Development studies: work in progress
SourceJournal für Entwicklungspolitik, 2007, 2, (2007), pp. 45-63
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Journal für Entwicklungspolitik
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Since the establishment of Development Studies at several European universities at the end of the 1960s, these institutes evolved from an amalgam of left-inclined students and professors towards representatives of an established academic discipline. The author critically reflects upon the transformations that have taken place over that period. In doing so, he first outlines the foundational characteristics of Development Studies and then gives a subjective account of the current situation. In his view, contemporary Development Studies are challenged by 1) a market logic which has penetrated academia and stands in a contradiction to the critical contents of Development Studies and 2) the material and discursive processes of globalisation which require a shift in analytical perspective, disciplinary approach and methods. When addressing the future perspectives of Development Studies in the concluding part, the author argues for a return to a critical research tradition. Critical theory within Development Studies should incorporate new analytical schemes to analyse the economic, political and socio-cultural realities of globalisation. At the same time, Development Studies should not be afraid to reassert a normative approach. That quest might well take us towards a sort of neo-dependency paradigm.
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