Emmanuel Balogun

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Demonstrators march in Yangon, Myanmar, on July 3. (Stringer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The United Nations recently condemned coups in Mali in West Africa and Myanmar in Southeast Asia — and called for regional organizations ECOWAS and ASEAN to manage the crises. In May, Mali, a member of the Economic Community of West Africa, experienced its second coup in 18 months. And the civilian government of Myanmar, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, was overthrown in February.

With mounting pressures from the United Nations and the risk of retreat from others in the international community, many countries expect these regional organizations to do more to prevent unconstitutional changes in government. However, our research shows how established organizational cultures and principles temper the ASEAN and ECOWAS responses to the coups — and how that might unintentionally benefit coup leaders.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the world reckons with the covid-19 pandemic, we are learning firsthand how health epidemics often reveal underlying social, political and economic tensions in a society. In his latest book, “The Political Life of an Epidemic,” offers a vivid and rigorous account of the causes and consequences of Zimbabwe’s 2008-2009 cholera outbreak. Chigudu, associate professor of African politics and Fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, argues the cholera outbreak served as a “perfect storm,” opening a window to understanding the multiple ways disease affects the relationship of citizens with their government.

Scholars of diseases may look at the weakness and dysfunction of the Zimbabwean health system, and predict that a cholera outbreak was inevitable.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Sudanese child walks past a mural depicting protesters and soldiers on a street in Khartoum, Sudan, on Tuesday. Sudanese protesters continued their sit-in and gatherings near the army headquarters, pressing for a civilian council instead of the current military one. (Str/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

On April 11, after months of intensifying street protests, Sudan’s military ousted president Omar Hassan al-Bashir after nearly 30 years in power. The African Union, like other international bodies, responded by expressing dismay at the unconstitutional overthrow while calling for a calm and restrained transition to civilian, democratic rule.

Bashir is just the latest long-standing African leader to be deposed recently, including Burkina Faso’s Blaise Compaoré in 2014, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh in 2017, and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe in 2017.

In theory, the African Union is committed to rejecting unconstitutional changes in government. How strong is that commitment — and practically, what can and will the African Union do when there’s a military overthrow?…  Seguir leyendo »