From political economy to political analysis
Political economy has come to be seen narrowly as the economics of politics – the way incentives shape behaviour. This study argues that existing political economy approaches lack the analytical tools needed to grasp the inner politics of development. This means that much recent political economy work misses what is distinctively political about politics – power, interests, agency, ideas, the subtleties of building and sustaining coalitions, and the role of contingency.
The study aims to give policy makers and practitioners more precise conceptual tools to help them interpret the inner ‘micro-politics’ of the contexts in which they work.
It argues in particular for more focus on recognising and working with the different forms of power, on understanding how and where interests develop, and on the role of ideas in inspiring or inhibiting political action.
Researchers: David Hudson and Adrian Leftwich
See also David Hudson's blog post: Political analysis as the practical art of the possible (Jul 2014).
For further work on this area, see Everyday political analysis.