Global Financial and Economic Crisis

Why is economic orthodoxy so resistant to change? The art of paradigm maintenance.

Duncan Green - September 17, 2014

Ever wondered why it’s so hard to shift big institutions (and the economics profession in general) on economic policy, even when events so graphically show the need for change? I’ve just come across a fascinating 2006 paper by Robin Broad, ‘Research, knowledge and the art of ‘paradigm maintenance’: the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC)’, summary here. Full paper here. It must be about …

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‘Working for the Few': top new report on the links between politics and inequality

Duncan Green - January 20, 2014

As the world’s self-appointed steering committee gathers in Davos, 2014 is already shaping up as a big year for inequality. The World Economic Forum’s ‘Outlook on the Global Agenda 2014’ ranks widening income disparities as the second greatest worldwide risk in the coming 12 to 18 months (Middle East and North Africa came top, since you ask). So it’s great to see ‘Working for the …

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How does Europe’s crisis look through the eyes of an international aid agency?

admin - September 12, 2013

Back in 1942, during World War Two, Oxfam came into existence to lobby the British Government to ease the allied blockade of Nazi-occupied Greece. 70 years and a European miracle later, might we be once again about to send aid teams to Athens? I’m sitting in Australia as I write this, and it feels like I can almost see Europe shrinking and sliding backwards. An …

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G-8? G-20? G-2? G-0? Who’s in charge in a world in motion? And what does it mean for INGOs?

admin - June 25, 2013

I’ve got my head down doing some reading n writing, but luckily I am besieged by offers of guest posts, a lot of them v good. Here’s one from Oxfam International’s Advocacy and Campaigns Associate Martin Hall “Ain’t never gonna be what it was” – Little Big Roy, The Wire What with the G8 summit just past, the G20 summit approaching and the G-Zero debate …

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The BRICS Bank gathers momentum: another sign of the world’s shifting power balance

admin - June 7, 2013

The momentum behind the creation of a new international bank by the BRICS countries seems to be building steadily. Its leaders will review progress on the BRICS Bank at a special BRICS summit in the sidelines of the St Petersburg G20 Summit in early September. They expect to finalise plans for the Bank at the Sixth official BRICS Summit in Brazil in early 2014. And …

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Is it time for a rethink on the definition of aid?

admin - May 2, 2013

Crushed by my humiliation at the hands of Claire Melamed, it would just make matters worse to come back for another round of post-2015 jousting, so let’s move on. I actually quite like blogging about meetings held under Chatham House rules, as they allow me to write about the discussion without worrying about who said what. And to take the credit for anything clever, of …

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What is Social and Solidarity Economy and why does it matter?

admin - April 29, 2013

UNRISD Deputy Director Peter Utting introduces the theme of his organization’s big conference in May Having had my professional and political interests shaped during the somewhat heady days of the 1980s in Sandinista Nicaragua, I’ve long been interested in the potential and limits of collective action—of people organizing and mobilizing through associations, unions, cooperatives, community organizations, fairtrade networks and so on. The Sandinista “revolution” soon …

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The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Synthesis > novelty in a big new UN report.

admin - March 22, 2013

Of the big reports that spew forth from the multilateral system, some break new ground in terms of research or narratives, while others usefully recap the latest thinking on a given issue. Last week’s 2013 Human Development Report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, falls into the latter category, pulling together the evidence for a tectonic North-South shift in global …

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From pinstripes to poverty: a refugee banker’s first 100 days at Oxfam

admin - January 25, 2013

Oxfam is always keen to employ unusual suspects, none more so than Will Martindale, a banker turned “do gooder” (right, and no, that isn’t his Oxfam desk). Here he reflects on his first 100 days working among the (supposed) angels. Banking. Most hate it. Few understand it. And I miss it. I miss the pace, the energy, and the super smart people fluent in numerous languages. …

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Development optimism from Justin Lin: review of ‘The Quest for Prosperity’

admin - January 9, 2013

‘Every developing country has the opportunity to grow at over 8% a year for 20-40 years, and to get rid of poverty within a generation.’ There’s something very refreshing about listening to East Asian development economists, in this case the prolific Justin Lin, a former World Bank chief economist, launching his new book The Quest for Prosperity, at ODI just before Christmas. The contrast between …

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