Development and Cities
the-future-of-development
The Future of Development: A Radical Manifesto.  Gustavo Esteva (Universidad de la Tierra, Mexico), Salvatore J. Babones (U of Sydney, Australia), and Philipp Babcicky (U of Graz, Austria).  Policy Press at the U of Bristol, Oct 2013, 152p, $28.95pb. In his 1949 inaugural address, President Harry S. Truman heralded the era of international development, a “worldwide effort for the achievement of peace, plenty, and freedom” that would aim to “greatly increase the industrial activity in other nations and . . . raise substantially their standards of living.” At the time, more than half of the world’s population lived in areas defined as underdeveloped; today, that figure surprisingly remains the same. Arguing that such persistent stagnation has resulted partly from poor comprehension of the terms “developed” and “underdeveloped,” the book revises our understanding of these concepts and introduce the alternative concept of buen vivir: a state of living well. Everyone on the planet can achieve this state, but only if we all begin living as communities rather than individuals and nurture our respective commons.   (PDM-BRK) (DEVELOPMENT * LIVING WELL)
The Future of Development: A Radical Manifesto.  Gustavo Esteva (Universidad de la Tierra, Mexico), Salvatore J. Babones (U of Sydney, Australia), and Philipp Babcicky (U of Graz, Austria).  Policy Press at the U of Bristol, Oct 2013, 152p, $28.95pb. In his 1949 inaugural address, President Harry S. Truman heralded the era of international development, a “worldwide effort for the achievement of peace, plenty, and freedom” that would aim to “greatly increase the industrial activity in other nations and . . . raise substantially their standards of living.” At the time, more than half of the world’s population lived in areas defined as underdeveloped; today, that figure surprisingly remains the same. Arguing that such persistent stagnation has resulted partly from poor comprehension of the terms “developed” and “underdeveloped,” the book revises our understanding of these concepts and introduce the alternative concept of buen vivir: a state of living well. Everyone on the planet can achieve this state, but only if we all begin living as communities rather than individuals and nurture our respective commons.   (DEVELOPMENT * LIVING WELL)
hidden-alternative
* The Hidden Alternative: Co-operative Values, Past, Present and Future. Edited by Anthony Webster (Liverpool John Moores U) and four others. Tokyo & NY: United Nations U Press, April 2012, 384p, $27. The UN Proclamation of 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives challenges the hegemony of the investor led business model in economics and business. Contributors advocate an alternative for the organization of human economic and social affairs that should establish its place at the forefront of public and academic discussion and policy making. Chapter discuss education, fair trade, politics and governance, planning, sustainability, and how cooperatives have coped quite well with the global economic crisis. [Also see “Emerging Co-operatives” by Gary Gardner in Vital Signs, Volume 20 (Worldwatch Institute, Island Press, July 2013, pp106-108), noting that some 1 billion people in 96 countries now belong to a consumer or producer co-operative, which exceeds the 893 million shareholders of corporations.]  (ECONOMY * CO-OPERATIVES)
fit-an-architects-manifesto
Fit: An Architect’s Manifesto. Robert Geddes (Dean Emeritus, Princeton School of Architecture).  Princeton NJ: Princeton U Press, Nov 2012, 104p, $19.95.  An essay on architecture and society tht seeks to fundmentally change how architects and the public think about the task of design.  Argues that buildings, landscapes, and cities sould be designed to fit the purpose, the place, and future possibilities.  “Fit replaces old paradigms, such as form follows function, and less is more, by recognizing that the relationship between architecture and society is a true dialogue.” (ARCHITECTURE RECONSIDERED)
rethinking-a-lot-cover Rethinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking.  Eran Ben-Joseph (Prof of Landscape Architecture and Planning, MIT).  Cambridge MA: MIT Press, March 2012, 184p, $24.95pb.  There are an estimated 600 million passenger cars in the world, and, in some cities, parking lots cover more than a third of the metropolitan footprint.  Parking lots are ripe for transformation and can be significant public places, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally and architecturally responsible.  They can be lushly planted with trees and flowers, and beautifully integrated with the urban built environrnent. (CITIES * PARKING LOTS RECONSIDERED)
Poor Poverty: The Impoverishment of Analysis.  United Nations.  NY: United Nations Publications and Bloomsbury Academic, May 2011, 240p, $38.  The mainstream perspectives on poverty and deprivation have contributed to considerable distortion and misunderstanding that resulted in ineffectual policy prescriptions.  Critically appraises conventional measures and analysis of poverty, as well as poverty reduction policies.  (POVERTY * POVERTY RECONSIDERED)
Poor-Economics
Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty.  Abhijit V. Banerjee (Prof of Economics, MIT) and Esther Duflo (Prof of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, MIT).  NY: Public Affairs, April 2011, 336p, $26.99.  Reappraises the world of the extreme poor, their lives, desires, and frustrations.  Billions of government dollars, and thousands of charitable organizations and NGOs, are dedicated to helping the world's poor. But much of their work is based on assumptions that are untested generalizations at best, and harmful misperceptions at worst.  Identifies new aspects of the behavior of poor people, their needs, and the way that aid or financial investment can affect their lives. Defies certain presumptions: that microfinance is a cure-all, that schooling equals learning, and that poverty below $1 a day is just a more extreme version of the experience any of us have when our income falls uncomfortably low.  The authors are co-founders and directors of the Poverty Action Lab at MIT, which supervises randomized control trials in dozens of countries.
(DEVELOPMENT * POVERTY ACTION LAB--MIT * POVERTY RETHOUGHT)
the-limits-to-scarcity
The Limits to Scarcity: Contestations and Constructions.  Edited by Lyla Mehta (Institute of Development Studies, Brighton UK).  Foreword by Wolfgang Sachs.  London & Sterling VA: Earthscan (dist by Stylus), Feb 2011, 304p, $34.95pb.  Scarcity is considered a ubiquitous feature of the human condition.  It underpins much of modern economics and is widely used as an explanation for social organization, social conflict, and the resource crunch in the planet’s future.  It has emerged as a totalizing discourse in both the North and South.  Scarcity, however, is not a natural condition: the problem lies in how we see scarcity and the ways in which it is socially generated.
(ECONOMICS AND SCARCITY * SCARCITY RECONSIDERED)
creative-capacity-development
Creative Capacity Development: Learning to Adapt in Development Practice.  Jenny Pearson (Director, VBNK).  West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press (dist by Stylus), May 2011, 256p, $24.95pb (also e-book).  The development community seems constantly and restlessly in search of a singular approach that will “solve” poverty, unveiling new buzzwords every few years only to toss them aside.  Each new approach fails to break out the underlying technocratic and specialized paradigm in development work.  The director of Cambodia’s leading capacity-building NGO explains how a dynamic and open learning process allowed VBNK to move beyond them, and argues that development work should be a never-ending process, as opposed to a process requiring a singular solution.
(DEVELOPMENT)
The Changing Wealth of Nations: Lessons for Sustainable Development.  The World Bank.  Washington DC: World Bank, Oct 2010/270p/$35.  Estimates comprehensive wealth – including produced, natural, and human/institutional assets – for over 100 countries. Presents wealth accounts for 1995, 2000, and 2005, permitting the first long-term assessment of global, regional, and country performance in building wealth.                               (WEALTH: NEW MEASURE * SUSTAINABILITY)
energy-good
Energy, Environment and Development (Second Edition). Jose Goldemberg (former rector, U of Sao Paulo, Brazil) andOswaldo Lucon (Sao Paulo). London & Sterling VA: Earthscan, Dec 2009/352p/$39.95pb. Relationships between energy and environment, and between energy and development, have both been widely studied, yet both of these approaches may produce distortions; this book studies all three elements in relation to each other, while discussing security, climate change, impact assessment, new international agreements, and tech developments.                                           (DEVELOPMENT * ENERGY)
just-give
Just Give Money to the Poor: The Development Revolution from the Global SouthJoseph Hanlon (Open U), Armando Barrientos (World Poverty Institute, U of Manchester), and David Hulme (WPI/UofM). Kumarian Press, April 2010/288p/$24.95pb. Amid all the complex theories about causes and solutions to poverty, one idea is basic: researchers have found again and again that cash transfers given to significant portions of the population transform the lives of recipients, who use the money wisely to start a business, feed families, or send a child to school. This quiet revolution bypasses governments and NGOs, letting the poor decide how to use their money.                                                                      (DEVELOPMENT)
Can Business Save the World? Hard Truths About Ending PovertyR. Glenn Hubbard (dean, Columbia Business School) and William Duggan (Senior Lecturer, CBS). NY: Columbia Business School (Columbia UP), Aug 2009/208p/$22.95. By diverting a major share of charitable aid into the local business sector of poor countries, citizens can take the lead in growing their own economies, following the success of China and India; switching the “feudal system of aid” to the local business sector to cultivate an ordinary middle class is the surest and only way to eliminate poverty.
(DEVELOPMENT * FOREIGN AID)
state-of-the-world-cities
State of the World’s Cities 2008-2009: Harmonious CitiesUN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). NY: United Nations Publications, 2008/280p/$40 (Sales #E.08.III.Q.1). Assesses various intangible assets within cities that represent the soul of the city and are as important for harmonious urban development as tangible assets; focuses on three key areas: spatial or regional harmony, social harmony, and environmental harmony.                           (CITIES)
megaregions
Megaregions: Planning for Global Competiveness. Edited by Catherine L. Ross (Prof of Regional Development, Georgia Tech). Foreword by Richard Florida. Washington: Island Press, June 2009/350p/$35. Concepts of “the city,” “the state,” and the “nation state” are passé; the new scale for considering economic strength and growth opportunities is “the megaregion,” a network of metro centers and their surrounding areas; by 2050, megaregions will contain two-thirds of US population.                                         (CITIES * PLANNING * MEGAREGIONS)
communitycharacter1
Community Character: Principles for Design and Planning.  Lane H. Kendig (Kendig Keast Collaborative, Sturgeon Bay WI).  Washington: Island Press, June 2010/250p/$40pb.  A planning consultant argues that most plans and zoning regulations are based solely on density and land use, which do not measure character or quality of development.  Taking a far more comprehensive view, “community character” is proposed as a real-world framework for planning communities of all kinds and sizes with a wide range of measures.
(CITIES * PLANNING COMMUNITIES)

OECD-From-Crisis-to-Recovery

argaiv1254

OECD Atlas of Gender and Development.  OECD Development Centre.  Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (dist. Brookings), March 2010, 280p, $74pb.  Gender inequality holds back economic and social development, but in many countries discrimination against women is deeply rooted in social institutions.  The OECD Atlas presents an innovative composite measure of gender inequality, the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), examining women’s status regarding family code (early marriage, inheritance rights), physical integrity, son preference, civil liberties (women’s freedom of movement and dress), and ownership rights (access to land, property, and credit).
(WOMEN’S STATUS: OECD ATLAS * GENDER INEQUALITY: OECD INDEX)
macroeconomicsincontext1
Macroeconomics in Context.  Neva GoodwinJulie A. Nelson, and Jonathan Harris (all Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts U).  Armonk NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2009/437p.  An introductory textbook covering both standard topics and the broader contextual approach.  Topics include macroeconomic goals (decent living standards, security, sustainability), macroeconomics in global context for the 21C, economic tradeoffs, the three sphere of economic activity (the core sphere of households and community, the public purpose sphere, the business sphere), macroeconomic measurement (GDP vs. environmental and social dimensions reflecting 21C concerns), employment and unemployment, fiscal and monetary policy, pros and cons of “free trade,” how economies grow and develop, and macroeconomic challenges for the 21C (human development, ecological sustainability, problems of discounting the future).
(ECONOMY * CONTEXTUAL ECONOMICS * MACROECONOMICS IN CONTEXT)
microeconomicsincontext1
Microeconomics in Context (Second Edition).  Neva Goodwin (co-director, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts U), Julie A. Nelson (GDAE), Frank Ackerman (GDAE), and Thomas Weisskopf (Prof of Economics, U of Michigan).  Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2009/522p.  A companion textbook to the above that encourages engaged and critical thinking about topics in economics, with a focus on human well-being and the broader context of economic activity.  Topics include the spheres of economic activity, economic actors, market institutions, the five forms of capital (natural, manufactured, human, social, financial), production costs, distribution, consumption, markets for labor and other resources, and “free market” economics vs. “contextual economics” illustrated herein.
(ECONOMY * CONTEXTUAL ECONOMICS * MICROECONOMICS IN CONTEXT)
Global-Development-Outlook
Global Development Outlook 2010: Shifting Wealth – Implications for DevelopmentOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.  Paris: OECD (dist by Brookings Institution Press), Aug 2010/200p/$84pb.  Over the last 20 years, economic and political power has shifted toward the developing world and emerging economies. Viewing the world as divided between developed and developing countries is outdated, and demands a rethink of how to promote progress and reduce poverty and inequality. Also suggests ways in which developing countries could best take advantage of the new economic landscape.
(GLOBAL ECONOMY * DEVELOPMENT * OECD OUTLOOK: DEVELOPMENT)
ashamefulbusiness1
A Shameful Business: The Case for Human Rights in the American Workplace.  James A. Gross (Prof of Labor Law, Cornell U).  Ithaca, NY: ILR Press (dist by Cornell U Press), Feb 2010, 264p, $21.95.  Argues that the US market philosophy is incompatible with core principles of human rights; calls for the transformation of the American workplace based on respect for human rights, rather than whatever the economic and regulatory landscape allows. Assesses various aspects of US labor relations—freedom of association, racial discrimination, management rights, workplace safety, and human resources— through the lens of internationally accepted human rights principles.  When considered as human rights issues, many “best practices” of management are truly unacceptable.
(WORK * HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE WORKPLACE * WORKPLACE HUMAN RIGHTS)
Free-Trade-Doesn-t-Work
Free Trade Doesn’t Work: Why America Needs a Tariff.  Ian Fletcher (Adjunct Fellow, US Business and Industry Council, San Francisco).  Foreword by Edward Luttwak (author of Turbo-Capitalism, 1999).  Washington: US Business and Industry Council, Jan 2010/327p/$24.95 (Kindle edition, $17.06).  Theories that favor free trade tend to be mathematically neat, mostly because they assume markets are perfectly efficient; thus 93% of US economists in a 2003 survey favor free trade.  But the US trade deficit of $688 billion in 2008—about 5% of GDP—is not healthy.  The US should seek strategic, not unconditional, economic integration with the rest of the world.  “Fairly open trade, most of the time, is justified.  Absolutely free trade, 100% of the time, is an extremist position.”  Chapters discuss the bad arguments for free trade (e.g. it is somehow inevitable, we live in a borderless global economy, etc.), America’s recent rise in income inequality (perhaps 25% is due to freer trade), trade solutions that won’t work (productivity growth, postindustrialism, currency revaluation), critiques of free trade to avoid (low foreign labor standards, race to the bottom), seven key flaws in the false theory of comparative advantage (trade is sustainable, there are no externalities, etc.), the negligible benefits of free trade, America’s neglect of industrial policy, and “the natural strategic tariff” that is “infinitely better than free trade” (it creates the right balance of special-interest pressures and should be in the 25-35% range, rather than something trivial like 2% or prohibitive like 150%).  A possible trigger for the final breakdown of free trade is global warming: “the rationale for imposing tariffs on nations that fail to adequately control pollution is absolutely impeccable.” [Note: A clearly-written and well-argued assault on many conventional assumptions of outdated economists, with a bibliography of some 500 items.]
(GLOBAL ECONOMY * ECONOMY * FREE TRADE QUESTIONED * TARIFF POLICY)

 
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