New article by Ruben Andersson explores pitfalls of academic outreach

Submitted by jo on Fri, 2017-12-08 15:44

Ever since the ‘refugee crisis’ hit European shores, policy-makers, journalists and politicians have sought out knowledge on ‘unwanted’ migration and ‘what to do about it’. As influential people knock on academic doors, Dr Andersson asks, how should academics engage, and under what conditions?

The seemingly endless rounds of panel debates, conferences and other policy-focused outreach pull academics towards ‘high-level’ engagements, while short-term or politically driven ‘emergency’ funding pushes them towards narrowly defined research objectives. Meanwhile, the ‘impact’ agenda – most developed in the UK, yet increasingly encroaching on other academic ecosystems – is shifting institutional incentives towards specific forms of scholarly activity.

This article builds an ‘auto-ethnographic’ account of Dr Andersson's own experiences of crossing the borders of anthropology at a time of perceived migratory crisis and increasing impact calls. Delineating the pitfalls and risks of ‘capture’ by policy agendas, the article argues for active navigation of the borderlands between academia and its various publics. For anthropologists to wrest some control, he suggests, they must be willing to take risks and get their hands dirty; strategically deploy their ethnographic sensibilities to the full; and stand ready to apply their analytical skills to powerful systems – including, not least, to the impact agenda itself.

Ruben Andersson (2017) 'The price of impact: reflections on academic outreach amid the "refugee crisis"'. Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, DOI: 10.1111/1469-8676.12478

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Friday, December 8, 2017 - 15:30
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Friday, December 8, 2017
Introduction: 

In a new article, Ruben Andersson draws on his personal experience as a migration researcher during the 'refugee crisis' to reflect on the pitfalls and complexities of academic outreach.

Research theme: 
Migration and Refugees in a Global Context

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TMCD to host China-UK Development and Innovation Forum

Submitted by jo on Mon, 2017-12-04 11:16

The event aims to facilitate discussion between policy-makers, academics and business leaders from China and the UK on recent developments in science, technology and innovation and their impact on economic and social development.

This event is organised by TMCD in collaboration with Innovate UK, the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), the Institute of Sciences and Development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASISD) and the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED), directly affiliated to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China.

The theme of this year's forum is 'Driving Growth and Addressing Challenges Together'. It takes place on Wednesday 6 December 2017 at the Institute of Directors in London.

The inaugural forum was held in November 2016.

Find out more

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Monday, December 4, 2017 - 11:15
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Monday, December 4, 2017
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ODID’s Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD) will host the second China-UK Development and Innovation Forum in London this week.

Research theme: 
Economic Development and International Institutions

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New RSC article explores variation in economic outcomes for refugees

Submitted by jo on Fri, 2017-12-01 11:48

In the context of protracted refugee situations, there has been a revival in concern among policymakers to transcend the so-called humanitarian-development divide and create greater opportunities for self-reliance. Yet, these discussions too often neglect an analytical focus on refugees’ own economic lives, and their own interactions with markets. Despite a growing literature on the economic lives of refugees, much of that work has lacked theory or data. The work that has been quantitative has generally focused on the economic impact of refugees on host countries rather than explaining variation in economic outcomes for refugees. 

In order to explain variation in economic outcomes for refugees, this article asks three questions about the economic lives of refugees: 1) what makes the economic lives of refugees distinctive from other populations; 2) what explains variation in refugees’ income levels; and 3) what role does entrepreneurship play in shaping refugees’ economic outcomes? In order to answer these questions, the paper draws upon extensive qualitative and quantitative research conducted in Uganda by the Humanitarian Innovation Project. The quantitative data set is based on a survey of 2,213 refugees in three types of contexts: urban (Kampala), protracted camps (Nakivale and Kyangwali settlements), and emergency camps (Rwamwanja). This is supplemented with qualitative research from other parts of Africa and the Middle East.

The economic lives of refugees are argued to be distinctive not because refugees are any different qua human beings but because they often occupy a distinctive institutional space. Following new institutional economics, the article argues that “refugee economies” represent a distinctive analytical space insofar as refugees face different formal and informal institutional barriers and distortions in their economic lives compared to nationals or other migrants.

Alexander Betts, Naohiko Omata, and Louise Bloom (2017) 'Thrive or Survive? Explaining Variation in Economic Outcomes for Refugees', Journal on Migration and Human Security, DOI:10.14240/jmhs.v5i4.106

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Friday, December 1, 2017 - 11:30
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Friday, December 1, 2017
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A new article by Alexander Betts, Naohiko Omata, and Louise Bloom of the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) at ODID explores variation in outcomes in refugees' economic lives.

Research theme: 
Migration and Refugees in a Global Context
Research group: 
Refugee Studies Centre

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Latest issue of ODS now online

Submitted by jo on Tue, 2017-11-28 11:46
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 11:45
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017
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The latest issue of Oxford Development Studies, ODS 45 (4) December 2017, is now online.

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The genetic characterisation of human populations: who are the Jews

Submitted by sue on Mon, 2017-11-27 15:59

Baruch Samuel Brackman memorial lecture

Walter Bodmer, born into a Jewish family in Frankfurt in 1936, is a world-leading geneticist who has made major contributions to the study of the genetics of human populations, gene mapping and cancer genetics and to our understanding of the human tissue typing system. He was one of the first to suggest the idea of the human genome project. Early in his career, Walter helped to discover the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system, vital for the success of organ and bone marrow transplants. Walter’s interest in human populations led him to set up a UK population gene bank that could be used as a control group in research. More recently, he has successfully grown bowel cancer cells in the lab in structures similar to those found naturally inside the bowel. Walter is credited with beginning the movement for the public understanding of science, having chaired the first committee set up to establish standards for communicating science and technology. He was the first Director General of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and was knighted in 1986. He is currently Head of the Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory, Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory, Department of Oncology, University of Oxford and former Principal of Hertford College, Oxford. 



Buffet reception 7pm



RSVP for buffet: info@oxfordchabad.org



All are welcome!

Event date old: 
Monday, November 27, 2017 - 15:56

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Professor Sir Walter Bodmer FMedSci FRS

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 20:00

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New RSC report explores local politics and Syrian refugee crisis

Submitted by jo on Mon, 2017-11-27 09:26

The report details the findings of their research project The Politics of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, funded by the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

In order to explain responses to Syrian refugees, it is important to understand politics within the major host countries. This involves looking beyond the capital cities to examine variation in responses at the local level. Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan followed a similar trajectory as the crisis evolved. Each began the crisis in 2011 with a history of relative openness to Syrians, then increased restrictions especially around October 2014 with the growing threat of ISIS, before agreeing major bilateral deals with the European Union in early 2016.

These common trajectories, however, mask significant sub-national variation. To explore this the authors examine three local contexts in each of the main countries: Gaziantep, Adana, and Izmir in Turkey; Sahab, Zarqa, and Mafraq in Jordan; and predominantly Christian, Shia, and Sunni areas in Lebanon. In each country, some governorates and municipalities have adopted relatively more inclusive or restrictive policies towards Syrian refugees. The main sets of factors that appear to mediate this relate to identity and interests, but also to the personalities of individual heads of municipal authorities. The report argues that political analysis – across all levels of governance – matters for refugee protection. There is a need to enhance the capacity for political analysis within humanitarian organisations.

Read the report.

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Monday, November 27, 2017 - 09:15
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Monday, November 27, 2017
Introduction: 

The Refugee Studies Centre has published a new report by Alexander Betts, Ali Ali, and Fulya Memişoğlu on ‘Local Politics and the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Exploring Responses in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan’.

Research theme: 
Migration and Refugees in a Global Context
Research group: 
Refugee Studies Centre

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The expansion of refugee protection in Latin America: Understanding the importance of ideological paradigms for policy change

Submitted by jo on Mon, 2017-11-27 08:57
Event date old: 
Monday, November 27, 2017 - 08:54

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Luisa Feline Freier (Universidad del Pacífico, Peru)
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:00

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ZANU PF in History, 1963-2017

Submitted by jo on Mon, 2017-11-27 08:51

Until the beginning of 1974 ZANU seemed under pressure to tell its story to the world without much success. Apart from the crisis of recognition it had suffered since its formation in 1963, there were several other odds staked against it. Its leadership had been scattered, its key sponsors wanted it to merge with other liberation movements and in 1975 it was on the verge of collapse following the assassination of its leader in exile and the imprisonment of the external executive and military high command. This paper documents the various attempts to construct a ZANU history before these catastrophic events and traces the emergence of a new narrative following the search, identification and appointment of a new leader in 1977 in the form of Robert Mugabe. It argues that ZANU invented Mugabe who in turn appropriated ZANU’s various narratives of itself to construct a personality cult disguised as nationalism yet negating any attempts to place ZANU on a sound ideological footing or transform it from a liberation movement into post-independence political party. Mugabe’s ability to suppress alternative or contesting versions of ZANU history largely explains his eventual stranglehold over ZANU PF throughout the years but this hegemonic project had its limits, if not a ‘sell by’ date!

Gerald Chikozho Mazarire is An Associate Professor of History at the Midlands State University in Zimbabwe and is currently a AfOx Visiting Research Fellow based at St Peters College, Oxford. He has held a number of teaching and research positions at the Universities of Zimbabwe, Edinburgh and Stellenbosch. He is a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (African Humanities Program) and an Editor of the Journal of Southern African Studies, Critical African Studies and Kronos: Southern African Histories.

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Dr Miles Tendi
Event speaker: 
Professor Gerald Chikozho Mazarire (Midlands State University, Zimbabwe)
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017 -
17:00 to 18:00
OxTalks ID: 
a0bc874b-ddd2-474e-9933-9be55fcb5b7a

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The Plan, Process and Governance of Building a Modern Railway in Ethiopia

Submitted by jo on Fri, 2017-11-24 14:33

Description:

In the last event of the term for OUCAN, we have the honour of hosting Dr. Getachew Betru, former CEO of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation, who will speak on the plan, process and governance of building Sub-Sahran Africa’s most 'modern' railway based on over 15 years of hands-on experience in Ethiopia. His presentation will delve into the rationale and process of this mega-project from planning of a transport corridor, the industrialization process of the hinterland, attracting foreign funding, to the integration of the various regions of Ethiopia’s federal system. In the context of a complex institutional and legal framework, what does the planning and implementation process of major infrastructure projects look like? On what basis and under which constraints were choices regarding technology, knowledge transfer and sustainability made? Who are the stakeholders and how are these managed? What value does a railway of this magnitude add to the building of peace, security and prosperity in the region? Dr. Getachew Betru’s presentation aims to provide an overview into the dynamics of his work as the former head of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation.

Biography:

From its inception in 2007 until 2017, Dr. Betru was CEO of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation. He was appointed by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Transport and Communication to be responsible for the conceptualization and implementation of the first light-railway in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AA-LRT), as well as the planning of the 5000km of mainline railway program in Ethiopia, including the high-profile, Chinese-financed, Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway project. From 2001 to 2007, he was a member of the Management Board of the Ethiopian Electricity and Power Corporation (EEPCO). Prior to that he was involved in numerous infrastructure projects involving the Road Sector development program and energy projects across the country. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Quality Assurance London and also a member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Association (AREMA). Dr. Betru holds a PHD in Civil Engineering and an MSc in Soil Mechanics from H-W University in Edinburgh, a MSc in Management in Construction from Kingston University and a BsC Hons in Civil Engineering from Leeds University. Dr Betru is currently a consultant in the building of modern railway projects across Sub-sharan Africa.

Event date old: 
Friday, November 24, 2017 - 14:31

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Event speaker: 
Dr Getachew Betru (former CEO, Ethiopian Railway Corporation)
Event date: 
Friday, December 1, 2017 - 14:00

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