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Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies pres.

WCED Lecture. The Politics of the Middle-Income Trap

Richard Doner, Goodrich C. White Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Emory University

Richard Doner Richard Doner
Richard Doner
Beginning in the mid-2000s, economists in both academia and development multilaterals have drawn increasing attention to countries, especially in Southeast Asia and Latin America, being stuck in middle-income. Political leaders in those regions have also expressed concerns about this “Middle-Income Trap.” But while economists point to policies required to move into higher income, they have generally ignored the political and institutional aspects of the trap. Two factors merit special attention: “disarticulation politics,” involving social cleavages that impede the creation of coalitions necessary to create effective institutions; and unstable, fragmented party systems that undermine the long time horizons necessary for institutional development and policy implementation. Doner will explore these issues through cross-national and cross-sectoral variation in specific issue areas and institutions.

Richard F. Doner is Goodrich C. White Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Doner's research focuses on the political and institutional bases of economic development, especially in Southeast Asia. His books include "The Politics of Uneven Development: Thailand’s Economic Growth in Comparative Perspective" (2009); "From Silicon Valley to Singapore: Location and Competitive Advantage in the Hard Disk Drive Industry" (with David McKendrick and Stephan Haggard, 2000); and "Driving a Bargain: Japanese Firms and Automobile Industrialization in Southeast Asia" (1991). His co-edited volumes include "Explaining Institutional Innovation: Case Studies from Latin America and East Asia" (2010), and "Economic Governance and The Challenge of Flexibility in East Asia" (with Fred Deyo and Eric Hershberg, 2001). His articles have appeared in journals such as "International Organization," "World Politics," "Journal of Development Studies," "Journal of Contemporary Asia," "Journal of Asian Studies," "Science, Technology and Society," "Journal of East Asian Studies," "Review of Policy Research," and "World Development." Dr. Doner has written or consulted for the World Bank, the International Labor Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, and business associations in Southeast Asia. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Northeast Thailand and an assembly line worker at General Motors in California.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to weisercenter@umich.edu at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Richard Doner Richard Doner
Richard Doner
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