What to Think About While Reading “The Tyranny of Experts”

The Tyranny of Experts

wigflip-ds

  1. Why do development practitioners work with “benevolent” autocrats?
  2. How can the World Bank and other agencies ensure individual rights are incorporated into development plans?
  3. What makes market-driven solutions incompatible with extractive, authoritarian political regimes?
  4. What are some of the “upsides” to brain drain?
  5. What are the perils of our nationalist obsession?

What did you think of The Tyranny of Experts? Share your thoughts below.

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The Tyranny of Experts

The Tyranny of Experts

TOE

This May we are reading The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly. While some governments intentionally exclude their citizens from the political process, development experts can unintentionally do the same thing by creating solutions that exclude the rights of the poor -the people the solutions are supposedly designed to help.

One feature of weak states is little transparency between the government and people. By assisting autocratic regimes in the name of development, experts are an active part of a system that prevents political freedom (and development).

So far The Tyranny of Experts features a similar thought process as Why Nations Fail, arguing for strong and free political institutions.

This book argues that the cause of poverty is the absence of political and economic rights, the absence of a free political and economic system that would find the technical solutions to the poor’s problems. -Page 7

Easterly, a recovering expert, has also written White Man’s Burden which we read last year. He is a professor in the economics department at NYU and a former employee of the World Bank (they are the first target in this book).