IS Academy

logo IS AcademyThe African Studies Centre (ASC) in Leiden and the Sub-Saharan Africa Department (DAF) at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up the IS Academy in February 2007. They had previously consulted each other on a regular basis but decided to formalize their working relationship by establishing the IS Academy's 'The State in Africa' research programme to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and research results on how the African State functions. The programme officially ended on 31 December 2012.

Background

Government institutions in Africa are important partners for the Ministry. Perhaps more so than anywhere else, there are significant differences in Africa between formal government agencies and formal rules on the one hand, and the way things are actually managed by these agencies on the other. This can have major consequences for relations between African states and the Netherlands. The IS Academy provided a framework that promoted an exchange of information and allowed the ASC and DAF to meet regularly to consult on policy issues in Africa.

Research Framework

The partners decided to focus their research on the following areas:
1) Good Governance and Donor Interventions in the African State
The objective was to gain insight into the nature of the African State and how it affects
sustainable development and expectations relating to developments in Africa. This involved a critical examination of the impact development aid has had on African states taking into account the history of the continent. It questioned for example whether development aid has encouraged national ownership of the development process or if it has obstructed it
2) Failing States, Conflict and Conflict Resolution
The aims of this research were to analyze forms of government and the organization of security at a local level, and to consider how donors can ensure that their policy responses are adequate.
3) The State and the Private Sector
To obtain a useful picture of how government and the private sector work, the consequences of conflicting interests and the muddy mix of private and public interests when determining policy for private-sector development required analysis. Research also addressed alternative approaches to private-sector development with the aim of improving the economic policy climate.

Activities

Research
Three PhD students were selected in the second half of 2007 to conduct research as part of the African State project. They were joined by another three PhD students in 2008.
Completed PhD projects:
- Melle Leenstra Beyond the Façade: Instrumentalisation of the Zambian Health Sector. PhD defence: 14 March 2012
- Lotje de Vries Facing Frontiers: Everyday Practice of State-Building in South Sudan. PhD defence: 7 November 2012
Current PhD projects:
- Margot Leegwater: 'Land Access and Ethnicity in Southeastern Rwanda'
- Matthias Olthaar: 'Opportunities for Smallholders in Value Chains: Sesame in Ethiopia and Tanzania'
- Martin van Vliet: 'An In-depth Empirical Study of the Democratic Consolidation Process in Mali'
The sixth PhD student unfortunately had to stop her research in 2012.

Education
Various Ministry and ASC staff gave lectures organized by the ASC and its partners as part of Leiden University's Research Masters in African Studies and other university programmes elsewhere in the Netherlands.

Work10 May 2012 - prof. Ton Dietzshops and Conferences
A workshop was held for ASC and DAF staff on the concept of failing states and development paradigms in November 2007, with a second second workshop being held in November 2008 on ‘Power and Politics in Africa: Working with the Grain’. On 25 November 2009 a conference entitled 'Elections in Africa: Fair, Façade or Failure?' was organized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and on 14 December 2010 there was a study day on 'Ungoverned Spaces'. 2012 was the last year of this IS Acamy programme and the final conference on De IS-Academie en het Nederlands Afrikabeleid: de connectie tussen beleid en wetenschap (The IS Academy and the Dutch Africa Policy: Connecting Policy Making and Scientific Enquiry) was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 10 May. The opening speech, which was given by Christiaan Rebergen (Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), was followed by keynote addresses by Prof. Ton Dietz (Director ASC) on the IS Academy's four-year programme and the Dutch Country Policy and Prof. Stephen Ellis (senior researcher at the ASC) on scientific knowledge and policy on Africa. There were also general discussions on the Ministry's four focus areas (Security and the Rule of Law; Water; Food Security; and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) and an additional topic (Good Governance).

Lectures and Seminars
discussants IS Academy 08-12-2011Seminars in 2011:
- 22 June: Prosper Matondi (Ruzivo Trust, Zimbabwe), Lionel Cliffe (Centre for African Studies at the University of Leeds (UK)) & Sharah Soede (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Land Reform, Food Security and Stability in Africa: Lessons from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya
- 27 October: Leonardo A. Villalón (University of Florida) & Carmen Hagenaars (cluster coordinator West Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)  Negotiating Islam and Democracy in Sahelian Africa: Senegal, Mali and Niger
- 8 December: David Van Reybrouck, Jaime de Bourbon Parme & Joost van Puijenbroek (IKV Pax Christi), Femke van Zeijl (interviewer) Bloeddiamanten of een gouden toekomst? De rol van grondstoffen in Congo.

Seminars in 2010:
- 11 March: Marloes H.N. Bakker (Planbureau Leefomgeving) & Aaron T. Wolf (Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University) Shared Waters. Conflict and Cooperation
- 8 April: Remco Oostendorp (VU), Geske Dijkstra (EUR) & Lia van Wesenbeeck (VU) De economie van de beginnende ontwikkeling
- 26 May: Einas Ahmed (CEDEJ) & Norbert Braakhuis (Netherlands' Ambassador to Sudan) Sudan's Recent Elections and the Upcoming Referendum in the South
- 17 June: Stephen Ellis (ASC/VU) Africa in the World Today
- 6 October: Udesh Pillay (CSD & HSRC) Development and Dreams. The Urban Legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup

Seminars in 2009:
- 26 March: Jan Kees van Donge (ASC) & David Henley (KITLV) Development in Africa and Asia: How Can the Difference Be Explained?
- 8 June: Ian Gary (Senior Policy Advisor Oxfam America) New Oil Producers in Africa and the Challenges of Governance. The Case of Ghana
- 16 December: Paul Mathieu (FAO Land Tenure and Management Unit) Global Investments in Agriculture and Large-Scale Land Acquisitions. Stakes and Relations with Rural Development

Seminars in 2008:
- 22 April: Sujit Dutta (UNRISD) India in Africa: Building Ties for the New Century
- 29 May: Thandika Mkandawire (IDSA) From Maladjusted States to Developmental States
- 5 June: Ricardo Soares de Oliveira (Oxford University) Oil and Politics in Africa
- 22 October: Adam Habib (University of Johannesburg) Speaking to Global Debates with a National and Continental Lens: South-African and African Social Movements in Comparative Perspective
- 6 November: Peter J. Schraeder (Loyola University Chicago) The US Elections, US Foreign Policy towards Africa, and Africom
- 19 November: David Booth (ODI) Governance for Development in Africa: What’s the Problem and What’s Next?

Publications

  • Abbink J. (ed) (2012) Fractures and Reconnections: Civic Action and the Redefinition of African Political and Economic Spaces. Berlin/Hamburg/Münster: Lit Verlag.
  • Abbink, J. & T. Hagmann (eds) (2012) Twenty Years of Revolutionary-Democratic Ethiopia. Special issue on Ethiopia of the Journal of Eastern African Studies 5(2).
  • Abbink, J. (2012) Ethnic-based Federalism and Ethnicity in Ethiopia: Reassessing the Experiment after 20 Years. Journal of Eastern African Studies 5(4): 596-618.
  • Abbink, J. (2012) Dam Controversies: Contested Governance and Developmental Discourse on the Ethiopian Omo River Dam. In: Social Anthropology 20(2): 125-144.
  • Abbink, J. (2012) Ethiopia. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds), Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 329-342.
  • Abbink, J. (2012) Somalia. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds), Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 377-386.
  • Abbink, J. (2012) De Hoorn van Afrika als regionale (on)veiligheidszone: conflicten en dilemma’s. Internationale Spectator, 66(5): 235-240.
  • Abbink, J. (2009) Law Against Reality? Contextualizing the Ethiopian-Eritrean Border Problem. In: A. de Guttry, G. Venturini & H. Post (eds), The 1998–2000 War Between Eritrea and Ethiopia. An International Legal Perspective. The Hague/Cambridge: T.M.C. Asser Press/Cambridge University Press, pp. 141-158.
  • Abbink, J. (2009) Ethiopia. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds), Africa Yearbook 2008: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, , pp. 309-320.
  • Abbink, J. (2009) Somalia. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds), Africa Yearbook 2008: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 351-360.
  • Abbink, J. (2009) The Ethiopian Second Republic and the Fragile ‘Social Contract’. Africa Spectrum 44(2): 3-28.
  • Adano, W.R., T. Dietz & K. Witsenburg (2012) Natural Resources and Conflicts: Theoretical Flaws and Empirical Evidence from Northern Kenya. In: Witsenburg, K. & F. Zaal (eds), Spaces of Insecurity. Human Agency in Violent Conflicts in Kenya. Leiden: African Studies Centre, pp. 141-166.
  • Adano, W. R., Dietz, A. J., Witsenburg, K., & A. F. M Zaal (2012) Climate Change, Violent Conflict and Local Institutions in Kenya's Drylands, Journal of Peace Research, 49(1): 65-80.
  • Derkyi M., M.A.F. Ros-Tonen, T. Dietz & B. Kyereh (2012) Interactive Forest Governance for Conflict Management in Ghana. ETFRN News (European Tropical Forest Research Network) 53(April): 19-28.
  • Dietz, T. & Qui Li (2012) Participatory Assessment of Development Initiatives and of European Aid to Africa. In: African Studies (Jinhua, China; in Chinese) 1(2): 162-179.
  • Kurian, M., V. Ratna Reddy, T. Dietz & D. Brdjanovic (2012) Wastewater Reuse for Peri-urban Agriculture: a Viable Option for Adaptive Water Management? Sustainability Science (Springer) online scientific journal: July 2012; DOI 10. 1007/s 11625-012-0178-0.
  • Tran Thi Thu Ha, S. R. Bush & H. van Dijk (2013) The Cluster Panacea?: Questioning the Role of Cooperative Shrimp Aquaculture in Vietnam. Aquaculture 388-391: 89-98
  • Tran Thi Phung Ha, H. van Dijk, R. Bosma & Le Xuan Sinh (2013) Livelihood Capabilities and Pathways of Shrimp Farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Aquaculture Economics & Management 17(1): 1-30.
  • Tran Thi Phung Ha & H. van Dijk (2013) Livelihood Sustainability, Risk and Compliance with Fishery Regulations – A Case Study in Ca Mau, Vietnam, Coastal Management, Marine Policy 38: 417-427
  • Bose, P., B. Arts & H. van Dijk (2012) Forest Governmentality: A Genealogy of Subject-Making of Forest Dependent ‘Scheduled Tribes’ in Western India. Land Use Policy 29(3): 664-673
  • Dijk, H. van (2012) Chad. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds), Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp 227-234
  • Tran Thi Thu Ha, S.R. Bush, A.P.J. Mol, H. van Dijk (2012) Organic Coasts? Regulatory Challenges of Certifying Integrated Shrimp-Mangrove Production Systems in Vietnam. Journal of Rural Studies 28: 631-639.
  • Tran Thi Thu Ha, H. van Dijk & S.R. Bush (2012) Mangrove Conservation or Shrimp Farmer’s Livelihood? The Devolution of Forest Management and Benefit Sharing in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Ocean & Coastal Management 69: 185-193.
  • Dijk, H. van (2009) Chad. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds), Africa Yearbook 2008: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 211-218.
  • Ellis, S. (2012) Nigeria, Internationale Spectator 66(5): 250-252.
  • Ellis, S. (2009) West Africa’s International Drug Trade. African Affairs 108(431): 171–196.
  • Ellis, S. & I. van Kessel (eds) (2009) Movers and Shakers: Social Movements in Africa. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.
  • Kessel, I. van (2012) South Africa. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp 511-526.
  • Kessel, I. van (2009) Afrika heeft een sociaal contract nodig, Openbaar Bestuur 3(Maart): 31-36.
  • Leegwater, M. (2011) Sharing Scarcity: Issues of Land Tenure in South-East Rwanda. In: A. Ansoms & S. Marysse (eds) Natural Resources and Local Livelihoods in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. A Political Economy Perspective. New York/ Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 104-122.
  • Leenstra, M. (2007) Beyond the Façade. Neo-patrimonialism and the Zambian Heath Reforms. In: University of Leipzig Papers on Africa, No. 80
  • Rutten, M. et al (2012) Water Management Issues in Africa. Web dossier has been compiled by the African Studies Centre library for the international conference on Water Management Issues in Africa, organized by the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) in collaboration with the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).  http://www.ascleiden.nl/q=content/webdossiers/water-africa.
  • Vliet, M. van (2012) Mali. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 129-136.
  • Vliet, M. van (2011) Mali. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2010: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 133-140.
  • Vliet, M. van (2011) Family Matters: The Interplay between Formal and Informal Incentives for Accountability in Mali’s Local Communities. In: D.M. Chirwa & L. Nijzink (eds) Accountable Governments in Africa: Perspectives from Public Law and Political Studies. Cape Town: UCT Press.
  • Vliet, M. van, J. Bossuyt & K. de Jong (2011) The Accountability Web: Illustrating Effective Local Accountability Mechanisms. Policy Paper presented to the OECD Governance Meeting (June, 2011).
  • Vliet, M. van (2011) Accountability and Improved Local Service Delivery in SSA. Leiden: ASC.
  • Vries, L. de (2011) Négocier l’Autorité. Les micro-pratiques étatiques à la frontière du Sud-Soudan et de la République Démocratique du Congo. Politique Africaine 122(2): 41-58.
  • Vries, L. de (2011) The City in the Fragile State. Juba; A Fragile Capital? In: Klem, M. (ed) Who Belongs to the City / To Whom Belongs the City. The Hague. Report by Research for Development commissioned by VNG international.
  • Vries, L. de, E. Hazard, M.A. Barry, A.A. Anouan & N. Pinaud (2009) The Developmental Impact of the Asian Drivers on Senegal, The World Economy 32(11).
  • Walraven, K. van, A. Mehler & H. Melber (eds) (2012) Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.
  • Walraven, K. van (2012) Sub-Saharan Africa. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 1-14.
  • Walraven, K. van (2012) West Africa. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 45-56.
  • Walraven, K. van (2012) Niger, In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2011: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 145-153.
  • Walraven, K. van (2009) Niger. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2008: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 137-144
  • Walraven, K. van (2009) West Africa. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2008: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 43-55.
  • Walraven, K. van (2009) Sub-Saharan Africa. In: A. Mehler, H. Melber & K. van Walraven (eds) Africa Yearbook 2008: Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 1-17.

Partners

A number of other institutions were also directly involved in the IS partnership through lectures and other activities. These included: VU University Amsterdam, Leiden University, Utrecht University and Wageningen University. Most of the activities and cooperation at the Ministry were with the Human Rights, Good Governance and Humanitarian Aid Department (DMH).

The IS Academy partnership was supervised by a Steering Committee that consisted of ASC and DAF representatives:
Prof. Ton Dietz (ASC)
Prof. Stephen Ellis (ASC)
Prof. Jan Abbink (ASC)
Prof. Han van Dijk (ASC)
Gitty Petit (ASC)
Marion van Schaik (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Huub Hendrix (previously at DAF)

Contact

For more information about the project, contact Gitty Petit at the ASC or Marion van Schaik (Ministry of Foreign Affairs - mjc-van.schaik@minbuza.nl):

African Studies Centre (ASC)
P.O. Box 9555
2300 RB Leiden
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 71 527 1938

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DAF)
Sub-Saharan Africa Department
P.O. Box 20061
2500 EB The Hague
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 70 348 6092

About this project

Project type: 
Research project
Period: 
2007 to 2012
Status: 
Completed

External affiliates

Matthias Olthaar (RUG)

Funding and cooperation

Cooperation: 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs