IEE Newsletter No. 23

IEE Publications

Read about new publications of our IEE members.

UA Ruhr Studies on Development and Global Governance

Threr Cover Bd. 65The dissertation of IEE research fellow and MADM coordinator Tobias Thürer has been published in the UA Ruhr Graduate Center publication series.
The book addresses the issue of speculation with agricultural commodity futures. Since the mid 2000s, an increasing financialization of commodity futures markets has been taking place. This has fueled an ongoing discussion about the effect of financial investments on the development of commodity prices. Against this background, the trading activities of financial speculators also come to the fore. There is the concern that such speculators can cause irrational overshootings of agricultural commodity prices, e.g. in the event of global production shocks. In such an event the decrease of total supply induces a price surge, menacing food security in developing countries. Yet, the question emerges whether speculation aggravates this price increase, eventually inducing a price bubble. The relevance of this concern is reinforced by the fact that, due to climate change, an increased frequency and severity of global agricultural production shortfalls is at stake. If speculation evokes an additional threat to food security in the event of a production shock, the political agenda should not be confined to focus solely on the adaptation to climate change. Instead, it is then also necessary to address speculative activities on agricultural commodity markets.
The book scrutinises whether speculative bubbles can be identified in the event of severe global production shocks. For this, a framework for tracing the transmission of the futures prices' development on the spot market is developed. Using annual data from 1979-2012 for maize, the occurrence of production shock related price bubbles is analysed.
Tobias Thürer (2015): Does speculation with agricultural commodity futures cause price bubbles in the event of negative production shocks? - Berlin: Logos Verl. - 220 S. ISBN 978-3-8325-3876-7 (€ 42,00).

Breitung Cover Bd. 67Claudia Breitung, a former research fellow at the Institute of Development and Peace (INEF) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, has contributed to the UA Ruhr Studies in Development and Governance Series with her dissertation that addresses the interaction of humanitarian agencies with armed rebel groups.
Humanitarian organisations have developed manifold strategies to deal with armed rebel groups in their everyday operations. While some humanitarian agencies directly engage with armed non-state actors in order to get humanitarian access or to secure aid workers' protection, others opt for avoidance strategies. Although it is often reasoned that the humanitarian engagement of rebels would mainly be driven by the humanitarian organisations' mandates, the author argues that a range of other organisational factors on the side of the humanitarian agencies equally influence interaction processes with insurgent forces. Amongst these are the operational goals, available resources and structures of humanitarian organisations, the humanitarian personnel delivering aid, as well as the perception the humanitarian organisation has of the respective insurgent group it is dealing with. In order to test the theoretical assumptions that are drawn up, a case study was conducted on humanitarian interactions with the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The research results confirm that the mentioned organisational aspects - to varying degrees - impact on the ways humanitarian actors engage insurgent forces.
Claudia Breitung (2015): Organisational behaviour of humanitarian agencies in their interaction with armed rebel groups. A case study of humanitarian engagement with the Lord's Resistance Army. - Berlin: Logos Verl. - 243 S. ISBN 978-3-8325-4142-2 (€ 40,00).

The most recent publication in the UA Ruhr Studies on Development and Governance is contributed by PhD IDS candidate Annika Engelbert, IEE Director Markus Kaltenborn and Nina-Annette Reit-Born, post-doctoral research fellow at the Law Faculty of the Ruhr-University Bochum. The research presented in the book entitled "Effective Corruption Control" has been conducted in the context of the interdisciplinary research project on "Procurement Law and Anti-Corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa", funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung.
Corruption in public procurement is widespread and particularly damaging to development objectives, as it undermines any state's duty to maximize the social and economic welfare of its citizens. Yet, research on country-specific regulation meant to address this problem has remained scarce. The book aims to fill this gap by providing a systematic comparative analysis of supplier remedies mechanisms in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. It elaborates on the potential of legal remedies to serve as anticorruption tools. Based on the fact that the anti-corruption effect of remedies mechanisms depends ultimately on the actual use by suppliers, three main factors are discussed: (1) the institutional setting and independence of the remedies systems; (2) their accessibility for aggrieved bidders; and (3) their efficiency, driven by bidder's cost-benefit analysis and including the aspects of procedural fees, duration, available relief, and prospects of success. The assessment of the legislation is complemented by information gained from various stakeholders, such as public procurement authorities, development organizations, NGOs, and scientific experts. Despite many similarities in their systems, due to their common historical background, the analysis identifies remarkably different regulative and institutional approaches, and discusses their more or less supportive effects on the use of supplier remedies mechanisms.
Annika Engelbert/Markus Kaltenborn/Nina-Annette Reit-Born (2016): Effective corruption control. Supplier remedies in public procurement in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania – A comparative analysis of mechanisms and their implementation. – Berlin: Logos Verl. – 131 pp. – 35 € - ISBN 978-3-8325-4251-1.

IEE Working Papers

wp-211 coverThe latest contribution to the IEE Working Paper series is a result of combined research efforts of a MADM graduate from Sierra Leone Mohamed Conteh, IEE research fellow Marc Hansen, IEE post-doctoral fellow Martina Shakya, and IEE Managing Director Wilhelm Löwenstein. The paper provides new insights on the issue of the effects of land investments in developing countries.
The land-grabbing issue has produced a plethora of debates, ranging from ethical conduct of land grabbing agents, specifically concerning displacement, to evidence for and against positive externalities, such as technological spill-overs and construction of infrastructure. An underexplored topic is the valuation of agricultural land and the compensatory payments made to land users, distinct from land owners, for the loss of their source of food security. This paper establishes a theoretical framework for the valuation of agricultural land from the perspective of land users, based on a household production function. For the analysis data were collected in a survey of 203 households in the land-grab affected area in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone during 2013. It shows that, for the case of a specific land grab in Sierra Leone, the compensatory payments received by land users are far below the value of the land lost; and as such, the lease income is unable to allow these households to maintain their previously, already tenuous, levels of food security. A clear distinction is made between landowners, and even more vulnerable non-landowning land users, who depend on the agricultural land for their food security and livelihoods. The household level analysis showed that in addition to the level of compensation received by the average household being insufficient to maintain a priori welfare levels the distribution of compensation significantly favoured the wealthier households. Since the value of the land and the rent distribution were set in local positive law the project could correctly call itself fully compliant but the land grab still resulted in significant welfare losses. The methodology implemented by this ex-post study can identically be applied to an ex-ante scenario, allowing land-grabbing agents to define a minimum compensatory payment to land users not based on asymmetrical bargaining power but on actual land value to this vulnerable section of the local population.
Marc Hansen shares the general idea of the paper also in the present newsletter in our section on Research Actitvities.
Marc Hansen, Mohamed Conteh, Martina Shakya, Wilhelm Löwenstein (2016): Determining Minimum Compensation for Lost Farmland: a theory-based impact evaluation of a land grab in Sierra Leone. - IV, 52 S. ISBN 978-3-927276-97-9. (€ 5,00).

Journal Articles

Two Cluster 2 members, Raffael Beier and Mariana Vilmondes Alves, published a peer reviewed paper on national housing strategies in Brazil, South Africa, and Morocco in the context of Habitat III, in the special issue "Global South" of the German-language journal RaumPlanung (182/6-2015). The article is titled "Dominanz des Quantitativen - Das Dilemma des Rechts auf angemessenen Wohnraum in Brasilien, Marokko und Südafrika (The Dominance of the Quantitative – The Dilemma of the Right to Adequate Housing in Brazil, Morocco and South Africa)".
As a result of Habitat II , a majority of states committed themselves to the right to adequate housing. In practice, however, only parts of the right are implemented, as this comparative analysis of national housing programmes in Brazil, Morocco, and South Africa shows. Crucial qualitative components such as the spatial integration of new housing projects are lacking due to time pressure and the predominance of quantitative targets.
Beier, Raffael/Vilmondes, Mariana (2015): Dominanz des Quantitativen - Das Dilemma des Rechts auf angemessenen Wohnraum in Brasilien, Marokko und Südafrika. RaumPlanung 182 / 6-2015 November –December.

Anja Zorob contributed an article to the well-known German language series, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, in a special issue on "Syrien, Irak und Region (Syria, Iraq and the Region)".
In her contribution she addresses the question of what impact the international sanctions against Syria had. This question is pertinent in light of the fact that the Syrian war is still on-going, although the sanctions were intended to punish Syria's government for the violence committed towards its own people. Anja describes the measures taken as sanctions and discusses potential unintended consequences and adequacy of sanctions against a regime, such as the current Syrian government.
Anja Zorob (2016): Internationale Sanktionen gegen Syrien – was haben sie bewirkt? (International Sanctions Against Syria – What Impact Did They Have?)". In: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, Volume 66, Issue 8/2016, 22. Februar 2016, pp. 14-22.

Book Contributions

IEE members co-authored two contributions to a German-language book on sustainable food as an aspect of major transformations.
The first contribution comes from IEE post-doctoral fellow Martina Shakya, IEE research fellow Marc Hansen, and IEE director Wilhelm Löwenstein, together with other researchers from the Urban Food Plus research project, dealing with the implications of the use of biochar on food security and food safety in sub-Sahara Africa. Food (in-)security, soil degradation and climate change are global problems, particularly affecting developing countries. Over the last years, the use of biochar has been promoted by some researchers as a positive contribution to these problems with specific relevance for developing countries. The input of biochar as a soil amendment is considered a promising means to increase soil fertility and crop yields, as well as a safe method for durable carbon storage - a beneficial aspect in terms of climate change mitigation. However, there are also critical voices rejecting the wide-ranging use of biochar; in particular, in the context of developing countries. The contribution describes state-of-the-art research on possible uses of biochar and the resulting potential benefits and risks for developing countries. Taking the on-going interdisciplinary German-African research project Urban Food Plus as an illustrative example, the authors discuss implications of the use of biochar for food security and food safety in sub-Saharan countries.
The second contribution is an article by IEE research fellow Anne Siebert, together with Julian May from the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, discussing urban agriculture and the right to the city. In many cities around the world, individuals, community groups, and non-governmental organisations play an increasing role in creating productive spaces. Agriculture can shape the urban habitat, and can therefore contribute to the transformation of the city. Guided by Lefebvre's approach of the 'Right to the City' and the concept of 'Food Sovereignty', this contribution focuses on the activism of inhabitants – the way they produce and manage urban space – and their motivations. The theoretical approach is illustrated with a case study of a community initiative, which is active in urban farming in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in George, South Africa. Facing the burden of malnutrition, particularly obesity, and the neglect of governmental responsibility, the initiative is concerned with healthy nutrition, organic food production, urban greening, waste management, and empowerment of the community. By highlighting the importance of bottom-up approaches in the urban food system, the authors discuss how these community efforts can be sustained and integrated on institutional level.
Martina Shakya, Christoph Steiner, Volker Häring, Marc Hansen, and Wilhelm Löwenstein (2016): Biokohle, Ernährungssicherung und Nahrungsmittelsicherheit in westafrikanischen Städten. Ökologische, ökonomische und soziale Perspektiven. (Biochar, Food Security and Food Safety in West-African Cities. Ecologic, economic and social perspectives).
Anne Siebert / Julian May (2016): Urbane Landwirtschaft und das Recht auf Stadt: Theoretische Reflektion und ein Praxisbeispiel aus George, Südafrika (Urban Agriculture and the Right to the City: Theoretical Reflections and Perspectives from George, South Africa).
Both in: Engler, S. / Stengel, O. / Bommert, W. (Eds.): Regional, innovativ und gesund. Nachhaltige Ernährung als Teil der Großen Transformation. (Regional, innovative, and healthy. Sustainable Food as Element of the Great Transformation). Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 9783525300596, (€ 60,00) - Pages 201-218.

Working Paper

Drawing on his expertise on urbanization and MENA-region, IEE research fellow Raffael Beier has contributed to a specific working paper series for the Arab World.
Social injustice, corruption, an authoritarian rule of law, and the growing contrasts between rich and poor have become particularly evident in the Arab countries' largest metropolitan areas. Mirroring the contrast between global aspirations and local challenges, these "cities of extremes" have seen the emergence of gated communities and urban flagship projects in the direct neighbourhood of precarious informal settlements. Far too often, the region's urban planning is not demand-led, but rather driven by a centrally controlled real-estate market that feeds a hardly transparent, rentier-based economic model. Consequently, top-down planning has often prioritised ambitious large-scale projects instead of decentralised and differentiated planning solutions.
Raffael Beier (2016): "Shifting Urban Policies in North Africa after the "Arab Spring" - Urgent Reaction or Real Changes?". Diskussionspapiere Volkswirtschaft des Vorderen Orients, 113. Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag.

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