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A timely, powerful and provocative study of the tensions between democracy and violence in the world's poorest countries, by one of the world's leading development economists.

The world is in a mess. For more than a billion people, everyday life is played out against the backdrop of civil wars, military coups and failing economies. For them, the peaceful democracy taken for granted in the West seems an impossible pipe-dream.

But solutions do exist – it is up to us to achieve them. Award-winning academic Paul Collier’s vision for the future of the developing world is eye-opening, provocative and refreshingly unequivocal.


Very important ideas based on extremely thorough empirical research...put him in the same camp as real heavyweights such as the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz

Misha Glenny, Guardian

Before Barack Obama outlines his policies he should read this searching study of past failure

The Times

Collier knows Africa intimately... It is hard to be unmoved by his anger about the world's blindness to realities, and his passion to do things better

Max Hastings, Sunday Times

With its verve, wit and lateral thinking, this is a book that changes its readers' horizons


It is always a pleasure to discover Paul Collier's latest thoughts...always illuminating and grounded in rigorous social science...it's gripping stuff

Allister Heath, Literary Review

The author challenges a lot of lazy thinking about the trajectory that poor countries should take to improve their lot ... Mr Collier is thinking about these urgent and very difficult issues, something that not many people are willing to tackle head-on

The Economist

Unlike many academics Collier comes up with very concrete proposals and some ingenious solutions.

Richard Beeston, The Times

Collier adopts an upbeat, indeed breezy style

Stephen Howe, Independent

Realpolitik at its best


His recent Book Wars, Guns and Votes, is all the more remarkable in that it is based on impeccable scholarship and statistical analysis but remains highly readable and accessible

Bruno Tertrais, Survival

furthering an understanding of the pragmatics of democracy's failures

Amreeta Mathai, The Oxonian Review

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 3, 2010


    272 pages

    RRP $19.99

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    May 3, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    272 pages

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