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Reflexivity and Development Economics

Reflexivity and Development Economics outlines an alternative to the prevailing view of economic development, the revised Washington Consensus, which holds that the same development policies work more or less everywhere. Based on an open-ended view of economic knowledge which moves away from one-size-fits-all blueprints, Daniel Gay argues that economic analysis should vary according to country context. He examines the approach in the case of one of the world’s poorest countries, Vanuatu; and a development success-story, Singapore, showing that listening to the poor improves policy, and that examining the biases held by development economists helps tailor policy more closely to local conditions.

Reviews:

“[G]reatly contributes to the imperative task of self-reflection needed within the economics discipline, and is particularly timely in light of the recurring financial crisis from the Asian to the current… the chapters on Vanuatu and Singapore are a must read for professionals concerned about development.”
Progress in Development Studies

“Daniel Gay has written a remarkable account of how detailed fieldwork, case studies and thoughtful study of the nature of and approaches in social sciences may interrelate to produce both richer and, at the same time, more modest understanding of the nature and application of development policies than have those, who, trained in mainstream economics, worked within the framework of the Washington Consensus. Gay’s book has vitally important lessons for both development economics and economic theory and practice in general.”
G. C. Harcourt, Jesus College, University of Cambridge

“This innovative volume by a promising young author demonstrates the importance of reflexivity to both the theory and practice of development economics. This is achieved by methodological argument, developing our understanding of the concept of reflexivity at an abstract level. But it is also achieved by application to two case studies, Vanuatu and Singapore. The work is therefore itself an admirable illustration of its own argument for achieving balance between general argument and attention to particular contexts.”
Professor Sheila C. Dow, University of Stirling

 

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