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    Winning the Peace: An American Strategy for Post-Conflict Reconstruction (CSIS Significant Issues, No. 26) (Csis Significant Issues Series)
    by Robert C. Orr
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    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
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    State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century
    by Francis Fukuyama
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    When States Fail: Causes and Consequences
    Princeton University Press
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    Building States to Build Peace
    Lynne Rienner Publishers
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    Making States Work: State Failure And The Crisis Of Governance
    United Nations University Press
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Entries in Obama (3)

Monday
Oct112010

Development and Dependence

One more nugget from Obama's UN Speech the other week:

 

"Our focus on assistance has saved lives in the short term, but it hasn't always improved those societies over the long-term.  Consider the millions of people who have relied on food assistance for decades. That's not development, that's dependence, and it's a cycle we need to break. Instead of just managing poverty, we have to offer nations and peoples a path out of poverty."

 

I appreciate the clarification of terms.  Perhaps we can stop using "nation-building" too.

 

Tuesday
Oct052010

Obama's Speech to the U.N. on U.S. Global Development Policy (Or, "It's the economy, stupid")

Here's President Obama's speech on America's new "Global Development Policy," given at last week's summit on the UN Millenium Development Goals:

 

 

Some quotes [emphasis mine]:

 

"I suspect that some in wealthier countries may ask-with our economies struggling, so many people out of work, and so many families barely getting by, why a summit on development? The answer is simple. In our global economy, progress in even the poorest countries can advance the prosperity and security of people far beyond their borders, including my fellow Americans."

 

"My national security strategy recognizes development as not only a moral imperative, but a strategic and economic imperative."

 

"For too long, we've measured our efforts by the dollars we spent and the food and medicines we delivered. But aid alone is not development. Development is helping nations to actually develop-moving from poverty to prosperity. And we need more than just aid to unleash that change. We need to harness all the tools at our disposal-from our diplomacy to our trade and investment policies."

 

"To unleash transformational change, we're putting a new emphasis on the most powerful force the world has ever known for eradicating poverty and creating opportunity. It's the force that turned South Korea from a recipient of aid to a donor of aid. It's the force that has raised living standards from Brazil to India. And it's the force that has allowed emerging African countries like Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique to defy the odds and make real progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, even as some of their neighbors-like Cote d'Ivoire-have lagged behind.  The force I'm speaking of is broad-based economic growth. Now, every nation will pursue its own path to prosperity. But decades of experience tell us that there are certain ingredients upon which sustainable growth and lasting development depends."

 

Full text here.  If you don't understand the title of the post, see here.

 

Monday
Oct042010

Obama's Development Policy

President Obama spoke last week at the opening of the United Nation's Summit on the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), and in his speech laid out his Administration's new Global Development Policy.

 

The best analysis I've seen so far is that of Connie Veillette who is with the Center for Global Development in New York.  She writes about the good, the bad, and "the uncertain."

 

The good, she says, is that now we have a plan in place, "one that sets objectives, clarifies approaches, and is results-oriented."  The bad, of course, is we "will seemingly continue to rely on a gaggle . . .  of government agencies to do development work," which as Rebecca Williams at the Budget Insight blog notes, involves "12 departments, 25 agencies and nearly 60 government offices."

 

And the uncertain?  Well that has to do with how the Obama Administration's new policy will be operationalized in addition to unresolved issues related to the role (or lack thereof) of USAID.

 

You can find the whole post here, along with some useful additional commentary by Nancy Birdsall, the founding president of the Center for Global Development, and a major player with a lot of influence in development circles.