12 March 2009

Lecture: Machiavelli and Third World Poverty

I found this lecture entitled "Machiavelli and Third World Poverty," given by Professor James Manor of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in Brighton, particularly interesting. (For any Yalies out there, Professor Manor is a Yale alum.)

Discussions on "development" and Third World poverty issues often focus on technocratic or sociological solutions, and not on political forces. Professor Manor, however, takes an unusual and potentially useful approach to this topic by focusing on political actors "at the very apex of power," whom he says exert a far greater influence on the success or failure of anti-poverty programs.

Along with two collaborators from Brazil and Kenya, Professor Manor studied the anti-poverty initiatives of former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (or FHC, to any Brazilians out there), current President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, and Chief Minister of the Indian State Madhya Pradesh, Digvijay Singh. Their results are thought-provoking, and the talk is well-delivered.

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