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In this elegant and impassioned synthesis from one of the world's leading experts on Africa and poverty, ecomist Paul Collier writes persuasively that although nearly five billion of the world's people are beginning to climb from desperate poverty and to benefit from globalization's reach to developing countries, there is a bottom billion of the world's poor whose countries, largely immune to the forces of global ecomy, are falling farther behind and are in danger of falling apart, separating permanently and tragically from the rest of the world. Collier identifies and explains the four traps that prevent the homelands of the world's billion poorest people from growing and receiving the benefits of globalization - civil war, the discovery and export of natural resources in otherwise unstable ecomies, being landlocked and therefore unable to participate in the global ecomy without great cost, and finally, ineffective governance. As he demonstrates that these billion people are quite likely in danger of being irretrievably left behind, Collier argues that we cant take a headless heart approach to these seemingly intractable problems; rather, that we must harness our despair and our moral outrage at these inequities to a reasoned and thorough understanding of the complex and interconnected problems that the world's poorest people face.
Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. Former Director of the Development Research group at the World Bank, he is one of the world's leading experts on African economies. Author of several books including Breaking the Conflict Trap, Collier has served as the senior adviser to Blair's Commission on Africa and his research has been featured in The Economist, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
Joint winner for Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize 2009.