Syed Nawab Haider Naqvi. The Evolution of Development Policy: A Reinterpretation.
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Subject:||Books (Book reviews)|
|Publication:||Name: Pakistan Development Review Publisher: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Business, international; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Reproduced with permission of the Publications Division, Pakistan Institute of Development Economies, Islamabad, Pakistan. ISSN: 0030-9729|
|Issue:||Date: Spring, 2010 Source Volume: 49 Source Issue: 1|
|Topic:||NamedWork: The Evolution of Development Policy: A Reinterpretation (Nonfiction work)|
|Persons:||Reviewee: Naqvi, Syed Nawab Haider|
Syed Nawab Haider Naqvi. The Evohttion of Development Policy: A
Reinterpretation. Oxford University Press, 2010. 442 pages. Hardbound.
Pak. Rs 995.00.
'The Evolution of Development Policy: A Reinterpretation' by S. N. Haider Naqvi is an excellent and timely discourse on development paradigms. The author lucidly traces evolution of different development paradigms and in the process not only thoroughly explains, what each paradigm stands but also critically evaluates each paradigm.
The book is organised into seven parts. Part I, comprising 'preliminaries' gives an overview of the evolution of thinking on development policy. The analytical framework highlights the faults in the structure of development policy. To set the framework for analysing development policy, the book argues that an evolutionary perspective on development policy should be examined under three paradigms: traditional development paradigm; the liberalist paradigm and the human development paradigm. The author takes pains to describe various important aspects of this framework. The author also argues that some aspects of the traditional development paradigm have been misunderstood and in the process elucidate the subject.
The second part of the book is devoted to a discourse traditional development paradigm which views increase in per capita income as the success of development policy. The planning models adopted by number of countries have more often been based on this paradigm. The reader is told that developing countries have managed the development related affairs with varying degree of success. It is argued that though the pursuit of the traditional development paradigm did yield a reasonable increase in per capita income, generated employment and also, to an extent, alleviated poverty but the paradigm failed to support the agenda of 'systematic change'.
Part three of the book explains what the liberalist paradigm stands for and how the paradigm has evolved overtime. The liberalist paradigm is based on the premise that the folly lay in distortion of the price structure by the traditional interventionist policies. The liberalist paradigm advised the developing world to undertake major reforms in the trade and public sectors. The liberalist, argues the book, assumed that anything good for the developed world is also good for the developing countries and therefore set about to minimise the government size and abolish restrictions on flow of goods and services in the developing world.
Part four of the book is about anti liberalist consensus which signifies the criticism of the liberalist paradigm. The anti liberalist consensus forcefully challenged the liberalist claims about universal market success, minimal government and laissez-faire. The author states that "the anti-Liberalist consensus has pushed the liberalist paradigm into an irretrievable hibernation by showing frangibility of its theoretical foundations and inapplicability of policy prescriptions". The author acknowledges that though the anti liberalist consensus has brought to fore the weaknesses of liberalist paradigm but the contribution of the anti-liberalist consensus to understanding development processes is minimal.
Part five of the book is devoted to the discourse on human development paradigm. The basic elements, different strategies, the key growth-related issues, and the moral motivation behind human development paradigm have been discussed. The discussion highlights the contribution of
human development paradigm to knowledge and understanding of the development process. The author explains that human development paradigm has established an identity of its own. The paradigm has distinguished itself with the traditional development paradigm. Two main features of the new paradigm are worth mentioning; Firstly, it assures us that caring for the least privileged in the society and an uncompromising insistence on social justice has a scientific rationale. Second, the paradigm rejects the liberalist 'self help' principle. The human development paradigm has brought to fore the shortcomings of development theory conceptualized in the traditional sense. The paradigm elucidates a moral theory successfully but what the paradigm lacks is an 'adequate development theory' argues the author.
The sixth part "towards a new development paradigm", as the name suggests, ignite new hopes. The author advocates that a successful development policy is one that understands the complexity and multi-dimensionality of the process of economic and human development. The author suggests that the new development paradigm should account for the moral values while establishing development principles. The new development paradigm, the author hopes, would recognize the role of the State in economic development will not look at import substitution with disgust and would also favor globalization as well as export expansion.
Part seven 'A Recapitulation' sums up the book. The author concludes that the new development paradigm should change the focus of development policy. The author believes that the development policy in vogue needs a reorientation. He also believes that only a creative synthesis of the traditional development paradigm and human development paradigm can provide the needed reorientation. The author sums it all with the statement "Development theory must reflect an uncanny understanding of reality".
The book is an excellent discourse on different development paradigms practiced overtime. It is extremely useful for students, researchers and development practitioners. It's a book not to be missed.
Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.
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