Network Origins

“The idea of an economy as a complex evolving system is far from new. Yet it has not really penetrated standard macroeconomics. This book, by taking a broad perspective, challenges this omission. The sort of approach presented here is one which is taking root in a number of major organisations and central banks and has been at the centre of the OECD’s initiative, New Approaches to Economic Challenges. Looking at the socio-economic system as a network of networks in which the individual actors and institutions are embedded gives a very different picture from the one to which we have been accustomed in economics. Hilton Root explains thoughtfully and persuasively how networks and institutions evolve and how they are not equilibrium phenomena. He provides a convincing analysis of the emergence of different societal structures in the East and the West and argues that the interaction between the two may produce outcomes at variance with those that we have come to expect. The question now remains will this new approach lead to new “economic laws” and causal relationships or will we have to accept Hayek’s assertion that “there are no laws in economics just patterns”?”
Alan Kirman, Emeritus Professor Aix Marseille University, Directeur d’études Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

“[The] subject is indeed of great importance.”
Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate

“Based on a unique methodological combination of institutional economic, complexity theory and network science, Hilton L. Root´s book provides invaluable new means and ideas to address the big questions of global history. It carries us from guestimates based on sparse data to formal approaches and nuanced comparisons.”
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Institute for Medieval Research/Division for Byzantine Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences

“In our current state of emergency we are highly focused on nation state dynamics. However complexity economics looks at the dominance of systems and networks beyond these constructs. Hilton Root has written the interconnectedness of Europe and China through the lens of history. My conclusion: supply chains and other relationships won’t be that easy to dislodge once this crisis is over. I highly recommend this book to our readers, especially those with an interest in economic history.”
Lyric Hale, EconVue

“The term that best describes what this book does is ‘institutional network theory’. Starting from the premises of new institutionalism and applying networks, Root builds a dynamic framework in which to conceive of time and history. Complexity is introduced in his conception of the aggregate system-level behaviour. The result significantly advances our understanding of how agency and structure confront each other.”
Aris Trantidis, International Affairs

“This book provides unprecedented inspiration for scholars of Friedrich Hayek and Michael Polanyi because it takes formation-thinking to a whole new level. Complexity economics, as Root calls it, seems to offer a fascinating new approach to advance our thinking about spontaneous and corporate orders by taking the middle road between economic history (and economic anthropology) and network science. Hopefully, this original volume will not only serve as a useful textbook for university courses, but will also launch a torrent of related studies exploring the social worlds behind our constantly changing economic structures.”
Gábor Bíró, LSE Review of Books

“Hilton Root’s Network Origins of the Global Economy contributes unique new perspectives for understanding the political economy of institutional change … some of his key ideas could become the foundations of further hypothesis generation and theory building, which could in turn enrich ongoing academic debates.”
Ammar Malik, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation

“Network Origins is rich with insights into the deep historical origins of the Great Divergence, insights that will repay future study … makes a vital contribution laying out the key concepts of a network-centered theory of institutional change and in outlining how it could be applied to the questions raised by the Great Divergence.”
Mark Koyama, Public Choice

“Network Origins should alert policy makers to these blind spots, which are the cause of misunderstanding and a lack of trust between China and the West. By taking a long view and capturing the highly disparate historical trajectories of the East and West, this book offers a unified framework to comparatively understand China’s internal logic of national development and expansion. It will be indispensable for rethinking global order regarding both China and emerging centers of power in a world where power is far more broadly distributed than during the Cold War.”
Kanishka Balasuriya, Governance

“… a refreshing, alternative reading of some of the great transformations in European and Chinese economic history … the book presents a timely contribution.”
Nana de Graaff, International Spectator

Dynamics among Nations

“Hilton Root examines international relations from the perspective of complexity theory, the science of the twenty-first century. His analysis will compel a complete re-thinking of the current dominant narrative on globalization, with its assumption of convergence to Western liberal values. A very original, well-written, and highly thought-provoking book.”
Paul Ormerod, Partner, Volterra Partners, author of Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics

“A creative and sophisticated treatment of the dynamics of global change. By fleshing out the notion of a ‘networked global society,’ Root at once makes an important theoretical contribution and advances our understanding of the interdependent—yet decentralized—world that lies ahead.”
Charles A. Kupchan, Georgetown University and Council on Foreign Relations, Author of No One’s World

“As China gets richer, why is it not becoming more like the West? Because, says Hilton Root in this outstanding new book, development does not work the way that most social scientists think. Borrowing the tools that natural scientists use to explain evolution and complex systems, Dynamics among Nations reveals the hidden logic behind global economics, governance, and security. Everyone who wants to understand how our world is changing should read this compelling book.”
Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules—For Now

Capital and Collusion

Capital and Collusion provides an interesting read for anyone attracted by the complexity of international political economic development. . . . By highlighting the forces at work in developing countries, Root addresses the notion that distribution of wealth is often complex and requires situation specific responses to nations who are hindered by collusive cultural practices.”
Andrew J. Prelog, Journal of Economic Issues

“A most interesting and informative work. The book contains excellent material and interesting analysis, and it will appeal to a broad audience.”
Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester

“An ambitious book, Capital and Collusion identifies the institutional reasons for the divergent growth paths of major regions in the developing world. The topic is one that will interest a broad range of readers in both academic and policy circles.”
David Stasavage, London School of Economics

“Root takes a very abstract notion like trust and provides a series of concrete demonstrations of how trust, or the lack of it, can affect economic performance and social welfare. He bases his arguments very skillfully on a variety of indicators that transform abstract concepts into observable phenomena and make his arguments come to life. This is a ‘must read’ in graduate and undergraduate courses that focus on institutions and development.”
Lewis W. Snider, author of Growth, Debt and Politics: Economic Adjustment and the Political Performance of Developing Countries

“In this exciting book, Hilton Root calls into question some of the “sacred cows” of contemporary thought, knocking down some of the rigid boundaries that exist among the social sciences and among concepts like developed and developing countries. A very good read for all.”
Elinor Ostrom, Indiana University, author of Understanding Institutional Diversity

Capital and Collusion is a breathtaking tour de force that adds significantly to the growing literature on the political economy of development and of state failure. Hilton Root has tackled the most important question facing policymakers, leaders of international financial institutions, and students of the political economy of development: how can the incentives of leaders be changed to promote risk taking and entrepreneurship, diminish uncertainty and self-insurance, and stimulate economic growth when they benefit personally from sustained national failure? No one who wishes to understand or shape economic and social welfare can afford not to read this book.”
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Professor of Politics, NYU

Fountain of Privilege

“Political economy comes of age in this book. The Fountain of Privilege practices what has so far merely been advocated, the melding of history, economics, and political science. Root offers an alternative to the notions of pre-capitalist mentalité and moral economy that have dominated the literature since Lefebvre, or indeed Marx. . . . A masterpiece of social science.”
Donald N. McCloskey, author of The Rhetoric of Economics

“Reveals how economic forces influenced the institutional evolution of Old Regime France and England. The work represents an effort to create a contemporary humanism by breaking down the specialist’s boundaries and reconstituting the fundamental unity of social analysis. The practice of applying theoretical insights from the social sciences to empirical research in history has a long pedigree. . . . Mr. Root’s work continues the tradition of Bloch, Lefebvre, Labrousse, and Braudel.”
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, author of Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error

“A splendid book, full of new insights, brilliant ideas, and thoughtful analysis. It is a major contribution both Ancien Régime and pre-Revolutionary history. . . . A masterful study.”
François Crouzet author of Britain Ascendant: Studies in British and Franco-British Economic History

Key to Asian Miracle

“Campos and Root have provided a superb follow-up to the famous World Bank study, The East Asian Miracle. Analytically informed and with a keen eye for politics, they explore the political significance of the distributional impact of East Asian growth strategies. Concisely written and well researched, the book promises to re-ignite the debates generated by the rapid growth of the East Asian economies.”
Robert H. Bates, Harvard University

“In this book, Campos and Root have gone far beyond the mere policy realm of the famous World Bank study and have successfully responded to the ongoing criticism of the World Bank thesis so pervasive in East Asia.”
Ryokichi Hirono, Seikei University and Japan Society for International Development.

“A splendid addition to the debate on East Asia’s economic success, and not just for its academic excellence. Campos and Root present practical ideas that will stimulate policymakers around the world.”
Robert Klitgaard, University of Natal

“An insightful and informative analysis of the institutional roots of the ‘East Asian Miracle.'”
Susan Rose-Ackernman, Yale University

“Easily the most informed and comprehensive analysis to date on how and why East Asian countries have achieved sustained high economic growth rates, The Key to the East Asian Miracle substantially advances our understanding of the key interactions between the governors and governed in the development process. Students and practitioners alike will be referring to Campos and Root’s series of excellent case studies for years to come.”
Richard L. Wilson, The Asia Foundation

Peasants and King in Burgundy

“Root’s book presents a new and convincing argument: that the French monarchy strengthened local peasant communities in the eighteenth century rather than undermining them. There are important implications here for much broader questions – the nature of the French state, the structure of rural class relations, and the obstacles to agricultural revolution – that will surely interest political, social, and economic historians alike.”
Lynn Hunt, University of California, Berkeley

“By systematically testing the Tocquevillian paradigm, Root has produced a major breakthrough in the conceptualization of the triangular relationship between lord, peasant, and crown under the Old Regime. Freed from the traditional categories of left and right, the arguments Root presents on the origins of agrarian capitalism, the changing patterns of peasant contention, and the impact of centralization on local communities provide a qualitatively new analytical framework for evaluating the political and economic structure of French rural society before the Revolution.”
François Furet, École des hautes études en sciences sociales

“The authority of the French monarchy grew dramatically during the early modern period, and Root documents how direct taxation of the peasantry by the crown contributed to that expansion. His argument that the fiscal structure of Old Regime France influenced the productivity of the agricultural sector will stimulate debate on the relationship of politics to economic development. His discovery that fiscal priorities led local royal officials to support the collective rights of the village contrasts sharply with the view held by scholars of both the left and right, that a modernizing state worked to overcome the obstacles to economic individualism. His conclusion that centralization made communities stronger is novel and convincingly documented. In short, historians of Old Regime France now have a new conceptualization of the relationship of state and rural society to contend with.”
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Collège de France