In The Tyranny of Experts, renowned economist William Easterly uncovers our failing efforts to fight global poverty. The expert approved, top-down approach to development has not only made little lasting progress, but has proven a convenient rationale for generations of human rights violations perpetrated by colonialists, post-colonial dictators, and US foreign policymakers. Easterly presents a devastating critique of the blighted record of authoritarian development, demonstrating how traditional anti-poverty tactics have both trampled the freedom of the world’s poor and suppressed a vital debate about alternative approaches to solving global poverty. Although relief agencies, such as the World Bank and the Gates Foundation, are still regarded as both well-meaning and effective, they’re founded on the mistaken belief that wise technocrats from the West will be the saviors of helpless victims from the Rest. They too often support dictators, hoping that economic development will lead naturally to democracy.
In this revised edition, Easterly brings in new research that update his masterful critiques for the present. He reveals the fundamental errors inherent in the long-celebrated top-down approach, and offers a new model for Western relief agencies and developing countries alike: a model that, because it is predicated on respect for the rights of poor people, has the power to end global poverty once and for all.