Prosperity & Violence: The Political Economy of Development (Second Edition) (The Norton Series in World Politics) Second Edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0393933833
ISBN-10: 0393933830
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

January PublicationsRobert H. Bates is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and fellow of the Center for International Development at Harvard University. In Prosperity and Violence: The Political Economy of Development, a thoughtful and instructive book, he examines how underdeveloped societies progress from agrarian to industrial states by examining how governments foster investment and per capita growth and how they manage their political power and use of force. Drawing on the history of highly developed countries, such as those in Europe, Bates compares them with developing countries in Latin America and Africa. For example, he finds in Kenya a government and an economic organization working collaboratively toward prosperity, which he contrasts with the militaristic, economically destructive situation in Uganda.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert H. Bates is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government in the Department of Government and Fellow of the Center for International Development at Harvard University. He has written numerous books, most recently Open Economy Politics (1997) and Analytic Narratives (1998). He has conducted extensive field research in East and Central Africa and in Columbia and Brazil.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Norton Series in World Politics
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Second Edition edition (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393933830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393933833
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DT on November 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In his book, Prosperity and Violence: The Political Economy of Development, Robert Bates examines how underdeveloped societies transform from rural and agrarian to urban and industrial. Exploring the vast history of the modern state, Bates draws on numerous case studies to formulate a general theory that explains how societies make this great transformation. Central to his argument is the link between prosperity and violence. Perhaps no different from many scholars of development, he contends that agrarian societies face a debilitating cycle where prosperity begets violence which further restricts prosperity. Thus, we would assume that these societies are doomed to stagnation. But if this is so, how might developed industrial societies have come about? One may expect that the solution exists in somehow driving a wrench in the cycle and eliminating the encumbering violence. But Bates takes an unusual perspective and offers an unexpected and fascinating explanation. He argues that in order for societies to develop successfully, they must embrace their propensity for violence and use it to their own advantage. By domesticating coercion to cultivate investments and encourage economic growth, societies utilize violence to overcome stagnation and ultimately transform themselves into prosperous developing states.

To understand development, Bates first explores what causes its failure. He begins by examining societies that are predominately agrarian, rural, and dominated by kinship. These kinship societies invest in migration and expansion to control new resources and overcome diminishing returns. They specialize in production, form markets, and engage in exchange. They manage the risks of nature by diversification and reliance on family support.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Neel Aroon on January 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Being a double major in political science and economics, it seems that I'm always looking at ways to connect the two subjects. Prosperity and violence does this so brillitanly that i read the book in a matter of a few hours. The book talks about how trade has brought people toghether to create cities to trade creating goverments in order to control and facilitate the process. Through time, goverment and the economy became mutually dependent and modern countires became to develop which the books compares to newly independent countries in the 20th century. The books goes into the present dealing with the cold war and how former allies of America and the USSR are comping with the transition into the 21rst century.
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