In the Shadow of Violence: Politics, Economics, and the Problems of Development

Book Title In the Shadow of Violence
Author Name  Douglass C. North , John Joseph Wallis , Steven B. Webb
Publishing house  Cambridge University Press
Country – city USA
Date of issue 2012
Number of pages 378 

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Description Books

This post is also available in: ar العربية (Arabic)


This book applies the conceptual framework of Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis and Barry R. Weingast’s Violence and Social Orders (Cambridge University Press, 2009) to nine developing countries. The cases show how political control of economic privileges is used to limit violence and coordinate coalitions of powerful organizations. Rather than castigating politicians and elites as simply corrupt, the case studies illustrate why development is so difficult to achieve in societies where the role of economic organizations is manipulated to provide political balance and stability. The volume develops the idea of limited-access social order as a dynamic social system in which violence is constantly a threat and political and economic outcomes result from the need to control violence rather than promoting economic growth or political rights.

  • Explores new ways of looking at the process of economic development and understanding social and political violence
  • Applies the framework of Violence and Social Orders written by three of the co-editors, Nobel Laureate North, J. Wallis and B. Weingast, to nine countries in the modern world
  • Rich contribution of applied economics to the political and social realities of developing nations, balancing theory and empirical analysis

Reviews & endorsements

‘This book is a welcomed and outstanding companion to Violence and Social Orders by North, Wallis, and Weingast. The editors apply the earlier framework to numerous countries and draw lessons from which we gain considerable insights into modern development.’ Lee J. Alston, University of Colorado

‘The rigorous analyses of In the Shadow of Violence empirically demonstrate the explanatory power of the theory advanced by North, Wallis, and Weingast in Violence and Social Orders, corroborating their novel understanding of economic underdevelopment as a violence-reducing equilibrium.’ Benito Arruñada, University Pompeu Fabra, Spain

‘In In the Shadow of Violence, eight knowledgeable specialists address the politics and economics of eight key countries in the developing world. They explore as well what North, Wallis, and Weingast call the logic of ‘limited access’, wherein, it is held, political order comes at the expense of sustained economic growth. Using case materials, they evaluate this claim and teach us much about the political economy of development.’ Robert Bates, Harvard University

‘The essays in this provocative volume, written by analytically attuned area experts, give flesh and bones to the theoretical perspective on ‘limited access orders’ developed in Violence and Social Orders. The studies show how the World Bank’s attempts to transform countries into ‘open access orders’ typically yield more violence than development. The well-acclaimed editors offer an alternative approach to development policy – working within ‘limited access orders’ in order to improve people’s livelihoods.’ David D. Laitin, Stanford University

‘Through the insightful, well-documented case studies in this volume, we discover that control of violence is central to the experiences of the least and most successful developing countries of the last 50 years. The lesson from their experiences is as compelling as it is unpalatable: success – peace – may depend on allowing elites to retain large rents and supporting organizations that make it easier for elites to collude. This book is necessary reading for development professionals and political economy scholars alike.’ Philip Keefer, The World Bank

‘North, Wallis, and Weingast come down to earth to apply their ideas to the details of poor countries’ problems and institutions. Finally we are headed in the right direction. I hope Jim Kim buys everyone at the World Bank a copy; it won’t leave my desk for years.’ James Robinson, Harvard University

 


This post is also available in: ar العربية (Arabic)

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