Tag Archives: leadership; institutions; development; underdevelopment

“Why Nations Fail…” Interrogating the Thesis of Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson within the Context of Nigeria (Published)

In this essay, an attempt is made to examine the main thesis of Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in their work titled Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (2013), and this is situated within the context of Nigeria. Their main argument is that the development or under development of a country depends on the nature of its state institutions: countries with “inclusive” political and economic institutions are developed while those with “extractive” institutions are underdeveloped. We contend that whereas this thesis may be helpful in explaining the developmental conditions of other countries, the case of Nigeria is different: the country has “failed” not because of the nature of its institutions, but principally due to the egregious failure of leadership. Attention is also drawn to the fact that the position of Acemoglu and Robinson is part of the intellectual tradition whose raison d’etre is to extol and promote the neoliberal worldview and other western values.

Keywords: leadership; institutions; development; underdevelopment