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Lecture 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
R Rice

th Lecture 2 notes January 15 2013 POLC90 The rise and fall of development studies “Thou shalt not sit with statistics nor commit a social science” – W.H. Auden 1. The irrelevance of development studies - “When academics take away knowledge, and don’t contribute to those on the ground, research that affects policy, so little results” - Poverty still persists, income inequality is getting worse Paradigm shifts within development studies a. The end of essentializing the 3 worldd b. The end of the belief in progress c. The end of the belief in the role of the state (1). the end of essentializing - Crisis: mainstream theories fail to account for the diversity of experiences of third world countries - Solution: to focus on diversity rather than similarities, is what development studies is doing - Counter Solution: without losing sight of common problems and solutions, to understand differences (Sherman) (2). the end of belief in progress - Crisis: progress as a destructive force, linked to capitalism and consumerism - Solution: call for the poor of the third world to reject first world need, priorities, and practices - Counter solution: redefine progress and development to mean the reduction of material want and the enhancement of people’s ability to live the life they consider good (3). the end of the belief in the state - Crisis: the state is seen as irrelevant in the face of dual dynamics of globalization and grassroots development - Solution: the state is no longer an agent of development - Counter Solution: to bring the state back in, and should still be held accountable to its citizens, and responsible for their welfare Q: Are we looking at theoretical renewal or theoretical decay? A: 2. Practice vs. research - Roman suggests in his article that all to often have different languages, speak in different ways, huge wealth of knowledge available, doesn’t get transferred into literature - What are development workers doing Dilemma: the tension resulting from the separation of theory from practice, understanding from action, and the researcher from the researched PAR: - Research as facilitator -
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