The Broker’s top recommended articles of 2016

Development Policy09 Jan 2017Rojan Bolling, Yannicke Goris

With the start of a new year, the time has come to reflect on what has passed and look towards what is to come in 2017. To guide you in your contemplation, we have compiled a shortlist of 5 unmissable articles from 2016. Enjoy.

1) Treating migration as a security threat won’t make it go away.

By Marc Furness (German Development Institute)

In his spirited opinion-piece that forms part of The Broker’s dossier on migration, Mark Furness, a researcher at the German Development Institute, challenges the European Union’s development and migration policies. He argues that these have been characterized by a shift away from long-term programmes towards a reactive approach; an approach which he considers flawed. Furness doubts migration flows will be stopped by walls, camps and surveillance as long as people are desperate enough to leave their homes and families. What Europe needs then, is a comprehensive, long-term migration policy framework. This framework would include a global migration accord, open more legal avenues for migrants and aim to harness migration for good.

2) Europe and the financial sector: a continuing love affair.

By Frans Bieckmann and Remmelt de Weerd (The Broker)

Another much debated European Union issue on our website was the conception of the Capital Markets Union (CMU). The Broker, in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), published a critical research article on this recent project. While the European Commission presented the CMU as a way to stimulate economic growth and promote investments in SMEs, research findings suggested the contrary. Indeed, rather than boosting investment in SMEs and GDP growth, the CMU is more likely to promote the already oversized financial sector. The article was followed by a series of related expert opinions, published within our Inclusive Economy Europe programme, to fuel debate.

3) Is controlled disintegration the answer?

By Daniel Mügge (University of Amsterdam)

In his thought-provoking contribution, political scientist Daniel Mügge argues that, overburdened by multiple crises, Europe is getting worse at dealing with any of them. Mügge suggests that one possible way forward is a ‘controlled disintegration’; an amicable handing back of power to national capitals in areas where common policy is simply not working. Whether Mügge’s ideas will take shape in reality remains to be seen. With the start of Brexit negotiations and multiple important national elections coming up, 2017 is likely to be a crucial year for the future direction of the European Union.

4) Trust versus belief. Countering violent extremism in Mali by working with communities.

By Rida Lyammouri (independent researcher)

Moving beyond European borders, The Broker’s Sahel Watch programme seeks to analyse and put into perspective the ongoing conflicts in the Sahel region. Our most-read contribution to this programme was Rida Lyammouri’s research article on targeted counterterrorism efforts in Mali. Echoing sentiments similar to that of Marc Furness (see above), Lyammouri makes a case for carefully planned interventions that address the unique needs of specific communities. Only by building a relationship with communities and gaining their trust – a process that takes time and effort – will stakeholders be able to counter their longstanding relationship with Jihadist groups. Lyammouri concludes his article by making three concrete recommendations for a future strategy; food for thought to start this new year.

5) Global poverty and national inequality: What’s the connection?

By Andy Sumner (King’s College London) and Chris Hoy (University of Sydney)

Our final recommended article directs our attention to global poverty. In January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force. In their opinion article, Sumner and Hoy show that extreme poverty and inequality within countries – two separate issues of the SDGs – are intimately related. They suggest that, “most of the world’s poor live in countries that already have the national financial capacity to end extreme poverty”. In other words, tackling extreme poverty requires a redistribution of existing resources within developing countries. This implies that poverty could be eradicated prior to the envisioned deadline of 2030.

These articles should spur your thoughts and provoke debates at the start of the new year. To stay updated on new publications on our website, subscribe to our newsletters and follow The Broker on Twitter and Facebook.