Simon Maxwell

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Development Research in Europe: towards an (all) star alliance

Development Research in Europe: towards an (all) star alliance, EADI Newsletter, 3-2002 (also in The European Journal of Development Research, 15:1, June 2003)

Anyone taking a hard look at research on development in Europe would surely conclude that this is an 'industry' in urgent need of rationalisation. The products are world class in many areas, to be sure. But the industry is also characterised (a) by a preponderance of small units, with high fixed costs, (b) by a good deal of redundancy, in the sense that the same topics are found on many research agendas, and, (c) in some areas by a worrying lack of market penetration (the European Commission?). It is also an industry in which some units remain very much in the public sector, whereas others operate under market conditions, with small or no core grants. There are also new entrants - for example, the research and policy departments of NGOs - challenging the established players. EADI already has over 150 institutional members, of very diverse character - and its list of members by no means exhausts the potential membership of research producers in Europe. The structure of the industry - of our industry - exhibits a good deal of path dependency. Many units have grown out of university teaching departments. Others are intimately linked to government development cooperation ministries. In these cases, research units meet a local need which is unlikely to disappear................. (see link in title for full article)


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