BEIRUT: Harvard professor James Robinson launched his new book “Why Nations Fail? The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty” Monday at the American University of Beirut.
The book was co-authored with Daron Acemoglu, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Robinson told the audience that failed states are caused by poorly crafted political and economic institutions rather than culture or geography.
Based on 15 years of research, the book points to “extractive” economic and political institutions that concentrate power in the hands of a few, are heavily regulated, and lack law and order and checks.
“The Arab Spring was a revolt against these extractive institutions,” Robinson said. “The theory of the book suggests that this will only lead to a more inclusive society and not the iron law of oligarchy, if a broad coalition forms and sustains itself.”