Saturday, November 04, 2006

An Empire's Mixed Legacy

This article from the Economist provides some insights about the British Imperialism that had ruled India, during the glory days when the sun never set on the empire.

Economists are studying and theorising why under the Imperial Rule, some countries succeeded while others failed. The current favourite is theme is that those that have succeeded had strong “institutions”.

In rich economies institutions—meaning the formal laws and unwritten rules that govern society—function rather well on the whole. In poor ones they don't. That much is indisputable.

In a speech last year at Oxford University, Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister, acknowledged a few “beneficial consequences” of India's years under British rule, including its free press, its civil service and its “notion” of the rule of law.

But the Indian Prime Minister also pointed out a biting irony. India, one of the world's biggest economies in 1700, was impoverished by the time the British left India.

technorati tags: India, Britain, Institutions.

No comments: