From the Editor's Desk (February 2012)

Tony Addison

It’s now February, and Helsinki remains deep in snow. We had an extended blizzard last weekend, with temperatures hovering around minus five. It is getting lighter all the time, and eventually the longer days will add to the temperature triggering the start of the thaw. But spring remains a long way ahead.

Winter view from UNU-WIDER, February 2012.

Nevertheless, there is a spring in our step. We had a successful results meeting on the theme of aid, growth and macroeconomic management in Copenhagen in January. This was to report some findings from our ReCom programme on foreign aid, which is being undertaken with support from Danida and Sida. This month’s Angle includes a short report on the meeting by Lucy Scott and Annett Victorero, and links you up to our videos of the presentations. We do hope that you can take some time out to view them.

Also in this month’s Angle is a piece by Oliver Morrissey on ‘Aid and Government Fiscal Behaviour: What Does the Evidence Say?’, based on his paper for ReCom now out as a UNU-WIDER working paper.

I also recently attended the ‘Helsinki Process +10 conference’, organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. I participated in the first meetings of the Helsinki Process ten years ago, and the last decade has certainly not been a quiet one. A decade ago the big discussions were around the governance of globalization, today the big discussion is around the governance of finance. In my presentation at the conference I reflected on a financial taxations tax (FTT), which is gaining popularity, and in this Angle I develop my thoughts on the FTT further.

More UNU-WIDER working papers are now out on the website. Sirkku Hellsten examines the thorny issue of transitional justice and aid in a working paper from ReCom. Ken Roberts looks at the politics of inequality and redistribution in Latin America, and Andrea Cornia discusses inequality trends and their determinants over the last two decades in the same region. There are many more working papers from our project on Latin America and its new development model coming out.

Coming up in March are two launches for the book Fragile States: Causes, Costs, and Responses, edited by Wim Naudé, Amelia Santos-Paulino, and Mark McGillivray, and published by Oxford University Press. The first launch will be on 14 March held in collaboration with UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy. And the second launch will be on 19 March, held within the framework of the annual conference of Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

Angle returns in March with more news from UNU-WIDER’s research programme. Until then, our readers in the southern hemisphere are encouraged to send us some sunshine to help us thaw out.

Tony Addison is Chief Economist-Deputy Director, and Editor of WIDERAngle newsletter.

WIDER Angle newsletter
February 2012
ISSN 1238-9544