Why do some nations thrive while others seem trapped in a cycle of poverty, instability and corruption? The 14 contributors to this anthology agree on one answer to this question: the rule of law. While the developed West spends billions of dollars promoting democracy in developing nations, the authors suggest that democracy itself does not bring about prosperity. In terms of economic growth, stability and predictability are more important than democracy, they argue. As evidence, they contrast wealthy authoritarian regimes like Singapore with poor and corrupt democracies like India. Some readers might find the implications of such conclusions alarming. That’s all the more reason to read this book, which getAbstract recommends to anyone with an interest in economic development, public policy and the global political order.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why there is no direct correlation between democracy and economic prosperity;
- Why political stability generally promotes economic growth; and
- Why underdeveloped countries often are not in a position to embrace democracy.
About the Authors
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is on the faculty of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. He is the author or editor of The War Trap, War and Reason and European Community Decision Making. Hilton L. Root is a senior fellow at Santa Monica, California’s Milken Institute.