Edge of Chaos

Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth-and How to Fix It

by Dambisa Moyo

Number of pages: 320

Publisher: Basic Books

BBB Library: Economics and Investment, Politics and Public Affairs

ISBN: 978-0465097463

About the Author

Dambisa Moyo is a prize-winning economist. The author of New York Times bestsellers Winner Take All and Dead Aid, she was named one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time Magazine. Moyo is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. She lives in New York City.


Editorial Review

In Edge of Chaos, Dambisa Moyo shows why economic growth is essential to global stability, and why liberal democracies are failing to produce it today. Rather than turning away from democracy, she argues, we must fundamentally reform it. Edge of Chaos presents a radical blueprint for change in order to galvanize growth and ensure the survival of democracy in the twenty-first century.

Book Reviews

"It is studded with factoids and research findings that readers will no doubt find interesting...The best part is her warning that the free-market capitalism that has lifted millions of people out of poverty in the past half-century may be facing severe tests."―Wall Street Journal

"The author's program of remedy is provocative and of much interest to advocates of growth. Moyo clearly identifies systemic problems that the democracies-or what's left of them would do well to address."―Kirkus Reviews

“A very interesting and broad analysis of the present state of the world done through the lenses of the liberal economist. The book captures the essence of the modern global state of affairs. DambisaMoyo tries to find applicable systemic solutions that would address them appropriately a "package to reform democracy" as she puts it."

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Wisdom to Share

Liberal democracy, history’s greatest engine of growth, now struggles to overcome unprecedented economic headwinds—whether it’s aging populations, scarce resources, or unsustainable debt burdens.

Hobbled by short-term thinking and ideological dogma, democracies risk falling prey to nationalism and protectionism that will deliver declining living standards.

When economic growth wanes, everyone suffers. Stagnation exacerbates numerous social, health, environmental, and political problems.

The very essence of culture, community, and people’s individual expectations about the kinds of lives they can lead become dimmer, coarser, and smaller in the absence of growth.

Conversely, the absence of growth in the wider community can have a profound effect on the individual. Economic contraction can foster political and social unrest and a breakdown in social cohesion.

Simon Kuznets, the godfather of GDP measurements, opined that there are four kinds of countries in the world: developed countries, underdeveloped countries, Japan, and Argentina.

While it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine where growth will come from, there is ever more clarity on the factors likeliest to derail global growth.

The relationship between debt and growth is not linear. Taking on more and more debt does not translate into higher future growth ad infinitum. In fact, the combination can prove lethal.

The global cohort of unemployed youth between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four has now surpassed 71 million. This represents a constant threat to political stability and hampers prospects for economic growth across the world.

For every gadget that enables us to process data and information faster and more cheaply, there is a burgeoning social and public policy challenge of rising unemployment that has dire consequences for growth.