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The Perils of International Capital

Faisal Z. Ahmed (Princeton University, New Jersey)



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Cambridge University Press
19 December 2019
Political structures: totalitarianism & dictatorship; International relations; International economics; Political economy; Economic geography
Can foreign capital empower dictatorship? This groundbreaking book develops a unified theory that links three prominent forms of international capital to the endurance of dictatorships. International capital empowers governments to finance two key instruments of non-democratic politics: repression and patronage. The Perils of International Capital uses theory, case studies, and cross-national statistical evidence to demonstrate causal effects between foreign capital and authoritarian politics. These finding are crucial to scholars and policymakers alike, as they call for a recalibration of the welfare effects associated with greater financial globalization. Ahmed reveals that, while foreign capital may improve economic development, it can tragically hinder democratic governance in the process.
By:   Faisal Z. Ahmed (Princeton University New Jersey)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 157mm,  Spine: 16mm
Weight:   410g
ISBN:   9781108488655
ISBN 10:   110848865X
Pages:   198
Publication Date:   19 December 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Faisal Z. Ahmed is an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University, New Jersey. His research centers on political economy and international economics. He has published articles in leading journals in economics and political science. Prior to joining the faculty at Princeton, he served as an economist at the Federal Reserve of Chicago and White House Council of Economic Advisors.

Reviews for The Perils of International Capital

'Faisal Z. Ahmed's study reveals how dictatorships seek foreign capital to sustain their grip on power. previous studies have focused on specific types of capital, such as foreign aid, Ahmed provides a clear, integrated treatment of three major sources: aid, direct investments, and remittances. His conclusion, that these capital flows serve dictatorships in strikingly different ways, is an important contribution to international political economy.' Charles Lipson, Peter B. Ritzma Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Chicago 'Ahmed provides a marvelous multi-method account of how political institutions mediate the international transfer of funds to governments, people, and firms. His theory emphasizes variation in incentives to governments depending on regime type, and his method engages rich statistical evidence, illustrative cases, and careful attention to endogeneity. The Perils of International Capital specifically focuses on autocracies and documents how capital flows in the form of foreign aid, remittances, and foreign direct investment bolster dictatorships. This is an accomplishment in itself. However, the major achievement of the book is in taking us a major step forward to a deeper and fuller comparative understanding of the effects of contemporary globalization.' Margaret Levi, Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, California 'Scholars of globalization have long thought that openness to capital flows would prove destabilizing to the world's authoritarian regime. The Perils of International Capital shows that the opposite is true, providing a unified theoretical account explaining how foreign sources of financing - aid, remittances, and investment - in fact stabilize authoritarian regimes. Applying rigorous statistical tools to a global dataset, and sensitive to the challenges of causal inference, this book is an essential contribution to the international political economy of authoritarianism and democratization.' Thomas Pepinsky, Cornell University

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