The social nature of security and Haiti’s mobile money

July 29th 2011

In a recent webinar hosted by USAIDProfessor Bill Maurer from the IMTFI argued that phone sharing practices call into question how we judge mobile banking security. Mobile banking is ostensibly secure because each account is linked to the user’s SIM card, which has an internationally unique number.  

Since one mobile money account equals one SIM card and one user, then it should be fairly straightforward to keep track of who is sending money, how much, and to whom.

Book review: Haiti After the Earthquake

July 20th 2011

Farmer, Paul . 2011. Haiti After the Earthquake. New York: Public Affairs. 456 pages. Second section edited by Abbey gardner and Cassia Van Der Hoof Holstein.

Harvard Professor Paul Farmer has been one of the best-known and most influential people writing on Haiti for a number of years. In his roles as physician, anthropologist, and Special Envoy for the United Nations, for decades he has engaged with Haitian people and world leaders to find solutions to Haiti’s multitude of problems.

This new book seeks to explain why the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on the 12th January, 2010, was so catastrophic, and to bear witness to the efforts of Haitians and the international community to ‘build back better’.

Book review: Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities

July 12th 2011

Review of Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities, by Paul Allatson and Jo Mc Cormack (Eds.) 2008. Critical Studies Vol. 30. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi.

This review has been published in Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, 17:1, 121-127.

Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities questions Edward Said's idea that exile always engenders sadness and estrangement, and asks if there are other ways of experiencing and imagining exile. Its thirteen case studies present a broad array of exile experiences, questioning how we can possibly define exile if it comes in so many different forms.

Excavating Ocupa Rio II: Trouble on Love Street

July 12th 2011

David Thompson has been travelling around South America since he completed his Honours thesis on cosmpolitanism and urban poverty in Latin America at The Univeristy of Sydney, Australia, in late 2010. He is currently in Rio de Janeiro, where he is flash-researching the Ocupa Rio protests.  On Monday 7th November Part I of this two-part series, 'Excavating Ocupa Rio I: 'We are the 99%!?', was published.

Alongside its cosmopolitan image, Ocupa Rio is presented as a site of permanence which belies the actual transience of the protests and protestors. For example, while there are currently over a hundred tents set up in two lanes within the plaza, a large number of them are unoccupied, with their owners returning staying over some nights and returning home in others.