Impossible Theorem and Possibilities of Development Studies

Bhabani Nayak

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The article evaluates the ‘impossibility theorem’ of development studies. It is imperative to reject the ‘impossibility theorem’ based on essentialist perspectives and performative indicators of economic growth and development. It is necessary to revive the radical promise of Development Studies as a discipline to address the issues and predicaments of people and their societies around the world. A simple rejection of the ‘impossibility theorem’ is not possible unless Development Studies reassert itself as a critical discipline to analyse, understand and guide social, economic and cultural transformations based on historical experiences. The paper argues that Development Studies have to be free from the influences of economics and its model driven logic and revive its emancipatory language of transformation in our society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Development Policy and Practice
Issue number2
Early online date30 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Journal Volume backdated to July 2020, article first published online on 30th October 2020

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  • Development studies
  • future
  • economic growth
  • impossibility theorem
  • interdisciplinary


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