Inclusive Development and the Politics of Transformation: Lessons from Asia

Evidence shows that, over the long term, states and societies with more open and inclusive institutions are more peaceful and more resilient, and tend to be better governed. What is less clear, however, is how different countries get there.

This paper, published in collaboration with the UNDP, seeks to address this question by exploring institutional transformation in Asia. It analyses how political systems, and the political settlements and rules of the game that underpin them, have evolved over time in different contexts in Asia, and what lessons emerge from these experiences about prospects for more inclusive development elsewhere. 

A key lesson is that promoting growth and combatting the roots of poverty and inequality is not simply about providing resources and strengthening virtuous institutions based on ideal models of governance. That should be encouraging, as it suggests there may be multiple paths to institutional performance and, ultimately, inclusion. There is room for flexibility in the short to medium term as countries seek to promote growth and more inclusive development, even if confronted with important institutional weaknesses.

What is needed is a more strategic and pragmatic perspective on institutional reform that can help identify and prioritise which governance improvements are most crucial at different stages of growth to enable more inclusive development.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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News

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In this article in the Journal of International Peacekeeping, DLP researcher Suda Perera critically evaluates crowdsourcing's uses and abuses, and warns against an over-reliance on remotely gathered conflict data.

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Why political settlements matter

Thursday 5th October 2017

Join us on 5 Oct 2017 at ODI (10-11:30am) to discuss the research featured in a special issue of The Journal of International Development co-edited by Alina Rocha Menocal (DLP and ODI) and Jan Pospisil (Political Settlements Research Programme at the University of Edinburgh).

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