Piketty, champion of equality, named top ‘world thinker’

Prospect magazine’s prestigious list also includes Arundhati Roy, Atul Gawande

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Ashish Mehta | March 30, 2015



Thomas Piketty, whose ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ has put economic equality on top of public debates around the world, has emerged as the top ‘world thinker’ in an annual opinion poll conducted by the British magazine, Propsect.

The top-ten list for 2015, compiled on the basis of nearly 3,000 votes announce last week, also includes two voices from India: Arundhati Roy and the US-based doctor and writer Atul Gawande.

“The top 10 of last year’s poll was dominated by thinkers—including the [Nobel] winner, economist and philosopher Amartya Sen—whose work focused on the social, political and environmental challenges posed by economic growth in the developing world. However, Sen and others, notably the economists Raghuram Rajan and Kaushik Basu, are absent from this year’s list, which rewards impact over the past 12 months. In their place in the top 10 are thinkers who are wrestling, in different ways, with the dysfunctions of what some persist in calling the ‘developed world’,” the magazine noted on its website.

Read more: India's 1% problem: Some are less equal than others

It has termed 2014 as “Thomas Piketty’s year”, noting that his book had sold 1.5 million copies worldwide in several languages by January this year. “The past year has also been one in which anxieties about the economic, social and political costs of inequality have moved up the political agenda.”

Governance Now was among the first to take note of the emerging debate over Piketty’s work.

Read more: Let us talk about inequality

Among the other top ‘world thinkers’ are Yanis Varoufakis, Naomi Klein, Paul Krugman and – controversially – Russell Brand – all broadly speaking, from the political left.

Read more at the Prospect website

 

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