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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

By the authors of the international best seller Why Nations Fail, based on decades of research, this powerful new big-picture framework explains how some countries develop towards and provide liberty while others fall to despotism, anarchy or asphyxiating norms - and explains how liberty can thrive despite new threats. 

Liberty is hardly the 'natural' order of things; usually states have been either too weak to protect individuals or too strong for people to protect themselves from despotism. There is also a happy Western myth that where liberty exists, it's a steady state, arrived at by 'enlightenment'. But liberty emerges only when a delicate and incessant balance is struck between state and society - between elites and citizens. This struggle becomes self-reinforcing, inducing both state and society to develop a richer array of capacities, thus affecting the peacefulness of societies, the success of economies and how people experience their daily lives.

Explaining this new framework through compelling stories from around the world, in history and from today - and through a single diagram on which the development of any state can be plotted - this masterpiece helps us understand the past and present, and analyse the future.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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Some notable gaps and errors of judgment

1. Erroneous description of the Ferguson Missouri shooting. Michael Brown attacked and resisted arrest, then moved threateningly towards police, with his hands down. The effect on the reader is to reduce trust in the authors’ account. 2. The 2008 was not only caused by deregulated banks and finance. Sub-prime mortgages guaranteed by Federal institutions offered to borrowers with limited abilities to pay were the principal drivers. Wall Street did what investors everywhere do: look for ways to make money and spread risk.

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  • Yildirim Kirgoz
  • 24-05-2020

a must for anybody interested in politics/history

this books presents a solid theoretical framework that can be used by all historians and political scientists, especially if combined with the premises of "why nations fail" by the same authors. good narration except the pronunciation of few French words.

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