Meles post mortem – hero or villain?; Charter Cities, garifunas and porn kings; back to school; African oil rush; stubborn elites; what do you think about jobs? links I liked
Got a backlog of links (twitter’s got a lot to answer for), so slipping some extra ones in today. Plus if you are seeing any red on the blog and/or having trouble reading it, according to blogmistress Helen, ‘you need to clear your browser’s cache’ (me neither). Just follow her instructions and don’t ask questions.
First off, what’s the best thing you’ve read on the death of Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi? Peter Gill and Ben Rawlence of Human Rights Watch exchange blows over his legacy. Does Gill really have a ‘man crush’ on the defunct Ethiopian leader? You decide. Michael Street on Open Democracy hails his environmentalism. ODI’s David Booth (who also has a bit of a man crush, I would say) has an extended comment discussing the wider lessons to be learned from Meles’ 20 years in power, and what comes next. Will we see another collapse, as has followed previous economic booms led by ‘decent chaps’? David agrees with Tim Kelsall that ‘the critical vehicle for controlling the disruptive and potentially fatal impacts of a leadership transition is not the electoral system or parliament. It is the ruling or dominant political party.’ Scary people these political scientists.
The Guardian updates us on the Honduran Charter City story (my previous post here) but can’t match the title of Justin Sandefur’s piece on its potential impact on the Garifuna communities who live in the area – Charter Cities, Canada’s Porn King, and Garífuna Land Rights. Classy.
Back to school time: CGD celebrates the start of term with a pile of online syllabuses on different aspects of development while it’s boss Nancy Birdsall is even taking 3 months off to do some teaching. The Guardian asks ‘why study development?’ Meanwhile uberblogger Tyler Cowen is running an online development economics course with Alex Tabarrok [h/t Charles Kenny]. And here’s Chris Blattman’s development syllabus.
Only 5 out of 55 African countries are neither producing nor exploring for oil, according to the Economist, which pushes transparency and tells the companies to stop whinging about reporting their royalty payments (as is now required for all those listed on American stock exchanges)
The Stubborn Problem of The “Village Elite”. Fascinating reality checks from Tanzania and India
The World Bank is crowdsourcing views for the launch of the next World Development Report on jobs (we’ll soon see if my forebodings are justified – it’s out next month). Good questions, but I’m rapidly getting more sceptical about these kinds of blanket ‘tell us what you think’ exercises – has anyone evaluated their effectiveness? According to the Bank ‘The videos were produced to increase interaction with the Job Knowledge Platform’s Working Wiki, an open-source platform for economists and the public to discuss and debate 11 key questions from the World Bank’s World Development Report. Anyone is welcome to post their thoughts to the Wiki without editorial control by the World Bank, and the cumulative input from the Working Wiki will be presented during the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Tokyo.’
The first video (3m) asks if with 200 million unemployed globally is any job better than no job at all, and encourages viewers to share what a “good” job means to them:
The second video (2m) explores the myth that economic growth always creates jobs and social cohesion, and asks viewers which comes first, jobs or growth?