Postwar Interpretations of Development

  • Sujai Shivakumar


Pathologies identified with underdevelopment arise when existing weak or bad institutions fail to address recurrent localized problems of collective action. Development theory and aid practice in the western postwar tradition focus predominantly on the overall outcomes of these institutional failures, assigning to the state a central role in fixing these negative results. An alternate vision is to examine why institutions fail in the first place. This broader notion places emphasis on improving the innovative potentials of humans to develop and maintain the institutions needed to overcome problems of collective action. Developing this alternate vision is the larger aim of this book. In placing constitutional governance in context, this chapter examines some links between postwar interpretations of development with the approach of state governance.


Collective Action United Nations Development Programme Development Assistance Social Dilemma Postwar Period 
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  1. 18.
    The semiconductor revolution, and in particular new telecommunications technologies, have created new international linkages among actors in developed and developing nations, with new implications for development. The current debate over of fshore outsourcing (or of f-shoring) is one manifestation of this rapid change. Lal (2000) provides an analysis of the institutional framework within which this globalization process is unfolding. See also recent studies by the Social Science Research Council on development and political economy, particularly with respect to globalization and local institutions, accessed at
  2. 19.
    The OECD finds that foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries has risen sharply in recent years, becoming the most important source of external financing for some of them. See also on the rise of non-governmental organizations as a factor in development.

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© Sujai Shivakumar 2005

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  • Sujai Shivakumar

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