Around the world, the realities of underdevelopment are harsh and galling, and current strategies are not working well enough or quickly enough. One reason, Robert Klitgaard argues in this pathbreaking book, is that the strategies don’t take cultural diversity into account. Gently but firmly, he shows how and why anthropology and cultural studies have not been effectively applied. But it need not be so.
The Culture and Development Manifesto shows how to mobilize knowledge from and for the disadvantaged, the indigenous, and the voiceless. Looking beyond interactions between cultural contexts and particular projects, Klitgaard seeks new ways to think about goals, new kinds of alternatives, new and perhaps métisse ways to implement or resist, and, as a result, new kinds of politics. In short, this remarkable book fundamentally re-envisions what development policy can be.
"The Culture and Development Manifesto seeks to open a path between two disciplines that often seem hermetically sealed, cultural anthropology and development economics. It will be of immense use to any practitioner working at this highly fraught boundary.”
—Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University
“In this highly engaging book, Klitgaard not only brings economics and culture into dialog with each other, he goes beyond ‘culture matters’ to demonstrate what ‘taking culture into account’ may mean in practice. This is a book that only Klitgaard, with his sharp multidisciplinary lens, wealth of on-the-ground experience, and remarkable penmanship, could have pulled off.”
—Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School
“As anthropologists and management consultants know, sometimes it takes an outsider to show the value of an idea. In this provocative and thoughtful book, Klitgaard shows that it may take an outsider (an economist, no less) to show how the study of culture holds practical lessons for human development. Rather than seeing ‘culture’ as an obstacle to development and wellbeing, he shows how both creativity and collaboration emerge from bringing together on equal footing different, even competing, beliefs and ways of looking at the world. Connecting the dots between theory and policy, he offers a practical and useful ‘convening framework’ to operationalize this model. Policy makers as well as scholars and practitioners of development should read this book and work to implement its conclusions.”
—Edward F. Fischer, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, Vanderbilt University
Selected as one of the six best nonfiction books of 1990 by the editors of the New York Times Book Review.
“Has the twists and surprises of fiction. But it is not made up. A reader learns much from it about why our approaches to the Third World are often mischievous failures. In the end it even leads one to question the wisdom of the whole process we call development.” —New York Times’ Books of the Century.
2013. If Tropical Gangsters is like a non-fiction novel, Tropical Gangsters II is like a set of non-fiction short stories. Stories about corrupt states and cynical cultures, but also about idealism and practical choices.
“A must read for anyone who is concerned about the problems of endemic poverty and understanding the forces that inhibit effective change.” —Timothy Besley, London School of Economics
1988. "Reading this book convinced me we can actually do something about corruption." —Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International.
“A most worthwhile book, both for its insights into anticorruption policies and for the academic debate about more general questions that it will certainly create.” —American Political Science Review
2000. Tackling corruption can be a leverage point for creating inclusive, just, and efficient local governments.
“This small gem of a book...is an exemplar of the transfer of economic principles into the practice of public management.” —Journal of Economic Literature
2015. How can providers and recipients of development assistance work together to tackle corruption? For an outsider’s take on the book, see Daniel Little, “Corruption and Institutional Design,” Understanding Society, 2017. https://undsoc.org/2017/11/
2005. “This sometimes sprawling but hugely insightful work is the first significant public management book about performance in the new century. It rivals John Roberts’ The Modern Firm currently regarded by many (this reviewer included) as the best business book thus far on performance in the 21st century.” —The Public Manager
1991. A study of policies to make markets work better, make governments work better, and close the economic gaps among ethnic groups. “Lively and highly readable…goes beyond the abstractions of academia and the slogans of the World Bank to present a step-by-step guide to identifying problems and implementing the recommended policies." —Journal of Economic Literature
1986. “This groundbreaking book…should be required reading for social scientists, both in universities and outside them, who are seriously interested in the important roles and impacts of education in developing countries.” —The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences
1985. Listed in The Harvard Guide to Influential Books. “One of the most comprehensive theoretical and empirical examinations ever undertaken on choosing an elite… Klitgaard’s illuminating tour de force leads the reader to understand the leading philosophies of elite selection, and he does so in the clearest and most thorough exposition yet composed on this subject”—The American Scholar
1986. "Gives a lively discussion of exploratory data analysis using real problems. It should help both students and professional policy analysts." —Frederick Mosteller, Harvard University and President of the American Statistical Association.
"Stunningly good" —Richard J. Light, Harvard University
How the World Bank (and others) can convene people to fight corruption https://vimeo.com/67327792
1, What is the problem with corruption? https://youtu.be/lvusfHVqDu4 Prague, Czech Republic, 2011.
2. Bridging the Accountability Gap. https://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/multimedia/video/bridging-accountability-gap beginning 36:30 – 44:00. Oxford University, 2017.
https://youtu.be/8l1WY5PxPe0 The paradigm of policy analysis needs changing to something more fluid and involving, yet equally rigorous and data-driven. Here’s a vision of Policy Analysis 2.0, with guidelines and examples. The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, 2018
https://youtu.be/H1syP1httBg In topics from police reform to dealing with epidemics, collaboration across the public-private-nonprofit divides is crucial. And yet, professional schools have tended to ignore the design, leadership, and management of public-private-nonprofit collaboration. Here’s how to do better, with examples. The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, 2014
“Who’s Corrupt?” The Australian James Boyce’s book on original sin shows how this doctrine has been interpreted as meaning that everyone is corrupt. If so, what can be done? To be helpful instead of sanctimonious, anti-corruption fighters should make four points with their partners. First, we have a problem (and here are the data). Second, fighting corruption can be done (here is a framework). Third, here’s how (with a success story from elsewhere). Fourth, ask this: “How can I help you?” 2019.
https://youtu.be/6a4SsxsLmog Beyond codes of conduct lie institutional reforms that build both performance and integrity. Here is a framework, with an inspiring success story. Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, 2017.
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