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   Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, first published in 2012, is a book by economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. It summarizes and popularizes previous research by the authors and many other scientists. Based on the statements of the new institutional economics, Robinson and Acemoglu see in political and economic institutions — a set of rules and enforcement mechanisms that exist in society — the main reason for differences in the economic and social development of different states, considering, that other factors (geography, climate, genetics, culture, religion, elite ignorance) are secondary.

     The authors contrast two types of institutions: extractive — aimed at excluding the majority of society from the process of political decision-making and income distribution, and inclusive — aimed at including the widest possible strata of society in economic and political life. With the exception of broad strata of society, the political decision-making process, according to the authors, inevitably leads to an attack on the economic rights of all who do not belong to the elite. And the lack of reliable guarantees of property rights and the opportunity to receive income from their enterprises among wide sections of society leads to a halt in economic growth. Therefore, in the absence of pluralistic political institutions, achieving sustainable development, according to the authors, is impossible.

     The authors cite numerous historical examples in support of their point of view, refer to the studies of many other historians and economists: the bibliography of the book contains more than 300 scientific works. The countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, the Russian, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman and Qing empires, the USSR, the PRC during the "cultural revolution", modern Uzbekistan and others are examples of states with extractive institutions. The examples of countries with inclusive institutions are the British Empire after the Glorious Revolution, the USA, Australia, France after the French Revolution, Japan after the Meiji Restoration. The authors created and until 2014 maintained a website in English dedicated to the topics of the book.