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Regional integration from “below” in West Africa

A study of transboundary town-twinning of Idiroko (Nigeria) and Igolo (Benin)

Olukayode A. Faleye


This article examines the phenomenon of town-twinning between Idiroko (Nigeria) and Igolo (Benin). While transboundary town twinning is the integration of settlements across distinct state territories—an emerging pattern of borderland urban evolution—this seems to be a new impact of the colonially determined borders in West Africa. Despite the challenges posed by the partition of West African culture area s, town twinning has more recently turned into an established form of regional integration based on a “bottom-up” rather than “top-down” approach in the region. Using qualitative methodology based on descriptive analysis of oral interviews, government records, geographical data, as well as diverse literature, this paper uncovers the role of “borderlanders” in negotiating borders through increased non-state transnational sociospatial cooperation and networking. Apart from altering the traditional state-centric territoriality, this new development may entail broader economic and socio-political implications in the region.

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World Family Portrait

A celebration of humanity’s place in the world

RISC Consortium

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Patricia Ravelo Blancas and May-ek Querales Mendoza


El feminicidio se ha convertido en un problema grave en México. Sólo en el 2007 los asesinatos de niñas y mujeres aumentaron en un 68% de los registros anteriores; y entre 2008 y 2015, más de un millar de tales asesinatos tuvieron lugar en Ciudad Juárez. Este artículo examina el feminicidio en México a través de un análisis de los grupos de protesta que se han organizado en torno a este problema. El artículo se divide en cuatro secciones. Después de la introducción, la segunda parte se analiza conceptualmente el feminicidio y examina sus diferentes características. La tercera parte presenta la situación en Ciudad Juárez, seguida de una cuarta parte donde se describen tres importantes grupos de protesta contra el feminicidio en Ciudad Juárez, así como una discusión de cómo dichos movimientos han afectado los debates públicos sobre este tema. En particular el debate sobre el feminicidio en Ciudad Juárez para la atención del Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos.

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Assisted “voluntary” return of women to Kosovo

Rhetoric and reality within the framework of development

Sandra Sacchetti


Because return migration is reputed to bring back human, economic, and social capital to the countries of origin, it has been a central tenet of the migration and development agenda. Although empirically ill-founded, it is a policy assumption that is also promoted in the context of assisted voluntary return (AVR) programs. This contribution discusses the development-related discourse underlying AVR and compares it with the real-life experiences of four women in Kosovo who were recipients of return assistance. Based on the findings of exploratory and qualitative research, it argues that policy assumptions around AVR center on a hypothetical returned migrant endowed with the ability to improve the situation at home almost single-handedly. Implicit in this notion is a neoliberalist belief that considers the individual to be the shaper of her/his own destiny. This approach is particularly flawed in the case of female returnees, whose reintegration challenges are exacerbated by structural constraints.

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From war to development

Women leading the nation

Leymah Gbowee

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Gender coherence for development

The inclusion of women in peace and development

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

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Género, desarrollo y políticas públicas

La doble discrepancia de las aristas del poder

Edith Kauffer


Presently, international development organizations have adopted gender perspectives in all policy spheres as a transversal approach as a result of a process that has transited through different foci since the 1950s. Nonetheless, different studies have highlighted the fact that implementation is limited beyond the recurring discourses of governments, non-governmental organizations and funding agencies. We can speak of a discrepancy between rhetoric and practice around gender in development policies, a subject that lies on the edges of power. Furthermore, there is another discrepancy between policy analysis and a gender perspective, where we find little research that achieves a theoretical articulation between two traditions that somehow seem irreconcilable. This article aims to initiate a reflection on that which it identifies as a double discrepancy between gender and policies focused on the edges of power: the failure to integrate gender in development policies and the difficult theoretical articulation of gender within policy. Faced with this double discrepancy, the article proposes some points of convergence around an inclusion of power relations both as a goal of development policies and a policy analysis.

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Francisco Jiménez Bautista


En este artículo analizamos las diferencias entre los géneros/ sexos (mujeres y hombres) en un contexto de violencia estructural tales como aquellas diferencias encontradas en la prisión—celda, espacios comunes (patio) y módulos como espacios de convivencia donde las mujeres privadas de libertad construyen y adaptan a diario su vida. Se presentan los resultados de un cuestionario de investigación realizada a 538 mujeres presas en el marco de una investigación nacional llevada a cabo en toda España. Esta muestra realizada representa aproximadamente el 15% del total de la población femenina penitenciaria española. Algunas de las conclusiones nos llevan a destacar la vida en prisión, las rutinas que incitan el consumo de drogas y la percepción de sentirse infravaloradas institucionalmente. Estas mujeres perciben que los hombres reciben un mejor trato tanto en las celdas/habitaciones como en los módulos, mientras que ellas consideran que reciben un mejor trato en los espacios comunes (como el patio).