Para minha aula de política Comparada dessa semana tínhamos que ler um livro e fazer um review do livro. O livro faz uma análise histórica comparada entre Nigéria e Indonésia. O autor relaciona as escolhas estruturais feitas por cada país e crescimento econômico. De acordo com Peter Lewis, o autor, esses dois países tornam a comparação ideal pois os dois são produtores de petróleo, ex colônias que se tornaram independentes mais ou menos n mesmo tempo e passaram por uma transição democrática nos anos 90. O texto é em Inglês e eu escrevi bem correndo por causa do prazo de entrega que era às 17 horas (eu começei a escrever as 14h e fiz o último parágrafo super correndo porque já era 16:40, quase não deu tempo).
Eu sei que essa review (não sei se uso feminino ou masculino para Review) não é uma super review. Mas eu fico muito feliz em ver como eu tenho evoluido academicamente em Agosto do ano passado eu teria dificuldades até mesmo em entender o que eu acabei de escrever. Tenho certeza que as próximas serão melhores
Vou sempre postar minhas reviews para vocês também acompanharem meu crescimento, como uma marquinha na parede =].
Segue o texto:
Growing Apart: Oil, Politics and Economic Change in Indonesia and Nigeria
By Peter M. Lewis
Barbara dos Santos
In this book Peter M. Lewis brings an extensive historical institutionalism analysis investigating what are the effects of different institutional arrangements in economic growth and what are the political conditions for institutional change. In order to identify the “sources of institutional variation and comparative economic performance” he compares the development paths of Indonesia and Nigeria from the independence to recent years. Following the contrast of context methodology, his analysis has many strengths but also presents some limitations.
Lewis is very successful in comparing political choice with economic growth in the curse of the history of both countries. Unquestionably his historical explanation follows a clear logic and is accessible to both, academics and policymakers. The chronology followed in the development of the political and economical events gives the reader a strong understanding of the consequences of the political-economic choices and economic and developmental outcomes in Nigeria and Indonesia. The author also presents an empirical analysis of the historical data presented. He reserves one entire chapter of the book to compare the economic performance of the two countries. He compares several economic indicators data of both countries to provide an “empirical record of comparative economic performance in Indonesia and Nigeria”. The quantitative data reinforces the historical description connecting institutional choice and economic development.
Yet, some limitations are found as well. Lewis selects the two cases, Nigeria and Indonesia, based on their similarities and the different path followed by each in the economic development. According to him, their large population, cultural diversity, global position as resource exporter, political regime, regional preeminence and their historical evolution are structural features that link both countries in a structural comparison. His objective is to investigate why these both countries followed such divergent development path sharing this key structural features.
However, there are three points that the author overlooked and might have a major impact on these structural features, the colonial heritage of each country, the neighborhood effect and the Nigerian civil war. These three points when better analyzed can not only change the dynamics of these shared structural points, but also help to explain the different economic development paths followed by Nigeria and Indonesia.
As the author exposes Indonesia and Nigeria are former colonies of the Netherlands and Great Britain respectively. In Indonesia the Dutch influence started still in the 18th century and the country became independent in 1949. In Nigeria the Britain colonial rule lasted between the 19th century until 1960, when the country got its independence. Lewis disregards the difference in the colonial period of each country. Indonesia was Netherlands colony for much longer than Nigeria was Britain’s colony, also Indonesia got independence from the colonial rule 11 years before Nigeria. Another aspect to say about the colonial rule is the difference in the nature of each colonial empire, while the Netherlands was focusing the commerce, Britain was more concern with production and consumption. In sum, the colonial heritage of each country brings important influences for the formation of the structural features and both of them naturally received different influences that leads to different outcomes in the post-independence period.
Another feature is the neighborhood effect, that becomes extremely important when we analyze the historical context of the 90s. Nigeria was surrounded by neighbors immerse in civil wars, dictatorships or economic collapse, while Indonesia was surrounded by the called Asian Tigers. This factor may not be strong enough to change the configuration of internal structures, but either it can be overlooked. The regional context is very important as Indonesia and Nigeria are important in preeminence role in their geographical positions.
The last factor is the Nigerian civil war. A comparison between a country that went through a 30-month civil war and a country that didn’t go through any civil war must be very careful. The Nigerian civil war had a devastating impact in the Nigerian economic, social and political history, it cannot be overlooked. Lewis would have better results if he had analyzed in a deeper way the structural consequences of the civil war for Nigerian economy and politics. Maybe he would find that this single factor makes the comparison between Nigeria and Indonesia unbalanced and inappropriate.
Another limitation in Lewis work is that is no clear if the author makes a causal inference. He differentiates the Indonesian neopatrimonial rule and the Nigerian predatory rule, makes a beautiful historic explanation, but is still not clear if the author presents a hypothesis and what would be each variable. Is the author trying to bring generalizations? His empirical work lacks in specificity and clarity.
For this graduate student the author brings a lucid an brilliant historical approach but lacks in scientificity.