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The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature Paperback – 25 Aug 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141042141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141042145
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. He is a former Director of the Development Research group at the World Bank. His are aof research is the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid; and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural-resource-rich societies. His multi-award-winning book The Bottom Billion was published in 2007.


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Review

A path-breaking book (George Soros)

Paul Collier has written with great insight about the prospects of the bottom billion. In The Plundered Planet, he addresses himself to the complex opportunities, challenges and risks in managing the planet's natural resources. The bottom billion have a huge stake and an important role in the outcomes. Collier helps us see these issues through their eyes (Michael Spence, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics)

Read this book (Sir Nicholas Stern, author of The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change)

Original, important and always thought-provoking. I learned a lot (Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life)

Collier's arguments are compassionate and convincing, and his straightforward explanations of economic principles are leavened with humor and impressively accessible (Publishers Weekly)

Paul Collier must be read if one is to begin to understand the most vital contemporary arguments. (Bob Geldof)

Collier and his team have researched the detail ... If you want to help the world, stem your bleeding heart and tell your broker to switch your funds to Emerging Markets (Africa) (Sunday Telegraph)

About the Author

Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University and a former director of Development Research at the World Bank. In addition to the award-winning The Bottom Billion, he is the author of Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By thejollypilgrim on 4 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Collier is one of the most progressive thinkers in development economics. His earlier book `The Bottom Billion' was an inspired piece of intellectual virtuosity. His follow-up doesn't disappoint.

Putting to use his razor-sharp economics brain, Professor Collier cuts through the sea of romanticized preconceptions and prejudices surrounding development economics. He has no time for self-interested lobbies or the fluffy middle-class love affair with peasant agriculture. The book is written with two basic ethical principles in mind:
1) the world's poorest must be lifted up; and
2) civilisation must be made sustainable.
Almost everyone will find some of their positions exploded (I certainly did).

The first section lays out his ethical principles. The second (long, technical) section deals with the chain of decision-making required for African countries to orchestrate an economic transformation through resource exploitation. The final sections deal with the big-picture environmental issues of the day.

Some key points
- International fishing rights need to be owned, otherwise international fisheries will be destroyed
- All subsidies to the fishing industry should be ended as soon as possible.
- A carbon tax is by far the most economically rational solution to climate change
- The key players who might block such a deal are Russia and the Middle East (i.e.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Morten Lintrup on 24 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very original and very well written book. Incredible how a subject treated so often in writing can be given a whole new angle. The best way to help the poorest countries is most likely not the various popular and ubiquitious types of human development projects but perhaps rather e.g. prospecting aid which - unfortunately - has little public appeal and goes up against vested interests of multinational mining conglomerates.
Importantly, also a simple and convincing description of economic theory dealing with socalled "global commons" such as international fisheries and carbon emissions. Yet also a problem in that category: Why not admit that the same theory applies equally well to child birth and population growth? Not even a passing mention. I suspect the author consider the subject too controversial and rather than writing some gobbledygook he knows is false, he choose to ignore it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ray Holland on 30 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As Paul Collier points out, on the basis of thorough economic analysis, natural resources such as oil, and mineral deposits have the potential to transform the economies of poor countries, provided they are well managed. Poor governance and management mean that most often they are not used for the benefit of future generations, though there are a few positive examples. Professor Collier makes suggestions for how countries can be helped to make better decisions on how the resources are exploited, how greater benefits can be obtained by better deals with exploration companies and what can be done to improve transparency. As he points out, the potential benefits to many countries in Africa far outweigh those from overseas development assistance (ODA), though ODA could provide assistance in improving the governance and management processes.
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