In Quest of the Political: The Political Economy of Development Policy Making
This paper explores some of the central debates in the application of political economy to development policy making. It is particularly concerned with the connection between theory, empirical observation, and the practice of policy decision making. It explores distinct traditions of political economy, some drawn from economics, others based in sociological theory, that generate distinct insights about why and when change is likely to occur in policies and institutions. The paper then raises the question of whether such traditions provide effective guidance about the politics of decision making and the process of policy reform and whether they generate helpful insights for reformers interested in encouraging such processes. It suggests that current approaches to political economy present a stark tradeoff between parsimony and elegance on the one hand and insight into conflict and process on the other. Both both traditions of political economy borrow assumptions about political interactions from contexts that may not be fully relevant to developing and transitional countries. In addition, when theory is compared to the extensive empirical literature that now exists about experiences for policy and institutional change, it fails to provide convincing explanations for some of the most important characteristics of real world politics--leadership, ideas, and success. Further, much theoretical and empirical work in political economy has fallen far behind in exploring the policy agendas that now confront developing and transitional countries.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1999|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID). 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.|
Web page: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.