How Does The Necessity of Paid Work Impact Our Students?: Learning from The Global Studies Student Employment Survey

This post is written by Dr. Paul Gilbert and was originally published on the Sussex Anthropology blog ‘Culture and Capitalism’

There is little more grating, for those of us who work in Higher Education, than those portions of the British media who insist on propagating lazy stereotypes of ‘work-shy millennials’. Year on year, the hours our students spend in employment outside of the classroom only seem to increase. At the same time, efforts to ensure our courses are relevant and up-to-date only raise the number of publications and news wires we now expect our students to monitor. The demands placed on our students’ time by the need for paid employment alongside their studies is something of an open secret: most of us are well aware of it, but not quite sure what to do about it – especially when a 30-credit module is designed to require 300 hours of learning. Read more ›

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Posted in Anthropology, Economy, Rights

Rethinking rebel rule: How Mai-Mai groups in eastern Congo govern

This post by Kasper Hoffmann (University of Copenhagen) and Judith Verweijen (University of Sussex) was originally published on the London School of Economics Conflict Research Programme blog. 

Around the world, vast amounts of people live in areas marked by rebel presence. A growing body of scholarly work examines “rebel governance”, which has emerged as an interdisciplinary field of study. Scholars in this subfield typically share a desire to go beyond stereotypical images of rebels as violent savages or as greedy warlords. By focusing on how rebels govern, these scholars wish to show that rebels are engaged in creating forms of order rather than disorder.

Order may not be apparent in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo’s highly dynamic, fragmented, and fluid military landscape. In the Kivu provinces alone there are presently well over 130 active armed groups. Most of these groups label themselves “Mai-Mai”-an umbrella term for armed groups claiming to engage in “self-defense” against “foreigners”. Read more ›

Posted in Anthropology, Economy, International Relations, Policy, Rights

Fracking democracy, criminalising dissent

This article by Andrea Brock, Dr. Amber Huff, Dr. Judith Verweijen, Professor Jan Selby, Professor David Ockwell, and Professor Peter Newell of the University of Sussex was originally published in ‘The Ecologist’ on 18 October, 2018. 

The anti-fracking victory yesterday should not distract from disturbing trends in the criminalisation of dissent.

Three anti-fracking protesters – Simon Blevins, Richard Roberts and Richard Loizou – were sentenced to 15 and 16 months in prison for ‘causing a public nuisance’ in late September this year. A fourth protester, Julian Brock, received an 18 months suspended sentence after pleading guilty to the public nuisance charges.

The ‘Frack-Free Four’ had been arrested during a ‘month of protest’ in the summer of 2017 that aimed to disrupt exploratory drilling activities at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire. The four climbed onto lorries that were delivering part of a drill rig and remained there for up to four days impeding the vehicles’ movement to the fracking site.

Their sentences were overturned, with the judge acknowledging that they were “manifestly excessive”.  It was a huge victory for the anti-fracking movement, and for everyone concerned about the right to protest in the UK and beyond.

Read more ›

Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Economy, International Relations, Nature, Policy, Rights, Uncategorized

Does anti-trafficking policy protect against forced labour and exploitation or harm? The ban on migration for domestic work in Ethiopia and Ghana

This post was written by Dr. Priya Deshingkar, Research Director/Senior Research Fellow at the Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR). 

Domestic workers who number at least 67 million adults worldwide, according to the International Labour Organization, have been in focus recently as a particularly vulnerable group of workers. These workers are often hidden from the public gaze and not covered adequately by labour laws leaving them vulnerable to abuse. Indeed a number of rights organisations and prominent photographers including Steve McCurry have highlighted the horrendous abuse that they can suffer. The occupation is highly gendered – most migrant domestic workers are female due to stereotypes and cultural norms related to men’s and women’s work and their capabilities in both source and destination societies. Read more ›

Posted in Anthropology, Economy, Gender, International Relations, migration, Policy, Rights

Victims or Empowered Citizens: Moving Beyond the Traditional Humanitarian Aid Model

This post was written by Shonali Banerjee, Doctoral Researcher in International Development, University of Sussex. 

As global humanitarian crises get broader, more complicated and more urgent, it’s critical to evaluate the current aid models and how they might be improved. Professor Thea Hilhorst of Erasmus University in the Netherlands discussed this topic earlier in the summer during a fascinating lecture at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). A long-time scholar of humanitarian and reconstruction issues, Professor Hilhorst examined the many pitfalls of the classical humanitarian aid paradigms and explored the direction future humanitarian aid models can (and likely should) take. Here I’ll discuss the lecture and it’s many key takeaways, and relate Professor Hilhorst’s points to my own previous work with refugees on the Thailand/Myanmar Border. Read more ›

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Posted in Anthropology, International Relations, migration, Rights