Toward a Framework for Development Theory
How can social scientists address the complexity of the myriad interrelations between economic development, political development, inequality, and human ability to achieve cooperative collective action across groups and populations of individuals from different backgrounds who hold widely divergent positions, interests, and perceptions? This book navigates the difficult terrain between universal-principle, one-size-fits-all frameworks, on the one hand, and approaches that insist that every society is unique, on the other. Using principles of political economy outlined in five core developmental hypotheses, as well as a method for drawing distinctions between basic types of political-economic context, this book constructs a typology that relates distributions of power to specific configurations of institutional systems and social orders. Each component of the typology points to specific types of collective-action problems that condition a society’s ability to achieve economic and political development. Policy analysis should pay attention to such contextual influence.
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