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In the last decade, many international development agencies have turned to political economy analysis to try to improve the effectiveness of their programs and projects. Sometimes political economy has been used for better risk analysis, but it has also been applied more positively to determine the social and political ‘drivers of change’ and how aid agencies might work more politically. However, the agencies involved have struggled to operationalise political economy insights.
Drawing on case study research in Southeast Asia, this seminar outlined the limits and possibilities entailed in an alternative, structural political economy, approach to development policy and practice. In particular, it explained the analytical typology of reformers and their alliances that a Murdoch-based research team presents in the forthcoming book Political Economy and the Aid Industry in Asia (Palgrave 2014), written by Jane Hutchison, Wil Hout, Caroline Hughes and Richard Robison.
This public seminar was presented by the Development Policy Centre at Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.