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By Richard A. Higgott

This publication examines improvement idea from a political persepctive. It considers modernisation concept and public coverage, in addition to Marxism, the country, and the 3rd global.

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Additional info for Political Development Theory: The Contemporary Debate (International Series in Social & Political Thought)

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At least this is the case as long as such choices are to be made by existing decision-makers to obtain some kind of optimum deal for their states. As Rothchild and Curry point out, the model they propose is predicated on the assumption that decisions are being made on behalf of all the citizens and not solely in the interests of the ruling, decision-making elite (Rothchild and Curry 1978:146). Such an assumption is questionable, yet it underpins a second major link between modernisation theory and the more recent public policy approaches.

Such a response, it will be argued, has manifested itself in a rather confused, 20 FROM MODERNISATION THEORY TO PUBLIC POLICY but nevertheless observable, option for a mixture of rationalist politics, public choice and policy analysis which for classificatory purposes has been gathered under the collective rubric of a ‘new political economy’. Political Development in the 1970s: from Modernisation Theory to Public Policy During the 1960s, political science failed to build a ‘grand theory’ of modernisation that could adequately address itself to the problems of the Third World, either as analysis and prescription or at the policy level.

This makes the term particularly attractive to analysts of new states, since the state is deemed to play a predominant role in most of these societies. As with the new political economy, the importance of public policy analysis (or the less contentious term, ‘policy approach’) is its contrast with the behavioural political science of the 1960s. e. the socio-psychological environment of the political system to the exclusion of process and policy outputs (Heclo 1972:87). The growing popularity of public policy represents, in many ways, the dialectical outcome of the antagonisms of institutionalism and behaviouralism in political science.

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