Book Review of When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, edited by Robert I. Rotberg

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 8(3 Fall): 97-99, 2005

3 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2014

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

Do weak governments around the globe merit assistance? The premise of When States Fail: Causes and Consequences is that without strong government, society devolves into chaos. Sponsored by the Harvard University Failed States Project, this edited volume contains fourteen chapters, most of them written by political scientists. Not all authors come to the same conclusions, but they agree on most issues. Thus, I will treat the arguments collectively. The writers argue that the United States and other nations have a positive role to play in helping at-risk governments become strong. That most contributors are mainstream political scientists rather than Austrian economists becomes evident quickly. As the old saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. In the case of these political scientists, they clearly believe that scientifically designed government institutions are needed to solve all of the world’s problems.

Suggested Citation

Stringham, Edward Peter, Book Review of When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, edited by Robert I. Rotberg (2005). Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 8(3 Fall): 97-99, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2088212

Edward Peter Stringham (Contact Author)

Trinity College ( email )

Hartford, CT 06106
United States

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