ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Development of What? On the Politics of Development Economics

It could possibly be sheer historical coincidence that development economics as a distinct branch of economics was born at a time when the cold war was blossoming. But the question as to what has subsequently happened to the fate of the sub-field along with the trajectory of the cold war - the great "intangible" battle fought mainly in the spheres of ideology, economics, politics and propaganda between the capitalist and socialist blocs - cannot be similarly left as a historic fluke. A detailed substantive academic attempt at examining/establishing the latter apprehension has so far remained suspended or sometimes just taken for granted in most retrospective accounts of development economics. This paper makes a systematic study of the issue and argues that the evolution of development economics has been heavily mediated by international politics and that development economics, as it exists in the post-cold war era, entails a great delusion in relation to its original purpose, promise and priorities.

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