What we owe Egypt

Interesting post on what the US and other western governments should really be doing to support the Arab Spring.

Global Public Square

Editor’s Note: James A. Robinson and Daron Acemoglu are co-authors of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and PovertyFor more, visit Project Syndicate or follow it onTwitter or Facebook .

By James A. Robinson and Daron Acemoglu, Project Syndicate

The question that still underlies much thinking about economic development is this: What can we do to kick-start economic growth and reduce poverty around the world? The “we” is sometimes the World Bank, sometimes the United States and other rich countries, and sometimes professors of development economics and their students huddled in a seminar room. It is on this question that the entire development-aid complex is based.

But what has transformed Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya over the last two years has not been efforts by the outside world to improve these societies or their economies, but grassroots social movements intent on changing their…

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