Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

In the Shadow of Violence
Politics, Economics, and the Problems of Development


Douglass North, John Wallis, Steven Webb, Barry Weingast, Mushtaq H. Khan, Kai Kaiser, Stephanie Wolters, Brian Levy, Gabriella R. Montinola, Pallavi Roy, Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, Patricio Navia, Jong-Sung You
View all contributors
  • Date Published: January 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107684911

£ 27.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book applies the conceptual framework of Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis and Barry R. Weingast's Violence and Social Orders (Cambridge University Press, 2009) to nine developing countries. The cases show how political control of economic privileges is used to limit violence and coordinate coalitions of powerful organizations. Rather than castigating politicians and elites as simply corrupt, the case studies illustrate why development is so difficult to achieve in societies where the role of economic organizations is manipulated to provide political balance and stability. The volume develops the idea of limited-access social order as a dynamic social system in which violence is constantly a threat and political and economic outcomes result from the need to control violence rather than promoting economic growth or political rights.

    • Explores new ways of looking at the process of economic development and understanding social and political violence
    • Applies the framework of Violence and Social Orders written by three of the co-editors, Nobel Laureate North, J. Wallis and B. Weingast, to nine countries in the modern world
    • Rich contribution of applied economics to the political and social realities of developing nations, balancing theory and empirical analysis
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is a welcomed and outstanding companion to Violence and Social Orders by North, Wallis, and Weingast. The editors apply the earlier framework to numerous countries and draw lessons from which we gain considerable insights into modern development.' Lee J. Alston, University of Colorado

    'The rigorous analyses of In the Shadow of Violence empirically demonstrate the explanatory power of the theory advanced by North, Wallis, and Weingast in Violence and Social Orders, corroborating their novel understanding of economic underdevelopment as a violence-reducing equilibrium.' Benito Arruñada, University Pompeu Fabra, Spain

    'In In the Shadow of Violence, eight knowledgeable specialists address the politics and economics of eight key countries in the developing world. They explore as well what North, Wallis, and Weingast call the logic of 'limited access', wherein, it is held, political order comes at the expense of sustained economic growth. Using case materials, they evaluate this claim and teach us much about the political economy of development.' Robert Bates, Harvard University

    'The essays in this provocative volume, written by analytically attuned area experts, give flesh and bones to the theoretical perspective on 'limited access orders' developed in Violence and Social Orders. The studies show how the World Bank's attempts to transform countries into 'open access orders' typically yield more violence than development. The well-acclaimed editors offer an alternative approach to development policy - working within 'limited access orders' in order to improve people's livelihoods.' David D. Laitin, Stanford University

    'Through the insightful, well-documented case studies in this volume, we discover that control of violence is central to the experiences of the least and most successful developing countries of the last 50 years. The lesson from their experiences is as compelling as it is unpalatable: success - peace - may depend on allowing elites to retain large rents and supporting organizations that make it easier for elites to collude. This book is necessary reading for development professionals and political economy scholars alike.' Philip Keefer, The World Bank

    'North, Wallis, and Weingast come down to earth to apply their ideas to the details of poor countries' problems and institutions. Finally we are headed in the right direction. I hope Jim Kim buys everyone at the World Bank a copy; it won't leave my desk for years.' James Robinson, Harvard University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107684911
    • length: 378 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 2 maps 42 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Limited access orders: an introduction to the conceptual framework Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Steven B. Webb and Barry R. Weingast
    2. Bangladesh: economic growth in a vulnerable LAO Mushtaq H. Khan
    3. Fragile states, elites, and rents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Kai Kaiser and Stephanie Wolters
    4. Seeking the elusive developmental knife-edge: Zambia and Mozambique – a tale of two countries Brian Levy
    5. Limited access orders: the Philippines Gabriella R. Montinola
    6. India's vulnerable maturity: experiences of Maharashtra and West Bengal Pallavi Roy
    7. Entrenched insiders: limited access order in Mexico Alberto Diaz-Cayeros
    8. From limited access to open access order in Chile, take two Patricio Navia
    9. Transition from a limited access order to an open access order: the case of South Korea Jong-Sung You
    10. Lessons: in the shadow of violence Douglass North, John Wallis, Steven Webb and Barry Weingast.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • International Conflict Resolution
  • Editors

    Douglass C. North, Washington University, St Louis
    Douglass C. North is co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. He is Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and Bartlett Burnap Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Professor North received the John R. Commons Award in 1992. He is author of eleven books, including Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance (1990), Understanding the Process of Economic Change (2005), and co-author, with John Joseph Wallis and Barry R. Weingast, of Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

    John Joseph Wallis, University of Maryland, College Park
    John Joseph Wallis is Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He received his PhD from the University of Washington in 1981 and had a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago. Professor Wallis is an economic historian who specializes in the public finance of American governments and more generally in the relation between the institutional co-development of governments and economics. His large-scale research on American state finance and institutions has been supported by the National Science Foundation.

    Steven B. Webb, The World Bank, Washington DC
    Steven B. Webb worked at the World Bank for twenty-one years as an economist and advisor on policy research, evaluation and operations for Latin America and the Caribbean and other regions. He currently serves as a consultant to the Bank. Dr Webb's specializations include political economy, decentralization, public finance, central banks and monetary policy and economic history. His publications include Public Sector Reform – What Works and Why (2008), Achievements and Challenges in Decentralization (2000) and Voting for Reform: The Politics of Adjustment in New Democracies (1994, edited with Stephan Haggard).

    Barry R. Weingast, Stanford University, California
    Barry R. Weingast is the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor in the Department of Political Science and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 1977. Professor Weingast spent ten years at Washington University in St. Louis in the Department of Economics and the School of Business. The recipient of the Riker Prize, the Heinz Eulau Prize and the James Barr Memorial Prize, he has also worked extensively with the World Bank and the US Agency for International Development. Professor Weingast co-authored Analytical Narratives (1998) and co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy (2006).


    Douglass North, John Wallis, Steven Webb, Barry Weingast, Mushtaq H. Khan, Kai Kaiser, Stephanie Wolters, Brian Levy, Gabriella R. Montinola, Pallavi Roy, Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, Patricio Navia, Jong-Sung You

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.