Maria Dahl (KCL) - 2015-16 Students

A Eurocentric Idea of Development: How Western Political Economy shaped the idea of development within Indian Political Economy (1870-1914)

My project analyses the way in which Western development theory shaped Indian political economic thought at the turn of the century (1870-1914). The main question is how the Euro-centric idea of development became dominant within the Indian School of Political Economy, as well as its effect on the school’s idea of development. Moreover, where possible the research will analyse how this development discourse in turn shaped development theory and practice in terms of social, economic and political effects. This project contributes to the debate about what brings about economic development. The concept of development originated in Western Europe in the beginning of the 19th century with the Saint-Simonians. However, should its origins in Western Europe force development discourse to treat this region’s particular development path as the standard? In other words, are there other possible development paths? Identifying this dominant discourse and its assumptions, as well as understanding its origins, can help to contribute to current debates aiming at challenging mainstream development ideology.

Back to the top