Last week, Seth D. Kaplan spoke with Maureen Quinn, Director of Programs at the International Peace Institute, about his recent book Betrayed: Politics, Power and Prosperity, in which he discusses the dynamics of poverty and tools for inclusive development. Mr. Kaplan teaches, writes, and consults on issues related to fragile states, governance, and development.
Your book discusses building inclusive societies and how these societies often succeed. What do you mean by "inclusive?"
My definition is much more of an East Asian one–I lived in East Asia for 11 years, so obviously I'm very influenced by how East Asians view development and social progress. For me, inclusiveness is not so much the type of institutions—it's the type of society, the type of end-result of how the state behaves towards the population, how elites behave towards the population. So what I mean by inclusive–and I mean economically, politically to some extent, culturally for sure–is that the state is acting equally to all citizens. If a state can act equally for everybody, and then you have leaders, elites that, for whatever reason—whether it’s a moral obligation, an ideological necessity, or simply because they feel that everyone in their country and them are from the same group, whether it's simply incentives or some accountability—that they’re working day in and day out on behalf of all of their population.