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Access orders and the 'new' new institutional economics of development

Gray, Hazel (2016) Access orders and the 'new' new institutional economics of development. Development and Change, 47 (1). pp. 51-75. ISSN 0012-155X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/dech.12211


This article examines the Access Order theories of development that have emerged as the latest reformulation of New Institutional Economics by Douglass North and his associates. They claim that Access Order theory represents a radical break from previous models of institutional change in developing countries. They argue that at the heart of development is the problem of controlling organized violence. Two distinct social orders, the Limited Access Order and the Open Access Order, have emerged as solutions to the problem of endemic violence. This article traces the evolution of these new ideas within North’s institutional theory and examines how violence is treated within their framework. The article evaluates the underlying economic model on which the theory is based and argues that the conceptual device of the Open Access Order preserves key features of the neoclassical approach within North's work. The article contrasts the Access Order approach to the political settlements framework. To conclude the article argues that the Access Order approach serves to strip the progressive potential out of development by ignoring how controlling violence may affect capabilities, rights and freedom.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 International Institute of Social Studies
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > International Development
Date Deposited: 29 May 2015 13:11
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2020 02:07

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