Since the inception of development economics in the post-World War II period, most of its proponents have prescribed the adoption of western institutions as the path for prosperity – the unequivocal solution for poverty, illiteracy, hunger, inequality, and violence in the world. Seventy years of attempts, or at least the pretense thereof, to reproduce the western model in completely different historical and cultural contexts have proven to be no more than a mirage for most.

Faced with this scenario, why do economists insist on the ideas of development, convergence, and emulation of the lifestyle of western countries? Is it possible to disassociate development from multidimensional instability, dependency, subordination, and exploitation? Is the current social, political, ecological, and economic organized destabilization observed in the western countries a model to follow, a desirable end of history? These questions raised earlier by some fellow economists, have become ever more pressing in the present context of generalized instability. The book questions how ethical and professionally responsible it is for economists to continue to undiscerningly prescribe miraculous one-size-fits-all market-oriented models to solve socio-economic problems everywhere. The contributors of this edited volume invite the readers to consider these questions and further similar inquiries in the future.

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal Review of Political Economy.

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The Aptly or Wrongly Named Development Economics: An Introduction to New Perspectives and Models