Against the Odds

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9781849041195: Against the Odds
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Chief Minister Digvijay Singh of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, and former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil skillfully leveraged their power to achieve major breakthroughs. Though these men barely knew or communicated with one another, each deployed a similar repertoire of political devices -- persuasion, distraction, bargaining, stealth, and political and social pressure -- to pursue shared goals.

Singh, Museveni, and Cardoso proved two crucial things about developing economies: the reduction of poverty is politically feasible even under severe economic and political constraints, and political benefits come to those who achieve it, enhancing popularity, legitimacy, and influence. If leaders of other developing countries could recognize these truths, serious efforts to reduce poverty could be implemented and flourish in the most unlikely of places. The result of a collaboration between three renowned political scientists, each specializing in one of the book's three countries, Against the Odds features extensive fieldwork and detailed, comparative analyses, resulting in a comprehensive and cohesive study.

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About the Author:

Marcus Andre Melo is professor of political science and the director of the Center for Public Policy at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.

Njuguna Ng'ethe is professor of political science and the former director of the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

James Manor is the Emeka Anyaoku Professor of Commonwealth Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and the V.K.R.V. Rao Professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change in Bangalore, India.

Review:

The key message of this uplifting and hugely important book is that 'politics matters; politicians matter.' The authors show that political entrepreneurship in the service of the poor is not only possible but can be made to work, including for the politician. Institutions matter, and so do path dependencies, yet not as much as we are often told. That's another message of this book, and it is one that is written into the careers of its main protagonists: Digvijay Singh in Madhya Pradesh (India), Yoweri Museveni in Uganda, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso in Brazil.

(Stuart Corbridge, London School of Economics)

This is a first-rate exploration of political strategies employed by 'reform champions' in the introduction and implementation of policies to combat endemic poverty. It successfully combines analysis of institutions and the agency of reform leaders in finding room to maneuver in the promotion of policy change.

(Merilee S. Grindle, Harvard University)

When we look back, we need biographies as well as studies of institutions, politics, and economies, yet the literature on recent and ongoing development politics and economics typically ignores political leaders, unless to twist them into bogeymen of the liberal imagination or ossify them as impossible heroes. This book does the rare and hugely needed job of highlighting the role and characters of three remarkable leaders in different continents.

(Christopher Cramer, author of Civil War Is Not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries )

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780231702485: Against the Odds: Politicians, Institutions, and the Struggle Against Poverty (Columbia/Hurst)

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ISBN 10:  0231702485 ISBN 13:  9780231702485
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 2012
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9780199327454: Against the Odds: Politicians, Institutions and the Struggle Against Poverty

Oxford..., 2012
Hardcover

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Book Description C Hurst Co Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Against the Odds is a Machiavellian study of the machinations of three senior politicians in quite different developing countries who adroitly played the tough political game in ways that reduced poverty. The three - former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, and Chief Minister Digvijay Singh in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh - had scarcely heard of one another, and never communicated. And yet they used a broadly similar repertoire of political devices - persuasion, distractions, bargaining, stealth and pressure - to pursue broadly similar goals. They demonstrated two crucial things: poverty reduction is politically feasible, even in the teeth of daunting economic and political constraints; and it is politically beneficial to those who achieve it, since it enhances their popularity, legitimacy and influence. If leaders in other developing countries who are naturally preoccupied with their own political interests recognise these things, then serious efforts to reduce poverty will become more common elsewhere. This book is, unusually, the work of three well-known political scientists from Brazil, Kenya and Britain - each of whom specialises in one of the three countries that are analysed. After extensive field research, they engaged in detailed comparative discussions that impart greater coherence to Against the Odds, especially its conclusions. Seller Inventory # AA79781849041195

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Book Description C Hurst Co Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Against the Odds is a Machiavellian study of the machinations of three senior politicians in quite different developing countries who adroitly played the tough political game in ways that reduced poverty. The three - former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, and Chief Minister Digvijay Singh in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh - had scarcely heard of one another, and never communicated. And yet they used a broadly similar repertoire of political devices - persuasion, distractions, bargaining, stealth and pressure - to pursue broadly similar goals. They demonstrated two crucial things: poverty reduction is politically feasible, even in the teeth of daunting economic and political constraints; and it is politically beneficial to those who achieve it, since it enhances their popularity, legitimacy and influence. If leaders in other developing countries who are naturally preoccupied with their own political interests recognise these things, then serious efforts to reduce poverty will become more common elsewhere. This book is, unusually, the work of three well-known political scientists from Brazil, Kenya and Britain - each of whom specialises in one of the three countries that are analysed. After extensive field research, they engaged in detailed comparative discussions that impart greater coherence to Against the Odds, especially its conclusions. Seller Inventory # AA79781849041195

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