Daron Acemoğlu, author of 'Why Nations Fail,' to deliver 2015 Guillermo O’Donnell Memorial Lecture

by Elizabeth Rankin

Daron Acemoğlu Daron Acemoğlu

Renowned economist Daron Acemoğlu, co-author of the best-seller “Why Nations Fail” whose acclaimed research addresses why some countries are rich and others poor, will deliver the second annual Guillermo O’Donnell Memorial Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 (Wednesday). Open to the public, the lecture will be held in the McCartan Courtroom of the Eck Hall of Law on the University of Notre Dame campus.

“Like the renowned social scientist Guillermo O’Donnell, whom this lecture honors, Acemoğlu is known for his creativity in bringing together issues of democracy and human development in new and innovative ways,” said Kellogg Institute for International Studies Director Paolo Carozza.

“I am delighted that the Notre Dame community will have the opportunity to engage with such a stimulating thinker on these critical global themes, which lie at the heart of the Kellogg Institute’s work.”

The Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT and one of the most cited economists in the world, Acemoğlu combines wide-ranging interests in political economy and macro- and microeconomics.

“Daron is one of the most influential economists of our generation,” said Kellogg faculty fellow William Evans, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics. “He has made important contributions to many fields, most notably his work demonstrating how particular economic and political institutions foster economic development.”

In 2005, Acemoğlu was the recipient of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, awarded for significant achievement by an American economist under 40 and often seen as a precursor to a Nobel Prize.

Acemoğlu’s research has reached an audience far beyond academia in his best-selling book with Harvard political scientist James Robinson: “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty” (2012). A native of Turkey, Acemoğlu holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies established the Guillermo O’Donnell Memorial Lecture series in 2013 in honor of Guillermo O’Donnell, the institute’s founding director. Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos delivered the inaugural lecture in the series at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) International Congress in August 2014.

The annual lecture is designed to carry forward the enduring legacy of O’Donnell’s scholarship by focusing attention on work furthering its core themes, the twin aspirations of political participation and human welfare. Speakers for the series are chosen from among distinguished scholars, public intellectuals and policymakers who have made major contributions to understanding or promoting democracy and human development around the world. For more information, visit kellogg.nd.edu/odonnell.