This page includes reviews, video of comments by discussants at launch events, and some advance praise by eminent development scholars.


Jan Erk reviews WWG together with Matt Andrews, Limits of Institutional Reform in European Political Science.  “Both authors use their rich and detailed experiences with various development projects in order to distil informative lessons…there are big lessons for social sciences in general….” Click here for a link to the journal abstract. The full journal review is behind a paywall, so here is a link to the pre-publication version of Jan Erk’s review.

“…This book should be read by most serious development practitioners. I expect that it will become a part of the undergraduate and graduate courses in public policy and development.” Click here to link to the full review by Vivek Srivastava in Governance Vol 28, No 3, July 2015.

“…My initial reaction when I first heard of Against the Grain was, I confess, a kind of resigned frustration…… Then I actually read Brian’s book and heard him speak and, of course, that initial reaction shifted to what I can best describe as a kind of tortured admiration for what he has achieved here…”. Click here for a review (in the form of a blog post) by James Deane, Director of Policy and Learning at BBC Media Action

“…[offering] a framework for the work in governance may well be the point of Brian Levy’s fascinating and readable book…” click here for Sina Odugbemi’s review on the World Bank’s “People, Spaces, Deliberation” blog site

Public Administration and DevelopmentVolume 35, Issue 1, February 2015,  pp. 63-65,

International Affairs, Volume 91, Number 2, March 2015. Click on the link that follows for  David Leonard’s review of WWG in  International Affairs  [extract]

“The cure for development dysphoria”, click here for George Guess’s review in The American Interest, January 20, 2015

“An important new book on rethinking approaches to governance” — click here for Duncan Green’s review

“An Africanist’s Perspective” — click here for Ken Opalo’s review

CLICK HERE to see reviews by   Matt Andrews (Harvard Kennedy School),  Mahmood Ayub  (UNDP and World Bank), and  Tim Kelsall (former editor, African Affairs)  —  all posted on Working with the Grain’s  Amazon site.

detailed review by William Ferguson of the theoretical underpinnings of Working with the Grain — posted as a comment to Duncan  Green’s review of the book.


Sue Unsworth on Working with the Grain click here for video of her comments at ODI event (11/27/14)

Robert Wade on Working with the Grain — click here for video of his comments at ODI event (11/27/14)

David Boothclick here for his opening comments at ODI event (11/27/14)

Tom Carothers on Working with the Grain — click here for video of  his comments at Carnegie event (9/11/14)

Larry Garber on Working with the Grain click here (and on listed item on link)  for his comments at Carnegie event (9/11/14)

Mario Marcel on Working with the Grain — click here for his comments at World Bank event (9/30/14)


CLICK HERE for  comments from Douglass North, Dani Rodrik, Francis Fukuyama and Merilee Grindle


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