Advancing ‘Development’ through an IPS Approach
This chapter discusses to what extent and in what ways the international political sociology (IPS) critique, in combination with critical development studies, has advanced the theorizing on ‘development’. The IPS approach, emerging from a different intellectual tradition than mainstream development theory, in many ways represents the opposite traits. It is commonly seen to refute dichotomies, pursues a reflective stance on given concepts and studies phenomena in their own right. Critical development studies have addressed this problem through an increasing on relations and practices, hence reflecting the explicit purpose of IPS approaches, and doing a better job avoiding the trap of levels and scales. Conceptions of the state as an ahistorical entity and “a universal function of governance” that is distinguished from society and acts on it from above have been dethroned as the state is increasingly addressed as an open category that takes shape through particular social, political and international practices and dynamics.