Shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2012. Why are some nations more prosperous than others? Why Nations Fail sets out to answer this question, with a compelling and elegantly argued new theory: that it is not down to climate, geography or culture, but because of institutions. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, from ancient Rome through the Tudors to modern-day China, leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson show that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it - and this means sound institutions that allow virtuous circles of innovation, expansion and peace. Based on fifteen years of research, and answering the competing arguments of authors ranging from Max Weber to Jeffrey Sachs and Jared Diamond, Acemoglu and Robinson step boldly into the territory of Francis Fukuyama and Ian Morris. They blend economics, politics, history and current affairs to provide a new, powerful and persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty.
why nations fail
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The question of development is a major topic in courses across the social sciences and history, particularly those focused on Latin America. Many scholars and instructors have tried to pinpoint, explain, and define the problem of underdevelopment in the region. With new ideas have come new strategies that by and large have failed to explain or reduce income disparity and relieve poverty in the region. Why Latin American Nations Fail brings together leading Latin Americanists from several disciplines to address the topic of how and why contemporary development strategies have failed to curb rampant poverty and underdevelopment throughout the region. Given the dramatic political turns in contemporary Latin America, this book offers a much-needed explanation and analysis of the factors that are key to making sense of development today.
Essay from the year 2018 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: Globalization, Political Economics, University of Göttingen, language: English, abstract: "An estimated 766 million people, or 10.7 percent of the world's population, lived in extreme poverty in 2013." (World Bank 2017, p. 1) As if these numbers itself weren't enough sign of the great inequality in incomes after centuries of prosperity, following the World Income Indicators, more than half of the people living under these circumstances originate from one region, Sub-Saharan-Africa. Maybe as long as growth has been observable, controversies about the causes and its inherent erratic distribution flourished. Over time, many hypotheses have been proposed, discussed and rejected. Two of the ones that managed to establish themselves are subject of this essay. More specifically, what their key arguments and empirical support are. One the one hand, the institutional theory of growth promoted most notably by Acemoglu and fellows (2012; 2005). On the other hand the geographic theory of growth, proposed by Sachs et al. (1998; 1999). Plan of the essay is as follows. Chapter II will describe the institutional theory of growth as described in Acemoglu and Robinson (2012). Chapter III assesses the key factors and their empirical support of the institutional and geographic growth hypotheses respectively. Followed by Chapter IV, which gives insight on surrounding literature. Chapter V discusses the main problems of each line of argument, concluding that the institutional model offers more consistency.
From the authors of the international bestseller Why Nations Fail, a crucial new big-picture framework that answers the question of how liberty flourishes in some states but falls to authoritarianism or anarchy in others--and explains how it can continue to thrive despite new threats. In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson argued that countries rise and fall based not on culture, geography, or chance, but on the power of their institutions. In their new book, they build a new theory about liberty and how to achieve it, drawing a wealth of evidence from both current affairs and disparate threads of world history. Liberty is hardly the "natural" order of things. In most places and at most times, the strong have dominated the weak and human freedom has been quashed by force or by customs and norms. Either states have been too weak to protect individuals from these threats, or states have been too strong for people to protect themselves from despotism. Liberty emerges only when a delicate and precarious balance is struck between state and society. There is a Western myth that political liberty is a durable construct, arrived at by a process of "enlightenment." This static view is a fantasy, the authors argue. In reality, the corridor to liberty is narrow and stays open only via a fundamental and incessant struggle between state and society: The authors look to the American Civil Rights Movement, Europe’s early and recent history, the Zapotec civilization circa 500 BCE, and Lagos’s efforts to uproot corruption and institute government accountability to illustrate what it takes to get and stay in the corridor. But they also examine Chinese imperial history, colonialism in the Pacific, India’s caste system, Saudi Arabia’s suffocating cage of norms, and the “Paper Leviathan” of many Latin American and African nations to show how countries can drift away from it, and explain the feedback loops that make liberty harder to achieve. Today we are in the midst of a time of wrenching destabilization. We need liberty more than ever, and yet the corridor to liberty is becoming narrower and more treacherous. The danger on the horizon is not "just" the loss of our political freedom, however grim that is in itself; it is also the disintegration of the prosperity and safety that critically depend on liberty. The opposite of the corridor of liberty is the road to ruin.
From the international bestselling author of Principles and legendary investor Ray Dalio, who has spent half a century studying global markets, The Changing World Order examines history’s most turbulent economic and political periods to reveal why the times ahead will likely be radically different from those we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. A few years ago, renowned investor Ray Dalio began noticing a confluence of political and economic conditions he hadn’t encountered before in his fifty-year career. They included large debts and zero or near-zero interest rates in the world’s three major reserve currencies; significant wealth, political and values divisions within countries; and emerging conflict between a rising world power (China) and the existing one (US). Seeking to explain the cause-effect relationships behind these conditions, he began a study of analogous historical times and discovered that such combinations of conditions were characteristic of periods of transition, such as the years between 1930 and 1945, in which wealth and power shifted in ways that reshaped the world order. Looking back across five hundred years of history and nine major empires - including the Dutch, the British and the American - The Changing World Order puts into perspective the cycles and forces that have driven the successes and failures of all the world’s major countries throughout history. Dalioreveals the timeless and universal dynamics that were behind these shifts, while also offering practical principles for policymakers, business leaders, investors and others operating in this environment.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Principles and legendary investor Ray Dalio, who has spent half a century studying global markets, The Changing World Order examines history’s most turbulent economic and political periods to reveal why the times ahead will likely be radically different from those we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. A few years ago, renowned investor Ray Dalio began noticing a confluence of political and economic conditions he hadn’t encountered before in his fifty-year career. They included large debts and zero or near-zero interest rates in the world’s three major reserve currencies; significant wealth, political, and values divisions within countries; and emerging conflict between a rising world power (China) and the existing one (US). Seeking to explain the cause-effect relationships behind these conditions, he began a study of analogous historical times and discovered that such combinations of conditions were characteristic of periods of transition, such as the years between 1930 and 1945, in which wealth and power shifted in ways that reshaped the world order. Looking back across five hundred years of history and nine major empires—including the Dutch, the British, and the American—The Changing World Order puts into perspective the cycles and forces that have driven the successes and failures of all the world’s major countries throughout history. Dalio reveals the timeless and universal dynamics that were behind these shifts, while also offering practical principles for policymakers, business leaders, investors, and others operating in this environment.
Eighteen years after the genocide that made Rwanda international news, but left it all but abandoned by the West, the country has achieved a miraculous turnaround. Rising out of the complete devastation of a failed state, Rwanda has emerged on the world stage yet again-this time with a unique model for governance and economic development under the leadership of its strong and decisive president, Paul Kagame. Here, Patricia Crisafulli & Andrea Redmond look at Kagame's leadership, his drive for excellence and execution that draws comparisons to an American CEO and emphasizes the development of a sophisticated and competitive workforce that leverages human capital. In Rwanda, the ultimate turnaround, strong and effective leadership has made a measurable and meaningful difference. Rwanda's progress offers an example for other developing nations to lift themselves out of poverty without heavy reliance on foreign aid through decentralization, accountability, self-determination, and self-sufficiency. The authors also explore Rwanda's journey toward its goal of becoming a middle-income nation with a technology-based economy, and its progress to encourage private sector development and foster entrepreneurship, while also making gains in education, healthcare, and food security-and all with a strong underpinning of reconciliation and unification. As so many nations stand on the brink of political and economic revolution, this is a timely and fascinating look at the implications of Rwanda's success for the rest of the continent-and the world.
The development discourse has long been dominated by best practices prescriptions for reform, but these are not a useful way of responding to the governance ambiguities of the early 21st century. Working with the Grain draws on both innovative scholarship and Brian Levy's quarter century of experience at the World Bank to lay out an alternative-a practical, analytically grounded, "with-the-grain" approach to reducing poverty and addressing weaknesses in governance. Best practice prescriptions confuse the goals of development with the journey of getting from here to there. A strong rule of law, capable and accountable governments, and a flexible, level playing field business environment are indeed desirable end points. But the ability to describe well-governed states does not conjure them into existence. If the only available actions are all or nothing, then efforts at change will almost certainly fall short, leading to disillusion and despair. By contrast, this book takes as its point of departure the realities of a country's economy, polity and society, and directs attention towards the challenges of initiating and sustaining forward development momentum. The book: -- distinguishes among four broad groups of countries, according to whether polities are dominant or competitive, and whether institutions are personalized or impersonal -- identifies alternative options for governance and policy reform-top down options which endeavor to strengthen formal institutions, and options supporting the emergence of "islands of effectiveness" -- explores how to identify entry points for change where there is a good fit between divergent country contexts and alternative options for reform. Sometimes the binding constraint to forward movement can be institutional, making governance reform the priority; at other times, the priority can better be on inclusive growth. Taking the decade-or-so time horizon of practitioners, the aim is to nudge things along-seeking gains that initially may seem quite modest but sometimes can give rise to a cascading sequence of change for the better.