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Institutions and their Discontents: Rethinking Economic Development in South Asia

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The conference aims to bring together leading economists, political scientists and historians to debate a key tenet of modern development theory: the crucial link between the development of strong institutions and sustained economic growth. The primacy accorded to institutions by eminent scholars like Dani Rodrik and Daron Acemoglu has been challenged by academics like Ha-joon Chang, but the debate has remained closeted among economists. This conference aims to enrich and expand the dialogue by engaging experts from other disciplines like sociology, politics and history to contextualise the emergence of institutions in their historical and socio-political context. The geographical focus on South Asia will enable the discussion to be grounded and targeted at understanding one of the poorest regions of the world, often castigated for its weak and corrupt institutions. The diversity in the fortunes of India and other regional players like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, will allow a critical appreciation of other factors helping or hindering economic growth with or without strong institutions.

Keynote speakers: Prof. Akhil Gupta (UCLA) and Dr Ha-joon Chang (University of Cambridge)

Other speakers include: Prof. Sir Christopher Alan Bayly (University of Cambridge), Prof. Stuart Corbridge (London School of Economics), Prof. Jean Paul Faguet (London School of Economics), Prof. Barbara Harriss-White (University of Oxford), Prof. David Washbrook (University of Cambridge), Dr Tomas Larsson (University of Cambridge), Dr Kamal Munir (University of Cambridge) and Dr Jaideep Prabhu (University of Cambridge)

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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