ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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What an Obsession with GDP Denotes

The World after GDP: Economics, Politics and International Relations in the Post-Growth Era by Lorenzo Fioramonti, Cambridge, UK and Malden, US: Polity Press, 2017; pp viii +276, £15.99 (pb)/£50 (hb).

Lorenzo Fioramonti’s book is a well-grounded assault on the fetishism of international development agencies, governments, and run-of-the-mill economists. The book starts with the illustration of Nauru, a tiny island state in Micronesia, which its “discoverer” Captain John Fearn described as a “pleasant island.” Things began to change after World WarII, when it was found that the island contained a large reservoir of one of the purest grades of phosphate in the world. Its exploitation catapulted Nauru to a nation with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. However, in its rush to “develop,” the Government of Nauru overexploited the mines and destroyed the local flora and fauna. In its scramble to protect its income, Nauru turned itself into a tax haven and money laundering centre like the Bahamas and Jersey Island.

With no visible economic opportunities, broken infrastructure, ecological mayhem and a dishevelled education system, mass emigration is the only long-term option for Naurians, most of whom have sought better economic opportunities in New Zealand and Australia (p 4).

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Updated On : 31st Aug, 2018
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