Acemoglu and Robinson talks about different critical

Acemoglu and Robinson talks about different critical juncture as underlying factors to institutional reform.

In England it was The Industrial Revolution that was the critical juncture that resulted in economic growth meanwhile in France it was The French Revolution. When looking at the Africa and China trade, one can see similarities with the industrialization of England. The development of infrastructure lead to more trades and jobs and this could also be the case for Africa if China expands the railway in Nigeria, as mentioned that they will in article A.

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Except the expansion of infrastructure, other trades that China has suggested to make with Africa’s can become critical junctures that will have positive effects on the economic future of several african countries. For example, the chinese steel and iron ore investment which include that China’s largest steelmaker will shift 5 million tonnes of production to South Africa (Article A). An investment like this will expand the business and create more jobs.However, Acemoglu and Robinson (2012) presents their scepticism towards China and its expanding economic growth by arguing that economic institutions are determined by politics. For a nation to not fail, it is needed that the political institutions become inclusive before the economical do. They state in their thesis that due to China’s many political extractive institutions, such as corruption and absence of the rule of law, it is not possible that they will continue to economically expand even though they have many inclusive economic institutions.

It is mentioned in Article E that China has explained their interest in Africa as an action to help the poor continent to become more prosperous by expanding food resources and create work. Nonetheless, the writer of Article E believes that the reasons to why Africa is the world’s poorest continent is not because of lack of resources nor the causal relationship between the increase in the economic development of specific sector and decline in other sectors, but instead “a result of weak state policies on economic development, vices like corruption and bad governance.” (Article E). This statement can be linked to Acemoglu and Robinsons’s institutional theory that indicates that political institutions are the ones that have to change before the nation can begin a sustainable economic institutional reform.

In summary, based on this theory, trades with China will not help create political inclusive institutions, but instead, only create temporary economic growth.Moreover, Rothstein (2015) discuss the cadre organization – the public administration model in China – and explains that the model is “marked by high commitment to a specific policy doctrine” and even if it is different from the weberian bureaucracy, it is highly suitable for the economic and social development in China. He also argues that Acemoglu and Robinson’s institutional theory ignores the chinese public administration significance and that the cadre organization has empirically support. Rothstein also argues for the efficiency of the cadre model and that it may contribute to the overall sustainability of the Chinese model of governance despite its lack of “inclusive” political institutions (Rothstein, 2015). In conclusion, Rothstein’s theory implies that China is more sustainable than Acemoglu and Robinson states and in that case, the Africa and China trade will benefit both nations in the future.


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