n African Review of Economics and Finance - Development dilemmas: The methods and political ethics of growth policy, Melvin Ayogu and Don Ross (Eds.) : book review

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2042-1478
  • E-ISSN: 2410-4906


Improving human welfare has long been considered a goal worth pursuing. Consequently, policy makers and practitioners have devoted an enormous amount of time and resources to promoting high standards of living. Over the past century or so, economics has established itself as the dominant paradigm of inquiry into the quantitative and qualitative changes in the areas of health and educational attainments, human capital development, resource distribution and environmental sustainability, among other societal objectives. Like many other actions in life, however, economic choices do not take place in a vacuum, and these choices entail costs. The sciences of morality, individual responsibility and character, institutions and culture, are important in shaping development policy by balancing the various choices with their costs. The philosophical and ethical foundations that underpin development policy are, thus, as important as the process of economic development itself. Balancing these is, however, challenging, and often leads to more problems than solutions. Such dilemmas continue to characterise debates in development studies and practice, and provide a strong case for a holistic approach to development policy that transcends mainstream economics to incorporate insights and values from fields as diverse as psychology, evolutionary biology, geography and political science, to mention a few. These dilemmas are at the heart of the book under review: .

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