Toward a Better World: Memoirs of a Life in International and Development Economics
Toward a Better World describes the life, times and perspectives of Gerry Helleiner, a Canadian activist and university-based economist, who worked for roughly 40 years with developing countries and international organizations. In his memoir, Toward a Better World, Helleiner, recounts the profound early experiences in Africa that propelled him into a rewarding career devoted to research, advice and teaching in international economics, economic development and global poverty reduction.
Describing himself as privileged, Toward a Better World recounts his early life as a young academic, having first landed in Africa in the 1960s for the purpose of research for Yale University. Detailing both successes and setbacks, frustrations and hopes, Helleiner, conveys his often difficult, yet transformative, experiences in Nigeria and Tanzania, missions in Uganda and South Africa, and witnesses the wavering efforts being made towards poverty alleviation in international organisations . Providing lively behind-the-scene accounts of multilateral economic meetings in the 1970s through the 1990s, Helleiner addresses his engagement with economic policymakers, his views often challenging common practice.
In Toward a Better World, Helleiner speaks to his early motivation as a young man in Africa, and his lifework as a practicing economist determined to make a positive effort in addressing global poverty.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 344 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
"Well written and organized, Helleiner’s memoir offers rich detail of his work and experiences, as a Canadian economist working to strengthen African economic capacities and as witness, contributor, and sometimes protagonist to a great many initiatives, programs, and debates emanating from international organizations in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s."
S. R. Steele
Choice Connect October 2018 vol. 56 # 2
"Gerry Helleiner’s Toward a Better World is a true gem. It demonstrates in a most compelling manner how deep personal compassion with high professional standards must be pursued as mutually reinforcing guiding principles if economists are to succeed in helping make the world a better place. Hard heads must, in Professor Helleiner’s words, be combined with soft hearts. His fascinating memoirs draw on a lifelong dedication to international and development economics — the economics profession would do well in following his sound steering."
Finn Tarp, Director, UNU-WIDER
"Fascinating, insightful, highly readable, and occasionally hilarious, this memoir shows how one person has combined professional skills with a life of youthful and persistent idealism — –in a frank and no-holds-barred account of the struggles and successes of doing so. It encompasses the life and work of Canada’s leading development economist , who has devoted his life to research which makes a difference and whose experiences cast much light on national politics as well as on the inside workings of the international economic and financial system. Helleiner brings great professional expertise but also a human side to understanding how policy is made — –or not made — - in agencies and negotiations between the North and South, especially with Africa. This is required reading for any young economist wondering about a career in development and should be required for all economists in the World Bank, or IMF or UN."
Professor Sir Richard Jolly, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
"I can’t get over this book … a book on economics that moves with effortless charm through a fascinating array of personalities and events, at once memorable and dramatic. This isn’t just a life well lived; this is a life of intellectual adventure and abiding commitment to ending inequality. Every region of the world has a place in these pages. Helleiner has pulled off a miracle: he gives the practice and science of economics a great name."
Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the UN and board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation
Author InformationGerry Helleiner is a professor emeritus of Economics at the University of Toronto and Officer of the Order of Canada.
Table of contents
Introduction and Overview
1. Early years
2. Undergraduate Life
3. The Yale Years
Graduate Study in Economics
Beginning a Career in Academic Economics
II. An International and Development Economist in Africa
The Commonwealth Post-Idi Amin Mission
Missions with Museveni – 1986 and 1993
7. South Africa
8. AERC – Macroeconomic Background and Early Days
9. More African Capacity Building - ACBF
III. An International and Development Economist in International Organisations
10. UN Activities: Satisfaction and Frustration
UN Secretary-General`s Task Forces
Committee for Development Planning
International Labour Organisation
11. Sonny Times at the Commonwealth Secretariat
Guyana – Mission Impossible
. Cool Relations with the IMF
13.Ambivalent Relations with the World Bank
14. Life with the G24
15. Interlude at IFPRI
16. Wilder with WIDER
IV. An International and Development Economist in Canada
17. IDRC – Again and Again
18. The North-South Institute - Present at the Creation (and Demise)
19. Trying to Influence Canadian Foreign Policy
20. Political Economy and Economics at the University of Toronto
V. Reflections on a Life in International and Development Economics
21. Intellectual Currents
22. Some Reflections for Others
Subjects and Courses