Capacity Building in Economics Education and Research

Capacity Building in Economics Education and Research

Capacity Building in Economics Education and Research

Capacity Building in Economics Education and Research

Synopsis

Adherents of the Abrahamic religions have traditionally held that God is morally perfect and unconditionally deserving of devotion, obedience, love, and worship. The Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptures tell us that God is compassionate, merciful, and just. As is well-known, however, these same scriptures contain passages that portray God as wrathful, severely punitive, and jealous. Critics furthermore argue that the God of these scriptures commends bigotry, misogyny, and homophobia, condones slavery, and demands the adoption of unjust laws-for example, laws that mandate the death penalty for adultery and rebellion against parents, and laws institutionalizing in various ways the diverse kinds of bigotry and oppression just mentioned. In recent days, these sorts of criticisms of the Hebrew Bible have been raised in new and forceful ways by philosophers, scientists, social commentators, and others.

This volume brings together eleven original essays representing the views of both critics and defenders of the character of God as portrayed in these texts. Authors represent the disciplines of philosophy, religion, and Biblical studies. Each essay is accompanied by comments from another author who takes a critical approach to the thesis defended in that essay, along with replies by the essay's author.

Excerpt

This volume is a valuable contribution to our understanding of building local capacity in economics education and research in developing and transition countries. Over the past 20 years, the World Bank and its committed partners have supported developing and transition countries in building viable educational and research institutions that can help to effectively transform these countries’ stagnant economies into more dynamic and forward-looking economies.

The conference which gave rise to this volume was a joint effort between the World Bank and its partners. On behalf of the World Bank, I thank our partners— the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Citigroup Foundation, the Eurasia Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Starr Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian governments—for their steadfast support in improving economics education and research in developing and transition countries.

Over an extended period the World Bank has provided substantial support for capacity-building in economic research through the Research Support Budget as well as through the Development Grant Facility and the Global Development Network. the main focus of this work has been on Africa and Europe and Central Asia, most recently the Caucasus. Today we have several “centers of excellence” in economics education and research in a variety of developing and transitional countries. These institutions include the African Economic Research Consortium in Nairobi, the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, the China Center for Economic Research in Beijing, the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education in Prague, the Economics Education and Research Consortium’s M.A. program in Moscow and at the Mohyla Academy in Kyiv, the New Economic School in Moscow, as well as many others.

These “centers of excellence” in economics are recognized as leaders in education and research in their respective country or region, because they offer high quality education and produce policy relevant research as well as skilled economists via their masters and doctorate programs. Considering the difficulty of capacity building in general, these efforts are seen as being remarkable achievements, and some are seen as models for capacity-building efforts in other disciplines.

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