Description - The Baobab and the Mango Tree by Scott Thompson
This work deals with the big questions about development: what, actually, is it?; can Third World countries ever hope to "catch up"?; can a development path be found which avoids indefinite impoverishment on the one hand, and environmental destruction on the other?; what is the relationship, if any, between economic growth and political development?; can a country that has failed hitherto create a second chance for itself? In their wide-ranging exploration, the authors take as their main examples two famous countries - Ghana, which was the first African colony to win independence but which, following its high hopes, plunged into a downward spiral of economic decay; and Thailand, which escaped colonial rule, was actually poorer than West Africa in the 1950s, but went on to achieve decades of extraordinary rapid economic growth, albeit at very considerable environmental and human cost. The reader is introduced to the countries' very different historical experiences; natural resource endowments; social and cultural systems; political cultures and economic policies.
And in an analysis which will create much debate, the authors weave a general answer to their questions in which history, the quality of leadership and whether or not an open society develops take pride of place.
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Author Biography - Scott Thompson
Professor Scott Thompson is Director of Southeast Asia Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. A former Rhodes Scholar, he has a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University. He is the author/editor of eleven books including Ghana's Foreign Policy: 1957-66 (Princeton University Press); The Philippines in Crisis (St Martin's Press); and Lessons of Vietnam (Praeger). His articles have appeared in all major US newspapers and in Foreign Policy, International Security, and other journals. During his long academic career, he has held four presidential appointments in Washington DC -- at the Pentagon, the United States Institute of Peace, and the United States Information Agency. He has also been a White House Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
Nicholas Scott is Editor of the Washington Monthly. A graduate from Stanford, Phi Beta Kappa with Honors and a triple major in Economics, Political Science and Environmental Science, he worked while at university as the California Coordinator of the Student Environmental Action Coalition, Media Coordinator of the Free Burma Coalition and Student Body Vice President. After graduating, he became a journalist in West Africa and Southeast Asia before being employed by the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington DC. He has published essays in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other US newspapers and magazines. This is his first book.