Nicolas van de Walle
Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
Feel free to add your own in the comments, or create some more!
Lest anyone feel overwhelmed by the depth of detail in this Handbook, especially with respect to the sections on methodology, we would like to emphasise at the outset: this Handbook is not meant to be used or read as a comprehensive step by step process that has to be followed in order to undertake a value chain analysis. We know of no value chain analysis that has comprehensively covered all the aspects dealt with in the following pages, and certainly not in the methodologically sequential Handbook set out below. Indeed to try and do so in this form would be methodologically overwhelming, and would certainly bore any reader of such an analysis to tears.
It is not an attempt to restrict researchers within a methodological strait-jacket, but rather to free them to use whatever tools are deemed suitable from the variety presented below.
...as an array of possible technical tools, some of which may be usefully adopted and methodologically applied either partially or fully depending on circumstances; or whole parts can be skipped and not read at all.
...it is not even our intention that everyone should read the Handbook in the way one would go through a (good) novel – sequentially, and from cover to cover. We therefore urge readers to use their common sense and treat it as one does an edited book, or researchers to read it in the same way one reads a mechanics manual for finding out about one’s car. Treat the contents page as an à la carte menu, read the bits that are interesting, take what is relevant for whatever research task is at hand, and skim what is not relevant.While the rest of the text loses the sense of humor, it is a pretty useful document. Get the pdf here.
States for most of history have been unrelenting, coercive, and all-consuming. If you think of states as merely benign or civilizing, you will fail to understand the shape of society. You can try to run away, but you will come home. Here’s a carrot for your trouble.I guess I should not be too surprised; earlier in the semester, Professor Blattman used Babar to demonstrate European colonial rule in Africa. On a completely unrelated note, he has small children...
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