Arresting Development: The power of knowledge for social change

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-01-14
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Scholars have become increasingly concerned about the impact of neo-liberalism on the field of development. Governments around the world have, for some time, been exposed to the forces of globalization and macro-economic reform, reflecting the power and influence of the world's principal international economic institutions and a broader commitment to the principles of neo-classical economics and free trade.

Author Biography

Craig Johnson is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Guelph in Canada. He has published widely in the field of governance, decentralization and sustainable development, focusing mainly on Asia. His most recent publication (co-edited) is Policy Windows and Livelihood Futures: Prospects for Poverty Reduction in Rural India (Oxford University Press, 2006).

Table of Contents

List of boxes, tables and figuresp. x
Preface and acknowledgementsp. xi
Deconstructing 'knowledge for development'p. 1
Introductionp. 1
Neo-liberalism in theory and practicep. 4
The debt crisis and the 'Washington consensus'p. 6
Neo-liberalism with a human face? 'The post-Washington consensus'p. 7
Neo-classical theory: a 'colonizing' concept?p. 9
Re-politicizing development: the elusive quest for unified theoryp. 12
Arresting development? From development studies to area studiesp. 15
After Marxism: 'what is to be done?'p. 17
Post-structuralism, postmodernism and 'post-development'p. 19
Outline of the bookp. 22
The 'poverty of history' in neo-classical discoursep. 24
Introductionp. 24
The 'problem' of history in social science researchp. 25
History and positivist social sciencep. 27
Debating positivismp. 29
The tragedy of the commonsp. 31
Avoiding the tragedy: institutions, incentives and 'common property regimes'p. 32
The poverty of historyp. 36
Inequality, efficiency and the commonsp. 38
Poverty, inequality and the commons: 'entitlement approaches'p. 40
Privatizing the commons: rights, incentives and rational choicep. 43
Ships in the night: history and science in commons scholarshipp. 45
Concluding remarksp. 49
Exporting the modelp. 51
Introductionp. 51
Theorizing the transition: Marxism, dependency and (capitalist) developmentp. 52
Exporting the modelp. 53
The dependency debatep. 55
World systems theoryp. 57
After dependencyp. 60
'Hermeneutic Marxism': problems of agency, identity and alienation'p. 62
The postmodern turnp. 64
Postmodern politics: class, social consciousness and (class) strugglep. 66
The development 'impasse'p. 68
Beyond the impasse: the end of ideology?p. 69
The 'people without history': weapons of the weak or a weak weapon?p. 71
Concluding remarksp. 76
Development as discoursep. 79
Introductionp. 79
'The Foucault effect': history, genealogy and 'bio-power'p. 81
Debating Foucaultp. 83
Development as discourse: the politics of post-developmentp. 86
Post-development historiesp. 88
Normalization and discoursep. 89
Visions of changep. 91
Debating post-developmentp. 93
Romanticism, relativism and representationp. 96
Encountering James Fergusonp. 99
Discourse, agency and powerp. 100
Policy, discourse and praxisp. 103
Concluding remarksp. 106
Development as freedom of choicep. 109
Introductionp. 109
Poverty as 'capability deprivation': theorizing the work of Amartya Senp. 111
Bridging structure and agency: Sen's theory of entitlementp. 114
Sen's theory of public actionp. 115
Restricting the freedom to choose: Sen's theory of 'social commitment'p. 116
Political action and the freedom to choose . . . what exactly?p. 119
Participatory approaches: from 'PRA' to 'the SLA'p. 121
Creating capabilities: the 'sustainable livelihoods approach'p. 123
Assessing the SLAp. 126
Concluding remarksp. 129
Advancing knowledge for social changep. 132
Introductionp. 132
'Making services work for the poor'p. 133
Debating the discipline: big theories, local processes and the art of comparisonp. 136
'Analytic narratives'p. 138
An 'anti-history machine'?p. 141
Bringing history back in: advancing knowledge for social changep. 143
Concluding remarksp. 148
Notesp. 152
Bibliographyp. 163
Indexp. 180
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