Critical Development Theory: moving out of the twilight zone
until further notice
SourceThird World Quarterly, 30, 5, (2009), pp. 831-848
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Third World Quarterly
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Since the onslaught of neoliberal triumphalism from the 1980s onwards, critical development theory increasingly found itself in a sort of academic twilight zone. With few exceptions development research became characterised by an emphasis on empiricism, quantitative methodologies and policy-oriented project evaluations. Interpreting Third World problems in terms of the inner logic and shifting contradictions of a globalising capitalism was limited to those situated in the critical theory twilight zone. However, a process of rethinking development research set in some time ago. This process has been accelerating since the end of 2008, when neoliberalism started to lose most of its triumphalism because of the globalising financial and economic crisis. The current article focuses specifically on a number of challenges which have to be faced by critical theory when leaving the twilight zone.
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