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This book examines the power of development to imagine new worlds and to constantly reinvent itself as the solution to problems of national and global disorder. The common thread in these essays is the language and rhetoric of the development text. By conceptualizing development as a discourse, the contributors argue that development cannot simply be reduced to the outworking of deeper economic logics and structures, but has its own logic, internal coherence and effects.
Combining abstract analyses with concrete global case studies, The Power of Development discusses three main questions: how and why does the language of development change over time? What role does geography play in the language and practices of development? And is it possible to imagine a world in which development has no redeeming features or power? At the same time, the book rejects the postmodern conceit that all is language, arguing instead that the texts of development must be situated in the power-laden politicaland institutional context out of which they arise and to which they speak.
Contributors: Jonathan Crush, Robert Shenton, Michael Cowen, T.G. McGee, Jane Parpart, Doug Porter, Fiona Mackenzie, Timothy Mitchell, Gavin Williams, Arturo Escobar, Kate Manzo, Nanda Shrestha, Michael Watts, W.M. Adams and Ken Hewitt.