The Institute of Development Studies was set up as a centre for teaching and research on the problems of development, and has drawn together a number of experienced professionals in economics (especially agricultural economics), manpower planning, political science, public administration and sociology.
“Development” is, of course, by no means an entirely new field of
study. As metropolitan powers became more involved in the affairs of their colonies during the first half of this century, it began to be realised that these problems were to some extent specialised.
“Anthropology”, which from the beginning implicitly treated the object of study as the indigenous man of the colonial world, received a good deal of support from colonial governments, because of its usefulness to administrators, as did “Tropical agriculture”. “Colonial economics” also appeared in University syllabuses this was particularly designed for those going to work overseas, and was mostly descriptive.