What is Development?
Comment on this article Development is a frayed flag, an emblem in its final agony and a catchword used to sell toxic products. Using the word in the field of social sciences without a pronoun and detailed clarification can be very confusing: It has become an algorithm, an arbitrary sign defined by its context. The future of development studies lies in archeology, to explore the ruins it left behind. However, a proper funeral for development can only be organized when the people still asking private or public developers to do what they do join the ranks of the millions resisting it. The historical period formally inaugurated in 1949 can be called the Age of Development. It is now coming to an end. Development , the journal of the Society for International Development, rigorously and creatively followed the vicissitudes of that age. In its 50th anniversary, in 2007, the editors of the journal asked a group of prominent and knowledgeable actors, observers, and critics of the development enterprise a few critical questions. Here are some of the reactions: • Fatma Alloo (Tanzania): “Development is one of the most abused words.” • Peggy Antrobus (Barbados): “The concept is so controversial […] increasingly associated with global economic and social injustice.” • Smitu Kothari (India): “Development is dangerous.” • Wolfgang Sachs (Germany): “Because ‘development’ means just about ... log in or subscribe to read full text
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