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CID Archive: Events Archive: Past Seminar Series
 

CID Book Series (2000-2002)

CID Events Page
CID Seminar Series

Past Events and Conferences

 

  September 18, 2000 Amartya SenDevelopment As Freedom will appeal to all those interested in the fate of the developing world; professional and academic economists; policy-makers and advisers and political scientists; philosophers.

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is the most respected and well-known economist of his time. This book is a synthesis of his thought, viewing economic development as a means to extending freedoms rather than an end in itself. By widening his outlook to include poverty, tyranny, lack of opportunity, individual rights, and political structures, Professor Sen gives a stimulating and enlightening overview of the development process. His compassionate yet rigorous analysis will appeal to all those interested in the fate of the developing world, from general reader to specialist.

12:00 – 2:00 PM, Malkin Penthouse, Littauer, KSG

Amartya Sen, Center for Population & Development Studies, Harvard University
Master, Trinity College, Cambridge

A website about Dr. Sen.

Read interview with Professor Sen at Atlantic Unbound.

Purchase
this book from Publisher Knopf

October 4, 2000 Can Africa Claim the 21st Century?

is a product of the growing collaboration among some of the main institutions involved in African development: the African Development Bank, African Economic Research Consortium, Global Coalition for Africa, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and World Bank. More than 50 scholars, policymakers, and development practitioners - predominantly African - appraised the region's development at the start of the new century and articulated a road map for the future.

Despite the enormous challenges facing a region caught in deep poverty, the message of the report is eminently optimistic. Development in Africa is possible - and the 21st century offers the region a chance to take its proper place on the world stage. Never before have the momentum and goodwill for change been better. But the report provides a broad business plan that countries can adapt - while also arguing for better, more effective partnerships between Africa and its development partners.

12:00 – 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, One Eliot Street, 4th Floor.

October 18, 2000 Stephen J. Gould:  Rocks of Ages : Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life; Library of Contemporary Thought

12:00 – 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, One Eliot Street, 4th Floor.

Revered and eminently readable essayist Stephen Jay Gould has once again rendered the complex simple, this time mending the seeming split between the two "Rocks of Ages," science and religion. He quickly, and rightfully, admits that his thesis is not new, but one broadly accepted by many scientists and theologians. Gould begins by suggesting that Darwin has been misconstrued--that while some religious thinkers have used divinity to prove the impossibility of evolution, Darwin would have never done the reverse.

 --Paul Hughes

Read a review of Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of life at Amazon.

Read a short biography of Professor Gould and listen to a Real Audio interview with the Author at "Ann-online".

Purchase this book from publisher Random House

November 20, 2000 Laurie Garrett: Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health

12:00 – 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, One Eliot Street, 4th Floor.

With her sharp and expert reporting, Newsday science writer Laurie Garrett time and again reveals the impending health crisis we cannot afford to ignore. In her best-selling book The Coming Plague, Garrett analyzed and predicted the resurgence of several communicable diseases - including the Ebola virus. Ebola broke out just around the book's publication, and Garrett's further reporting earned her a Pulitzer Prize. Now Garrett again offers a timely wake-up call regarding what she believes will be a truly devastating health crisis.

In Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, Garrett brings the reader into countries around the world - revealing how numerous health catastrophes are occurring simultaneously and creating a global health disaster. She first travels to India, where she examines the country's devastating pneumonic plague. She then brings us to Zaire, where the conditions that spawned the 1995 Ebola epidemic have only worsened, and then to Russia, which is experiencing terrible setbacks in the life expectancies and livelihoods of their populace. Finally, she brings the reader back to the United States, at which point the inadequate state of our food, water, hospital and community health safety becomes frighteningly clear.

Read interview with Ms. Garrett at Salon.com

December 4, 2000 Ronald Dworkin: Sovereign Virtue : The Theory and Practice of Equality

Equality is the endangered species of political ideals. Even left-of-center politicians reject equality as an ideal: government must combat poverty, they say, but need not strive that its citizens be equal in any dimension. In his new book Ronald Dworkin insists, to the contrary, that equality is the indispensable virtue of democratic sovereignty. A legitimate government must treat all its citizens as equals, that is, with equal respect and concern, and, since the economic distribution that any society achieves is mainly the consequence of its system of law and policy, that requirement imposes serious egalitarian constraints on that distribution. What distribution of a nation's wealth is demanded by equal concern for all? Dworkin draws upon two fundamental humanist principles--first, it is of equal objective importance that all human lives flourish, and second, each person is responsible for defining and achieving the flourishing of his own life-to ground his well-known thesis that true equality means equality in the value of the resources that each person commands, not in the success he or she achieves. Equality, freedom, and individual responsibility are therefore not in conflict, but flow from and into one another as facets of the same humanist conception of life and politics. Since no abstract political theory can be understood except in the context of actual and complex political issues, Dworkin develops his thesis by applying it to heated contemporary controversies about the distribution of health care, unemployment benefits, campaign finance reform, affirmative action, assisted suicide, and genetic engineering.

Visit the book's website at Harvard University Press

See Professor Dworkin's CV at NYU School of Law

Read reviews of Sovereign Virtue at Amazon

12:00 – 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, One Eliot Street, 4th Floor.

December 12, 2000 Vernon Ruttan: Technology, Growth, and Development An Induced Innovation Perspective

The focus of the discussion will be:

The Public Sector in Technology Development: Generalizations from General Purpose Technologies

12:00 – 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, One Eliot Street, 4th Floor.

April 2, 2001 Kenneth Pomerantz:  The Great Divergence

12:00 - 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, One Eliot Street, 4th Floor

From Amazon.com:

Description

The Great Divergence brings new insight to one of the classic questions of history: Why did sustained industrial growth begin in Northwest Europe, despite surprising similarities between advanced areas of Europe and East Asia? As Ken Pomeranz shows, as recently as 1750, parallels between these two parts of the world were very high in life expectancy, consumption, product and factor markets, and the strategies of households. Perhaps most surprisingly, Pomeranz demonstrates that the Chinese and Japanese cores were no worse off ecologically than Western Europe. Core areas throughout the eighteenth-century Old World faced comparable local shortages of land-intensive products, shortages that were only partly resolved by trade. 

Pomeranz argues that Europe's nineteenth-century divergence from the Old World owes much to the fortunate location of coal, which substituted for timber. This made Europe's failure to use its land intensively much less of a problem, while allowing growth in energy-intensive industries. Another crucial difference that he notes has to do with trade. Fortuitous global conjunctures made the Americas a greater source of needed primary products for Europe than any Asian periphery. This allowed Northwest Europe to grow dramatically in population, specialize further in manufactures, and remove labor from the land, using increased imports rather than maximizing yields. Together, coal and the New World allowed Europe to grow along resource-intensive, labor-saving paths. 

Meanwhile, Asia hit a cul-de-sac. Although the East Asian hinterlands boomed after 1750, both in population and in manufacturing, this growth prevented these peripheral regions from exporting vital resources to the cloth-producing Yangzi Delta. As a result, growth in the core of East Asia's economy essentially stopped, and what growth did exist was forced along labor-intensive, resource-saving paths--paths Europe could have been forced down, too, had it not been for favorable resource stocks from underground and overseas. 

About the Author 

Kenneth Pomeranz is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. He is author of The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society, and Economy in Inland North China, 1853-1937, which won the John King Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association, and coauthor (with Steven Topik) of The World that Trade Created.
April 6, 2001 Gurcharan Das: India Unbound

2:00 – 4:00 PM Perkins Room, One Eliot Street, 4th Floor.

From Amazon.com:

Description

India today is a vibrant free-market democracy and has begun to flex its muscles in the global information economy and on the world stage. Now, acclaimed columnist Gurcharan Das traces India's recent social and economic transformations in an eminently readable, impassioned narrative. 

Das tells the stories of the major players in a period of rapid and profound change--from schoolchildren inspired by Nehru's speeches in the early days of Independence to the current software impresarios--and makes comprehensible and compelling the economic and political development responsible for these changes. He weaves his personal story into the larger context of contemporary history: his family's move to America in the mid-1950s, his education at Harvard, his years in India as a young marketing executive wrestling with a socialist system he feared would undermine the country's vast potential. He also shows us the reasons behind his optimism for his nation's future, among which is the exciting landscape of information technology today. 

Das argues that the changes of the past fifty years have, at last, amounted to a revolution--and it is one that has not been chronicled before. With India Unbound, he gives us a book that is at once vigorously analytical and vividly written--an essential insider's road map to India, then and now. 

About the Author 

Gurcharan Das is a columnist for the Times of India and other newspapers, and is the author of three plays and a novel. He graduated from Harvard College and attended Harvard Business School. A former CEO of Procter & Gamble India, he is currently a venture capitalist and a consultant to industry and government leaders. He lives with his wife in New Delhi.
April 23, 2001 Jon Cohen: Shots in the Dark:  A Wayward Search for the AIDS Vaccine

12:00 – 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, One Eliot Street, 4th Floor.

From W.W. Norton & Company website:

As HIV continues its death march around the globe, now infecting 40 million people, an AIDS vaccine still remains an elusive goal. When scientists first proved in 1984 that HIV causes AIDS, a vaccine race quickly spun into action with high hopes that the world would soon have a means to stop this modern plague. But today the race to develop an AIDS vaccine more closely resembles a crawl. Jon Cohen, a leading AIDS reporter, tells how the forces inside and outside the world of science have hindered the AIDS vaccine search. He reveals the complicated obstacles that stymie researchers, the uncertain marketplace that confronts pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, the haphazard political response, and the ethical dilemmas that give pause to everyone involved. He goes behind the scenes at academic labs, companies, government agencies, scientific meetings, and investment houses to document how promising leads go nowhere as scientists jump from one fashionable idea to the next. Beyond a critique of the current methods and strategies, this book also offers specific recommendations for accelerating AIDS vaccine research.

More reviews at Amazon.com

JAMA article by the author

A number of articles by the author are available through subscription at www.sciencemag.org

Photo Gallery

The Hunt for the Origin of AIDS Atlantic Monthly

Newshour transcript on Battling the AIDS Epidemic

September 20, 2001 Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel : The Fates of Human Societies

3:00 – 5:00 PM, Land Lecture Hall, 4th Floor Belfer, KSG

From Amazon.com

Description 

In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed writing, technology, government, and organized religion-as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war-and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. 

About the Author 

Jared Diamond, professor of physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine, is the author of the best-selling and award-winning The Third Chimpanzee. He has published over 200 articles in Discover, Natural History, Nature, and Geo magazines.

Author's Curriculum Vitae

"How to Get Rich," a talk by the Author

"Ecological Collapses of Pre-industrial Societies," year 2000 Tanner lecture

 

October 16, 2001 Andrew Spielman: Mosquito: A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe.

12:00 - 1:30 PM, Perkins Room, Eliot 4th floor, KSG 

Description

Mosquito expert Spielman tells us, in this creepily fascinating book, that there are more than 2,500 kinds of those tiny, annoying, and extremely deadly creatures. Deadly? Yup: every year millions of people die from malaria, which is just one of the diseases carried by mosquitoes. Spielman and coauthor D'Antonio tell us everything we could possibly need to know about the mosquito: its life cycle, its natural enemies and predators, and, of course, its monumental impact on human history. (Did you know that mosquitoes contributed to Sir Francis Drake's defeat by the Spanish Armada, or that Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan had their plans of world domination brought to a screeching halt by the little pests?) This is truly an unexpected delight, an informative, entertaining, and sometimes skin-crawly book that should appeal to anyone with a taste for popular science. 
David Pitt Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Andrew Spielman, Sc.D. is one of the world's foremost authorities on mosquitoes and the infections that they transmit. He is Harvard University's senior investigator in tropical disease. His several hundred scientific publications on the subject deal with malaria, encephalitis, filariasis, dengue, and various tick-borne pathogens. Professor Spielman is the current director of the Center for International Development's new effort to develop a global anti-malarial strategy.

November 8, 2001 Robert H. Bates: Prosperity and Violence: The Political Economy of Development

12:00 - 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, Eliot 4th floor, KSG 

Book Description 

A study of the transformation from the violent kinship of clan society to the prosperous politics of the modern state. In his experiences around the globe--among the miners of Kitwe, Zambia, the guerrilla fighters in Sudan, and the diplomats in Bogota--Robert Bates has studied firsthand the processes of modern political and economic development. In this concise volume, he shows us how, as a culture moves from dispersed agrarian clans to the dense modern metropolis, the nature of its capital evolves, from resources of kinship and family to more material investments. But this tenuous transition can only thrive within the favorable conditions ensured by the institutions of a peaceful modern state. Inspired by his work among diverse cultures, Bates looks back over the history of human civilization and illuminates how the often-violent clash within agrarian clans has developed into the coercive systems of institutions that compose Western statehood. Ultimately, Bates hopes to apply this understanding to building states that use power effectively, and that harness ethnic diversity not for violence and political power but for greater prosperity. 3 maps. Book Info Investigates the origin and purpose of the modern state, answering questions about why the entire globe has become modernized. Draws from extensive research, tracing a common thread throughout European development and the struggles of today's developing countries. 

About the Author 

Robert H. Bates is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government in the Department of Government and Fellow of the Center for International Development at Harvard University.

December 4, 2001 Jeffrey Sachs on CMH Report:
Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, World Health Organization, "Macroeconomics and Health: Investing in Health for Economic Development"

12:00 - 2:00 PM, Perkins Room, Eliot 4th floor, KSG

The Global Competitiveness Report 2001-2002 (GCR) is published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with CID and the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School. Jeff Sachs served as Co-Director of the Report, alongside Professor Michael Porter, Director of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, and Professor Klaus Schwab, President of the WEF. John McArthur of CID and Peter Cornelius of the WEF served as Project Leaders. Every year, CID constructs the Growth Competitiveness Index as its foremost contribution to the GCR. This Index draws upon CID's latest research into the drivers of medium-term economic growth and ranks 75 economies' growth capacity relative to their current level of development. This year, for the first time, Finland's underlying growth prospects rank as the best in the world, just slightly ahead of the United States'. The GCR's other lead Index, the Current Competitiveness Index, is produced by Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School. It ranks the same 75 economies based on their current level of productivity and, for the second consecutive year, rates Finland as the most productive economy in the world. In addition to the two lead chapters on the respective Competitiveness Indexes, the GCR includes chapters on selected issues of competitiveness, including the environment, trade, innovation and economic creativity. All but one of these chapters draw upon the unique GCR survey data that CID collects annually in collaboration with the WEF. Chapter summaries for the full Report are included on the CID website. 

OBTAINING COPIES OF THE REPORT The final printed edition of the Global Competitiveness Report 2001-2002 as well as a CD-ROM of results from our Executive Opinion Survey will be available from Oxford University Press in early December. Copies can be ordered from their website: http://www.oup-usa.org/isbn/019521837X.html. In the meantime, selected chapters can be downloaded from the CID website.

February 14, 2002 Harold James: The End of Globalization. Lessons from the Great depression.

Perkins Room, 12:00 - 1:30 P.M. Eliot 4th floor, GSG

As the world economy slows down, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. There is more pressure for trade protection, anti-immigration sentiment in Europe and elsewhere increases, and anti-globalization protests erupt. With this background, this book about the great depression of the inter-war period provides a really terrifying precedent of what happens when the world economy collapses. It is fluidly written, and although there is a great deal of economic analysis of the problems of financial markets in the interwar era, it is really accessible to lay readers. If you are worried about the economic future, and want to scare yourself, this is the book to read.

From Booklist:
Regardless of whether they applaud its benefits or decry its ill effects, the advocates and detractors of globalization both seem to regard the world's increasing economic interconnectedness as an irreversible trend. James, a history professor at Princeton University and author of The International Monetary System since Bretton Woods (1996), suggests instead a pendulum effect, noting that "there already have been highly developed and highly integrated international communities that dissolved under the pressure of unexpected events." James argues that the Great Depression was the result in part of the failure of three institutions that had evolved to handle the consequences of an increasingly globalized world: tariff systems, central banks, and immigration legislation. James also detects modern-day parallels in the popular backlash against the World Trade Organization and NAFTA, the collapse of long-term capital management, and the meltdown of Asian economies. Though he does not foresee another depression, James does warn that another reverse of the pendulum might today threaten both peace and prosperity. David Rouse Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author:

Harold James was educated at Cambridge University and was a Fellow of Peterhouse for eight years before coming to Princeton University in 1986. His books include a study of the interwar depression in Germany, The German Slump, Oxford University Press, 1986, an analysis of the changing character of national identity in Germany, A Germany Identity 1770-1990, Routledge, 1989; and a History of International Monetary Cooperation Since 1945, Oxford University Press and International Monetary Fund, 1996. His most recent work is The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression, (Harvard University Press, 2001). He was also co-author of a history of the commercial bank Deutsche Bank (Deutsche Bank, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1995; German version C.H. Beck) which won the Financial Times Global Business Book Award in 1996 and wrote The Deutsche Bank and the Nazi Economic War Against the Jews, Cambridge University Press, 2001. He is a member of the Independent Commission of Experts investigating the political and economic links of Switzerland with Nazi Germany and of commissions to examine the roles of Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank. In addition, he is Chairman of the Editorial Board of World Politics.

March 12, 2002 Thomas Homer-Dixon: The Ingenuity Gap.

12:00 - 1:30 PM, Perkins Room, Eliot 4th floor, KSG

Read more about The Ingenuity Gap.

Read more about the author.

 

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