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"You must either be very numb or very rich if you fail to notice that Development stinks" Gutavo Esteva (1987:135). Assess the challenge of Post-development theory to mainstream development paradigms

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  • Essay length: 3757 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Human & Social Geography

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"You must either be very numb or very rich if you fail to notice that Development stinks" Gutavo Esteva (1987:135). Assess the challenge of Post-development theory to mainstream development paradigms

The rise of Post-development theory in the late 1980's through to the 1990's advocated by scholars across the globe (Sachs, Escobar, Esteva, Shiva and Illich - to name but a few) brought to the fore more radical interpretations and critiques of mainstream development paradigms. The post-development theorists set about a brutal yet arguably necessary attack upon current development practices and theories claiming to uncover some of the hidden truths behind the 'Western' development project, as Esteva states 'The time has come to unveil the secret of development and see it in all its conceptual starkness' (1992:7). Post-development embarked on a complete rejection of current development practice naming it a failure in every sense. However, others were sceptical, many believing that such a position was unnecessary and indeed unhelpful in terms of suggesting development alternatives, as Nederveen-Pieterse writes 'Post-development is caught in a rhetorical gridlock. Using discourse analysis as an ideological platform invites political impasse and quietism. In the end post-development offers no politics besides the self-organising capacity of the

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