James Robinson: No 'simple recipe' for inclusive institutions in resource-rich poor nations

Harvard University professor James Robinson shares his thoughts on the process of building inclusive institutions for development.

There is no silver bullet to building inclusive, effective and sustainable institutions in pursuit of development, and according to a top development scholar, this is even more challenging for resource-rich developing countries.

If natural resources are well managed, though, they can empower people, help build legal and strategic frameworks and get every stakeholder — from government, to civil society, to the private sector — involved, James Robinson, professor of political economy and government at Harvard University, told Devex Associate Editor Richard Jones in this video interview on the sidelines of the Annual Democracy Forum 2014 in Gaborone, Botswana.

Robinson, who has authored several acclaimed books on global development including “Why Nations Fail,” added that the process of institution and capacity building in resource-rich poor countries takes time, and one must be patient to avoid the “resource curse.”

Watch the above clip to learn more insights from this expert on what sound natural resource management can do for democracy and development as well as his thoughts about the post-2015 development agenda.

#DemocracyMatters is a three-week series exploring the intersection of democracy, development and natural resources management in partnership with International IDEA, the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

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About the author

  • Lean 2

    Lean Alfred Santos

    Lean Alfred Santos is a Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Prior to joining Devex, he covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics. Lean is based in Manila.