Mysteries of Development combines the fields of development studies, comparative administration, and comparative politics to introduce a unified theory of administration and politics called political elasticity theory. The author deals with a series of important questions related to decentralization, corruption, democratization, political culture, and foreign aid, showing that politics, when correctly understood, is more powerful than organization, culture, and economics. He provides well documented case studies, extraordinary comparisons between more developed and less developed countries, as well as between African and Asian countries that clarify and demonstrate the importance of political elasticity theory in both a theoretical and practical context. The Mysteries of Development was featured in the Septemberr 2000 issue of PS (Political Science and Politics), and will be featured in a forthcoming Public Administration Review article.
Herbert Werlin is a former editor of a newsletter for the World Bank, a retired faculty member in the Urban Studies Department at the University of Maryland, and is an independent consultant.