If you haven’t seen it yet, the Council on Foreign Relations has an interesting dataset, the Invisible Armies Insurgency Tracker. It covers years from 1775-2012…which is a pretty impressive range of coverage!
The students in my global econ class this semester have been a real wealth of information! Here’s another student guest post, this one discussing the political economic challenges of the DRC.
What is a poverty trap? According to one definition, it “is a spiralling mechanism which forces people to remain poor. It is so binding in itself that it doesn’t allow the poor people to escape it.” Five commonly observed poverty traps include the conflict trap, poor governance and corruption, poor geography, health crises, and the resource curse (Collier 2007). A combination of these is detrimental to a nation, but even just one of these makes overcoming poverty a challenge.
No country exemplifies the “poverty trap” quite as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire). It is continually ranked number one on the lists of poorest countries in the world, and it is almost easier to list the poverty traps it lacks than the ones it has! Here are three of the major poverty traps that continually drive the DRC into poverty:
Still not doing European politics for the time being…though the protests in Ukraine have definitely been “exciting.”
Foreign Policy has a great post where they talked to Peter White, one of the chemical weapons inspectors who has been recently working in Syria. They discuss all the different things that he normally brings (like the all-useful spork and his chemical weapons inspector notebook) to things that are especially relevant if working in a warzone like Syria (i.e. body armor). You can read the entire story here.