Beyond colonialism: continuity, change and the modern development project

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The history of ideas about development has its roots in mercantilist globalisation, imperialism and colonial ethnography. Progress was framed in the Enlightenment dichotomy of traditional versus modern, and our thinking about transitions from agrarian societies was informed by the Russian debates over extracting rural surpluses to underpin industrial growth. Development as a replication of Western transitions was subsequently critiqued with the “dependista” argument that advanced capitalist countries were “underdeveloping” poorer, ex-colonial ones. Such modes of production and structural analyses still provided alibis for elite misbehaviour, however. Recent post-modern development theory emphasises actor-oriented explanations and heralds a pluralisation of cosmologies, challenging hegemonic Western conceptions.

LanguageEnglish
Pages3-21
Number of pages19
JournalCanadian Journal of Development Studies
Volume38
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jun 2016
DOIs
StatusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

development theory
imperialism
colonialism
colonial age
development project
globalization
continuity
agrarian society
mode of production
history of ideas
history
pluralism
ethnography
elite
surplus
society

Keywords

  • agrarian transition
  • colonialism
  • dependency
  • Development theory
  • United Kingdom

Cite this

Beyond colonialism : continuity, change and the modern development project. / Wood, Geof.

In: Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2017, p. 3-21.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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