As we near the end of the second month of 2014, I fear already that this year is going to go in a flash. Certainly 2013 whizzed by for UNU-WIDER with all the events, publications (including 144 working papers), and then the 2013 Global Go-To Think Tanks Report--which again placed us in the top ten. Here in Helsinki we have been getting our new research programme underway (on transformation, inclusion, and sustainability). We are also preparing for the New York launch of Falling Inequality in Latin America: Policy Changes and Lessons (Oxford University Press for UNU-WIDER, January 2014), edited by Giovanni Andrea Cornia, who led a large team of researchers in this UNU-WIDER project. The research findings and book were also discussed at ECLAC's regional annual seminar on fiscal policy, in Santiago, Chile in January.
In this Angle I discuss UNU-WIDER's move to open access for as much of its research output as we can achieve. Thus our new UNU-WIDER special issue of the Review of Income and Wealth, on 'Poverty, Development, and Behavioral Economics', edited by Markus Jantti, Ravi Kanbur, and Jukka Pirttila, is completely open access. We have special issues of the Journal of Development Economics and World Development (to mention just two forthcoming special issues) coming out later this year as well.
The second Angle piece is by Rachel Gisselquist. Recently, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, came out with a piece claiming that academics are too much engaged with narrow issues, and that much of their work is irrelevant to the bigger questions (and, to drive the point home, Kristoff argues that researchers write in turgid prose as well). Rachel rises to Kristof's challenge with a vibrant defense of political science, both its approach and its focus.
This month's VideoAngle is an interview with Sam Jones, of the University of Copenhagen, and a regular in UNU-WIDER's work programme. Sam is an authority on aid and its impact, and is closely engaged with the policy debate in Mozambique, having worked there for many years--and still travelling back and forth from his Copenhagen base.
Our ReCom - Research and Communication Foreign Aid programme website is getting a lot of hits. You might want to take a look again at the videos, including one by Amartya Sen on the importance of gender to development, from the 'Aid for Gender Equality' results meeting held in...