Notes for INTD 200 Reading Group.odt

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McGill University
International Development
INTD 200
Warren Allmand

Notes for INTD 200 Reading Group (Fall 2013) Textbook Chapter 4 – Post-Development andAlternatives to Development Arthur Hamilton •four key sections of the chapter ◦historical context of the emergence of the post-development school ◦core claims of the post-development school ◦alternatives to development ◦criticism of the post-development school The Post-Development Turn in Development Studies: Historical Context •emerged in the 1980s and 1990s •three key causes ◦perceived failure of post-1945 development theories ◦general rise in postmodern thought ◦rise of social movements in LatinAmerica and the Global South generally The Crisis in Development Theorizing and Practice in the 1980s and 1990s •colonial goal of civilizing “savage” cultures had been restated under the guise of developing underdeveloped societies •modernization theory had already lost prominence to dependency theory •neoliberal view ◦rejected Keynesian and some other ideas included in modernization theory ◦still maintained the concept of bringing development to less developed societies ◦promoted development through free market and free trade policies •orthodox development theory criticized for allowing the marginalization of women and other groups •Marxist and dependency theorists criticized by post-development scholars for maintaining the simplistic developed-undeveloped dichotomy (relabeled as core-periphery) of the orthodox theories •social resistance movements against orthodox development theory have emerged through a variety of groups in the Global South ◦countries such as Zambia and Tunisia experienced resistance movements against higher prices brought by neoliberal policies (especially currency devaluation) •general rise of postmodernist and post-structuralist thought, which viewed language and knowledge as necessarily shaped by societal factors, contributed to the rise of post-development theory Interrogating Post-1945 Development Discourse: Post-Development Perspectives •development theory had been increasingly fragmented, but now the concept of development as a whole was called into question •despite great variety, post-development theorists hold several concepts in common ◦representation, knowledge-power, depoliticization ◦universalism and homogenization Development Discourse: Colonial Representations, Knowledge-Power, and Depoliticization •texts, images, and concepts are not neutral and reflect political, economic, and cultural factors •language does not simply depict reality, it constructs a reality (for instance, the portrayal of social subjects or historical events) •Africa was previously depicted as backwards, validating colonialism as “the white man's burden” ◦under this terminology it was understood that Europe was doing a service by civilizing African economic life, while in fact it was profiting from resource extraction •expressions and language, which necessarily present a subjective view of reality, can eventually seem entirely objective to a society, after which they are called depoliticized •post-development thinkers view talk of development and underdevelopment as a new legitimization of colonial labeling ◦Arturo Escobar argues that the “Third World” is a creation of the West which informs its behavior in regards to those parts of the world •hegemony of an idea is when the idea is widely and unconsciously accepted ◦reinforced by being put in apolitical terms ◦for development studies, institutions such as the World Bank and IMF have significant influence ◦the perceptions created by the Global North are often also absorbed the Global South •perception of the Global South created by the W
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