Strategic decision-making in development theory and practice : a learning approach to democratic development

Wilson, James Ralph (2004). Strategic decision-making in development theory and practice : a learning approach to democratic development. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis comprises two Parts. The first develops a theoretical framework for analysing development policy and practice. A central argument is that a reason for widespread discontent with the so-called ‘Washington consensus’ is the exclusion of the majority of people from the governance of their development. An implication is that ‘development’ will continue to fail people until decision-making structures are altered to reflect the views of those that are seeking to ‘develop’. This perspective suggests the possibility of a ‘dual approach’ to policy that seeks to alter decision-making structures while working in the shadow of the consensus; a learning process of democratic engagement in development, both within and across localities. When extended to consider the contested theme of ‘globalisation’, our framework provides an analytical meeting ground for seemingly polar views, making a conceptual distinction between elite and democratic globalisation. The second Part of the thesis then advances and applies this framework through the exploration of specific issues and cases: the importance of communication for the governance of development; a specific case study of multinational engagement in local development processes; the role of ‘clusters’ in employment generation processes; and an analysis of the recent Argentinian economic crisis.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Business
School or Department: Business
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory


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