The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence Hardcover – Jan 15 2014
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"Gripping and perspective-altering book." --David Brooks, The New York Times
"Throughout my life I've seen firsthand that while talent, ambition, and hard work are distributed equally among all people around the world, many face challenges each day simply surviving. The Locust Effect is a compelling reminder that if we are to create a 21st century of shared prosperity, we cannot turn a blind eye to the violence that threatens our common humanity." --President Bill Clinton
"The Locust Effect provides a much-needed argument for reducing violence against the poor and a demonstration -- through first hand stories that are both shocking and true -- of why that goal is so vital. By reminding us that basic legal protections are not a privilege, but a universal right, Gary Haugen has issued a moral call to arms that informs the brain and touches the heart." --Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State
"This extraordinary book offers surprising and valuable insights about the nature and the drivers of the plague of violence that haunts the global poor as well as smart ideas about how to tackle it. A must-read." --Moisés Naím, Scholar, Carnegie Endowment, author of The End of Power, and former editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy
"You may 'know' that the world's poor suffer common everyday violence -- robbery, extortion, rape, murder, torture-a stream of humiliating assaults on their dignity. You may 'know' that this implies lost productivity and ultimately lost growth for low-income economies. Haugen asks why, if we know all that, we do so little? ...Read this book and you will be convinced the issue deserves more of your attention." --Nancy Birdsall, Founding President, Center for Global Development
"Some of the biggest ideas are right in front of us but still invisible. The Locust Effect brings home, in convincing and powerful detail, the simple but oh-so-important point that poverty results from violence as much as violence results from poverty. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in development, security, and the failure of billions of people to achieve their potential." --Anne-Marie Slaughter, President, New America Foundation, and Professor Emeritus of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
"The Locust Effect presents a compelling and shocking portrayal of the relationship between violence and poverty. The book convincingly argues that violence is the missing link in our understanding of global poverty and of our development interventions. Haugen has spent decades in extraordinary work to address violence, to free those subjected to it, and to apply the rule of law. His firsthand account brings needed moral and developmental urgency to the relentless and pervasive violence poor people experience, especially women and girls. This is a must-read book that will fundamentally expand our analysis of the nature of global poverty and our efforts to overcome it." --Maria Otero, Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, and Former President and CEO of ACCION International
"In a world of simplistic and knee-jerk responses to the world's problems, Gary Haugen arrives with insight, wisdom, and realism. The Locust Effect is a game-changer. He shows us how violence slices through all our good intentions, negating development, rights, and freedom. This is a book that is as smart as it is heartfelt, as grounded as it is creative. These are ideas of real power and grace." --Kevin Bales, Professor of Contemporary Slavery, University of Hull, and Co-Founder, Free the Slaves
"This crucial study carefully documents the fundamental truth that the end of poverty demands the end of violence. Both fascinating and important, Gary Haugen's book is a moving demonstration that is at once fact-filled and highly readable -- a truly unusual combination." --Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
"The Locust Effect is a wake-up call to everyone who cares about global poverty. As International Justice Mission's Gary Haugen and co-author Victor Boutros report, with painstaking data and breathtaking cases from the field, unchecked violent crime against the poorest, especially girls and women, isn't just a human rights problem. It is a drag on development that no amount of foreign aid can fix if functioning public justice systems aren't part of the solution." --Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google Giving
"The Locust Effect does a great service to masses of poor and vulnerable children and adults who are victims of everyday, ordinary violent crime but who are wholly unprotected by law enforcement institutions. International Justice Mission and authors Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros have put the life and death issue of poor people's access to the rule of law squarely on the agenda of governments, development institutions, and civil society." --Elisa Massimino, President and CEO of Human Rights First
"Gary Haugen reveals in painful detail the brokenness of our criminal justice systems. He also shows us that it's possible to fix them. The work of IJM that he narrates from Cebu City in the Philippines, for example, is an extraordinary story of how a committed team can come to understand justice system failures, support improvements at every step in the law enforcement process, strengthen the hand of internal reform champions, and achieve transformation. There are people in every corner of the world working to advance justice. I recommend this book to all of them." --Vivek Maru, CEO and Founder of Namati, and Founder and Former Director for Timap for Justice
"The Locust Effect makes a compelling case that a country that wants to grow and prosper needs a public justice system that protects its people, especially victims of crime, exploitation and oppression. Developing nations that must provide their citizens police who are honest, active and willing to protect victims of crime and exploitation -- especially the poorest and most vulnerable in society." -Major General Pol Phie They, Director of Cambodia's Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department
"An insightful, incisive analysis of violence as it impacts every level of the plight of the poor. A compelling wake-up call for all who care about justice and human rights. It tells the truth and gives tools and guidelines that demand attention." --Tim Costello, Chief Executive, World Vision Australia
"I have seen firsthand the ravages of violence against women and children all over the world. International Justice Mission continues to bring to light the impact of common crime not only on individual victims, but on whole countries. The Locust Effect is a must-read book for everybody who cares about the poorest of the poor." --Cindy Hensley McCain, Humanitarian and Business Owner
"Gary Haugen and IJM are waking up the social consciences of the worldwide Church even as they have shown the international human rights community 'why the end of poverty requires the end of violence' caused by the widespread failure of justice systems in the developing world. In this important book, Haugen continues to do both." --Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New York City
"Gary Haugen's The Locust Effect is an exhaustive, devastatingly painful look at the very problem the 'civilized world' would rather not face: the systemic, unspeakable violence against the poorest of the world's poor. This book is hard to read. One wants to turn away. And yet the reader can only wonder what would happen without the profound work of Gary Haugen and International Justice Mission and their tireless efforts to end the madness." --Kathie Lee Gifford, Host on NBC's The TODAY Show
"When the bell tolls for justice throughout the modern world, Gary Haugen is most often nearby, raising his voice (and ours) as a tireless sentinel for freedom for the poor and oppressed--those who live beyond the reach of the protections many in the western world take for granted day by day. In The Locust Effect, Gary unveils the deeper issues of poverty and uncovers what we often fail to see, or worse, do not want to acknowledge is real." --Louie Giglio, Pastor, Passion City Church
"In a remarkably sensitive study, very aptly named The Locust Effect, the authors have provided many new valuable insights into the intimate relationship between poverty and violence plaguing the billions of global poor in many post-colonial societies across continents. This is also probably the first time that Western observers have come upon the unpleasant reality that it is, in fact, the native political establishments in South Asian countries themselves who stubbornly refuse to break away from the colonial ruler supportive police and criminal justice systems, concepts, laws, procedures, and mind sets imposed by the imperialist rulers, thus denying their peoples the benefits of a citizen friendly law enforcement system. An invaluable companion to all criminal justice studies." --Kirpal Dhillon, Former Director General of Police in the Indian states of Punjab and Madhya Pradesh; Vice Chancellor, Bhopal University, India
About the Author
Gary Haugen is President and CEO of International Justice Mission and Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Victor Boutros serves as a federal prosecutor who investigates and tries international human trafficking, official misconduct, and hate crimes cases around the country on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. He holds degrees from Baylor, Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. He has written on human rights and foreign affairs and has been a lecturer on thefaculty of the University of Chicago Law School.
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We would do well not to simply assume we know what the poor need. When asked, what the poor want most is not education, food, shelter or opportunity - they want to live in safety, without fear that the little they have and those they love could be decimated by evil-doers acting with impunity. They want justice: justice which HAS to come from public justice systems.
The thesis of the book is simple: the end of poverty requires the end of violence; and to end violence, countries need functioning public justice systems.
Haugen and Boutros carefully, academically, painstakingly and passionately argue that violence against the poor is both the biggest issue which the poor are facing, and also the single issue which the world at large has yet to address for human rights. They are clear in their probing as to how criminal justice systems got to be so bad, sober in their assessment of the task ahead, 100% convincing that this is the issue we HAVE to face head on if we are to seek justice for the billions of suffering people in our world.
The Locust Effect is not light reading. It doesn't have a silver bullet solution. It is emotionally unsatisfying to read: I wanted at least one really happy ending for the girls and women mentioned in the book. The book gives none - It is deeply disturbing and yet hopeful and purposeful.
Reading Half the Sky by Kristof and WuDunn was inspirational and has opened up a new conversation for how we can and must address the issues facing girls and women in the world. The Locust Effect is a necessary companion for us to continue that conversation. Criminals need to be tackled head on. Sex traffickers, rapists, slave owners, torturers and molesters cannot continue with impunity; and to do that - we need to get actively talking and thinking about public justice. This book is necessary reading if we are to make a meaningful contribution to tackling poverty in the 21st century.
"The Locust Effect" meets its goal to build a rigorous case that the elimination of everyday violence is now the most critical factor in the battle against poverty. The book effectively demonstrates how such common violence robs impoverished families of the ability to use the new schools, new medical clinics, and the new water wells. Access to these resources is essentially denied when violent perpetrators roam unhindered to rape, beat, and rob vulnerable members of the community.
Stories of real people in real crises open the book. We learn their names and their situations. Their brave willingness to share their stories allows the authors to put faces on the atrocities the poor face daily. Their stories re-surface throughout the book, along with new victims and new heroes in the fight against violence. But "The Locust Effect" is also full of hard facts.
Statistics and studies fill the middle chapters. Like stats? You will overdose here! Don't like stats: skim the middle chapters but pause to absorb the stories and summaries. Ultimately, the abundance of references makes this book an invaluable resource for anyone studying or advocating on issues of global poverty. For the first time ever, titles and locations of academic journal articles, United Nations documents, World Bank reports, non-government organizations’ research, and personal interviews related to justice issues are all collated in one place. The bibliography and endnotes alone fill 40-plus pages in the volume.
"The Locust Effect" concludes with hope. The authors detail examples of reformed justice systems in modern-day cities as well as nations. It can be done! These final chapters take the “vastness” argument off the table -- that the problem is so huge and so complex and so risky that we cannot address it.
Haugen and Boutros reduce the enormity of the justice system brokenness into manageable, addressable pieces. They even suggest areas of research that are missing and needed to help move this conversation forward. In short time, "The Locust Effect" will soon come to serve the invaluable role of conversation-starter with common language and baselines.
Without reservation, I recommend "The Locust Effect". My shelves hold numerous works that address global poverty. None, however, address this missing piece in the struggle against poverty. Through The Locust Effect, I came to appreciate that the plague of everyday violence is the missing link toward the goal of eradicating extreme poverty worldwide. This volume will truly become one of the go-to resources for all who seek to crush global poverty!!
Posted by Sharon R. Hoover
Imagine what life would be like if you had NOTHING shielding you from violence.
“While the world has made encouraging strides in the fight against global poverty, there is a hidden crisis silently undermining our best efforts to help the poor….
…It is a plague of everyday VIOLENCE.”
Everyday thousands of people around the world work for humanitarian organizations invested in helping those in need, ending poverty and spreading awareness for Universal Human Rights. Many of these organizations solely focus on water aid, food aid, disease prevention, shelter, and education; unintentionally avoiding the underlying CORE issue(VIOLENCE) that strongly dictates the overall impact or efforts of their work in ending poverty.
There are many devastating things happening all over the world at any given time, but this book genuinely emphasizes how important everyday basic safety truly is in order to lead any sort of a productive life.
For example, we may be able to build a school in the developing world to give the opportunity for a substantial education, but of what use is this school if young girls are traumatized and afraid to walk there every morning due to the fear of rape or abduction? They inevitably do not receive a formal education, nor do they receive necessary assistance or protection from local law enforcement in order for them to flourish and make steady progress.
The core argument of The Locust Effect is that the direct solution to violence against the poor is law enforcement.
How can a society restrain violence if it only addresses the exacerbating factors in the absence of a functioning justice system? The Locust Effect lifts the veil on common forms of violence against the poor in the developing world(Corrupt police officers, forced labor, rape, murder) and sheds light on the lives of the 4 billion who live outside of the law’s protection.
This book is painful to read, but worth every heartbreaking minute. There are many detailed personal accounts of devastating violence against families and individuals who have no honest or effective way of protecting themselves. Nonetheless, it’s an enlightening and necessary read pertaining to universal human rights for those interested in making a lasting and positive global impact.
In order for there to be successful unified progress in ending global poverty, we must first address the underlying core issue of violence and the brokenness of developing world justice systems.
Violence and abuse may often be hidden, however we can no longer deny or turn a blind eye to it’s powerful negative impact on the world’s poor.
The Locust Effect will effortlessly inspire you and lead YOU to TAKE ACTION.
This book can be used as a tool for knowledge and motivation. It will forever change the way you view those living in poverty, and leave you with the hope that we CAN and WILL create safer environments for the poor to be given the equal opportunity to thrive!
In 2015 there will still be around 883 million people living in extreme poverty(according to The Locust Effect).
IJM is wholeheartedly invested in fighting to help those who have been taken advantage of(without financial means to protect themselves). This is a must read! And will hopefully evoke a passion inside of you to get involved with the International Justice Mission.
The problem they outline is that violence is endemic in the undeveloped world, and that violence affects mostly the poor, among other things keeping them poor. Violence against the poor stays endemic without a functioning justice system, which these countries lack. The authors’ main point is that you cannot correct poverty without first reducing this violence against the poor (they fortunately seem to reject out of hand the silly contention that poverty itself causes the violence), by creating a functioning justice system. So far, so good. Few people would dispute this analysis.
But while the authors focus on violence, with numerous tragic anecdotes, violence is merely the product of the real problem. To their credit, they do identify the real problem, but then focus exclusively on violence, not the cause of the violence, which makes their argument more emotionally compelling but less logical. The real problem, of course, is that the rule of law does not hold in most undeveloped countries—primarily in Africa, but also poor countries in South America (Brazil, Peru) and South Asia (Bangladesh).
This is not surprising, since the rule of law is essentially an old European concept, imported occasionally and tenuously, and only recently, into non-European cultures, which is what all undeveloped countries have. Arbitrary rule by the powerful has been the norm in most societies throughout history. The West has escaped this. In essence, Haugen and Boutros point out with emotion and vigor what is obvious to anyone in the abstract—in a Hobbesian society, only those with money or power, which in such societies are really the same thing, receive justice. Everyone else cannot get the police to be interested in them, other than as prey; cannot get judges to administer justice; and cannot get the prison system to be anything but abusive—because there is no rule of law.
The rule of law isn’t just criminal justice, although that’s the nearly exclusive focus of the authors. It’s also, and critically for economic development, the security of property against arbitrary imposition by the powerful (though the authors do touch on this). And, finally, the rule of law in a just society requires allowing the use of weapons by private citizens for self-defense, which mitigates the violence of the powerful against the week (as they said of Sam Colt, he made all men equal). Lack of the rule of law means not just no real justice system—it also means no functioning health system for the masses, no functioning higher level agriculture system that spreads technology (because of no credit and a disincentive to risks), and no education system.
In all the societies focused on by the Haugen and Boutros, such rule of law is essentially totally absent. Violence against people is merely the most dramatic manifestation of a problem that more generally creates a defective society that is unable to develop is any meaningful way. None of this is news, although the authors seem to think it is. This has all been a commonplace of Western thought since the ancient Greeks.
While admirable to point out, and something that should be decried as any injustice, that lack of the rule of law creates bad societies is not news. Crappy societies have always been crappy. How to uncrapify an inferior society when it’s always been crappy is the Big Question. But all these societies focused on by the authors are deficient across the board, not just in their justice systems. Their economies have not developed, any more than has the rule of law. They mostly produce little or nothing of value culturally and per capita income is tiny. This confluence of crappiness is not coincidence. In essence nobody with any historical sense can deny that undeveloped societies are backward through some combination of bad culture, bad organizations, and bad luck, though the weight of each factor varies. Absence of the rule of law is just another manifestation of being a backward culture overall.
The authors place considerable stock, in hoping for future improvement, in that justice systems in the West (i.e., the developed world) used to be deficient by our modern standards. They exaggerate this, though—of their five examples of deficiency, rolled out with great fanfare, all five are from the late 19th century, all five are from urban or industrial areas, and three are from the United States. A broader perspective would show these to be outriders resulting from a period of extreme population growth in certain areas, coupled with rapid social change. Colonial America, for example, had excellent rule of law. It’s simply not true that in, for example, any Western country the rule of law has permanently been as absent as the countries the authors profile, probably since Roman times. Certainly an Englishman of the 14th Century could generally expect the rule of law—not perfectly, perhaps, and subject to periods of lawlessness during warfare. But much more so than, apparently, a modern Peruvian.
However, just because, as the authors say, “it’s been done before,” by which they mean by the West, doesn’t mean it will be done by modern undeveloped countries. It doesn’t mean the undeveloped world is on that track, any more than that the undeveloped world is on the track toward economic modernization. More likely it’s just another example of the Great Divergence—part of the world, us, keeps getting better, and the rest of it improves in places, but relatively speaking falls farther behind. Why that is, is another question with plenty of speculation to be found.
The authors believe that economic development assistance to the developing world would work, but that it can’t until the rule of law is established. The necessity of the rule of law to economic development is an ancient truism the authors seem to think they’ve discovered. But the authors have no solution as to how improvements in the rule of law can be made in a country by external forces, other than paeans to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and similar high-sounding statements and efforts that have exactly zero impact on the undeveloped world, except as a way for those outside that world to feel good about themselves, and for people in power inside the undeveloped world to winkle money from the first group by mouthing platitudes that make them seem worthy of receiving more cash. The reality is that unless these countries want the rule of law, and have developed enough to have money to spend on a real justice system, they are not going to have the rule of law or a high functioning justice system in the modern sense. All the feel-good NGOs in the world will never make a difference otherwise.
Haugen and Boutros bizarrely simultaneously blame and absolve colonialism for the lack of the rule of law in the non-developed world. They argue that in places like India, colonial justice was designed to protect the colonists—administered in the language of the colonists, not used to serve the public, not interested in solving crimes, and so forth. This is dubious history—in India, for example, their main example, almost all of the justice system remained in the same local hands it always had, since there were very few British at all, and they only administered high level justice (like banning the traditional Indian practice of suttee, forced burning of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres).
But let’s assume that it’s true that colonial justice lacked the rule of law for the common people and that these countries inherited that problem. The authors then note that none of these countries have changed anything about their justice systems after colonialism. Apparently that’s the fault of colonialism too—not just in countries where a new authoritarianism replaced the old, but in democracies like India. Finally, they then proceed to admit, contrary to everything they’ve been arguing for pages, that “Colonialism does not, of course, explain everything about the brokenness of justice systems in the developing world. Indeed, there are some developing countries that were never fully colonized—e.g., Ethiopia and Thailand—and yet still struggle to provide the poor with functioning law enforcement, and it does not suggest that the pre-colonial justice systems in the developing world were any more effective in protecting the poor and weak from violence (generally they were not).” So apparently colonialism is irrelevant to the point at hand after all. And we’re back where we started.
In any case, Haugen and Boutros shrink from the obvious conclusion to all their analysis—if these problems are to be fixed, it is up to the societies that have those problems, not to us. There is nothing we can do. A society that has no rule of law is not going to have rule of law imposed from without. The same causes that result in no rule of law probably drive economic lassitude, over which we have equally no control, as shown repeatedly by the trillions thrown down the rathole of direct economic aid over the past decades, eaten up to no effect by elites and dictators. To a society that shows an actual willingness to improve its justice system, we can provide help through demonstrating systems of administration, as we did to post-Communist Eastern Europe with great success, or simply by being an example of how it can be done. Otherwise we are merely a voice crying in the Hobbesian wilderness.
The only example of (very narrow) success given by the authors, Georgia, simply proves that these countries need to help themselves, not that there is hope for most countries. Georgia apparently had considerable success reducing police corruption. Leaving aside that police corruption is only a small part of the overall puzzle of the rule of law, Georgia has close ties to the West, and the only reason there was any change was because of popular demand in an actual democracy that had enough money to actually have a functioning justice system. That doesn’t give much hope for Kenya and Sierra Leone. Creating the rule of law by sending “skilled defense attorneys . . . [as] the key to unlocking the full potential of criminal justice reforms,” and coupling that with “roundtable meetings where defense lawyers, judges, prosecutors, police, and prison officials can engage with one another and identify common ground” is just a pipe dream in societies where everything from child rape to murder is common because the rule of law does not run there. Haugen’s vigorous Christianity (not really mentioned in the book) gives him the optimism and strength to hope for change. That’s compassionate and compelling. And a book like this, focusing people on the problems of deficient societies, certainly can’t hurt. But as with throwing money for development at undeveloped countries, it’s unfortunately unlikely to help.