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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Oops: Economists in Confused Search for the Middle Class in the Developing World

This is a joint post with Christian Meyer.

With rapid growth in emerging market economies in the last decade, millions of people have entered the new global middle class. That has created new consumer markets in Latin America, Africa, and Asia – a good example: Dunkin’ Donuts going to India – and sparked considerable interest in the global financial and corporate communities.

Was the Charles Taylor Trial Worth the Price Tag?

This is a joint-post with Alaina Varvaloucas. Varvaloucas is a student at Yale Law School and formerly worked for Oxford University’s Centre for the Study of African Economies, based in Freetown.

Yesterday, after 9 years and nearly $250 million dollars spent, the Special Court for Sierra Leone in the Hague sentenced former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison after convicting him on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Taylor's trial has been an important milestone in the struggle to end impunity for tyrants and mass murderers. But the international community's guilt-ridden obsession with pursuing the Charles Taylors of the world is skewing the allocation of resources in war-torn countries toward celebrity trials and away from poor people with limited access to justice.