Rulers, Religion, and Riches

Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not

Author: Jared Rubin

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110703681X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 7535

For centuries following the spread of Islam, the Middle East was far ahead of Europe. Yet, the modern economy was born in Europe. Why was it not born in the Middle East? In this book Jared Rubin examines the role that Islam played in this reversal of fortunes. It argues that the religion itself is not to blame; the importance of religious legitimacy in Middle Eastern politics was the primary culprit. Muslim religious authorities were given an important seat at the political bargaining table, which they used to block important advancements such as the printing press and lending at interest. In Europe, however, the Church played a weaker role in legitimizing rule, especially where Protestantism spread (indeed, the Reformation was successful due to the spread of printing, which was blocked in the Middle East). It was precisely in those Protestant nations, especially England and the Dutch Republic, where the modern economy was born.

Rulers, Religion, and Riches

Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not

Author: Jared Rubin

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108165753

Category: Business & Economics

Page: N.A

View: 4978

For centuries following the spread of Islam, the Middle East was far ahead of Europe. Yet, the modern economy was born in Europe. Why was it not born in the Middle East? In this book Jared Rubin examines the role that Islam played in this reversal of fortunes. It argues that the religion itself is not to blame; the importance of religious legitimacy in Middle Eastern politics was the primary culprit. Muslim religious authorities were given an important seat at the political bargaining table, which they used to block important advancements such as the printing press and lending at interest. In Europe, however, the Church played a weaker role in legitimizing rule, especially where Protestantism spread (indeed, the Reformation was successful due to the spread of printing, which was blocked in the Middle East). It was precisely in those Protestant nations, especially England and the Dutch Republic, where the modern economy was born.

War, Peace, and Prosperity in the Name of God

The Ottoman Role in Europe's Socioeconomic Evolution

Author: Murat Iyigun

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226388433

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 195

View: 4287

In "Conflict, Peace, and Prosperity in the Name of God," Murat Iyigun explores how longer-term developments influenced the spread of monotheistic religions and how these trends affected other societies and religions. He explores with the statistical methods of economics the way religions shaped the development of societies and framed the conflicts between and within them. Specifically, he asks why and how political power and organized religion became so swiftly and successfully intertwined, and then examines the role of religion in conflict historically, as well as the sociopolitical, demographic, and economic effects of religiously motivated conflicts." Conflict, Peace, and Prosperity in the Name of God "breaks exciting new ground in our understanding of religion and societies, and the conflicts between them."

Barriers to Riches

Author: Stephen L. Parente,Edward C. Prescott

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262264082

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 184

View: 2790

Why isn't the whole world as rich as the United States? Conventional views holds that differences in the share of output invested by countries account for this disparity. Not so, say Stephen Parente and Edward Prescott. In Barriers to Riches, Parente and Prescott argue that differences in Total Factor Productivity (TFP) explain this phenomenon. These differences exist because some countries erect barriers to the efficient use of readily available technology. The purpose of these barriers is to protect industry insiders with vested interests in current production processes from outside competition. Were this protection stopped, rapid TFP growth would follow in the poor countries, and the whole world would soon be rich. Barriers to Riches reflects a decade of research by the authors on this question. Like other books on the subject, it makes use of historical examples and industry studies to illuminate potential explanations for income differences. Unlike these other books, however, it uses aggregate data and general equilibrium models to evaluate the plausibility of alternative explanations. The result of this approach is the most complete and coherent treatment of the subject to date.

Bourgeois Dignity

Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World

Author: Deirdre N. McCloskey

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226556743

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 592

View: 1758

In a book that looks at the birth of the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism in the 17th and 18th centuries, the author argues that economic change--including change today--depends less on foreign trade, investment or material causes and more on ideas and what people believe. By the author of The Bourgeois Virtues.

The Long Divergence

How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East

Author: Timur Kuran

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400836017

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 432

View: 6632

In the year 1000, the economy of the Middle East was at least as advanced as that of Europe. But by 1800, the region had fallen dramatically behind--in living standards, technology, and economic institutions. In short, the Middle East had failed to modernize economically as the West surged ahead. What caused this long divergence? And why does the Middle East remain drastically underdeveloped compared to the West? In The Long Divergence, one of the world's leading experts on Islamic economic institutions and the economy of the Middle East provides a new answer to these long-debated questions. Timur Kuran argues that what slowed the economic development of the Middle East was not colonialism or geography, still less Muslim attitudes or some incompatibility between Islam and capitalism. Rather, starting around the tenth century, Islamic legal institutions, which had benefitted the Middle Eastern economy in the early centuries of Islam, began to act as a drag on development by slowing or blocking the emergence of central features of modern economic life--including private capital accumulation, corporations, large-scale production, and impersonal exchange. By the nineteenth century, modern economic institutions began to be transplanted to the Middle East, but its economy has not caught up. And there is no quick fix today. Low trust, rampant corruption, and weak civil societies--all characteristic of the region's economies today and all legacies of its economic history--will take generations to overcome. The Long Divergence opens up a frank and honest debate on a crucial issue that even some of the most ardent secularists in the Muslim world have hesitated to discuss.

The Laws and Economics of Confucianism

Kinship and Property in Preindustrial China and England

Author: Taisu Zhang

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107141117

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 317

View: 5757

Tying together cultural history, legal history, and institutional economics, The Laws and Economics of Confucianism: Kinship and Property in Pre-Industrial China and England offers a novel argument as to why Chinese and English pre-industrial economic development went down different paths. The dominance of Neo-Confucian social hierarchies in Late Imperial and Republican China, under which advanced age and generational seniority were the primary determinants of sociopolitical status, allowed many poor but senior individuals to possess status and political authority highly disproportionate to their wealth. In comparison, landed wealth was a fairly strict prerequisite for high status and authority in the far more 'individualist' society of early modern England, essentially excluding low-income individuals from secular positions of prestige and leadership. Zhang argues that this social difference had major consequences for property institutions and agricultural production.

Public Entrepreneurship, Citizenship, and Self-Governance

Author: Paul Dragos Aligica

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316946738

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 7726

In this book Paul Dragos Aligica revisits the theory of political self-governance in the context of recent developments in behavioral economics and political philosophy that have challenged the foundations of this theory. Building on the work of the 'Bloomington School' created by Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom and Public Choice political economy co-founder Vincent Ostrom, Aligica presents a fresh conceptualization of the key processes at the core of democratic-liberal governance systems involving civic competence and public entrepreneurship. The result is not only a re-assessment and re-articulation of the theories constructed by the Bloomington School of Public Choice, but also a new approach to several cutting-edge discussions relevant to governance studies and applied institutional theory, such as the debates generated by the recent waves of populism, paternalism and authoritarianism.

Freedom Rising

Human Empowerment and the Quest for Emancipation

Author: Christian Welzel

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107656826

Category: Political Science

Page: 480

View: 4345

This book presents a comprehensive theory of why human freedom gave way to increasing oppression since the invention of states - and why this trend began to reverse itself more recently, leading to a rapid expansion of universal freedoms and democracy. Drawing on a massive body of evidence, the author tests various explanations of the rise of freedom, providing convincing support of a well-reasoned theory of emancipation. The study demonstrates multiple trends toward human empowerment, which converge to give people control over their lives. Most important among these trends is the spread of 'emancipative values', which emphasize free choice and equal opportunities. The author identifies the desire for emancipation as the origin of the human empowerment trend and shows when and why this desire grows strong; why it is the source of democracy; and how it vitalizes civil society, feeds humanitarian norms, enhances happiness, and helps redirect modern civilization toward sustainable development.

The Invisible Hand?

How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500

Author: Bas van Bavel

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191017671

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 2682

The Invisible Hand offers a radical departure from the conventional wisdom of economists and economic historians, by showing that 'factor markets' and the economies dominated by them — the market economies — are not modern, but have existed at various times in the past. They rise, stagnate, and decline; and consist of very different combinations of institutions embedded in very different societies. These market economies create flexibility and high mobility in the exchange of land, labour, and capital, and initially they generate economic growth, although they also build on existing social structures, as well as existing exchange and allocation systems. The dynamism that results from the rise of factor markets leads to the rise of new market elites who accumulate land and capital, and use wage labour extensively to make their wealth profitable. In the long term, this creates social polarization and a decline of average welfare. As these new elites gradually translate their economic wealth into political leverage, it also creates institutional sclerosis, and finally makes these markets stagnate or decline again. This process is analysed across the three major, pre-industrial examples of successful market economies in western Eurasia: Iraq in the early Middle Ages, Italy in the high Middle Ages, and the Low Countries in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, and then parallels drawn to England and the United States in the modern period. These areas successively saw a rapid rise of factor markets and the associated dynamism, followed by stagnation, which enables an in-depth investigation of the causes and results of this process.

Freedom and Growth

The Rise of States and Markets in Europe, 1300-1750

Author: S.R. Epstein

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134744552

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 240

View: 5221

In discussions on European pre-modern economic growth, the role of individual freedom and of the state has loomed large. This book examines whether different kinds of 'freedoms' (absolutist, parliamentary and republican) caused different economic outcomes, and shows the effect of different political regimes on long term development. It thus offers new answers to debates on the transition from feudalism to capitalism and on the causes of pre-industrial growth and divergence.

Trillion Dollar Economists

How Economists and Their Ideas Have Transformed Business

Author: Robert Litan

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118781805

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 385

View: 1918

"Demonstrates how ideas in economics have shaped business decisions and models, as well as government policies. Discusses the pace of future innovation, how economists think about the world, and the role and importance of markets and their limits"--

Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062316109

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 9452

New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

The Future Security Environment in the Middle East

Conflict, Stability, and Political Change

Author: Nora Bensahel,Daniel Byman

Publisher: Rand Corporation

ISBN: 083303619X

Category: Political Science

Page: 365

View: 7262

This report identifies several important trends that are shaping regional security. It examines traditional security concerns, such as energy security and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as newer challenges posed by political reform, economic reform, civil-military relations, leadership change, and the information revolution. The report concludes by identifying the implications of these trends for U.S. foreign policy.

World Report on Ageing and Health

Author: World Health Organization

Publisher: World Health Organization

ISBN: 9241565047

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 246

View: 9300

The WHO World report on ageing and health is not for the book shelf it is a living breathing testament to all older people who have fought for their voice to be heard at all levels of government across disciplines and sectors. - Mr Bjarne Hastrup President International Federation on Ageing and CEO DaneAge This report outlines a framework for action to foster Healthy Ageing built around the new concept of functional ability. This will require a transformation of health systems away from disease based curative models and towards the provision of older-person-centred and integrated care. It will require the development sometimes from nothing of comprehensive systems of long term care. It will require a coordinated response from many other sectors and multiple levels of government. And it will need to draw on better ways of measuring and monitoring the health and functioning of older populations. These actions are likely to be a sound investment in society's future. A future that gives older people the freedom to live lives that previous generations might never have imagined. The World report on ageing and health responds to these challenges by recommending equally profound changes in the way health policies for ageing populations are formulated and services are provided. As the foundation for its recommendations the report looks at what the latest evidence has to say about the ageing process noting that many common perceptions and assumptions about older people are based on outdated stereotypes. The report's recommendations are anchored in the evidence comprehensive and forward-looking yet eminently practical. Throughout examples of experiences from different countries are used to illustrate how specific problems can be addressed through innovation solutions. Topics explored range from strategies to deliver comprehensive and person-centred services to older populations to policies that enable older people to live in comfort and safety to ways to correct the problems and injustices inherent in current systems for long-term care.

Wealth And Poverty Of Nations

Author: David S. Landes

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0349141444

Category: Social Science

Page: 672

View: 2092

The history of nations is a history of haves and have-nots, and as we approach the millennium, the gap between rich and poor countries is widening. In this engrossing and important new work, eminent historian David Landes explores the complex, fascinating and often startling causes of the wealth and poverty of nations. The answers are found not only in the large forces at work in economies: geography, religion, the broad swings of politics, but also in the small surprising details. In Europe, the invention of spectacles doubled the working life of skilled craftsmen, and played a prominent role in the creation of articulated machines, and in China, the failure to adopt the clock fundamentally hindered economic development. The relief of poverty is vital to the survival of us all. As David Landes brilliantly shows, the key to future success lies in understanding the lessons the past has to teach us - lessons uniquely imparted in this groundbreaking and vital book which exemplifies narrative history at its best.

Civilization

The West and the Rest

Author: Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143122061

Category: History

Page: 402

View: 5747

A history of Western civilization's rise to global dominance offers insight into the development of such concepts as competition, modern medicine, and the work ethic, arguing that Western dominance is being lost to cultures who are more productively utilizing Western techniques.

The Saudi Enigma

A History

Author: Pascal Ménoret

Publisher: Zed Books

ISBN: 9781842776056

Category: History

Page: 257

View: 7513

'Finally, we have a book by someone who has a robust social science approach to what is a modern and fast-changing society, who has lived in, and thought a lot about, the country, who does not fall into conspiracy theory, who avoids the anti-Saudi banalities of the outside world as much as the pieties of the regime, who, in a word, tells us how the country actually works.' - Professor Fred Halliday, London School of Economics'A treasure-house of precise references and analyses, this book does not set out to provide simple answers, but to illustrate the great complexity of the country and to account for the deep changes it has gone through. Particularly enlightening on the current crisis and the official response to it since 2002.' - Sophie Pommier, Le Monde DiplomatiqueSaudi Arabia is a major piece on the world geopolitical chessboard. Despite the suspicion that has enveloped the country since September 11 2001, Saudi Arabia remains the key US ally in the Arab Middle East, a role secured by its continuing position as the world's largest oil exporter and its ever growing influence in the Muslim world. Yet the country is still very poorly understood. Western observers have rarely been able to penetrate this closed society and its opaque political system. Clich‚s about the role of oil wealth and fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam often serve to further mask the reality. The true complexity of Saudi society cannot be reduced to a mixture of poorly assimilated modernity and medieval Bedouin tradition. This volume illustrates the emerging autonomous - and Islamic - manifestations of Saudi national identity, fiercely reformist rather than medieval, complex and varied rather than merely a justification or support for the rule of the al-Saud royal family. Underlying M‚noret's account is a sophisticated economic history of the Saudi state, from the eighteenth century to the present day, which details all the alliances and manoeuvres that have brought the country and its rulers to their current precarious position.

State Capacity and Economic Development

Present and Past

Author: Mark Dincecco

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108439541

Category: Political Science

Page: 94

View: 3963

State capacity - the government's ability to accomplish its intended policy goals - plays an important role in market-oriented economic development today. Yet state capacity improvements are often difficult to achieve. This Element analyzes the historical origins of state capacity. It evaluates long-run state development in Western Europe - the birthplace of both the modern state and modern economic growth - with a focus on three key inflection points: the rise of the city-state, the nation-state, and the welfare state. This Element develops a conceptual framework regarding the basic political conditions that enable the state to take effective policy actions. This framework highlights the government's challenge to exert proper authority over both its citizenry and itself. It concludes by analyzing the European state development process relative to other world regions. This analysis characterizes the basic historical features that helped make Western Europe different. By taking a long-run approach, it provides a new perspective on the deep-rooted relationship between state capacity and economic development.

The Unbound Prometheus

Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present

Author: David S. Landes

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521534024

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 576

View: 5470

For over thirty years David S. Landes's The Unbound Prometheus has offered an unrivalled history of industrial revolution and economic development in Europe. Now, in this updated edition, the author reframes and reasserts his original arguments in the light of debates about globalisation and comparative economic growth. The book begins with a classic account of the characteristics, progress, and political, economic and social implications of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, France and Germany. Professor Landes here raises the much-debated question: why was Europe the first to industrialise? He then charts the economic history of the twentieth-century: the effect of the First World War in accelerating the dissolution of the old international economy; the economic crisis of 1929–32; Europe's recovery and unprecedented economic growth following the Second World War. He concludes that only by continuous industrial revolution can Europe and the world sustain itself in the years ahead.