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Book launch - Aid on the Edge of Chaos: rethinking international cooperation in a complex world

12 February 2014 16:00 - 17:00
Julien Study Centre Lecture Theatre
University of East Anglia

It is widely recognised that the foreign aid system is in need of drastic change. But there are conflicting opinions as to what is needed. Some call for dramatic increases in resources, to meet long-overdue commitments, and to scale up what is already being done around the world. Others point to the flaws in aid, and bang the drum for cutting it altogether. Meanwhile, growing numbers are suggesting that what is most needed is the creative, innovative transformation of how aid works. Aid on the Edge of Chaos is firmly in the third of these camps.

Ben Ramalingam shows that the linear, mechanistic models and assumptions on which foreign aid is built are inadequate in the dynamic, complex world we face today. Instead, he argues that a new approach embracing the 'new science' of complex adaptive systems can make foreign aid more relevant, more appropriate, more innovative, and more catalytic. His findings are based on insights, experiences and remarkable results of practitioners who are already putting these principles into action.

This book launch will present the main themes and findings of Aid on the Edge of Chaos and provide an opportunity for discussion and debate with the author, key speakers from the international development world and the audience.

Refreshments will be served after the discussion.

Copies of Aid on the Edge of Chaos will be available for sale at the event.

For more information about the book, visit the OUP website. You can read a preview of the first chapter here.



Ben Ramalingam, Author of Aid on the Edge of Chaos


Seb Taylor, School of International Development


John McDonagh, Head of School of International Development, UEA