There is a Western myth that political liberty is a durable construct, arrived at by a process of "enlightenment." In reality, argue Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, liberty remains available only through an incessant struggle between state and society. Hopscotching the world, this sobering overview surveys the American civil rights movement, Zapotec civilization circa 500 BC, and Lagos's efforts to uproot corruption, but also Chinese imperial history, colonialism in the Pacific, India's caste system, and Saudi Arabia's suffocating strictures. Today we are in a time of destabilization that threatens political freedom, and risks the disintegration of the prosperity and safety that depend on liberty.
The Narrow Corridor
Author: Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson.