Political Economy

The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power by Wolfgang Sachs

By Wolfgang Sachs

During this pioneering assortment, a number of the world’s most outstanding critics of improvement evaluate the major suggestions of the advance discourse within the post-war era.Each essay examines one thought from a historic and anthropological standpoint and highlights its specific bias. Exposing their ancient obsolescence and highbrow sterility, the authors demand a bidding farewell to the full Eurocentric improvement notion. this is often urgently wanted, they argue, with a purpose to unlock people’s minds - in either North and South - for daring responses to the environmental and moral demanding situations now confronting humanity.These essays are a call for participation to specialists, grassroots pursuits and scholars of improvement to acknowledge the contaminated glasses they wear each time they perform the advance discourse.

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21. 5. World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 27. 6. Quoted in M. , 1989. 7. T. Todorov, The Conquest of America, New York: Harper & Row, 1984, p. 250. Bibliography The idea of `mankind' figures prominently in the Charter of the United Nations, New York: UN Office of Public Information, 1968; the notion of 'one world' in L. Pearson, Partners in Development: Report of the Commission on International Development, New York: Praeger, 1969; and W.

Indeed, few development concepts find their proof in such a glaring reality. Yet poverty is also a myth, a construct and the invention of a particular civilization. There may be as many poor and as many perceptions of poverty as there are human beings. The fantastic variety of cases entitling a person to be called poor in different cultures and languages is such that, all in all, everything and everyone under the sun could be labelled as poor, in one way or another. The list could include not only the weak, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, the landless, the crippled and the beggar; not only the mad, the prisoner, the enslaved, the fugitive, the exiled, the street vendor and the soldier; not only the ascetics and the saints, but also all the losers of the world, including the millionaire after the crash of the stock exchange, the fired executive and the artist who finds no buyer for his works.

Local acts such as driving a car or clearing a forest add up, when multiplied, to global imbalances. They turn beneficial cycles into vicious ones that undermine the reliability of nature. In the face of incalculable debacles, concerned voices call for a global political coherence which would match the biophysical interconnections. 'The Earth is one but the world is not. ' After having intoned this leitmotif, the Brundtland Report spells out the fateful new meaning of unity: Today the scale of our interventions in nature is increasing and the physical effects of our decisions spill across national frontiers.

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