International Development Planning Review

The practical skill of theory

International Development Planning Review (2013), 35, (4), 0


The purpose of this Viewpoint is to challenge the popular perception that theory and practice are separated by a gap that somehow needs to be bridged. Instead, I argue for a perspective that sees the two as inherently interdependent: theory cannot exist without practice nor practice without theory. Such an integrative understanding of theory and practice can be (and should be) generated by each individual as a form of what can be referred to as ‘personal theory’. In closing, I identify three characteristics of all theory that may be helpful for thinking about its integral relationship with practice.

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Author details

Leaf, Michael