIONS BASED ON COUNTRY EXPERIENCES

Kelechi A. Kalu, Director, Center for African Studies, Professor, Department of African American and African Studies, Ohio State University
NIGERIA: LEARNING FROM THE PAST TO MEET CHALLENGES OF THE 21ST CENTURY

Berhanu Nega, Professor of Economics, Bucknell University
ETHIOPIA: FROM AUTHORITARIAN TRADITION TO DEMOCRACY

John Mukum Mbaku (presenting), Professor of Economics, Weber State University, Mwangi Kimenyi, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and Nelipher Moyo
RECONSTITUTING AFRICA'S FAILED STATES: THE CASE OF SOMALIA

Moderator: Befekadu Degefe, former Economics Research Fellow, New School for Social Research

 

COLLABORATIVE EVENT: ACCOUNTABLE AUTHORITARIANISM? DISCUSSION ON DEMOCRACY AND POLITICAL CHANGE IN EAST AFRICA
sponsored by Global Studies, Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, and Project Africa
Panelists:
Jacqueline M. Klopp, Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University 
Peter Uvin, Academic Dean and Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies; Director, Institute for Human Security, The Fletcher School, Tufts University 
Rona Peligal, Africa Director, Human Rights Watch 
Moderator: Ron Kassimir, Associate Provost, The New School

BIOGRAPHIES

Speakers, Panelists, and Moderators

 

George B. N. Ayittey is President of the Free Africa Foundation. He is contributor to numerous scholarly volumes and his articles have been published in numerous journals and he has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, House Africa Sub-Committee, and Standing Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate of Canada. He is the author of Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development, Africa in Chaos, The Blueprint for Ghana’s Economic Recovery, Africa Betrayed, and Indigenous African Institutions, and Making Poor Nations Rich Free Africa Foundation.

 

Robert Bates is Eaton Professor in the Department of Government, a Faculty Fellow of the Institute for International Development, and a member of the Department of African and African-American Studies. He also serves as Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Toulouse. After rising to Full Professor at the California Institute of Technology, he became the Henry R. Luce Professor of Political Science and Economics at Duke University, where he also directed its Center for Political Economy. He is the author of numerous books, including Prosperity and Violence (2002) and When Things Fell Apart(2008). He is also co-author and co-editor of the two-volume study of the Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000 (2008). Bates has undertaken extensive fieldwork in Columbia, Brazil, and several nations in Africa.

 

Agnès Callamard is Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, a human rights organization with a specific mandate and focus on the defence and promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of information worldwide. Agnès is a former Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary General of Amnesty International and, as the organisation’s Research Policy Coordinator, led Amnesty’s work on women’s human rights. Agnès has conducted human rights investigations in a large number of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She founded and led HAP International (the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership) where she oversaw field trials in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Sierra Leone, and worked extensively in the field of international refugee movements with the Center for Refugee Studies in Toronto.

 

William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University and co-director of its Development Research Institute, which won the 2009 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge in Development Cooperation Award. He is the author of The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Harm and So Little Good (2006) and The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (2001). He was named in 2008 and 2009 among the Top 100 Global Public Intellectuals by Foreign Policy Magazine, and ranks among the top 100 most cited academic economists worldwide. He is co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics and directs and writes the Aid Watch blog. He is Research Associate of NBER, Senior Fellow at BREAD, and nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings.

 

Befekadu Degefe was Research Fellow in the Department of Economics at The New School for Social Research 2008-10 and The New School's first University in Exile Scholar in Residence. Professor Degefe taught economics at Addis Ababa University and served as external examiner and Visiting Professor in many universities in Africa between 1974 and 1991. He joined the UN Economic Commission for Africa as Senior Economic Affairs Officer and served as Team Leader and Lead Author of the Economic Report on Africa from 1994 to 2000. He was Director of the Center for Economic Studies and Policy Analysis from 2001 to 2005. He was a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1996, consultant to the World Bank and UNDP, President of the Ethiopia Economic Association from 2000 to 2004 and was also on the Advisory Committee for African Journal of Economic Policy.

 

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr is Professor of International Affairs at The New School. She is a development economist working in the multidisciplinary framework of capabilities and human development. Her current work focusses on international development agendas and human rights perspectives, the nexus of armed conflict and poverty, and global technology. Prior to coming to The New School, she was a Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where she worked on the book on the political economy of agricultural biotechnology. From 1995 to 2004, she was director of the UNDP Human Development Reports. Created by Mahbub ul Haq to advocate policy options that expand human choices and freedom, this annual publication that tracks global poverty and development has been an influential source on policy challenges for politicians, governments, NGOs, media, and researchers. The 10 reports Sakiko led covered a broad range of themes, from globalization to new technologies, democracy, human rights and cultural diversity. She has had a long career in international development, starting at the World Bank where she worked on agriculture in the Middle East, and moving on to UNDP where her assignments included managing programs in East and West Africa, and leading policy initiatives for aid effectiveness and capacity development.

 

Tegegnework Gettu is the UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator as well as UNDP Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa. He has had a diverse career in the UNDP, academia, government and the private sector. Dr. Gettu served as Chief of Staff and Director of UNDP’s Executive Office (from 2006 to 2009); UN Resident Coordinator/UN Resident Representative in Nigeria (from 2003 to 2006); Country Director for Southern Africa and Indian Ocean countries; AND Acting Resident Representative in Liberia and Sierra Leone. He has had an accomplished academic career as a fellow to Columbia University AND Assistant Professor and Lecturer at the University of Rochester in New York, Hunter College, and Addis Ababa University and also worked in Ethiopia’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and the private sector.

 

Sean Jacobs is Assistant Professor in International Affairs at New School for General Studies. He is working on a book on the intersection of mass media, globalization and liberal democracy in postapartheid South Africa. His books include Thabo Mbeki's World: The Politics and Ideology of the South African President, which he co-authored (Zed Books, 2002). His most recent scholarly articles have appeared in Politique Africaine (2006) and Media, Culture, and Society (2007). He is a regular contributor to the Guardian's Comment is Free site. Previously he taught African Studies as well as communication studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

 

Kelechi A. Kalu is Director of the Center for African Studies and Professor in the Department of African American and African Studies at Ohio State University. Previously, Dr. Kalu was a Professor of Political Science at The University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and Adjunct Professor of African Politics at the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver. He is the author of Economic Development and Nigerian Foreign Policy (2000) and is editor of and contributor to Agenda Setting and Public Policy in Africa (2004). Dr. Kalu has served as a consultant to the World Bank on Public Sector Governance. His current book project is on Political Restructuring in Post-Conflict States in Africa, which is part of a larger project funded by The Ford Foundation. Professor Kalu serves on the editorial board of several journals and currently is the Book Review Editor (Africa) for the Journal of Asian and African Studies.

 

Ronald Kassimir is Associate Provost for Research and Special Projects at The New School. Before joining the Office of the Provost in 2007, Ron spent two years as associate dean at The New School for Social Research. In his position, he oversaw faculty recruitment and hiring and worked on the school’s growing relationship with Eugene Lang College. He holds a faculty appointment as associate professor of Political Science. From 1996 to 2005, Ron was director of the Africa Program at the Social Science Research Council, where he also directed the International Dissertation Field Research Fellowship (IDRF) program and coordinated research networks on youth and globalization and humanitarian intervention. He developed a grants program to study youth issues for junior African professionals, which supported 50 African scholars and practitioners. He oversaw a series of case studies on the public role of African higher education and co-authored a study of African brain drain. He also forged partnerships with research institutions and networks in Africa. As director of IDRF, he managed a program that awards doctoral research grants to American students doing international work in the social sciences and humanities.

 

Mwangi Kimenyi is a senior fellow in the Africa Growth Initiative of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Previously, he has taught at University of Mississippi, University of Connecticut and University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Kimenyi is also a research associate with the Center for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford, U.K. Mwangi Kimenyi also served as member of the board of directors of Equity Bank, Kenya. He is the founding executive director of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA). He has authored or co-edited 7 books, 6 policy monographs and has published widely in refereed journals and books. Kimenyi was co-winner of the Outstanding Research Award (2001) by Global Development Network (GDN), recipient of the Georgescu-Roegen Prize in Economics (1991), and was recognized by the Senate and House of the State of Mississippi for work on public transit. In 1994, Kimenyi was named by the Policy Review as a top ten young market economist in the U.S. (Kimenyiis co-authoring the conference paper with John Mbaku, who will present the paper at the conference.)

 

John Mukum Mbaku is Willard L. Eccles Professor of Economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, and former (1986-2007) Associate Editor (Africa), Journal of Third World Studies. He received the Ph.D. in economics from the University of Georgia in 1985 and the J.D. degree and the Graduate Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the S. J. Quinney College of Law (2010) at the University of Utah. During the 2009/2010 academic year, he served as the Managing Editor of the S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Journal of Land, Resources & Environmental Law. His research interests are in public choice, constitutional political economy, sustainable development, law and development, international human rights, intellectual property, environmental law, rights of indigenous groups, trade integration, and institutional reforms in Africa. He has published quite prodigiously in many of the aforementioned areas in the form of books, articles and book chapters. His most recent books are Culture and Customs of Cameroon (2005), and Corruption in Africa: Causes, Consequences, and Cleanups (2007). (He is presenting the paper co-authored with Mwangi Kimenyi, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and Nelipher Moyo.)

 

Kristin McKie is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Government at Cornell University. She is currently completing her dissertation that explores the variation in the development of the rule of law across sub-Saharan Africa, especially relating to constraints on executive power. Her research is supported by a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. (She is presenting the paper co-authored with Nicholas van de Walle.)

Mueni wa Muiu is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Winston-Salem State University. Dr. Muiu is author of A New Paradigm of the African State (with Guy Martin in 2008) and The Pitfalls of Liberal Democracy and Late Nationalism in South Africa(2008). She is also a member of the Executive Council of the Association of Third World Studies.

 

Berhanu Nega is Professor of Economics at Bucknell University. In 2004, he left Bucknell to join the Department of Economics at Addis Ababa University where he established and directed the Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Organization, the first independent research institute in Ethiopia. He became a leader in the democratic opposition in Ethiopia and served as deputy chairman for the Coalition for Unity and Democracy. In 2005, he became the first elected mayor in Ethiopia’s history after winning more than 75 percent of the vote for mayor of Addis Ababa. The ruling party, however, declared victory in races throughout the country and arrested Nega and other opposition leaders on charges of treason. After being released, he returned to teach at Bucknell University. He is a founding chairman of the Rainbow Ethiopia: Movement for Democracy and Social Justice and is also the co-founder of Ginbot 7, an opposition party.

 

Nicolas van de Walle is a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development and is the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and the Director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University. He has published widely on democratization issues as well as on the politics of economic reform and on the effectiveness of foreign aid, with a special focus on Africa. In addition, van de Walle has worked extensively as a consultant for a variety of international and multilateral organizations, including the World Bank, USAID, and UNDP. His latest book is a CGD publication Overcoming Stagnation in Aid-Dependent Countries. (The conference paper is co-authored by Kristin McKie, who will present the paper at the conference.)

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