Category archives for Development

How new donor countries are reshaping the development aid landscape

Gail Hurley

Development aid is increasingly being provided by middle-income economies. This is a significant change in a shifting global aid landscape A growing number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe (such as Croatia, Serbia, Poland and Romania) and in central Asia (e.g. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan) are now opening formal development aid agencies.  I recently delivered a United Nations Development Programme … Continue reading

6 December 2016 by
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‘Eating power’ and the oligopolisation of the Haitian food economy

As one of the world’s poorest countries, the inequities in Haiti’s local food economy are deeply rooted in its troubled history and its elite-dominated political economy ‘Nothing prepares you for Haiti’. At the closing plenary of the recent Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) Conference, the first time the conference has been held there since the CSA’s inception in 1975, Trinidadian activist … Continue reading

15 September 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

How Tax Inspectors Without Borders are tackling lost tax revenues

Gail Hurley

Developing countries lose billions annually through tax avoidance and evasion. New UN-led initiatives are helping but global action is still required. Tax, not development aid, was the front and centre issue at last year’s UN Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa.  The aim of the event was to thrash out the international community’s plan for funding the new … Continue reading

23 August 2016 by
Categories: Development, SPERI Comment, Tax | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery: Poverty chains and global capitalism

Reorienting value generated within ‘global poverty chains’ is essential to improve the lives of an impoverished world labour force Contemporary global capitalism is characterised by extreme wealth concentration and a rapidly expanding and largely impoverished global labour force. Mainstream institutions such as the World Bank and International Labour Organisation encourage integration into global value chains as a development strategy that, … Continue reading

12 July 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, trade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Steel Crisis: Government, Multinationals and Regional Imbalance

Ewan Gibbs

Concerns about regional economies mean that even in an increasingly financialised and globalised steel sector the government is maintaining stewardship responsibilities Steel, the essential raw material widely understood as the precondition for industrial development, has been thrust into the centre of the debate about the UK’s economic future by the threatened closure of the last major basic mills. Into the … Continue reading

5 May 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, China, Development, Economics, Global crisis, Northern Powerhouse, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: Is the long-predicted crisis in China finally coming?

Matthew Bishop

A gathering storm is visible on the Chinese horizon, yet the country seems better prepared to ride it out than many predict. China has apparently been on the cusp of a crisis for decades. In the 1990s, as industrialisation gathered momentum, neoliberal economists regularly advocated ‘shock therapy’ of the kind undertaken disastrously by Russia as a way of staving it … Continue reading

4 May 2016 by
Categories: China, Development, Economics, Finance, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Property taxes, public services and wealth

Tom Goodfellow

Placing property taxation, redistribution and social justice in an ethical context Two weeks ago I was in Addis Ababa at a conference on taxation and development. Unexciting as this might sound to many, questions of tax strike at the heart of social justice.  Why else do many in Britain and elsewhere get so enraged about the existence of tax havens … Continue reading

24 February 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SPERI spotlight on the UN climate summit V

Martin Craig

From the politics of climate summitry to the political economy of climate-change mitigation Today, the 21st ‘Conference of the Parties’ to the UNFCCC begins in Paris. The climate of international affairs has changed dramatically in recent weeks. Yet the four contributors to this blog series point to troubling continuities. They highlight, in different ways, the ongoing failure of multilateral climate … Continue reading

30 November 2015 by
Categories: Climate change, Development, Economics, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, UN Climate Summit | Tags: | Leave a comment

Why geopolitical arguments in favour of TTIP are also flawed

Honest debate requires justifying rather than just stating claims The PR campaign in favour of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has subtly changed over the past two years. In response to criticism of the figures used to trumpet the economic benefits of TTIP, advocates have started to put more emphasis on the geopolitics at stake. In a recent … Continue reading

7 October 2015 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Europe and the EU, Finance, Global crisis, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, trade | Tags: , | 1 comment

The SDGs on hunger and malnutrition

Ben Richardson

These new goals offer some important changes from the MDG era and provide ‘food for thought’ in the UK So near, yet so far. One of the headline targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve the proportion of undernourished people in the world between 1990 and 2015 was almost met.  The distance travelled in this respect, represented by … Continue reading

6 October 2015 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The flawed utopianism of the SDG process

Graham Harrison

Everything is premised on an unrealistic understanding of the structures and dynamics of the global political economy Thomas Pogge and Mitu Sengupta set the scene for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as ‘that cosmopolis of the future whose foundations are now being shaped’, offering more than a hint of utopian thinking. The foundations to which the authors refer are the … Continue reading

1 October 2015 by
Categories: Development, Global crisis, Global South, Inequality, Political theory, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The 2030 agenda and the SDGs – a course correction?

Much will depend on the capacity and determination of civil society to leverage the necessary political will A rare sense of euphoria permeated the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York this weekend. The multitude of events that have been taking place on First Avenue and beyond had a party atmosphere. And it … Continue reading

30 September 2015 by
Categories: Development, Inequality, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Innovation, research and the UK’s productivity crisis

Richard Jones

Continuing on our current path of stagnating productivity and stagnating innovation isn’t inevitable: it’s a political choice The UK is in the midst of an unprecedented peacetime slowdown in productivity growth.  Labour productivity – the economic output produced per hour worked – has, for many decades, grown steadily at 2.3% a year.  All that changed in 2007, since when it … Continue reading

23 September 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Development, Economics, Environment, Finance, Global crisis, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Wellbeing and happiness

Ian Bache

These two concepts are different: conflating them can undermine the potential for progressive change William Davies’s recent (2015) book, The happiness industry: how the government and big business sold us well-being, provides a warning of the risks associated with the acceleration of interest in the promotion of happiness. It views the happiness agenda as an attempt to solve the problems … Continue reading

10 September 2015 by
Categories: Development, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Austerity rests on a thesis the government doesn’t believe in

Tom Hunt and Craig Berry

Concentration of infrastructure investment in areas with high levels of business activity suggests the government is unconcerned by ‘crowding out’ Remember expansionary fiscal contraction? You don’t hear much about it now, but back in 2010 when George Osborne set out his austerity agenda, the theory underpinning it was that the private sector would expand to fill the gaps caused by … Continue reading

1 September 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Craig Berry, Development, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Transport investment and the North’s development dilemmas

Tom Hunt and Craig Berry

The gap between rhetoric and reality with regard to transport investment in the North of England encapsulates all the problems of Northern economic development In June 2014 George Osborne laid out his ‘Northern Powerhouse’ concept in a speech in Manchester. He set out the four ‘ingredients’ of his vision: By joining our northern cities together – not physically, or into … Continue reading

28 July 2015 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Inequality, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rwanda: an agrarian developmental state?

Graham Harrison

‘Getting the politics right’ in smallholder agriculture is an important first step in Rwanda’s development, but it needs to be sustained for a generation At the heart of the burgeoning literature on Rwanda is the country’s rapid economic growth since the early 2000s, and its accompaniment by a raft of other encouraging development statistics.  GDP per capita has grown from … Continue reading

23 July 2015 by
Categories: Development, Economics, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 comment

Land leasing vs property tax?

Tom Goodfellow

African governments, and their international advisors, need to join up their thinking more effectively when pursuing ‘big urban reform’ Tax is back in fashion in international development circles.  We know that in the history of much of the world developing taxation systems was virtually synonymous with state-building; we believe that taxation enhances accountability and builds the ‘social contract’; and consequently … Continue reading

14 July 2015 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global South, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Sustainable Development Goals for all countries

Gail Hurley

Does this signal a paradigm shift in how we have to conceive of ‘development’? 2015 is a major year for international development – or so we’re told.  I’ve written before about the UN’s bold new development programme, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be agreed in New York in September.  This ambitious new development agenda calls on all governments … Continue reading

30 June 2015 by
Categories: Development, Inequality, Political theory, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Why the North, why now, and what’s new? Part I

Craig Berry

For England’s sake, the time has come for Northern England to find its ‘inner powerhouse’ In the wake of the general election, Englishness as a national identity is being articulated in an increasingly aggressive manner.  When all the dust has settled, we may in future come to see this as the key legacy of the 2015 general election – or … Continue reading

4 June 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Craig Berry, Development, Economics, Inequality, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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