The oil boom prompted a massive flow of capital into the Arab countries of the world. While the investment this facilitated had clear benefits for the region, the developmental achievements of the boom decade are unable to match the magnitude of the resources directed to the development and the reasonable expectations invested in it. Yusif Sayigh draws a powerful and painful lesson from this experience which is applicable to other areas: Development cannot be bought. It must instead be soundly oriented and sought with resolve by society's leadership and by a people enjoying a large measure of freedom and political participation.
In "Elusive Development," the author examines the historical factors which still affect Third World countries: colonial legacies and heavy dependence on the developed world for assets, technology, and thought. Sayigh rejects some aspects of dependency theory, and goes on to outline a powerful alternative collective self-reliance. In conclusion, he discusses the conditions necessary for self-reliance to be feasible, and the dynamics and machinery required for its success.
"This is a welcome addition to the literature on economic development . . . it makes for very interesting and relevant reading."
-"The Economic Journal
"Sayigh's study certainly contains some thought-provoking statements on the dependency paradigm and the possibilities of collective, self-reliance in the Arab World."
-Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie