The next 10 years in development studies:
From modernization to multiple modernities, in theory and practice.
In: European Journal of Development Research (2009) 21, 4–9
Abstract: In this essay, I want to explore some of the dynamics behind these issues in more detail, and consider the implications for the academic field of development studies in the coming decade. It is my somewhat provocative contention – on the basis of career spent at the awkward nexus of scholarly research and active engagement with development policy and practice – that too many of the substantive contributions from scholars in ‘development studies' focus on being ‘critical', whether of international organizations (of which they often have little direct knowledge) or of the development process more generally, while also being too far removed from the problems that practitioners actually confront. Variations on this critique have been around for at least twenty years (see Edwards, 1989), but here I want to propose that the core problem is not so much methodological, but philosophical.
Paradigms lost, paradigms regained? Development studies in the twenty-first century.
In: Third World Quarterly, 21:1, 7 – 20.
Abstract: Until the mid-1980s post-World War II development thinking shared three basic paradigms, ie essentialising the Third World and its inhabitants as homogeneous entities, an unconditional belief in progress and in the makeability of society, and the importance of the (nation)state in realising that progress. Development theories (from modernisation to dependencia) as well as the international development aid industry all shared these paradigms. From the mid-1980s onwards these three paradigms increasingly lost their hegemonic status and are currently, on the threshold of the twenty-first century, being replaced by a loose set of partly descriptive, partly heuristic notions like civil society, social capital, diversity and risk. This article is an attempt to analyse the most important reasons for the loss of the central paradigms in development thinking. It tries to assess the importance for development studies of several postmodern, post-development and globalisation-inspired notions and insights.
Emmerij, L (2006):
Turning Points in Development Thinking and Practice, UNU-WIDER Research Paper 2006/8;
Abstract: In this article, I shall first examine why and how the balance of development thinking and practice changed around 1980. This turning point coincided with a change of influence (caused among others by the industrial countries) at the level of strategic thinking from the UN to the Bretton Woods Institutions. Second, I shall look into the possibility of future turning points in development thinking and practice. In doing so, I shall describe, first, what could well become (and is already becoming) a new and expanded general concept of development, and second, the very opposite, namely development not as a global but as a regional and local strategy. Having thus examined the future at the global, regional and national levels of development thinking, the article ends with reflections about the interests that lie behind the ideas that help to explain why they get implemented or not, why there are turning points or not.
Thorbecke E. (2006):
The Evolution of the Development Doctrine, Wider Research Paper No. 2006/15;
Abstract: The economic and social development of the third world, as such, was clearly not a policy objective of the colonial rulers before the Second World War. Such an objective would have been inconsistent with the underlying division of labour and trading patterns within and among colonial blocks. It was not until the end of the colonial system in the late forties and fifties, and the subsequent creation of independent states, that the revolution of rising expectations could start. Thus, the end of Second World War marked the beginning of a new regime for the less developed countries involving the evolution from symbiotic to inward-looking growth and from a dependent to a somewhat more independent relation vis-à-vis the ex-colonial powers. It also marked the beginning of serious interest among scholars and policymakers in studying and understanding better the development process as a basis for designing appropriate development policies and strategies. In a broad sense a conceptual development doctrine had to be built which policymakers in the newly independent countries could use as a guideline to the formulation of economic policies.
Toye, J. (2003):
Changing Perspectives in Development Economics , in: Chang, H.J., op. cit.; UN/DESA (2006), Diverging Growth and Development, World Economic and Social Survey . New York
Abstract:The objective of this chapter is to convey a sense of the major changes of perspective that the study of economic development has undergone since the Second World War. This is a useful preliminary to locating areas for fruitful new research. Of particular interest are the changes in the ways in which development economists have envisaged the link between the economics of development and politics. Identifying major shifts is necessarily to some extent a personal judgement. The changes in perspective noted here are changes relative to the path through the economics of development that I have trodden. Those following a different path would have seen perspectives shifting somewhat differently, although, one hopes, not entirely differently.
Sumner, A., Ishmael-Perkins, N. and Lindstrom, J. (2009):
'Making Science of Influencing: Assessing the Impact of Development Research' , IDS Research Summary of IDS Working Paper 335, Brighton: IDS
Abstract:It is clear that impact and influence are understood from very different perspectives. This paper reviews a number of models of assessment and makes some recommendations on methods for further testing and a research agenda to build capacity in this area.
Sumner, Andy / Tribe, Michael:
Doing Cross-Disciplinary Development Research: What, How, When?. Discussion Paper for DSA Conference Panel on `Is Trans-Disciplinarity Feasible in Development Research?. DSA Annual Conference 2007.
Abstract:In fact the differences between constituent disciplines within DS are so significant that a feeling of unease can be induced by reading outside one's home discipline (Brint, 2000:210). This paper is extracted from a forthcoming book and aims to provide a point of departure for further discussion of issues associated with knowledge and cross-disciplinarity.
Sumner, Andy (2006):
What is Development Studies? In: Development in Practice, Vol.16, No.6.
Abstract:This article is concerned with some initial reflections on the distinctive features of Development Studies (DS). The aim is to trigger further debate, rather than attempt 'closure'. Discussion of the nature of DS is timely because of the expansion of taught courses at various levels during the previous decade; because of sustained critiques of DS in recent years; and because DS has entered a period of introspection - illustrated by several journal special issues and events - to identify its defining characteristics. The author argues that DS is a worthwhile endeavour (how could a concern with reducing global poverty not be?), but the field of enquiry needs to think about how it addresses heterogeneity in the 'Third World(s)' and how it opens space for alternative 'voices'.
Knutsson, Beniamin (2009):
The Intellectual History of Development. Towards a widening Potential Repertoire. In: Perspectives No.13 (April 2009)
Abstract: The article outlines the post-World War intellectual history of development. In connection to this three basic arguments are brought to the fore. First, that there has been an enrichment of development thinking during the last fifty years or so, and that the notion of development has evolved during this time from something fairly simplistic to something much more complex. Secondly, that an epistemic consequence of this enrichment is that the potential repertoire – i.e. the backcloth of knowledge and experiences that are available at a certain moment in history and in a certain location - has been widening over time. Thirdly, that the agents of development and the levels of development analysis have multiplied. In the beginning of the period the nation-state was viewed as the self-evident unit of analysis and agent of development. Due to globalization this is no longer the case. In all the paper argues that this extension of knowledge, theories and perspectives constitutes a considerable challenge to contemporary students and learners interested in development issues.
Haddad, L. and Knowles, C. (2007):
Reinventing Development Research. IDS Bulletin , Volume 38, Number 2, March 2007
Abstract: Does development research need reinventing? If it does, why now and in what ways? These are the questions addressed by the papers in this issue of the IDS Bulletin, many of which were presented at IDS Fortieth Anniversary Conference in late 2006. They were also asked by the 46 Roundtables held throughout the world in 2006, organised by IDS partners and alumni, which preceded and helped frame the Conference agenda. Much is changing in ‘development' and its political context. International development issues are becoming more global; inequality, capacity to use and generate knowledge, China's emergence altering Western assumptions, new sources of financial capital, information shared through the internet, new transnational alliances, sustainable development, consciousness in the West about living conditions in other countries, shrinking spheres of influence of the aid donors, and the blurring of boundaries between domestic and international policies. Development research has constantly reinvented itself over the years, but for those involved in the IDS40 activities there was a sense that there is a need for development research to make a conscious decision to change direction. In the West, one's fortieth birthday is known as a watershed year – an ending of one phase of life and a beginning of another. But in many countries the fortieth birthday signals a very different kind of transition as one draws closer to the end of life expectancy. It is natural therefore to reflect on how much has changed in the world since IDS was founded in 1966 and to characterise the above changes as some kind of fork in the road or threshold for development and therefore for development research.
Edwards, Michael (1989): "The Irrelevance of Development Studies. " Third World Quarterly . Vol.2. No.1
Edwards, Michael (2002): Is There a 'Future Positive' for Development Studies? Journal of International Development, August 2002, 14, 737-741.
Hofmann, M., H. Ihne, H.-J. Luhmann and D. Messner. 2004. Development policy and development research: How helpful is academia for politics? (A round-table discussion). D+C, Vol. 31.2004:1: 10-19.
Journal für Entwicklungspolitik — JEP 2007/2 - Perspectives on Development Studies.
Olukoshi, Adebayo (2007): From Colonialism to the New
Millennium and Beyond.