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If history matters for understanding key development outcomes then surely historians should be active contributors to the debates informing these understandings. This volume integrates, for the first time, contributions from ten leading historians and seven policy advisors around the central development issues of social protection, public health, public education and natural resource management. How did certain ideas, and not others, gain traction in shaping particular policy responses? How did the content and effectiveness of these responses vary across different countries, and indeed within them? Achieving this is not merely a matter of seeking to ''know more'' about specific times, places and issues, but recognising the distinctive ways in which historians rigorously assemble, analyse and interpret diverse forms of evidence.
This book will appeal to students and scholars in development studies, history, international relations, politics and geography as well as policy makers and those working for or studying NGOs.
C.A. Bayly is Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History, and Fellow of St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge.
Vijayendra Rao is Lead Economist in the Development Research Group, World Bank.
Simon Szreter is Professor of History and Public Policy, and Fellow of St John’s College, University of Cambridge.
List of tables and figures
List of contributors
Preface and acknowledgements
PART 1: Overview of key issues
1 How and why history matters for development policy
Michael Woolcock, Simon Szreter and Vijayendra Rao
2 Indigenous and colonial origins of comparative economic development: the case of colonial India and Africa
C. A. Bayly
Commentary: History, time and temporality in development discourse
PART 2: Historical contributions to contemporary development policy issues
3 Social security as a developmental institution? The relative efficacy of poor relief provisions under the English Old Poor Law
Richard M. Smith
4. Historical lessons about contemporary social welfare: Chinese puzzles and global challenges
R. Bin Wong
Commentary: Why might history matter for development policy?
5 Health in India since independence
Sunil S. Amrith
6 Healthcare policy for American Indians since the early twentieth century
Stephen J. Kunitz
Commentary: Can historians assist development policy-making, or just highlight its faults?
7 The end of literacy: the growth and measurement of British public education since the early nineteenth century
8 The tools of transition: education and development in modern Southeast Asian history
Commentary: Remembering the forgetting in schooling
Natural resource management
9 Energy and natural resource dependency in Europe, 1600–1900
10 Special rights in property: why modern African economies are dependent on mineral resources
Commentary: Natural resources and development—which histories matter?