Preface: When in 1973, Professor Fred W. Riggs visited India and delivered a lecture in the University of Rajasthan, his model of Prismatic Society had already been recognized as an innovative, though mind-boggling, conceptual construct that represented a serious attempt at explaining the multidimensional reality of the socio-administrative systems prevailing in the so-called “developing” countries. Professor Riggs was good enough to permit Administrative Change, a bi-annual journal on political and administrative development, to publish his lecture on “Prismatic Societies and Public Administration” that he had delivered before the Arab Society for Public Administration in 1972.
With the publication of Riggs’s paper in Administrative Change, several interesting reactions to his ideas were received in the journal. However, it was only Professor Daya Krishna who agreed to write a rejoinder to Professor Riggs’s presentation. And with the incorporation of Professor Daya’s comments in the journal was initiated an enthralling and stimulating debate between these two eminent scholars of East and West. Points led to counterpoints, theses to antitheses, rejoinders to addenda, and questions to clarifications.
The ”Development Debate” created a stir in the academic circles and it seemed that the demand of our readers for its perpetuation was insatiable. But all good things must come to an end. And therefore, we decided to end the debate once it became clear that a base had been prepared by both the scholars to motivate other students of policy sciences to explore further the nuances of the complex process of development.