How and Why Does History Matter for Development Policy?
AbstractThe consensus among scholars and policy-makers that 'institutions matter' for development has led inexorably to a conclusion that 'history matters', since institutions clearly form and evolve over time. Unfortunately, however, the next logical step has not yet been taken, which is to recognise that historians (and not only economic historians) might also have useful and distinctive insights to offer. This article endeavours to open and sustain a constructive dialogue between history�-�understood as both 'the past' and 'the discipline'- and development policy by (a) clarifying what the craft of historical scholarship entails, especially as it pertains to understanding causal mechanisms, contexts and complex processes of institutional change, (b) providing examples of historical research that support, qualify or challenge the most influential research (by economists and economic historians) in contemporary development policy, and (c) offering some general principles and specific implications that historians, on the basis of the distinctive content and method of their research, bring to development policy debates.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.
Volume (Year): 47 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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Other versions of this item:
- Woolcock, Michael & Szreter, Simon & Rao, Vijayendra, 2010. "How and why does history matter for development policy ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5425, The World Bank.
- Michael Woolcock & Simon Szreter & Vijayendra Rao, 2009. "How and Why Does History Matter for Development Policy?," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 6809, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
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- Olivier STERCK & Olivia D’AOUST, 2012. "Who Benefits from Customary Justice? Rent-seeking, Bribery and Criminality in Sub-Saharan Africa," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012015, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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- Prowse, Martin, 2011. "A century of growth? A history of tobacco production and marketing in Malawi 1890-2005," IOB Working Papers 2011.10, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB).
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