A necessary dialogue

The substantive and methodological contributions of professional historians to development policy debates was marginal, whether because of the dominance of economists or the inability of historians to contribute. There are broadly three ways in which history matters for development policy. These include insistence on the methodological principles of respect for context, process and difference; history is a resource of critical and reflective self-awareness about the nature of the discipline of development itself; and history brings a particular kind of perspective to development problems . After establishing the key issues, this book explores the broad theme of the institutional origins of economic development, focusing on the cases of nineteenth-century India and Africa. It demonstrates that scholarship on the origins of industrialisation in England in the late eighteenth century suggests a gestation reaching back to a period during which a series of social institutional innovations were pioneered and extended to most citizens of England. The book examines a paradox in China where an emphasis on human welfare characterized the rule of the eighteenth-century Qing dynasty, and has been demonstrated in modern-day China's emphasis on health and education. It provides a discussion on the history of the relationship between ideology and policy in public health, sanitation in India's modern history and the poor health of Native Americans. The book unpacks the origins of public education, with a focus on the emergency of mass literacy in Victorian England and excavates the processes by which colonial education was indigenized throughout South-East Asia.

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With the onset of the uprisings, new arenas of proxy competition emerged across the Middle East, simultaneously serving as zones of possibility and restriction as international players sought to manipulate domestic affairs often for their own ends. Yet the increasingly securitised and politicised role of religion, particularly within the context of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has left regimes open to criticism while state security is undermined by the ability of clerics in one state to speak to audiences in another. Evoking memories of Paul Noble’s regional echo chamber, this chapter draws together the first and second parts of the book to show how the fallout from the Arab Uprisings has consequences for the organisation of the contemporary Middle East.

in Houses built on sand
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Sovereignty, violence and revolution in the Middle East

In events that have since become known as the Arab Uprisings or Arab Revolutions, people across the Middle East took to the streets to express their anger and frustration at political climates, demanding political and economic reform. In a number of cases, protest movements were repressed, often violently, with devastating repercussions for human security and peace across the region.

While a number of scholars have sought to understand how the protests occurred, this book looks at sovereignty and the relationship between rulers and ruled to identify and understand both the roots of this anger but also the mechanisms through which regimes were able to withstand seemingly existential pressures and maintain power.

This chapter considers how and why history matters for contemporary development policy. It explores the basis on which historical scholarship can help to enrich the quality of contemporary development policy. The chapter provides an overview of the arguments and evidence that underpin the prevailing consensus among development economists and policy-makers that 'institutions' and 'history' matter. It focuses on the different theoretical and methodological underpinnings of contemporary historical scholarship as it pertains to comparative economic development. The chapter argues that in order for non-historians to engage more substantively and faithfully with the discipline of history, they must make a sustained effort both to understand historiography and appreciate anew the limits of their own discipline's methodological assumptions. It describes some of the distinctive types of general principles and specific implications that can be drawn from historical scholarship. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.

in History, historians and development policy
Obama’s legacy in US China Policy

What is Barack Obama’s legacy in US China policy, and what effect has the first two years of the administration of Donald Trump had upon it? This chapter argues that circumstances conspired to undermine Obama’s China policy, and that the deterioration of US–China relations during his administration was largely beyond his control. Obama’s Pivot to Asia was unable to extract the United States from the wars in the Middle East he inherited from George W. Bush, and the rise of Chinese nationalism stymied his hopes of resetting US–China relations. Obama’s Pivot did, however, leave both the Trump administration and US allies in a position of relative strength in Asia. The chapter further argues that despite an ego-gratifying red carpet welcome in Beijing in 2017, bilateral relations further deteriorated during the first two years of the Trump administration. In early 2019 mutual trust is at new lows, talk of a ‘Thucydides Trap’ is increasing, and the spectre of another US–China conflict looms. Meanwhile, an ‘America First’ Trump has turned his back on Asia, rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, launching a trade war against China, and undermining the regional position of the United States and its Asian allies.

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Antony and Cleopatra and visual musical experience

Sources describing visual musical experience range from works of music theory and the paratexts of printed music books, through to dramatic texts and the prefaces of popular psalm settings. This chapter considers early modern accounts of the importance of visual musical experience, before examining accounts of musical response when music is hidden and unavailable for such engagement. These sources offer a clear picture of the reactions expected from contemporary subjects when faced either with visible or with unseen music. The chapter also considers responses to unseen music that were invited from playgoers at early performances of Antony and Cleopatra. Early modern sources are clear about responses to unseen music, and it is through these responses that visual musical experience took on a particular significance for playgoers. Hidden music is used with precise dramaturgical intentions in Act 4, Scene 3 of Antony and Cleopatra in a supernatural context.

in The senses in early modern England, 1558–1660
The case of colonial India and Africa

This chapter posits the heterogeneous origins of comparative economic development, as opposed to their 'colonial origins'. It considers the case of India and Africa, in the nineteenth century. The central Punjab has been the model for the more prosperous parts of the agrarian economy in both India and Pakistan. The chapter describes the nature of the institutions that seem to have contributed to successful and economic development in the longer term despite the existence of an extractive state. Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James Robinson (AJR) argue that there is a strong positive correlation between disease regimes successful European settlement, the generation of 'good' institutions and contemporary wealth. The chapter argues that historical evidence would help us to refine and develop AJR's term 'colonial origins' of comparative development and that pre-colonial and indigenous societal 'capabilities' or 'capacities' in Amartya Sen's sense need to be brought into the equation.

in History, historians and development policy

Humanity has had major problems with infection since the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago, when larger communities living at permanent sites with domesticated animals experienced much greater exposure to pathogens. From then until the nineteenth century, infectious disease caused mortality patterns where half of children born were dead before the age of 5 and half of the remaining population before the age of 40. This mortality pattern had a major influence on human society promoting belief in life after death or in repeated reincarnation. Many religious prescriptions with regard to diet, personal hygiene and sexual behaviour probably survived because of their effect on preventing infection. With the advent of public health, vaccination and antimicrobial therapy, this situation has been transformed in the last century. This has contributed to an enormous increase in population and the consequences for the future of humankind are discussed.

in The freedom of scientific research
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Drawing on Agamben’s ideas of the state of exception, the third chapter considers the development of political systems and the way in which they regulate life. Central to the chapter is understanding particular forms of sovereign power, the regulation of life and the ban that underpins such regulatory efforts. A range of different mechanisms facilitate the regulation of life, from claims to legitimacy to the coercive mechanisms of the state, including the security services and military.

The chapter begins with an exploration of different typologies of political structures before turning to a discussion of constitutions and citizenship. It then turns to consideration of the security mechanisms that underpin regulatory efforts before considering examples from Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran.

in Houses built on sand
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The Introduction articulates the book’s main argument about the integral connection between the omnibus and nineteenth-century popular culture, and the privileged place that representations of the omnibus played in the articulation of urban modernity across a wide corpus. The introduction also sketches the history of public transport in nineteenth-century Paris, essential background for the chapters that follow.

in Engine of modernity