Wednesday, April 02, 2008



Here are a couple of books we have recently read or are currently reading. We would be curious to find out which book you would place on this list. Share the title of one book you have read in the last 6-12 months and a one sentence summary with us. Send us an email or place a comment at the end of this post.

Decentralization, Forests and Rural Communities: Policy Outcomes in South and Southeast Asia, Edited by Edward L. Webb and Ganesh P. Shivakoti (Los Angeles: Sage, 2008)

This book is an interesting collection of papers from different countries in Asia, that shows the complexity that is often covered by the common term “decentralization”.  A final chapter by Shivakoti and Ostrom does a nice job of pulling together the threads from different country cases.

Group behavior and development: Is the market destroying cooperation? Edited by Heyer, J., Stewart, F., and R. Thorp (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002)

A volume of case-studies on producer groups in various regions of the world examining them in terms of their effectiveness to improve the well-being of smallholders. Especially interesting are chapters on Mongolian pastoralists (Sneath) and Colombian coffee federation (Thorp).

A Crowd of One: The Future of Individual Identity, by John Henry Clippinger (PublicAffairs, 2007)

This book examines social behavior and individual identity. It is based on the premise that our identity is derived from membership in groups and networks rather than from within each individual. A chapter on the renaissance shows how societal change does not stem from a few creative individuals but from a "societal shift that allowed innovation and creativity to flourish."

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