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Majid Daneshgar

This essay will explore how the intellects of both scholars and their audiences are censored. In addition to various Western thinkers, particular attention will be paid to Ali Shari'ati, one of the most influential thinkers of modern Iran, and how he represented an important Islamic tradition. Not only did his ideas inspire revolutionary acts by generations of Iranians, but Turkish, Arab, Malay, Indonesian, and Indian philosophers, sociologists, theologians, and politicians have all employed his definitions of concepts such as justice, injustice, revolution, corruption, and bliss. This article sheds light both on how intellectuals influence their audience, and their long-term impact on broader communities. In order to do so, it will analyze the material and political conditions that censor both what scholars are able to say, and what their audiences are allowed to hear.

Reem Doukmak

Reem Doukmak was born in Syria and studied English literature at al-Baath University. In 2007 she completed her Master’s degree at the University of Warwick. With the help of cara she continued her studies at Warwick where she is now starting her academic career. Her work investigates how the right pedagogic interventions can help children in refugee camps. The use of drama plays a key role in her research and feeds into broader questions surrounding self-representation and agency. These are among the vital issues The Journal of Interrupted Studies has also sought to explore. We were lucky to engage Reem on her research and its implications for addressing the problematic discourses that surround refugees and yet neglect to include their voice.

Nasser Karami

Due to its widespread political and social consequences, the relationship between drought and climate change in the Middle East has been widely reported on by the media. Climate change is mainly understood within the paradigm: “prolonged drought is created and intensified by global warming.” The purpose of the study is to review this paradigm and examine aspects of it. Thus, climate trends in the Middle East are studied across three periods: 1900–1970, 1970–2000, and 2000–2017. Due to the importance of studying sequences of drought occurrence based on timescales of climatic patterns, the climatic trends of the Khuzestan Plain, were examined too. The results show that to have a clear understanding of both the modality of climate change in the Middle East and the current dominant paradigm, predominant assumptions of the paradigm should be reconsidered. For example, prolonged droughts are part of the natural pattern of climate in the Middle East, although the current drought has not been recorded for at least 100 years. This claim is based on the fact that prolonged droughts in this region can have natural causes, which can be studied as long-term climate trends, although the impact of global warming on the escalation of the Middle Eastern drought is undeniable. However, the exacerbating effect of non-anthropogenic factors on the impact of drought in the region should be studied, too. Additionally, as an epistemological assumption, the term “drying up” (as a new normal and permanent climatic pattern) should be used instead of “drought” (as a normal and reversible pattern) to determine the current climate change situation in the Middle East. The author concludes that the findings emphasize the need for further research in order to identify the modality of climate change in the Middle East.

Abdul Awal Khan

It is estimated that between 2008 and 2014, 4.7 million people were displaced due to natural disasters in Bangladesh and that by 2050, one in every seven people in Bangladesh will be displaced by climate change. The subject matter of this paper is based on a theoretical analysis of various existing social and legal barriers relating to climate displacement in Bangladesh. This article critically analyses the social and legal barriers to helping Climate Change Displaced People (cdp) by drawing on existing legal literature such as the Bangladeshi constitution and qualitative data from Bangladesh’s experience with cdp. Ultimately, this article corroborates the lack of a coherent human rights framework for cdp in Bangladesh and suggests international cooperation as a first step towards a functioning regime.

Joystu Dutta, Kakoli Banerjee, Sangita Agarwal and Abhijit Mitra

The carbon budget of planet earth is regulated by the soil compartment in all types of ecosystems. We conducted a first order analysis of soc in November 2017 both in the mangrove dominated Indian Sundarbans and the highly urbanized city of Kolkata with the aim of identifying the natural and anthropogenic contributions of organic carbon in soil. We also attempted to analyze the spatial variation of soc between these two significantly different ecosystems. We observed a comparatively higher mean value of soc in Kolkata (2.06%) than in the Sundarbans (1.25%). The significant spatial variation in soc between Kolkata and the Sundarbans (p < 0.05) may be attributed to anthropogenic stress, which is of greater magnitude in the city of Kolkata. The significant spatial variation in soc between north and south Kolkata (p < 0.05) is due to the efficiency of the drainage system in the north and the magnitude of city limit expansion in the south. In the Sundarban deltaic complex, a natural phenomenon like erosion seems to be a determining factor in the domain of soil carbon dynamics. soc analyses of all major metropolises around the world, of which Kolkata is one, are essential to understand the carbon sequestration potential of urban soils.

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Edited by Carole Ammann and Till Förster

This 10th thematic issue of International Development Policy presents a collection of articles exploring some of the complex development challenges associated with Africa’s recent but extremely rapid pace of urbanisation that challenges still predominant but misleading images of Africa as a rural continent. Analysing urban settings through the diverse experiences and perspectives of inhabitants and stakeholders in cities across the continent, the authors consider the evolution of international development policy responses amidst the unique historical, social, economic and political contexts of Africa’s urban development.

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Garth Myers

Abstract

This paper works to address what I consider the enduring ‘Africa problem’ in global urban theory. I engage and critique selected relevant urban thought from the Globalization and World Cities research group, from Henri Lefebvre and from the new wave of urban theorisation inspired by Lefebvre’s (1970) idea of ‘complete, planetary urbanisation’. I argue that urbanisation in Africa, largely absent from Lefebvre’s works, presents new twists that are better understood from outside a Eurocentric framework. I propose the possibilities of urban comparativism built from theories and conceptualisations that emerge from the global South and that can be utilised to compare non-Western cities’ urbanisation processes. I use case studies from Dakar and Zanzibar to examine the production of what Chinese urbanists detail as a ‘village’ in the city, on the edge of the city, and in the suburbs over the last half-century and the complexities and comparability of urbanisation processes in these settings. I end with reflections on the implications of these cases for any claims for universalising the twenty-first century’s processes of urbanisation and urbanism across the planet. My main finding for urban policy and planning practice is the documentation of the relevance and value of South–South comparisons of urbanisation processes for development.

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Florian Stoll

Abstract

How is it possible to study the ‘cityness’ of cities, their particular character and the locally specific actions of their residents? One crucial aspect that distinguishes cities from one another is how social phenomena are embedded in a particular city’s built environment, its economy, and particular horizons of meanings.

To analyse a significant example of this embeddedness, this chapter examines Kenya’s Nairobi through the lens of social milieus in the middle-income stratum, the so-called ‘middle classes’.1 Moreover, the milieu concept enables the identification of social groups that share sociocultural features such as specific ways of life, professional and leisure activities, and forms of consumption and investment. The text studies which local aspects are significant for milieus in Nairobi in comparison to Mombasa and other Kenyan cities. And using two case studies, the Christian Religious Milieu and the milieu of the Young Professionals, it illustrates how the particular city modifies these milieus.

Such an approach not only allows for a better understanding of the ‘middle classes’ in African cities as comprised of different identifiable milieus, it also yields a method for analysing the local particularities of a city, whether in Africa or other parts of the world. The chapter is significant for policy and practice because it introduces with the concept of social milieus a nuanced alternative to (middle) class approaches that distinguishes lifestyles, aims in life and forms of consumption. Also, the chapter discusses, using the example of Nairobi, how milieus are bound to specific structures of a city and might offer—from the perspective of basic research—suggestions for practical use.

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Lalli Metsola

Abstract

On the basis of a case study of informal residents’ claims over land, housing and basic amenities in Windhoek, Namibia, this chapter seeks to contribute to debates on the broad sociopolitical implications of claim-making dynamics between residents and public authorities. In contrast with antagonistic readings of such situations that focus on resistance, autonomy and rights, the chapter finds that both residents’ strategies and policies outline incremental paths of betterment and intersect in multiple ways. It ponders whether and how such incrementality produces institutionalised forms of relations between citizens and authorities, and calls attention to the principle of mutual dependencies as a key aspect in them.