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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

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The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Over the last century, global poverty has largely been viewed as a technical problem that merely requires the right “expert” solutions. Yet all too often, experts recommend solutions that fix immediate problems without addressing the systemic political factors that created them in the first place. Further, they produce an accidental collusion with “benevolent autocrats,” leaving dictators with yet more power to violate the rights of the poor.

In The Tyranny of Experts, economist William Easterly, bestselling author of The White Mans Burden, traces the history of the fight against global poverty, showing not only how these tactics have trampled the individual freedom of the worlds poor, but how in doing so have suppressed a vital debate about an alternative approach to solving poverty: freedom. Presenting a wealth of cutting-edge economic research, Easterly argues that only a new model of development—one predicated on respect for the individual rights of people in developing countries, that understands that unchecked state power is the problem and not the solution —will be capable of ending global poverty once and for all.

Review:

"A well-known skeptic of foreign aid, NYU economist Easterly (The White Man's Burden) examines efforts to produce and sustain growth in developing nations. Easterly deplores 'authoritarian development' that fails to respect local knowledge and individual rights, and here assesses 'benevolent autocrats' as well as 'experts who aspire to technocratic power.' Using historical and contemporary examples, Easterly calls for the expanded rights of the global poor and a 'time at last for all men and women to be equally free.' To illustrate the advantages of organic change and individual rights, Easterly analyzes gentrification of New York City's SoHo district since the 1930s. What this case study has to do with Uganda, Ethiopia, or anywhere beyond Manhattan is unclear. Mechanistic top-down international planning has many critics, but Easterly's alternatives are removed from reality. His line of thought seems to ignore the many legal, economic, geographic, and cultural forces that impede global development. This loose, sometimes incoherent collection of high-minded notes does not add up to a convincing thesis or argument. Easterly tries to craft global solutions, but fails to come up with practical proposals that will work in the messy world beyond his neighborhood. Charts, graphs, and photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

William Easterly is a professor of economics at New York University and a director of NYUs award-winning Development Research Institute. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780465031252
Author:
Easterly, William
Publisher:
Basic Books a Member of Perseus Books Group
Subject:
Economic Development
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20140331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

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Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
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History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor New Hardcover
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Product details 416 pages Basic Books a Member of Perseus Books Group - English 9780465031252 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A well-known skeptic of foreign aid, NYU economist Easterly (The White Man's Burden) examines efforts to produce and sustain growth in developing nations. Easterly deplores 'authoritarian development' that fails to respect local knowledge and individual rights, and here assesses 'benevolent autocrats' as well as 'experts who aspire to technocratic power.' Using historical and contemporary examples, Easterly calls for the expanded rights of the global poor and a 'time at last for all men and women to be equally free.' To illustrate the advantages of organic change and individual rights, Easterly analyzes gentrification of New York City's SoHo district since the 1930s. What this case study has to do with Uganda, Ethiopia, or anywhere beyond Manhattan is unclear. Mechanistic top-down international planning has many critics, but Easterly's alternatives are removed from reality. His line of thought seems to ignore the many legal, economic, geographic, and cultural forces that impede global development. This loose, sometimes incoherent collection of high-minded notes does not add up to a convincing thesis or argument. Easterly tries to craft global solutions, but fails to come up with practical proposals that will work in the messy world beyond his neighborhood. Charts, graphs, and photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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