The effort to stigmatize and criminalize the governance of the poor is both fruitless and destabilizing, and has cost the United States and others inestimable blood and coin. Only by acknowledging how the poor do and must govern can we hope to improve governance or engage poor governments effectively.
"Thomas . . . shows why the vast sums invested in places like Afghanistan and Iraq have yielded such meager results. This book should be required reading for anyone in the development field."
Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University
"Thomas is critical of our policy - rightly so - but refrains from relativism and from bombast. She provides a useful contrarian perspective that is difficult to ignore"
Michael Johnston, Colgate University
"Wow. A hard hitting analysis from a scholar/practitioner of the deep intellectual roots of the failures to create 'good governance' everywhere -- and why that failure is ignored or blamed on others. A useful corrective to the conventional development wisdom."
Lant Pritchett, Harvard University