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Description - Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy by Daron Acemoglu

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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521855266
ISBN-10: 0521855268
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 29mm)
Pages: 434
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Daron Acemoglu

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.

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