Politics and Economic Development: Economic Research Forum (ERF) 17th Annual Conference – March 20-22, 2011 Antalya, Turkey

In light of recent political transformation in the Middle East, this year’s ERF conference focuses on the interaction between politics, economic policies and development outcomes.

For almost two decades, the Economic Research Forum (ERF) Annual Conference has evolved to become a leading regional platform for the discussion of frontier thinking on economic development. It draws together ERF affiliates, international scholars and guests, all interacting and learning from each other. This year’s conference, held in Antalya, Turkey, is hosting around 200 participants.

The first plenary session, entitled “Democracy (Open Society) and Economic Development: The Politics of Policymaking”, revisited the relationship between the nature of political regimes, policymaking processes and development outcomes. The following questions were raised: Does the Arab region need to follow a Western model of democratic transformation? Does it take an open (democratic) society to achieve better development outcomes? Are the few cases of non-democratic regimes achieving successful development an exception and why? Is democracy inevitable once progress is made on the economic front? And what do we know about how societies become more open economically and politically? Will the uprisings across the Arab region lead to sustained democracies that result in solid and equitable development?

Speakers of first plenary session were Ricardo Hausmann, Director of the Center for International Development , Samir Makdisi, American University in Beirut and John Wallis, University of Maryland.

The parallel sessions covered six broad themes, under which papers were submitted prior to the conference. Themes are as follows: macroeconomics, finance, international economics, labor and human development, microeconomic and sectoral studies, and institutional economics/governance.

Today’s second plenary session was dedicated to answer the following question: “Do Institutional Constraints on Policymakers work?” Understanding institutional reforms and their potential impact on policy became essential given the nature of the political regimes in the Arab region and the recent political uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

While Ibrahim Elbadawi, the Macroeconomic Research Department Director at the Economic Policy & Research Institute (EPRI) discussed the relation between fiscal rules, political checks and balances and democracy, Gary Milante, World Bank, presented the main findings of the World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development. Lant Pritchett, Harvard University, discussed what he called the “administrative capability of the state” or the ability of the state to shape the behavior of “implementing agents”, thus ensuring its stated objectives are met.

The final plenary session session debated on “Political and Economic Transformation”. Ishac Diwan, World Bank, Mustapha Nabli, Governor Central Bank of Tunisia, and Tarik Yousef from Dubai School of Government, explored the drivers and dynamics of political and economic transformation in the a Arab region.

Read more about the ERF 17th Annual conference on the ERF blog.

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2 Responses to Politics and Economic Development: Economic Research Forum (ERF) 17th Annual Conference – March 20-22, 2011 Antalya, Turkey

  1. can i have the explaination on the relationship between politics and economic development please?

    • Hi Vallentino,

      Global Political Economy is an academic discipline within the broader umbrella of social sciences. Its cuts across many other different disciplines, like economics, politics, international relations, history, globalization and sociology. Sometimes, it is referred to as International Political Economy (IPE).

      IPS is concerned basically with intersection between Economics and politics. How decisions and interactions by political forces (states, institutions, governments, and policy actors, etc.) influence economic interventions; business decision, investment, monetary policies, market strategies and the like. And Vice versa, it also looks at the effect of economic interactions have upon political structures and their likely outcomes.

      You can read more on IPE from this paper by Michael Veseth. What is International Political Economy? (http://www2.ups.edu/ipe/whatis.pdf )

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