If you only read one thing this week…


The future of development in the Arab World – Asef Bayat reviews the UN Arab Human Development Reports by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
August 27, 2006, 6:40 pm
Filed under: Book reviews, Development theory, If you only have 15 mins

Related to one of Mercy Corps’ ‘megatrends’, the journal Development and Change carries a review of the United Nations Development Programme‘s ‘Arab Human Development Reports‘, a series of reviews of human development indicators, focusing on the Arab World and prepared by a team of over 100 Arab intellectuals and professionals (available in English, Arabic and French).

His report is available free as a pdf download from the Development and Change Journal site here – it’s well worth a read, a fascinating and provocative insight into one view of the future of politics and development in the Arab World.

The reports are:

* 2002 – Creating Opportunities for Future Generations

* 2003 – Building a Knowledge Society

* 2004 – Towards Freedom in the Arab World

* A planned fourth volume will focus on women’s empowerment.

Asef Bayat’s review says that the reports “represent the most significant ‘manifesto of change’ produced by the Arabs for the Arab world, but taking a strong cue from global discourses and paradigms. To serve the strategic objective of ‘radical transformation’, the authors adopt a broad understanding of development, in terms of a ‘process of expanding people’s choices’”.

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