Monday, August 27, 2012

Positive review - Why Nations Fail

The framework used in the book is based on a rigorous fifteen-year research process conducted by the authors and examined previously in some of their earlier, more analytical work. Regular readers of their work will recognize many of the ideas on the consolidation of democracies and political transitions coming from their 2006 book, Origins of Dictatorships and Democracy, along with many academic articles. Why Nations Fail builds on these findings thus providing the crowning achievement in their political economy theory. It is a recommended read to all professions and anyone interested in finding out why some nations are rich while others are poor. Even though the book lacks academic rigour in supporting the theory and proving the causality of certain events and their further manifestation, such virtues were probably not the authors’ objectives.

For anyone interested in the academic proofs behind certain historical events, I recommend their earlier work in which the analytical framework can be thoroughly analyzed. This book had different goals. Its emphasis on historical case studies to make it more interesting to the general reader succeeds in transferring the idea to all those outside the economic and political science profession. They have managed to summarize their theory and make the case for institutional change, while presenting it in an understandable, yet brilliant way for all those who are not economists. That alone marks the book as a success.

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