Sunday, November 11

Darfur debate

Most people who would be interested in reading through this Newsweek debate on Darfur policy between Alex de Waal and John Prendergast have probably already seen it. The sometimes vicious debate is over how effective/harmful activism efforts around Darfur have been. De Waal is a Darfur expert at the Social Science Research Council and Harvard, who has a blog offering some of the most insightful commentary on the conflict available - though he does occasionally seem to spend an excessive amount of time critiquing other peoples' analysis of the situation. (An extension of the debate is available on his blog). Prendergast was a Clinton Administration adviser, then joined the International Crisis Group, and is now the leading figure in the Darfur "movement", which, as with most activist movements, can oversimplify the situation.

These are two of the most intelligent voices available on Darfur, and there;s some good material here, but it's kind of a shame to see them sniping at each other. But it's also kind of funny. If you don't want to slog through the whole thing, check out Chris Blattman's paraphrased summary. Unfortunately it seems he's modified his original post to remove the parts where De Waal and Prendergast call each other "ignorant slut"s.

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