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David Kaufmann

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk and Rolph van der Hoeven

Peter van Bergeijk and Rolph van der Hoeven discuss the design and development of the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) and their strengths and weaknesses. Based on the findings in this edited volume they point out persistent high and/or growing national inequality in different regions in the world. The absence of any concern for inequality in the predecessors of the SDGs, the Millennium Development Goals was a great omission as reducing income inequality is one of the most important challenges countries are facing. Although the SDGs contain a goal to reduce inequality (goal 10) the target related to this goal is wholly insufficient as it relates only to progress of the bottom 40 per cent of the population. There is no sensible indicator to attest the growing importance of the growing cleavage between income of work and income of capital and the income of super rich (the top-1 per cent) which manifest themselves in much more visible form in emerging and in developed countries. The authors argues that concern for income inequality should receive far greater attention in the implementation of the SDGs

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Aled Williams and Philippe Le Billon

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Inge Amundsen

Experiencing high levels of poverty and corruption, Nigeria is widely perceived as the quintessential resource cursed country. Yet, the oil exporter nonetheless underwent a democratic transition with its March 2015 elections. The explanation for this puzzle partly lies in the recent fall in oil prices and related government revenues, which limited patronage spending before the elections. Applying a political ecology lens to the case, however, also points towards deeper explanations: the costs and benefits of Nigerian oil extraction have been very unevenly distributed allowing the formation of new, and the destruction of old, political alliances. Keywords: Nigeria, elections, democracy, oil revenues, patronage, capital flight