The article reviews changes toward development in thought and policy over seven decades, drawing on Karl Polanyi’s analysis to explain the major changes that occurred. It argues that changes in thought and policies are the outcome of a Polanyiesque pendulum from state to market and back in response to problems arising from each approach, especially when taken as an extreme. While the pendulum was initiated in developed countries in response to their own economic and political circumstances and imparted to developing countries, often compelled by the international financial institutions, changing thought and policies also occurred in response to the social, economic, and political consequences in developing countries of the strategies adopted. Following this logic, the article traces the evolution from planning in the 1950s and 1960s to markets, from the 1980s; and from prioritizing growth to stabilization and adjustment and then to human development, culminating in the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals.
Changing Approaches to Development since 1950: Drawing on Polanyi
Frances Stewart is emeritus professor of development economics, University of Oxford. She was director of the Oxford Department of International Development and the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity. She has an honorary doctorate from the University of Sussex and received the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought from Tufts in 2013. Her prime recent research interests are horizontal inequalities and human development. Among many publications, she is leading author of Advancing Human Development: Theory and Practice (2018).
Frances Stewart; Changing Approaches to Development since 1950: Drawing on Polanyi. History of Political Economy 1 December 2018; 50 (S1): 17–38. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-7033824
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