Left Behind

Left Behind

A New Economics for Neglected Places

Summary

The world-renowned economist offers a ground-breaking new vision for inclusive prosperity


Left behind places can be found in prosperous countries—from South Yorkshire, integral to the industrial revolution and now England’s poorest county, to Barranquilla, once Colombia’s portal to the Caribbean and now struggling. More alarmingly, the poorest countries in the world are diverging further from the rest of humanity than they were at the start of this century. Why have these places fallen behind? And what can we do about it?

World-renowned development economist Paul Collier has spent his life working in neglected communities. In this book he offers his candid diagnosis of why some regions and countries are failing, and a new vision for how they can catch up. Collier lays the blame for widening inequality on stale economic orthodoxies that prioritize market forces to revive left behind regions, and on the arrogant, hands-off and one-size fits all approach of centralized bureaucracies like the UK Treasury. As a result, Collier argues, the UK has become the most unequal and unfair society in the western world.


Yet the core message of Left Behind is hopeful: bringing together encouraging case studies of recovery from around the world, Collier shows how renewal is achievable through a combination of collective learning, moral leadership and local agency. With keen insight, he draws lessons from such seemingly disparate fields as behavioural psychology, evolutionary biology and moral philosophy to share a bold, galvanizing vision for a more inclusive, prosperous world.

Reviews

  • Left Behind is full of good ideasstimulating, a call to heal the divisions in our societies by bringing justice to the left behind. It should be essential reading for the new Labour Cabinet
    Jason Cowley, The Sunday Times

About the author

Paul Collier

Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government. He is the author of The Future of Capitalism (Handesblatt Prize) and The Bottom Billion (Arthur Ross Prize) both widely translated. He works with governments and communities around the world. A communitarian, he was awarded the Adam Smith Prize by Glasgow’s Philosophical Society (2023) and the Global Citizenship Award by Belgium’s cooperative movement (2018).
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