Unified Growth Theory

According to Oded Galor it has become evident that in the absence of a unified growth theory that is consistent with the entire process of development, the understanding of the contemporary growth process would be limited and distorted. He quote Copernicus to the effect that:

?It is as though an artist were to gather the hands, feet, head and other members for his images from diverse models, each part perfectly drawn, but not related to a single body, and since they in no way match each other, the result would be monster rather than man.?
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Kosovo’s ‘Glowing Progress’

In the light of what went on around yesterday’s post, I find the following report incredible:

“Kosovo’s U.N. governor will tell the U.N. Security Council next week the disputed province has made major progress on security and minority rights, in a report that could mark the beginning of the end of the province’s uncertain status.

In the report, seen by Reuters ahead of its presentation in New York on May 27, Kosovo’s U.N. governor Soren Jessen-Petersen, a Danish diplomat, details “significant progress” over the past three months on all eight “benchmarks.”

These are democracy standards set by the West as a condition for opening talks on whether the protectorate ultimately becomes independent, as its 90 percent Albanian majority demands, or remains nominally part of Serbia, as Belgrade insists.

Now either the Independent report about the absence of security of minority rights was false (in which case the article was even more absurd) or – more probably – the UN governor, not having read the Independent’s account of the state of things, is giving the clean bill of health in order to move things on, since the staus quo obviously cannot continue indefinitely.

Perhaps the key is to be found here: “The United States and
European Union want the talks to start in the autumn, to head off any risk of fresh violence from Albanians impatient to close the final chapter in the bloody collapse of Yugoslavia which led to war in Kosovo in 1998-99.”

This may be, and pragmatism does dictate that something should be done, but should we really be fooling ourselves that ‘major progress has been made’ if it in fact hasn’t.

Turkey recommended for EU accession talks

The European Commission has recommended that accession talks for Turkey should begin, but hasn’t laid out any dates for the process:

Commission officials are reporting on the progress Turkey has already made, along with Bulgaria and Romania.

The final decision on Turkey rests with the leaders of all 25 EU member states in December – with accession years off.

The Commission’s recommendation is a milestone in an increasingly impassioned debate.

The decision was reached by a “large consensus” among commissioners, one EU official said, but no vote was taken.

There was also no recommended date to start negotiations with Turkey.

More from The Scotsman/PA, EU Business, Reuters and EU Observer.

Update: The full text of Romano Prodi’s speech can be found here and I’ve copied it below, so you can click on the ‘continue reading’ link to see it as the English HTML link on the site doesn’t seem to be working (pdf and doc links are).
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The Country That Has it All

Posting under the header: ‘More Signs That We Are In the Twentieth Century After All’ my young Argentinian co-blogger notes crypically “I don’t know what a XIXth (or XXth) century englishman would say, if we told him that English unions would one day protest against losing skilled jobs to India”……… adding…………”and, in the heels of our previous post about Sekhar Kapur interview, today the blogsphere is buzzing with news of the P2P network Kazaa’s agreement to distribute (in a pay-per-view fashion) the indian film Supari. If this works out economically, the sidelining of traditional distribution channels might very well enhance the global reach of Bollywood productions, specially among the growing Asian diaspora in the developed world. We are truly living in interesting times”. (BTW: I owe the post on Kapur to Marcelo: completely. If it wasn’t for Argentina, what would I know about India!).

In the comments I respond “Absolutely, there is another big push going on, Google’s innovative share offer is another example, maybe blog portals will be another. Something is really happening out there”. So it’s wakey wakey time. For the first time since the mid-ninetees the thing is really humming. First-movers, creative destruction, defining moments: get tighly back in your seats. Hold on for the bumpy ride.

And meantime, exceptionally, and on a boring grey Saturday morning: news from the country that has it all: problems, problems, problems.
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IGC: ‘Decisive Measures’ Needed?

Well it certainly seems to have gone eerily quiet over here. Meantime the Intergovernmental Conference has been working its weary way onward. Perhaps it’s a measure of the magnitude of the boredom that no-one has felt sufficiently inspired to get down to writing about it. This definitely hasn’t been the case with fellow blogger Eurosavant, who has a substantial piece reviewing the response across some parts of the European press. His principal conclusion on the progress: there hasn’t been any. His feeling: that we Europeans need to ‘be more decisive’. Maybe he has a point. He certainly is right that pragmatically this might have been better sorted-out if things had been done before the membership expansion. I suppose in the end we will ‘muddle through’. I don’t share the disintegration perspective, I don’t really think there’s anywhere else to go in an increasingly interconnected world, but equally I don’t really suppose we have missed an opportunity to inspire the world with our dynamic and vigourous European leadership. I don’t think things ever were going to pan out in that direction. The future is looking as if it’s going to have a decidedly Asian flavour about it.
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