Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

Mandela2013

Ills. Ingrid Bouws


Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural Address – May, 10, 1994

See: http://www.nelsonmandela.org/

Bookmark and Share

Civil Domains and Arenas in Zimbabwean Settings. Democracy and Responsiveness Revisited – DPRN Five

Harare - goafrica.about.com

Harare – goafrica.about.com

Introduction (written 2008 – first published 2010)
A popular remedy for Africa’s predicament is the promotion of ‘civil society’. It is conventionally seen as a collection of various kinds of non-profit bodies separate from the state and business sector. It is framed within a consensual model of politics, and thus capable of working in ‘partnership’ with both state and business sectors in pursuit of common interests, particularly ‘development’ and ‘democracy’ [i]. Since the late 1970s donors sought substitutes for the state in the private sector. In the 1980s they discovered the virtues of the non-profit branch of this sector. They tasked older entities such as mission hospitals and newly-arrived non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with providing a range of services, from schooling and healthcare to small enterprise promotion, that were once considered responsibilities of the public sector.
Under their neoliberal paradigm, donors have tried to raise the nonprofit sector’s political status. Beyond service provision, its main task is to counter government power. Here civil society is cast as a hero, who routinely calls a villainous state to account. Yet this model of ‘civil society’ has evoked controversy. Questions have arisen about the effects of NGOs not only as substitute providers of basic services, but also as vehicles of public politics, effectively substituting for opposition political parties [ii]. A number of writers have called attention to ‘the obvious: that civil society is [largely] made up of international organisations’. Some argue that the whole concept of ‘civil society’ as promoted by outsiders does not match African sociological or political realities, and can ultimately weaken, rather than strengthen the power of common citizens. There are calls, in short, for a re-think. Read more

Bookmark and Share

Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa: Caught by Continuities – DPRN Six

landreform

en.wikipedia.org

Introduction
Land and agrarian reform is often implemented with a view to breaking with the past, particularly by transforming ownership of land and its uneven distribution. The post 1994 land and agrarian reform in South Africa began with a similar agenda. In fact land reform was launched and implemented even before Apartheid was dissolved and the new ANC-led government took control. The Apartheid government under F.W. De Klerk initiated some kind of limited land reform during the period from 1990 to 1993.

In March 1991, De Klerk’s government repealed the 1913 and 1936 Land Acts. In November of the same year it appointed an Advisory Committee on Land Allocation (later renamed as the Commission on Land Allocation). The Commission made recommendations on state land disposal and the restoration of land to those disposed of formal land rights. This happened first in Natal, where dispossessed communities in Richards Bay (van Leynseele and Hebinck, 2008), Roosboom, Charlestown and Alcockspruit got their land rights formally restored in the years 1992-93 through this process (Walker 2004). The strengths and weaknesses of the pre-1994 land reforms were replicated post-1994 in the form of a lack of ‘coherent state procedures and institutional inadequacies’ to manage the land reform process (Walker 2004; 2005). Read more

Bookmark and Share

Donors and Governance in Southern Africa. The Case of Zambia, with Zimbabwe as a Counterpoint – DPRN Seven

Lusaka -worldtravelphotos.net

Lusaka – worldtravelphotos.net

Introduction: On donors and governance [1]
A key change in development policy since the early 1990s has been donors’ shift towards a principal concern with governance. Earlier, donors’ policy and practice had been mainly focused on filling gaps in knowledge, capital or foreign exchange. This implied that development was fundamentally a mechanical, technical undertaking. Gradually, however, development policy is being seen more and more as a political enterprise. Issues such as the division of power between the elite and society at large, basic freedoms and economic inclusiveness are at least as important for societal and economic development as technical considerations.[2]
This concern with governance has given rise to a considerable body of literature that has a paradoxical tendency to de-politicise the debate. A reason for this is that politics traditionally does not fit into the non-political mandate of international organisations. Also, declaring a political interest seems to clash with the altruistic rhetoric of the development community. Nevertheless, recent evaluations and analyses have begun to explicitly address the political nature of both the environment in which donors intervene as well as the political influence donors have in processes of change. As an example the Swedish development agency (Sida) commissioned explicit political evaluations of conditional lending, program aid or ownership.[3] The British Department for International Development (DfID) has had a series of studies carried out on ‘Drivers of Change’[4] and Netherlands embassies have undertaken Strategic Corruption and Governance Analyses that aim to look ‘behind the façade’ at what drives political and bureaucratic behaviour.[5] These analyses see aid as an influence on local society that is, in turn, shaped by the local political process. This thus explicitly links aid effectiveness to the quality of governance. Read more

Bookmark and Share

Censuur en zelfcensuur in de klassieke islamitische wereld

Ibn Hazm (Cordoba 994 – Niebla 1064)
Ills.: www.biografiasyvidas.com

‘Verbrand rustig papier, want wat u daar leest
zit veilig opgeborgen in mijn geest
Het gaat met me mee, waarheen ik ook rijd,
staat stil als ik stop en sterft als ik overlijd
Zwijg over ‘t branden van papier en perkament;
zeg wat u weet, en men zal zien dat u verstandig bent’
(Ibn Hazm)

De Spaans-Arabische denker Ibn Hazm (Cordoba 994 – Niebla 1064) leeft in de westerse wereld voort door de ‘Ring van de duif’, een jeugdwerk vol melancholieke en misschien ook wel vroegwijze bespiegelingen over de liefde. Het boek is in vele talen vertaald, onder andere in het Nederlands in een vertaling van Remke Kruk en J.J. Witkam (Amsterdam, Meulenhoff, 1977, 2e dr. 1985). De islamitische wereld kent hem echter vooral als schriftgeleerde en grondlegger van een eigen islamitische rechtsschool. Hij was een moeilijk mens, buitengewoon onbuigzaam en principevast, en hij had daarnaast de gewoonte vrijelijk zijn mening te geven. Hij was voortdurend in conflicten verwikkeld met de schriftgeleerden van de gevestigde Malikitische rechtsschool, die hij als meelopers van het gezag beschouwde. In politiek opzicht was hij loyaal aan het Umayyadenkalifaat van Cordoba, hoewel dat tijdens zijn leven ter ziele ging en opgevolgd werd door een aantal lokale dynastieën die in het Spaans bekend staan als de ‘Reyes de Taifas,’ partijkoningen. Hij kwam in aanvaring met de machthebber van Sevilla door hem in een van zijn boeken te ontmaskeren als een fraudeur en een moordenaar. Het was deze zelfde heerser die op gegeven moment de opdracht gaf om zijn boeken publiekelijk te verbranden, waarop Ibn Hazm de bovengenoemde dichtregels schreef (Asín Palacios 1927-32, I, p. 230-235). In het gedicht lijkt hij het incident te willen bagatelliseren omdat alleen de papieren dragers van zijn gedachten vernietigd worden, niet de geest die deze gedachten heeft geproduceerd. Dat komt wat naïef over, omdat hij niet lijkt te beseffen dat het papier wel degelijk essentieel is om zijn gedachten te kunnen verbreiden, en verbreiding van zijn gedachten is wat elke auteur tenslotte wil.
Dit voorval illustreert het aloude spanningsveld tussen de behoefte van de individuele burger om zijn mond open te doen en het belang van de samenleving als geheel. Dit belang bestaat uit twee elementen, het morele belang van de openbare zeden en het politieke belang van de openbare orde. In vrijwel alle samenlevingen zijn het de geestelijke en wereldlijke autoriteiten die over dit tweeledige belang waken. In het Westen hadden we, vooral sinds de uitvinding van de drukpers, het instituut van de censuur, uitgeoefend door Staat of Kerk. Deze censuur moest noodzakelijkerwijs op strakke, ambtelijke wijze georganiseerd worden. De drukpers gaf de mogelijkheid om zeer snel en op grote schaal ideeën te verspreiden, en er moest dus slagvaardig worden opgetreden om de verspreiding van ongewenste ideeën te voorkomen. In de periode daarvoor, toen boeken nog moeizaam met de hand gekopieerd moesten worden, ging de verspreiding van teksten veel minder snel en waren er minder schrijvers en minder lezers. Beide laatste categorieën behoorden daarenboven tot de sociale laag die het dichtst bij het officiële gezag stond. Dat betekende dat de controle over het geschreven woord makkelijker uitvoerbaar was en dat er dus geen grote organisatie of ingewikkelde regelgeving nodig was om die controle te realiseren.
De uitvinding van de boekdrukkunst mag dan gelden als beginpunt van de censuur als ambtelijke instelling, maar dat betekent nog niet dat er daarvoor in het Westen geen samenhangende pogingen werden ondernomen om het geschreven woord te controleren. Zo woedde er in de dertiende eeuw aan de universiteit van Parijs een debat over de verhouding tussen de christelijke orthodoxie en de filosofie van Aristoteles en diens Arabische commentatoren, zoals Averroës. In 1210 en 1215 werden de ‘Arabische commentatoren’ verboden, in 1231 werden ze gecensureerd toegelaten en in 1255 werden ze officieel aan het curriculum toegevoegd. Uiteindelijk stelde  Étienne Tempier, bisschop van Parijs, in 1277 een lijst van verboden opvattingen op. Ieder die bijvoorbeeld de opvatting verkondigde dat de wereld eeuwigdurend was of dat God niet rechtstreeks kon ingrijpen in de gebeurtenissen op aarde kon rekenen op excommunicatie (Wilson 1996, II, p. 1017-1018, Piché 1999, p. 160). Read more

Bookmark and Share

Time to say Good-bye

September 20th 2009 – a short walk through the busy city of Brussels: Journées du Patrimoine and Dimanche sans Voiture – though using the car is apparently not forbidden it is widely accepted not to use it. Nevertheless, the streets are crowded.

The sun is shining, and it is ideal for people from the Belgium and European capital to enjoy lovely day outdoor. Not just the Grand Place is reminiscent of a modern version of Pieter Brueghel’ s paintings but the main streets are occupied by colourful ado. Variegated syllables in different languages, the sound of music from everywhere and the people in their various dresses: simple and modern, jaunty and a little bit frivolous or conservative-respectable. Men, women – showing their faces au naturel and others who still look more like a masque of themselves – despite the vibe of the folk’s fair, despite people apparently taking over the lead.

And it is in the middle of this hassle and bustle and bursting joyfulness that I begin to get contemplative: Finally a decision had now been taken – a decision that stood in waiting position since some time, but loosely only, still needing confirmation. And a decision that is not really a single event – it is part of a series of events, decisions, part of a long development. A historical decision? A fundamental change?
So many decisions had been taken and are frequently taken – though they seem to be large or small, we do not really know what their meaning is in the historical development – a history made by men, a history that is made by us and nevertheless weighs as nightmare on our shoulders.

Read more

Bookmark and Share

  • About

    Rozenberg Quarterly aims to be a platform for academics, scientists, journalists, authors and artists, in order to offer background information and scholarly reflections that contribute to mutual understanding and dialogue in a seemingly divided world. By offering this platform, the Quarterly wants to be part of the public debate because we believe mutual understanding and the acceptance of diversity are vital conditions for universal progress. Read more...
  • Support

    Rozenberg Quarterly does not receive subsidies or grants of any kind, which is why your financial support in maintaining, expanding and keeping the site running is always welcome. You may donate any amount you wish and all donations go toward maintaining and expanding this website.

    10 euro donation:

    20 euro donation:

    Or donate any amount you like:

    Or:
    ABN AMRO Bank
    Rozenberg Publishers
    IBAN NL65 ABNA 0566 4783 23
    BIC ABNANL2A
    reference: Rozenberg Quarterly

    If you have any questions or would like more information, please see our About page or contact us: info@rozenbergquarterly.com
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Follow us on Twitter


  • Ads by Google
  • Archives