Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World

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Princeton University Press, Feb 15, 2001 - Social Science - 320 pages
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How did the industrialized nations of North America and Europe come to be seen as the appropriate models for post-World War II societies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America? How did the postwar discourse on development actually create the so-called Third World? And what will happen when development ideology collapses? To answer these questions, Arturo Escobar shows how development policies became mechanisms of control that were just as pervasive and effective as their colonial counterparts. The development apparatus generated categories powerful enough to shape the thinking even of its occasional critics while poverty and hunger became widespread. "Development" was not even partially "deconstructed" until the 1980s, when new tools for analyzing the representation of social reality were applied to specific "Third World" cases. Here Escobar deploys these new techniques in a provocative analysis of development discourse and practice in general, concluding with a discussion of alternative visions for a postdevelopment era.

Escobar emphasizes the role of economists in development discourse--his case study of Colombia demonstrates that the economization of food resulted in ambitious plans, and more hunger. To depict the production of knowledge and power in other development fields, the author shows how peasants, women, and nature became objects of knowledge and targets of power under the "gaze of experts."

  

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Review: Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (Princeton Studies in Culture, Power, History)

User Review  - John Favini - Goodreads

Only read selected portions but is one of the eminent texts of the anthropology of development. Read full review

Review: Encountering Development

User Review  - Sovatha - Goodreads

I love how Arturo Escobar in his "Encountering Development" book chastised the World Bank and its approach to alleviating poverty through first class travel and accommodation for their staffs, 70% of which are economists and the rest are engineers (pg. 165). Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Arturo Escobar is a professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of the influential book "Encountering Development-The Making and Unmaking of the Third World". His recent research has focused on the intersection among development, capital, and social movements in the Colombian Pacific region. Specifically, he is concerned with looking in the context of the transnational debates on rainforest political ecology and biodiversity conservation.

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