what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rediscovery of political economy

I have referred several times to the radical rethinking of the economics discipline and also of psychology and regretted that there was little sign of such reassessment of basic principles in the schools of management – let alone in those of public management which continue to regurgitate so many of the hoary myths of management from the surreal world of management writing.
In fact, I now realise, some people – in and around The World Bank of all places – have been engaged in some basic reappraisals of relevant literature for administrative reform efforts and producing some very readable documents. They are those associated with the World Bank’s recent Governance Reforms under real world conditions written around the central questions for my work as a consultant -
1. How do we build broad coalitions of influentials in favour of change? What do we do about powerful vested interests?
2. How do we help reformers transform indifferent, or even hostile, public opinion into support for reform objectives?
3. How do we instigate citizen demand for good governance and accountability to sustain governance reform?

I realise I keep repeating these questions (and the reference) but the questions are so rarely asked in practice let alone pursued seriously in transition countries - and the book is quite excellent. This morning, the WB drew my attention to three useful bits of training material to back up that work.
Interestingly, the displines they draw on are political economy and communications. Both are dear to my heart – the first being the neglected Scottish intellectual tradition which was (just) still alive in my university days - although this useful paper from the Asian development Bank on the subject credits the first use of the term to a 17th century Frenchman. This paper from the ODI gives examples of its use to ensure that development interventions are on a firm basis.

A new website offers an advance copy of an article on an overdue subject – corporate psychopaths and their role in the global crisis.

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