Why is development writing so turgid? George Orwell to the rescue

The literature on development can be pretty heavy going, littered with jargon, clunky prose, redundant phrases like ‘in the context of’ and euphemisms like ‘challenge’ (it means a problem). I spend a fair amount of my time reading draft papers, replacing ’employment opportunities are essential constituents of the livelihoods of the excluded population’ with ‘poor people need…

By admin February 6, 2009 5

Links I liked: Rodrik reflates; Brown goes Green; Ireland backslides on aid; plus Life of Brian

Dani Rodrik talks sense as always, this time about how to engineer a quick bailout for poor countries – the IMF engineers a massive fiscal stimulus Gordon Brown nails his colours to the climate change mast in Davos: ‘we cannot afford to relegate climate change to the international pending tray because of our current economic…

By admin February 5, 2009 0

Is The Economist going socialist?

The back half of The Economist (business, finance and economics) is having an excellent crisis. If you’re willing to filter out the gratuitous (and increasingly defensive) neoclassical riffs, there is some really excellent analysis in there and even some (perhaps inadvertent) progressive thinking. This week’s edition includes a three page briefing on the Asian economies and…

By admin February 4, 2009 2

Protectionism – good or bad? It depends……

I wrote this for the ‘Development and the Crisis‘ website I plugged recently, but thought I’d recycle it here: It’s official. Protectionism is the Great Satan. Gordon Brown decries it in Davos; William Easterly crows over what he sees as Dani Rodrik’s conversion to the cause. All countries must eschew protectionism or risk a disastrous return to…

By admin February 3, 2009 2

Global Social Democracy – Why I disagree with Walden Bello

Just came across ‘The Coming Capitalist Consensus’, a thought-provoking polemic by Walden Bello, the Filipino anti-globalization guru and sociology professor based at Focus on the Global South. Walden argues that a new form of ‘Global Social Democracy’ (GSD) is emerging from the crisis of market fundamentalism and finance capitalism. He sums up its key propositions as:

By admin February 2, 2009 12