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Capital and Collusion: The Political Logic of Global Economic Development

by Hilton L. Root

Why does capital formation often fail to occur in developing countries? Capital and Collusion explores the political incentives that either foster growth or steal nations' growth prospects. Hilton Root examines the frontier between risk and uncertainty, analyzing the forces driving development in both developed and undeveloped regions. In the former, he argues, institutions reduce everyday economic risks to levels low enough to make people receptive to opportunities for profit, stimulating developments in technology and science. Not so in developing countries. There, institutions that specialize in sharing risk are scarce. Money hides under mattresses and in teapots, creating a gap between a poor nation's savings and its investment. As a consequence, the developing world faces a growing disconnect between the value of its resources and the availability of finance. What are the remedies for eliminating this disparity? Root shows us how to close the growing wealth gap among nations by building institutions that convert uncertainty into risk. Comparing China to India, Latin America to East Asia, and contemporary to historical cases, he offers lessons that can help the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to tackle the political incentives that are the source of poor governance in developing nations.

Dynamics among Nations

by Hilton L. Root

Liberal internationalism has been the West's foreign policy agenda since the ColdWar, and the West has long occupied the top rung of a hierarchical system. In this book, Hilton Rootargues that international relations, like other complex ecosystems, exists in a constantly shiftinglandscape, in which hierarchical structures are giving way to systems of networked interdependence,changing every facet of global interaction. Accordingly, policymakers will need a new way tounderstand the process of change. Root suggests that the science of complex systems offers ananalytical framework to explain the unforeseen development failures, governance trends, and allianceshifts in today's global political economy. Root examines both the networkedsystems that make up modern states and the larger, interdependent landscapes they share. Usingsystems analysis -- in which institutional change and economic development are understood asself-organizing complexities -- he offers an alternative view of institutional resilience andpersistence. From this perspective, Root considers the divergence of East and West; the emergence ofthe European state, its contrast with the rise of China, and the network properties of theirrespective innovation systems; the trajectory of democracy in developing regions; and the systemicimpact of China on the liberal world order. Complexity science, Root argues, will not explainhistorical change processes with algorithmic precision, but it may offer explanations that match themessy richness of those processes.

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