GLOBAL ECONOMY: BIS JULY 2012

July 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Asia, Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Research, World-system | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 19 and 20 July now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Fri 7/20/12

Central bankers’ speeches for 20 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Már Guðmundsson: Fragmentation in the international financial system – can the global economy become one again?

Duvvuri Subbarao: Of economics, policy and development

Anand Sinha: Small is still beautiful and competitive – reflections on the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India

Ignazio Visco: Brief overview of the Italian economy and its banks

Central bankers’ speeches for 19 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Prasarn Trairatvorakul: Financial crises and the future of global and Asian banking

G Padmanabhan: Issues in IT governance

Mark Carney: Summary of the latest Monetary Policy Report

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 18 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Jens Weidmann: The financial assistance can only buy time but does not address the root causes of the crisis

Ben S Bernanke: Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

G Padmanabhan: Global convergence of banking regulations and its impact on the Indian banking system

G Padmanabhan: Getting “IT” right

Duvvuri Subbarao: Statistics and statistical analysis in Reserve Bank of India’s work

Deepak Mohanty: Statistics in the Reserve Bank of India

V S Das: Leadership, performance and transformation through personnel management

Njuguna Ndung’u: Ongoing developments in the Kenyan financial sector

Njuguna Ndung’u: Financal services sector – steering the economy to the next level

Yaseen Anwar: Monetary policy framework in the SAARC region

Anselmo Teng: Development opportunity arising from cross-border RMB business and internationalization of enterprises

Gane Simbe: The role coins play in the Solomon Islands’ payment system

Prasarn Trairatvorakul: Economic and financial cooperation between China and Thailand

Ebson Uanguta: The impact of the euro area debt crisis on southern Africa

Ebson Uanguta: Towards a financially literate Namibian society

Zeti Akhtar Aziz: Participation of Japanese financial institutions in Malaysia

Jörg Asmussen: Building deeper economic union: what to do and what to avoid

Luis M Linde: Assessment of Spain’s economic situation

Yaseen Anwar: Developments of the microfinance sector in Pakistan

Central bankers’ speeches for 17 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Már Guðmundsson: Iceland’s crisis and recovery and the crisis in the eurozone

Arde Hansen: Overview of Bank of Estonia’s first year of the euro

Zeljko Rohatinski: Restoring the luster of the European economic model report

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 13 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Duvvuri Subbarao: Agricultural credit – accomplishments and challenges

Central bankers’ speeches for 12 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Ivan Iskrov: Association of Banks in Bulgaria – 20 years

Dimiter Kostov: The world of finance is becoming more IT

Ivan Iskrov: Global and regional challenges to the economy and the financial system. Do we have working solutions?

Ivan Iskrov: Conflicts and complementarities between monetary and macroprudential policies

Subir Gokarn: Launch of the OTC derivatives trade repository

Philip Lowe: Bank regulation and the future of banking

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 11 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Prasarn Trairatvorakul: Financing the Greater Mekong Subregion

Ardian Fullani: Building a sound and efficient Albanian banking system

Duvvuri Subbarao: Touching hearts and spreading smiles

Hirohide Yamaguchi: European debt problem and its impact on Asia

Central bankers’ speeches for 10 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Mario Draghi: Hearing at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

Prasarn Trairatvorakul: Financial crises and the future of global and Asian banking

Choongsoo Kim: Monetary and macroprudential policies in the aftermath of the crisis

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 5 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

Ardian Fullani: Overview of Albania’s recent economic and financial developments

Tharman Shanmugaratnam: Ensuring strong anchors in our banking system

Central bankers’ speeches for 4 July 2012
now available on the BIS website

YV Reddy: Society, economic policies, and the financial sector

José de Gregorio: What does society expect from the financial sector?

Ignazio Visco: What does society expect from the financial sector?

Jörg Asmussen: Can we restore confidence in Europe?

Miroslav Singer: The role of creditors and debtors in the world economy

Anand Sinha: IT and governance in banks – some thoughts

Mugur Isărescu: Monetary policy during transition. How to manage paradigm shifts

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS JANUARY 31 AND FEBRUARY 1 2012: GLOBAL TRILEMMA PLUS INDIA

February 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, India, Research | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 30 January and 1 February now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Wed 2/01/12>/strong>

Central bankers’ speeches for 1 February 2011 
now available on the BIS website

Deepak MohantyGlobal capital flows and the Indian economy – opportunities and challenges

Subir GokarnThe Second International Research Conference – genesis, motivation and theme

Anand SinhaIndian banking – journey into the future

Duvvuri SubbaraoPrice stability, financial stability and sovereign debt sustainability policy challenges from the New Trilemma

Central bankers’ speeches for 30 January 2011
now available on the BIS website

William C DudleyImpact of the Great Recession on public schools in the region

Zeti Akhtar AzizAsian money, bonds and derivatives in the new global economy

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 30 January and 1 February now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org

Wed 2/01/12 

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS OCTOBER 13-14 2011: SYSTEMIC RISK IN GLOBAL MARKETS

October 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Research, World-system | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 13 and 14 October now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Fri 10/14/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 14 October 2011

now available on the BIS website

Jean-Claude Trichet: Interview with the Financial Times

Charles I Plosser: Outlook and a perspective on monetary policy

 Central bankers’ speeches for 13 October 2011

now available on the BIS website

Jean-Claude Trichet: Interview with Die Welt

Jürgen Stark: Economic adjustment in a monetary union

José Manuel González-Páramo: The conduct of monetary policy – lessons from the crisis and challenges for the coming years

Ewart S Williams: Upgrading financial regulation and supervision – a multi-dimensional challenge

Guy Debelle: High frequency trading in foreign exchange markets

K C Chakrabarty: Financial inclusion – a road India needs to travel

V K Sharma: Identifying systemic risk in global markets – lessons learned from the crisis

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 13 and 14 October now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Fri 10/14/11 
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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS SEPTEMBER 23 2011: GLOBAL AND INDIAN PERSPECTIVES

September 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Posted in Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Research | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 23 September now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Mon 9/26/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 23 September 2011

now available on the BIS website

Vítor Constâncio: Laudatio for Professor Kenneth Rogoff, recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics

K C Chakrabarty: Impact of global financial crisis on financial consumers – global and Indian perspective on need for consumer protection – role of ombudsmen

Philip Lowe: Changing patterns in household saving and spending

Gane Simbe: Financial empowerment of women in the Solomon Islands

Denton Rarawa: Recent economic and financial developments in Solomon Islands

Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus: Raising the bar in compliance and enforcement

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 23 September now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Mon 9/26/11

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BANK FOR I(NTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS AUGUST 16 AND AUGUST 18 2011: INDIA

August 20, 2011 at 2:29 am | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Research | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 16 and 18 August now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Fri 8/19/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 18 August 2011

now available on the BIS website

Mario Draghi: Tension and new alliances – the currency wars
Patrick Honohan: Good times and bad for a globalised economy – macroeconomic policy lessons from Ireland
Njuguna Ndung’u: Launch of the Reconstituted Market Leaders Forum
Deepak Mohanty: Changing inflation dynamics in India
Mario Draghi: Italy’s path towards stable growth

Central bankers’ speeches for 16 August 2011

now available on the BIS website

Deepak Mohanty: How does the Reserve Bank of India conduct its monetary policy?
Anand Sinha: Technology in banking – in pursuit of excellence
Seiji Nakamura: Japan’s monetary policy and developments in economic activity and prices
William C Dudley: Job creation in the region
Njuguna Ndung’u: Sustaining transformation and innovations
Yoshihisa Morimoto: Economic activity and prices in Japan and monetary policy

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 16 and 18 August now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Fri 8/19/11  

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS AUGUST 9 AND AUGUST 10 2011: JAPAN’S ECONOMY

August 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Development, Economics, Financial, History, India, Japan, Research | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 9 and 10 August now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Thu 8/11/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 10 August 2011

now available on the BIS website

Masaaki Shirakawa: Recent developments in Japan’s economy and the conduct of monetary policy

Alan Bollard: The role of banks in the economy – improving the performance of the New Zealand banking system after the global financial crisis

Central bankers’ speeches for 9 August 2011

now available on the BIS website

Jean-Claude Trichet: ECB press conference – introductory statement

K C Chakrabarty: Indian education system – issues and challenges

 27 July

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 9 and 10 August now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Thu 8/11/11 
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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS JULY 7 2011: INDIA

July 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Posted in Asia, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Research | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 7 July now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Fri 7/08/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 7 July 2011

now available on the BIS website 

Subir Gokarn: Mutual funds and market development in India

Duvvuri Subbarao: Statistics in the world of the Reserve Bank of India

Masaaki Shirakawa: How to address tail risks

Deepak Mohanty: Statistics in the Reserve Bank of India

Subir Gokarn: Striking the balance between growth and inflation in India

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 7 July now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Fri 7/08/11 

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS JUNE 29 AND 30 2011: INDIA

July 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Research | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 29 and 30 June 2011 now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Fri 7/01/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 30 June 2011

now available on the BIS website

Miroslav Singer: The Czech Republic outside EMU – a success story born from painful lessons. A Czech view on resolving the euro crisis

Jean-Claude Trichet: Completing Economic and Monetary Union

K C Chakrabarty: Connecting the dots

Central bankers’ speeches for 29 June 2011

now available on the BIS website

Duvvuri Subbarao: India and the global financial crisis what have we learnt?

Fatos Ibrahimi: Business development opportunities in Albania

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188
Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Central bankers’ speeches for 29 and 30 June 2011 now available‏

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Fri 7/01/11 

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GLOBAL CONDITIONS: WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

June 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Africa, Asia, Development, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Third World, World-system | Leave a comment

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WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION ON THE RISE, UN REPORT FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011

World manufacturing output has grown by 6.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) reported today.

“The figure clearly indicates the progress of the recovery of world industrial production from the recent financial crisis,” UNIDO “http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2011/unisous085.html said, in the first edition of its new plan to report industrial statistics quarterly. Formerly the presentations were annual.
The report, based on an analysis of quarterly production data, said developing countries were in the lead with their manufacturing production increasing by 11.5 per cent. The major contribution to this growth was by China, with its output growing by 15 per cent.

Newly industrialized countries also performed well, with Turkey displaying a growth rate of 13.8 per cent, while Mexico’s was estimated at 7.4 per cent and India’s at 5.1 per cent.

The manufacturing output of industrialized countries increased by 4.4 per cent during the named period, with strong growth of 7.1 per cent observed in the United States, the world’s largest manufacturer.

Major European economies, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, also demonstrated significant growth in manufacturing output. But other European countries, such as Greece, witnessed a 6.9 per cent drop, while Portugal and Spain maintained a marginal growth of less than one per cent.

Japan’s figures fell by 2.4 per cent. The full impact of the March Tsunami disaster was not yet reflected in manufacturing production data for the first quarter.

Negative growth was observed in North Africa, where the manufacturing output of Egypt and Tunisia fell by 8.9 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively.

The UNIDO report also contains the growth estimates for the first quarter by major manufacturing sectors. It suggests that production of general machinery has increased by more than 15 per cent, electrical machinery and apparatus by 12 per cent, and medical and precision equipment by 11 per cent.

While industrialized countries performed well in high-tech sectors, their growth in traditional manufacturing areas such as food and beverages, textile and wearing apparel was quite low. Developing countries maintained higher growth across all sectors.

Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

WORLD INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION ON THE RISE, UN REPORT FINDS

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Wed, 1 Jun 2011

New York, Jun 1 2011

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

Unjustified cuts in aid to the poor during a financial crisis could violate human rights standards, and economic recovery must start with the most vulnerable, according to a United Nations human rights expert.

Magdalena Sepúlveda, the UN Independent Expert on human rights and extreme poverty, “http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11095&LangID=E told a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva that “unjustified reductions in expenditures devoted to implementing public services that are critical to the realization of economic, social and cultural rights will be in violation of human rights standards.

“There is no space in human rights for a trickle-down approach,” she said on Monday. “From a human rights perspective, recovery must start with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.”

“Human rights are not expendable during times of crises and recovery. Even when resources are limited, States are legally bound to respect, protect and fulfil international human rights obligations,” Ms. Sepúlveda said. “The challenge of recovering from the global economic and financial crises is an opportunity to embrace a vision for the future aimed at the full realization of human rights.”

The independent expert said that several recovery measures adopted by States in the aftermath of the crises seriously jeopardize the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by the poorest and most vulnerable groups.

“Austerity measures such as cuts to social protection systems, regressive taxation measures, and elimination of food subsidies are proving detrimental to the poorest of the poor, exacerbating their already precarious situation,” Ms. Sepúlveda said.

Increasing inequalities and food insecurity, the declining availability of natural resources and unpredictable changes to climate patterns are likely to increase the potential for social unrest throughout the world, she said.

“Any recovery plan must anticipate these challenges and assume that there will be many more crises to recover from,” she said. “Only human rights-based change can directly address the long-term structural barriers to equality and set the foundations for a sustainable, socially inclusive society.”

Ms. Sepúlveda urged States to view the challenge of recovery as a unique opportunity to aim towards the full realization of all economic, social and cultural rights for all individuals.

“Through a human rights-based recovery, States have the chance to embrace new and ambitious approaches to reducing inequality, eliminating poverty and creating stable societies that will withstand future shocks.”

The expert’s report outlines a number of innovative measures to which States should lend serious consideration when formulating their economic recovery, including implementing a comprehensive social protection floor, adopting socially responsible taxation policies, and enhancing regulation that protects individuals from abuse.

Ms Sepúlveda, who serves in an unpaid and independent capacity, reports to the Human Rights Council. She has been in the current post since May 2008.
Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

GLOBAL RECOVERY MUST START WITH THE POOR – UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11095&LangID=E

UNNews UNNews@un.org

Wed, 1 Jun 2011

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE KEY TO GREEN GROWTH, POVERTY REDUCTION – UN OFFICIALS

New York, Jun 1 2011

United Nations officials today called for boosting support for sustainable agriculture, including smallholder farmers, as a way to drive green growth and reduce poverty.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the challenge of feeding more than nine billion people by 2050, along with tackling climate change and maintaining productive land and sufficient water resources require a “more intelligent pathway” for managing the world’s agricultural systems.

“Agriculture is at the centre of a transition to a resource-efficient, low-carbon Green Economy,” “http://www.ifad.org/media/press/advisory/2011/6.htm said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “The challenge is to feed a growing global population without pushing humanity’s footprint beyond planetary boundaries.”

Mr. Steiner called for galvanizing support for smallholder farmers, who are an “untapped resource” in addressing food security and today’s environmental challenges.

Investments through official development assistance (ODA) are one way of stepping up support for this important group, as is scaling-up and accelerating government policies for unleashing investment flows from the private sector, he noted.

“Well-managed, sustainable agriculture can not only overcome hunger and poverty, but can address other challenges from climate change to the loss of biodiversity,” said the UNEP chief.

“Its value and its contribution to multiple economic, environmental and societal goals needs to be recognized in the income and employment prospects for the half a million smallholdings across the globe,” he added.

The world’s rural poor and especially farmers of the 500 million smallholdings in developing countries feed one-third of the global population and account for 60 per cent of global agriculture.

Smallholder farmers also provide up to 80 per cent of the food consumed in Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Smallholders in developing countries – the majority of them women – manage to feed 2 billion people, despite working on ecologically and climatically precarious land, with difficult or no access to infrastructure and institutional services, and often lacking land tenure rights that farmers in developed countries take for granted,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.

“Right now, we are squandering the potential of rural poor people to contribute to global prosperity. Investing in sustainable smallholder agriculture is a smart way to right this wrong,” he stated.

IFAD also stressed that investments in sustainable smallholder agriculture must go hand-in-hand with policy and institutional reforms, investments in infrastructure and improvements in market access. They must also be informed by the knowledge and needs of the rural poor.

On 5 June, UNEP will celebrate World Environment Day (WED) in India with one of the fastest growing economies in the world and whose 1.2 billion people continue to put pressure on land and forests, especially in densely populated areas where people are cultivating on marginal lands and where overgrazing is contributing to desertification.

This year’s theme – ‘Forests: Nature at Your Service’ – underscores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems.

Jun 1 2011

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE KEY TO GREEN GROWTH, POVERTY REDUCTION – UN OFFICIALS

New York, Jun 1 2011

UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

http://www.ifad.org/media/press/advisory/2011/6.htm

UNNews UNNews@un.org

New York, Jun 1 2011 

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“NATURAL EXPERIMENTS OF HISTORY”: DIAMOND AND ROBINSON BOOK

June 11, 2011 at 2:05 am | Posted in Africa, Books, History, India, Latin America | Leave a comment

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Natural Experiments of History

Jared Diamond (Editor), James A. Robinson (Editor)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A superb collection of eminently teachable essays bound together by a common methodological framework that connects it directly to cutting-edge theoretical and empirical research across the disciplines of anthropology, archeology, history, political science, and sociology.
–John Coatsworth, Columbia University

Natural Experiments of History reaches across a wide variety of disciplines, in ways that should be accessible to just about every educated reader. It is tied together not by topic or region but by the idea that we can make useful and insightful comparisons in ways that are not casual or sloppy, but actually contribute to our understanding of human life.
–Jeffrey Frieden, Harvard University

Natural Experiments of History is a short book packed with huge ideas. Its collected essays advocate how controlled experiments can be applied to the messy realities of human history, politics, culture, economics and the environment. It demonstrates productive interdisciplinary collaborations but also reveals gulfs between different cultures of academia…All of the essays in Natural Experiments of History will trigger debate.
–Jon Christensen (Nature )

This ambitious, at times challenging, book aspires to contribute new ways of historical thinking and historical research by drawing attention, on the one hand, to the similarities between science (including social sciences) and history, and on the other, by using social sciences methods, especially statistical analysis, to study history. The editors argue that though the difference between studies of nature and human history is obvious, there are clear overlaps. They can be viewed through studying comparative history or by conducting “natural experiments of history” and analyzing the “perturbations” and their causes (exogenous or endogenous) in the involved cases. The book offers a broad array of case studies to illustrate and explain the argument, ranging from nonliterate to contemporary societies and from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to Brazil, India, and tropical Africa. The comparative methods showcased are quite versatile, from two-way to multiple-way comparisons. All the case studies are interesting and help demonstrate how, via comparative study, one society’s, region’s, or country’s situation is better displayed and explained by juxtaposing it with other, similar ones. A useful read in macro, global history.
–Q. E. Wang (Choice )

Natural Experiments of History is a thought-provoking collection of essays that covers an impressive array of topics and would make an excellent text for a course on comparative studies of human history.”
–Thomas E. Currie (Cliodynamics )

Product Description

Some central questions in the natural and social sciences can’t be answered by controlled laboratory experiments, often considered to be the hallmark of the scientific method. This impossibility holds for any science concerned with the past. In addition, many manipulative experiments, while possible, would be considered immoral or illegal. One has to devise other methods of observing, describing, and explaining the world.

In the historical disciplines, a fruitful approach has been to use natural experiments or the comparative method. This book consists of eight comparative studies drawn from history, archeology, economics, economic history, geography, and political science. The studies cover a spectrum of approaches, ranging from a non-quantitative narrative style in the early chapters to quantitative statistical analyses in the later chapters. The studies range from a simple two-way comparison of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola, to comparisons of 81 Pacific islands and 233 areas of India. The societies discussed are contemporary ones, literate societies of recent centuries, and non-literate past societies. Geographically, they include the United States, Mexico, Brazil, western Europe, tropical Africa, India, Siberia, Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific islands.

In an Afterword, the editors discuss how to cope with methodological problems common to these and other natural experiments of history.

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; Reprint edition
  • April 15, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674060199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674060197

This book is a collection of 7 essays, most of which are quite dry and academic.

Diamond co-wrote the prologue (which is mostly a summary of the book’s contents) and afterword. He also authored (alone) one chapter, which is a comparison of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Specifically, he examines why Haiti and the DR have turned out so differently, despite the fact that they share the same island. Much of this is discussed also in his book Collapse, but the chapter is still very interesting.

Another chapter (by Kirch) compares a few different Polynesian islands, to try and discover which variables led to different political histories. Some areas of the world discussed in other chapters are: West Africa, India, and the western US, among a couple of others.

Natural experiments in history is a fascinating set of essays looking at seven historical “experiments”. Each chapter has a different author who presents the reader with a wealth of information of their subject of expertise. The writing styles vary, as expected, from author to author. Jared Diamond’s chapter on the origin of the differences between Haiti and the Dominican republic, and on different Pacific Islands is the highlight of the book.

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