Download The Post Development Reader PDF for Free: Learn from the Experts on Post-Development Theory and Practice
The Post Development Reader: A Critical Review
The Post Development Reader is a collection of essays that challenge the dominant discourse of development and offer alternative perspectives on how to achieve a more humane, sustainable and culturally respectful mode of living. Edited by Majid Rahnema and Victoria Bawtree, the book was published in 1997 by Zed Books and has been widely acclaimed as a groundbreaking work in the field of post-development studies. In this article, we will review the main concepts, themes and arguments of the book, as well as provide some information on how to download the PDF version online.
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What is post-development?
Post-development is a term that refers to a critical approach to development that questions its assumptions, goals, methods and impacts. Post-development scholars and activists argue that development is not a neutral or universal process that brings progress and prosperity to all, but rather a hegemonic and destructive project that imposes a Western model of modernization on diverse cultures and ecosystems, resulting in poverty, inequality, environmental degradation and cultural homogenization. Post-development also proposes alternatives to development that are based on local knowledge, values and practices, as well as on global solidarity and cooperation.
The critique of development
The Post Development Reader begins with a powerful critique of development as a historical phenomenon and an ideological construct. The editors trace the origins of development to the colonial era, when the West justified its domination and exploitation of the rest of the world by claiming to bring civilization and enlightenment to the "backward" and "underdeveloped" peoples. They also show how development became a global agenda after World War II, when the newly created institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund promoted a standardized model of economic growth, industrialization and modernization for all countries. The editors contend that development has failed to deliver its promises of eradicating poverty, improving living standards and ensuring human rights for all. Instead, they argue that development has created new forms of dependency, deprivation and domination for the majority of the world's population.
The alternatives to development
The Post Development Reader also presents a variety of alternatives to development that are based on different worldviews, values and practices. The editors emphasize that these alternatives are not utopian or idealistic visions, but rather concrete examples of how people have resisted, rejected or redefined development in their own contexts. The editors also stress that these alternatives are not meant to be universal or prescriptive solutions, but rather diverse and pluralistic possibilities that can inspire dialogue and action among different actors and movements. Some of the alternatives to development that are discussed in the book include:
The original affluent society: This concept was coined by anthropologist Marshall Sahlins to describe how hunter-gatherer societies achieved a high level of well-being and satisfaction with minimal material consumption and ecological impact.
Learning from Ladakh: This idea was proposed by activist Helena Norberg-Hodge to illustrate how the traditional culture and economy of Ladakh, a region in the Himalayas, were disrupted and undermined by the introduction of development projects and modern influences.
The economy and symbolic sites of Africa: This notion was developed by economist Hassan Zaoual to explain how African societies have their own systems of production, exchange and distribution that are based on social and cultural values rather than on market logic.
Our responsibility to the seventh generation: This principle was articulated by indigenous activists Linda Clarkson, Vern Morrissette and Gabriel Regallet to express how their cultures respect and protect the natural environment and the future generations.
The spiral of the ram's horn: This metaphor was used by anthropologists Gudrun Dahl and Gemetchu Megerssa to describe how the Boran people of Ethiopia have their own concept of development that is based on cyclical and holistic rather than linear and fragmented thinking.
Who are the editors and contributors?
The Post Development Reader is edited by two prominent figures in the field of post-development studies: Majid Rahnema and Victoria Bawtree. The book also features contributions from more than 40 authors from different disciplines, backgrounds and regions, who share their insights, experiences and perspectives on development and post-development.
Majid Rahnema is an Iranian scholar, activist and former diplomat who has been involved in various social and political movements in Iran and abroad. He has also worked as a professor, consultant and advisor for several international organizations, such as UNESCO, UNDP and UNICEF. He is the author of several books and articles on topics such as poverty, globalization, democracy, education and culture. He is also the co-editor of another influential book on post-development, The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power (1992).
Victoria Bawtree is a British journalist, editor and researcher who has specialized in issues related to development, human rights, environment and gender. She has worked as a correspondent, editor and producer for various media outlets, such as BBC, The Guardian, The Economist and New Internationalist. She has also collaborated with several NGOs, such as Oxfam, ActionAid and Survival International. She is the co-author of another book on post-development, Voices from Africa: Grassroots Perspectives on Human Rights and Development (2000).
The Post Development Reader includes contributions from many other renowned authors who have contributed to the critique of development and the exploration of alternatives. Some of them are:
Teodor Shanin: A Russian sociologist who has studied the role of peasants in history and society.
Marshall Berman: An American philosopher who has analyzed the impact of modernity on culture and politics.
Arturo Escobar: A Colombian anthropologist who has examined the construction and representation of the Third World in development discourse.
Ivan Illich: An Austrian philosopher who has criticized the effects of industrialization, schooling, medicine and technology on society.
```html What are the main themes and arguments?
The Post Development Reader is divided into five parts, each containing several essays that explore different aspects of development and post-development. The main themes and arguments of each part are summarized below:
The vernacular world
This part focuses on the diversity and richness of the non-Western cultures and ways of living that have been marginalized or erased by development. The authors show how these cultures have their own forms of knowledge, values, practices and institutions that enable them to achieve well-being, harmony and sustainability without relying on the Western model of progress and modernity. The authors also highlight the resilience and creativity of these cultures in resisting and adapting to the pressures and challenges of development.
The development paradigm
This part critiques the idea of development as a universal and desirable goal for all countries and peoples. The authors expose the historical, ideological and political roots of development as a colonial and neocolonial project that serves the interests of the West and its allies. The authors also challenge the assumptions, methods and indicators of development as a scientific and technical process that ignores the social, cultural and ecological dimensions of human life. The authors argue that development is not only ineffective and inefficient, but also harmful and oppressive.
The vehicles of development
This part examines the various instruments and agents that have been used to implement and promote development around the world. The authors analyze how concepts such as growth, democracy, education, science, technology, media and human rights have been co-opted and distorted by development to justify its interventions and agendas. The authors also critique how institutions such as the state, the market, the civil society, the NGOs and the international organizations have been complicit or instrumental in advancing development at the expense of local autonomy and sovereignty.
Development in practice
This part provides concrete examples of how development has affected different regions, sectors and groups in negative ways. The authors document how development has created or exacerbated problems such as poverty, inequality, debt, corruption, violence, displacement, environmental degradation and cultural loss. The authors also illustrate how development has failed to address or solve these problems despite its claims and efforts. The authors reveal the contradictions, failures and harms of development in practice.
Towards the post-development age
This part explores the possibilities and challenges of moving beyond development towards a post-development era. The authors present various examples of alternatives to development that are emerging or existing in different parts of the world. These alternatives are based on different principles such as simplicity, diversity, solidarity, participation, autonomy and dignity. The authors also discuss some of the strategies and actions that are needed to foster and support these alternatives at local, national and global levels.
How to download the PDF version?
If you are interested in reading The Post Development Reader in full, you may want to download the PDF version online. There are several sources where you can find it:
The official publisher's website
The easiest way to download the PDF version is to visit the official website of Zed Books, which is the publisher of The Post Development Reader. You can either buy the ebook for 19.99 or access it for free if you have a subscription to Zed Scholar or Zed Books Collection. You can also browse other books by Zed Books on topics such as development, environment, gender, politics and sociology.
The patierex website
Another option to download the PDF version is to visit the patierex website, which is a platform that provides free access to academic books and journals. You can either download The Post Development Reader directly from their website or use their app to read it on your device. You can also find other books related to post-development on their website.
Finally, you can also try other sources that may offer the PDF version of The Post Development Reader for free or for a fee. However, you should be careful about the quality and legality of these sources, as they may not be authorized or reliable. Some examples of these sources are:
Library Genesis: A website that provides free access to millions of books and articles, but may violate copyright laws.
Amazon: A website that sells the ebook version of The Post Development Reader for 23.99, but may not be compatible with all devices.
Google Books: A website that allows you to preview some pages of The Post Development Reader, but may not let you download the whole book.
Conclusion and FAQs
The Post Development Reader is a seminal book that offers a comprehensive and critical analysis of development and its alternatives. The book challenges the conventional wisdom and practice of development and proposes new ways of thinking and acting that respect the diversity, dignity and sustainability of human and non-human life. The book is a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about the history, theory and practice of development and post-development. Here are some frequently asked questions about the book:
What is the main message of The Post Development Reader?
The main message of The Post Development Reader is that development is not a universal or desirable goal for all countries and peoples, but rather a hegemonic and destructive project that imposes a Western model of modernization on diverse cultures and ecosystems. The book also argues that there are alternatives to development that are based on local knowledge, values and practices, as well as on global solidarity and cooperation.
Who should read The Post Development Reader?
The Post Development Reader is suitable for anyone who is interested in learning more about the history, theory and practice of development and post-development. The book is especially relevant for students, scholars, activists, practitioners and policymakers who are involved or concerned with issues related to development, such as poverty, inequality, environment, culture, human rights and social justice.
How can I use The Post Development Reader in my studies or work?
The Post Development Reader can be used as a reference or a source of inspiration for your studies or work related to development. You can use the book to:
Gain a deeper understanding of the origins, evolution and impacts of development as a historical phenomenon and an ideological construct.
Critically examine the assumptions, methods and indicators of development as a scientific and technical process.
Explore the diversity and richness of the non-Western cultures and ways of living that have been marginalized or erased by development.
Learn from the experiences and perspectives of various authors who have contributed to the critique of development and the exploration of alternatives.
Discover various examples of alternatives to development that are emerging or existing in different parts of the world.
Reflect on your own positionality, values and practices in relation to development and post-development.
Engage in dialogue and action with other actors and movements who are challenging or transforming development in their own contexts.
What are some limitations or criticisms of The Post Development Reader?
The Post Development Reader is not without limitations or criticisms. Some of them are:
The book may be too radical or pessimistic for some readers who believe that development can be reformed or improved rather than rejected or replaced.
The book may be too diverse or eclectic for some readers who prefer a more coherent or consistent framework or approach to post-development.
The book may be too outdated or irrelevant for some readers who think that development has changed or evolved since the publication of the book in 1997.
The book may be too idealistic or romantic for some readers who doubt the feasibility or desirability of some of the alternatives to development proposed by the book.