In his Annales of Queen Elizabeth (1615, 1625), William Camden presented Elizabeth's success in managing the nation's commercial and financial interests as a product of her rejection of any selfish goals, and her absolute commitment to the interests and welfare of the Commonwealth. This chapter considers the consequences and significance of such an approach. Chief among these, it is argued, was the development of a narrative that employed conventional classical ideas of virtue, honour and 'exemplary' behaviour to discuss a range of contemporary economic issues and debates.
The year 1857 was the last carefree year of the Austrian Empire, geographically the second largest state in Europe after Russia. Austria was an obvious choice to host the third international statistical congress. Under the inspired leadership of Karl von Czoernig, statistics quickly became a valued service in the administrative apparatus of the monarchy. His aim was to position himself internationally as an authoritative statistician with a mission. Financial statistics was a subject that captured the particular attention of the Austrian government. In addition to finance and ethnography, the main topics of the third international statistical congress were education, industry, mortality, hospitals and nursing homes, criminal and civil law, the allocation of land ownership and rates. The third international statistical congress in Vienna continued along the course set by the Paris congress.
In September 1853 Brussels was for a short time the centre of statistics. This chapter is concerned with the key role of Adolphe Quetelet, who was the Statistical Society's official correspondent. Belgium's pioneering role in the European statistical movement was informed both by its liberal polity and the special status of statistics within it, and by Quetelet's key position as an intellectual. Quetelet and Auguste Visschers launched the proposal at the meeting of the Central Commission for Statistics of 11 July 1851. Given their value to statisticians, it is no wonder that the implementation and refinement of the census and population registers was an important item on the agenda of the international statistical congress in Brussels. In the congress programme that was dispatched in the spring of 1853, the census was high on the list of discussion topics, second only to the organisation of statistics in general.
Berlin underwent a period of prodigious growth in the mid-nineteenth century. If there had ever been a moment in the history of the international statistical congress when it could be elevated to a higher plane, then it was 1863, in Berlin. Ernst Engel, the director of the Prussian statistical bureau, was intent on making the Berlin congress a resounding success. Baden was one of the states that took some interest in the resolutions adopted by the international statistical congress. The Baden government was closely involved in the initiatives introduced at the congresses in Vienna in 1857 and Berlin in 1863 with respect to a common system of statistics in Germany. Of all the major themes that would be addressed at the congress, the most innovative theme was the role of statistics in mutual assistance and insurance. Mutual assistance was, in Engel's view, a step towards economic autonomy and independence.
Because much has been written about the consequences of slavery and continuing discrimination for the health of African Americans, this chapter deals with a smaller minority group in the United States, namely American Indians and Alaska Natives. As with the provision of healthcare more generally, which version of self-determination is ascendant will have profound consequences for the future of Indian sovereignty and the accessibility and quality of health services for American Indians. Policy with respect to health services for American Indians has been embedded within Indian policy more broadly. And Indian policy has in its turn been responsive to political, economic and cultural forces that have their sources well beyond Indian country. The policy supported by President Roosevelt's New Deal Administration in the 1930s emphasized the importance for native peoples of having viable tribal communities. It was, according to one historian of the period, an 'assault on assimilation'.
This chapter shows that a history of underinvestment and poor health infrastructure in the colonial period continued to shape the conditions of possibility for health policy in India after independence. A historical perspective on India's political transition to independence, in particular the period between 1945 and the early 1950s, suggests that the languages of politics forged at these moments of transformation can have lasting effects. The chapter argues that attention to the ethical and intellectual origins of the Indian state's founding commitment to improve public health are worthy of attention, and indeed that these moral and political arguments continue to shape a sense of the possible in public health. If the institutional legacy of colonialism was to constrain the public health apparatus of India, the ideological legacy was the rise, perhaps unintended, of the notion that the state would and could intervene to prevent certain kinds of suffering.
This chapter considers the issues of social welfare and political accountability. It argues, contrary to the general implications of research and scholarly observations, levels of social welfare need not always vary positively with levels of democratic practice. The chapter suggests that technologies of rule that enable concerns for social welfare can exist quite independently of European-derived ideas and institutions of political representation and government administration. It explores whether these non-European practices suggest ways to approach social welfare challenges beyond the specific case of China. China's reproduction of agrarian empire has to be considered a major subject in world history. The chapter considers a part of this subject that connects quite directly to the capacities and commitments of the contemporary Chinese state toward its subjects. In nineteenth-century China, taxation begins to increase dramatically at mid-century and bureaucratic effort is shifted from social spending to military and defense matters.
The substantive and methodological contributions of professional historians to development policy debates was marginal, whether because of the dominance of economists or the inability of historians to contribute. There are broadly three ways in which history matters for development policy. These include insistence on the methodological principles of respect for context, process and difference; history is a resource of critical and reflective self-awareness about the nature of the discipline of development itself; and history brings a particular kind of perspective to development problems . After establishing the key issues, this book explores the broad theme of the institutional origins of economic development, focusing on the cases of nineteenth-century India and Africa. It demonstrates that scholarship on the origins of industrialisation in England in the late eighteenth century suggests a gestation reaching back to a period during which a series of social institutional innovations were pioneered and extended to most citizens of England. The book examines a paradox in China where an emphasis on human welfare characterized the rule of the eighteenth-century Qing dynasty, and has been demonstrated in modern-day China's emphasis on health and education. It provides a discussion on the history of the relationship between ideology and policy in public health, sanitation in India's modern history and the poor health of Native Americans. The book unpacks the origins of public education, with a focus on the emergency of mass literacy in Victorian England and excavates the processes by which colonial education was indigenized throughout South-East Asia.
Michael Woolcock, Simon Szreter, and Vijayendra Rao
This chapter considers how and why history matters for contemporary development policy. It explores the basis on which historical scholarship can help to enrich the quality of contemporary development policy. The chapter provides an overview of the arguments and evidence that underpin the prevailing consensus among development economists and policy-makers that 'institutions' and 'history' matter. It focuses on the different theoretical and methodological underpinnings of contemporary historical scholarship as it pertains to comparative economic development. The chapter argues that in order for non-historians to engage more substantively and faithfully with the discipline of history, they must make a sustained effort both to understand historiography and appreciate anew the limits of their own discipline's methodological assumptions. It describes some of the distinctive types of general principles and specific implications that can be drawn from historical scholarship. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.
This chapter posits the heterogeneous origins of comparative economic development, as opposed to their 'colonial origins'. It considers the case of India and Africa, in the nineteenth century. The central Punjab has been the model for the more prosperous parts of the agrarian economy in both India and Pakistan. The chapter describes the nature of the institutions that seem to have contributed to successful and economic development in the longer term despite the existence of an extractive state. Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James Robinson (AJR) argue that there is a strong positive correlation between disease regimes successful European settlement, the generation of 'good' institutions and contemporary wealth. The chapter argues that historical evidence would help us to refine and develop AJR's term 'colonial origins' of comparative development and that pre-colonial and indigenous societal 'capabilities' or 'capacities' in Amartya Sen's sense need to be brought into the equation.