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Alemu Asfaw Nigusie and Mohammed Seid Ali

As an alternative development track, developmental state ideology has been openly introduced in the public policy makings of the Ethiopian state only after 2000. In essence, developmental state ideology could be understood as building the capacity of a state to address its diverse development challenges. As such, it is basically about creating enabling normative, structural, institutional, technical, and administrative environments in a given state to achieve its national development vision. In this regard, there are five defining features to evaluate as to whether a given state is indeed developmental: democratic nation building practices with committed political leadership, autonomous and effective bureaucracy, coordinated national development planning, sound social policy, and institutional capacity. In light of these conceptualizations and characterizations of the fundamentals of developmental state, the paper aims to contribute to our understanding of the actual state of developmental state ideology in Ethiopia by critically exploring and evaluating its actual performance. Accordingly, the findings of this paper reveal that Ethiopia fails to satisfy the basic standards of being a developmental state as it claims to be. Thus, the paper argues that the so-called ‘developmental state’ in Ethiopia is something that is mirage, and not actually or really embraced and practiced.

Mohammed Sulemana and Kingsford Gyasi Amakye

The concept of decentralisation has shaped development thinking in contemporary times in both developed and developing countries. Indeed, the demand for decentralisation is strong throughout the world because of its link to community development and improving the quality of life of mass of the people in the rural areas. Decentralisation is globally recognised as the way of ensuring community participation and local development. However, some authors argue that the purported benefits of decentralisation leading to community development are not as obvious as proponents of decentralisation suggest. In Africa, decentralisation is implemented in various forms by governments across the continent. Indeed, in West Africa, it is difficult to find a country that does not have decentralisation programme. In Ghana, decentralisation has been practiced since 1988 and the populace has come to embrace it as the best way of ensuring development and local participation in governance. Nevertheless, after nearly three decades of implementing decentralisation, which has generated rather elaborate structures and processes, Ghana still struggles to realise the expected developmental progress, or achieve the envisioned structural and procedural effectiveness. This paper explores the relationship between decentralisation and community development in Sekyere Central District. Again the paper seeks to find out the contributions decentralisation has brought to the communities in Sekyere Central District and finally investigate whether decentralisation is working as it should in the district. This paper was carried out using a mixed method approach. Purposive sampling technique was adopted to select all the assembly members in Sekyere Central District. Both primary and secondary data were collected from the relevant sources in an effort to meet the objectives of the study. The regression analysis of all the assembly members indicated that, the calculated value F is 28.25 at 5% alpha level of significant (0.000). It shows that there is significant relationship between decentralisation and community development.

National Face and Facework in China’s Foreign Policy

A Corpus-Assisted Case Study of Chinese Foreign Affairs Press Conferences

Maria Marakhovskaiia and Alan Partington

The Goffman (1967) and Brown and Levinson (1987) socio-pragmatic theory of face was first devised through speculating on and observing the interaction of individuals. Later research has looked at the phenomenon of group-face (e.g. Spencer-Oatey 2007). In this research we examine how face and facework theory can also be applied to communications made by state actors to the outside world, in other words, whether facework theories could also be applied to national face. To this end we compiled a corpus of all press conferences held by the Ministry of Chinese Foreign Affairs in 2016 and subjected it to quantitative and qualitative analysis, as well as comparative analysis with US White House press briefings. Chinese government statements were felt to be a promising genre partly because of the particularly intricate relations China has with its geographically close partners and neighbours and partly because of the supposed special importance accorded to face in Chinese culture (Kádár et al 2013; Chen and Hwang 2016). The techniques we employ in the analyses derive from the field of corpus-assisted discourse studies (Partington, Duguid and Taylor 2013).

Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux

The Chinese investments in South-East Asia can be considered as a vector of the People’s Republic of China’s assertion in the region. They are bound by political agreements and promote geopolitical as well as economic strategies. The present monographic study of the China’s contemporary investments in Malaysia under Najib Rakak’s prime ministership (2009–2018) underlines their particular character when compared to the previous investors: very concentrated and high amounts; located in the margins (East Coast of the Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia on Borneo). Breaking with the former logics of traditional investors (European, US then Japanese) who concentrated on the West Coast of the Peninsular Malaysia, the new sectors for Chinese investments in Malaysia are mainly in the metal industry, transport infrastructures and ports, as well as real estate. Clearly exhibiting a new pattern in terms of content, China’s investments in Malaysia could be considered as specific in motive and modus operandi. The focus on two case studies of industrial investments, namely the development of the Kuantan Industrial Park and Port (Pahang) and the exploitation of the Sokor Gold Mine (Kelantan) contribute modestly to the characterization of its original pattern and rationale from a political-economy perspective. It results in a re-contextualization of the industrial investments within in the diplomatic and political Malaysia-China bilateral relationship.

Pak Nung Wong

Why Iran Has Not Developed the Nuclear Weapons

Understanding the Role of Religion in Nuclear Policies of Iran

Modongal Shameer and Seyed Hossein Mousavian

Iran is a country with technological capability for nuclear fuel cycle. Mainstream theories of nuclear proliferation predict nuclear weaponization of Iran considering its structural, domestic and individual motivations. However, one fact remains that Iran has not yet developed its nuclear weapons. Officially, Iran argues that the Weapons of Mass Destruction, including nuclear weapons, are against principles of Islam. Even though the mainstream theories are sceptical about the influence of religion in security policies of the state, this paper concludes that religious principles have decisive role in nuclear decision-making of Iran. Iran would have gone for nuclear weapons unless it is constrained by religion.

Maartje Janse and Anne-Lot Hoek

This publication emerges from a process of co-creation in which historian Maartje Janse and research journalist Anne-Lot Hoek challenge the dominant national narrative about the colonial experience in the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia). In combining journalistic and academic writing with musical performance by musician Ernst Jansz they amplify the critical voices that have spoken out against colonial injustice and that have long been ignored in public and academic debate. Even though it is often suggested that the mindset of people in the past prevented them from seeing what was wrong with things we now find highly problematic, they argue that there was indeed a tradition of colonial criticism in the Netherlands, one that included the voices of many ‘forgotten critics’ whose lives and criticism are the subject of this publication. The voices however were for a long time overlooked by Dutch historians. The publication is organized around the biographies of several critics (whose lives Janse and Hoek have published on before), the historical debate afterwards and includes reflective videos and texts on the process of co-creation.

Maartje Janse started the process by tracing the life history of an outspoken nineteenth-century critic of the colonial system in the Dutch East Indies, Willem Bosch. The authors argue that it was not self-evident how criticism of colonial injustices should be voiced and that Bosch experimented with different methods, including organizing one of the first Dutch pressure groups.

The story of Willem Bosch inspired Ernst Jansz, a Dutch musician with Indo roots, to compose a song (‘De ballade van Sarina en Kromo’). It is an interpretation of an old Malaysian ‘krontjong’ song, that Jansz transformed into a protest song that reminds its listeners of protest songs of the 1960s and 1970s. Jansz, in his lyrics, adds an indigenous perspective to this project. He performed the song during the Voice4Thought festival in 2016, a gathering that aimed to reflect upon migration and mobility in current times. Filmmaker Sjoerd Sijsma made a video ‘pamplet’ in which the performance of Ernst Jansz, an interview with Maartje Janse, and historical images from the colonial period have been combined.

Anne-Lot Hoek connected Willem Bosch to a series of twentieth-century anti-colonial critics such as Dutch Indies civil servant Siebe Lijftogt, Indonesian nationalists Sutan Sjahrir, Rachmad Koesoemobroto, Dutch writer Rudy Kousbroek and Indonesian activist Jeffry Pondaag. She argues that dissenting voices have been underrepresented in the post-war debates on colonialism and its legacy for decades, and that one of the main reasons is that the notion of the objective historian was not effectively problematized for a long time.

Pedro David Gomes


Este artigo propõe-se refletir sobre a relação entre o processo de ‘desportivização’ do automobilismo e as motivações que a elite local projetava sobre a modalidade, averiguando de que forma se coadunavam com a ideia da unidade do império. Procura-se explicar como os critérios sociais de entrada neste desporto foram evoluindo e como isso era revelador de rivalidades e dinâmicas económicas mais amplas que moviam os investidores a apostarem na modalidade para promover as suas marcas. A construção do Autódromo de Luanda e a internacionalização das ‘6 horas de Nova Lisboa’ ajudaram a popularizar a modalidade incentivando vínculos identitários locais que ora se articularam com os interesses do governo ora com interesses autonomistas de uma elite local.

Daniele Serapiglia


This article argues that Portugal was not immune to the experience of Muscular Catholicism, through which the Church tried to strengthen its own imagined community after 1945. This was an imagined community that the Church hoped that it would involve the whole continent starting from Italy, where the “Catholic sport” was trying to take the place of the “fascist” sport. Indeed, the Church overcame its distrust of football in this period, making it one of the symbols of its “banal internationalism”, and one of the means by which Pius XII tried to make the idea of a totalitarian Church a reality, as suggested by Pius XI.

Nuno Domingos and Victor Pereira


En 1965, José Cutileiro, alors doctorant en anthropologie sociale à l’Université d’Oxford, envoie à son directeur de thèse, John Campbell, l’ébauche d’un essai ethnographique portant sur l’équipe de football du Sport Lisboa e Benfica où il a mené une enquête pionnière. Cet essai n’arrive jamais à destination car il est intercepté et conservé par la police politique portugaise. Plus de cinq décennies après sa rédaction, ce texte est publié pour la première fois. Il révèle un programme de recherche et des problématiques qui restent encore pertinents non seulement pour l’étude du football au Portugal mais surtout pour l’interprétation des structures historiques de la société portugaise. La publication de ce document inédit est précédé par une présentation qui insère la recherche par José Cutileiro dans les courants de l’anthropologie de l’époque, le mettant notamment en rapport avec les recherches menées par certaines figures de l’école de Manchester comme Max Gluckman.