Episode 7

#7 The Narrow Corridor: A conversation with Daron Acemoglu

Choosing between living under the authority of a leviathan and a life that would be “poor, nasty, brutish, and short” was the centerpiece of Thomas Hobbes’ social contract theory. But how much of a leviathan do we need to ensure that we can live both peacefully and freely? More to the point, how capable do we want a government to be? If every government runs the risk of either being so “capable,” that it can become despotic, or so incapable that it can be absent, then what is the right balance? And what kind of government do we need in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals at the local and national level?

Episode 7 of Capital Musings features our first external guest: Daron Acemoglu, Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT, and the author of “The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty.” He offers his answers to these questions as well as his thoughts on whether the SDGs represent the global economy breaking out of the “cage of norms” and towards a new model of economic growth.

Capital Musings is a production of the Partnerships, Policy and Communications unit of the United Nations Capital Development Fund and UN Web TV.

Producers: Fernando Zarauz, Carlos Macias

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Capital Musings
Capital Musings
Capital Musings is the Podcast show of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

Listen for free

About your host

Profile picture for United Nations Capital Development Fund

United Nations Capital Development Fund

The UN Capital Development Fund makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 45 least developed countries (LDCs).

UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF pursues innovative financing solutions through: (1) financial inclusion, which expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the local economy, while also providing differentiated products for women and men so they can climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; (2) local development finance, which shows how fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion, women’s economic empowerment, climate adaptation, and sustainable development; and (3) a least developed countries investment platform that deploys a tailored set of financial instruments to a growing pipeline of impactful projects in the “missing middle.’’