Forging post-development partnerships

Possibilities for local and regional development

Authored by: J.K. Gibson-Graham

Handbook of Local and Regional Development

Print publication date:  November  2010
Online publication date:  November  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415548311
eBook ISBN: 9780203842393
Adobe ISBN: 9781136905384


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A post-development approach to world-making has arisen from a critique of the idea that development, especially economic development, is yoked to capitalist growth. This approach extends the long tradition of critique that has accompanied the hegemonic rise of a mainstream development project focused on the ‘problem’ of less developed regions of the world (Escobar 1995; McGregor 2009). The deconstructive project of post-development thinking unhinges notions of development from the European experience of industrial growth and capitalist expansion, decentres conceptions of economy and deessentializes economic logics as the motor of history, loosens the discursive grip of unilinear trajectories on narratives of change, and undermines the hierarchical valuation of cultures, practices and places. In essence, this project has proposed a complete unravelling of the unexamined certainties of modernist social science as applied to social and economic development.

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