Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

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Cambridge University Press, 2006 - Business & Economics - 416 pages
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What forces lead to democracy's creation? Why does it sometimes consolidate only to collapse at other times? Written by two of the foremost authorities on this subject in the world, this volume develops a framework for analyzing the creation and consolidation of democracy. It revolutionizes scholarship on the factors underlying government and popular movements toward democracy or dictatorship. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson argue that different social groups prefer different political institutions because of the way they allocate political power and resources. Their book, the subject of a four-day seminar at Harvard's Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences, was also the basis for the Walras-Bowley lecture at the joint meetings of the European Economic Association and Econometric Society in 2003 and is the winner of the John Bates Clark Medal. Daron Acemoglu is Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received the 2005 John Bates Clark Medal awarded by the American Economic Association as the best economist working in the United States under age 40. He is the author of the forthcoming text Introduction to Modern Economic Growth. James A. Robinson is Professor of Government at Harvard University. He is a Harvard Faculty Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research's Program on Institutions, Organizations, and Growth. He is coeditor with Jared Diamond of the forthcoming book Natural Experiments in History.
 

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Contents

PART ONE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1
Our Argument
15
What Do We Know about Democracy?
48
PART TWO MODELING POLITICS 4 Democratic Politics 1 Introduction
89
Aggregating Individual Preferences
91
SinglePeaked Preferences and the Median Voter Theorem
95
Our Workhorse Models
103
Democracy and Political Equality
115
Conclusion
253
PART FOUR PUTTING THE MODELS TO WORK 8 The Role of the Middle Class
255
The ThreeClass Model
259
Emergence of Partial Democracy
262
From Partial to Full Democracy
267
The Middle Class as a Buffer
273
Softliners versus Hardliners
278
The Role of the Middle Class in Consolidating Democracy
283

Conclusion
117
Nondemocratic Politics 1 Introduction
118
Power and Constraints in Nondemocratic Politics
120
Modeling Preferences and Constraints in Nondemocracies
131
Commitment Problems
137
A Simple Game of Promises
147
A Dynamic Model
151
IncentiveCompatible Promises 8 Conclusion 89 89 91 92 99 113 117 118 118 120 128 133 144 151
161
OF DEMOCRACY 6 Democratization
173
Preferences over Political Institutions
176
Political Power and Institutions
177
A Static Model of Democratization
181
Democratization or Repression?
186
A Dynamic Model of Democratization
193
Subgame Perfect Equilibria
201
Alternative Political Identities
203
Targeted Transfers
207
Ideological Preferences over Regimes
211
Democratization in a Picture
214
Equilibrium Revolutions
215
Conclusion
218
Coups and Consolidation
221
Incentives for Coups
224
A Static Model of Coups
225
A Dynamic Model of the Creation and Consolidation of Democracy
231
Alternative Political Identities
246
Power in Democracy and Coups
247
Consolidation in a Picture
249
Defensive Coups
251
Conclusion
285
Economic Structure and Democracy
287
Economic Structure and Income Distribution
290
Political Conflict
292
Capital Land and the Transition to Democracy
293
Costs of Coup on Capital and Land
296
Capital Land and the Burden of Democracy
300
Conflict between Landowners and Industrialists
307
Industrialists Landowners and Democracy in Practice
312
Economic Institutions
313
Human Capital
316
Conjectures about Political Development
317
Conclusion
319
Globalization and Democracy
321
A Model of an Open Economy
325
Political Conflict Democratic Consolidation
331
Political Conflict Transition to Democracy
334
Financial Integration
338
Increased Political Integration
343
Alternative Assumptions about the Nature of International Trade
344
Conclusion
347
PART FIVE CONCLUSIONS AND THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY 11 Conclusions and the Future of Democracy
349
Extensions and Areas for Future Research
355
The Future of Democracy
358
The Distribution of Power in Democracy
361
Bibliography
381
Index
401
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About the author (2006)

James A. Robinson is Professor of Government at Harvard University. He is a Faculty Associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and is a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research's Program on Institutions, Organizations, and Growth. He is coeditor with Jared Diamond of Natural Experiments in History (2009).

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