Pragmatism as a pillar of the New Developmentalism

Vol. 40 No. 2 (2020)

Apr-Jun / 2020
Published April 1, 2020

How to Cite

Paiva-Silva, João. 2020. “Pragmatism As a Pillar of the New Developmentalism”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 40 (2):376-97.

Pragmatism as a pillar of the New Developmentalism

João Paiva-Silva
Centre for African and Development Studies – Lisbon School of Economics and Management – University of Lisbon, Lisboa/Portugal.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 40 No. 2 (2020), Apr-Jun / 2020, Pages 376-397


The scholars of New Developmentalism have generated a substantial body of knowledge regarding structural transformation and the policies that should be adopted to foster its achievement. Nevertheless, as is argued in this paper, New Developmentalism, by contrast with Neoliberalism, lacks a strong philosophical foundation to legitimise the policies it favours on grounds other than their ability to generate prosperity. It is also argued that new-developmentalists should explicitly adopt a pragmatic philosophy in order to become a more serious alternative to other political economy doctrines.

JEL Classification: A13; B5; O10.

Keywords: Economic philosophy history of economic thought economic development New Developmentalism institutionalism