Archive for May, 2013

Theoretical traditions: Sociology vs political theory vs IR

It is striking at how different the narratives of the historical forefathers of different disciplines are. This came to the front particularly when I took the theories of society course and I was amazed at the different claims different disciplines make on different historical theorists and philosophers.

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Thinking Beyond the state

I’m surprised that there are no books that discuss development beyond the state. The current development models are all framed around strengthening the state, and though there are challenges, there is no systematic analysis of what it would look like to think development beyond the state. This would involve measures of development, standards, and benchmarks that are not linked to developing state institutions but societal capacity. It would perhaps look at individual or communal endowments rather than states. This would help differentiate between regions within the state. What would the results of such intervention be, that even if we had weak and failing states we can still discuss social development. It wouldn’t look at GDP but at other variables. In a sense perhaps this is the neoliberal framework, looking at private services rendered maybe.  hmm not so sure about this. Probably something about how state strength is a bad measure of social wellbeing, especially things like GDP. Stronger communities would be apart from the state, the state may prey upon them, yet they can have their own practices of governance that are worth examining beyond the traditional representational state forms.


So seems like discussion is about political, economic, and social wellbeing here. Political measures are interesting and seem to be easier to measure, but what of economic or developmental standards, are we talking about education, literacy etc… or maybe sewage disposal systems, or maybe life satisfaction measures.

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