Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy
Economic and Political Origins
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|Format:||Hardback, 432 pages|
|Other Information: ||43 b/w illus.|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 19 December 2005|
This book develops a framework for analyzing the creation and consolidation of democracy. Different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate political power and resources. Thus democracy is preferred by the majority of citizens, but opposed by elites. Dictatorship nevertheless is not stable when citizens can threaten social disorder and revolution. In response, when the costs of repression are sufficiently high and promises of concessions are not credible, elites may be forced to create democracy. By democratizing, elites credibly transfer political power to the citizens, ensuring social stability. Democracy consolidates when elites do not have strong incentive to overthrow it. These processes depend on (1) the strength of civil society, (2) the structure of political institutions, (3) the nature of political and economic crises, (4) the level of economic inequality, (5) the structure of the economy, and (6) the form and extent of globalization.
Table of Contents
Part I. Questions and Answers; Section 1. Paths of Political Development: 1. Britain; 2. Argentina; 3. Singapore; 4. South Africa, 5. The agenda; Section 2. Our Argument: 1. Democracy vs. nondemocracy; 2. Building blocks of our approach; 3. Towards our basic story; 4. Our theory of democratization; 5. Democratic consolidation; 6. Determinants of democracy; 7. Political identities and the nature of conflict; 8. Democracy in a picture; 9. Overview of the book; Section 3. What Do We Know About Democracy?: 1. Measuring democracy; 2. Patterns of democracy; 3. Democracy, inequality and redistribution; 4. Crises and democracy; 5. Social unrest and democratization; 6. The literature; 7. Our contribution; Part II. Modelling Politics; Section 4. Democratic Politics: 1. Introduction; 2. Aggregating individual preferences; 3. Single-peaked preferences and the median voter theorem; 4. Our workhorse models; 5. Democracy and political equality; 6. Conclusion; Section 5. Nondemocratic Politics: 1. Introduction; 2. Power and constraints in nondemocratic politics; 3. Modeling preferences and constraints in nondemocracies; 4. Commitment problems; 5. A simple game of promises; 6. A dynamic model; 7. Incentive compatible promises; 8. Conclusion; Part III. The Creation and Consolidation of Democracy; Section 6. Democratization: 1. Introduction; 2. The role of political institutions; 3. Preferences over political institutions; 4. Political power and institutions; 5. A 'static' model of democratization; 6. Democratization or repression?; 7. A dynamic model of democratization; 8. Subgame perfect equilibria; 9. Alternative political identities; 10. Targeted transfers; 11. Power of the elite in democracy; 12. Ideological preferences over regimes; 13. Democratization in pictures; 14. Equilibrium revolutions; 15. Conclusion; Section 7. Coups and Consolidation: 1. Introduction; 2. Incentives for coups; 3. A static model of coups; 4. A dynamic model of the creation and consolidation of democracy; 5. Alternative political identities; 6. Targeted transfers; 7. Power in democracy and coups; 8. Consolidation in a picture; 9. Defensive coups; 10. Conclusion; Part IV. Putting the Models to Work; Section 8. The Role of the Middle Class: 1. Introduction; 2. The three-class model; 3. Emergence of partial democracy; 4. From partial to full democracy; 5. Repression: the middle class as a buffer; 6. Repression: soft-liners vs. hard-liners; 7. The role of the middle class in consolidating democracy; 8. Conclusion; Section 9. Economic Structure and Democracy: 1. Introduction; 2. Economic structure and income distribution; 3. Political conflict; 4. Capital, land and the transition to democracy; 5. Financial integration; 6. Increased political integration; 7. Alternative assumptions about the nature of international trade. 8. Conclusion; Part V. Conclusion and The Future of Democracy; Section 10. Conclusion and the Future of Democracy: 1. Paths of political development revisited; 2. Extension and areas for future research; 3. The future of democracy; Part VI. Appendix; Section 11. Appendix to Section 4: The Distribution of Power in Democracy: 1. Introduction; 2. Probabilistic voting models; 3. Lobbying; 4. Partisan politics and political capture.
About the Author
Daron Acemoglu is Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Economic Growth program of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. He is also affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Center for Economic Performance, and Center for Economic Policy Research, and is a Fellow of the European Economic Association. Professor Acemoglu previously taught at the London School of Economics. He received the award for best paper published in the Economic Journal in 1996 for his paper 'Consumer Confidence and Rational Expectations: Are Agents' Beliefs Consistent with the Theory?', the inaugural T. W. Shultz Prize at the University of Chicago in 2004, and the inaugural Sherwin Rosen award for outstanding contribution to labor economics in 2004. Professor Acemoglu is the Editor of the eminent journal Review of Economics and Statistics, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Growth. James A. Robinson is Professor of Government at Harvard University. He previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Southern California, and the University of Melbourne. A 2002 Carnegie Scholar and Hoover Institution Fellow for 1999-2000, his research has been published in leading journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, American Political Science Review, and the Journal of Economic Literature. Together with Professors Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson, Professor Robinson is coauthor of the forthcoming book, The Institutional Roots of Prosperity.
'... brilliant in its parsimony of means and power of explanation.' Financial Times '...there is much to admire. True to their title, Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson offer a unified theory of both democracy and its opposite. ... The authors are brutal wielders of Occam's razor, and the 27 factors have been chopped down to a coherent handful. ... According to two scholars cited in this book, even to look for a general theory of democratic reform requires great temerity. Happily, Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson have temerity in spades.' The Economist 'I expect Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy to be highly influential ... The thesis is compellingly inventive ... Acemoglu and Robinson will deservedly win an audience. Students of economics will study this text as much for its methodical exposition and academic proofs as for its conclusions. They will find the effort well worthwhile.' Financial Times, FT Magazine 'This path-breaking book is among the most ambitious, innovative, sweeping, and rigorous scholarly efforts in comparative political economy and political development. It offers a broad, substantial new account of the creation and consolidation of democracy. Why is the franchise extended? How do elites make reform believable and avoid expropriation? Why do revolutions nevertheless occur? Why do new democracies sometimes collapse into coups and repression? When is repression abandoned? Backed by a unified analytic model, historical insight, and extensive statistical analysis, the authors' case is compelling.' James Alt, Harvard University 'This tour de force combines brilliant theoretical imagination and historical breadth to shine new light on issues that have long been central in social science. The book cannot be ignored by anybody wanting to link political and economic development. Its range is truly impressive. The same logical framework offers plausible predictions about revolution, repression, democratization, and coups. The book refreshingly includes as much Latin American experience as European experience, and as much Asian as North American. The authors offer new intellectual life to economics, political science, sociology, and history. Game theory gains a wider audience by being repeatedly applied to major historical issues for which commitment is indeed a key mechanism. Economists and political scientists gain more common ground on their political economy frontier. Sociologists are given a new template about class interactions in the political sphere, one that suggests both new tests and new ideas. And comparative historians, while fleeing from active involvement in game theory, have a new set of conjectures to support or be provoked by.' Peter Lindert, University of California, Davis 'A vast body of research in social science on the development of democracy offers detailed accounts of specific country events but few general lessons. Acemoglu and Robinson breathe new life into this field. Relying on a sequence of formal - but parsimonious - game-theoretic models and on penetrating historical analysis, they provide a common understanding of the diverse country histories observed during the last two centuries.' Torsten Persson, Stockholm University
|Publisher: ||Cambridge University Press|
|Dimensions: ||23.0 x 15.0 x 2.0 centimeters (0.74 kg)|