Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Cape Town at morning rush hour

Anarchy Undelivered

Twenty-five years ago, travel writer and journalist Robert Kaplan wrote an article for The Atlantic, headlined “The Coming Anarchy.” It was an apocalyptic account of Kaplan’s visit to West Africa and his dark vision that much of the world would end up looking like war-torn Sierra Leone. Kaplan suggested recently that he thought “The Coming Anarchy” had stood the test of time. I disagree, and think the fact that Kaplan was wrong matters: global jeremiads are a force for isolationism. I discussed why with The Atlantic’s Matthew Peterson on a new podcast.  

 

Give Us the Courage to Change the Things We Can

Rory Stewart MP gave a wise speech about how Britain can play a role in global peace and stability. In my brief response to the Minister, I suggested twelve policies which are within our control which would help create conditions for stronger, more peaceful, more prosperous countries to thrive, and so reduce the risks of future conflict and instability. Here they are.

Forget the Fish, Forget the Fishing Rod. Give a Man Some Capital – Podcast with Chris Blattman

Give a man a fish, the old adage runs, and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat forever. Professor Chris Blattman doesn’t think we should do either. “We’re saying don’t give a man a fish. Don’t teach a man to fish. Give them the capital to decide, first of all, whether they want to be a fisherman or something else. And if they want to be a fisherman, they can use that capital to decide, do they need a rod, do they need someone to teach them how to fish.”

Linking Women and Foreign Policy – Podcast with Valerie Hudson

For a long time, foreign policy was largely "a world minus women," says Valerie Hudson, Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. That's beginning to change, as policymakers increasingly recognize gender as a critical factor in the success or failure of programs. What's missing, says Hudson, is hard data. That's where WomanStats comes in.

What Cash Payments Can’t Do: Lessons from #BringBackOurGirls

I have had the privilege of living and working in West Africa for the past 15 years. In 2007, I spent several months in northern Nigeria, interviewing grain traders in cross-border markets. These markets were some of my favorite places in West Africa—bustling, chaotic, open-air markets that brought together hundreds of farmers, traders and consumers, all from different villages and cultures, to exchange, talk and trade. I enjoyed walking through those markets, observing, negotiating and asking questions.

Aid to Pakistan by the Numbers

Tomorrow (September 10th), my colleague Nancy Birdsall and I will attend an event about “Pakistan Elections and Regional Stability: How Foreign Assistance Can Help”.  There are two keynote speakers and Nancy will be speaking on the panel, which should generate a great discussion about Pakistan’s recent civilian election, US interests in the country, and the significant flows of foreign assistance the US government has authorized for economic and military assistance.    We hope it sparks renewed interest in formalizing a strategic dialogue on development, a focused discussion about how the United States and Pakistan can best work together to address Pakistan’s daunting development challenges.

More Money, More Problems for US Development in Pakistan – Milan Vaishnav and Danny Cutherell

Despite an unprecedented increase in US civilian assistance to Pakistan, more money has led to more problems in achieving long-term development goals in the fractious and fragile state.  My guests on this week’s Wonkcast are Milan Vaishnav and Danny Cutherell, co-authors of a recent report written jointly with CGD president Nancy Birdsall. The new report--More Money, More Problems: A 2012 Assessment of the US Approach to Development in Pakistan--assigns letter grades to US government efforts in ten areas and provides recommendations for more effectiveengagement in Pakistan.

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