Lecture: "State Building: A Political Economy Perspective"


Location: McCartan Courtroom, Eck Hall of Law

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies presents the 2015 Guillermo O’Donnell Memorial Lecture by Daron Acemoğlu, Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“State Building: A Political Economy Perspective”

Acemoğlu will provide a historical and political economic explanation for why many states around the world are unable to control violence, enforce laws, and provide public services for their citizens. He will examine why societies with weak political institutions—where it is difficult or impossible for society to control politicians—often refrain from state building. He will also discuss development paths that, under some historical and institutional conditions, allow certain communities to develop more accountable political institutions and, at the same time, build state capacity.

The Guillermo O’Donnell Memorial Lecture series was established in 2013 in honor of Guillermo O’Donnell, the Kellogg Institute’s founding director. The annual lecture, funded in part by the Johnson Family Endowment for Excellence, is designed to carry forward the enduring legacy of O’Donnell’s scholarship by focusing attention on work furthering its core themes, the twin aspirations of political participation and human welfare.

This year’s lecture is also part of an ongoing student initiative on what the sustainable development goals mean for the world.

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