Professor Paul Collier
Max Corden Lecture 2008
Professor Paul Collier, CBE, is the Director of the Centre for Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. From 1998-2003 he was the Director of the Development Research Group of the World Bank.
Professor Collier is a specialist in the political, economical and developmental predicaments of poor countries. He holds a Distinction Award from Oxford University, and in 1988 was awarded the Edgar Graham Book Prize for the co-written Labour and Poverty in Rural Tanzania: Ujamaa and Rural Development in the United Republic of Tanzania. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.
In "The Bottom Billion", Paul Collier contends that the major problem today for alleviating global poverty is to how to improve living standards in a group of about 50 failing nations. Collier analyzes the causes of failure in these nations, pointing to a set of traps including civil war, a dependence on the extraction and export of natural resources, and bad governance. Standard solutions do not work against these traps, he argues; aid is often ineffective, and globalization can actually make matters worse, driving development to more stable nations. What the Bottom Billion need, Collier argues, is a bold new plan supported by the Group of Eight industrialized nations. Preferential trade policies, new laws against corruption, and new international charters, are some of the measures that will be required.
The Bottom Billion has won the world’s most important award for non-fiction, the Lionel Gelber Prize, and the Arthur Ross Award for the most significant book on international affairs.