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Development politics and political development

Development politics and political development. Dr Tom Hewitt, IDD 24 January 2012. Structure for today’s lecture. What is political development? How does political development link to main theoretical ‘phases’?. Political development/development politics?. Political development is about

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Development politics and political development

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  1. Development politics and political development Dr Tom Hewitt, IDD24 January 2012

  2. Structure for today’s lecture • What is political development? • How does political development link to main theoretical ‘phases’?

  3. Political development/development politics? • Political development is about • (a) the development of politics/political system (and the state) in a country • (b) the relationship between politics and the developmental process • (c) an approach to understanding development • Development politics is about the politics of developing countries and the (global) politics of development

  4. Political development as a field of study • Political development at heart of social science & political philosophy • Highly influential field of study in early days of development studies (1950s - 1970s) • Lost out to economics in terms of primacy (1980s - 1990s) • Resurgence in interest in 2000s

  5. Development politics timeline • Modernisation and political development (1950s & 60s) • Dependency (1960s & 70s) • Class politics, relative autonomy of the state (1970s) • Rent seeking politicians and bureaucrats, the neo-liberal counter-revolution (1980s) • Institutions, good governance (1990s) • Democratisation (1990s) • State/nation building (2000s) and globalisation

  6. Political development and theories/approaches to development • Linked to debates on the role of the state • ‘Strong’ state • Modernisation = ‘Western project’ • Dependency = ‘Radical nation state project’ • ‘Weak’ state • Neoliberalism = small state/state as facilitator for economy • Post-development = bypass the state in favour of grassroots/local politics

  7. Modernisation = ‘Western project’ • Political development linked to social, economic & cultural modernisation → all lead to Western-style democracy • Inevitable process following modernisation in other areas • Obstacles are domestic → traditional values & institutions • Linked to elite nation-building & creation of appropriate civic culture (see work by Almond & Verba 1968) • Lipset’s (1959) work on pre-conditions for democracy • Builds on work by Weber (e.g., values & attitudes), Marx (e.g., transition from feudalism to capitalism), and the like • Secularisation & the rationalisation of government is key

  8. Parsons’ theories of social change • 5 dichotomies (see Tornquist: 46) • Emotional: affectivity vs. neutrality • Orientation: collective vs. individual • Relationship: particularist vs. universalist • Status: ascribed vs. achieved • Function: diffused vs. specific

  9. Critiques of modernisation approach to political development • Assumes unilinear path to political development → West’s experience not replicable • Role of colonialism & exploitation not acknowledged/conceptualised • Culture & tradition differ greatly between (& within!) countries • Conceptual problems → political development not ‘inevitable’ • Changing focus in late 1960s-1970s on stability (e.g., Huntington) damaged field overall (see Smith:73)

  10. Dependency = ‘Radical nation state project’ • Similar to modernisation approach but imperialism, not tradition, main obstacle • Focus was on national and economic independence (e.g., ISI, radical land reform etc)  ‘self-centred’ model of development not possible otherwise • Elites (landowners, military, bureaucrats) and outsiders (Western, MNCs, donors) seen to share common interests • Required breakdown of popular forces that had led to independence (Smith:82) • Strong role for the state/central government (Tornquist: 50-1)

  11. Critiques of dependency approach to political development • Like modernisation theory, it is ahistorical • Too economistic  ignored impact of politics (domestic as well as international) • Simplification (if at all) of class analysis • Strong state = abuse of power, corruption, etc in many cases • Indigenous capitalist classes – often linked to the state bureaucracy – were able to emerge (Leys 1996)

  12. Neoliberalism = small state/state as facilitator for economy • Lack of development caused by excessive intervention by the state • End to state-directed planning and a return to ‘free markets, the principles of comparative advantage, and the development of entrepreneurial spirit’ (Dickson: 141) • The role of the state is to facilitate the economy & no more than that, ideally (some allowance for provision of social safety net) • Political development not of interest in this discourse initially • Strong state not needed – political system irrelevant

  13. Good governance: the return of the state (lite) • Sub-Saharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Development (1989), often referred to as the Long-Term Perspective Study (LTPS) LTPS • ‘Underlying the litany of Africa’s development problems is a crisis of governance’ • President Abdou Diouf of Senegal: ‘Africa needs not just less government but better government’. • Lack of government capacity and lack of good governance responsible for failure of structural adjustment (neoliberalism)

  14. Critiques of neoliberal approach to political development • Presumes homogeneity among developing countries • Underestimates/ignores political complexity and impact of different regime types (Manor:309) • Ignores the ‘mutually supportive’ relationship between states and markets • Very pessimistic – sees all politicians as acting in their own self-interest (Toye:322) • Good governance critiques: • Good governance is simply re-working the state to suit globalisation (Martin). • Like neoliberalism (& other policy-oriented paradigms), ‘unreflective and uncritical’ (Leys:41) • Naivé & simplistic understanding of politics

  15. Post-development = grassroots/local politics • Comes partially out of post- and anti-development theories • Also from the rise of the anti-globalisation agenda/discourse • Like dependency theory, sees the state & elites as part of the problem • Policies that feed into this include: • Participation & empowerment agenda • Decentralisation & local government • Encouraging ‘active citizenship’ → full circle to Lipset, Almond & Verba etc? • But what about the claim that ‘keeping politics local’ keeps dominating forces in control • ‘Of all the institutions that exercise power over people’s lives, it is the state that is capable of channelling the power of individual initiative and the market toward long-term development goals’ (Green:21)

  16. What is the link between political development & ‘state-building’? • Brings us back to the reasons for resurgence in interest in political development • Interest in state failure & state-building in difficult environments (e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Pakistan…the list goes on…) • Good governance agenda leads to focus on ‘bad governance’ & political underdevelopment, found in states that are: • (a) ‘ineffective - i.e. are unable to rule many of their nominal citizens or to pursue any kind of collective interest in an authoritative fashion’ • (b) ‘arbitrary, despotic and unaccountable’ (Moore 2001)

  17. State-building and inter-disciplinarity • State-building is concerned with – among other things – the (re)construction of a state in terms of institutions, personnel (capacity), security etc • DfID (2008:4) sees state-building as ‘a value neutral term…our preference is that it lead to effective economic management with political and economic inclusion’ • Also, state-building is ‘determined by an underlying political settlement; the forging of a common understanding, usually among elites, that their interests or beliefs are served by a particular way of organising political power’ (DfID 2008:4) • State-building no longer just of interest in International Relations • Points to need for greater inter-disciplinarity in development studies, with strong – if not primary - role for political science • Coming full circle → neo-modernisation?

  18. Groups to watch • Development Politics group of the Political Studies Association – www.developmentpolitics.org.uk/ • Third World Politics group of the European Centre for Political Research – www.ecpr-thirdworld.org/ • DFID research centres – Crisis States Programme, Centre for the Future State, Centre on Citizenship, Participation & Accountability & Centre for Research on Inequality, Ethnicity & Human Security • Centre for State-building and Governance at UoB (HM & DB co-directors)

  19. Seminar activity Ruttan’sarticle provides a good ‘walk through’ some key debates in the past 4 or so decades and raises important questions for gaps in the way we look at/study development. The very recent article by North, Wallis & Weingast provides a new way to think about the political development of the state that is gaining a lot of followers in both academic and policy circles. • Do you feel that the North et al article address the concerns raised by Ruttan throughout the article and particularly in his conclusion: ‘Economic resources are continuously translated into political resources, and large political resources are employed by most societies to obtain greater access to economic resources. I am forced to conclude that scholars working in the field of economic and political development must begin to develop research agendas that will facilitate greater collaboration if they are to succeed at understanding the growth of either the economic or the political resources available to a society’ (pp. 285-6)? • What might be some policy implications of the North et al article? There are no right or wrong answers here – just get brainstorming! 

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