Links I Liked

Duncan Green - May 21, 2018

The 7 deadly sins – online version ht Sony Kapoor. Steven Pinker’s Ideas About Progress Are Fatally Flawed. These Eight Graphs Show Why. There are 7 universal moral rules: love your family, help your group, return favours, be brave, defer to authority, be fair, respect others’ property. These are the same across all cultures, according to an analysis of ethics from 60 societies (600,000 words …

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Book Review: How to Rig an Election, by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas

Duncan Green - May 18, 2018

A lot of the power of a successful book is in its ‘big idea’ – the overall frame that endures long after the detailed arguments have faded in the memory. On that basis, ‘How to Rig an Election’ looks set to do very well indeed. The authors are both top political scientists (Cheeseman at Birmingham and Klaas at LSE) but also good writers – the …

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Which is better: a guaranteed job or a guaranteed income?

Duncan Green - May 17, 2018

Guest post from Eleanor Chowns of Bath University Martin Ravallion (former Chief Economist of the World Bank, now at CGD) published a useful paper this week asking exactly this question.  As he says, there’s no simple answer – which is why the question is so interesting. Both ‘the right to work’ and ‘the right to income’ aim to secure a more fundamental right: freedom from …

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Illicit economies, shadowy realms, and survival at the margins

Duncan Green - May 16, 2018

Guest post by Eric Gutierrez, Senior Adviser on Tackling Violence and Building Peace at Christian Aid After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, poor landless farmers in the most conflict-affected areas of southern Afghanistan started migrating in increasing numbers to the relatively more insecure rocky desert areas. With the help of loans worth a few thousand dollars (typically provided by drug traffickers), they built …

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How to decode a UN Report on Global Finance (and find an important disagreement with the World Bank on private v public)

Duncan Green - May 15, 2018

A giant coalition of UN-affiliated aid organizations (3 pages of logos!) recently published Financing for Development: Progress and Prospects 2018. These big tent reports are a nightmare to write, and not much easier to read. Anything contentious is fought over by the participants, and the result tends to be pretty bland. I’m not sure how many people read them, tbh. But on this occasion< I …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - May 14, 2018

If someone ever criticises your tidiness, show them this, the New York Review of Books office. Ht Padraig Belton States are Far Less Likely to Engage in Mass Violence Against Nonviolent Uprisings than Violent Uprisings How Costa Rica Gets It Right by Joseph E. Stiglitz Nice piece on ideas for avoiding boring time-suck meetings. My favourite suggestion, everyone in an organization should have a capped …

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Insurance hits peak hype in the aid & development biz – but what do we really know?

Duncan Green - May 10, 2018

Guest post from Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser There is a lot of enthusiasm for insurance right now in a range of different sectors humanitarians are particularly excited, hoping this is a quick win to fill the aching chasm in humanitarian aid climate change experts hope it will be an easy fix for the problems of Loss and Damage and polluting countries hope …

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5 ways to build Civil Society’s Legitimacy around the world

Duncan Green - May 9, 2018

Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, introduce and summarize the insights from their new collection of essays from civil society activists. Pressure on civic space keeps increasing around the world, driven by the toxic mix of rising authoritarianism, growing populism, and wobbly democracy. Battles over legitimacy are central to this trend. Powerholders don’t just attack specific civic groups carrying …

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A day in the life of an Oxfam researcher – fancy joining the team?

Duncan Green - May 8, 2018

Guest post from Deborah Hardoon (right) Psst, want my job? This is my last week as Deputy Head of Research at Oxfam. It’s a role which is as fascinating as it is challenging. You get to work on important global issues, with brilliant and bright people from all over the world. For details on the role and responsibilities, here’s the job description (closing date 27th …

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