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Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places par [Collier, Paul]
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Description du produit

Revue de presse

"Very important ideas based on extremely thorough empirical research...put him in the same camp as real heavyweights such as the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz" (Misha Glenny Guardian)

"Collier comes up with very concrete proposals and some ingenious solutions" (The Times)

"Collier knows Africa intimately... It is hard to be unmoved by his anger about the world's blindness to realities, and his passion to do things better" (Max Hastings Sunday Times)

"With its verve, wit and lateral thinking, this is a book that changes its readers' horizons" (Observer)

"It is always a pleasure to discover Paul Collier's latest thoughts...always illuminating and grounded in rigorous social's gripping stuff" (Allister Heath Literary Review)

Présentation de l'éditeur

“Collier has made a substantial contribution to current discussions. His evidence-based approach is a worthwhile corrective to the assumptions about democracy that too often tend to dominate when Western policy makers talk about the bottom billion.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Before President Obama makes a move he would do well to read Professor Paul Collier’s Wars, Guns, and Votes. . . Unlike many academics Collier comes up with very concrete proposals and some ingenious solutions.” — The Times (London)

In Wars, Guns, and Votes, esteemed author Paul Collier offers a groundbreaking, radical look at the world’s most violent, corrupt societies, how they got that way, and what can be done to break the cycle. George Soros calls Paul Collier “one of the most original minds in the world today,” and Wars, Guns, and Votes, like Collier’s previous award-winning book The Bottom Billion, is essential reading for anyone interested in current events, war, poverty, economics, or international business.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 730 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 276 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0061479632
  • Editeur : HarperCollins e-books; Édition : Reprint (23 janvier 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001QIH012
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.3 étoiles sur 5 18 commentaires
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Security and Accountability 4 novembre 2009
Par Charles A. Wagoner - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote comparing Collier's book with one by Fareed Zakaria ('The Future of Freedom'):

Collier's main argument in his book is that a successful transition to democracy requires the supply of two basic public goods--security and accountability--and that such should be supplied internationally since most developing countries lack adequate internal checks and balances and security mechanisms that guarantee the provision of both. Furthermore, security and accountability can mitigate the three factors listed above that undermine democracy: lack of economic growth, large ethnic diversity, and the abundance of natural resources as a hindrance to accountability.

Now for the first public good, security. When a Third World dictator announces that he wants to transition his country to democracy, the usual carrot used by the international community is that of aid. However, as Collier demonstrates, the increase in aid often increases violence as aid money leaks into funding armies, and the embezzlement of aid along ethnic lines foments jealousy and conflict. (Collier 2009, 121-123) Rather, he asserts that a more effective carrot is a security guarantee, specifically against coups, on the basis of clean elections. "Key members of the international community [should] make a common commitment that should a government that has committed itself to some international standard of elections be ousted by a coup d'état, they would ensure that the government was reinstated, by military means if necessary." (Collier 2009, 204) The main objection to this idea, especially by non-interventionists, is that security guarantees obligate countries to go to war when it is not clearly in its interest to do so--no "clear and present danger," as it were. However, the likelihood of costly intervention decreases if security guarantees are credible, and could also be potentially less costly than the usual carrot of financial assistance. This works in two ways. First, a rebel movement would be less likely to undertake a coup if the regime is protected by a more powerful patron state. Further, the opposition, knowing that such protection rests on the regime's adherence to election standards, would be more likely to choose running for office over a coup, knowing that it lacks the resources to fight a more advanced foreign military and that there is always the chance that it might even win the election. Violence, then, appears less savory. Second, if the regime commits itself to hold an election and transfer power to whoever wins, but in the end does not honor the election results, then the patron states are under no contractual obligation to come to the rescue of the regime in the subsequent event of a coup. Given that sham elections tend to foment coups, it is in the interest of the regime to honor the election and transfer power rather than be left alone to deal with a potentially violent opposition. Thus, democracy becomes more savory than autocracy.

The second public good, accountability, in order to work effectively must also be provided by the international community during the interim in which the budding democracy develops economically. One of the problems with accountability in poor countries is that the bureaucracy is often so tightly controlled by an elite group, usually along ethnic lines as is the case for much of Africa. The minister of finance or the director of the central bank, for example, may have been appointed by the president by virtue of family relation or tribal affiliation. This often results in long-term monetary policy taking a back seat to embezzlement through various forms of patronage; or to put it another, their policies take on the form of "spend it while you got it," for it is never certain how long the regime will continue to have exclusive access to the public purse. According to Collier, if a country chooses to accept foreign aid, it should be willing to separate the creation of policy from the allocation of resources to ensure proper oversight and mitigate embezzlement. "The ministry should be responsible only for overall policy. Indeed, only once policy is separated from the spending of money is the ministry likely to give policy serious consideration: at present attention is often driven by the scope for kickbacks." (Collier 2009, 216-217) Once policymaking is given adequate attention by the heads of ministries, aid donors can help governments put proper systems of accountancy and allocation into place through technical assistance, or the supply of skilled people. This serves as a reversal of the historical trend whereby aid agencies like the World Bank and the IMF set policies for a struggling country and bind the flow of money into that country to their adherence to such policies. Rather, it gives the policymakers breathing room to be creative and design the policies themselves, while the donors ensure that aid does not leak into patronage. If the policymakers have no oversight over the allocation of funds, the lack of temptation to cheat the system and embezzle money gives way to a distribution of funds not subject to ethnic identity. This in turn removes many potential obstacles to forming common national identity since policymakers are now beholden not just to the interests of their own ethnic group but to an entire nation of constituents. Nor are they under the thumb of the IMF or the World Bank in setting policy for them, but they do get to enjoy the benefits of outside expertise in economics and finance that they may lack domestically.

For the full article, go here:
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An insightful and provocative analysis of Third World elections 27 avril 2010
Par Graham - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
It seems natural that introducing democracy should be a key step along the way to better governance and more prosperity in the Third World. But is this true in practice?

Collier is a Professor of Economics at Oxford who has performed detailed statistical analysis on the practical consequences of elections. He asserts that introducing elections in poor nations tends to leads to increased political violence and misgovernance. The opposite is true for wealthier countries: there democracy tends to lead to more responsive and honest governance. This difference in outcomes is rather dismal news for the Third World, but as Collier carefully points out, we need to understand what is actually happening, which may be very different from what we would like.

His analysis is that when a poor autocratic government decides to hold elections it is heavily motivated to win them. In countries without adequate checks and balances, elections tend to be winner-takes-all affairs, with few constraints on the victors. The autocratic incumbents reluctantly realize they are not popular and will need to "adjust" the electoral balance. To do so, they resort to a variety of techniques, including various forms of bribery, electoral fraud, coercion, elimination of opponents (by dubious legal trickery, or worse) and last but not least, by playing the ethnic identity card to rally the majority ethnicity against its "enemies".

Unfortunately the net effect of these maneuvers is to make a bad situation worse. The regime retains power, but their tactics reinforce popular skepticism and distrust, and increase internal tensions.

After a civil war, the international community typically insists on post-conflict elections to put the seal on the new settlement. Unfortunately such elections suffer from all the issues above and risk inflaming the situation. Typically the situation improves ahead of the elections, as they provide a temporary focus for orderly conflict, but the elections themselves tend to reflect the same issues that drove the civil war. So the losers do not accept the legitimacy of the winners.

Collier reports that a variety of factors influence the likelihood of political violence. Bad elections are one. But so is poverty and small country size. (Smaller countries have more trouble meeting security goals.) Unfortunately a prior civil war makes a subsequent one more likely. Similarly with coups.

Collier observes that one of the key vehicles for introducing true democracy seems to be increased prosperity. As countries become wealthier they seem to accept more of the package of legal norms that allows for more honest elections and eventually for regime change. Collier also argues that investing in building a strong sense of national identity (as Nyerere did successfully in Tanzania) can help diminish regional and ethnic tensions.

However Collier's core analysis is extremely disheartening for the poorest countries. In an effort to end on a positive note, Collier suggest three solutions. Unfortunately all three seem rather speculative. First, he proposes international guarantees to defend governments against coups in countries which hold fair elections. He argues that coups are an even greater threat to most Third World Presidents than elections. I'm sorry, but I can't see a corrupt regime accepting imminent electoral defeat in order to obtain such a future guarantee. Collier also proposes an elaborate scheme for managing government spending, to avoid corruption and redirection. Finally he proposes a complex scheme for collective security. Perhaps all three should be tried, but they seem optimistic at best.

Overall, while I found Collier solutions very weak, his statistical crunching and subsequent analysis are extremely useful and provocative. Collier writes well in a very lucid style, and leavens his bad news with occasional rueful wit. We may not like his conclusions, but they are useful to understand, and strongly suggest that the West needs to be much more thoughtful about how and when to force elections on a recalcitrant regime.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Need to read! 18 octobre 2013
Par stijn van der krogt - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Fantastic insight in why the poorest countries have difficulties to get into an accelerated development path. Backed up by solid research and written with humor. Maybe a bit too optimistic about the effectiveness of Western intervention mechanisms. A must for policy makers and advisors on development issues.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Guns, Wars, and Votes: Thought-provoking 14 septembre 2010
Par Vi from Colorado - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I found Guns, Wars, and Votes to be very thought-provoking. As I child I remember the frequency with which the news media joyfully announced a new country being birthed in Africa. As an adult I shake my head in sorrow to see what these countries have become. This author explains why these countries never mature into democracies and offers some ideas how the rest of the world can help these countries grow up.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Denis Benchimol Minev - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
For those who have been trying to educate themselves on certain international affairs such as politics of poor countries and arms trading this book attempts to explain it. Collier certainly has his opinion about democracy and why it is failing. He argues that the wrong aspects of this system are being promoted. This has led to a lot of corruption in voting systems and the illicit trade of arms around the world.

Unlike other books on the subject, Wars, Guns, and Votes was written in a uniform manner. It is very directed at those who have a certain opinion about these topics. It is written with a wry British humor and sarcasm that comes through.

Reading this book is similar to listening to your uncle who has a strong opinion about some topic. It is difficult to stop listening to him tell the supporting stories behind his opinion, but the whole time you want to go double check the things he is telling you because you're not sure if they are factual. The same is true with this book. Collier certainly tells his side of the story, but readers may find themselves never quite sure if they could take away the factoids they found within.
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