‘Why Nations Fail’ author coming to PH

Harvard economist and political scientist Dr James Robinson will give a talk in Manila

MANILA TALK. Harvard economist and political scientist Dr James Robinson will visit the Philippines to talk about his book 'Why Nations Fail.' Photo by the Harvard News Office

MANILA, Philippines – What explains the rise and fall of nations? Why are some prosperous and others poor?

World renowned political scientist and economist Dr James Robinson will offer his answers and insights as he visits the Philippines next month.

Robinson will lead a roundtable conference hosted by the World Bank and the Angara Centre for Law and Economics on December 5.

He will deliver the keynote address in a gathering of 150 policymakers, senior officials and thought leaders.

“Entitled ‘Why Nations Fail,’ the Conference is named after the bestselling book by Robinson: a compelling analysis of the world’s financial disposition,” the Angara Centre said in a press statement.

“The book answers the question that has stumped experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?”

Joining Robinson in the roundtable discussion is the moderator, Dr John Nye, Frederic Bastiat Chair in Political Economy and Professor of Economics at the George Mason University in Virginia.

Nye is also executive director of the Angara Centre, a private-sector law, regulation and economic policy think-tank.

Institutions, economies and China

Robinson is an expert in comparative economic and political development focusing on Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

He is the David Florence Professor of Government at Harvard University. He has also taught in the University of Melbourne, University of Southern California, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Along with economist Daron Acemoglu, Robinson wrote Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty.

Author Thomas Friedman wrote on the New York Times that it is a fascinating book, with its “warning flares” on China and America being the most intriguing parts.

“The lesson of history, the authors argue, is that you can’t get your economics right if you don’t get your politics right, which is why they don’t buy the notion that China has found the magic formula for combining political control and economic growth,” wrote Friedman.

The Guardian said the book is a must-read for people interested in global inequities. 

“That states need order to prosper is important but no longer controversial. That they need inclusive institutions is, in view of China’s success, wildly controversial,” said The Guardian.

“Their argument is that order without inclusive institutions may enable an economy to escape poverty, but will not permit the full ascent to modern prosperity.” – Rappler.com