Tuesday, August 3, 2010

World Economists: Paul Collier

Paul Collier is a Professor of Economics at Oxford University. He has written a prize-winning book on foreign aid, world poverty, and local wars in places such as Somalia and the Sudan. The book is called The Bottom Billion and you can probably buy it anywhere. Another book, the Plundered Planet, talks about how environmental concerns affect the poor--both hurting them and taking away assistance for their economic plight. He is an even-handed man.

Professor Colllier is not an actor. He sounds like a teacher. And he is so worth listening to, if not for international relations, for poverty reduction here in the United States. "An alliance of compassion and enlightened self-interest." He talks about the Marshall Plan.

Before you make up your mind, two minutes in, that this is some liberal do-gooder, he has no patience for the language of grievance, or for the political discourse of victimology as related to civil war and warlords. He is brilliant and until recently has worked in relative obscurity, attracting neither celebrities nor panic-mongers. It is well worth considering his arguments.

In the post above, I looked at Mr. Collier's work in regard to civil conflict. This represents some of his more recent thinking, based upon his earlier research. Mr. Collier thinks for himself. It is well worth a listen.

Books by Paul Collier
The Bottom Billion. Available.
The Plundered Planet. Available.

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