Lecture: Escape from the Violence Trap: A New View of Adam Smith and The Political Economics of Development

My Desiring-Machines

 
Escape from the Violence Trap: A New View of Adam Smith and The Political Economics of Development
Kane 210 – Friday, Feb 7, 2014 – 6:30 PM (University of Washington, Seattle)
More than two centuries ago, Adam Smith asked, what accounts for the differing levels of the “wealth of nations”? Why do so many countries fail to achieve high levels of wealth or, in Smith’s terms, “opulence”? With the seeming intransigence of high levels of poverty throughout the world, this question is as relevant today as in Smith’s time, as Barry Weingast (Political Science, Stanford University) shows, so too is Smith’s approach. He argues that Adam Smith’s explanation for the economic development of Europe involved a simultaneous, three-part revolution: the creation of liberty and justice; commerce and markets; and security. Achieving high levels of opulence required all three pieces, not just markets alone. Weingast traces Smith’s approach, revealing his explanation…

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