‘I don’t understand how she can work like that. For someone to go to the papers and say, ‘I’m building schools’, without telling the government, I find it a strange way of working.’ Madonna reinvents parallel provision and bad aid in Malawi
Is it possible/desirable to try and build a nation state in Somalia? Got any better ideas? Brilliant thoughts from uber blogger Chris Blattman
‘People still must turn for solutions to their national governments, which remain the best hope for collective action. The nation-state may be a relic bequeathed to us by the French Revolution, but it is all that we have.’ Dani Rodrik argues the case for strong nation states
Paul Krugman on why both the Republican and German explanations of Europe’s economic malaise are completely wrong
‘Under Chairman Mao, taxes on private property all but vanished along with private property itself. Today’s Chinese set no store by the old socialist doctrine that “property is theft”. But many urban Chinese now think of taxation that way. They feel, with some justification, that they already pay too much to a state that provides too little.’ The Economist reckons it’s time for China’s local governments to introduce a property tax. They have previously relied for revenue on expropriating land from local farmers and flogging it to property developers, but as the real estate boom slows, land sales are falling and revenue is drying up.
What do aid people mean when they talk about ‘results’? At least four different things apparently – from the always thought-provoking Owen Barder
‘Life on hold’, powerful 6 minute Amnesty film with the voice of a Somali teenager living in a refugee camp in Tunisia, waiting to find a home in Europe