Poverty & Freedom, edited by Atlas Network President Matt Warner, has been translated into French, Greek, Hindi, Spanish, and Ukrainian—an exciting step in empowering local leaders to employ local solutions to solve problems in their communities. The book offers first-hand examples of the positive impact pro-market think tanks have had in reducing poverty and improving the lives of people all over the world, and its translation ensures that its message will reach communities worldwide.
The French translation—completely by Emmanuel Martin, director of the Institute of Economic Studies in Europe—was developed to reach African francophone countries. Despite decades of being on the receiving end of foreign aid, many countries throughout Africa remain underdeveloped. Martin hopes Poverty & Freedom will alter public perceptions of think tanks and inspire a new era for local think tanks and activism in Africa.
The French translation of Poverty & Freedom was developed to reach African francophone countries.
“Africa is the ultimate example of why we need to be ‘Doing development differently’ as soon as possible,” said Martin. “The young Africans—the ‘Cheetah generation’—need the help of think tanks to guide and defend them and to catalyze their creativity to unleash their potential, together with their countries' potential.”
Articles promoting the French translation of the book have been published on ContrePoints in France, and CDE Great Lakes has also published an article in French encouraging Burundians to read the book. The Audace Institut Afrique has promoted the book on their website to frame its context and applicability for francophone readers.
The Greek translation offers a new path for the country and has already sold more than 2,500 copies. According to Alexander Skouras, president of KEFiM and facilitator of the Greek translation, its message of the importance of locally driven solutions, as opposed to relying on foreign experts and international institutions, is critical in moving towards a more prosperous Greece.
The Greek translation of Poverty & Freedom has sold more the 2,500 copies.
“In the aftermath of the Greek crisis, it became evident that without reform ownership by local stakeholders and policy makers, any progress made would be fragile and temporary,” said Skouras. “This book offers many important examples that confirm this notion. The path towards greater prosperity and human development is not like a piece of software that can be exported from one place and imported to another one. Each country has its own unique and nuanced political and social conditions and reformers need to take that into account.”
The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) hosted an e-launch and online panel discussion celebrating the Hindi translation of Poverty & Freedom on July 18. According to CCS, the development of India is plagued by a paternalistic and “welfarist” framework, and the country continues to bear the burden of colonial rule. The country has marginal voices that have only now begun to reject modernization steered by global aid regimes, and CCS’ team believes that the Hindi translation of Poverty & Freedom will bring new insights for many policymakers and stakeholders in the region. CCS is hopeful that readers leave with the critical lesson that local organizations can steer social change through pro-liberty policies that advance individual freedom and opportunity to create prosperity in their communities.
“[The book] can provide insights in steering developmental reforms and global best practices and success stories that can resonate in the Indian context—and hopefully, foster greater support for and recognition of local think tanks and organizations working to expand freedom and inclusive markets to lift people out of poverty through dignity and opportunity,” said Himanshu Dhingra of CCS.
The translated copy will be available as an online book and on the CCS and Azadi.me websites. The book will also be a pre-reading requirement for the Centre for Civil Society’s Hindi edition of their introductory certificate course on public policy for young leaders and journalists. Hard copies will be further distributed to government officials, journalists, and policy experts once it becomes available.
The Spanish translation of Poverty & Freedom will be released in September. With consistent, unfair regulations being passed in countries like Costa Rica, business ventures often fail, and unemployment figures remain high in the region. Most anti-poverty efforts in countries like Costa Rica rely heavily on foreign aid and government intervention, a model which has not proven to be successful. For Spanish-speaking countries to successfully advance reforms that yield human flourishing rather than increased poverty, a focus on locally driven solutions by local leaders is paramount.
“This necessary discussion is currently absent in Spanish-speaking countries and the book translation will offer freedom champions working in these countries an alternative approach to fight poverty, so that individuals can improve their prosperity and societies can flourish,” said Luis Loría, president and founder of IDEAS Labs, based in Costa Rica. There will be over 1,000 first edition copies printed to be distributed at Atlas Network events, and paperback and online versions of the Spanish copy will be available via Amazon.
In Ukraine, Poverty & Freedom offers an account of the importance of the rule of the law and why limiting government intervention in the market is so critical for prosperity. According to Nataliya Melnyk, who translated this version, this message is particularly critical in Ukraine to inspire citizens to unite together to question the status quo and work to resolve local issues.
“In a post-Soviet country where the majority of the population is heavily reliant on the government to intervene and get things done, it is very important to show that it is possible to drive change in a different way, outside of the state apparatus and often in spite of its resistance,” said Melnyk.
The Ukrainian translation is set for release within the next few weeks, and Ukrainian think tanks, opinion leaders, and civil society activists will receive hard copies of the book. Since in-person events have been postponed due to COVID-19, a PDF version of the book will be widely available.
The translated copies of the book will ensure that its message of locally driven solutions as the key to prosperity will reach audiences worldwide. Atlas Network looks forward to seeing the results its real-world examples and think tank success stories will have in inspiring a new approach to economic development in countries globally.