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James A. Robinson

James A. Robinson

8 commentaries

James A. Robinson, Institute Director of the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, is University Professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. He is the co-author (with Daron Acemoglu) of The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty, and Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.

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  1. Why Taiwan Matters
    acemoglu51_ Central News AgencyHandoutGetty Images_pelositaiwan Central News Agency/Handout/Getty Images

    Why Taiwan Matters

    Aug 9, 2022 Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson see the island as evidence against culturally deterministic explanations of authoritarianism and democracy.

  2. Why Trumpian Populism Failed
    jarobinson7_Joe RaedleGetty Images_trump cpac rally Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    Why Trumpian Populism Failed

    Mar 9, 2021 James A. Robinson shows how US democratic institutions prevailed, and why they remain vulnerable to wannabe autocrats.

  3. How to Stem Ukraine’s Corruption
    acemoglu11_Spencer PlattGetty Images_ukrainegirlflowerstape Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    How to Stem Ukraine’s Corruption

    Oct 14, 2019 Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson show that it takes a society-wide effort for countries to escape the grip of kleptocratic institutions.

  4. The Constitution Won’t Save American Democracy
    acemoglu10_Brendan SmialowskiGetty Images_constitution Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

    The Constitution Won’t Save American Democracy

    Sep 24, 2019 Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson argue that only social mobilization can remove the threat President Donald Trump poses to US institutions.

  5. Istanbul Shows How Democracy Is Won
    acemoglu8_ Burak KaraGetty Images_imamoglu istanbul Burak Kara/Getty Images

    Istanbul Shows How Democracy Is Won

    Jun 25, 2019 Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson draw lessons from the opposition's victory over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s authoritarian party.

  1. ocampo57_Celal GunesAnadolu Agency via Getty Images_imf Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    The Urgency of Sovereign-Debt Restructuring

    José Antonio Ocampo highlights the need for a comprehensive mechanism to deliver relief to low- and middle-income countries.
  2. fischer215_Mostafa AlkharoufAnadolu via Getty Images_tel aviv iran attack Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images

    The Gaza War Goes Global

    Joschka Fischer

    The escalating war in the Middle East must be understood in a broader context. The fact that the Iranian regime felt emboldened to risk a direct strike on Israel attests to a changing world order in which Western power is increasingly open to challenge.

    considers the implications of Iran’s unprecedented decision to launch a direct strike on Israeli territory.
  3. nyirinkindi1_ISAAC KASAMANIAFP via Getty Images_women phone fintech ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP via Getty Images

    Gender-Neutral Fintech Isn’t Working for Women

    Emmanuel Nyirinkindi & Jessica Schnabel show that the industry is not fully delivering on its promise to accelerate financial inclusion.
  4. evans72_Alex WongGetty Images_palestine statehood Alex Wong/Getty Images

    The Urgency of Palestinian Statehood

    Gareth Evans explains why formal international recognition is crucial to ending the intolerable status quo.
  5. schiffrin10_Mark WilsonGetty Images_journalists Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    Quality Journalism Is More Important than Ever

    Anya Schiffrin, et al. explain how policymakers can support rigorous, objective reporting, just as they provide other public goods.
  6. wei60_MANJUNATH KIRANAFP via Getty Images_india population MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images

    Is India’s Economy Overhyped?

    Shang-Jin Wei argues that the country’s rapid development, while undeniable, conceals deeper structural problems.
  7. krake1_Celal GunesAnadolu via Getty Images_spring meetings Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images

    Negotiating a Bigger, Better World Bank

    Michael Krake & Wempi Saputra explain how a new framework will nudge countries to invest in projects that deliver global public goods.
  8. redford1_Getty Images_earth conservation Getty Images

    The Ozone Layer’s Recovery Shows How to Protect the Planet

    Robert Redford & Xiye Bastida highlight the critical role of international cooperation in preserving the planet’s habitability.
  9. kuttab59_AFP via Getty Images_hamas war AFP via Getty Images

    The Middle East Needs a Ceasefire Now

    Daoud Kuttab explains why the latest escalation could lead to a truce instead of an all-out military showdown.

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