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James Robinson: “everywhere people are interested in liberty”

The co-author of Why Nations Fail is back with a far-reaching interrogation of the roles of the state, society, and the conditions required for freedom

By Nick Spencer  

Photo: Nancy Wong/University of Chicago

Along with Daron Acemoglu, economist James Robinson wrote the best-selling and widely-praised Why Nations Fail, which located the origins of power, prosperity and poverty in the balance of “inclusive” and “extractive” institutions. The pair come together again for an equally far-reaching exploration of “states, societies and the fate of liberty,” entitled The Narrow Corridor. The book builds on but modifies their previous insights, seeing the fate of liberty in society as a fundamentally dynamic process. I spoke to Robinson down the line from his…

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