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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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Natural resources and development – which histories matter?
Mick Moore

. But history is not a pristine discipline unaffected by contemporary developments in economics and other social sciences. As in the real world of international trade, intellectual imports, exports and re-exports among disciplines need to be encouraged but also monitored for potential hazards. References Atkinson, Giles and Kirk Hamilton (2003). ‘Savings, growth and the resource curse hypothesis’, World Development 31(11): 1793–808 Bornhorst, Fabian, Sanjeev Gupta and John Thornton (2008). ‘Natural resource endownments, governance, and the domestic effort: evidence

in History, historians and development policy
Michael Woolcock
Simon Szreter
, and
Vijayendra Rao

the rural hinterlands. Natural resources, in short, are neither inherently good nor bad for development in a causal sense, but become so because of a given country’s ‘ability to control circuits of capital, employ location-specific skills and access to consumer markets’. A variant on the resource curse hypothesis is explored in Chapter 10, by Keith Breckenridge, which examines the particular nature of property rights regimes that emerged in African economies. Indeed, in Breckenridge’s telling, the virtual absence of property rights in the relatively weak non

in History, historians and development policy