‘Muddling through’ by way of modelling: Representing complex relationships

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the process of ‘muddling through’ by following the process of developing an analytical and theoretical model in the Elites Production and Poverty (EPP) programme. This is done by following the process of modelling in the research programme. Modelling has always been part of Ole Therkildsens’s modus operandi, right from his key work Watering White Elephants in 1988 to his contribution to finalizing the EPP programme with the 2015 Cambridge University Press book, The Politics of African Industrial Policy. What relates the two works is a three-dimensional model first developed by Korten (1980) for capturing the requirements of the learning approach for project implementation. The EPP, after testing various models in an iterative process, ended up further developing Korten’s model. The EPP initially
used the model to depict key analytical processes, but over time the explanatory
model became what had to be explained. The complex processes depicted by the model, in other words, went from being an independent variable to being the dependent variable in the final stages of writing up. The chapter is based on models drawn up from the EPP programme and gives form to the research group’s muddling through towards finalizing the book.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on politics, production and public administration in Africa : essays in honour of Ole Therkildsen
EditorsLars Buur, Anne Mette Kjær, Lars Engberg Pedersen
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherDanish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)
Publication date11 Jun 2015
Pages209-227
ISBN (Print)978-87-7605-746-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7605-747-3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2015

Cite this