Thursday 25 August 2011
Wednesday 24 August 2011
The 'Africa analyst' Michelle Sieff has recently argued in The African Lions: An Authoritarian Challenge to Development Theory* that democracy is not necessary for development. She identifies three 'African Lions' - Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia - that are not democracies but are achieving good development results. Therefore Development Theory must be overthrown? I think not.
Monday 22 August 2011
Immigration controls by rich countries are mean. They close out the poor and vulnerable who only want the chance to make a better life. They are characterised by arbitrary rules whose effects can be inhumane - breaking up families, locking up children, deporting good people to uncertain futures in godforsaken countries, etc. So the left is quite comfortable blaming conservatives for the whole idea. But in reality, social democrats need immigration controls for their cherished welfare state to function. They're just happy to let the conservatives take the rap.
Tuesday 2 August 2011
The clerisy are the 'intellectual' department of the bourgeoisie. We're the people who went to university and now work in non-manual jobs as corporate or government functionaries, subscribe to the New Yorker (or local equivalent) and read proper books (or at least book reviews). We tend to have intellectual pretensions and liberal political inclinations. We tend also to have strong enlightenment values, in particular a respect for truth and a demand for rationality. Despite, or perhaps because of, our intellectual pride we are continually astonished to discover that the rest of the world doesn't think like us. Consider the tabloid press.