Stephen Marks

The book is a concise, intimately researched and continuously readable account of how Angola’s changing domestic interactions since the end of the civil wars have affected its mode of insertion into the global system.

This collection of essays take a broader perspective beyond oil to look at the impact of the sector and of Asian partners on the rest of Sudan’s economy, society and politics.

‘The ongoing narrative wars over China’s African involvement between (mostly) Western Sinophobes and those they deride as “panda-huggers” have become as predictable as the opening moves in a game of chess.’ But Ian Taylor ‘well-informed and independent-minded account’ both challenges these orthodoxies, and brings out and questions ‘the assumptions they share,’ finds Stephen Marks.


‘Is China smartening up its environmental and social act in Africa? It certainly wants to be seen as doing just that’, writes Stephen Marks.


The decisions of the last Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting confirmed that China can take on board the need to respond to critical reactions to its African engagement. But, asks Stephen Marks, how far are Western researchers and policy advisers taking on board the lessons that may be learned from China’s rise and its impact on low-income countries?


The OECD’s latest annual report on African economic development presents its findings on the economic performance and prospects of growth on the continent. Stephen Marks reflects on the report’s call for taxation reforms, and suggests a need for more 'effective, efficient and fair taxation in Africa’, to alleviate aid dependence and vulnerability to global financial downturns.

Stephen Marks reviews Deborah Brautigam’s book ‘The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa’ on China’s involvement and policies in Africa. Marks finds it to be ‘an account at once scholarly and accessible, combining the puncturing of prevalent myths with a realist approach that does not rely on rosy assumptions.’


While the data within the World Bank's latest 'Africa Development Indicators' report is certainly rich in highlighting the poor standard of living endured by many in Africa, its focus on the 'quiet corruption' of absentee public officials belies the damaging historical effects of its own structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), writes Stephen Marks.


Stephen Marks unravels the ‘predictable tensions’ between the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum’s initiatives for a transitional justice programme and the Unity Government’s Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration. While the two bodies agree that Zimbabwe is not yet in a post-conflict situation – rather it is in a state of ‘weak transition’ – views on the ability of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to provide for the victims of human rights violations are very different. more

In this week's emerging powers news roundup, the forecast is positive for the South African economy in the wake of its first recession in 17 years, a WEF risk assessment counts sharp slowdown of China as a major threat to future prosperity, and the China-Africa Development Fund invests US$540 million in Africa.