Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chapter 8 - Not on our turf

This chapter concludes, in a section titled, Enduring Backwardness, with a further description of the role that extractive institutions play in incentivizing elites to reject emerging technologies, the process toward modernization and industrialization. A continuum of political institutions from absolutism to failed states (Somalia, Afganistan, etc) can lead to firmly entrenched extractive institutions.

I look forward to our discussion of a comment at the end of this chapter:

"Inclusive political and economic institutions necessitate some degree of political centralization . . . ." (243)

I wonder if this assertion penetrates fully to the mechanism that is a necessary condition for inclusiveness. As I recall from North's book Violence and the Social Order the institution of the state was examined at its various levels or manifestations - (subnational)local, state or province and national. Perhaps it is, as North seems to argue, the depth and breadth of this federalism that is key to inclusiveness.

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