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The Development Dictionary. A Guide to Knowledge as Power-2nd-ed-2010

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... All in all, the realisation that everything is relational emphasises the relevance of inner processes for transformation processes and its scientific 12 discourses, as the presented findings have shown. A deep system change towards a relational approach calls for a new perception (the world as a part of me and me as a part of the world), since a paradigm shift strongly relates to one's mindset and requires self-transformation processes (Meadows 2008;Sachs 2010;Käufer & Scharmer 2013;Göpel 2016;IASS 2017;Walsh 2017;Eisenstein 2018;Bhandari & Martin 2019;Neumann 2019;Lüpke 2020;Wamsler 2020). "In this sense, the eco-crisis is as much an internal, spiritual crisis as it is an external crisis." ...
... Generally, the term (sustainable) development is highly questionable since it is fixed on "development-as-growth" (Sachs 2010: vi). It supports the Western industrial and service society without critically reflecting on harmful externalities (Sachs 2010). The term development was taken up by economic leading nations and "pacemakers" (Sachs 2010: xf) to set the status on what development is. ...
... The above-mentioned criticism of the Anthropocene concept is also derived from this. "How can one believe in development, if the sense of orientation has withered away?" (Sachs 2010: xvii) Maja Göpel highlights the importance of a double decoupling: (1) decoupling the production processes from negative impacts on other beings and (2) decoupling the satisfaction strategies of human needs from the dependency on exponential, economic growth (Göpel 2016: 145, 168). ...
Thesis
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This master thesis explores the potential of enriching higher education with the triad of self, sustainability and Silence. This work aims for self-development of students, teachers and institutions which is expressed in transformative action towards sustainability. To do so, the research investigates the potentials of Silence1 regarding the dimension of the self and the transformation processes towards sustainability. Our research is based on relevant literature from the field of sustainable development and education. We derived our key results out of the application of Action Research. The Action Research Cycles present the central findings and conclude with the presentation and integration of the Silence Space concept into higher education. An essential insight is that sustainability as a concept still faces major systemic hurdles in being integrated in societies of the Global North. These obstacles have their origin mainly in a perception of separation, in a lack of attention to qualitative human needs and in the mindset. It is therefore the mindset that needs to be transformed in order to make action and behaviour conducive to a relational and thus holistic sustainability. Silence as an attitude can act as a significant supporting force that fuels these processes of transformation and promotes human well-being, which underlies the definition of sustainability. Especially, when integrated in approaches of higher education for sustainable development, it leads to a better perception of the congruence of knowledge and action. The Eberswalde University for sustainable development (HNEE) with its prototype of the Silence Space might contribute to the understanding of oneself in relation to others (and the environment), thereby fostering the experience of self-efficacy and strengthening transformative actions towards sustainability. Since higher education should at best contribute to the creation of critically thinking global citizens, we see this investigation and the concept Silence Space as a contribution for a more sustainable society.
... Transformation, and also draws on the critique of uniform development brought forward since the 1980s by Ashish Nandy, Shiv Visvanathan, Arturo Escobar, Gustavo Esteva, Wolfgang Sachs (1991) and Norgaard (1994). 1 Shrivastava and Kothari also draw on ecological economists such as K.W. Kapp and Herman Daly, and they criticize Amartya Sen's notion of "development as freedom" (Sen, 1999). Development is not only growth of income per capita and the movement of low productivity farmers into higher productivity occupations, together with industrialization and urbanization. ...
... 1 Wolfgang Sachs edited a collection of these authors' writings (Sachs, 1991) including also Serge Latouche and Vandana Shiva. They are seen in retrospect as "post-development" thinkers. ...
Chapter
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The industrial economy works in practice by shifting costs to poor people, to future generations, and to other species. Could an industrial economy work otherwise? K. W. Kapp wrote in 1950 that capitalism is an economy of unpaid costs, but the socio-environmental impacts are not due to capitalism as such, they would not be different in another system of industrial economy if there was one. The impacts occur at various temporal and geographical scales. They arise because of the increased social metabolism, and this chapter shows which are its main trends in India explaining the methods for counting the energy and material flows and giving the main results of the material flows for the economy of India between 1961 and 2008 as researched by Simron Singh et al. (2012). Drawing on work done for the Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade (EJOLT) project, it shows the links between the changing social metabolism and ecological distribution conflicts, looking at clashes over illegal sand mining in India, responses in Odisha to bauxite mining, the ban on iron mining in Goa in 2012, social disputes on waste management options in Delhi, and ship breaking in Alang, Gujarat. The aim is to show how a history of social metabolism leads to a history of socio-environmental conflicts and of the changing valuation languages deployed by various social actors in such conflicts. There is too much emphasis among policy makers on hypothetical economic valuations of environmental damages and on economic instruments, and too little on this great tide of environmental justice. The movement to impose market values and increase profits by expanding the frontiers of capitalism is resisted by counter-movements (as Karl Polanyi already explained in The Great Transformation in 1944) aiming to protect nature and humans.
... The choice of the global or the regional also corresponds to discussions about whether development is considered as denationalised in these courses, making the state not the most influential actor in determining the economic and cultural way of life (Sachs, 2009;Kothari et al., 2019). The dilution of the importance of the state and the rise of other transnational entities also suggests a delocalisation of development (Darian-Smith, 2013b). ...
Article
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An exploratory qualitative analysis of Law and Development (L&D) course descriptions reveals plurality and heterodoxy across time zones through the way in which they approach ‘law’ and ‘development’. We see this contestedness as a manifestation of the inherent power asymmetries of the field and offer the notion of time zones to better describe plural and contested forms of L&D knowledge. We seek to explore teaching as an important arena where knowledge is created and argue that the characteristics of substantive complexity and methodological heterodoxy of L&D provide promising conditions for making teaching more inclusive and reflexive . In this way, teaching can help in further provincialising the field. Additionally, inclusiveness and reflexivity can also have an impact on the epistemological trajectory of L&D more broadly by giving voice to a diversity of narratives, concepts and values.
... As a South African, one is positioned to witness the 'receiving end' of the majority of these agendas and at the same time it is impossible to remove oneself from the continuing and glaring inequalities in our society. The dis/empowered nature of development as explained by Sachs (2010), underpins the theoretical position taken in this research to document a grassroots phenomenon, that of technological innovation, from the perspective of a particularly marginalised group, urban farmers' themselves. For such an undertaking the second more humanitarian, grassroots, participatory, practical and empowering approach to development becomes more relevant to begin with, although towards the end requires the diffusion into broader policy to enable more appropriate and localised Development agendas. ...
Thesis
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Both the field of Development and discipline of Design were conceived from agendas of capitalist driven economic growth. Despite having to stand against this current, a minority of practitioners and academics in both these arenas have critically realigned their intentions towards more human-centred ideals. This Doctoral thesis adds new knowledge to this pursuit through the use of an original theoretical framework that combines both Activity Theory and the Capabilities Approach to systemically explore how people innovate technology. Within the complex Johannesburg food system, this study made use of an embedded multiple-case study of seven innovative small-scale urban farmers to explore why and how they innovate technology. The use of activity system modelling enabled the complex contradictions within and between the various aspects of the participant farmers’ technology innovation activity systems to become more evident. Despite significant capability limitations in terms of their own education, skills, land tenure and access to labour, it was found that the farmers’ innovated technology as a means to extend and function capabilities, particularly with regards to gaining more control over their material environments. However, there were trade-offs, and it was found that a few of the capability extensions were at the expense of other capabilities. The participant farmers’ actions were contextualised within the precarious positions that most of them found themselves as marginalised Black urban farmers in post-apartheid South Africa. Due to this, a key finding was that the participant farmers tended to seed their innovation activities from their social systems as opposed to their technical systems. Despite some of the innovations seeming to be relatively informal and piece-meal, this study was not about celebrating marginalisation or informality, it rather aimed to show that this is a starting point, with many of the farmers’ technological innovations highly appropriate and sustainable for their local contexts. Such a study was, therefore, beneficial in shedding light on South African grassroots innovation that has for too long remained on the margins of traditionally focused Research and Development in the South African National System of Innovation. For the field of Development, the combination of Activity Theory and the Capabilities Approach provides a practical way to operationalise the Capabilities Approach in a more human-centred way, with higher fidelity for the complexities of human lived experience. For both the field of Development and the discipline of Design, this study provides a pragmatic approach to explore the innovative/developmental/designerly actions of everyday individuals, which with appropriate intervention can then be amplified towards more endogenous, appropriate and positive change-making. Keywords: Design, Development, Activity Theory, Capabilities Approach, Technology, Innovation, Urban Farming, Johannesburg, South Africa
... Vandana's contribution to the classic post-development text The Development Dictionary (Sachs, 1992(Sachs, , 2010) is a lengthy keywords analysis of 'resources'. She opens the essay as follows: 'Resource' originally implied life. ...
... Vandana's contribution to the classic post-development text The Development Dictionary (Sachs, 1992(Sachs, , 2010) is a lengthy keywords analysis of 'resources'. She opens the essay as follows: 'Resource' originally implied life. ...
Article
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In community struggles over water, privatisation, and the commons, we often share words but speak different languages, resulting in different understandings of the problems we are trying to address and strategies for addressing them. This introduction to the Special Issue begins by considering keywords in community hydropolitics, giving special attention to water. In tracing various senses in which a keyword is used, following Raymond Williams’ highly influential book Keywords. A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (1983, p. 15), I show how the ‘problems of its meaning …[are] inextricably bound up with the problems it [is] being used to discuss’.
... Post-Development Theory provides the framework for examining such economic organization in Zapatista communities. It is occupied by vernacular communities (Sachs, 1992) in which it is believed that they possess genuine alternatives to destructive institutions of modernity (Giddens, 1990), namely the market economy and nation-state, that are imposed through development projects on the Third World. Therefore Post-Development Theory is suitable for grasping the Zapatista Movement's autonomous struggle, while the liberal approach fails to do so. ...
Article
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This paper examines Zapatista Autonomy Movement as an example for different approach to the concept of autonomy which has been long-studied through liberal and Marxist approaches. The paper argues that liberal approach discussed in this paper falls short of grasping the dynamics of grassroots movements like Zapatista Movement, and instead proposes a multi-leveled approach to autonomy. This approach includes Cornelius Castoriadis' writings on autonomy versus heteronomy and Post-Development Theory. Through these complementary theories, the author aims to conclude that autonomy is not only a goal or set of rights, but rather a multi-leveled driving force for grassroots movements in the age of globalization.
Article
Este artigo analisa o trabalho de profissionais em antropologia que se dedicam ao campo autodefinido da “antropologia para o desenvolvimento”, tanto aqueles que trabalham dentro das instituições para o fomento do desenvolvimento quanto nos departamentos de antropologia com a preparação dos alunos. Esboça também uma crítica do desenvolvimento e da antropologia para o desenvolvimento, elaborada desde o final da década de 80 por um número crescente de profissionais da área, denominada “antropologia do desenvolvimento”. Finalmente analisa algumas das estratégias possíveis para sair do impasse criado por essas duas posições, a partir do trabalho de antropólogos e antropólogas que experimentam com modos criativos de articular a teoria e a prática antropológica no campo do desenvolvimento.
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