Developmentalism: The Normative and Transformative within Capitalism (Critical Frontiers of Theory, Research, and Policy in International Development Studies)

Harrison, Graham
Oxford University Press

Why do so few countries achieve development success? Achieving development requires many changes over a short period of time, generating instability and risk. It is a deep and integrated economy of change.

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involving force, strategic thinking, and ideological conviction - it emerges when successful development is seen as necessary for the survival of a political order. Developmentalism engages with the moral issues that this raises. Developmentalism: The Normative and Transformative within Capitalism uses a historical comparative approach to understand development as a transformation which involves a deep and integrated political economy of change - a shift from a state of 'capital-ascendance' to 'capital dominance'. It is only through a transformation towards capital dominance that mass poverty reduction and the construction of a commonwealth are possible. However, capitalist development is extremely difficult and requires a highly exacting political endeavour. The politics of development is conceptualized as developmentalism: a strategy and ideology in which governments exercise heavy directive power, endure instability and crisis, and secure a rudimentary legitimacy for their efforts. This book argues that developmentalism requires a conflation of successful capitalist transformation with some form of existential insecurity of the state itself. It flourishes when capitalist transformation connects to profound questions of sovereignty, statehood, nation-building, and elite survival. Developmentalism shows deep contextualisation of capitalist transformation as well as the massive improvements in material life that it has generated.