A Defunct Concept?
Ramashray Roy
POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT: A CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE by Daya Krishna Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1979, 207 pp., 60.00
Nov-Dec 1977, volume 2, No 6

This book is yet another contribution of Professor Daya Krishna to theoretical perspectives on social sciences. Daya Krishna takes up for treatment a much discussed and thrashed-out issue in political science—the concept of politi­cal development. This is a concept that has provided considerable stimulation to many social scientists to think and write. Daya Krishna subjects this concept to a systematic radiological test, examines in detail and with immeasurable patience its skeletal structure, and pronounces with all seriousness and professional severity the concept dead. It is true that the con­cept of political development as pro­pounded by the adherents of the Durk­sonian School rose like a meteor in the firmament of social sciences, remained regnant for more than a decade, and disintegrated under the weight of its own inconsistencies and the blind ethnocen­tricism of its proponents more than a decade ago. However, even so late it is good to have an official verdict and cer­tificate to bury the· dead.

Daya Krishna is systematic in his postmortem. Recognizing that ‘the concept of political development has become the central pivot around which most of the recent thought in political science tends to organize itself’, Daya Krishna feels the necessity of separating the questions with respect of political development from the larger questions of development in general and from development in other domains in particular. He then sets out to examine ‘in detail the explications of the concept of political development and the criteria suggested for assessing and measuring it in diverse ways’.

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