Month: July 2015

Another good idea from ODI – regular ‘scans’ of hot topics like resilience

The aid and development business is full of tribes – separate ‘epistemic communities’ with their own jargon, shorthands and assumptions, which helps to hermetically isolate them from all the other communities. I try and surf across a few of them, but it’s hard – half the time I have only the vaguest idea what resilience,…

By Duncan Green July 31, 2015 2

Fukuyama’s history of the State, Book 2: Political Order and Political Decay

Fukuyama’s history of the State, Book 2: Political Order and Political Decay

Yesterday I reviewed Volume 1 (from pre-history up to the French Revolution), but before reviewing Political Order and Political Decay, the second volume of Francis Fukuyama’s monumental history of the state, it’s probably worth asking, why bother? Because whether providing/denying services, freedoms or functioning markets, the state is the most important institution underpinning development, and…

By Duncan Green July 30, 2015 6

The Origins of Political Order: Review of Francis Fukuyama’s impressive history of the state

The Origins of Political Order: Review of Francis Fukuyama’s impressive history of the state

Ricardo Fuentes has been raving about this book for months, so I packed it in my holiday luggage. Actually it’s two books – The Origins of Political Order takes us from pre-history up to the French Revolution/American Revolution, and the subsequent Political Order and Political Decay brings us up to the present day. They each weigh…

By Duncan Green July 29, 2015 4

Links I Liked

Sciences v Humanities….. Unpacking last week’s global soft power index (Britain and Germany top, Mexico and China bottom). Some particularly tasty wonkwars last week – must be the summer heat: Deworming: No need to read all the exchanges, because Chris Blattman has spoken. Twice (initial discussion and then very sensible conclusions after a day of…

By Duncan Green July 27, 2015 1

Have the MDGs affected developing country policies and spending? Findings of new 50 country study.

One of the many baffling aspects of the post-2015/Sustainable Development Goal process is how little research there has been on the impact of their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals. That may sound odd, given how often we hear ‘the MDGs are on/off track’ on poverty, health, education etc, but saying ‘the MDG for poverty reduction…

By Duncan Green July 24, 2015 4

What can NGOs/others learn from DFID’s shift to ‘adaptive development’?

What can NGOs/others learn from DFID’s shift to ‘adaptive development’?

Got back from holiday last week and went straight into a discussion with NGOs and thinktanks on ‘adaptive development’. Really interesting for several reasons: I realized there’s a bunch of civil society people (100 people at the seminar, plus 50 online) thinking along parallel lines to donors and academics in the Thinking and Working Politically and…

By Duncan Green July 23, 2015 14