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The 1979 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol, or Article 59 of the 1993 ECOWAS Revised Treaty, encapsulates the terms and conditions for a visa-free and borderless economic community. It is geared towards decolonising the colonial borders and encouraging economic activity. But despite the ratification of the Protocol, documented and undocumented migrants continue to be expelled, blocked at borders and prevented from doing business, and suffer other xenophobic mistreatment, within the sub-region. The member states of ECOWAS have implemented anti-immigrant policies, from which Community citizens are rarely exempted. The article argues that the political class in the various states in the sub-region has nurtured and exploited a xenophobic consciousness, which has prevented the growth of class consciousness and protects their power base. The xenophobic policies of West African states have also created the necessary conditions to impede the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol.

In: Africa Review


Animal cooperation occurs in both genetically related and unrelated groups of individuals, involving costs and benefits that have not been fully elucidated. For example, risky behaviour such as mobbing a predator would be selected if participants are genetic relatives because they share a fraction of their gene pool (i.e., kin selection or indirect benefits). However, in the absence of genetic relatedness, benefits can be achieved by direct benefits such as reciprocity or mutualism, among others. In this study we analyzed the cooperative mobbing behaviour in winter flocks of an endemic passerine of the austral temperate forests, the Thorn-tailed rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda). We first tested whether the probability of and the latency to mobbing response differed depending on the acoustic stimulus perceived by the flock (i.e., conspecific mobbing calls vs. predator calls), and whether the intensity of the mobbing was related to the number of individuals and species participating. We found that flocks were more likely to approach the predator when the acoustic signal was a conspecific mobbing call than when it was the predator’s call, and that the intensity of mobbing increased with the number of participants. Secondly, we explored if the level of kinship within the group potentially played a role in the development of the mobbing behaviour. The proportion of close-relatives found in these flocks was low, and the within- and among-flock degree of kinship did not differ. This suggests that kin selection might not be related with the expression of mobbing behaviour in winter flocks.

In: Behaviour
Author: Nora Ward


I explore the environmental philosophy of Irish philosopher-poet, John Moriarty, particularly focusing on his use of narrative to convey philosophical principles and ideals relating to a sustainable co-existence. It is through story that Moriarty redirects environmental philosophy from a domain of knowledge in an epistemic objectivist sense to one of imagination, inviting the reader to experientially cultivate categories of perception and identification that supplement and transcend dominant forms of scientific-reductionism. Moriarty’s philomythical approach attests to an inherent strangeness, invoking those aspects of reality that lie outside the causal paradigms of human understanding, and problematizing a posture of human hubris in relation to the land. To draw out these characteristics, I locate Moriarty’s work in the framework of ontopoetics, suggesting that Moriarty is an environment animateur of sorts, opening up the symbolic and poetic potential of the landscape, and fostering relations of meaningful engagement with the natural world.