Areas of Engagement


by Marcelo Garcia

Communication is at the heart of change, not simply as mediation but as an arena where a community builds its destiny via politics. In our hyper-media societies, the perception of communications has replaced the direct perception of the world. Communications has to do with the political construction of the public space and it is, ultimately, a political struggle for power. Throughout modernity, the media-led construction of public space is gradually overtaking the direct interaction of the individuals.

Through a referendum on August 4 2010, Kenyans decide whether or not to adopt a new constitution. This will be the first time that Kenya's voters go to the polls after the General Elections in 2007. That election's disputed outcome and the violence which followed it, led the country to the brink of civil war. Kenya pulled back only after the intervention of neighbours and the international community. They brokered a settlement in the form of a Grand Coalition that brought together the major political parties to form a government.

'Tensions and Reversals in Democratic Transitions: The Kenya 2007 General Elections' is a joint publication of the Society for International Development (East Africa) and the Institute of Development Studies (University of Nairobi). 

by Susan Ossman

Animated conversations about the intensification of mobility and its relationship to emerging political forms and programs have circled around figures of the immigrant, the cosmopolitan and the nomad. Yet these discussions often seem rather abstract and unconnected to the actual study of how particular forms of mobility might lead to the creation of new social categories or shape political subjects.