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Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Mar 20 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (March 20 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307719219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307719218
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.9 x 4.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 880 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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4.6 out of 5 stars
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DAVID HOANG on May 27 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was written quite well as I found the argument was well supported with plenty of facts and evidence. This book is not filled with any nonsensical jargon
and can be understood by anyone and not just people with poli sci degrees. I recommend this book to be read by anyone that wonders why most African countries are quite poor with
the exception of Botswana. Overall this is a book worth buying.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 28 2012
Format: Hardcover
This study challenges the notion that nation-states and other polities fail mainly because of economic or militaristic blunders. Acemoglu, instead, believes that it is usually the incapacity of a nation-state to move from an extractive mode of governance to a more inclusive one that spells its early demise or eventual failure as a political and cultural expression. By extractive, he means the desire of the leaders to use the country's natural resources for their own gain; in other words a kleptocracy. By contrast, inclusive implies that the wealth resulting from natural resources is shared among the people for the greater good of all, resulting in greater political stability leading to greater economic development. Any nation that goes through an extended period of extraction usually employs limited technology and realizes only marginal economic growth. Consequently, critical political institutions like courts, schools and hospitals rarely exist except for the benefit of the few. From the evidence that the author presents, persistent corruption of due process and the monopolization of resources for the benefit of the few. To make his point, Acemoglu and his colleague present the historical profiles of certain cultures and civilizations that show what happens when pluralism is or is not encouraged. By not including more people in the running of a state like Haiti or Zimbabwe over the past century, its leaders have effectively shut-off any incentive to invest in both business and critical infrastructure. Off-setting these two negative case studies is the little-heard of story of Botswana's success as one of those African frontier states that got it right from the start. Since effective development is a lengthy process, fraught with all kinds of pitfalls, the authors suggest that the culture of political failure, in many countries, is so ingrained that it is almost impossible to reverse unless democratization is allowed to happen in a responsible and gradual way.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will encourage all developing world leaders to read this book. I will also encourage universities in the developing world to add this to the list of must read books by Political Science/Humanity students.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jdavidg on Feb. 10 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this to be an interesting read with a few basic defining concepts:
centralized governance, inclusive vs. extractive economy, pluralism, rule
of law for personal, property and patent rites and constructive destruction.
The examples given help flesh out the ideas, but after a while the book
becomes very repetative. I could be edited down in length be at least one
third and maintained its impact. Still, good counter point to the
writings of Jared Diamond.
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By Martin on June 8 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great review on why we are, and where we are...
Should be a reference in any politic or economics programs
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By HVDT on Feb. 3 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
WHY NATIONS FAIL is a well researched book and the writers are easy to follow. However the writers have a tendancy to repeat the concept over and over again.
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