How does a civilisation collapse?

Why are some nations more prosperous than others? 

Why Nations Fail sets out to answer this question, with a compelling and elegantly argued new theory: that it is not down to climate, geography or culture, but because of institutions. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, from ancient Rome through the Tudors to modern-day China, leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson show that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it – and this means sound institutions that allow virtuous circles of innovation, expansion and peace.

What others have said about Why Nations Fail?

Why Nations Fail is a truly awesome book. Acemoglu and Robinson tackle one of the most important problems in the social sciences–a question that has bedeviled leading thinkers for centuries–and offer an answer that is brilliant in its simplicity and power. A wonderfully readable mix of history, political science, and economics, this book will change the way we think about economic development. Why Nations Fail is a must-read book. –Steven Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics.

“Acemoglu and Robinson–two of the world’s leading experts on development–reveal why it is not geography, disease, or culture which explains why some nations are rich and some poor, but rather a matter of institutions and politics. This highly accessible book provides welcome insight to specialists and general readers alike.” –Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man and The Origins of Political Order.

A compelling and highly readable book. And [the] conclusion is a cheering one: the authoritarian ‘extractive’ institutions like the ones that drive growth in China today are bound to run out of steam. Without the inclusive institutions that first evolved in the West, sustainable growth is impossible, because only a truly free society can foster genuine innovation and the creative destruction that is its corollary. –Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money.

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