Why Nations Fail - James A. Robinson
Categories:History & Criticism
Why Nations Fail Analysis
When we look at the news, why are we seeing news about the people who are getting fancy houses, boats, the innovations in science and education and gaining weight from all of the eating and also at the same time, we see people who are hungry, living in poverty and struggling with war? How all of those people who were created into the same universe and at the same way, live such different lives? Since the first day of existence humanity has been thinking about the structure and location of the caves, why some caves are hot, how some people hunt larger animals or how some people can grow such beautiful products. This book is trying to answer these questions once again in the modern world with the perspective of modern people.
Why Nations Fail Short Summary
What are the points where rich and poor countries are separated? Why Nations Fail book is based on this question in general and is trying to enlighten our minds in the light of this question. One of the first cities considered is the city of Nogales in Mexico. The feature that distinguishes this city from the others is that the North side is within the borders of the United States, and in the South of Mexico, these regions are separated from one another. The north side is more developed than the South. Even the per capita income in the North is three times higher than in the South. What can a fence change? Climate? Of course no. Culture? No. The correct answer is the approach to the people of the country that manages both sides of the fence. While the US government gives importance to the development and prosperity of its people, the same cannot be said for the Mexican government.
In short, they live in different worlds shaped by different institutions. There is occasional disparity in every respect, and people who have come out to escape their country are aware of this inequality. This is the problem for both developed and underdeveloped countries.
Nogales example is one of the most concrete examples with a 3-fold difference. This difference is 20 times across Africa; even in the poorest countries like Ethiopia and Mali, this difference can reach 40 times.
The resources of the countries have great importance. Regardless of how talented and productive individuals are, the resources that countries offer are very important at this point. Many world-famous and groundbreaking individuals have done all of these things not because they ate what they ate, or because they are very intelligent, it is because they had support for their potential.
Was the whole world always so uneven? This inequality broke out with the Industrial Revolution and by the mid-18th century the difference was not so great.
Another hypothesis is related to geographical location. According to this theory, the poorest countries are generally in the tropical zone, while the richest countries are in the climate of climate but this theory does not seem to be very functional. Although the tropical climate is very suitable for dissemination of diseases and is not suitable for agriculture, it is clear that the diseases are not related to climate but are related to poverty. As an example close to us, the emergence of early civilizations in the Middle East or the impoverishment of the Middle East cannot be explained by geographical location. The Middle East, which came under Ottoman patronage, was deprived of the resources of the Ottoman Empire and became increasingly impoverished. If we continue here, we can look at the culture hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, we can consider institutional richness and differences as a factor in the formation of norms. It can be explained why it is so difficult to change the inequality, but if we look at the example of the Middle East, we can clearly say that the existing gap between the ones who have oil and those who do not exist is because of the continuation of the structure that existed during the Ottoman patronage.
Ignorance theory argues that poor countries have rulers that do not know how to develop. However, this is not the case. For example, the establishment of a mango packaging plant in Nkrumah, which does not grow mango, and they produce mango above the world needs, explain that this is not due to ignorance but also due to politics. In other words, the rulers of the countries are poor because they are not wise, and because they are making their country poor in a smart way.
Political and economic institutions, which are the preferences of societies, can provide growth and development and are exploitative and hamper for all these. Exploiting institutions create a conflict between those holding power and others. One of the most important pillars of this colonial prosperity is the removal of technology from human life, and indirectly from the other providers of prosperity.
The only way to avoid all this is to have inclusive and innovative institutions. If the institutions become anti-innovation and permanent, their interests begin to gain importance. This means that a whole people is deprived of all the resources that exist in the world. There is no other choice but to create inclusive institutions with which the majority is involved.