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There are many reasons why there are differences across the globe in terms of how well opportunities for development and a good life are secured. One of the things we know, however, is that grabbing, and perceived risks of grabbing, distort many interactions and exchanges in a society, largely because it reduces trust and perverts allocation mechanisms. The consequences are particularly detrimental in developing countries, where institutions and structures in place to prevent and counter it are often weak. We also know that the extent of grabbing in a society correlates with its government’s ability and willingness to secure framework conditions that are conducive to development. What we need to know more about is what we can do to more efficiently curb propensities to grab and hinder its harmful impacts on development, including in societies where government representatives themselves benefit from some form of grabbing. With this volume we want to reinforce awareness of grabbing as an obstacle to development.

David Aled Williams

Principal Adviser (U4) and Senior Researcher (CMI)