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eBook The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself download

by Lawrence E. Harrison

eBook The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself download ISBN: 0195300416
Author: Lawrence E. Harrison
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Annotated edition edition (May 1, 2006)
Language: English
Pages: 288
ePub: 1501 kb
Fb2: 1440 kb
Rating: 4.7
Other formats: docx lit rtf azw
Category: Political
Subcategory: Politics and Government

Larry Harrison's book The Central Liberal Truth has done that for development theory. This book is a must read. -Andrew Natsios, former Administrator, .

Larry Harrison's book The Central Liberal Truth has done that for development theory. Agency for International Development. Lawrence Harrison's previous writings have made him a leading, perhaps the leading, scholar exploring, analyzing, and documenting the central impact of culture on how society develops, or fails to develop, economically and politically.

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Lawrence E. Harrison (March 11, 1932 - December 9, 2015) was an American scholar known for his work on international . The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself (2006). Harrison (March 11, 1932 - December 9, 2015) was an American scholar known for his work on international development and being former USAID mission director to various Latin American countries. He is the past director of the Cultural Change Institute at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, where he also served as an adjunct lecturer  .

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The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself. In this book, however, we are interested in how culture affects societal development; if culture includes everything, it explains nothing. To explore the truth of Moynihan's two truths, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies organized, under the direction of Lawrence Harrison, the project of which this book is the principal but not the only product. Hence we define culture in purely subjective terms as the values, attitudes, beliefs, orientations, and underlying assumptions prevalent among people in a society.

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The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself. The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself. Lawrence E. Harrison.

In this book, Lawrence E. Harrison offers intriguing answers to these questions, in a valuable follow-up to his . Harrison offers intriguing answers to these questions, in a valuable follow-up to his acclaimed. The cases described within are necessary background for decisions being made today,and I sincerely hope our policymakers will study them.

Culture Politics and culture Social values. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book

Culture Politics and culture Social values. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book The central liberal truth : how politics can change a culture and save it from itself, Lawrence E.

is helpful: The central conservative truth is that culture, not politics, determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself. 2' Historian Harvey Nelsen has asked the right question: How. can politics save a culture from itself? There is only one way, he answers, through the development of new consciousness? People have conversion experiences and epiphanies. The Great Depression is a classic example.

Which cultural values, beliefs, and attitudes best promote democracy, social justice, and prosperity? How can we use the forces that shape cultural change, such as religion, child-rearing practices, education, and political leadership, to promote these values in the Third World--and for underachieving minorities in the First World? In this book, Lawrence E. Harrison offers intriguing answers to these questions, in a valuable follow-up to his acclaimed Culture Matters. Drawing on a three-year research project that explored the cultural values of dozens of nations--from Botswana, Sweden, and India to China, Egypt, and Chile--Harrison offers a provocative look at values around the globe, revealing how each nation's culture has propelled or retarded their political and economic progress. The book presents 25 factors that operate very differently in cultures prone to progress and those that resist it, including one's influence over destiny, the importance attached to education, the extent to which people identify with and trust others, and the role of women in society. Harrison pulls no punches, and many of his findings will be controversial. He argues, for example, that Protestantism, Confucianism, and Judaism have been more successful in promoting progress than Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and Islam. Harrison rejects the Bush administration's doctrine that "the values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society." Thus nations like Iraq and Afghanistan--where illiteracy, particularly among women, and mistrust are high and traditions of cooperation and compromise are scant--are likely to resist democracy. Most important, the book outlines a series of practical guidelines that developing nations and lagging minority groups can use to enhance their political, social, and economic well-being. Contradicting the arguments of multiculturalists, this book contends that when it comes to promoting human progress, some cultures are clearly more effective than others. It convincingly shows which values, beliefs, and attitudes work and how we can foster them.
Comments: (7)
Agamaginn
This is a great book, especially for those who have read Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (as one reviewer already pointed out). It provides an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the issue as to why some countries are essentially predisposed towards dominating others.
The funny thing, and somewhat contrary to the title of the book, is that it is not exactly liberal friendly (at least in the context of its normal usage). The premise of the book is essentially that culture does matter but some cultures lend themselves, by virtue of their values and ideals, towards cultural stances that do not promote democracy, human rights, or economic development. I reiterate, which some negative reviewers have complained about, is that this book is not liberal in the traditional sense so that those with a cultural relativism stance are bound to take issue with Harrison's views. I enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
Tygrarad
I must say that reading this book was a quantum leap from the last several political books that I've read, which were written by pundits. This book is a bit dry at times, but it contains real reasearch about reality.

The "take home lesson" I got out of reading this book is:

First, "Freedom and Democracy" isn't for every nation because a nation, or culture, must have certain values internalized before freedom or democracy can work. This is a rebuke to ideologues on the "right" who think that we can superimpose our style of government on any nation out there.

However, this book is also a stinging rebuttal of the leftist who believes that John Lennon's "Imagine" expressed the ideal for humanity. "Imagine no religion..." No, we really can't afford to "imagine no religion" because it seems that decentralized Christianity (Protestantism) gave the world the most "progressive" culture that has even been. And, we can't "Imagine no possessions" because it is the possibility of home ownership that gives people a stake in their society.

Finally, this book delivers a body blow to "multiculturalism". Some cultures are sick, and this book explains how they can get better.

I could go on, but my point is that an exhaustive study has been completed that ties culture to "progress", and it's probably not what anyone who is narcissistically attached to a particular political ideology wants to hear. However, it is in this book, which I would recommend to anyone interested in politics and culture.
sobolica
Essential reading for anyone delving into the mystery of economic and political development around the world.
Prince Persie
I found this book to be too diffuse in its coverage to be of much use to me. It tries to cover 25 cultural factors for many situations and is generally lacking in quantitative analysis. I found it hard to see how the various cultural factors are related, and what their importance is in specific situations. Thus I believe that political scientists and sociologists will find the book of greater value than economists. Perhaps it tries to do too much at one time.

The Spring 2006 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives has a symposium of articles on cultural economics, and I found David Landes' article on the development of China and Europe over the last millennium, and the economic analysis of a few cultural factors like "trust" by Guiso et al to be of greater interest to me as an economist because of their specific and quantitative nature. Since Kahneman and Tversky did their pioneering work, a whole new field of cultural or psychological economics has been opened and it may take many years before we have a comprehensive economics based on people as they are and not on "economic man." Certainly "culture matters", but it is too soon for an economic synthesis of the field.
Dellevar
I was cheering on this book through the first two chapters. He was absolutely convincing to me -- culture explains so much better than any other reason why some countries do so much better than others. Harrison came up with 25 possible cultural factors that explain why some countries become developed and others don't. I was looking forward to further discussion and analysis on which factors were most important, using some kind of quantitative analysis.

Then the wheels came off. Harrison dived right into the methodology of changing the cultures of undeveloped countries, without even figuring out which factors truly made a difference. It seemed to me that he wasn't really interested in making a definitive case that culture was the reason for underdevelopment. Harrison was already convinced of this in his head, and he had his own ideas on which of the 25 factors were the most important ones. It was just a matter of figuring out how to change these cultures. He is so caught up in the culture of development economics that he makes the same mistake as everyone else in the field. He knows what is wrong; he just needs to fix it; the hell with more study. I believe the failure of these international economic developers for the last 50 years make it apparent that we need to look at the situation more clearly before rushing in half-cocked.

I was most disappointed in the third chapter, when he discusses methods of changing culture by indoctrinating the kids in developing country schools with First World values. I cringed at this idea for three reasons:
-- Harrison hadn't shown that the values he was trying to inculcate were in fact the values that would bring development to the country,
--He didn't show that schooling of kids in this manner would have the effect he wanted of changing the culture when everything else in society pointed in the other direction
--I was dubious about the ethics of subverting the kids in a country to values in opposition to the adults.

The rest of the book consisted of brief discussions of many different areas of the World, explaining how their culture was deficient for development, or ways to change said culture. The reviews of each area were both too brief to be satisfying, and totally lacking in quantitative analysis and statistics. In other words, the ideas and suggestions were just essays by people in his organization on each area. They were totally subjective and thus not very credible, in my mind.

Harrison never says how the changers of culture will succeed in infiltrating the societies he wants to change. He wants to change the values of the next generation in each country; but why would the current generation that is currently running the country let him in to make these changes? He has several examples of situations where people have gone in and tried to make these changes, but he never explains why the people there let him do it. My guess is that he plans to use Western money to bribe undeveloped countries to let them make adjustments to education, media etc. Kind of like, "We'll give you all this development money if you let us set up these schools." I think this will rarely work in making real change in a country. The governments will take the money and then make sure the initiatives don't work as planned.

I think the only way to get this cultural change to take place is to convince the elites in each country to believe that cultural change will in fact result in economic growth. To do that, someone needs to do a much better job than this book to show the evidence that certain values and behaviors correlate highly with economic development, and that certain other values and behavior do the opposite. This book makes a great beginning thesis, now someone needs to do the quantitative analysis. Of course many elites won't be convinced no matter how good the evidence, but there should be enough to move the project forward. Eventually the success of those following the program will convince more countries to follow along. Certainly this path will be long and difficult, but it will work better than the current haphazard approach of trying to change cultures in opposition to elites. Besides, the imperialistic approach is kind of contradictory to the "progressive" values he is seeking to impart.