The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor [NOOK Book]

Overview

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.
...
See more details below
The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 45%)$29.99 List Price

Overview

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 Man’s Burden, traces the history of the fight against global poverty, showing not only how these tactics have trampled the individual freedom of the world’s 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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/06/2014
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. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

New York Times Book Review
“Bracingly iconoclastic.... Easterly’s stories unfailingly reinforce a select number of crucial themes, the boldest being that the people of the so-called underdeveloped world have been systematically betrayed by the technocrats in charge of the global development agenda.”

Eduardo Porter, New York Times
"William Easterly ...is one of the profession's most determined skeptics...In the real world, Professor Easterly says, development occurs as people identify problems and push for solutions through their political systems. Setting goals that nobody is truly responsible for achieving not only misrepresents what causes poverty but also substitutes goal setting for real action.”

Los Angeles Times Review of Books
“There is something indomitable about William Easterly, and he has struck the development establishment where it is weakest: its appalling human rights record.”

Bloomberg View
“[Easterly] is one of the most consistently interesting and provocative thinkers on development.”

Economist
"Thought provoking."

Gaurdian, UK
“A provocative book that will rile the development world. But it deserves to be read by all those technocrats who jet around the planet with their simplistic top-down solutions, often ignoring rights they themselves take for granted. Ultimately, it is a timely blast against the complacency of those who think progress and prosperity can be detached from politics.”

Times of London
“This powerful polemic against top-down aid projects convinces.”

Washington Post
“A passionate, if fitful, argument against the conventional approach to economic development.”

Choice
“Easterly (New York University) has written a book that grabs a reader’s attention from the first sentence….Highly recommended”

Lancet
"Fascinating."

Shelf Awareness for Readers
“Easterly makes essential points about human rights, the need to accommodate local factors in developing countries and the terrible mistakes that can result from deals with corrupt regimes or self-interested organizations. His argument is made with passion and ample illustration.”

Reason
Tyranny of Experts takes various tacks--historical, theoretical, technological, statistical--to explain, in theory and in practice, why international development economics should fundamentally rethink its premises and practices.”

Kirkus
"Easterly delivers a scathing assault on the anti-poverty programs associated with both the United Nations and its political and private sector supporters....A sharply written polemic intended to stir up debate about the aims of global anti-poverty campaigns."

Library Journal
“Easterly's research may help start a dialog about identifying better methods for alleviating global poverty and should assist readers interested in humanitarian efforts who want to draw their own conclusions about how to aid the world's poor."

Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development
“This book is deeply radical and thought-provoking, and brilliantly entertaining. Easterly invokes Kahneman, Hayek, Hirschman; the free cities of 12th century Genoa and 18th century New York; the Erie Canal, Fujian and Benin; the "prison" of the nation state; the new generation of econometrics applied to human history, and more in making his argument: It is individual rights and political freedoms that safeguard spontaneous, shared and sustained development, and the prevailing technocratic approach subverts those rights at great cost to the global poor its adherents would help. Development insiders will, with some justification, complain about one-sidedness and exaggeration. But no one who starts this book will be able to put it down, or be able to undo its influence on her thinking about the deep determinants of development progress.”

Angus Deaton, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Princeton University
“Knowledge and expertise are fountainheads of prosperity and freedom, yet experts, especially foreign experts, have frequently been instruments of the very oppression that they seek to alleviate. The Tyranny of Experts tells the extraordinary story of authoritarian development. Those not familiar with Easterly’s previous books are in for a revelation, and the many long time aficionados will be delighted to be back in the hands of the master.”

Paul Romer, New York University
"Easterly's new book shows that the expert approach to development rests on an engrained but unexamined premise: that people in poor countries cannot be trusted to make their own decisions. As this wide-ranging and compelling account shows, this assumption is doubly flawed. It's morally offensive and a sure guide to bad policy."

Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University
"Bill Easterly is simply the most interesting and provocative economist writing on development topics today."

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winner, Professor of Economics at Columbia University
"In this impassioned book, William Easterly draws on a wealth of examples from history and from around the world to support his forceful call for a radical transformation in the way the world views development. Easterly shows that many of the contemporary debates about the nature of development have their roots in history and he argues that the rights of the individual and democratic values should not be trampled on by those seeking faster economic growth."

Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics at George Mason University
"Bill Easterly is the development economist, and he has come up with yet another striking and original success. This is the book that puts together the role of government, the failures of experts, and the best way forward into one comprehensive package."

Library Journal
03/01/2014
Many developing countries lag critically behind their Western counterparts according to reports of health, life expectancy, income, and other measurements that are used to assess poverty. Leading development economist Easterly (economics, director, Development Research Inst., New York Univ.; The White Man's Burden) argues cogently that solutions imposed by outside agencies to reduce poverty miscarry when individual rights and freedoms are ignored. He shows through historical examinations of growth in the 20th and 21st centuries that failure continues to result from the use of the same faulty approaches. He asserts that because supplying aid is complex and demands a deep understanding of cultural, economic, and political factors in a country, the major mistakes, such as the empowerment of corrupt regimes and the further oppression of poor people, are often made. All the while he argues that misconceptions about developmental assistance have still not been addressed. VERDICT Easterly's research may help start a dialog about identifying better methods for alleviating global poverty and should assist readers interested in humanitarian efforts who want to draw their own conclusions about how to aid the world's poor.—Caroline Geck, Camden Street Sch. Lib., Newark, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-09
Easterly (Economics/New York Univ.; The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, 2006, etc.) delivers a scathing assault on the anti-poverty programs associated with both the United Nations and its political and private sector supporters. No stranger to controversy, the author takes off the gloves again in a no-holds-barred account of the history and hypocrisy of the ideas associated with development economics. He charges that to the extent anti-poverty programs intended for the developing sector rely on outside economic and technical expertise and top-down government action, they become authoritarian, anti-democratic and unlikely to succeed. Easterly derides the recent acclaimed success of the Millennium Development campaign in Ethiopia in reducing infant mortality, which has been praised by many. The author shows that the results are difficult to substantiate given the lack of coherent data, and they are undermined by the government's use of aid funds for its own political purposes. He contends that the Ethiopian case reflects a longer history in which the World Bank acts in a political manner, despite the prohibition in its charter, and he explores how the World Bank programs ignored the brutality in Colombia during la violencia of the 1950s. For Easterly, the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 marked the beginning of modern development economics, and he shows how "development ideas took shape…at a time when…attitudes…were still racist." He provides a broader historical perspective on especially African countries, demonstrating how the history of slavery still influences current politics. The author offers the alternative of fostering greater human rights and increasing political freedom. A sharply written polemic intended to stir up debate about the aims of global anti-poverty campaigns.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465080908
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 103,705
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

William Easterly is a professor of economics at New York University and a director of NYU’s award-winning Development Research Institute. He lives in New York City.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)