1968: Volume 1
An important facet of all research is the opportunity it affords to isolate and examine basic assumptions. In development studies, this activity is extremely important, for the relationship of the research worker to poor countries is often, like that of a medium to the spirit world, marked by infrequency of contact, scarcity of data, and ambiguity of response. In such circumstances, myths, in the crude sense, tend to flourish. As an article in the last issue identified three such myths, we felt it would be interesting to scan the area of development research more thoroughly, with the results to be found in the middle section. A particularly rich field of "crude" myth is that of manpower supply. For the first section of this issue, Oscar Gish and Richard Jolly have written two articles which cast a powerful demystifying light on this topic.
The peasant was, according to Turgenev, "the sphinx of all the Russias." How much more is known about the peasants of the developing countries by those who rule them and those who set out to help them? Governments, social scientists, planners, claim to understand and to articulate their interests, but very often in development studies it is assumed that "development" is something the elite does to the peasants. The elite, urban bias of academic work has quite clear causes, to do with the greater intellectual accessibility of the ruling groups.
The peasants are more inscrutable: as Professor F. G. Bailey writes. "The alien social scientist cannot so easily understand what the human majority of the developing nations - the mass, the non-elite - are thinking, or why they are thinking it; they are strange, remote, annoyingly diverse, unpredictable, a mystery even to their own elite, apathetic, afraid to take risks, improvident, parochial in their outlook, superstitious - and so on, through a string of adjectives which range from the patronizing to the contemptuous." (The Peasant View of the Bad Life).
Some of the myths and simplifications which have grown up as a result are examined in this issue of the Bulletin, especially in the review article Back to Grass Roots . The problems of studying rural development are considered in the other article of this sector by Raymond Apthorpe. We revert to "aggregism" in a heuristic form, in Clive Bell's description of his computerized "development game", while at the end.
Dr. Hans Singer returns us to the question of development activities on the ground, with his review of Professor Albert Hirschman's Development Projects Observed. We are happy also to publish Lord Balogh's reply to the views of Harry Johnson and Enoch Powell published in our symposium on development aid in the October issue of the Bulletin.
Since the first issue of this Bulletin was published, we have been able to consider reactions to it and to assess the role it should take in communication between the institute and the world in which it works. As a result we have made changes. Various technical changes have been made in the production of the periodical and the layout and presentation have been altered. We shall try to ensure a variety both of topics and and contributors. In this issue we are concentrating upon a genera) theme, that of the utility (or disutility) of development aid.
We have assembled a symposium on this topic, taking as a starting point a review of a book, Gunar Myrdal's Asian Drama, that was discussed by Lord Balogh in the first issue. We are thus continuing and enlarging a debate. So as not to neglect the Institute's own work, we publish in our first section an account of the research project on public administration t raining.
So as not to forget those who have made such work possible, we publish a tribute by Professor David E. Apter to one of our oldest and closest friends, the late Sir Andrew Cohen, to whose efforts the Institute of Development Studies owes an enormous debt and by whose death it was deeply saddened.
The Institute of Development Studies was set up in 1966 as the result of an initiative by the Minister of Overseas Development. From an initial establishment of two staff members and three offices it has grown to a present establishment of forty-nine packed into temporary premises at Stanmer House.
Its academic staff includes sociologists, economists,, agricultural economists and, political scientists as well as students of public administration and international relations. The range of our present activities can be judged from what follows: the point of these activities is to enhance the study of international deprivation, to provide some light for those concerned with the reduction of poverty and disease. So far our means have been individual research, research projects, courses conferences and study seminars.
With the publication of this Bulletin, we hope to establish contact with others involved in the same problems. By "conflict" we mean both the communication of our own work and ideas and an invitation to dialogue with all engaged in the study and promotion of development.
The layout and content of the Bulletin reflects this concern. Each quarter's issue will contain four sections. The. first section will consist of an account of a major IDS in the second issue the work of the research group on training in public administration will be described, while the subsequent issue will include a report of Professor Joy's study of farming development in India.
The second section will comprise a discussion of a major problem in development: in this issue, for example, David Wall discusses proposals for a general preference system as they stand after the second UNCTAD conferences in later issues we hope to deal with such topics as population planning and the integration of educational and manpower planning.