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Lecture 8

Lecture 8: Post Development

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McGill University
International Development
INTD 200
Warren Allmand

Lecture 8: Post Development 12/16/12 9:22 AM Post-Modernism: a philosophical reaction to modernism • Truth is not objective • Truth is socially constructed Development as a Discourse Influence of post modernism • Language and construction of social reality • Knowledge as socially constructed, not neutral o Cultural • Time and space specific Development as a discourse how we speak about it, represent development and developing countries influences reality • Development as a “truth” • How we portray the people in these countries Importance of texts, images, concepts in creating “development objects” • UNICEF commercials • Influence out ways of thinking à creates issues as problems Discourse and representation influence action…important for what they DO (as scripts and ideologies for action)… Discourse and Action Colonial Discourse • The idea that colonial governments represented these people as backwards • The needed help, legitimized the interventions • Constructed thoughts about reality De-politicization • Development as a technical, planned endeavor • Politically neutral Hegemonic Theory • Comes about when something is taken for granted and assumed to be a truth • Emerges when powerful actors don’t have to rely on force to accept their vision for what is good • Ex. Education is good • Development has become hegemonic o Aspiration for modernity James Ferguson: The Anti-Politics Machine • Development representations of Lesotho o Described Lesotho as an untouched country, that was an isolated peasant society o They did not look at the trade relation with South Africa o This representation sets up a certain type of intervention • Development as technical project (neutral science, not political), need for outside interventions o Introduce new cash crops o Move subsistence farmers into cash croppers o Develop roads à markets o Assumption that they would want to be “modernized” • Projects created in line with technical skills of development practitioners • Project considered a failure à they ignored the history of migrant workers • Resulted in the expansion of state authority and state power o Wher
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