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Africa is a continent with boundless potential — it has the natural resources, the population, and the landmass to become a major player on the global stage. Why then, is the gap between Africa and the rest of the world increasing?
While the continent has seen improvements in terms of key indicators of human wellbeing like infant mortality and life expectancy, Africa still suffers from massive poverty, weak economic growth, de-industrialisation, an underdeveloped agricultural sector and poor regional integration, among others. What needs to be done to unleash Africa’s potential and ignite a growth revolution?
In this book, Jakkie Cilliers examines where the continent is at and where it will be in 2040 if it continues on the current path.
Two Harvard professors explain the stages in which governments collapse - and how we can prevent this.
Democracies can die with a coup d'Útat - or they can die slowly. This happens most deceptively when in piecemeal fashion, with the election of an authoritarian leader, the abuse of governmental power and the complete repression of opposition. All three steps are being taken around the world - not least with the election of Donald Trump - and we must all understand how we can stop them.
From the reign of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile to the quiet undermining of Turkey's constitutional system by President Recip Erdogan, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt draw insightful lessons from across history to shine a light on governmental breakdown across the 20th and 21st centuries - including the dangers of an authoritarian leader faced with a major crisis.
Based on years of research, they present a deep understanding of how and why democracies die; an alarming analysis of how democracy is being subverted today in the US and beyond; and a guide for maintaining and repairing a threatened democracy, for governments, political parties and individuals.
History doesn't repeat itself. But we can protect our democracy by learning its lessons, before it's too late.
A Banquet of Consequences is an intricately researched, decisively written and devastating analysis of today’s economy.
Satyajit Das connects disparate strands of a story, and in doing so delivers a damning critique of global economic policies of the last 50 years. He argues that governments and citizens of every political hue are now so addicted to growth and resistant to change, that a prolonged period of chronic stagnation, sustained by large infusions of monetary morphine and continuous interventions, or an unavoidable financial, political and social breakdown are the only possible outcomes.
The apartheid state was at war. It was a conflict intended to stifle demands for freedom, subjugate Southern Africa and benefit the grip on power by the ruling elite. It was a fight for survival, which was to intensify in the two decades before South Africa’s liberation in 1994. While internal resistance grew, the United Nations imposed mandatory sanctions prohibiting the sale of strategic goods such as arms and oil to South Africa. The regime was confronted with an existential threat – isolation. A covert network of over 50 countries, including big powers and sworn enemies, was constructed to counter sanctions to illegally supply guns to Pretoria. Under the cloak of secrecy, allies in corporations, banks, governments and intelligence agencies sprung into action.
Apartheid, Guns And Money: A Tale Of Profit is an exposÚ of this machinery created in defence of apartheid. They include heads of states, arms dealers, aristocrats, plutocrats, senators, bankers, spies, journalists and members of secret lobby groups. Moving in the shadows, these people were complicit in a crime against humanity. The motivation for some was ideological as part of the Cold War anti-communism crusade. Others felt kinship with the last white regime in Africa. The book also addresses questions of unsolved murders and domestic complicity by South African business with the apartheid state.
This deeply researched book lifts the lid on some of the darkest secrets of apartheid’s economic crimes never before fully investigated. The stories weave together material collected in over two dozen archives in eight countries over four years, providing readers with an insight into tens of thousands of pages of newly declassified documents. Interviews with businessmen, politicians, sanctions busters and freedom fighters provide eyewitness accounts of acts of complicity and contrition.
The book argues that networks of state capture have been with us for decades. These must be confronted to deal with the corrupt networks in our democratic political system. In forging the country’s future a new generation needs to grapple with the baffling silence of apartheid-era economic crime and ask difficult questions of those who benefitted from it. This book provides the evidence and the motivation to do so.
How and why did the US become the most successful economy in history? One of The Economist's Best Books of 2017, America, Inc explains the rise of America's economic power and how so many US businesses have succeeded. In a winning, accessible style, Bhu Srinivasan boldly takes on four centuries of American enterprise, revealing the unexpected connections that link them. The story is entertaining, eye-opening and sweeping in its reach. America, Inc takes us on a journey through the inventions, techniques and industries that drove America forward: from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, radio and banking to flight, suburbia and sneakers, culminating with the Internet and mobile technology at the turn of the twenty-first century. We learn how Andrew Carnegie's early job as a telegraph messenger boy paved the way for his leadership of the steel empire that would make him one of history's richest men; how the gunmaker Remington reinvented itself in the postwar years to sell typewriters; and how the inner workings of the Mafia mirrored the trend of consolidation and regulation in more traditional business. Reliving the heady early days of Silicon Valley, we are reminded that the start-up is an idea as old as capitalism itself.
With Britain's empire collapsing and Stalin's ascendant, U.S. officials under new Secretary of State George C. Marshall set out to reconstruct western Europe as a bulwark against communist authoritarianism. Their massive, costly, and ambitious undertaking would confront Europeans and Americans alike with a vision at odds with their history and self-conceptions. In the process, they would drive the creation of NATO, the European Union, and a Western identity that continues to shape world events. This is the story behind the birth of the Cold War, and the U.S.-led liberal global order, told with verve, insight, and resonance for today. Bringing to bear fascinating new material from American, Russian, German, and other European archives, Benn Steil's book will forever change how we see the Marshall Plan. Focusing on the critical years 1947 to 1949, Steil's gripping narrative takes us through the seminal episodes marking the collapse of postwar U.S.-Soviet relations: the Prague coup, the Berlin blockade, and the division of Germany. In each case, Stalin's determination to crush the Marshall Plan and undermine American power in Europe is vividly portrayed. And in a riveting epilogue, Steil shows how the forces which clove Europe in two after the Second World War have reasserted themselves since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A polished and masterly work of historical narrative, The Marshall Plan is an instant classic of Cold War literature.
The epic successor to one of the most important books of the century: at once a retelling of global history, a scathing critique of contemporary politics, and a bold proposal for a new and fairer economic system.
Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system.
Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity.
Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it.
"This is the book on porcelain we have been waiting for. . . . A remarkable achievement."-Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes A sweeping cultural and economic history of porcelain, from the eighteenth century to the present Porcelain was invented in medieval China-but its secret recipe was first reproduced in Europe by an alchemist in the employ of the Saxon king Augustus the Strong. Saxony's revered Meissen factory could not keep porcelain's ingredients secret for long, however, and scores of Holy Roman princes quickly founded their own mercantile manufactories, soon to be rivaled by private entrepreneurs, eager to make not art but profits. As porcelain's uses multiplied and its price plummeted, it lost much of its identity as aristocratic ornament, instead taking on a vast number of banal, yet even more culturally significant, roles. By the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it became essential to bourgeois dining, and also acquired new functions in insulator tubes, shell casings, and teeth. Weaving together the experiences of entrepreneurs and artisans, state bureaucrats and female consumers, chemists and peddlers, Porcelain traces the remarkable story of "white gold" from its origins as a princely luxury item to its fate in Germany's cataclysmic twentieth century. For three hundred years, porcelain firms have come and gone, but the industry itself, at least until very recently, has endured. After Augustus, porcelain became a quintessentially German commodity, integral to provincial pride, artisanal industrial production, and a familial sense of home. Telling the story of porcelain's transformation from coveted luxury to household necessity and flea market staple, Porcelain offers a fascinating alternative history of art, business, taste, and consumption in Central Europe.
'A classic' - Simon Kuper, Financial Times
An incisive analysis of the state of the global economy and what the future holds. Surrounded by sluggish growth, high rates of unemployment, rising inequality, growing financial instability and increased social tensions, pessimism about our future abounds. Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, one of the world's most influential economic thinkers, explains lucidly the realities of the economic choices that we will soon face. The path that the global economy and markets are on is ending. But what comes thereafter is far from predestined. It critically depends on choices that we make as households and companies, and decisions that our political representatives take. The Only Game in Town details how the world is increasingly being shaken, both from above and from below. It illuminates the growing internal contradictions, the constraints that are undermining growth and prosperity, and the radical overhaul in thinking that is required. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, central banks were handed responsibility for the fate of the global economy. Lifting the veil on the inner workings of these powerful and innovative institutions, El-Erian explains why they cannot save us this time around. Laying out a road map for growth, The Only Game in Town shows how and why collaboration between central bankers, policymakers and business leaders is essential. Drawing on insights from behavioral science, economics and finance, this book provides the tools needed to understand the uncertainties that lie ahead and return us to a path of prosperity. Thought provoking and insightful, this book is required reading for investors, policymakers, and anyone interested in the future.
Why is it that some countries become rich while others remain poor? Do markets require regulation to function efficiently? If markets offer an efficient way of exchanging goods, why do individuals even create firms? How are economic transactions organized in the absence of a state that could enforce contracts and guarantee property rights? Institutional economics has allowed social scientists to answer many fundamental questions about the organization and functioning of societies. This introduction to institutional economics is concise, yet easy to understand. It not only caters to students of economics but to anybody interested in this topical research area and its specific subfields. Both formal and informal institutions (such as customs, habits, and traditions) are discussed with respect to their causes and consequences, highlighting the important part they play for economic growth and development.
In little more than a generation, Asia has emerged from centuries of stagnation to become the rising force of the global economy. This transformation has been so spectacular that some have called it a miracle. How did it happen? Taking the reader from the docksides of Korea to the halls of India's finance ministry, The Miracle details the courageous decisions and heroic self-sacrifice that made Asia's ascent possible. Spanning nine countries and probing major historical currents, this account illuminates not only Asia's extraordinary economic rise but also how its causes might emancipate the developing world from poverty and guide the developed world to further prosperity.
Using more than a decade of reporting and analysis, Time magazine and former Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Schuman uncovers how outsourcing to Asia began; how Asia's most famous companies, such as Sony and Honda, became global corporations; and how technological changes and global economic shifts made Asia's boom possible. He reveals the compelling human side to this economic story, introducing readers to the political strongmen, entrepreneurs, and policymakers who made the Miracle a reality. This engaging historical narrative brings to life the ideas and actions of a diverse group of Asians--dictators and democrats, generals and technocrats, economists and engineers.
Some of the characters in the book have captured the global imagination for years, such as China's reformer Deng Xiaoping and Sony founder Akio Morita. Others are less well known, including Park Chung Hee, Korea's tightfisted nation builder; Liu Chuanzhi, the risk-taking founder of PC maker Lenovo; and Azim Premji, the mastermind behind Wipro, one of India's technology giants. All of them shared a dream--to elevate Asia to its proper place of influence in the world and eradicate the poverty around them.
The Miracle not only offers profound insight into Asia and its increasing wealth and power; it also reveals how these seismic shifts continue to reverberate through the global economy. The implications of Asia's economic ascent for the rest of the world are surprising, promising, and inspiring. Readers of The Miracle will gain a deep understanding of Asia's place in the global economy--and of their own.
The global financial crisis in 2008 brought central banking to the centre stage, prompting questions about the role of national central banks and - in Europe - of the multi-country European Central Bank. What can central banks do, and what are their limitations? How have they performed? Currency, Credit and Crisis seeks to provide a coherent perspective on the functions of a central bank in a small country by assessing the way in which Ireland's financial crisis from 2010 to 2013 was handled. Drawing on his experiences as Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland and in research and policy work at the World Bank, Patrick Honohan offers a detailed analytical narrative of the origins of the crisis and of policy makers' conduct during its most fraught moments.
'Big and timely ... Coggan's account of the rise of the world economy is accessible and mercifully free of jargon' Sunday Times
More tracks the development of the world economy, starting with the first obsidian blades that made their way from what is now Turkey to the Iran-Iraq border 7000 years before Christ, and ending with the Sino-American trade war that we are in right now.
Taking history in great strides, More illustrates broad changes by examining details from the design of the standard medieval cottage to the stranglehold that Paris's three belt-buckle-making guilds exercised over innovation in the field of holding up trousers. Along the way Coggan reveals that historical economies were far more sophisticated than we might imagine - tied together by webs of credit and financial instruments much like the modern economy.
Coggan shows how, at every step of our long journey, it was connections between people - allowing more trade, more specialisation, more ideas and more freedom - that always created the conditions of prosperity.
The current political trend toward a drastically reduced government role in the economy and civil society begs a thorough discussion of the recent history of the free market movement in the United States. By providing a history of the political revitalization of classical liberalism since the 1960s, Bringing the Market Back In makes a significant step in understanding this discussion. When the market liberals came to power with the election of Ronald Reagan, they failed to translate their economic theories into dramatic political change. Although market liberals had developed remarkable intellectual strengths by 1980, the political movement to roll back the state was still in its infancy. The Gingrich Revolution of 1994 suggests that a better test of market liberalism's political feasibility may come in the last half of the 1990's.
Moving beyond the political polemics so common in the arena of contemporary economic policy, Kelley grounds his study in the little-known archival materials from the Libertarian Party and personal collections from the Hoover Institution Archives.
The story of Benjamin Rathbun's ruin reads like a primer for the scandals and studied neglect that triggered America's economic crisis today. Banker, builder and architect, a revered citizen of the flourishing American northwestern frontier-in the end he was also a convicted forger. And his forgeries were of such gravity that they added momentum to the Panic of 1837, the rapid collapse of a system of credit and debt that brought down the young nation's financial system. Rathbun was surely a rascal, but a rascal somehow of great decency. In Buffalo, a half-built landscape was strewn with Rathbun's broken vision. Concerned for the thousands who had depended upon him, he begged for release from jail long enough to fix the damage. Instead, he spent five years in prison shouldering the blame for others who fled to Texas, beyond the reach of American law.
A richly illustrated source book for the study of the Irish famine.
A powerful new understanding of global currency trends, including the rise of the Chinese yuan At first glance, the modern history of the global economic system seems to support the long-held view that the leading world power's currency--the British pound, the U.S. dollar, and perhaps someday the Chinese yuan--invariably dominates international trade and finance. In How Global Currencies Work, three noted economists provide a reassessment of this history and the theories behind the conventional wisdom. Offering a new history of global finance over the past two centuries, and marshaling extensive new data to test established theories of how global currencies work, Barry Eichengreen, Arnaud Mehl, and Livia Chit?u argue for a new view, in which several national monies can share international currency status, and their importance can change rapidly. They demonstrate how changes in technology and in the structure of international trade and finance have reshaped the landscape of international currencies so that several international financial standards can coexist. They show that multiple international and reserve currencies have in fact coexisted in the pastupending the traditional view of the British pound's dominance prior to 1945 and the U.S. dollar's dominance more recently. Looking forward, the book tackles the implications of this new framework for major questions facing the future of the international monetary system, from whether the euro and the Chinese yuan might address their respective challenges and perhaps rival the dollar, to how increased currency competition might affect global financial stability.
Forget the speculation of pundits and media personalities. For anyone asking "Now what?" the answer is out there. You just have to know where to look. In his 2005 book, The Long Emergency, James Howard Kunstler described the global predicaments that would pitch the USA into political and economic turmoil in the 21st century-the end of affordable oil, climate irregularities, and flagging economic growth, to name a few. Now, he returns with a book that takes an up-close-and-personal approach to how real people are living now-surviving The Long Emergency as it happens. Through his popular blog, Clusterf**ck Nation, Kunstler has had the opportunity to connect with people from across the country. They've shared their stories with him-sometimes over years of correspondence-and in Living in the Long Emergency: Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward, he shares them with us, offering an eye-opening and unprecedented look at what's really going on "out there" in the US-and beyond. Coming from all walks of life, the individuals you'll meet in these pages have one thing in common: their stories acutely illustrate the changing realities real people are facing-and coping with-every day. In profiles of their fascinating lives, Kunstler paints vivid, human portraits that offer a "slice of life" from people whose struggles and triumphs all too often go ignored. With personal accounts from a Vermont baker, homesteaders, a building contractor in the Baltimore ghetto, a white nationalist, and many more, Living in the Long Emergency is a unique and timely exploration of how the lives of everyday Americans are being transformed, for better and for worse, and what these stories tell us both about the future and about human perseverance.
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