13 July 2009

White Man's Burden ~ Easterly's Alternative View

Reading the back'n'forth around MDGs, international aid, and Africa introduced me to Professor William Easterly's book White Man's Burden about the patronizing, insulting mindset of those with a self-imposed Western moralistic duty to "help" the poor in developing countries. See here Al Jazeera's Riz Khan interviewing Easterly... FYI, Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University, joint with Africa House, and Co-Director of NYU’s Development Research Institute. I'm a bit non-plussed that he's so dour. He talks about being concrete, but seems to poo-poo having bold goals and ambitions. On the other hand, I certainly resonate with his antipathy to "top-down" solutions since "bottom-up" action is needed to actually get things done. (Btw, for completeness, here Riz Khan interviews Jeffrey Sachs.)

No comments: