Project Syndicate


Istanbul Shows How Democracy Is Won

For months, the world looked on as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attempted to reverse the outcome of the city's municipal election. But now that Erdoğan's party has been defeated once again, his fundamental weakness has been exposed – as has that of populist authoritarians everywhere. Institute Director James Robinson writes with frequent coauthor Daron Acemoglu of MIT on Istanbul's elections.

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Extract to fail?

It’s hard to believe now but there was a time when Western economists genuinely believed that the Soviet Union would almost inevitably overtake the United States as the world’s leading economy. It wasn’t just fear speaking, they had graphs and calculations to prove it. Decades later, it is now China that’s projected to assume that role and, to its benefit, it has learned a lot from the Soviet failure. Is that enough, though, to win and hold onto economic primacy? To discuss this, Oksana is joined by James Robinson, professor of global conflict studies and author of ‘Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty.

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The Harvard Gazette


The struggle for democracy in the Muslim world

That timeless saying of Winston Churchill, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others,” framed a day-long discussion on the question of “What’s wrong with democracy?” at Harvard University. The purpose of the assembly was to investigate the barriers to effective leadership in the Muslim world and to discuss potential solutions. In attendance was Roger Myerson, who in 2007 was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences and is currently the David L. Pearson Distinguished Service Professor of Global Conflict Studies at the University of Chicago.

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