The development of development theory towards critical globalism

Jan Nederveen Pieterse

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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This paper presents, first, two arguments in the mode of development discourse analysis. Development thinking is usually regarded as an offshoot of the family of notions of evolution and progress and as part of western notions of change as growth. Using genealogy as a methodology for examining development theory, this perspective is questioned in several ways. It displays an essentialism of ideas, overlooks discontinuities within western thought, exagerrates the special status and character of western notions of change, and emphasizes endogenous over exogenous change. This leads into the second argument which is to view development theories in the plural diverging in terms of development sociology and economics, development theory, ideology, policy and practice. In each of these spheres, with respect to diferent sectors, different theories and ideologies have been prevalent. In development theory, endogenous models of development have predominated to the neglect of diffusionist perspectives. This brings us to the closing argument which concerns the challenge of globalization. Here the outlines of an in-between position of critical globalism are sketched.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1995
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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