Topic: Book Reviews

Highly Topical Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, by Thomas Bollyky

If you want to step back and think more broadly about Coronavirus, the Universe and Everything, you could do worse than start with Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, by Thomas Bollyky, which combined a ‘germ’s eye view’ of human history with some powerful reflections on the challenges that face us over the coming decades. […]

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Change in the UK and decolonizing Academia – round up (14m) of FP2P posts wb 13th January

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Book Review: From What is to What If, by Rob Hopkins

Some books engage and challenge you both emotionally and intellectually, making you feel uncomfortable. You end up arguing with them in your head. A lot. From What is to What If is just such a book, and I really benefited from the argument. In 180 sweetly written pages, Rob Hopkins, environmentalist and founder of the […]

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Book Review: Great Policy Successes, Mallory E. Compton and Paul T. Hart (eds)

Stop Press: Please take the new FP2P reader survey – we really need your feedback to get new ideas and keep on improving! 2 minutes max (honest). Loved the idea of this Open Access book from the moment I saw the subtitle: ‘Or, A Tale About Why It’s Amazing That Governments Get So Little Credit […]

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Audio summary (13m) of FP2P posts on aid and development, w/b 11th November

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Book Review: Branko Milanovic, Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System that Rules the World

I wrote this before interviewing Branko for yesterday’s podcast, but thought I’d put it up anyway as a companion piece Full disclosure, I am a huge fan of Branko Milanovic, both because of his brilliant analysis of inequality (think Elephant Graph), but also because of his style – a formidable old-school Serbian public intellectual, never […]

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Inequality and the future of Capitalism: in Conversation with Branko Milanovic

I recently sat down with inequality guru Branko Milanovic to discuss his path-breaking work on inequality, and his new book, Capitalism Alone (review follows tomorrow). Here are a few highlights of the 25m conversation (but if you can, listen to the full thing). Inequality: I was not a guru [in the early 2000s], just someone […]

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The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why RCTs aren’t a magic bullet.

Lant Pritchett once likened Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to flared jeans. On the way out and soon we’d be wondering what on earth we’d seen in them. Not so fast. Yesterday, three of the leading ‘Randomistas’ won the Nobel economics prize (before the pedants jump in, strictly speaking it’s the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic […]

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No one is objective about poverty: here’s why that matters

Eric Meade consults to nonprofits, foundations, and NGOs and teaches at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. His book, Reframing Poverty: New Thinking and Feeling About Humanity’s Greatest Challenge, invites readers to explore how their emotions about poverty shape their responses to it. We do not like to see other humans suffer. […]

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Naomi Hossain on The Politics of Education in Developing Countries: From Schooling to Learning

I recently caught up with the brilliant Naomi Hossain to discuss her latest book, edited with Sam Hickey, on educational reform in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda . Open Access version available here. Do listen to the full 25m chat, but here’s some transcribed highlights for the time-starved. We wanted to look […]

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When democracies die, they die quietly… but what’s the role of Civil Society?

Save the Children’s José Manuel Roche has a book he wants you to read. So, it turns out that nowadays democracy seldom dies through violent coup d’état. More commonly (and insidiously), democracy slides gradually into authoritarianism.  By the same token, democracy survives when democratic leaders fight for it.  This is part of the main thesis […]

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Two new Manuals for Activists, with some useful lessons

I’ve been taking advantage of the summer lull to skim some of the backlog of tomes that have accumulated on my study floor. Some were so bad and/or obscure that they really don’t deserve a mention, but two on activism got my attention. First up, Be the Change by Gina Martin. Full disclosure, I bought […]

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