4.5 The changing relationships between state, market and civil society
The central development debates over the last fifty years can – somewhat crudely – be characterised by shifting perceptions of the relative roles of the state and the market. Until the late 1970s development policy and practice was dominated by a state-led vision of social and institutional change. By the 1980s, neo-liberal perspectives came to dominate. Through the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, a reframing of the relationship between state and market took place and greater interest was expressed in ‘getting social relations right’. As a result, a third element, ‘civil society’, has become a dominant feature of the institutional landscape within which development intervention takes place.
We will now look briefly at how the roles of the different sectors, and the relationships between them, have changed.