When the year comes to an end, it is important to remember the highlights of the past twelve months. As a passionate reader, I chose the five books that caught my attention in 2019.
1. “Does capitalism have a future?”, Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Craig Calhoun, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian
In this important collective work, five major intellectuals draw up a panorama of the state of the world and debate their analysis and the answers to be given to think about our time. It is a very relevant analysis of the often-neglected major trends that illustrate the limits of the expansion of the capitalist “world system”.
2. “Beating the Odds: Jump-Starting Developing Countries”, Celestin Monga and Justin Yifu Lin
After the failures of the Washington consensus policies, an illustration of how rapid economic growth processes can happen in countries where there is a lack of essential preconditions like good infrastructure and institutions.
3. “The End of power” Moises Naim
How the decay of power is changing the world and bringing « our heightened vulnerability to bad ideas and bad leaders ». In this fascinating book, the author makes the more provocative claim that power is, in fact, declining. He focuses on the flagging ability of large organizations—government ministries, corporations, militaries, churches, educational and philanthropic foundations—to get their way.
4. « L’homme inutile (du bon usage de l’économie) », Pierre-Noel Giraud
Or how to make good use of the economy by dismantling the mechanisms of uselessness, which is “the worst form of inequality” because there are more and more unemployed men reduced to uselessness to themselves and to others”. By questioning the economy, globalization and public policies, the professor of economics proposes a reflection on the growing income gap within a country and the solutions to solve the problem of uselessness that excludes the unemployed, the precarious or poorly housed. The author suggests measuring the effectiveness of public policies in the fight against uselessness.
Produced by the OECD Sahel and West Africa Club, Africapolis.org is the only comprehensive and standardised geospatial database on cities and urbanisation dynamics in Africa. It is designed to enable comparative and long-term analyses of urban dynamics – covering 7 500 agglomerations in 50 countries. The Africapolis data are based on an extensive repertoire of housing and population censuses, electoral registers and other official population sources, some of which date back to the early twentieth century. The regularity, level of detail and reliability of these sources vary from country to country and from period to period.