Monday, June 25, 2007

Democracy versus Dictatorships!

Over the past 15 years, economies ruled by dictators have grown two and ahalf times as fast as the economies of democratic countries, according to amuch-discussed article posted on, an online “magazine ofideas,” as it calls itself. If this claim is true, should people living inthe grip of despotism therefore ditch their aspirations for politicalfreedom? Not according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Alvaro VargasLlosa. Rapid economic growth under dictatorship, he argues in his latestsyndicated column, does not provide an economic justification ofdictatorship. In addition, reports of fast growth under dictatorshiptypically paint a distorted picture of the underlying realities. “Any political system, free or unfree, that removes some obstacles toentrepreneurship, investment and trade, and makes a credible commitment tosafeguard property rights to a certain extent will trigger a virtuouseconomic cycle,” Vargas Llosa writes. However, removing anti-growthobstacles can at most create a short-term economic growth spurt; long-termgrowth requires strong pro-growth institutions—such as secure propertyrights, incentives to save and invest, and a culture of entrepreneurship—notedicts issued from on high. “First, history indicates that the combination of political, civil andeconomic freedom is a better guarantee of ever-increasing prosperity than acapitalist dictatorship,” Vargas Llosa continues. “Second, there aresufficient examples—Portugal or the Baltic countries—of underdevelopedcountries that have generated stable and reliable environments throughpolitical freedom to invalidate the notion that a country should be kept inpolitical and civil infancy until it reaches economic maturity.”

<> “AreDictatorships More Successful Than Democracies?” by Alvaro Vargas Llosa(6/13/07) Spanish<> Translation

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ministries we don't need!

Hi interns!

I am attributing the lack of activity on the blog to the fact that you are probably keeping busy with your internship research and field work!

From now on, the blog will be more abuzz with activities as we get started with more weekly readings and internship experiences!

To get you started, why don't you read up the coverstory in the latest India today about the ministries that we don't need! You could put your comments about improving the system on the blog! :) The issue is available in the CCS library, and for those who want to read it online, the subscription ID will be emailed to you!

Also, EXTERNS, we want to know your experiences during field research, people you have met, situations you were in and so on, so why not, update us on the blog?? INTERNS in turn will share their experiences too!

Happy Blogging!