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The Economics of Happiness: Tourism Development, Neocolonialism and Marginalization in Local Traditional Communities



This scienti c article takes as a starting point a series of studies done by anthropologist Helena Norberg-Hodge which resulted in the documentary “The Economics of Happiness” which explains the interrelation between globalization, economics, and happiness among a society. Through a study case in the Indian community of Ladakh, Norberg-Hodge witnesses with her own eyes the negative repercussions of globalization as a force which disintegrated the self-subsistence structure and undermined alternative ways of development other than the Westernized pro t oriented understanding of the concept. The main objective of the present article is therefore to analyze the globalization phenomenon as a neocolonial movement and how this has resulted in economic and social forms marginalization for traditional rural communities where tourism development has arisen. By analyzing two case studies in former colonized areas that are now touristic destinations, we nd empirical evidence supporting our main argument. It has been found that globalization is indeed a movement lead by apparent neoliberal principles which promote global integration and promise economic development to Third World Nations, but in reality, it results in an asymmetrical situation in which Western developed countries reap more bene t out of it than developing nations. Furthermore, local communities are economically and socially marginalized within their own localities.
The Economics of Happiness:
Tourism Development, Neocolonialism and
Marginalization in Local Traditional Communities
Intan Purwandani
MSc Candidate of Leisure, Tourism, and Environment
Wageningen University Research, The Netherlands
This scientic article takes as a starting point a series of studies done by anthropologist
Helena Norberg-Hodge which resulted in the documentary “The Economics of Happiness” which
explains the interrelation between globalization, economics, and happiness among a society.
Through a study case in the Indian community of Ladakh, Norberg-Hodge witnesses with her own
eyes the negative repercussions of globalization as a force which disintegrated the self-subsistence
structure and undermined alternative ways of development other than the Westernized prot oriented
understanding of the concept. The main objective of the present article is therefore to analyze the
globalization phenomenon as a neocolonial movement and how this has resulted in economic and
social forms marginalization for traditional rural communities where tourism development has
arisen. By analyzing two case studies in former colonized areas that are now touristic destinations,
we nd empirical evidence supporting our main argument. It has been found that globalization is
indeed a movement lead by apparent neoliberal principles which promote global integration and
promise economic development to Third World Nations, but in reality, it results in an asymmetrical
situation in which Western developed countries reap more benet out of it than developing nations.
Furthermore, local communities are economically and socially marginalized within their own
Keywords: tourism, globalization, neocolonialism, marginalization
1. Introduction
Globalization is generally seen as the process
of deregularization of barriers in favor of free
mobility and free trade to enhance global economic
development within nations (Garioua, 2014;
Mukhreij, 2014). Revolving around the discourse of
bringing economic development to underdeveloped
countries, at a simple glance it seems to be positive
movement for traditional communities which live
under “poor” conditions (Norberg-Hodge, 2011).
However, when examined more closely, this
discourse is strongly driven by western values,
which are merely focused on prot and economic
development and by nature undermine other forms
of development and livelihoods, considered by
western standards to be primitive (Norberg-Hodge,
According to Norberg-Hodge (2011)
globalization is dened in the following two ways:
(a) the deregulation of trade and nance in order to
enable businesses and banks to operate globally; (b)
the emergence of a single world market dominated
by transnational companies. The author states
that this movement originated from the colonial
times, whereby the dominant empires of the world
imposed their will over the people and resources
of the colonized areas. Prior to globalization and
after the apparent independence of the colonies,
GamaJTS, Vol. 1 Number 1 April 2018
the power over them still remained through foreign
debt. Currently, globalization masks the remaining
of colonial ties, being in reality a movement led by
governments and lobbied by powerful multinational
western corporations seeking prot, through the
apparent discourse of economic development as
being a synonym of wellbeing (Norberg-Hodge,
2011; Goldsmith, 1997; Escobar, 1994).
As part of this movement in the tourism eld
it has becomes evident how the economic factors
are prioritized over other facets of the human
life such as socio-cultural and ecological facet
and spiritual facet representing the core for their
traditional livelihoods and hence form of survival
(Bodley, 2008; Norberg-Hodge, 2011). Taken
from a case study in the remote area of Ladhak in
India, Norberg-Hodge (2011) outlines the negative
repercussions of tourism in this area after the
construction of a road subsidized by the government
and powerful corporations. The aperture to tourism
brought with it prior inexistent issues such as junk
food, plastic consumer goods, pollution, and the
introduction of toxic chemicals such as DDT and
asbestos. Other impacts within the rural traditional
community which once was healthy and self-
sustained are described by Norberg-Hodge (2011)
as follows: “Western-style education, television
and advertising – glamorizing an urban consumer
lifestyle – have had a dramatic psychological effect,
giving the impression that life in the West is one
of limitless wealth and leisure and, in turn, that
rural life and traditional culture are primitive and
More importantly, through the flow of
tourists, Norberg-Hodge (2011) states that the
spread of western values within the hosting non-
Western countries has led to the loss of cultural
identity. Rural and traditional communities question
their own principles regarding development and see
their own selves as inferior and underdeveloped
compared to their Western counterparts. The use
of resources has also shifted towards satisfying the
needs of this new tourism service consumers and
are being placed above the needs of the community
itself because of the economic incentives imposed
by globalization (Norberg-Hodge, 2011). This has
led to the marginalization of the rural traditional
communities within their own territories (Norberg-
Hodge 2011).
The question that arises as purpose of this
study is: how does tourism development in the
globalized era, driven by a westernized neo-colonial
discourse, leads rural traditional communities to
the marginalization within their localities?
The main aim of this article, therefore is to
discover how the current globalization discourse
(focused mainly in economic development) which
drives tourism development, has undermined other
forms of development within rural traditional
communities in what are considered to be
underdeveloped countries by western standards.
2. Theoretical basis
In today’s world, the discussion regarding
globalization and development can be seen from
many perspectives. From the hyperglobalist point
of view globalization can be seen as a period
characterized by the “denationalization” of
economy and global integration in favor economic
growth. Specically, according to Levy (2012)
this is reected on the development of standard
of living, commodication of goods and services
resulting in competition and increased access
to technology. According to this perspective,
economic development which has been brought by
globalization is driven by neoliberalist principles
primarily based on the idea of competition.
Neoliberalism sees competition as the process of
rewarding merit and punishing inefciency resulting
from the democratic choices of citizens (Monbiot,
2016). It has been argued that the successful
integration and interconnectedness between nations
and states in the globalized era is dependent on the
current socioeconomic and political conditions of
each locality (Cheng & Mittelhammer, 2017). In
other words, it is dependent on their performance
and capacity of their social capital and institutions.
These two aforementioned aspects argued as the
obligatory foundation necessary for local civic
engagement and institutions to accommodate and
confront the idea of economic development brought
by First World countries through globalization.
The idea of development previously
highlighted is mainly economic growth-centered,
which for some critics, as explained later, is lacking
an integral holistic picture of the phenomena of
globalization. However other scholars have
Intan Purwandani - The Economic of Happiness
constructed further into this perspective evolving
into a people-centered development. Pongsapich
(2003) states that transnational companies within
the globalization process offer a way to employ and
empower local human resources resulting in civil
society taking an active a role within the development
process. The author continuously explains that
partnership between locals and transnational
group offer many opportunities to create broader
network and global inclusiveness. In the eld of
tourism, the idea of creating integration and global
inclusiveness between global and local engagement
can be reected in the concept of glocalization. This
concept explains how the combination of global and
local forces result in a positive, unique outcome
(Ritzer, 2003). To sum up, the idea of global and
local integration counter traditional arguments
that mainly said globalization through economic
development affects marginalization among locals.
However, there are theories that criticize the
previous standpoint regarding the benecial effects
of globalization for the integration of localities into
a global community. According to several authors
the origins of globalization is the result of a colonial
discourse. Goldsmith (1997) in his essay entitled
“Development as Colonialism”, argues that the
main aim to industrialize underdeveloped countries
after World War II was not merely for philanthropic
reasons and social integration. Rather it was
motivated by the need to incorporate the Third
World into the Western trading system with the
purpose of creating a global market for the Western
goods and services and at the same time obtaining
a source of cheap labor and raw materials for this
global industry to work in their favor. Escobar
(1994) indeed agrees with this stream of thought,
arguing that development has arisen with a strong
colonial discourse behind it. He states that non-
European areas have been systematically organized
into and transformed according to the European
constructs which, originated in the early post World
War II period, offered development as a tool for
poverty alleviation to underdeveloped countries.
Regarding this theory about globalization
as a modern form of colonization, Korten (1998)
discusses how this phenomenon works as the
means through which corporations from Western
developed countries gain more power, market and
access to resources in a global scale. The author
states that the aims of exploitation that originated in
the colonial period are still alive, except that now in
modern times they are masked by a set of neoliberal
principles which promise economic development to
the “underdeveloped”. McLaren (2003) claims that
within the tourism industry, because of being part
of the globalization phenomenon, such corporate
imperialism strongly dominates. The author
emphasizes on the role of foreign government and
aid in the contribution of building the infrastructure
in which the tourism industry depends on to thrive
in underdeveloped countries. Such initiatives
according to Norberg-Hodge (2011) are also
primarily lobbied by big prot-driven corporations
with origins in developed countries.
In addition to this the author states that
in the globalization discourse the focus is in
economic development, discarding other forms
of development such as ecological, spiritual and
sociocultural which result in the marginalization
of the host community within their own territory.
Bodley (2008) supporting this argument, explains
how in the modern economic system, economic
power is concentrated in giant corporations
which are organizationally far removed from the
domestic concerns and needs of local individuals
and households. Thus, the author states that the
commercial world and the commercialization
process undermine what he calls the “humanization
process”. This, he explains, consist in the necessary
stages for small scale traditional communities
to reach the sociocultural structure and natural
resource management within their livelihoods
in order to be self-sustained. He refers upon the
cases of autonomous tribal groups to exemplify
this type of marginalization which, because of the
globalization effects of expansion, have been driven
to ecocide. This means that the natural resources
for which they depend on are used as commercial
commodities in the global market. Because of
the pressure globalization exerts on small scale
traditional rural communities towards becoming
prot oriented, it is suggested that other facets of
their development are under attended resulting in
the disintegration of what was once the core of their
As referred to before, Norberg-Hodge
(2011) has also explored the negative impacts of
globalization and how marginalization has taken
GamaJTS, Vol. 1 Number 1 April 2018
place in a once remote and self-sustained rural
community known as Ladakh in India. The case
study portrays the impacts of the construction of
a road subsidized by the government and lobbied
by multinationals over the community. The rural
traditional community was transformed because
of the exposure to new pressures prior non-existent
to them. The author argues that where once there
was a small scale strongly bonded community
relying solely in basic self-subsistence, now
they are exposed to new economic issues such as
poverty, unemployment, social stratication and
environmental issues previous inexistent such as
pollution and exposure to chemical toxins. New
sociocultural issues have also arisen, because of
the inuence of the media and western consumerist
culture, the members of the community started
questioning their own cultural identity and
considering themselves to be inferior and primitive
in relation to their developed western counterparts.
The forces of tourism within the area exemplify this
marginalization, since the inux of tourists coming
with western standards of consumption demand
products and services that exert pressure over the
natural resources originally used for the subsistence
of the local people.
Because neoliberal and profit-driven
pressures, the once self-sustained community of
Ladakh prioritized the needs of those activities
which promise economic development over those
that were once the core of their everyday living
and source of survival. The main argument
explored in this article revolves around how the
forces of the phenomenon of globalization, driven
by a neocolonial western forces and corporate
domination, brings new unknown economic
pressures into small scale traditional rural areas.
I will argue that this results in the undermining of
ecological, spiritual and sociocultural development
of this communities and the marginalization within
their own territory. For this purpose, within the
following framework, I will focus in the concept
of globalization as a form of neo-imperialism and
its relation to different forms of marginalization.
2.1. Globalization as a form of Neocolonial
Globalization originally arose out of international
economic activities and reforms, however implicitly
this means penetrating also into political, socio-
cultural and ecological domains (Zao and Li, 2005).
According to the authors, taking an approach based
on political economy, it is seemingly a process of
inclusive transformation to globally integrate all
countries into economic development. However,
in reality due to historical and socio-political
reasons, developing countries are placed in an
extremely disadvantaged position. Lead by modern
neoliberal principles, globalization nowadays is
characterized because of the implementation of
voluntarist politics, strongly inuenced by wealthy
developed countries and tailored up for their own
development needs (Amin 2000). This, the author
argues, is driven by the unilateral logic of capitalist
Although neoliberal initiatives are claimed to
promote pro-development inclusive ideals such as a
free market, the encouragement of private enterprise
and consumer choice, behind this discourse lies the
power and inuence of corporations that engage
in public relation efforts to give these terms a
near sacred aura (McChesney, 1998). The author
establishes that through the persuasive efforts from
corporations these claims are accepted almost by
default by society without being questioned, and
are used to rationalize and justify any movement
in favor of their own prot, such as globalization.
Any activity that might intervene with corporate
domination of society is automatically suspected
as interfering with the principles of a free market
which is alleged to be the only rational, fair
and democratic allocator of goods and services
(McChesney, 1999).
Having understood the origins of
globalization from a political economy approach as
a neoliberal movement, Patnaik (2000) constructs
over this to explain how the internationalization of
social, political and economic life has arisen from
a neocolonialism perspective, placing Third World
countries in an inferior position in relation to the
First World country counterpart. Two interrelated,
destructive effects derived from globalization can be
identied as follows: (1) being a process of relative
unity among the advanced capitalist countries as
opposed to an inter-imperialist rivalry; and (2) being
a process of common purpose against developing
countries on the part of the united capitalist
powers (Patnaik, 2000). As a result, Third World
nationalism is denied, opportunities for economic
Intan Purwandani - The Economic of Happiness
self-reliance taken away and the acceptance of a
global order dominated by the power of advanced
capitalist countries is imposed (Zao and Li, 2005).
Therefore, the authors argue that by
examining the phenomenon of globalization from
the perspective of political economy, rather than
understanding it as a pro-development movement
it is more likely to be labelled as a modern form of
“imperialism” or “neo-imperialism”. It can be said
therefore that globalization is a form of prevalent
2.2. Marginalization
Hall (2013) denes marginalization as a condition
of disadvantage that may arise from unfavorable
environmental, cultural, social, economic and
political factors. Third World nations are being
marginalized through the process of globalization
in many senses of the word. As referred to in the
previous section globalization is claimed to promote
the accelerated integration of the world economy
in a global scale and not just at a regional level
(Murshed, 2002). However, and as explained by
the neocolonial perspective, an underlying process
could be in operation since globalization appears
to do the exact opposite of what it preaches. It
actually reinforces the polarization between the
rich and the poor, and as described by Quah (1996)
it cements the “persistence and stratication” of
the differences between these two socioeconomic
extremes. As time goes by a bi-modal distribution
of world income emerges consisting on one side
of afuent nations and on the other of low-income
countries, and nations around the world are forced
into joining one group or the other (Murshed, 2002).
Regarding the relationship of marginality
and neocolonialism Spivak (1999) introduced the
term of post-coloniality referring specically to
the imperialistic and capitalistic strategies used by
the West to marginalize the third world population.
An evident income disparity between developed
and underdeveloped countries has arisen since the
globalized era started as discovered by Milanovic
(2002). Murshed (2002) emphasizes that within
this era “nations in the developing world remain
vulnerable to domestic and external shocks
and seem unable to cash in the on the increased
internationalization of the world economy” (p. 2).
Therefore, he states that Third World nations are
being marginalized from the world economy.
Through this process these countries are not
only deprived from tangible economic benets
but also from social structures that where once
their alternative to survive. Their traditional
livelihoods are also being undermined (State, 2010)
meaning with this their ways of survival, including
capabilities, claims and access to resources
(Bebbington, 1999; Chambers and Conway, 1992;
Leach et al., 1999). As dened by Leonard (1984)
social marginalization can be understood as “being
outside the mainstream of productive activity
and/or social reproductive activity” (p.180). As
globalization progresses and capitalism extends
its reach, communities are dispossessed of lands,
livelihoods, or systems of social support (Chomsky,
2000; Petras & Veltmeyer, 2001; Potter, 2000;
Pilger, 2002).
3. Research Methodology
As a method, this study focuses on the case study in
two different developing countries namely (1) the
coastal tourism development case in Petite Cote,
Senegal and (2) the indigenous village of Antanosy
in Evatra, Madagascar. By using secondary data
analysis on already existent literature, this research
analyzes and discusses how the development of
tourism industry driven by Western values result
in the marginalization of local communities. To
provide a logical order, this paper is outlined as
The rst section revolves around literature
review, where it will be explained the
discussion debate among scholars in
relation to the positive and negative impact
of globalization regarding economic
The second section consists in the theoretical
framework explaining the concept of
globalizations as a form of neocolonialism
and the concept of marginalization.
Within the discussion section two tourism
development case studies will be analyzed:
(a) one in the coastal area of Petite Cote in
Senegal and (b) the second one in relation
to the Antanosy indigenous tribe of Evatra
in Madagascar. These two case studies
represent how globalization through the
GamaJTS, Vol. 1 Number 1 April 2018
practice of tourism development have
resulted marginalization in economical,
ecological, and socio-cultural dimensions.
4. The last section will outline the conclusion
regarding the ndings within the case studies
in relation to the theoretical framework.
4. Research Findings
4.1. Case Studies
Tourism being a byproduct of globalization has also
shown evidence of marginalization. With the purpose
of exemplifying this, in the following section two
case studies have been identied, through which the
marginalization of rural traditional communities has
become evident due to the effects of globalization
and tourism development. A neocolonialist prot-
driven discourse has become also evident in this
case exemplifying the main argument of this article.
Case Study #1: Petite Cote, Senegal
Reference: Diagne, A. (2004). Tourism development
and its impacts in the Senegalese Petite Côte:
a geographical case study in centre–periphery
relations. Tourism Geographies, 6(4), 472-492.
A study in the coastal tourist destination of
Petite Cote in Senegal written by Diagne (2004)
has elaborated upon the development of the tourism
industry resulting in the marginalization of the local
community. The author has studied the case from
a neocolonial perspective, building upon the work
of Galtung (1980) on neo-colonial penetration and
control and relating it to the concept of economy
dependency from Hall and Page (1999). From this
theoretical framework, he refers to Mathieson and
Wall (1982) who establish that: “the development
of tourism may be accompanied by a one-way
transfer of wealth from the destination area to
points of tourist generation. A large proportion
of expenditures and prots ow back to foreign
investors” (p. 148). This set of concepts are very
much in line with the theoretical framework created
for this scientic article, since they explain the
marginalization process being derived from a
neocolonial structure reected in the tourism
industry and how underdeveloped countries are still
being exploited by developed Western countries in
the contemporary economy.
The author explains how Senegal being a
former French colony, and as other former colonies
in the world, has recently turned its focus towards
the tourism industry as an alternative source for
economic growth. By the time the study was
written the number of tourist arrivals has increased
from 90,000 in 1995 to 350,000 in 1998 (Ndaw
1999), and between 1 and 1.5 million tourists
were expected by 2005 (Minister for Tourism and
Surface Transportation) (1997). As explained by the
author: “Tourism has evolved over the past three
decades into the chief economic activity in the
country, contributing more foreign currency than
traditional primary commodity exports.” (p. 473).
This shows that the economic growth discourse is
predominant within a postcolonial underdeveloped
country such as Senegal, and the strong pressure
this discourse generate on their inhabitants to nd
prot oriented activities. As a consequence, the
rise of corporate power has also become evident
within the tourism sector and the author explains
that since the introduction of new legislation
in October 1971 and investment regulations in
June 1972, Senegal government have established
tourism as a key political priority in social and
economic development planning. Additionally, the
government in 1975 set up a special enterprise, the
Societe d’Amenagement de la Petite Cote (SAPCO),
whose main function ranges from basic planning to
the construction of infrastructure indispensable for
tourism to thrive. This has enhanced government
and private entrepreneurs to seek more beachfront
land for development. This as cited from the author
has created “a welter of dependencies that have
crystallized here: on imported skilled labor, foreign
capital, imported goods, international development
and planning (large transnational hotel chains,
mainly French-owned) and of course tourists
themselves, largely from abroad. In addition,
the tourist ‘enclaves’ tend to ‘peripherize’ the
surrounding traditional villages, turning part of their
working force into menial laborers in the developed
tourist enclave.” (p. 475)
It can be argued that the growth of corporate
power in Senegal has proved Goldsmith’s argument
(1997) about “Development as Colonialism”
industrialize underdeveloped countries. Unluckily,
this was not solely a philanthropic reasons and
Intan Purwandani - The Economic of Happiness
social integration between French as an ex-colonizer
and Senegal. Rather it was spirited by the need to
incorporate the Western trading system with the aim
of creating a global market for the French-owned
company goods and services and at the same time
securing a source of cheap labor and raw materials
for this global tourism industry.
Furthermore, it is explained that tourism
is also apparently attractive for independent
indigenous enterprises in the areas of handicrafts
and entertainment and also provides a source of
income for workers in hotels and labor force in
the infrastructure and equipment eld. However,
the author argues that tourism development at the
same time has had a negative impact. We argue
that this can be seen as marginalization of the
traditional community within the area undermining
other traditional forms of development that can be
englobed within the environmental, spiritual and
socio-cultural spheres as follows:
Regarding environmental issues the author
identied environmental deteriorations
resulting from a lack of proper liquid and
solid waste management as well as new
previously inexistent sources of pollution
as tourist accommodation proliferates.
The traditional management of natural
resources has also been shaken because
of a shift in the use of land towards
leisure activities at the direct expense of
agricultural cultivation. This has caused the
loss of the necessary resources for the locals
to engage in traditional shing, which was
previously the main economic activity and
indirect source of subsistence. Regarding
the socio-cultural sphere, the author states
that international tourism has disintegrated
the social structures within the locality.
New health problems such as AIDS and the
breakdown of social control have arisen.
The cultural identity of the inhabitants has
also been shaking by the trivialization of
their culture: “as indigenous artistic crafts
are ‘modernized’ and commercialized to
cater to the needs of the tourist marketplace”
(p. 473). Finally, within the spiritual sphere
the author argues that tourism has brought a
new ‘immorality’ and thus the violation of
traditional Islamic codes of behavior.
As explained by the author: “tourism
development in the Petite Cˆote is pressing
forward at a swift pace, oriented to maximizing
prot and with the evident exclusion of most of
the local population.” (p. 472). In his own terms,
he concludes that such development in inevitably
followed by ‘misdevelopmental’ impacts which
directly supports my main argument regarding
globalization and tourism development as a cause of
economic and social marginalization in traditional
communities, which will never create local’s
economic happiness.
Case Study #2: Antanosy of Evatra, Madagascar
Reference: Mulligan, P. (1999). The marginalization
of indigenous peoples from tribal lands in southeast
Madagascar. Journal of International Development,
11(4), 649.
A second study case drawn from the
Southeast of Madagascar in the area of the Antanosy
indigenous of Evatra written by Mulligan (1999)
analyses how international tourism has been leading
to the marginalization of the indigenous people in
relation to land. Using the conceptual framework
of marginalization and international tourism the
author explores how select groups within the
village have been affected by the development of
the region’s international tourist trade, specically
by external tour operators. As explained by the
author, Madagascar being a former French colony,
at the moment of the research was one of the poorest
countries in the world. Ironically the country in the
late 90’s had multiple sources of foreign investment
reected in Trans-National Corporations (TNC)
and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
Regarding the tourism industry, it is a prime
ecotourism destination offering wildlife reserves,
local villages and unique ecosystems. As stated
by the author “the endemic nature of much of
the region’s ora and fauna has prompted some
environmental NGO’s to promote a species-
oriented ‘conservation’ discourse founded more
on Western sentimentalities than local realities”
(p. 651). It can be said that the tourism industry is
being strongly inuenced by a Western originated
discourse regarding conservation, since as the
GamaJTS, Vol. 1 Number 1 April 2018
author stated, conservation initiatives have arisen
to meet the idealized needs Western have dened
rather than deep-rooted needs stated by the localities
This Westernized-driven conservation of
ecotourism industry in Madagascar by disregarding
localities has arisen what is explained by Hall (2013)
about marginalization. Indirectly, disentanglement
of traditional communities in the discussion of
conservation discourse is an unfavorable condition
to cultural and social aspect, which potentially leads
to environmental sphere.
To be informed, the coastal Antanosy village
of Evatra is characterized as being one of the 18
ethnic groups in Madagascar. Its population at
the moment was 1,300 and primarily dependent
on shing and weaving for small scale trading
and income generation and rice and manioc being
grown for personal consumption. They mainly
had an economy relied on self-subsistence apart
from the small scale economic transactions. The
author explains that regarding land “the Antanosy
do not conceptualize land as a homogenous entity.
They distinguish differences in land use, varying
in spiritual and ancestral signicance, the type of
landowner and the type of ownership (traditional,
legalized, and semi-legalized). A single piece of
land, therefore, may be categorized in a multi-
dimensional way, with different actors articulating
different versions or the same actor having a multi-
layered understanding” (p. 562). Even since after
the colonial times, the French introduced legalized
ownership of land. However, the indigenous
people in this area carried on with this traditional
conception and use of it without the necessity of
acquiring ofcial titles.
With the rise of international tourism and
resulting from tour operator activities regarding
the use of land, local villagers are undergoing
marginalization from their family plots, their
communally owned areas and even their own
cemetery. The author identied three types of
marginalization experienced by them, namely in
terms of access to their land, title to their land and
decision-making process within their land. This
reects a form of neocolonialism whereby local
and traditional livelihoods are being discarded, and
in turn the imposition of a norm that doesn’t belong
to the inhabitant’s reality dominates and governs.
This can be seen as an evident form of economic
as well as social marginalization. As explained by
the author referring to Tully (1994) “Not only are
they (the local indigenous) inhibited in this process
by their illiteracy and lack of full comprehension
of the process involved, but by endorsing the idea
that indigenous people should have to claim their
traditional land from the State, they are inadvertently
perpetuating a form of ‘conceptual imperialism’”
(p.658). The indigenous, in addition to this, also
lack the knowledge resources and power to undergo
the process necessary to legalize their lands.
As concluded by the author “international
tourism is just one of the external dynamics that
is affecting the village land issue in the area
considering that other global forces, such as the
increasing exportation of seafood, the work of
international NGOs, and the activities of the
world’s largest mining corporation area” also
highly signicant within the context of Madagascar.
Therefore, it can be observed how a neocolonial
discourse in a globalized world favoring non-
local prot driven private tour operators and, in a
general context as stated before, big prot driven
corporations, result in the marginalization of the
local traditional Antanosy indigenous of Evatra
undermining any other form of development that
does not t into the colonial imperial discourse.
According to the two presented case studies
in ex-colony of French (Senegal and Madagascar),
today’s tourism development has led to an obvious
marginalization (environmental, cultural, social,
economic and political). The discussion cannot
disregard the involvement of ex-colonizer in
tourism industry due to the fact that French-owned
company and another form of corporate power
have driven the direction of tourism development,
which is knowingly called as a practice of
“neocolonialism” in the modern era. In this regard,
there is an interrelation between marginalization
and neocolonialism in the development of global
tourism industry where local’s government make
corporate power live under neocolonialism shadow
to conduct tourism development in a traditional
communities’ area. Meanwhile, at the same time the
government seems letting local’s die by ignoring the
practice of marginalization caused by the practice
of neocolonialism. A cause and effect relationship
implies in neocolonialism and marginalization
Intan Purwandani - The Economic of Happiness
where foreign investment with the domination
of neoliberal principles expropriates resources of
underdeveloped countries in the name of social
integration and philanthropic agenda.
5. Conclusion
The idea of development through globalization in
tourism has been driven by First World countries.
Development in the context of tourism aims to
enhance the growth of economic aspects. The
presence and implication of neoliberalism and
capitalism in Third World countries through
transnational group and multinational corporations’
establishments have led to the marginalization
toward the local community. The consensual
view of empowering ex-colonial countries within
Western development discourse has failed to create
empowered communities. As happened in the
case study in Petite Cote, Senegal and Antanosy
village of Evatra, Madagascar local communities
in rural area have been marginalized, disrupted and
destroyed not only within the respect of economic
dimensions but also environmental, sociocultural,
and ecological dimensions. Natural resources have
become a commodity in free a market economy
and boundaries have been established between
private property owners excluding locals from
access to their own resources. Locals do not get
positive benets as much as global institutions
receive. In fact, the practice exploitation in the
name of competition and free trade directly create
a detrimental impact among locals in environment,
ecology, and socio-culture, disintegrating the core
structure of their traditional livelihoods.
In response to this, globalization continuously
happened with the purpose of empowering,
modernizing, and enhancing the quality of life in
the Third World countries. However, the idea of
this forms of development is a charming package of
practicing neo-colonialism and modern imperialism
in the tourism industry.
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