ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unmasking Social Science

to invest in itself or to stabilise itself. Autonomy is surely not a sufficient condition for either stabilisation or development. But it is unarguably a necessary one and its absence can be crippling. When the colonist was in trouble, the colony, with a much weaker economy, was forced to share it. If the con- tract survived times of prosperity, it was parasitical in times of stress. Not only that, the last days of British rule saw the inertia being defended by London with ill-conccalcd aggression. 1930s India is a good example of what today will be called a particular case of 'government failure'. (It is not the only example. See, for another case study, references to Indonesia in the exploratory article by Angus Maddison, The Colonial Burden: A Comparative Perspective' in M Scott and D Lai, eds. Public Policy and Economic Development: Essays in Honour of Ian Little, Oxford, 1990.) The main weakness of the book is that the account of the depression as an economic event leaves some gaps. We mentioned earlier a heretical position in depression studies which seems to underrate the impact on parts of the developing world. Rothcr- mund repudiates them, but does not tackle these views very seriously. That, however, SINCE the early 1970s there has been a growing body of studies in "women and development'. The multi-faceted political radicalism of the 1960s had brought together strands in emerging women's movements and renewed critiques of dominant paradigms of economic development. Boserup's seminal inquiry and, in India, the Report of the Committee for the Status of Women laid the grounds for an explosion of empirical investigations as to what 'development' was doing to women, and why it was doing what it was. Indeed, in India, it was women and development' which initially created the space for women's studies/feminist studies. Much of the early analyses seemed to assume that the recognition of women as a subject matter of study, as a category forgotten by development programmes, would set the record and policies right. However, the initial euphoria dissipated as a result of both the apparently minimum effect on mainstream academia, planning bodies and bureaucracies, and dissatisfaction with the donor-driven directions women's studies was taking.

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