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Left behind places can be found in prosperous countries – from South Yorkshire, integral to the industrial revolution and now England’s poorest county, to Barranquilla, once Colombia’s portal to the Caribbean and now struggling.

More alarmingly, the poorest countries in the world are diverging further from the rest of humanity than they were at the start of this century. Why have these places fallen behind? And what can we do about it? World-renowned development economist Paul Collier has spent his life working in neglected communities and lays the blame for widening inequality on stale economic orthodoxies that prioritise market forces to revive left-behind regions, and on what he sees as the hands-off and one-size-fits-all approach of centralised bureaucracies like the UK Treasury. As a result, he argues that the UK has become the most unequal and unfair society in the western world.

Join the Policy Institute and the Fairness Foundation for the launch of Left Behind: A New Economics for Neglected Places, Collier’s new book in which he sets out why some regions and countries are failing, and a new vision for how they can catch up.

Join the Policy Institute and Fairness Foundation for the next event in our Fair Society series.


  • Sir Paul Collier CBE, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government
  • Deborah Bullivant MBE, Deputy-Lieutenant Governor of South Yorkshire and founding CEO of Grimm and Company
  • Sir Chris Husbands, Former Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University
  • Michael Stevenson, Senior Consultant at OECD High Performing Systems for Tomorrow and Senior Adviser Education to Doncaster
  • Alison Wolf CBE, Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at King's College London (Chair)

Event details

8th Floor, North Side
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG