Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Recent publications
Background Previous literature reports that low male partner support is a barrier to women’s adherence and retention in HIV care programs. Objective This qualitative study explored the relationships between partners to understand what is meant by male partner support in adherence of HIV-positive women in four healthcare facilities in Southern Malawi. Methods We conducted 8 semi-structured focus group discussions (FGDs) with 73 participants (40 men and 33 women) and 10 in-depth interviews (IDIs) between August 2018 to December 2019. Participants were HIV-positive patients, healthcare workers (HCWs), expert patients (EPs), and couples attending the clinic. All data were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using a gender-responsive grounded theory approach. Results This study confirms previous literature, which suggests male partner support is expressed by providing access to transport to the clinic and accompaniment to appointments. However, we found that men can also control access to resources and decision-making. Support is more complex than previous literature reported and, in some cases, gender norms significantly limit women’s capacity to engage in care independently of male support since women need male partner permission to access the resources to attend clinics. Conclusions This paper suggests that restrictive male-partner gender norms limit women’s power to engage in care. Most importantly, the gender analysis reveals that what previous literature describes as male partner support can sometimes hide male partner control in permitting access to resources to attend health facilities. For this reason, policies enhancing male support should consider the gender power relationship between partners to avoid reinforcing gender inequality.
  • Lys KulamadayilLys Kulamadayil
This article highlights the marks left on international law by Iran’s and Algeria’s early, and mid-20th century paths to re-claiming sovereignty over their petroleum reserves. It shows that Iran has significantly affected the contractual model of petroleum operations, whereas Algeria has championed the international law turn of third world internationalism. It thus hopes to shift attention from the frequently cited non-consequentialism of key moments in Third World Internationalism, such as Bandung and the NIEO to the significance of these domestic and transnational processes. While so doing, it is careful to point to the extraordinary bargaining power given to petro-states by the fossil-fuel dependent global economy, which elevated their influence in global affairs over that of other states in the Global South.
In recent years, awareness of the socio-economic costs of immigrants’ marginalisation and exclusion has led Swiss policymakers to promote integration. However, the biographical interviews with migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers (MRAs) who arrived in Switzerland between 2014 and 2019 tell a different story. MRAs consider themselves not well integrated, while the labour market outcomes of certain migrant groups are diverging. Particularly migrant women run the risk of being left behind. This chapter sheds light on these aspects. It also argues that policymaking can only be effective if it considers all structural and agential factors in their interdependence. The chapter illuminates a discrepancy between, on one hand, structural changes that do not always shape aspirations of Swiss policy actors for successful and promising policy implementation and, on the other, the realities of the migrants’ lives. Their experiences of deskilling and a consequent feeling of not being welcome lead to the development of negative epiphanic views on the inability to access gainful employment. The illuminated synergistic relationship between structural and agential factors are very instructive for policymaking: leaving agential considerations outside the scope of structural reforms can expose migrants to further risks and vulnerabilities, and exacerbate inequalities within host societies.
Focusing on practices and representations mobilized by street-level workers in the management of North African unaccompanied minor migrants (UAMs) in Geneva, I take a closer look at the everyday assessment and production of UAMs’ deservingness in the context of humanitarianism. I show the importance of doubt and of perceived vulnerability in the informal evaluation process of UAMs’ right for protection. I further demonstrate how the social construction of childhood, race, and gender influence street-level workers’ perceptions.
The Migration Amendment (Clarifying International Obligations for Removal) Act 2021 sought to remedy failures of previous amendments contained in the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Act 2014. Despite both amendments, the Migration Act 1958 continues to provide for the indefinite detention of non-citizens, an existing human rights concern which the later amending legislation had sought to address. This paper illustrates how the enactment of these amendments constitutes poorly conceived quick fixes that exacerbate rather than remedy Australia’s breaches of international obligations. Akin to the oft repeated nursery rhyme ‘there was an old lady who swallowed a fly’, then a spider to catch the fly, and a bird to catch the spider, the series of amendments discussed fail to address the initial problem—indefinite detention—while each exacerbates that failure with increasingly complex yet ineffective solutions. This paper argues that amending the fundamental failure of the Australian Migration Act to offer protection to non-citizens owed non-refoulement obligations requires more than changes to s 197C introduced in later amendments. It requires changes to the ‘good character’ provisions contained in ss 36 and 501 to ensure that individuals owed non-refoulement obligations by Australia are granted protection visas.
Objectives: Our objective was to examine the public response to public health and media messaging during the human monkeypox virus (MPXV) outbreak in the UK, focusing on at-risk communities. Methods: A co-produced, cross-sectional survey was administered in June and July 2022 using community social media channels and the Grindr dating app. Basic descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and odds ratio p values are presented. Results: Of 1932 survey respondents, 1750 identified as men, 88 as women, and 64 as gender non-conforming. Sexual identity was described as gay/lesbian/queer (80%), bisexual (12%), heterosexual (4%), and pansexual (2%); 39% were aged <40 years; 71% self-identified as White, 3% as Black, 8% as Asian, 2%as LatinX, and 11% as 'Mixed or Other' heritage groups. In total, 85% were employed and 79% had completed higher education. A total of 7% of respondents identified themselves as living with HIV. Overall, 34% reported limited understanding of public health information, 52% considered themselves at risk, 61% agreed that people with MPXV should isolate for 21 days, 49% reported they would first attend a sexual health clinic if symptomatic, 86% reported they would accept a vaccine, and 59% believed that MPXV originated from animals. The most trusted sources of information were healthcare professionals (37%), official health agencies (29%), and mainstream media (12%). Conclusions: Vaccine acceptability was very high, yet the understanding and acceptance of public health information varied. Social determinants of health inequalities already shaping the UK landscape risk were compounded in this new emergency. Engagement with structurally disadvantaged members of affected communities and better dissemination of public health messaging by trusted healthcare professionals are essential for the public health response.
The entrenched understanding of the law governing nationality does not permit a state to look beyond a ship's flag and registration to ascertain its nationality during peacetime. Nonetheless, this very understanding also allows a state to pierce the veil of a ship's registration to ascertain its enemy character during wartime. However, the war in Ukraine has witnessed fresh state practice whereby states have claimed equivalent rights during peacetime as well, thus encouraging the concordant interpretation of the status of nationality across both the peace and wartime legal orders.
This paper opens a scholarly discourse about Chinese scholars’ engagement with TWAIL (Third World Approach to International Law). This paper shows that Chinese international law scholars and TWAIL align in their resistance to Eurocentrism in international law, while they differ in their attitude towards whether to refrain from “national allegories” and criticize international law as a state-centric invention. A state-centric approach means that mainstream Chinese international lawyers tend to adopt a pragmatic attitude towards international law, employing it as a strategic weapon. During the course of this inquiry, this paper also observes a critical strand in Chinese academics – mostly outside of the international law discipline, and within the disciplines of history and philosophy – that is dedicated to redeeming China's subjectivity and history, which may be useful to understand Chinese critical spirit.
The analogy between the natural individual and the ‘person’ of the State has played an important role in the development of the law of nations. The early modern theorists of the law of nations have employed various anthropomorphic vocabularies in order to describe the State and to explain the functioning of international legal obligations. This article traces the role of anthropomorphic assumptions about the State in the writings of Hobbes, Pufendorf, Wolff and Vattel. It compares different conceptualizations of personhood of the State and traces the transition towards the view of the State as an autonomous subject of a distinct set of rights and duties under the law of nations. Finally, the article invites the audience in international law to re-examine our disciplinary conceptualizations of the person of the State as the subject of international legal obligations.
Dense overlapping networks of multiple currencies were a feature of subcontinental commerce and statehood until the twentieth century. Twenty-seven subcontinental states in addition to the Raj issued their own currencies in 1893. Underpinned by a common basis in silver and an extensive market for their bills, they financed trade and circulated in one another’s territories, including British India. By 1905 most currencies had ceased and this sovereign prerogative belonged mainly to the Raj. The suppression of indigenous currency networks by a colonial monetary system presaged a dramatic reconfiguration of native sovereignty and imperial paramountcy. Triggered by silver’s demonetization in British India in 1893, these transformations unfolded amid gold’s elevation as the universal standard and the growth in London’s financial influence. They were cemented by the famines of 1896–1902, which crippled the native states’ finances and accentuated the conflict they faced between famine relief and currency stability. Markets magnified this conflict into a test of sovereign capacity that few states managed to withstand. The consequent redistribution of sovereign capacity between states and markets, and between states according to their ability to control the markets, helped to dematerialize, rearticulate and extend the reach of British power. This subcontinental story of money, markets and indigenous statehood is hence a British imperial story with resonances beyond the empire and its own time.
The passage of over seven decades, coupled by consistent practice of States, has triggered the emergence of a distinct international legal regime for Palestinian refugees. Unlike the majority of contemporary refugees, Palestinians ‘refugeehood’ would not end pursuant to the acquisition of other citizenship(s) or by gaining protection akin to citizens in host States. Given their distinctive situation, individuals in this group, whose refugee status is intertwined to that of a prolonged denial of the right to self-determination, continue to be entitled to the right of return in their homeland in pre-1948 Palestine, namely either the State of Israel or the new State of Palestine within the 1967-occupied territory, depending on the original place of habitual residence of each individual or his/her ascendants before flight. In short, international law has generated a lex specialis regime for Palestinian refugees, which provides either equal, or heightened, protection and is in no means inferior, to other refugees.
In the early 1960s, three pilot agricultural and settlement schemes were set up along the shores of Lake Victoria in the north-western region of Tanzania with the involvement of Israeli development agency Agridev. One of these sites was Mbarika, where the experimental project ran for three years and had mixed results before being discontinued by the young Tanzanian government. This article explores the story of that scheme and its long-term legacies some 50 years on. Unpacking the representational and material ruinations that outlived the project's official timeline, we examine the memories and rumours that continue to haunt the site to this day and their entanglement with successive development experiences and shifting political ideologies. Through interviews, ethnographic observations and archival research, we shed light on the complex, deeply ambiguous legacies and ‘afterlives’ of a development intervention set between expectations of modernity and a sense of exclusion.
Nine Ghanaian private banks collapsed during the country’s 2017–19 financial crisis. Apart from public audits that revealed liquidity problems and large portfolios of non-performing loans, the crisis generated vibrant debate on ‘indigenous banks’ as integral to national economic sovereignty. At the centre of these debates was a contested central bank-led project to inject equity in five struggling Ghanaian banks through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT). Set against the historical dominance of foreign banks in West Africa and Ghana’s recent history of political fault lines, this article explores the moral discourses and popular discontents of harnessing an SPV – a device typically used to isolate financial risk – for a desire for African economic sovereignty. Drawing on banking archives, public debates and fieldwork in a private bank selected as a benefactor of the SPV, I focus on the contests of value that emerge when costly banking sector reforms meet a critical public that doubts the sincerity of politicians and bankers as economic ‘reformers’. Arguing that ‘indigenous banks’ became a moral category that embedded abstractions of finance in a nationalist discourse of affect and sentiment, this article illuminates the long history of centring domestic ownership of financial infrastructures in postcolonial African economic policymaking.
The rise and decline of the Islamic State’s (IS) caliphate between 2014 and 2018 have garnered significant policy and academic attention. Explanations for the group’s territorial demise have focussed on its internal group dynamics and external conflict processes. Although both explanations are valid, I adopt a historical approach to show that IS’s caliphate was just one cycle in a two-decade history of governance activity. IS has undertaken three governance cycles composed of phases of insurgency, gaining territory, establishing institutions, and losing territory. After each governance cycle, IS engaged in a process of critical self-reflection and adapted its governance strategy significantly. This resulted in a progressive history in which, with each cycle, IS governed greater amounts of territory, through more complex institutions, for a longer period of time. This article is based on fieldwork interviews conducted with both IS members and civilians who lived under IS control in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey, as well as archival research on IS historical and contemporary governing documents.
The intangible nature of services and the lack of disaggregated trade data increase the difficulties involved in assessing the impediments to cross‐border trade in services. In an attempt to reduce the information gap existing in services trade, this article estimates the impact of trade barriers along with the conditional and general equilibrium responses to the partial liberalization of services trade, using structural gravity. Using data collected by the OECD, I find that the level of restrictiveness applied by an importing country has a negative and significant impact on trade; however, this impact is heterogeneous across services sectors. By focusing on eight services sectors, I find that the partial liberalization of services trade will cause real income to increase by, on average, 4.8%. The most restrictive countries are the largest winners of the partial liberalization of services trade, benefiting from the availability of less expensive sources and an increase in their attractiveness as a source.
In October 2021, the government of Catamarca, a province located in Northern Argentina, announced the beginning of a consultation process to debate about a lithium mining project located in the Salar del Hombre Muerto. According to several laws and international treaties passed by Argentina, before any program, project or law that affect Indigenous peoples, their territories and resources, a Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) consultation has to be held. In Argentina, the provinces are in charge of controlling all mining activities and carrying out consultation processes. However, in many cases the provinces have not upheld this right to consultation and local communities have regularly protested. Therefore, consultation processes often take place in conflictive scenarios. The aim of this Viewpoint is to illustrate, through an ethnographic approach, how concretely a consultation process around lithium mining was carried out in Catamarca. Our findings show that the fairness of this particular consultation process was compromised by limits imposed on access to transparent information and by barriers imposed to local participation. We conclude that in order to to move towards a fair energy transition it is imperative to address the vulnerability of local communities, to guarantee greater transparency of information about lithium projects, and to hold FPIC according to the spirit and the letter of international conventions.
This article builds on existing literature on digital inequality and the digitised welfare state to elucidate one underexplored way in which the rise of e‐government platforms further disadvantages already‐marginalised people: by requiring that they possess a verifiable digital footprint distributed across multiple public and commercial platforms. We illustrate the pertinence and nuances of this particular risk through lived experience research in a UK public library where limited users receive help with digital skills. Although there is a growing recognition of both the inevitability of digital welfare and the risks to marginalised communities, little work has been done to connect these abstract policy discussions to lived experience—to pinpoint how digitisation creates these exclusions, beyond simply having internet access or not. This article argues that the prerequisite of a digital footprint engenders a double disadvantage: (1) lacking a digital footprint is the result of barriers that are largely invisible to data‐driven, digital‐by‐default systems, and (2) when marginalised users establish a sufficient footprint, this entails a disproportionately onerous responsibility for managing a distributed personal data trail in the long term. This combination of mundane barriers and the burden of responsibility for a digital identity points to policy implications for governments aiming to advance inclusive digital transformation agendas.
Drawing on longitudinal ethnographic research carried out over two-and-a-half decades in barrio Luis Fanor Hernández, a poor neighborhood in Managua, Nicaragua, this article explores how legal and illegal economic activities are socially legitimized, and more specifically, how certain illegal economic activities can end up being seen as legitimate, and certain legal ones perceived as illegitimate. The first part of the article explores the variable morality surrounding different types of criminal activities that local gang members engaged in during the 1990s and 2000s. The second part considers my experiences running a local market stall, describing the contrasting reactions I faced when I resorted to first legal, and then illegal, strategies to boost my revenue levels. Taken together, these examples showcase how the social legitimization of an economic activity has less to do with whether it is legal or illegal, but rather the future aspirations it embodies.
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