Understanding Impoverishment: The Consequences of Development-Induced Displacement

By Christopher McDowell | Go to book overview

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Introduction

Christopher McDowell

As the dream of any war is to be 'the war to end all wars', development is predicated on the wish to improve human socio- economic conditions and eradicate scarcity. Born on a par with the hopes and visions of a changed post-Second World War world, the development paradigm, marking a belief in progress and perfectibility, has dominated social scientific thinking and international policy on a mass scale. Initiated by the victors, development policies guided and legitimised the re-distribution of power and resources on a global scale. While the Marshall Plan provided one model for re-dressing the costs incurred by those poor countries of the South who sided with the Allied Powers, the Warsaw Pact introduced an alternative model for development and growth; both models contributed to the formation and perpetuation of a 'Third World'.

The last forty years have been called the 'development age'; the end of that era has also been acknowledged as a fait accompli ( Sachs 1993, Seabrook 1993). Yet although the decision concerning the end 'development' seems to be unanimous among certain social scientific writings its post-mortem has yet to be written. The aim of this volume is to address some of the more fundamental issues relating to the weaknesses and flaws of the development paradigm as practised both on an international and national level. The subject of this collection is development-induced population displacement, the upheaval of communities to make way for large dams, industrial zones, transportation routes, game parks and commercial

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