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Patterns of difference and practical theory: researching the new poverty strategy processes in Africa


  • David Booth

    (Overseas Development Institute, London, UK)


A collection on the past and future of social-development analysis provides an opportunity to reflect and connect. This article reflects on a ten-year-old book called Rethinking Social Development and connects it with a recent study of Poverty Reduction Strategy processes in Africa. It argues that the recent work fills a gap in the empirical basis of the book, adding force to its main arguments-about dominance, agency and diversity in development-while also speaking to some unresolved issues: about the place of macro-institutional analysis, the limits of 'actor orientation' and the generation of practical theory. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • David Booth, 2003. "Patterns of difference and practical theory: researching the new poverty strategy processes in Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(7), pages 863-877.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:15:y:2003:i:7:p:863-877
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1040

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jayne, T. S. & Govereh, J. & Mwanaumo, A. & Nyoro, J. K. & Chapoto, A., 2002. "False Promise or False Premise? The Experience of Food and Input Market Reform in Eastern and Southern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1967-1985, November.
    2. Howard White, 2005. "Dollars, dialogue and development: an evaluation of Swedish program aid," Development and Comp Systems 0511012, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Booth, David, 1985. "Marxism and development sociology: Interpreting the impasse," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(7), pages 761-787, July.
    4. Idrissa Dante & Jean-FranÁois Gautier & Mohamed Ali Marouani & Marc Raffinot, 2003. "Mali," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21(2), pages 217-234, March.
    5. Collier, Paul & Guillaumont, Patrick & Guillaumont, Sylviane & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1997. "Redesigning conditionality," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1399-1407, September.
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