Journal Article

IDS Bulletin 1.2

Balogh and Powell on Myrdal

Published on 1 May 1968

It tells us something about both the presumptive political and intellectual stature of Mr. Enoch Powell, and the lack of self-confidence of academic development specialists in this country, to be informed by the editor of this Bulletin in his letter of invitation to contribute to the symposium that ‘Mr. Powell’s review has provoked alarm among the academic developmentalists”.

It tells us something, also, about prevailing concepts of academic ethics that a supposedly independent academic research institute, created by a new Ministry established by the Labour Government, should choose a review by a Conservative politician containing criticisms of the establishment of that Ministry as a launching-pad for an exploration and presumably at least partial validation of its own raison d’etre.

It tells us nothing we did not know before, though, to search in vain through Lord Balogh’s review (Ed. in the first issue of this Bulletin pages 12-15) for any indication that Myrdal is in large part criticizing his own earlier opinions, a fact that Mr. Powell rightly stresses and one that drastically alters the implications of the contrast drawn by Balogh between ‘the arid, flat plain inhabited by the conventional modern economists’ and the towering ‘peaks of interpretative political economy’ represented by the most  recent works of Gaibraith
and Myrdal.

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IDS Bulletin 1.2


Harry. G. Johnson

Publication details

IDS Bulletin, volume 1, issue 2