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No western nation has ever implemented laissez-faire capitalism and universal suffrage at the same time. Yet in the era of globalisation, this is what the west often urges upon poor countries. Furthermore, as Amy Chua points out in our cover story, conditions in many poor countries are made more combustible by the presence of market-dominant ethnic minorities. Markets concentrate wealth in the hands of the minority – for example the Chinese in much of southeast Asia or the Jewish oligarchs in Russia – while democracy increases the political power of the impoverished, indigenous majority. Chua is not an anti-globaliser but…

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