Monday, January 21, 2013

Robinson’s Why Nations Fail launched in Beirut

Pakistan News & Features Services

James Robinson, a Harvard University professor, launched his new book titled ‘Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty’ at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.

The book has been co-authored by Daron Acemoglu, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

Robinson informed the audience that the failed states were caused by poorly crafted political and economic institutions rather than culture or geography. 

Based on 15 years of extensive research, the book points to extractive economic and political institutions that concentrate power in the hands of a few, are heavily regulated, and lack law and order and checks.

“The Arab Spring was a revolt against these extractive institutions. The theory of the book suggests that this will only lead to a more inclusive society and not the iron law of oligarchy, if a broad coalition forms and sustains itself,” Robinson opined. 

‘Why Nations Fail’ has been described as a brilliant book answering the question that has kept the experts guessing for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine? 

James Robinson and Daron Acemoglu have conclusively shown that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success or the lack of it. 

Having carried out original research, the authors marshal extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of the present age.

Daron Acemoglu is the Killian Professor of Economics at MIT. He had received the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005, awarded to economists under forty judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. 

James Robinson, a political scientist and an economist, is the David Florence Professor of Government at the Harvard University. 

A world-renowned expert on Latin America and Africa, he is currently conducting research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and in Colombia where he has taught for many years during the summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá.

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