ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Debating Development

Voices in Development Management Series by Nurul Islam; Ashgate Publishing Company, 2003;
ARJUN SENGUPTA This is an extraordinary book written by one of the finest analytical economists of south Asia, engaged in formulating, implementing and thinking about development policy. Nurul Islam after completing his PhD at Harvard, started his career as professor of economics at Dhaka University, but decided soon in his life to actively engage in policy-making, and policy-reviews, first in Pakistan then in Bangladesh, later in the FAO and afterwards in the Food Policy Research Institute at Washington. He was head of the Pakistan Institute of Development Studies during a period when that institute produced seminal work in development policy, particularly related to effective rates of protection, cost and benefits of investment and agricultural development. After the Bangladesh war he became deputy chairman of Bangladesh Planning Commission, leaving an unmistakable mark of his expertise and understanding of political economy on the Bangladesh planning process. From there he went to serve as deputy director general of FAO and during that period he produced major writings on agricultural policies for development. After retirement from FAO he joined IFPRI and has continued to work there till today on food and agricultural problems. Nurul Islam saw how policies are made from the close proximity of highest authorities. He brought in his analytical writings on development policies, his enormous experience of the political economy of policy-making. And throughout his busy and active role of a policy-maker, Nurul Islam kept producing major research papers on all the subjects he dealt with.

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