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The Many Faces of Socioeconomic Change

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The Many Faces of Socioeconomic Change

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Development is not a purely economic phenomenon; it also has a strong sociological element. The Many Faces of Socioeconomic Change explores how economic socio-cultural and political aspects of human progress have been studied since the time of Adam Smith. Surveying narratives of how development occurs, from early evolutionary models to recent types of development theory, it outlines the main long-term changes in how socioeconomic development has been envisaged through time. The Many Faces of Socioeconomic Change presents the argument that socioeconomic development emerged with the creation of grand evolutionary sequences of social progress that were the products of Enlightenment and mid-Victorian thinkers. By the middle of the twentieth century, when interest in accelerating development gave the topic a new impetus its scope narrowed to a set of economically based strategies. After 1960, however, faith in such strategies began to wane, in the face of indifferent results and a general faltering of confidence in economists’ boasts of scientific expertise. In the twenty first century, development research is being pursued using research methods that generate disconnected results. As a result, it seems unlikely that any grand narrative will be created in the future and that Neo-liberalism will be the last of this particular kind of socioeconomic theory. With a broad scope of content and clear exposition of academic thinking this book guides the reader through the way in which the policy adopted as a consequence of modern theories has been less effective because of the neglect or a misunderstanding of the social context within which they operate.

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