Barnett


11
Sep 07

Maybe countries are in the Gap for a reason…

From the Economist Blog

Why would anyone with a robust sense of reality simply assume that each national jurisdiction contains the seeds of a viable economy? If we insist on thinking of development as a matter of national growth, we may well consign most of the bottom billion, and their children and their grandchildren, to unrelenting poverty trapped within their UN-recognised national prisons. Our real moral concern should not be the Central African Republic, but its unfortunate denizens. The best thing for their prospects may simply be to get out–to leave for a place where growth has already commenced. The West’s many attempts to jumpstart growth where the world’s poorest already reside has yet to work. So why does the international community insist on betting the poor’s lives on the gamble that it will, finally, some day?

While development has worked in some places, South Korea and Taiwan come to mind, there is little compelling evidence that a society locked into antiquated social capital can shift to a modern one absent the destruction of the existing social capital. The shocks would be a significant war, or a tyrannical government (i.e. China) willing to uproot society.

Its food for thought anyway.


10
Mar 07

A rogue Core

Subadei has some interesting thoughts on the possibility of a new and hostile Core (shortly defined as a group of connected, interdependent nations) involving Iran, Venezuela. However, I think there is not much to be worried about. Assuming they do create/evolve into a second core, they would have enough incentives/core-like attributes not to do so.

I guess that raises the question, can there be two Cores? Wouldn’t the opportunity cost of maintaining the divide between the two Cores? Wouldn’t the opportunity cost of maintaining the divide between the two Cores become too costly for the divide to be sustainable?

Update
:Edited for clarity