It’s Democracy, Stupid: Reappraising the Middle-Income Trap
The causes and reasons for countries’ economic growth and development have long been a challenging subject for research and debate. It is observed that while many countries experience high growth when they are low-income countries, once they become middle-income countries rapid growth is often followed by economic stagnation, with the potential for increasing social unrest as a result. A key puzzle is therefore why many middle-income countries fail to sustain suf-ficient economic growth to become high-income countries. A relatively recent concept in this debate is that of the Middle Income Trap (MIT), which argues that countries encounter a series of obstacles when trying to adapt their econo-mies and comparative advantages to become more specialized market econo-mies. In other words, the very same factors that fueled growth in the early stag-es act as a hindrance at the middle-income level, slowing down and eventually causing a stagnation of the growth process, if the correct policies are not im-plemented. This study seeks to reappraise the MIT concept by going beyond a mainstream analysis, which focuses mainly on economic aspects of growth/stagnation. Accordingly, while prudent economic management and pol-icies are vital to avoid the MIT, factors relating to governance, institutions, in-clusive growth, and education, among others, can underlie and play a determin-ing role in explaining failure or success in sustaining economic growth. There-fore, non-economic dimensions are fundamental for any reform or structural change, and, as is argued in this paper, democratic governance can serve as a useful proxy for many of these factors.
“Weaponizing” the Diaspora: Erdoğan and the Turks in Europe
Scandals have emerged all over Europe over the alleged illicit intelligence activity of organizations loyal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But the issue is considerably larger. The Turkish government […]