The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

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Oxford University Press, May 25, 2007 - Business & Economics - 224 pages
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In the universally acclaimed and award-winning The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier reveals that fifty failed states--home to the poorest one billion people on Earth--pose the central challenge of the developing world in the twenty-first century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized West, that are dropping further and further behind the majority of the world's people, often falling into an absolute decline in living standards. A struggle rages within each of these nations between reformers and corrupt leaders--and the corrupt are winning. Collier analyzes the causes of failure, pointing to a set of traps that ensnare these countries, including civil war, a dependence on the extraction and export of natural resources, and bad governance. Standard solutions do not work, he writes; aid is often ineffective, and globalization can actually make matters worse, driving development to more stable nations. What the bottom billion need, Collier argues, is a bold new plan supported by the Group of Eight industrialized nations. If failed states are ever to be helped, the G8 will have to adopt preferential trade policies, new laws against corruption, new international charters, and even conduct carefully calibrated military interventions. Collier has spent a lifetime working to end global poverty. In The Bottom Billion, he offers real hope for solving one of the great humanitarian crises facing the world today. "Set to become a classic. Crammed with statistical nuggets and common sense, his book should be compulsory reading." --The Economist "If Sachs seems too saintly and Easterly too cynical, then Collier is the authentic old Africa hand: he knows the terrain and has a keen ear.... If you've ever found yourself on one side or the other of those arguments--and who hasn't?--then you simply must read this book." --Niall Ferguson, The New York Times Book Review "Rich in both analysis and recommendations.... Read this book. You will learn much you do not know. It will also change the way you look at the tragedy of persistent poverty in a world of plenty." --Financial Times
 

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The book presents the issues that world is facing, the Bottom Billion left out of development. The solutions are proposed focusing on ending conflict, promoting export in LDCs, integration to regional community and most of all enhance check and balance of poor countries government. The book also provides a lot of recommendations to G8 to take action in recure the bottom billion.
To my disappointment of this book, it focuses solely on poor countries in Africa. Though generally, Asai is better off than Africa, there are few countries stuck in the bottom, one of which is my country, Cambodia. Its civil war ended with peace accord in 1991, but now it is still a Least Developed Country.
 

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How can this book [barely] mention Structural Adjustment programs, and conduct an extremely poor analysis of the barriers to trade imposed by the West, and still be considered a good scholarly book?

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Contents

Falling Behind and Falling Apart The Bottom Billion
2
The Conflict Trap
16
The Natural Resource Trap
37
Landlocked with Bad Neighbors
52
Bad Governance in a Small Country
63
On Missing the Boat The Marginalization of the Bottom Billion in the World Economy
78
Aid to the Rescue?
98
Military Intervention
123
Laws and Charters
134
Trade Policy for Reversing Marginalization
156
An Agenda for Action
174
Research on Which This Book Is Based
192
Index
196
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About the author (2007)

Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. Former director of Development Research at the World Bank, he is one of the world's leading experts on African economies, and is the author of Breaking the Conflict Trap, among other books.

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