Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen has done an interview in which he talks about a bunch of big issues like globalization, colonialism, democracy, and religious conflict.
Sen is one of the few economists whom I trust to be fully sensitive about the problems faced by people in Third World countries. He lived in Calcutta in the 1940s when the British pulled the grain out of the countryside and forbade grain imports into Bengal. Several million people died of famine in a good crop year, simply because of the complete indifference of British rulers. (Churchill shrugged off the disaster, saying that it was caused by the tendency of the people to breed like rabbits.)
Sen won his Nobel Prize in part for showing that famines are usually result from bad systems of food allocation rather than simple crop failure. He pointed out that famines don't usually happen in democracies, since governments that respond to the people act quickly to stop mass starvation.
I've included some of my favorite quotes from the interview below if you don't want to read the whole thing: