The Future of Capitalism by Paul Collier

I like Collier’s writing style and I’ve been reading a few books by him. The latest one being The Future of Capitalism by Paul Collier, with the subtitle Facing the New Anxieties, a book published last year. Sir Paul Collier is a world-renowned economist, professor at Oxford University. I was very curious about this book as it talks about capitalism. It’s also one of the books recommended by Bill Gates, as I’ve discovered on goodreads.

In the Future of Capitalism, Collier talks about three rifts: between the highly skilled elite and the less educated, the thriving cities and provinces, the high- and middle-income countries on the one hand and fragile states on the other. This is a rift that deepens as, he says, we lost the notions of ethical obligations to others. He says that these rifts led to Brexit, Trump, and the rise of populism.

The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties by Paul Collier

In this book he talks about his personal experience more than before. He makes a comparison between his life and the life of his cousin. Both started from modest backgrounds, born to less-educated families. His parents left school at 12. He also makes a comparison with the opportunities he had and how difficult it is right now for children of the less-educated to make good choices regarding their career, due to lack of proper involvement from their parents. As an example he mentions reading, the children of the educated read, the children of the less-educated don’t.
As a child reared in a house with an extensive library (the last time my mother counted the books, when I was a teenager, there were over 3,000), I can understand perfectly what he was saying about reading and also about family narratives.

Besides talking about the rifts, he also talks about ethics. There are four chapters in the book on restoring ethics when it comes to State, Firms, Family, and the World. He thinks we need to strengthen the reciprocal obligations we have to each other. In this section, he mentions the new “citizen of the world” idea, that makes the people identifying as such, appear in their views, on a moral high ground.


Alternatively, you can see Sir Collier talking about the book at Blavatnik School of Government and answering questions that touch on issues presented in the book. It’s very interesting and I would recommend watching it.

The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties by Paul Collier

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars.
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Allen Lane
Year it was published: 2018
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Politics & Economics
Pages: 248

About the author: Sir Paul Collier is a specialist in the political, economic, and developmental problems faced by poor countries, especially Africa. He is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University. Furthermore, he is a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College. In 2014, he received a knighthood for services to promoting research and policy change in Africa.
Books by Collier: The Plundered Planet (2010), Exodus (2013), Wars, Guns, and Votes, Refuge.
Website & Social Media Links: –



2 thoughts on “The Future of Capitalism by Paul Collier”

  • I recently started reading a small book on social mobility, which raises similar issues. I think with reading it’s partially true. My Mum grew up after the war, they had no books, as they were very poor and moved a lot, escaping the persecution, and my Mum didn’t read books until she went to school, but then she became the most avid reader, and when I was a child, we had a big library at home.

    • Collier was referring to a “standard”, modern day situation we have here, in the Western, well developed countries, where we have a choice and the opportunities to read or not, including free books from the library (like this one).
      The book you are reading sounds very interesting, I’m looking forward to reading the review.

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