A Reflection on Post-War Development


What is the post-war development project? How does this project yield power asymmetries? In this paper, I will explore the development project as a hegemonic discourse and practice that is violent, oppressive, and degrading. We will analyze the development project as a culturally and economically dominant and disruptive force that is animated by violence, and is reinforced through depoliticized and technocratic discourse and practice.

Instead of abandoning development all together, I propose that countries in the global south reappropriate it. Instead of viewing development as an apolitical force through neoliberal development policy, I propose a politicization of development policy that evokes pan African, indigenous, and feminist lenses. These traditions will restore power to the subjects of development and will disrupt and deconstruct development practice.

As a result, development will no longer be a hegemonic, reductionist and Eurocentric discourse and practice – and will instead be derived from indigenous, pan African and feminist sources. Development discourse and policy are often birthed out of colonial logics, so it must be reshaped, reappropriated, and tailored to local contexts. This will restore power to the subject. Finally, I argue for a third space, which I will designate as communal spaces distinct from the home and neoliberal workplaces. This will challenge state power and hegemonic development discourses.

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