Foreign Policy Blogs

Africa

“Only thing left for Zim voters is hope” (Self Indulgence Alert)

“Only thing left for Zim voters is hope” (Self Indulgence Alert)

This past weekend South Africa’s Sunday Independent published a lengthy (by op-ed standards) piece of mine on the Zim elections, which are taking place today. It continues one of my prevailing themes in the last few weeks, and indeed represents an attempt to synthesize my last month’s writing on Zim …

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Uncle Sam, Uncle Bob and elections in Zimbabwe

Uncle Sam, Uncle Bob and elections in Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans will go to the polls on Wednesday to participate in an election that will be closely monitored by hundreds of foreign observers, mostly from around Africa. One country that will be watching despite Western observer missions not being invited is the United States of America.
Relations between Washington and Harare are …

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Zimbabwe Elections: Why Should We Care?

Zimbabwe Elections: Why Should We Care?

Editor’s Note:
Ralph Black is a Zimbabwean political refugee and the U.S. Representative for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is the largest political party in the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe. 
_______________________________________________________________
by Ralph Black
Zimbabwe is important to U.S. strategic interests from political, security and …

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Zimbabwe Election Countdown

Zimbabwe Election Countdown

In ten days Zimbabweans will go to the polls.
This much we know. And it is just about all we know.
There are glimmers of hope for the opposition. Some are reading murky tea leaves, coming to the conclusion that Morgan Tsvangirai and his wing of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC, …

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Egypt’s Revolution has the potential to surpass Syrian violence

Egypt’s Revolution has the potential to surpass Syrian violence

To coup or not to coup? Who cares? Whatever label it is being given, coup or revolution, what the Egyptian military accomplished less than one week ago is removing a government …

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Egypt after the Coup

Egypt after the Coup

Recent events in Egypt have been tumultuous, to say the least. The country’s first elected president in history was deposed by the military three days after his first anniversary in office. The International Crisis Group’s …

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On Mandela

On Mandela

The news hanging over the last month or so has been Nelson Mandela’s health. He has been in hospital in Pretoria for several weeks now, with conflicting reports on his condition. It seems that he is critical but stable, he may or may not be on life support, and he …

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Obama visits Africa, welcomes competition on the continent

Obama visits Africa, welcomes competition on the continent

Obama’s recent visit to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania has some arguing “too little, too late”.  They argue that while the U.S. was resting on its laurels, China has stolen a march over the United States with its narrow commercial approach, eschewing the Western goals of social and political development. …

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Green Point, Melville, and the Gini Coefficient

Green Point, Melville, and the Gini Coefficient

I am wrapping up this latest southern Africa trip over the next couple of days. Almost a week in Green Point, Cape Town, followed by a final few days in Melville, Johannesburg, allows me to decompress, see friends, buy books, write and reflect on the cultures of privilege and privation …

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Hope in Zimbabwe

Hope in Zimbabwe

The monolithic over-road monument that one drives under going to or coming from the airport in Harare reminds one clearly of the importance of the country’s 1980 independence. Hard won in the bush and at international negotiating tables the victory over Ian Smith’s ruthlessly racist Rhodesian regime represented — still …

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Reconciliation…One More Time!

Reconciliation…One More Time!


Ironic as it may seem, it is a statement of controversy to assert that a genuine national reconciliation is needed in Somalia. To some, that has already happened; to others, there is no need for it since the country has emerged out …

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Zimpressions

Zimpressions

I think I have a new slogan for the Zimbabwe tourism board: Zim: It’s not as Horrible as You Think!
But, yeah, some aspects of it seem to be pretty wretched. I should provide the standard caveats, of course. Zimbabwe, despite its politicians, is beautiful, its people are warm, its potential …

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Taking the Wind out of the Sails of Piracy in West Africa

Taking the Wind out of the Sails of Piracy in West Africa

As 25 leaders from West and Central Africa convened for a two-day conference in Yaounde, Cameroon, global leaders awaited solutions from the summit on how to fix the challenges of security in the Gulf of Guinea. The …

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Early South Africa Observations

Early South Africa Observations

I arrived in South Africa yesterday after a week in London. Wouldn’t you know, I effectively skirted jetlag in the U.K., then after an overnight flight here on which I was unable to sleep, I arrived yesterday at a bit before seven in the morning. It took a while to …

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Al-Shabaab’s Bloody Attack in Mogadishu

Al-Shabaab’s Bloody Attack in Mogadishu

The gruesome attack on the U.N. compound in Mogadishu that killed 18 people has shocked the world. Once the “Breaking News” hit the social media, condemnations, condolences, and blame started pouring. …

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Senior Blogger

Derek Catsam
Derek Catsam

Derek Catsam is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Derek writes about race and politics in the United States and Africa, sports, and terrorism. He is currently working on books on bus boycotts in the United States and South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s, the Freedom Rides, and South African resistance politics in the 1980s. He has lived, worked, and travelled extensively throughout southern Africa. He is also a lifelong sports fan, with the Boston Red Sox as his first true love. He was one of about three dozen people to write books about the 2004 World Champion Red Sox, and the result is Bleeding Red: A Red Sox Fan's Diary of the 2004 Season. He writes about politics, sports, travel, pop culture, and just about anything else that comes to mind.

Areas of Focus:
Africa; Zimbabwe; South Africa; Apartheid

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