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The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can be Done About it

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can be Done About it

Hardback Grove Art

By (author) Paul Collier

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 222 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 236mm x 23mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195311450
  • ISBN 13: 9780195311457
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 124,925

Product description

Global poverty is falling rapidly, but in around fifty failing states, the world's poorest people face a tragedy that is growing inexorably worse. This bottom billion live on less than a dollar a day and while the rest of the world moves steadily forward, this forgotten billion is left further and further behind with potentially serious consequences not only for them but for the stability of the rest of the world. Why do the states these people live in defy all the attempts of the international aid community to help them? Why does nothing seem to make a difference? In The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier pinpoints the issues of corruption, political instability and resource management that lie at the root of the problem. He describes the battle raging in these countries between corrupt leaders and would-be reformers and the factors such as civil war, dependence on the export of natural resources and lack of good governance that trap them into a downward spiral of economic and social decline. Collier addresses the fact that conventional aid has been unable to tackle these problems and puts forward a radical new plan of action including a new agenda for the G8 which includes more effective anti-corruption measures, preferential trade policies and where necessary direct military intervention. All of these initiatives are carefully designed to help the forgotten bottom billion, one of the key challenges facing the world in the twenty first century.

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Author information

Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. Former director of Development Research at the World Bank, he is one of the world's leading experts on African economies, and is the author of Breaking the Conflict Trap, among other books.

Review quote

A must-read for anyone who has tired of the emotionalism of the Geldof-Bono aid brigade. Michela Wrong, New Statesman Books of the Year An important book. Max Hastings, The Guardian Important and provocative. Sunday Times Important new book... compelling. New Statesman d Set to become a classic... his book should be compulsory reading for anyone embroiled in the hitherto thankless business of trying to pull people out of the pit of poverty. The Economist Collier's is a better book than either Sachs's or Easterley's for two reasons. First, its analysis of the causes of poverty is more convincing. Second, its remedies are more plausible. Niall Ferguson, International Herald Tribune This extraordinarily important book should be read by everyone who cares about Africa, but who recoils from the egotism and self-indulgence of Comic Relief and Live Aid. Max Hastings, Sunday Times Review It is time to dispense with the false dichotomies that bedevil the current debate on Africa. If you've ever found yourself on one side or the other of those arguments - and who hasn't? - then you simply must read this book. Niall Ferguson, The New York Times Book Review Powerful...This important book wants citizens of G8 countries to fight for change. Heather Stewart, Economics Editor, The Observer This is an arresting, provocative book. If you care about the fate of the poorest people in the world, and want to understand what can be done to help them, read it. If you don't care, read it anyway. Tim Harford, Financial Times columnist and author of The Undercover Economist A splendid book... rich in both analysis and recommendations... Read this book. You will learn much you do not know. It will also change the way you look at the tragedy of persistent poverty in a world of plenty. Martin Wolf, Financial Times [a] significant contribution... a good and helpful book. Collier uses his basic insight to challenge the conventional wisdom of both Left and Right. Edward Hadas, TLS A path-breaking work providing penetrating insights into the largely unexplored borderland between economics and politics. George Soros Paul Collier brilliantly anatomises the true causes of Africa's post-colonial failure. Niall Fergusson, Sunday Telegraph Paul Collier's book is of great importance. He has shown clearly what is happening to the poorest billion in the world, why it is happening and what can be done to open up greater opportunities for them in a world of increasing wealth. His ideas should be at the centre of the policy debate. Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the UK Government Economic Service A good and helpful book. Collier uses his basic insight - that the poor are in a very different situation from the rest of the world - to challenge the conventional wisdom of both the Left and the Right. Edward Hadas, TLS A powerful book. New Zealand Herald