Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Globalization: The Quest for Alternatives

By John Sniegocki | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
GRASSROOTS CRITICS OF DEVELOPMENT

Throughout the world increasing numbers of people are calling into question the pursuit of development and criticizing current forms of economic globalization.1 Many of these critics are themselves actively engaged in grassroots efforts for social change. These critics argue that past development policies have contributed to increased inequalities, severe ecological damage, and cultural destruction. A recent U.N.-commissioned study on women, ecology, and development states:

It has become increasingly clear in recent years that development,
which has been conceived as a Western project to modernize the
post-colonial societies, did not bring the promised improvement in
the living conditions of people in the South. Instead, the develop-
ment process contributed to the growth of poverty, to an increase
in economic and gender inequalities, and to the degradation of the

1 The past several decades have seen a very large output of literature from grassroots critics of development and neoliberal globalization. Some of the key works include Mark Engler, How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle over the Global Economy (New York: Nation Books, 2008); John Cavanagh and Jerry Mander, eds., Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible, 2nd ed. (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2004); John Madeley, A People’s World: Alternatives to Economic Globalization (London: Zed Books, 2003); David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, 2nd ed. (San Francisco: Berrett Koehler, 2001); Majid Rehnema, ed., The Post-Development Reader (London: Zed Books, 1997); Jerry Mander and Edward Goldsmith, eds., The Case Against the Global Economy–And For a Turn to the Local (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1996); The Ecologist, Whose Common Future? Reclaiming the Commons (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1993); Wolfgang Sachs, ed., The Development Dictionary (London: Zed Books, 1992); Vandana Shiva, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development(London: Zed Books, 1989).

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