Summary of The Plundered Planet

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The Plundered Planet book summary


7 Overall

7 Importance

8 Innovation

6 Style


In the never-ending war between “romantics” and “ostriches,” economist Paul Collier stands squarely in the middle. Deeply grounded in the economic and environmental issues of the world’s poorest nations, Collier’s book provides background and cogent strategy for rational, pragmatic environmental practices (thus pacifying the romantics) and for bringing economic growth to the developing world via the sane, honest exploitation of natural resources (thus pleasing the ostriches). Collier describes the history and economic theory of resource “plunder,” and discusses how to turn it into resource management. He’s willing to fly in the face of popular opinion, and his hard-earned knowledge makes his arguments difficult to resist. In a perfect world, Collier would write less like an economist. But his ideas are so necessary and his solutions so urgent that readers who put up with his less-than-perfect flow of prose will gain important new insights. getAbstract strongly recommends this groundbreaking work to environmentalists, economists, policy makers, governments of any nation grappling with extracting their natural resources and all those concerned with these issues. And that should be everybody.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why few governments strike a balance between “prosperity and plunder,”
  • How the poorer nations of the world deal with environmental matters, and
  • What issues the attempted management of natural assets raises.

About the Author

Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion, is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University.



The Tightrope
Underdeveloped, poor nations – home to “the bottom billion” of Earth’s population – possess a resource with the potential to save them: their natural assets. Handled properly, those assets and their resulting income can raise a nation’s fortunes. But when these countries ...

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