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International DevelopmentIdeas, Experience, and Prospects$
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Bruce Currie-Alder, Ravi Kanbur, David M. Malone, and Rohinton Medhora

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.001.0001

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The Study of Development

The Study of Development

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 1 The Study of Development
Source:
International Development
Author(s):

David Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.003.0002

This chapter examines the ways in which the problems and processes of “development” have been studied. The study of development has been beset by a series of tensions. First, there is tension between generating widely applicable knowledge and policy prescriptions and generating knowledge of particular development successes and failures. Second, there is tension between generating knowledge of “development” as a process of structural transformation (that in some way replicates the transition to “modernity”) and generating knowledge of the particular problems and issues associated with a lack of development (access to clean water, maternal mortality, and so on). Third, there is tension between economics as the primary discipline within which development was studied, and the contribution of other academic disciplines. The chapter concludes by suggesting that in recent years some of these tensions have been recognized and that this holds out the possibility of steering a path through them.

Keywords:   industrialization, poverty reduction, inter-disciplinarity, generalization, modernization

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