The endonym map of Africa

If you ever need a list of the names of African countries in their official languages, then Endonym Map has you covered.  Here’s a screenshot; click over for the interactive version, and the rest of the world.

Endonym Africa

The options for zooming in on the site didn’t allow me to get the whole continent in a single picture.  No offense intended to the Republic of South Africa and Muso Oa Lesotho.

2 thoughts on “The endonym map of Africa

  1. Rachel,

    This is intended as a response to our conversation in your post about Fearon and Hoefler’s piece; the comments there were closed. (Thanks for this map though, it’s pretty interesting.)

    At the outset, I wouldn’t rely on my lit review of any field outside of political science (and, frankly, probably not even that). I think it’s fair to say that criminology focuses primarily on more industrialized states; sociology and anthropology less so. There have been multi-national comparative studies of domestic violence that include developing states prior to Fearon’s article (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673606695238). There *are* rich studies of domestic violence in particular African states (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953601002945) and South Asia (http://www.jstor.org/stable/1566493) that attempt to understand patterns in the prevalence of domestic violence and economic or demographic indicators.

    Still, I can see the merits in your (implied) argument for developing better knowledge about the causes of disaggregated violence in places where data is lacking. The data and methods for understanding it appear to be underdeveloped in all disciplines. I stand by some of my opinions from the last post that doubt whether political science is the right discipline for the task, however. The psychology of intimate partner violence seems to challenge the project of causal inference based on correlation to the types of variables we are used to handling. There’s a reason that the literature in social work, gender studies and psychology tends to insist that close case knowledge and deep cultural sensitivities are required to understand why particular people stay with abusive partners. A survey of literature dealing with intimate partner violence holds that “unlike many health problems, there are few social and demographic characteristics that define risk groups for intimate partner violence.” (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673602083575)

    Many studies, including those cited above, argue that the surest way to reduce domestic violence is women’s education and higher women’s incomes. I would be shocked if the explosion of RFPs for women’s empowerment don’t mention this connection.** Certainly one of the touted reasons for the continued US involvement in Afghanistan was increasing women’s empowerment to reduce the violence and oppression women face, which was explicitly connected to domestic violence and child abuse (especially of girls). Your linked article casts empirical doubt on this relationship, and I am certainly not qualified to judge. But “academics and policy makers are not getting the domestic abuse relationships right” is a claim different from “academics and policy makers are not paying attention”.

    Considering this, it seems possible that Fearon and Hoeffler have misread the emphasis of foreign aid and development projects. I would need to do more research, but it seems equally likely that we, as political scientists interested in civil conflict, simply don’t understand how social workers and public health academics connect family violence to development projects and thus fail to count those that do. All of this may also be something of a moot argument if my cheerful, whiggish version of development turns out to be broadly correct: strong, fair states; rising welfare and better education are connected to civil conflict AND disaggregated violence in ways that are mutually informative. If the study of civil conflict empowers a deeper understanding of macro, state and society relationships that drives progress in political development, we may be doing our part for victims of family violence anyway.

    **I know this is speculation. While I would (sincerely) love to spend more time discussing this, it’s hard to know how much you care to do so, particularly in your blog comments, so I left off a bit.

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    1. Hi John,

      Thanks for another fascinating response! The links you’ve provided are really useful, and the point about domestic violence as a focus of women’s empowerment programs is a good one. Are you blogging at all? You seem to have had a different response to the Fearon & Hoeffler piece in general than I did, and it’d be interesting to see more of your thoughts on this.

      Cheers,

      Rachel

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