Douglass North once emphasized that development takes centuries, but he did not have a theory of how and why change occurs. This groundbreaking book advances such a theory by examining in detail why England and Spain developed so slowly from 1000 to 1800. A colonial legacy must go back centuries before settlement, and this book points to key events in England and Spain in the 1260s to explain why Mexico lagged behind the United States economically in the twentieth century. Based on the integration of North's institutional approach with Mancur Olson's collective action theory, Max Weber's theory of value change, and North's focus on dominant coalitions based on rent and military in In the Shadow of Violence, this theory of change leads to exciting new historical interpretations, including the crucial role of the merchant-navy alliance in England and the key role of George Washington's control of the military in 1787.
Jerry F. Hough is the James B. Duke Professor of Political Science at Duke University. He has taught at Duke since 1973. He has previously taught at the University of Toronto and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and he has served as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Hough received his PhD from Harvard University in 1961. His research has focused on the Soviet Union, the democratization of Russia and America, and nation building in the United States. He is the author of How the Soviet Union Is Governed; Soviet Leadership in Transition; The Struggle for the Third World; Soviet Debate and American Options; Democratization and Revolution in the USSR, 1985-1991; The Logic of Economic Reform in Russia; and Changing Party Coalitions: The Mystery of the Red State-Blue State Alignment. Robin Grier earned her PhD from George Mason University in 1995. She was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE) in Mexico City before joining the University of Oklahoma in 1999. She became an Associate Professor of Economics in 2004 and a Professor in 2010. Grier's research has been published in the Journal of Development Economics, the Journal of Law and Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Review of Development Economics, the Journal of Development Studies, Economic Inquiry, Public Choice, the Southern Economic Journal, Kyklos, Economia Mexicana, El Trimestre Economico, and Rationality and Society. Her area of specialization is the political economy of development in Latin America and Mexico.
1. Introduction; 2. The collective-action difficulties of creating an effective state; 3. The pre-state of England and Spain: the importance of man-made geography; 4. The early state in England and Spain; 5. The minimally effective state; 6. The truly effective state; 7. English and Spanish colonial policies; 8. The English colonies; 9. Colonial Mexico; 10. The collective-action problems of the formation of the United States; 11. The collective-action problems of the formation of Mexico; 12. The implications for development theory.