Politeía Digest

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Posts Tagged ‘CFR Papers

Government, Geography, and Growth

leave a comment »

The True Drivers of Economic Development

According to the economist Daron Acemoglu and the political scientist James Robinson, economic development hinges on a single factor: a country’s political institutions. More specifically, as they explain in their new book, Why Nations Fail, it depends on the existence of “inclusive” political institutions, defined as pluralistic systems that protect individual rights. These, in turn, give rise to inclusive economic institutions, which secure private property and encourage entrepreneurship. The long-term result is higher incomes and improved human welfare.

What Acemoglu and Robinson call “extractive” political institutions, in contrast, place power in the hands of a few and beget extractive economic institutions, which feature unfair regulations and high barriers to entry into markets. Designed to enrich a small elite, these institutions inhibit economic progress for everyone else. The broad hypothesis of Why Nations Fail is that governments that protect property rights and represent their people preside over economic development, whereas those that do not suffer from economies that stagnate or decline. Although “most social scientists shun monocausal, simple, and broadly applicable theories,” Acemoglu and Robinson write, they themselves have chosen just such a “simple theory and used it to explain the main contours of economic and political development around the world since the Neolithic Revolution.” Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Written by Theophyle

October 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Eurozone Crisis as Historical Legacy

with 2 comments

The Enduring Impact of German Unification, 20 Years On

Mary Elise Sarotte

Summary: For all the success of German reunification, it left behind fateful seeds that sprouted into the current eurozone crisis. To overcome the current downturn, Europe should finish the job started two decades ago and retrofit the European Union with stronger political institutions.

MARY ELISE SAROTTE is Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California. She is the author, most recently, of 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe. This publication is a part of CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program and has been made possible by the generous support of the Robina Foundation. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

October 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Interdependency Theory (2)

with one comment

China, India, and the West

By Simon Tay

WESTERN RULES

Edward Steinfeld’s book Playing Our Game: Why China’s Rise Doesn’t Threaten the West offers a different perspective on China’s rise. The changes in China’s economic and political systems are not contradictory, Steinfeld argues, but are more or less in sync. This, he argues, is because of “institutional outsourcing” from the global system: globalization brings with it commercial discipline and requires states to institute rules in order to foster change and anchor progress. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

September 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

Interdependency Theory (1)

with 2 comments

China, India, and the West

By Simon Tay

The Chinese and Indian economies often elicit breathless admiration from commentators. In fact, domestic deficiencies and regional tensions mean that the rise of China and India is hardly assured.

SIMON TAY is Chair of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs and the author of Asia Alone: The Dangerous Post-Crisis Divide From America.

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the economies of North America and Europe remain fragile while those of Asia continue to grow. This is especially true in the cases of China and India, which both boast near double-digit rates of growth and have therefore inspired confidence around the region. But too many commentators discuss China and India with breathless admiration — extrapolating, for example, that growth will continue at a breakneck pace for decades. In doing so, they treat emerging economies as if they were already world powers, echoing the hubris that preceded the Asian currency crisis of 1997-98. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

September 8, 2010 at 10:09 am

CFR Papers: Veiled Truths (4)

with 5 comments

The Rise of Political Islam in the West / Part 4 from 4

By Marc Lynch

Accepted And Discovered Truths

Still, Berman highlights a very real dilemma. Put bluntly, Islamists have shaped the world around them in ways that many liberals in the United States and Europe find distasteful. Even moderate Islamists prioritize religion over all other identities and promote its application in law, society, culture, and politics. Their prosyletizing, social work, party politics, and organization of parallel civil societies have all helped transform societies from below. This frightens and angers secularists, liberals, feminists, non-Muslims, and others who take no comfort in the argument that the political success of the Islamists simply reflects the changing views of the majority. The strongest argument against accepting nonviolent Islamists as part of the legitimate spectrum of debate is that they offer only a short-term solution while making the long-term problem worse. These Islamists may be democrats, but they are not liberals. Their success will increase the prevalence and impact of illiberal views and help shape a world that will be less amenable to U.S. policies and culture. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

August 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Posted in CFR Papers, Islamism

Tagged with ,

CFR Papers: Veiled Truths (3)

leave a comment »

The Rise of Political Islam in the West / Part 3 from 4

By Marc Lynch

Desert Foxes

Many of the valuable debates that The Flight of the Intellectuals could have sparked are drowned out by Berman’s ludicrous efforts to construct an intellectual and organizational genealogy linking Nazi Germany and contemporary Islamism. His insistence on the usefulness of the concept of “Islamic fascism” — despite the fact that virtually all Muslims consider it a profound insult to their faith and identity — is one of the surest clues to his indifference to Muslim reality in favor of intellectual gamesmanship. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

August 14, 2010 at 8:28 am

Posted in CFR Papers, Islamism

Tagged with ,

CFR Papers: Veiled Truths (2)

with 3 comments

The Rise of Political Islam in the West / Part 2 from 4

By Marc Lynch

Lumpers And Splitters

In trying to understand Islamism, two approaches are possible. The first sees Islamism as essentially a single project with multiple variants, in which the similarities are more important than the differences. In this view, the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda represent two points on a common spectrum, divided by tactics rather than by goals. Such an understanding makes it possible — if not unavoidable — to see Osama bin Laden lurking in the figure of Ramadan. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

August 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Posted in CFR Papers, Islamism

Tagged with ,