Energy and the Apartheid State

Modern industry and commerce rely on energy to function. In South Africa, this energy sector was dominated, throughout the period of 1948 to 1994, by state-led power suppliers, most notably, the Electrical Supply Commission (Escom) and Sasol. In addition, there was the Atomic Energy Corporation (AEC). These companies made up the bulwark of the energy […]

Parastatals and Energy in South Africa

Politics and the social fabric of society are very much interlinked with economics. In the words of Lenin, states and other key economic players want to maintain control over the “commanding heights” to exert their will over the country.[1] In South Africa, these commanding heights refer to the Mineral-Energy Complex (MEC).[2] In mining rested the […]

ANC Anti-Poverty Initiatives

The African National Congress’s (ANC) rise to power in 1994 saw a monumental increase in efforts to combat poverty and inequality. Their election campaign had been centred around uplifting the welfare of South Africans, with a backdrop of the promises of the Freedom Charter.[1] In practice, the ANC has failed to effectively solve poverty in […]

Apartheid and Rural Poverty

Apartheid’s planning and social engineering stratified the majority of the South African population, disallowing them opportunities and the means to uplift themselves from the poverty that, for the most part, apartheid had caused. For a myriad of reasons, that would need their own paper to explain adequately, apartheid planners systematically forced a large portion of […]

Gender Relations in South Eastern Nigeria production

Economies and agrarian systems evolve due to a myriad of factors. Gender relations are often a product of economic systems and a contributing factor themselves. This essay will outline Susan Martin’s argument of how gender relations affected production in South Eastern Nigeria. This will be done by examining the methods of production in regards to […]

Perspectives of underdevelopment in Africa

Africa’s relative lack of development has been cause for much debate over the historical factors that have led to their economic status. This essay will be contrasting two views on the matter: the dependency theory of Walter Rodney and the views of Jean-François Bayart and Stephen Ellis. The essay will accomplish this, firstly through outlining […]

Institutions and Famine in Communist China and Postcolonial India

Historically, famine was thought to be a disaster of nature, damaging human creation. All we could do was weather the storm. Famine was seen as a dramatic decline in food supply. This conception is called Food Availability Decline (henceforth: FAD).[1] In the last century, this conception has changed. With the examination of communist China and […]

Fragmented Nationalism in Shanghai

From the period of 1842 to 1943, Shanghai possessed a worrying lack of sovereignty due to the fragmentation of its political power.[1] Bickers (2012) argued that this led to a myriad of nationalist activities.[2] At this time, foreign imperial powers held power over portions of Shanghai.[3] This resulted in a multitude of often contradictory laws […]

Sen’s Approach to the Bengali Famine of 1943

Often, the phenomenon of famine is treated as a problem of food production.[1] The Bengali famine of the 1940s saw three million dead, as natural disasters and the context of war damaged food supply in the region.[2] As such, people starved from the lack of food. But Amartya Sen rejects this. This essay will be […]

Was the failure of Kenya Institutional or Neopatrimonial?

In 1964, Kenya gained its independence under the Kenyan African National Union (KANU), led by Jomo Kenyatta. Since then, the country has faced similar problems to much of Africa. Two primary approaches have arisen to explain Kenya’s political and economic crisis: the Institutional and the Neopatrimonialism approach. Institutions are defined as the formal and informal […]