Political Economy and Development

Cars with megaphones to educate the public: the best fit for Timor-Leste, photo Valerie Sticher/ISN

Next Tuesday, October 25th, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is hosting a free evening event examining the interplay of politics and development aid from a political economy perspective. Called “Putting Politics into Practice? Political Economy Analysis and the Practice of Development”, the event is being held at ODI’s London headquarters. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

What is political economy analysis? According to the DfID, it is the bridging of the traditional concerns of politics and economics, focusing “on how power and resources are distributed and contested in different contexts, and the implications for development outcomes. It gets beneath the formal structures to reveal the underlying interests, incentives and institutions that enable or frustrate change.”

“Putting Politics into Practice?” builds upon a previous dialogue convened by ODI in 2010 on how development actors might go about incorporating political insights into their work. While there has been growing recognition that aid effectiveness is intertwined with political context and culture, translating these insights into real changes in development practice has not been easy. This would mean, for example, that instead of working to rigid guidelines of ‘best practice’, development programs and projects should instead be based on models of ‘best fit’.


A Reading List On: Market Intervention

Books in perspective. Photo: Flickr/darren 131

The prerogatives of the state are diminishing in some domains, but growing in others. In what will be a four-part syllabus series, the ISN will look at ‘intervention’ as an evolving norm in international politics, in a variety of contexts. We’ll kick off with the latest and greatest literature on ‘market intervention’ and the emerging role of the state in international political economy.

With the bailouts that accompanied the 2008 financial crises and the current Eurozone crisis, state frontiers may be making a comeback — even in Europe. But what do these developments say about ‘market intervention’ as an evolving international norm?

Read and form your own opinion!