Challenges of a Developmental Idea towards Sustainability

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    This paper attempts to situate and deconstruct the meanings associated with the term development in the context of the developing world. The arguments made highlights the deeply contested and fragmented terrain of development. The paper provides a historical overview of the changing nature of discourses on development, how the imageries of development have shifted since the postwar period. It deploys diverse meanings associated with development as a concept and as a theory. Thus development without dignity means little for those living in the margins of the society. At the same time the language of development has undergone revolutions and convulsions and the role of buzzwords and catch phrases have only helped to prolong misery in a neoliberal world. Development has become a 'one size fits all' concept shorn of cultural and regional specificities. It has been decontextualised and dehumanised to relate to targets
    resulting in greater dissonance than resolution of aim and outcomes. The way forward is a better appreciation of the cultural capacity of the social groups for whom development is critical for survival. The conclusion highlights the endemic contradictions inherent in the meaning and delivery of development as a goal, especially when we seek to achieve resilient and sustainable development.

    Keywords: Development, Neoliberalism, growth, participation, empowerment,
    efficiency, market, state, societies, entitlements and capabilities, stakeholder, rights, structural adjustments, globalisation, self-help, doing development, freedom and
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number30
    Pages (from-to)63-81
    Number of pages19
    JournalBulletin of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


    • Development
    • Neoliberalism
    • Growth
    • Participation
    • Entitlements
    • Stakeholder
    • Freedom
    • Unfreedom
    • Self-help

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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