The Monthly Digest is a resource provided by Security in Context that provides a list of recent publications, calls, conferences and other items relevant to the critical global, security, and international political economy studies audience. In addition to new items, our digest may contain relatively recent entries, so please double check dates on any calls or conferences. All descriptions taken from their original sources unless otherwise indicated. If we’ve missed something, or you have items you’d like to contribute for future digests, please email us at:


Photography and Decolonial Imagination in West Africa
By: Jennifer Bajorek

“In Unfixed Jennifer Bajorek traces the relationship between photography and decolonial political imagination in Francophone west Africa in the years immediately leading up to and following independence from French colonial rule in 1960. Focusing on images created by photographers based in Senegal and Benin, Bajorek draws on formal analyses of images and ethnographic fieldwork with photographers to show how photography not only reflected but also actively contributed to social and political change. The proliferation of photographic imagery—through studio portraiture, bureaucratic ID cards, political reportage and photojournalism, magazines, and more—provided the means for west Africans to express their experiences, shape public and political discourse, and reimagine their world. In delineating how west Africans' embrace of photography was associated with and helped spur the democratization of political participation and the development of labor and liberation movements, Bajorek tells a new history of photography in west Africa—one that theorizes photography's capacity for doing decolonial work.”

How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate

By: Isabella M. Weber

“China has become deeply integrated into the world economy. Yet, gradual marketization has facilitated the country’s rise without leading to its wholesale assimilation to global neoliberalism. This book uncovers the fierce contest about economic reforms that shaped China’s path. In the first post-Mao decade, China’s reformers were sharply divided. They agreed that China had to reform its economic system and move toward more marketization—but struggled over how to go about it. Should China destroy the core of the socialist system through shock therapy, or should it use the institutions of the planned economy as market creators? With hindsight, the historical record proves the high stakes behind the question: China embarked on an economic expansion commonly described as unprecedented in scope and pace, whereas Russia’s economy collapsed under shock therapy. Based on extensive research, including interviews with key Chinese and international participants and World Bank officials as well as insights gleaned from unpublished documents, the book charts the debate that ultimately enabled China to follow a path to gradual reindustrialization. Beyond shedding light on the crossroads of the 1980s, it reveals the intellectual foundations of state-market relations in reform-era China through a longue durée lens. Overall, the book delivers an original perspective on China’s economic model and its continuing contestations from within and from without.”

Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited

By: Kareem Rabie

“In 2008, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad invited international investors to the first-ever Palestine Investment Conference, which was designed to jump-start the process of integrating Palestine into the global economy. As Fayyad described the conference, Palestine is “throwing a party, and the whole world is invited.” In this book Kareem Rabie examines how the conference and Fayyad's rhetoric represented a wider shift in economic and political practice in ways that oriented state-scale Palestinian politics toward neoliberal globalization rather than a diplomatic two-state solution. Rabie demonstrates that private firms, international aid organizations, and the Palestinian government in the West Bank focused on large-scale private housing development in an effort toward state-scale economic stability and market building. This approach reflected the belief that a thriving private economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. Yet, as Rabie contends, these investment-based policies have maintained the status quo of occupation and Palestine's subordinate and suspended political and economic relationship with Israel.”

International Relations from the Global South: Worlds of Difference

Edited By: Arlene B. Tickner, Karen Smith

“This exciting new textbook challenges the implicit notions inherent in most existing International Relations (IR) scholarship and instead presents the subject as seen from different vantage points in the global South.

Divided into four sections, (1) the IR discipline, (2) key concepts and categories, (3) global issues and (4) IR futures, it examines the ways in which world politics have been addressed by traditional core approaches and explores the limitations of these treatments for understanding both Southern and Northern experiences of the "international." The book encourages readers to consider how key ideas have been developed in the discipline, and through systematic interventions by contributors from around the globe, aims at both transforming and enriching the dominant terms of scholarly debate.

This empowering, critical and reflexive tool for thinking about the diversity of experiences of international relations and for placing them front and center in the classroom will help professors and students in both the global North and the global South envision the world differently. In addition to general, introductory IR courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels it will appeal to courses on sociology and historiography of knowledge, globalization, neoliberalism, security, the state, imperialism and international political economy.”

The Political Economy of Education in the Arab World

Edited by: Hicham Alaoui and Robert Springborg

“Despite substantial spending on education and robust support for reform both internally and by external donors, the quality of education in many, if not most, Arab countries remains low. Which raises the question: why?

The authors of The Political Economy of Education in the Arab World find answers in the authoritarian political economies that shape the architecture of national governance across the region. Presenting studies from North Africa and the Gulf region, as well as comparative perspectives from Asia and Latin America, they show clearly that efforts to improve education—and thereby enhance economic development and broaden the base of citizenship on which more stable and effective systems of governance can be built—will fail until ruling elites are no longer able to increase their political and economic power at the expense of the greater good.”

Dignity in the Egyptian Revolution

Protest and Demand during the Arab Uprisings

By: Zaynab El Bernoussi,

“Dignity, or karama in Arabic, is a nebulous concept that challenges us to reflect on issues such as identity, human rights, and faith. During the Arab uprisings of 2010 and 2011, Egyptians that participated in these uprisings frequently used the concept of dignity as a way to underscore their opposition to the Mubarak regime. Protesting against the indignity of the poverty, lack of freedom and social justice, the idea of karama gained salience in Egyptian cinema, popular literature, street art, music, social media and protest banners, slogans and literature. Based on interviews with participants in the 2011 protests and analysis of the art forms that emerged during protests, Zaynab El Bernoussi explores understandings of the concept of dignity, showing how protestors conceived of this concept in their organisation of protest and uprising, and their memories of karama in the aftermath of the protests, revisiting these claims in the years subsequent to the uprising.”


Borders and the State in light of Covid-19: The Moroccan-Spanish Border (Arabic)

Written By Azzeddine Faraa

The following article is a continuation of our Borders and the State in Light of COVID-19 series started in 2020, in collaboration with the ACSS

Azzeddine Faraa examines the impact of Morocco closing its borders on March 12th 2020, a decision that affected groups who live by the borders. COVID-19 became a perfect chance for Moroccan and Spanish authorities to address political and economic challenges. Spanish authorities increased the height of the border wall between Morocco and Spain to 7 meters. Moroccan authorities shut down two crossings, Ferkhana and Patio Chile, while keeping the Beni Ansar crossing open for certain nationalities. Faraa examines how both governments used the pandemic to limit the mobility of border communities to advance economic and political agendas.

Conferences/ Calls for Papers or Abstracts

Global Carceral States: Violence, Transgressions, and Technologies of Imprisonment

Sponsored by the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California – Santa Barbara (UCSB), USA, and Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights at Birzeit University, Palestine.

(28 – 30 May 2021, to be held online)

Please use this Zoom link to register for the conference, or visit the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies YouTube page and Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights Youtube page for the live stream.

Imprisonment has long been a central tactic for managing and confining members of populations deemed to be risky, hostile, or superfluous. Today, we are witnessing the expanding reach of carcerality with effects extending beyond prison walls. Our conference is an invitation to reflect upon this current globalized carceral reality, including imprisonment as a tactic of control, subjugation and dispossession; and on ways in which carcerality might be countered.

The three-day conference features presentations by scholars and activists to contribute to our collective understanding of themes intrinsic to global experiences of imprisonment, and the ways in which people attempt to counter the violence inflicted upon them in confined and surveilled spaces. The keynote addresses and panels will touch upon ways in which the management and control of imprisoned populations are enacted; on varying modes of violence and torture; on prisons’ intersections with regimes of race, gender and sexuality; on the effects of imprisonment; and on creative responses to, and from, captivity. This engagement with global experiences of imprisonment and violence that are often kept in the dark might bring us closer to imagining a more just world. All presentations will be translated into English, Arabic, and Spanish.


Call for Applications: Three New Positions at PRIO

​The Doctoral Researcher RegulAIR position is a three-year, full-time position. It is financed as part of a grant from the Research Council of Norway to PRIO for the project "RegulAIR: The integration of drones in the Norwegian and European Airspaces", led by Senior Researcher Bruno Oliveira Martins. Requests to receive the RegulAIR project description should be directed to Administrative Assistant Emma Qualischefski: Questions about the Doctoral Researcher position can be addressed to Senior Researcher Bruno Oliveira Martins: More information can be found here.

Application Deadline: Friday, 21 May, 2021.

The Doctoral Researcher CO-DUTIES position is a three-year, full-time position. It is financed as part of a grant from the Research Council of Norway to PRIO for project "CO-DUTIES: Democratic Duties, Collective Action, and the Greater Good after COVID-19" led by Research Professor Simon Reid-Henry. Questions and queries about the project should be sent to Research Professor Simon Reid-Henry: More information can be found here.

Application Deadline: Friday, 21 May, 2021.

The Doctoral Researcher POPAGANDA position is a three-year, full-time position. It is financed as part of a grant from the Research Council of Norway to PRIO for the project "POPAGANDA: Pop Culture, Art, and Ideas of Legitimacy in Struggles over Democratization and Peace", led by Senior Researcher Marte Nilsen. Requests to receive the POPAGANDA project description should be directed to Administrative Assistant Emma Qualischefski: Other questions about the Doctoral Researcher position can be addressed to Senior Researcher Marte Nilsen: More information can be found here.

Application Deadline: Monday, 9 August, 2021.


Kings College London Africa International PGR scholarships 2021/2022 (Fully funded) 

Three (3) full scholarships available for 2021/22 entry, to support international students from Africa to undertake full-time doctoral research degrees (PhD) at King's College London. 


On April 6, an interactive panel titled “Studying and Teaching the Encounter between the U.S. & the Middle East”

“Studying and Teaching the Encounter Between the #US & #MiddleEast: Comparing Perspectives.” This event was organized in collaboration with the Fletcher School.

Job Openings

Institute for Social Science Research, Graduate Consultant

The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) is seeking applications for an advanced graduate student with expertise in qualitative methods to join our staff of graduate consultants for our Research Consulting service for the Fall semester of 2021. This is a one-year position, with possibility for renewal. The deadline for applications has been extended: April 22, 2021.

Einaudi Global Racial Justice Post-Doctoral Fellow

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Workshops/ Institutes

Colombia Engineering Cybersecurity Bootcamp

Learn Cyber Security in 24 weeks. Class begins August 10, 2021.

The mission of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science is to expand knowledge and advance technology through research, while educating learners to become leaders informed by an engineering foundation. Enriched with the intellectual resources of a global university in the City of New York, we push disciplinary frontiers, confront complex issues, and engineer innovative solutions to address the grand challenges of our time. We create a collaborative environment that embraces interdisciplinary thought, integrated entrepreneurship, cultural awareness, and social responsibility, and advances the translation of ideas into practical innovations.

Article or Event Link
May 16, 2021



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