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Wars, Guns and Votes
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A timely, powerful and provocative study of the tensions between democracy and violence in the world's poorest countries, by one of the world's leading development economists.

About the Author

Paul Collier is a professor of economics at Oxford University. The author of Wars, Guns and Votes- Democracy in Dangerous Places and The Bottom Billion, which won the 2008 Lionel Gelber Prize for the world's best book on international affairs, he has lectured widely on the subjects of economics and international relations.

Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University and a former director of Development Research at the World Bank. In addition to the award-winningThe Bottom Billion, he is the author ofWars, Guns, and Votes- Democracy inDangerous Places.

Reviews

In this accessible and very sensible analysis, Collier (The Bottom Billion) argues that the spread of democracy after the end of the Cold War has not actually made the world a safer place, as the West has "promoted the wrong features of democracy: the faAade rather than the essential infrastructure." The author hypothesizes that an insistence on elections without a system of checks and balances has led to widespread corruption, nations mired in ethnic politics and economic underperformance. Collier examines the effect of civil wars, coups and rebellions on burgeoning democracies, founding all arguments on methodology and data sets that provide a hard, quantitative view of political violence. While many of his observations are insightful and occasionally prescient, his analysis weakens when it strays from the data and enters more theoretical territory. However, the author maintains an approachable style and reaches beyond jargon to provide a highly readable account of the complex realities facing the developing world. Collier's suggestions are pragmatic, and although they may incense ideologues, most readers will connect with this common sense approach matched with obvious expertise. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Very important ideas based on extremely thorough empirical research...put him in the same camp as real heavyweights such as the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz" -- Misha Glenny * Guardian *
"Collier comes up with very concrete proposals and some ingenious solutions" * The Times *
"Collier knows Africa intimately... It is hard to be unmoved by his anger about the world's blindness to realities, and his passion to do things better" -- Max Hastings * Sunday Times *
"With its verve, wit and lateral thinking, this is a book that changes its readers' horizons" * Observer *
"It is always a pleasure to discover Paul Collier's latest thoughts...always illuminating and grounded in rigorous social science...it's gripping stuff" -- Allister Heath * Literary Review *

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