This paper indicates that a range of conceptual approaches have recently emerged within international development literature that seek to capture the specific ways in which politics shapes development. The paper critically assesses whether these approaches can underpin research into how developmental forms of state capacity and elite commitment emerge and can be sustained.
The document suggests that these new approaches offer powerful insights into certain elements of the puzzle, particularly through a focus on the relational basis of elite behaviour and institutional performance. However, these approaches are also subject to serious limitations. In this respect, more critical forms of political theory are required in order to investigate how the politics of development is shaped by popular as well as elite forms of agency, transnational as well as national factors, and in dynamic as well as more structural ways.
As a result, the author proposes an initial conceptual framework that can be operationalised and tested within a programme of primary research. The framework includes a wide range of variables and processes that can be tracked in order to test which offers the greatest traction on the outcomes to be explained, but without over-specifying the precise relationships and mechanisms at play. Consequently, the author clarifies that this form of theory-testing and -refinement can be achieved most persuasively through comparative case study research.
States shape development. This paper takes stock of recent advancements in the literature on state capacity and connects them to the study of inclusive development.
The paper argued that state capacity is best approached as a multi-dimensional concept that can be disaggregated into three interrelated dimensions: the external embeddedness with non-state actors, the organisational competence of state agencies and their territorial reach. Consequently, the document argues that the established focus on geography, external pressures and capitalist development needs to be complemented with close attention to elite politics, ruling coalitions and domestic conflict when identifying key determinants of state capacity.
On the other hand, the author highlights that the capacity of states to promote inclusive development is shaped by historical patterns of state formation itself, in particular the institutional and political legacies left behind by European overseas colonialism. Yet, contemporary state transformations linked to neoliberal globalisation, democratisation and power shifts in the international order have major implications for the capacities of states to promote inclusive development.
In the final analysis, the paper recommends scholars to work backwards from “success cases” and identify specific configurations of the three components of state capacity underpinning the ability to promote inclusive development in order to unpack the interactions among them.
The XIV World Forestry Congress, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and hosted by the Republic of South Africa, will bring together the global forestry community to review and analyse the key issues and to share ways of addressing them.
Here is a comprehensive list of events organized or co-organized by IUFRO between 4 and 11 September 2015 at the World Forestry Congress:
And, at the IUFRO exhibition stand F9/F10 you will have an opportunity to learn more about IUFRO and get to know GFIS, our Global Forest Information Service (gfis.net).
It was with that broad canvas as a back-drop that IISD renewed its strategic plan last year. The result places a tighter focus on six core priorities that meet the critical need for applied sustainability solutions.
Underpinning our strategy is a belief that communicating both the vital importance of developing sustainably, as well as the work that IISD is doing in support of that objective, is essential to its success. IISD was a global leader in the use of innovative communication when it was founded, including as an early adopter of Web-based communications. But the communication landscape is moving at speed. So must we.
A new IISD visual identity, released over the...