Given the that [a large public sector in developing nations] is an artifact of history, and that there is little or no reason to believe that governments in developing countries need to be more pervasive than in developed economies, it is not difficult to understand why contemporary development priorities accord a much higher place to public sector downsizing and privatization... Key Issues in Development
This is from our development textbook. Our enlightened contemporary textbook that's aware of all the politically correct ideas you have to reference.
I don't know where the hell they pulled this sentence from. There is still a huge debate over the right level of government intervention in the developed world. The average European would say the ideal level is a lot higher than the level we have here. And even if we've found a "good level" for us, that definitely doesn't mean that it's the right level for poor countries. I'd suspect they'd want a much higher level of intervention than robust, stable economies and societies. If the levels of goverment intervention developed countries had when they were developing worked for them, why is a far lower level considered optimal for countries that currently aren't developing at all.
Despite what this chap apparently thinks, there are two very good reasons why government intervention should be high in developing counties. We don't know we're not wrong, and even if we're not, government intervention is the only thing that has ever worked.
This whole textbook is painfully written, and painfully argued. Ultimately I don't think they're any less prescriptive than anyone else - they just use write more crap before they prescribe something.