Sorry for the lack of posts, folks. I’m in orientation for the new position, which just swallows whole days – useful, but a bit exhausting.

So, a quick post following up on my previous comments about food prices. The Guardian has a good piece on this issue at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/05/mozambique-food-riots-patel

This piece is much better than reporting from US sources, but it does have a significant flaw driven by the political goal of the author – highlighting the failures of economic/development policy and practice, and how this led to our current situation. While I agree that these are major issues, I am concerned with the way the author downplays the fact that there has been simmering discontent with the government in Mozambique for some time. The riots are locally-specific: tied to food markets, development policy and other geopolitical processes, but crystallized into action through a local lens. This is why we have riots in some places, but not others. It’s just too hard to generalize . . . and we don’t learn much when we do, I fear.