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Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What forces lead to democracy's creation? Why does it sometimes consolidate only to collapse at other times? Written by two of the foremost authorities on this subject in the world, this volume develops a framework for analyzing the creation and consolidation of democracy. It revolutionizes scholarship on the factors underlying government and popular movements toward democracy or dictatorship. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson argue that different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate political power and resources. Their book, the subject of a four-day seminar at Harvard's Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences, was also the basis for the Walras-Bowley lecture at the joint meetings of the European Economic Association and Econometric Society in 2003 and is the winner of the John Bates Clark Medal. Daron Acemoglu is Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received the 2005 John Bates Clark Medal awarded by the American Economic Association as the best economist working in the United States under age 40. He is the author of the forthcoming text Introduction to Modern Economic Growth. James A. Robinson is Professor of Government at Harvard University. He is a Harvard Faculty Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research's Program on Institutions, Organizations, and Growth. He is coeditor with Jared Diamond of the forthcoming book Natural Experiments in History.

Synopsis:

This book is the first to use modern social science methodology systematically to explain why some countries are democracies while others are not. Why does democracy sometimes persist and consolidate while other times it collapses? The treatment shows that whether or not a society becomes democratic depends on several factors.

Synopsis:

What forces lead to democracy's creation? Why does it sometimes consolidate only to collapse at other times? Written by two of the foremost authorities on this subject in the world, this volume develops a framework for analyzing the creation and consolidation of democracy. It revolutionizes scholarship on the factors underlying government and popular movements toward democracy or dictatorship. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson argue that different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate political power and resources. Their book, the subject of a four-day seminar at Harvard's Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences, was also the basis for the Walras-Bowley lecture at the joint meetings of the European Economic Association and Econometric Society in 2003 and is the winner of the John Bates Clark Medal.

Synopsis:

This book systematically explains why some countries are democracies while others are not.

Table of Contents

Part I. Questions and Answers; Section 1. Paths of Political Development: 1. Britain; 2. Argentina; 3. Singapore; 4. South Africa; 5. The agenda; Section 2. Our Argument: 6. Democracy versus nondemocracy; 7. Building blocks of our approach; 8. Toward our basic story; 9. Our theory of democratization; 10. Democratic consolidation; 11. Determinants of democracy; 12. Political identities and the nature of conflict; 13. Democracy in a picture; 14. Overview of the book; Section 3. What Do We Know about Democracy?: 15. Measuring democracy; 16. Patterns of democracy; 17. Democracy, inequality and redistribution; 18. Crises and democracy; 19. Social unrest and democratization; 20. The literature; 21. Our contribution; Part II. Modelling Politics; Section 4. Democratic Politics: 22. Introduction; 23. Aggregating individual preferences; 24. Single-peaked preferences and the median voter theorem; 25. Our workhorse models; 26. Democracy and political equality; 27. Conclusion; Section 5. Nondemocratic Politics: 28. Introduction; 29. Power and constraints in nondemocratic politics; 30. Modeling preferences and constraints in nondemocracies; 31. Commitment problems; 32. A simple game of promises; 33. A dynamic model; 34. Incentive-compatible promises; 35. Conclusion; Part III. The Creation and Consolidation of Democracy; Section 6. Democratization: 36. Introduction; 37. The role of political institutions; 38. Preferences over political institutions; 39. Political power and institutions; 40. A static model of democratization; 41. Democratization or repression?; 42. A dynamic model of democratization; 43. Subgame perfect equilibria; 44. Alternative political identities; 45. Targeted transfers; 46. Power of the elites in democracy; 47. Ideological preferences over regimes; 48. Democratization in a picture; 49. Equilibrium revolutions; 50. Conclusion; Section 7. Coups and Consolidation: 51. Introduction; 52. Incentives for coups; 53. A static model of coups; 54. A dynamic model of the creation and consolidation of democracy; 55. Alternative political identities; 56. Targeted transfers; 57. Power in democracy and coups; 58. Consolidation in a picture; 59. Defensive coups; 60. Conclusion; Part IV. Putting the Models to Work; Section 8. The Role of the Middle Class: 61. Introduction; 62. The three-class model; 63. Emergence of partial democracy; 64. From partial to full democracy; 65. Repression: the middle class as a buffer; 66. Repression: soft-liners versus hard-liners; 67. The role of the middle class in consolidating democracy; 68. Conclusion; Section 9. Economic Structure and Democracy: 69. Introduction; 70. Economic structure and income distribution; 71. Political conflict; 72. Capital, land and the transition to democracy; 73. Costs of coup on capital and land; 74. Capital, land and the burden of democracy; 75. Conflict between landowners and industrialists; 76. Industrialists, landowners and democracy in practice; 77. Economic institutions; 78. Human capital; 79. Conjectures about political development; 80. Conclusion; Section 10. Globalization and Democracy: 81. Introduction; 82. A model of an open economy; 83. Political conflict - democratic consolidation; 84. Political conflict - transition to democracy; 85. Financial integration; 86. Increased political integration; 87. Alternative assumptions about the nature of international trade; 88. Conclusion; Part V. Conclusions and the Future of Democracy; Section 11. Conclusions and the Future of Democracy: 89. Paths of political development revisited; 90. Extensions and areas for future research; 91. The future of democracy; Part VI. Appendix; Section 12. Appendix to Chapter 4: The Distribution of Power in Democracy: 92. Introduction; 93. Probabilistic voting models; 94. Lobbying; 95. Partisan politics and political capture; Bibliography; Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780521671422
Author:
Acemoglu, Daron
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Author:
Robinson, James A.
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Economics - General
Publication Date:
20090831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.24x6.50x.91 in. 1.34 lbs.

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Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy New Trade Paper
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$33.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521671422 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This book is the first to use modern social science methodology systematically to explain why some countries are democracies while others are not. Why does democracy sometimes persist and consolidate while other times it collapses? The treatment shows that whether or not a society becomes democratic depends on several factors.
"Synopsis" by , What forces lead to democracy's creation? Why does it sometimes consolidate only to collapse at other times? Written by two of the foremost authorities on this subject in the world, this volume develops a framework for analyzing the creation and consolidation of democracy. It revolutionizes scholarship on the factors underlying government and popular movements toward democracy or dictatorship. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson argue that different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate political power and resources. Their book, the subject of a four-day seminar at Harvard's Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences, was also the basis for the Walras-Bowley lecture at the joint meetings of the European Economic Association and Econometric Society in 2003 and is the winner of the John Bates Clark Medal.
"Synopsis" by , This book systematically explains why some countries are democracies while others are not.
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