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Oxford Academic to Deliver Thought-Provoking Worcester Lecture

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A thought-provoking lecture exploring the moral dilemmas of helping poorer countries will take place at Worcester Cathedral in October.

Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, at Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, will deliver the sixth annual Worcester Lecture.

The Worcester Lectures, hosted by the University of Worcester and Worcester Cathedral, are an annual contribution to the rich cultural life and heritage of Worcester, celebrating and further strengthening the links between the two institutions. As a common theme, the lectures aim to explore the important area of morality in public life.

Sir Paul’s lecture, titled ‘Helping the Poorest Countries: Moral Dilemmas?’ will take place on Tuesday 6th October 2015 at 6pm in The Nave, Worcester Cathedral.

Sir Paul Collier is currently Advisor to the Strategy and Policy Department of the International Monetary Fund, Advisor to the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, and a Visiting Professor at The Paris Institute of Political Studies.

From 1998 to 2003 he took a five-year Public Service leave, during which he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. Up to September 2012, he was Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics, and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford. In 2008 Sir Paul received a CBE for services to scholarship and development. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious A.SK Prize for Public Policy in Social Science, and in 2014 was awarded a Knighthood.

Sir Paul has written widely, including numerous articles for the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. His recent book, The Bottom Billion (Oxford University Press, 2007) won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine prizes and was the joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book prize. Other publications include Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (Vintage Books, 2009); The Plundered Planet: How to reconcile prosperity with nature (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press and Penguin, 2013).

Sir Paul’s current research is on harnessing natural resources for development, urbanization, the economics of AIDS, and the economics and social psychology of culture.

This lecture will focus on urbanisation and its economic and cultural impact on rural societies. Through extensive research and debate, Sir Paul Collier will ask these conjunctural and essential questions: should we encourage urbanisation or try to preserve rural societies? Should we insist on democracy and human rights? And: Do we need to be cruel to be kind?