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United Nations Series on Development

The UN Series on Development presents work undertaken by staff of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in particular the Development Policy and Analysis Division, in the course of their research for the flagship publication, World Economic and Social Survey.

Climate Protection and Development

Franck Ackerman, Richard Kozul-Wright and Rob Vos, eds. (Bloomsbury, 2012)

The climate and development crises will be solved together, or not at all. This book explores the interconnected issues of climate and development, laying the ground work for just such a new deal. It presents a challenging agenda and highlights the needs and perspectives of developing countries which may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable to readers in high-income countries. The unfortunate truth is that any large country or group of mid-sized countries can veto any global climate solution by refusing to participate, so a solution will only work if it works for everyone. The book builds on research undertaken for the World Economic and Social Survey 2009: Promoting Development, Saving the Planet.

Globalization and Economic Diversification:
Policy Challenges for Economies in Transition

Rob Vos and Malinka Koparanova, eds.
(Bloomsbury, 2011)

The transition from planned economy to market economy is no guarantee for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. Taking stock twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this volume analyses the varied and distinctive experiences of the economies of the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia and other previously centrally-planned economies in Eastern Europe. The authors find that the more successful cases have been those countries that accompanied market reforms with active industrial and other economic policies promoting economic diversification and integration. Such strategies helped spread and sustain welfare improvements, much more so than in the transition economies that continued to rely on natural resource exports and low-value added economic activity. Employing new research and expert analysis, Globalization and Economic Diversification addresses fundamental questions and challenges faced by economies in transition. It is an indispensable volume in making sense of the patchy economic development of the past twenty years and the challenges which lie ahead for these mostly still-precarious economies.

Securing Peace: State-building and Economic Development
in Post-conflict Countries

Richard Kozul-Wright and Pierguiseppe Fortunato, eds.
(Bloomsbury, 2011)


To those living in war-torn communities, the exit from conflict is a long and precarious route. Though military conflict may have ceased, violence, economic instability and social disorder is likely to extend far beyond the end of open warfare. The sustainability of peace in these conditions is a vital concern: How can we recover crucial institutions, ensure a stable social contract and engineer a lasting exit from conflict? Securing Peace delivers a powerful and involved response to this challenging question. With analysis ranging from the historical Marshall Plan, to critiques of contemporary development policy, Securing Peace is a comprehensive and concise response to the problem of post-conflict development, one which illuminates the challenges ahead, and works towards their resolution.

Economic Insecurity and Development

Rob Vos and Richard Kozul-Wright, eds.
(United Nations, 2010)


A growing sense of increased economic insecurity has emerged world-wide. Economic progress in many parts of the world has been accompanied by highly volatile markets, rising inequality, greater job insecurity and weakening or non-existent social protection. Climate change and increasingly destructive natural disasters are likewise affecting economic livelihoods of many, especially in the developing world. Until recently, these heightened economic risks have often been met with the response that the forces behind them are autonomous and irresistible, beyond our collective political control.  Economic Insecurity and Development argues that such complacency is the wrong response. Instead, it calls for more active and integrated policy responses to help communities better manage new risks, to mitigate their downside risks and, ideally, to prevent them ever becoming a serious threat in the first place.

Ageing and Development

Rob Vos, José Antonio Ocampo and Ana Luiza Cortez, eds.
(Orient Longman; Third World Network; and Zed Books, 2008)


That we all live longer is perhaps one of the greatest achievements of human progress. Yet increased life expectancy and lower fertility rates across the globe are having a huge impact on the structure of populations, offering both challenges and opportunities for the future. Ageing and Development is an authoritative analysis of the social and economic implications of this trend. Can we provide enough pensions for old people to live comfortably? How can old people be empowered to play a more positive role in society? What are the implications for health services? Providing a wealth of statistical and quantitative evidence and compiled by leading economists working at the forefront of this area, this book argues that these challenges are not insurmountable, but societies everywhere need to put in place the required policies to confront these challenges effectively. This book presents a revised version of the World Economic and Social Survey 2007: Development in an Ageing World.

Uneven Economic Development

José Antonio Ocampo and Rob Vos, eds.
(Orient Longman; Third World Network; and Zed Books, 2008)


Inequality in the world is high and rising. The problem of global uneven development is central to, and inseparable from, the international development agenda. In Uneven Economic Development, leading economists and development experts examine the causes and implications of international economic divergences. The book reviews economic growth and structural change patterns since the 1960s, before critically reviewing the respective role and impact of trade liberalization, macroeconomic policies, governance and institutions on comparative national economic performance, particularly in developing countries. This book presents a revised version of the World Economic and Social Survey 2006: Diverging Growth and Development.

Growth Divergences: Explaining Differences in Economic Performance

José Antonio Ocampo, Jomo K. S. and Rob Vos, eds.
(Orient Longman; Third World Network;
and Zed Books, 2007)


Unlike the 1950s and the 1960s, when the rising tide of economic growth lifted most economies, the last three decades have been characterized by a paradox of greater international economic integration as well as divergent economic growth performances. In recent years, most developing countries have grown faster than the developed economies. But the converse has been true in the 1980s and 1990s, except for a number of mostly Asian developing economies. Hence, the growing North-South gap of the last two centuries has been moderated by the better economic performance of China, India and others in East Asia, implying the expansion of the “middle income” category. Growth Divergences seeks to explain these major differences in economic performance in recent decades by considering the dynamics of international economic growth, diverging growth rates, economic structures, and sources of demand, successes and collapses in the developing world, recent episodes of real income stagnation of countries.