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The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War, and the Business of Power. By Alex De Waal. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2015.

The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War, and the Business of Power. By Alex De Waal.... Global Governance 23 (2017), 523–524 BOOK REVIEW The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War, and the Business of Power. By Alex De Waal. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2015. Alex De Waal has long been a careful and nuanced commentator on the pol- itics in the Horn of Africa. In this book, De Waal develops a framework for analyzing politics in the Horn (applicable elsewhere) in which politics is business. The political marketplace is “a system of governance in which pol- itics is conducted as the exchange of political services or loyalty for payment or license” (p. 16). On this view, the decisions of political leaders are made based solely on business calculations regarding what price ought to be paid in exchange for loyalty or support. In determining whether to undertake rebel- lion against the central government, for example, or put down (though not let go of) one’s arms, a would-be rebel leader simply determines what a fair price is to be paid by one’s patron (or, should the price be too low, adver- sary). Ideology or grievance may motivate some soldiers, but they are not the logic that governs conflict and compromise. The book contains three chapters on the Sudans (Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur), two on Somalia (Somalia and Somaliland), and one each on Eritrea and Ethiopia. De Waal’s access to the political marketplace makes for incredible vignettes where he witnesses the calculated machinations of political entrepreneurs. He was particularly close with Meles Zenawi and even participated in a reading group of sorts with Zenawi where some of these ideas were discussed. Readers of this jour- nal will be particularly interested in the transnational components of the political marketplace in which aid, security cooperation, natural resources, peacekeeping, and law enforcement rents are all integrated into the local political economy and paid, wittingly or not, by foreign patrons, including Western governments that then decry failures of democratization or human rights protection in the region. This is a truly excellent book that deserves a place on the shelf of anyone concerned about the grave human costs that arise from this system of governance. Reviewed by Scott Wisor The Responsibility to Protect: A Defense. By Alex Bellamy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Alex Bellamy’s wide-ranging defense of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), characteristically combining his deep knowledge of policy with his academic expertise, will serve as an important source for proponents and critics of R2P. Bellamy argues that R2P is a “collection of norms” (p. 62) that has successfully influenced international actors to take steps to curtail mass atrocities, but that there is still more that numerous actors can do to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations Brill

The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War, and the Business of Power. By Alex De Waal. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2015.

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1075-2846
eISSN
1942-6720
DOI
10.1163/19426720-02303011
Publisher site
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Abstract

Global Governance 23 (2017), 523–524 BOOK REVIEW The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War, and the Business of Power. By Alex De Waal. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2015. Alex De Waal has long been a careful and nuanced commentator on the pol- itics in the Horn of Africa. In this book, De Waal develops a framework for analyzing politics in the Horn (applicable elsewhere) in which politics is business. The political marketplace is “a system of governance in which pol- itics is conducted as the exchange of political services or loyalty for payment or license” (p. 16). On this view, the decisions of political leaders are made based solely on business calculations regarding what price ought to be paid in exchange for loyalty or support. In determining whether to undertake rebel- lion against the central government, for example, or put down (though not let go of) one’s arms, a would-be rebel leader simply determines what a fair price is to be paid by one’s patron (or, should the price be too low, adver- sary). Ideology or grievance may motivate some soldiers, but they are not the logic that governs conflict and compromise. The book contains three chapters on the Sudans (Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur), two on Somalia (Somalia and Somaliland), and one each on Eritrea and Ethiopia. De Waal’s access to the political marketplace makes for incredible vignettes where he witnesses the calculated machinations of political entrepreneurs. He was particularly close with Meles Zenawi and even participated in a reading group of sorts with Zenawi where some of these ideas were discussed. Readers of this jour- nal will be particularly interested in the transnational components of the political marketplace in which aid, security cooperation, natural resources, peacekeeping, and law enforcement rents are all integrated into the local political economy and paid, wittingly or not, by foreign patrons, including Western governments that then decry failures of democratization or human rights protection in the region. This is a truly excellent book that deserves a place on the shelf of anyone concerned about the grave human costs that arise from this system of governance. Reviewed by Scott Wisor The Responsibility to Protect: A Defense. By Alex Bellamy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Alex Bellamy’s wide-ranging defense of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), characteristically combining his deep knowledge of policy with his academic expertise, will serve as an important source for proponents and critics of R2P. Bellamy argues that R2P is a “collection of norms” (p. 62) that has successfully influenced international actors to take steps to curtail mass atrocities, but that there is still more that numerous actors can do to

Journal

Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International OrganizationsBrill

Published: Aug 19, 2017

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