The Contributions of Post Development Theory

Topics: World War II, Globalization, Postmodernism Pages: 10 (3644 words) Published: March 12, 2013
The world has witnessed an ongoing transformation involving the various changes regarding development approaches and classification of communities. Interestingly, this diversification of the world has started with the end of the World War II. This remarkable point indicates the first definition of ‘underdeveloped’ for the first time in the history. In Gustavo Esteva’s article, it is pointed out that dated from 1949,the concept ‘underdeveloped’ commenced to take place in literature after the expression by Truman following the Second World War. ( Esteva: 6) This was a major turning point that the communities belong to so called undeveloped part of the world have been threatened by the US hegemony which has roots from the 1940s. This is explained by Esteva that the initial step to be taken was to trap these communities into the feeling and perception of underdeveloped which paves the only way for opportunities to benefit the project of development. (Esteva : 7) In a nutshell, his main idea states that underdevelopment is one of the formations of the development project. (Esteva : 11) The project of development has undergone some major changes through the evolutions in terms of economy, political power and other social issue. After the Second World War, the other milestone reshaping the system was the Cold War. The bipolar world contributed to the polarization of the other communities apart from the USSR and the US. Development commenced to be define by economic growth and increases in economic activities such as exportation and trade liberalization in the wake of the emergence of US hegemony at the end of the Cold War. Further, these new elements of the development project of the world were enhanced through the emergence of globalization and universalism. These were the elements which mainly cultivated through the contributions of the Western World in terms of their institutions, their economic and political ideologies. This was the moment also to commence to make some certain judgments regarding the project of development and its basic tenets which led to the raise of the new approach called Post Development (PD) theory. PD has also some common roots and values in the fundamentals of Post-modernism as well. These theories emerged during the 1980s and reached their climax during 1990s. However, since the rise of these theories, in the development agenda, some critiques and debates has come out in order to demonstrate not only their considerable contributions, but also their deficiencies. In order to shed light on these arguments, this essay would basically analyze their tenets and evaluate them from the critical perspective. This essay firstly would address the core elements of Post Development and Post-modernism under the titles of culture and argumentation regarding local vs. global. In the second part of the essay, the critique of these theories would be assessed. The Fundamental Tenets of Post Development and Post-Modernist Theorists In the context of PD and Post-modernism, the first point should be stated that development is inherently problematic because of the fact that it represents the values and ideas of Western World through excluding primary needs and principals of the other parts of the world apart from the domination of Western World. This leads to the emergence of underdevelopment. (Rist,1997 : 238) Accordingly, the basic problem related to development project has been the disregarding elements such as the prominence of culture and grassroots to resist this system and to define primary deficiencies of the myth of development. 1. The Culture and the Ethnography

According to Post Development (PD) theorists, one of the disregarding elements within the development project has been the importance of culture. As the world has become globalized, the culture which is playing a crucial role in the construction of identities and communities, are fell behind the agenda of development. PD theorists...
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