political economy

Why ‘political economy analysis’ has lost the plot, and we need to get back to power and politics

Duncan Green - July 10, 2014

Adrian Leftwich (right), a much-loved guru of the ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ (TWP) movement, died in April 2013. But in testament to his importance (and the slow grind of academic publishing), his last paper only came out last month, and it is an important one. Written with David Hudson of UCL (and universally referred to as the ‘Hudwich paper’), From Political Economy to Political Analysis critiques …

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Lant Pritchett v the Randomistas on the nature of evidence – is a wonkwar brewing?

admin - November 21, 2012

Last week I had a lot conversations about evidence. First, one of the periodic retreats of Oxfam senior managers reviewed our work on livelihoods, humanitarian partnership and gender rights. The talk combined some quantitative work (for example the findings of our new ‘effectiveness reviews’), case studies, and the accumulated wisdom of our big cheeses. But the tacit hierarchy of these different kinds of knowledge worried …

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How can a post-2015 agreement drive real change? Please read and comment on this draft paper

admin - October 29, 2012

The post-2015 discussion on what should succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is picking up steam, with barely a day going by without some new paper, consultation or high level meeting. So I, along with Stephen Hale and Matthew Lockwood, have decided to add to the growing slush-pile with a new discussion paper. We want you to read the draft (see right) and help us …

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Why don't Africa's politicians invest more in small farmers? The political economy of ag policy.

admin - September 20, 2012

Interesting if rather impenetrable new(ish) paper from the Future Agricultures consortium on the political economy of Africanagricultural policy. It seeks to answer an important question – why hasn’t the spread of democracy produced more investment in the smallholder farmers that form the majority of the electorate in many countries? Here’s the summary: “Theories of policy neglect of, or discrimination against, agriculture in Africa include urban bias …

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What can political economists tell us about Africa, aid and development?

admin - June 8, 2012

This post also appeared on the World Bank’s ‘People, Spaces, Deliberation’ governance blog There’s a clutch of different research initiatives trying to understand Africa’s political economy and its impact on development and aid. Often, the tone of the political economists can be quite discouraging – Alex Duncan gives a tongue-in-cheek definition of a political economist as ‘someone coming to explain why your aid programme doesn’t …

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