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About the book
  • Published: 3 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099523512
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

Wars, Guns and Votes

Democracy in Dangerous Places

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.

  • Pub date: 3 May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099523512
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Paul Collier

Paul Collier is a professor of economics at Oxford University. The author of Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places and The Bottom Billion, which won the 2008 Lionel Gelber Prize for the world's best book on international affairs, he has lectured widely on the subjects of economics and international relations.

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Praise for Wars, Guns and Votes

“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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