This analysis traces the history of failing nations; why, it asks, do certain countries never prosper while others race to progress? A stark example is the opening image, of poverty lying within inches of wealth, along the border towns of Mexico and America.
The conclusion?: patterns of failure and success reside within political institutions, not culture or geography. It may appear a conservative standpoint, but these writers suggest because failure lies within the political borders of a state, so it can be reversed by that state.