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IDS Bulletin Vol. 24 Nos. 3

The Political Analysis of Markets: Editorial Introduction

Published on 1 July 1993

This IDS Bulletin stems from a dissatisfaction with the way in which the idea of ‘the market’ or ‘the free market’ is currently used in conventional discourse on developmental issues. One notion is particularly dominant, implicitly or explicitly: ‘the market’ seen as a flexible, atomistic realm of impersonal exchange and dispersed competition, characterised by voluntary transactions on an equal basis between autonomous, usually private, entities with material motivations.

This etiolated model of the market derives from the universe of neo-classical economists and, in the world of development policy, serves to provide intellectual support for their prescriptions. This ‘ideal-type’ market has been elevated to the level of an ideological principle and ethical ideal, providing a policy panacea which promises both efficiency, prosperity and freedom.

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White, G. (1993) THE POLITICAL ANALYSIS OF MARKETS: EDITORIAL INTRODUCTION. IDS Bulletin 24(3): 1-3

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published by
IDS
authors
White, Gordon
journal
IDS Bulletin, volume 24, issue 3

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Research themes
Inclusive Economies

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