The seventh item on my vaguebooking list was “07. Seven new topics”. These are new “subject areas” that I want to write about on my blog.
Pop culture is likely one of them, although it might be more narrow than that, maybe “pop culture intersecting with the news”. I didn’t comment on Jian Ghomeshi or Bill Cosby’s news items when they hit, but I loved watching people post and take sides, often looking like internet trolls in comment forums except they were posting the same comments on their own social media feeds. My take is a bit different and is primarily about the law, and the court of public opinion vs. the court of justice or law. I may yet blog about it.
Equally, I love the law. So much so that I couldn’t become a lawyer. I’d like to take a subject area and blog about that, but I haven’t yet found my niche. » Read the rest
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been blogging about the merger of DFAIT and CIDA and some of the implementation issues that I think they’ll face. In the short-term, it’s probably mostly about basic implementation and structural questions. In the medium-term, there’s a larger question about “what does ‘development’ mean in a Canadian context”, how the new DFATD sets priorities, and even how to potentially modify legislation that appears to be narrowly focused on development but is really an almost-meaningless bit of rhetoric that combines apples, oranges and potentially a few truck parts, and calls it “poverty reduction”.
Yet, even as people focus on the short-term (CIDA: We got FACked!, FAC: DFATD, not DeFeATeD!) and medium-term (calling all pundits), it isn’t, in my opinion, anything close to the greatest threat facing the new DFATD in the long-term.
To borrow a cliché, CIDA and FAC are two unique cultures separated by a common language around Canada, government and internationalism. » Read the rest
Each year, thousands of people compete for jobs at the Department of Foreign Affairs. But, while many are called, few are chosen (100-ish). Yet yesterday, DFAIT’s ranks swelled by 1800 people, most of whom no doubt greeted the news with a lot less enthusiasm than DFAIT’s normal hirings. With the announcement that CIDA was being “folded” into DFAIT, many are stressed that this sounds a death knell for development, that all principles of development will go out the window, and that CIDA will essentially disappear. Fortunately, the announcements of CIDA’s death may be a bit premature.
Some broader context, timelines up until 1998
Prior to WWII, most “economic development history” consisted of experiences with colonization, not development assistance as we know it. International development in its modern form actually began with Foreign Affairs types. When WWII ended, and reconstruction began in Europe, people thought, “Hey, we just need to do the same thing in developing countries, and it will work.” » Read the rest