New Paths of Development: Perspectives from the Global South [1 ed.] 9783030560959, 9783030560966

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New Paths of Development: Perspectives from the Global South [1 ed.]
 9783030560959, 9783030560966

Table of contents :
1: A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South
The Neoclassical Approach
The Keynesian Approaches and Policies of Intervention
Marxist Approaches Applied to Development Theory
The Paradigms of Endogenous Development and Human Development
The Outcome of Different Policies and Approaches to Development
The Structure of the World Today
The Changing Global Context Requires Redefining the Concept of the Global South
Towards the Construction of a New Development Paradigm in the Global South
The Aim of This Book
Part I: Globalization, Dependencies and New Geopolitical Scenario for Thinking About Development
Part II: Critique and Renewal of Development Thinking
Part III: The Ecological Transition as Key Factors for Change and Renewal of Development Models
Part IV: The Role of Culture in Constructing New Development Pathways
Part V: Knowledge and Ideas to Build a New Sense for Development Strategies in the Global South
Part I: Globalization, Dependencies and New Geopolitical Scenarios for Thinking About Development
2: African Perspectives on Development in the Context of a Changing International System
The Historical Process of African Development
The Post-colonial Phase
The Impact of African Decolonisation, 1957–1975
The Impact of the International Economic System, 1974–1985
The Impact of the Cold War Conflict, 1974–1990
The Post-Cold War Phase, 1990–2016
The Current International System: Threats and Opportunities
China as a Global Economic Power
Potential Future Scenarios to Consider
The Growing Threat to Multilateralism and Globalisation
Potential Future Scenarios to Consider
Russia’s New International Role
Potential Future Scenarios to Consider
3: African Economic Autonomy and International Development Cooperation
African Economic Autonomy in Strategy
African Economic Autonomy in Action
International Aid System
Emerging Countries’ Development Assistance: Case of China
Conflicts Between China and the West in Africa
Foreign Aid or Development Cooperation?
4: Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil
Deindustrialization as a Phenomenon
Premature Deindustrialization as a Problem
Abundance and Curse of Natural Resources
Brazil: From Growth to Stagnation
New Developmentism as a Development Strategy
New Developmentism: Some Criticisms
Final Considerations
5: What Can Be the Position of Africa in the Contemporary Globalisation? A Few Thoughts in the Matter…
The Neoliberal Discourse of the Happy Globalisation
The Chinese Counter-Example
What Can be the Space of Africa Within Such Contradictory forms of Globalisation?
Part II: Critique and Renewal of Development Thinking
6: Development Economics from the Bubble Burst to the Search for a New Paradigm. A Few Historical Milestones and Theoretical Approaches
Under-Development as an Underachievement of Development
Under-Development as a Consequence of Development
The Stage of Adjustments
The Stage of the Burst of the Paradigm
The Stage of Renewal of the Paradigm
The Emergence of Global Coalitions from Civil Societies
The Emergence of Territories
The Call to Promote Alternative Forms of Development
Finally, a World Governance That Is in Tune with Our Time
7: Dead-Ends of a Development Process Imposed from Above: Deconstruction of the Concept of “Partnership”
Failed Projects for Our Region
A Region Trapped in a Euro-centric Perspective
Disabilities in the Countries of the South-Eastern Mediterranean Basin
The Project for the Mediterranean: For What and for Whom?
For a New Model of Solidarity and “Well-Balanced Prosperity”
8: New Discourses on Development
Our Common Future: Our Common Sense? (Sustainable Development: SD)
Techno-cybernetic Innovation, Comparative Advantages and Liberalization (Development in Neoliberalism: DL)
A Multipolar World of Sovereign States and Blocks (Neo-developmentalism: ND)
Towards a New Social and Environmental Rationality (Postdevelopment: PD)
Real Economy and Participatory Democracy (Development in Socialism: DSOC)
A Sphere Where the Experience Space Can Unexpectedly Expand (Local/Territorial Development: DLT)
Final Appraisal
Part III: The Ecological Transition as Key Factors for Change and Renewal of Development Models
9: The Environment and Development Debate in India: The “Greening” of Developmental Discourse
Environment in the Developmental Discourse of India: A Conceptual Framework
State Led Environmentalism
Market Environmentalism
Community Led Environmentalism
10: The 2030 Agenda, the Territorial Dimension of Brazilian Development and the Drivers of Sustainability Transition
Where Are We?
Possible Transition Drivers
Territorial Planning Policy
Improvement of Programs and Policies that Already Exist or Have Been Tried
Early Management of Socio-environmental Conflicts
New Productive Model
As a Conclusion – Which Social Coalition Forces?
11: Nature and Alternatives to Development in Latin America: Contributions for a Dialogue
Emphasizing some Known Facts
Systematic Critique of the Idea of Development and the Contributions of Environmental Thinking
New Impulses: Toward Alternatives to Development
Contributions Toward Dialogue
Epistemologies from the South to Generate Alternatives to Development
Part IV: The Role of Culture in New Pathway Construction and Sense of Development
12: Culture, Resilience and Geopolitics of Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
Drought and Armed Insurrections: Two Recurrent Crises
Impact of Droughts and Wars on Development
Cultural Resilience, Mapping and Planning
Cultural Mapping and Planning in the Approach to Resilience in Disaster Situations
13: He and Tianxia, Vectors of a New Dynamic of China’s Development
Opening-Up Policy, the Miracle of China and the World
China’s Tradition and Its Development
China’s Rising Impact
Final Reflection
14: Bhutan & Gross National Happiness
GNH: Four Pillars, Nine Domains (Definition)
GNH Implementation
Challenges of GNH
GNH and the Global Context
15: The Community and the Paths of Critical Thinking in the Global Periphery: The Cases of sumak kawsay/suma qamaña and Ubuntu
Sumak Kawsay/Suma qamaña
Typology Test
Final Considerations
16: A Women’s Imaginaries Regarding Development and Well-Being
Starting Points. Conceptualization of Development, Well-Being and Migration
Dimensions of Subjective Well-Being
Figures of the Migration Phenomenon in Michoacán and Its Impact on Social Well-Being
Social Well-Being and Migration
The Imaginaries of Women and Migration
Part V: Knowledges and Ideas to Build a New Sense for Development in the Global South
17: Alternative Knowledge on the Global South
The Evolution of Narratives on Development
Bipolarity or Multiple Development
The Challenge of the Knowledge Divide
One More Divide: The Digital
Is There an Alternative to Development?
18: Peripheral Thought: Intellectualities Beyond the Center
19: Conclusion: Paths for Rethinking Development. Perspectives from the Global South

Citation preview

Sustainable Development Goals Series Reduced Inequalities

Rahma Bourqia Marcelo Sili Editors

New Paths of Development Perspectives from the Global South

Sustainable Development Goals Series

World leaders adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Providing in-depth knowledge, this series fosters comprehensive research on these global targets to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change. The sustainability of our planet is currently a major concern for the global community and has been a central theme for a number of major global initiatives in recent years. Perceiving a dire need for concrete benchmarks toward sustainable development, the United Nations and world leaders formulated the targets that make up the seventeen goals. The SDGs call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting Earth and its life support systems. This series on the Sustainable Development Goals aims to provide a comprehensive platform for scientific, teaching and research communities working on various global issues in the field of geography, earth sciences, environmental science, social sciences, engineering, policy, planning, and human geosciences in order to contribute knowledge towards achieving the current 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This Series is organized into eighteen subseries: one based around each of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, and an eighteenth subseries, “Connecting the Goals,” which serves as a home for volumes addressing multiple goals or studying the SDGs as a whole. Each subseries is guided by an expert Subseries Advisor. Contributions are welcome from scientists, policy makers and researchers working in fields related to any of the SDGs. If you are interested in contributing to the series, please contact the Publisher: Zachary Romano [[email protected]]. More information about this series at

Rahma Bourqia  •  Marcelo Sili Editors

New Paths of Development Perspectives from the Global South

Editors Rahma Bourqia The Royal Academy Morocco Rabat, Morocco

Marcelo Sili Director Centro de estudios para la Acción y el Desarrollo Territorial CONICET – Universidad Nacional del Sur Bahía Blanca, Argentina

ISSN 2523-3084     ISSN 2523-3092 (electronic) Sustainable Development Goals Series ISBN 978-3-030-56095-9    ISBN 978-3-030-56096-6 (eBook) © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Springer imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland


As Permanent Secretary of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, I am happy to present this collective publication on the Geopolitics for New paths of development. This work brings together in one volume contributions from a number of scholars from several countries, called upon to advance reflection on various issues related to the development of the Global South. The contributors represent a broad spectrum of academic perspectives and experiences in the analysis of issues related to economic development. Such exchanges of experiences and approaches among scholars and specialists have always figured high on the Academy’s agenda. During the past several years, our annual sessions have focused on “Africa as a Horizon for Thought,” “Latin America as a Horizon for Thought,” and “Asia as a Horizon for Thought,” respectively. These sessions provided opportunities for scholars and experts from all over the world to reflect on some of the pressing issues of our time, to share new research and experiences, and also to discuss possible directions toward a better future for humanity. The idea of building state-of-the-art specialist and multidisciplinary networks is a key element in the Academy’s pursuit of its mission. It is within the framework of this policy that the idea for this publication was born. The project originated in the desire to create a new network of social science scholars dedicated to a reconsideration of the entire field of development studies. It originated in discussions involving the two editors of this publication, Professors Rahma Bourqia (a member of our Academy) and Marcelo Sili (a geographer from Argentina), during the session on “Latin America as a Horizon for Thought.” In order to help articulate the project, scholars from Africa, Asia, and Latin America were invited to meet in a seminar convened at the headquarters of the Academy on 22–23 November 2018  in order to deepen the reflection on the geopolitics of development. They reviewed the various research trends on development in the Global South as part of a comprehensive examination of the geopolitics of development. That seminar provided an opportunity for intense and fruitful debate and exchange on the major geopolitical, technological, environmental, socio-­ political, and cultural transformations underway and on the constitution of a network dedicated to reconsider the question of development of the South in a globalized context. Additional scholars have since joined the project and contribute to the significant collective intellectual effort represented in this publication.



I am sure that social science scholars and students dealing with issues of development in different universities will find in this book useful material and suggestions for further research on development and the Global South. Abdeljalil Lahjomri Permanent Secretary of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco Rabat, Morocco



This publication is the result of a collective effort of a group of researchers all engaged in a reflection on development in the Global South. The result of their investigations could not have been achieved without institutional and individual support we are happy to acknowledge. We first wish to thank the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco for providing the opportunity to convene the very first meeting of the group and for inviting most of the researchers whose studies are included in this book. Our special thanks to Permanent Secretary Abdeljalil Lahjomri for hosting the seminar at the Academy and providing necessary funding for bringing researchers to Rabat, thus making possible this collective contribution on a theme of major significance. We also acknowledge the efforts by Dr. Bachir Tamer who organized the seminar in November 2018 and took care of all the logistics to offer participants a suitable environment for discussion and exchanges on the topic. We warmly thank him for his invaluable contribution in the supervision of the translation of some of the papers and in following through on all the stages necessary for this work to come to light. Other individuals, too numerous to mention, have participated in one way or another in making both the symposium and the book possible. Let them find here expression of our deepest gratitude.



1 A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South��������������������������������������������������������������������������   1 Rahma Bourqia and Marcelo Sili Part I Globalization, Dependencies and New Geopolitical Scenarios for Thinking About Development 2 African Perspectives on Development in the Context of a Changing International System��������������������������������������������   25 Crain Soudien and Gregory Houston 3 African Economic Autonomy and International Development Cooperation������������������������������������������������������������   43 Anshan Li 4 Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil ��������������������������������������������   55 Georges Gérard Flexor and Robson Dias da Silva 5 What Can Be the Position of Africa in the Contemporary Globalisation? A Few Thoughts in the Matter…������������������������   69 Alioune Sall Part II Critique and Renewal of Development Thinking 6 Development Economics from the Bubble Burst to the Search for a New Paradigm. A Few Historical Milestones and Theoretical Approaches��������������������������������������   79 Driss Guerraoui 7 Dead-Ends of a Development Process Imposed from Above: Deconstruction of the Concept of “Partnership”��������������������������  89 Mohammed Noureddine Affaya 8 New Discourses on Development����������������������������������������������������  97 Andrés Kozel and Marcelo Sili



Part III The Ecological Transition as Key Factors for Change and Renewal of Development Models 9 The Environment and Development Debate in India: The “Greening” of Developmental Discourse ������������������������������ 109 Aviram Sharma 10 The 2030 Agenda, the Territorial Dimension of Brazilian Development and the Drivers of Sustainability Transition ����   123 Arilson Favareto 11 Nature and Alternatives to Development in Latin America: Contributions for a Dialogue���������������������������������������������������������� 135 María Luisa Eschenhagen Part IV The Role of Culture in New Pathway Construction and Sense of Development 12 Culture, Resilience and Geopolitics of Development in Sub-Saharan Africa ����������������������������������������������������������������   147 Saley Boubé Bali 13 He and Tianxia, Vectors of a New Dynamic of China’s Development ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������   155 Zhang Jingting 14 Bhutan & Gross National Happiness �������������������������������������������� 161 Diego Burger Araujo Santos and Sangay Dorji 15 The Community and the Paths of Critical Thinking in the Global Periphery: The Cases of sumak kawsay/suma qamaña and Ubuntu ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 169 Fabricio Pereira da Silva 16 A Women’s Imaginaries Regarding Development and Well-Being �������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 179 Diana Tamara Martínez-Ruíz, Alejandra Ceja-­Fernández, and Martha González-Lázaro Part V Knowledges and Ideas to Build a New Sense for Development in the Global South 17 Alternative Knowledge on the Global South �������������������������������� 191 Rahma Bourqia 18 Peripheral Thought: Intellectualities Beyond the Center������������ 205 Eduardo Devés and Andrés Kozel  Conclusion: Paths for Rethinking Development. Perspectives from the Global South ������������������������������������������������������ 217 Rahma Bourqia and Marcelo Sili Index���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 223



A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South Rahma Bourqia and Marcelo Sili


The concept of “development” continues to condense aspirations for the improvement and progress of living conditions in “less developed” societies. It is very difficult to take stock of what has happened over the seven decades of the concept of development, there are some key elements that deserve to be highlighted. Although it can be said that the living conditions of “less developed” societies have improved “in absolute terms”, they have not improved “in relative terms”: the world is an increasingly unequal place. Another key idea or situation is that we are currently witnessing a paradox: on the one hand, the idea of development continues to structure a considerable mass of discourse and practices; on the other hand, it is increasingly criticized by large groups of experts, intellectuals and activists. We believe that we cannot unilaterally join the trend of those who proclaim the massive abandonment of the notion of development. This notion remains relevant for the countries of R. Bourqia (*) The Royal Academy Morocco, Rabat, Morocco e-mail: [email protected] M. Sili Director Centro de estudios para la Acción y el Desarrollo Territorial, CONICET – Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Argentina e-mail: [email protected]

the South, even if it is increasingly necessary to rework it in depth, both in theoretical terms and in terms of identifying and highlighting concrete experiences that can be used as a reference to overcome development problems. Keywords

Development · Ideas · Theory

The phenomenon of development has been a critical issue raised by researchers in different regions since the mid-twentieth century. According to Furtado (1982), the term development combines various streams of European thought since the eighteenth century. Furtado identifies the three most relevant aspects of development as: (a) the Enlightenment and its vision of history as a progressive march toward rationality and modernity, (b) the idea of accumulation of wealth generated by the classical economic theory as the basis for achieving wellbeing, and (c) the idea of the geographic expansion of European civilization as a necessary condition to achieve an improved quality of life for the so-called backwards societies (Furtado 1982, 192). These three streams of thought converge to form the basis of the legitimization of capitalism as the de facto global economic system. At the root of this classical thinking, Adam Smith set

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



R. Bourqia and M. Sili

out to demonstrate that seeking one’s individual international hegemony in the landscape created interest promoted the collective good, and that by the Cold War, in addition to the actions of new progress did not necessarily emerge from the international institutions like the United Nations, logic of history, but rather from the social will to its commissions and associated organizations, create an institutional framework that guaranteed placed the topic of development at the center of individual freedoms and the free market. international policy (Furtado 1982). Operating within Smith’s tenants of classical Moreover, the inequalities observed through economics, European nations were called to the relative progress achieved by societies were carry out a “civilizing” mission by forcing societ- immediately correlated within the spatial conies to integrate themselves with world trade via text, as evidenced by deep interregional inequalithe division of labor, thereby contributing to an ties. Economic theory focused its attention on the increase in wellbeing among societies that were disparities between countries, seeking to estabheld back by obscurantist traditions (Furtado lish causal relationships between underdevelop1982, 193–194). ment and economic and social conditions as an The challenge of development as an interdis- explanation. Within countries, meanwhile, ciplinary issue was placed atop this historical and authorities began to propose active regional poliphilosophical foundation during the mid-­ cies to mitigate intra- and interregional twentieth century, using social sciences as a inequalities. framework and pushing these disciplines to All told, during the first half of the twentieth review its conceptual frameworks and analytical century, the idea of development was associated methodologies with a strong positivist bias. The with the economic growth of the capitalist sysphenomenon of “development” became even tem, finding legitimacy through dominant theomore relevant after the Second World War, at a ries of the day. The basic premise of this belief time when the world economy expanded robustly was that development required an institutional in a landscape characterized by the Keynesian change (modernisation) and the growth of capital policies that were beginning to gain strength dur- accumulation. Thus, according to these theories, ing this time. The disasters provoked during war- development is not possible without economic time instability, the challenges of European growth and economic growth is a measure of reconstruction, and the complexity of the pro- development (Vidal Villa and Martinez Peinado cesses of decolonization, encouraged the discus- 1995, 333). Therefore, economic policy was supsion of development in both central and peripheral posed to propose strategies that required ecocountries and revealed the need to intervene to nomic growth as a necessary condition to advance extend development to all societies. This idea of development. development was sustained, not only by the ideal Following the 1950s, the concept of developof creating better living conditions and extending ment was enriched by new contributions that the benefits of modernization to all societies but were focused on the living conditions experias a response of the increasingly apparent reality enced in a society. The idea of progress was no of the differences that exist between countries. In longer confined to the growth of the economy, that context, the notion of freeing markets from but also included achieving a better quality of life regulation to achieve growth and wellbeing was defined as not just the satisfaction of basic needs, discredited by the economic underdevelopment but also the guarantee of other fundamental rights of some countries relative to others. like education, access to healthcare, freedom of Furtado points out that the issue of develop- expression, and political participation, among ment was initially approached as more of a politi- others. At the same time, the nation-state began cal than an academic problem, in the context of to actively participate in the creation of policies transformations that occurred following the aimed at guaranteeing the conditions for developSecond World War. The dismantling of colonial ment throughout their national territories, as well structures and the emergence of new forms of as mitigating interregional imbalances.

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South

Overall awareness for development as a concept increased, giving rise to the emergence of new paradigms and theories about the causes, conditions, and means of creating dynamics beneficial to supporting development. This combination of ideas and proposals were primarily based on diverse and often contrasting theoretical contributions that came to form the basis for much of the policies promoted by nation-states and subnational entities, which were then supported by international organizations that became hubs for producing and distributing ideas related to development. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), an agency of the United Nations, was one of the most representative of these “hub” organizations. The conceptual frameworks that served as the basis for thinking about development in this context were the neoclassical framework, Keynesian economics, and the theories inspired by Marxism. Each of these theoretical perspectives supports a particular manner of understanding development, and in some cases, has shaped policy and interventions for more than half a century.

The Neoclassical Approach While the classical thought of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries devoted time to declaring general laws that promoted the overall functioning of capitalism as a system, the neoclassical approach focused on analyzing components of the system, such as production, costs, and consumer behavior, among others. Both approaches shared a set of basic premises upon which the theories rested: free competition and no intervention by the nation-state, the rational behavior of economic actors guided by their interest in maximizing individual gain, and the free movement of the factors of production. Scientific output was concentrated on formulating abstract, static, and extremely formal microeconomic models that lacked real content or nuance (Sunkel and Paz 1982; Vidal Villa and Martinez Peinado 1995). The central hypothesis of the neoclassical approach rests on the idea of convergence, defined as reaching general equilibria in interre-


gional growth levels as a result of free functioning of markets. This argument sustains the idea that the nation-state should not intervene in the economy, denouncing active interventionist policies in favor of regional development, except for redirecting the flow of capital toward underdeveloped areas through increased incentives (Moncayo Jimenez 2002).

 he Keynesian Approaches T and Policies of Intervention After the end of the First World War, the capitalist system began to manifest global imbalances that culminated dramatically with the 1929 financial crisis known as the great depression. This situation contributed to piercing the foundations of classical orthodoxy and demonstrated the need to intervene in the market to correct the imbalances and resume growth and accumulation. Thus, Keynesian thinking did not constitute a true break with classical economic theory, but rather refocused the theory in order to sustain a capitalist system that was in crisis. The General Theory elaborated by Keynes in 1936, sought to provide answers to three great economic problems: financial and monetary imbalances, economic fluctuations and unemployment (Sunkel and Paz 1982). Challenging the assumption that in the long term the free market was supposed to achieve full convergence, Keynes highlighted the trend of chronic unemployment in the capitalist economy, which was aggravated by the imbalance between total production and aggregate demand (Mendez and Caravaca 1996). Thus, he advocated for state intervention to correct the imbalances that occurred during recessive periods, via policies designed to increase public demand and create employment. Keynes’ economic theory helped redefine state action, assigning it a fundamental role in planning and promoting territorial development. The golden age of interventionism inaugurated a new era in which it was thought that development could be pushed forward under state direction, by deploying a wide range of mechanisms and


policies (subsidies, tariffs and differential pricing, fiscal incentives and disincentives) to drive growth in less favored or more marginal areas, thereby mitigating interregional imbalances. In Latin America, populist governments’ economic plans prominently promoted these ideas, advancing import substitution industrialization schemes, nationalization of firms and services, and economic and social promotion policies with a strong protectionist bias. Indeed, although Keynes’ contributions did not constitute a complete theory of economic development (Sunkel and Paz 1982; Polése 1998), they did serve as the foundation for important theoretical contributions that dealt with unequal development, becoming frameworks for planning and public policy aimed at overcoming divergence. Moncayo Jimenez (2002) highlights two approaches that deal with defining the root cause of regional imbalances and unequal development. The first seeks to explain the issue by focusing on the region’s internal conditions, its position in the economic system, and its long-­ term evolution. Walt Rostow’s model is one example; it establishes a linear model of the evolution of societies in the capitalist economy. We draw from his analysis that the so-called “underdeveloped societies” have to go through the five stages of economic growth to achieve development: traditional, transitional, takeoff, drive to maturity, and high mass consumption, in order to catch up with developed societies, and that many have not reached the takeoff stage (Walt Rostow 1960). The second approach seeks to explain unequal development by considering the position each region occupies in a hierarchical and polarized system (Moncayo Jimenez 2002). Thus, ­divergence is recognized as a condition inherent to capitalism and requires state intervention to correct the resulting imbalances. Gunnar Myrdal was one of the most important thinkers who questioned the assumption of general equilibria with his theory of Circular Cumulative Causation. Myrdal argues that underdevelopment results from the interrelatedness and feedback from a combination of factors  – low education level,

R. Bourqia and M. Sili

lack of infrastructure, internal inequality, and others  – that slow economic development and create regional imbalances (Vidal Villa and Martinez Peinado 1995).

 arxist Approaches Applied M to Development Theory Since the mid-twentieth century, many authors have addressed development from different analytical angles. The available bibliography is abundant and extraordinarily rich, in terms of both the history of thought and its contributions to the construction of social theory. Since the 1960s, several economists, sociologists, and anthropologists, including Arjun Appadurai (2015), have criticized the dominant linear vision of the history of societies and their evolution towards a single model resulting in Western capitalism known as “Western trajectorism”. The fundamental basis of this development model is the need for economic growth, modernization, and technological change, and there were few alternatives to this dominant model of development. Marxist ideology, however, inspired numerous theoretical approaches that reject the tenants of general equilibrium capitalism, and focus on the economic and social inequalities created by capitalism. Thus, these theoretical alternatives question the dominant economic system and highlight the inequalities created by two centuries of capitalist evolution. Marxist development ideology emerged in the 1960s as a challenge to neoclassical theory and its vision of convergence. It asserts that underdevelopment is not a transitory state on the way to progressive development, but rather a condition in itself, inherent to capitalism. Moreover, it warns that underdevelopment correlates with the economic growth of the central countries and that dependency is not limited to the sphere of economic relations between countries, but through social structures within countries themselves. One of the most important, and undoubtedly most radical, proponents of this idea was André Gunder Frank. In his writings, he argues that the root of Latin American underdevelopment is its

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South

role as a supplier of raw materials for central countries, resulting in ongoing structural poverty in peripheral producing countries. The national bourgeoisie within peripheral countries enrich themselves via this arrangement of international trade, thereby limiting the possibility of achieving genuine development by defending the system. Galindo and Malgesini also presents underdevelopment as a historical product of the development of advanced countries. He argues that the relationship between poor countries and rich ones always disadvantages the former because the advantage of the latter depends on maintaining this gap. For Galindo et al., the only way out of this paradigm to break with the world market and adopt a socialist system as a replacement (Galindo Martin and Malgesini 1993). Following the ideas of André Gunder Frank, many researchers from developing countries were inspired by Marxist development theories, such as Samir Amin who developed the theory of unequal development between the center and periphery (Samir Amin 1976). In the same line, Wallerstein (1974) developed the theory of the world-system, which sought to explain the structure and dynamics of the capitalist system as a single integrated economy on a planetary scale. This theory laid the foundations for studies dedicated to measuring the performance of national economies by taking global dynamics into account, and recognizing the international division of labor as a hierarchically stratified organization that creates large scale and permanent imbalances between countries. According to Fernandez et  al. (2014), Wallerstein’s proposal deconstructs the world economy and the international division of labor into a series of value chains with diverse production systems that span across national borders. Each stage on the production chain is composed of different activities, often located in different territories, but integrated under the direction of a single organization. These activities are divided into: (a) central activities, which are those that absorb most of the benefits produced within the chain; and (b) peripheral activities, which are those that appropriate a marginal portion of the benefit. This fragmentation constitutes the basis


of the unequal appropriation of the benefits of international trade and explains the hierarchical and unequal structure of the system. As Fernandez et al. points out (2014), the capitalist world-economy has been restructured through innovative processes in order to make the continuous process of capital accumulation viable in the long term. This restructuring, however, has not modified where central and peripheral activities take place, nor does it restructure the basis of the world-system, since the economic actors with greater capacity of business innovation are located in the central areas. Central areas benefit from technological advantages through reliable bureaucratic and institutional structures, capable of supporting innovation and production processes, especially through regulatory frameworks, better scientific and educational conditions and access to infrastructure and scientific equipment. The hierarchical and unequal structure that organizes the world is always organized and maintained from the countries in the global North, according to Wallenstein.

 he Paradigms of Endogenous T Development and Human Development During the 1980s and 1990s, Endogenous Growth theories contributed a new perspective on development, challenging some of the basic assumptions of the neoclassical theories at the core of their theoretical foundation. The primary criticism of these theories addresses the presumption of convergence, and recognizes the imbalances fueled by capitalism and the cumulative processes it creates that benefit more developed regions. The Endogenous Growth theories’ argument that the growth rate depends of: physical capital, human capital and knowledge (or technological innovation). Knowledge plays a decisive role in economic growth and, therefore, investments in R&D and formal education take on a special role in stimulating development. Technological innovation, therefore, are no longer considered as an


exogenous factor in this paradigm, it can also be the result from collective efforts within the production system. Learning by doing receives special attention in these theories, as well as the stock of knowledge gained through years of experience, and are also considered as specific factors of production (De Mattos 1999). Spatial proximity favors collective learning and reinforces specialization, which are decisive factors in the current scheme of global competition. One of the endogenous growth theories’ most significant contributions is highlighting the impacts that globalization, technological change, and the transformations in the economic and governmental spheres have had on local spaces. In addition, these theories demonstrated the potential benefits of redirecting development activities to align with local conditions, actors, resources and specific contexts. Paradoxically, while globalization aggravates fragmentation and regional disparities, it also increases the importance of territories, their unique qualities, specific resources, and social and cultural characteristics while exposing them to a new competitive system. Therefore, a successful development strategy must consist of activating the endogenous potential in the region in order to build a potential development strategy that is congruent with conditions in the region. Within the paradigm of the new global economy, this means creating favorable economic, social, and political environment conditions that value private capital in order to attract innovative and competitive firms, whose decision to locate in the region is fundamental to unleashing sustained endogenous growth (De Mattos 1999). The endogenous growth theories discard active state intervention in regulating the ­economy, although they do recognize the need for the government to carry out actions aimed at guaranteeing a stable and trustworthy context that promotes investment and allows private capital to enjoy the conditions needed to achieve adequate levels of profitability. At the same time, local and regional governments must position themselves as favorable environments for investment that take the local reality and the dynamics imposed by globalization into account.

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In contrast to the traditional bureaucratic model, decentralization delegates functions and responsibilities to local and provincial governments and charges them with the responsibility of demonstrating development as a concept. Garcia Delgado highlights two direct effects of this process: (1) the weakening of the centralized state’s authority on business, production, and social functions and (2) the reevaluation of subnational space as municipalities receive new powers (Garcia Delgado 1998). However, municipalities often find themselves severely limited in their reevaluation, as roles and responsibilities are frequently delegated to local governments without sufficient resources to adequately respond to such demands (Coraggio 1997). In contrast, the new model of endogenous growth management imposed on local governments aims to achieve three objectives: (1) take advantage of the available opportunities in the new economic order, particularly in terms of entering external markets; (2) assuming the decentralized government functions and the costs of economic adjustment; and (3) meeting growing demands from the social sector. The importance that horizontal relationships take on  – between municipalities, local and nonlocal institutions, research and extension centers, and nongovernmental organizations  – does not assume that vertical or hierarchical political power relationships are no longer relevant. The connection between municipalities, provinces, and the national government continues to play a central role, primarily in the allocation of resources and the expression of a comprehensive perspective on the national context. The free movement of capital, favored by the elimination of restrictions on international trade, has allowed firms to set up in regions they deem most suitable or favorable for their needs. This situation has resulted in high levels of competition, obligating cities and regions to create strategies that highlight local resources and create conditions that could potentially appeal to investors. Nonetheless, interregional competition puts in play a combination of factors that go beyond availability of raw materials, labor, and services. The new competitive system values resources

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South

such as knowledge and innovation, the presence of an active and flexible institutional framework, an open and innovative social system, and quality services and infrastructure. Innovation plays a decisive role for business competitiveness. Innovation no longer refers exclusively to the introduction of new exogenous technologies, but rather to a broader definition that includes institutions and society as a whole. In this way, the region and its localized context plays a new role as an active agent in the processes of development. Innovation in firms is due in large part to the existence of a regional environment (social, economic and cultural), where innovation is continually developed via agglomeration effects. These specialized regions are known as intelligent regions, national or regional innovation systems, or learning regions. Numerous theoretical frameworks seek to highlight the nature of this strategic factor. Thus, innovation is not only associated with attracting investment for regional development, but also as a condition for the growth of small and medium enterprises, capable of creating employment and endogenous productive activities. In the same vein, some authors have linked local and endogenous development theories with a set of models and experiences that strengthen productive systems in local areas, under the title of New Regionalism (Fernandez et  al. 2008). These models seek to link theory with practice, demonstrating concrete development alternatives based on successful experiences achieved mainly in central countries. Within this theoretical framework, several empirical studies stand out, including those carried out by Beccatini (1994), Bagnasco (1988) and Brusco (1996). These authors focused on the successful evolution of local Italian production systems in Emilia-­ Romagna, Tuscany, and Veneto, all of which are made up of small, specialized, and tightly integrated firms operating through economic turbulence and generalized crisis. Known as the “Italian industrial districts”, the model picked up the thread of the arguments proposed by Alfred Marshall at the beginning of the twentieth century (Quintar and Gatto 1992).


In the last two decades, the notion of the cluster, as developed by Michael Porter (1991) at the beginning of the 1990s, and the concept of “millieux innovateurs” in France achieved widespread dissemination. These notions refer to the innovative environment of local production systems and focus on the learning and innovation that take place among these firms. These models give special importance to the networks that connect actors, through which information, tacit knowledge and experience flow, and are strengthened by proximity relationships that serve as inputs in the creation of innovations. In challenging the economic approaches and development paradigms, economist Amartya Sen establishes a dialogue between economics, sociology, philosophy and ethics, via a new model of economic theory. Inspired by John Rawls and his theory of justice, Sen initiated the paradigm of human development, combining both economic efficacy and social justice indicators. Issues such as poverty and inequality in developing societies are central issues in his reflections, going beyond the classical theories of economic development and the indicators of economic growth. Within this framework, the central goals of development are the capabilities and freedom that allow for evaluating the standards of wellbeing and quality of life. The theory of human development has become the corner stone of UNDP’s human development reports since 1990.

 he Outcome of Different Policies T and Approaches to Development Neoclassical theories have searched for analytical arguments to explain the imbalances of capitalism in terms of economic growth, instead of designing effective measures to mitigate them, trust in the free market to achieve convergence and a rejection of direct state intervention. More critical economic theories also failed to make progress in designing equitable policies, although they were able to point out the structural conditions that create the inequalities created at the core of capitalism and their consequences at the local level in production regions.


In contrast, Keynesian economics encourages state intervention in development planning, particularly in the most disadvantaged regions. Thus, under this economic paradigm, various types of regional policies were established and directed from the national level and resources were transferred downstream to the provinces/states and eventually to municipalities. Under this economic regime, the state undertakes measures to mitigate the imbalances created by markets that generate cumulative effects in the most prosperous areas. However, a representative portion of these measures are based on neoclassical analytical and predictive models, based on statistics and the application of mathematical models in diagnostic phases leading to unachievable outcomes due to localized contexts. The poor results achieved during this era were not the only cause for abandoning prominent development policies in the 1980s. The arrival of neoliberal governments and the subsequent shrinking of the state meant that many of these plans were abandoned and/or replaced by smaller, short-term programs. As a result, the growth gap between regions widened while the social crisis encouraged the search for local-scale solutions to mitigate the effects of unemployment and rising poverty. In this context, endogenous growth models allowed theoreticians to imagine that it was possible to unleash sustained growth processes in a global context of increasing competitiveness and instability, by valuing local resources that could be understood as localized competitive advantages. The success achieved by small firms in depressed areas in Europe operating under this paradigm, led experts to consider the replicability of similar systems for overcoming social/economic crisis in Latin America, Africa or Asia. Thus, regional development policies were deconstructed to the local scale by designing strategic plans that were applied at the district level under the direction and supervision of outside academic groups and/or consultants supported by local teams. In general, these plans were not able to achieve the proposed objectives because of the lack of resources, the discontinuity of local public policy and the difficulties in encouraging and committing to broad participatory processes that

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would facilitate decision-making and contribute to sustaining the action over time. Moreover, macroeconomic instability also conspired against encouraging actors to make medium- and long-­ term strategic business decisions, instead having to react to external events at the immediate or short term. From a critical perspective, institutionalism allowed the meager results achieved by 50 years of various intervention models focused on improving the development conditions of the leastfavored regions to be openly discussed. Amin Ash (2008) warns that both Keynesian as well as the pro-market neoliberal approaches both share the notion that it is possible to create top-down policies that are universally applicable to any geographic region. Additionally, they target their efforts to the application of a combination of policies aimed at creating attractive conditions for business, such as fiscal incentives, credits, infrastructure and equipment, while relying on certain assumptions like the strict rationality of economic actors and the firm as the basic economic unit, among others. Although, on occasion, the measures promoted in these circumstances were able to increase employment levels and create some economic dynamism at the local-regional scale, they were not sufficient to sustain growth processes in the medium and long term.

The Structure of the World Today All these theoretical frameworks have influenced international and national policies at different historical periods. However, the current global paradigm is reshaping the definitions of development and creating complexities in the relationship between the North and the South, between clusters of south countries, and within sovereign borders. Geopolitical changes, such China increasing its international role, climate change, the growing technological gap, the rise of authoritarianism, the crisis of democracies, the persistence of problems of inequality and poverty, and the emergence of new gender and cultural identities constitute a set of factors that form a context sig-

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South

nificantly different from that of 30, 40 or 50 years ago. However, it is precisely these defining characteristics that make revisiting how we define development in the Global South more important now than ever, and by ensuring that the appropriate tools, theoretical concepts and methodological approaches are applied so that all voices are heard. This new paradigm seeks to develop a vision that encompasses the complex and fragmentarily reality of our world, which is shaping the present and the future of the Global South. For example, the role of international organizations has changed considerably in recent history. The diminution of their relative power, as well as the repeated reformulations and restructurings that many of them have undertaken, are an expression of a certain loss of meaning and orientation in the face of a panorama of great transformations worldwide. The world today is governed by global capitalism. However, this world is not homogeneous – it is a patchwork, or a set of fragments with differing levels of development that coexist and articulate with each other. This is not because there is still a persistence of centers and peripheries, or a North and a South. Nor is it because it is still possible to identify cultural differences, or economic and developmental levels between zones or groups of countries. Instead it is importance to recognize the complex network of interacting systems, and changing roles and definitions such as the “North” which defined as the Western or American style that is centered around the idea of a “market”, or the Chinese style, that is centered on the wellbeing and growth of “the state”. China’s current role in the global economy was unthinkable 20 or 30 years ago. Today, China can open markets and exchanges against the United States, which claims a certain modulation of nationalist protectionism. In the current global context, some centralized states and large multinationals dictate the rules of the global economy, establishing the law of the strongest. Nevertheless, each country goes through its own set of development experiences, such as Japan and its significant economic development and respectful of cultural traditions; the case of Korea, where education plays a strong role; or the case of Singapore and Malaysia,


where development has been rapid and articulated with a focus on education and strong leadership. We attempt to position the different development paths by countries in the global “South” by highlighting the following dynamics: The predominance of a predatory “development style”, particularly in terms of natural and energy resources, a key element underlying several dynamics that shape the Global South (the concept of “development style” is derived from the classic book of Sunkel and Gligo 1980). The persistence and consolidation of inequalities between countries and/or within countries. We are witnessing a dynamic that is accompanied by the persistence of high levels of poverty that affect a large part of the world’s population, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The dialogue between North and South and the governance model of relations between these major groups of countries is neither fair nor just. On the contrary, the pattern of global relationship management only benefits the strongest countries. • It is clear that issues of poverty and violence are difficult to solve according to local resources and capacities (Niger, Haiti, Yemen, Bangladesh, etc.). In the face of these dramatic situations, one may even wonder how relevant it is to think in terms of “development” in a classical way. • Environmental degradation is also a key element of this unequal relationship between North and South. The last decades have been marked by a gradual degradation of natural resources as well as landscapes. In general, these resources are exploited and consumed by countries in the North. • Deepen the technological and scientific gap. While the countries of the South have benefited from important changes in digital technologies in general, the gap in access to technology remains, and marks a gap that is difficult for the countries of the South to overcome. This gap reproduces and intensifies social and economic differences. As a result, the vast majority of scientific knowledge is produced in the North. Southern countries are unlikely to create and maintain more autono-

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10 Table 1.1  Number of patents for income groups Income group High-­ income Upper middle-­ income Lower middle-­ income Low income

Number of Number of countries applications 57 1,556,000

Share of world total (%) 46.8




1,683,100 (China 1,542,002, rest of countries 141,098) 84,900





Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from World Intellectual Property Indicators 2019. World Intellectual Property Organization

mous scientific institutions and networks to create useful knowledge or, in other words, to support sustainable development strategies. Faced with this reality, the question arises: how can the South cease to be considered peripheral without a certain degree of production and appropriation of technology? This refers not only to scientific and technological development translated into patents, but also to nuclear energy and other complex issues. Table 1.1 shows the number of patent applications separated by income group. Note that the value of patents of upper middle incomes countries is explained by the presence China with 1,542,002 applications, whereas the rest of Upper middle-income have only 141,098 applications. Despite this considerable anomaly, higher income countries would account for approximately 90% of global patents. • Inequality has a sociocultural correlation. For example, in recent decades there has been a gradual destruction of local cultures, given their “inability” to be “competitive” in terms established by international markets. The persistence of gender inequalities and the fragile and vulnerable situation of children and young people are also evident in these data. Many questions arise for the future, including the following: • Are we facing the creation of a new “bipolarity”, in which American and Chinese “styles

of development” would be in conflict within capitalism? • Do models of development structured by bipolarity continue to offer spaces and opportunities to create new dynamics and alternative spaces for action? • Will there be room to explore the multipolarity, or to consolidate regional or trans-regional blocks, such as the BRICS? • Will the countries of the Global South find their own paths towards development, or will these countries have to join one of the new “poles”? Will countries in the Global South have to “oscillate” between powers, or will they be able to envisage the creative construction of pathways or alternatives?

 he Changing Global Context T Requires Redefining the Concept of the Global South Defining how “developing countries” fit into a changing global context requires updating concepts and terminology used to describe and characterize their role in the global economy. Calls for new definitions began in the 1980s, when critical voices spoke out against the myths of “development” and the idealization of economic growth, going as far as to call for abandoning the notion all together. This approach found support by many intellectuals in the Global South who criticized the intrinsic Eurocentrism and colonialism in characterizing development, particularly amongst Latin American scholars. At the end of the twentieth century, the idea of the characterizing countries as part of the “Global South” emerged as a new way of going beyond commonly used terms such as “Third World” or as “developing countries”. In 1952, Alfred Sauvy coined the term “Third World” in order to define global social inequalities as a strategy to bring more attention to these countries’ plight. This characterization split the globe into three worlds: (1) the capitalist or free world (United States, Europe, among others); (2) the socialist world (around the former USSR); and (3) the “other”, or underdeveloped countries. The concept of the

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South

Third World, as Bergel affirms, was born in world of social sciences, which constructed the term as an object both to offer diagnoses and empirical information, and to offer possible solutions to overcome the vast underdevelopment in this significant proportion of the world. As a concept, the idea of the “third world” is intrinsically connected with the theory of modernization, which justifies interventions and a push for development as a “civilizing mission” undertaken by western powers. Thus, the technical and specialized discourse surrounding the Third World framework as a concept legitimizes the technical and financial interventions of agencies and experts in “development” from institutions of the first world (World Bank, United Nations, etc.) in countries of the third world found in Latin America, Asia and Africa (Fig. 1.1). The term “developing countries” directly refers to economic and social limitations faced by countries found in the Global South. While the concept of the Global South is generally applied to developing countries, its definition is based the local and global challenges these countries face. The term Global South intrinsically refers to marginalized territories across the globe in contrast to the Global North, and eliminates the existence of the Third World category. According to Boaventura de Souza Santos (2010), the Global South refers to the people and places that have

Fig. 1.1  The third world. (Source: Authors’ design)


suffered the experience of colonialism by Europe, and/or marginalization and domination by the global super powers. The South is not geographically defined, it is a metaphor that refers to the excluded and marginalized people and places, meaning that the Global North can be found in the geographical South and vice versa. This is a key point, because it allows us to include peripheries and forms of marginalization in the north (with migrants, for example, although not exclusively), and to acknowledge the poles of privilege found in the south (Fig. 1.2). Despite these clear general definitions, deciding whether to place countries in the North or in the South can sometimes prove problematic. For example, should one place China, Russia, and Brazil (BRIC countries) in the South, or create a category for semi-periphery countries? Despite defining these terms and phenomenon the concept of the Global South, it is still widely underutilized in representations and analyses of the world-system. It is one of many theoretical options about how to think about the world on a large scale incorporating a utopian horizon in its characterization. In the last two decades, developing countries have witnessed an evolution of their participation in global governance. The rise of Global South is a reality, although it is far from complete, due to global challenges facing developing countries (Unictad 2018). Despite the fact


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Fig. 1.2  The Global South. (Source: Authors’ design)

that global super powers dominate the discourse of global governance, developing countries participate through government actors and civil society, and are invited to debate at the global level. They contribute to the greater discourse surrounding global governance and policy making by influencing the normative framework of the world system, and drawing attention to concerns about poverty, justice, and “the better balance between growth and development” (Ingel Kaul 2013). In short, the concept of the Global South creates an alternative categorization of the world system that highlights the marginal role in which countries in the Global South find themselves. This allows for increased recognition of marginal spaces within global capitalism, but perhaps more importantly, it suggests that the meaning of “development” in the South is an evolving process that has changed since the enlightenment or the creation of Western capitalist thought. We emphasize the need to generate new ideas and create a new development paradigm for the Global South. Moreover, these ideas should be based on the concrete experiences that originate from countries in the Global South in order to define perspectives and strategies for thoughts and action that are appropriate for their context. The countries of the Global South, a heterogeneous area that includes many of the countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia, share a series of

common characteristics, including high levels of poverty, inequality, and their limited role in the international community. In most cases, the countries in the Global South supply raw materials and/or cheap labor, which has limited thee ability to achieve sustainable improvements to material prosperity, increased quality of life, and human progress. Clearly, this phenomenon is not new; however, given the number of global transformations currently taking place, we felt that it was the right moment to call for a new way thinking and, ultimately, a change in how we approach the issue of development in the Global South.

 owards the Construction of a New T Development Paradigm in the Global South Addressing these issues and charting a new path for the Global South during a time of global transition and instability is a daunting task. We must create a new paradigm of development that accounts for real conditions in social, economic and geopolitical spheres. This perspective will allow the Global South to overcome the propensity to engage in “Western trajectorism” that has led Southern countries to emulate “styles” of development and action that lead to perpetuating an unjust and unbalanced global system.

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South

One of the most important myths to dispel when rethinking development in the Global South, is the notion of inevitable and happy globalization. Globalization is not always happy (in fact, it almost never is), and has created systemic problems that are currently affecting many countries. To move on from these systemic failures, it is essential to revisit the theoretical paradigms that underpin the current world model, and transition away from development strategies that were created with different economic and geopolitical contexts in mind. Of course, to move forward, it will also be necessary to question the meaning of the “South” in the context of globalization in order to promote the restructuring of current global governance. Rethinking development from the South in no way means to refuse to establish a fruitful dialogue with voices and opinions of the Global North, especially when these voices are also critical of current conditions and inequalities. The construction of a new paradigm of development for the Global South is based on two fundamental premises. • The first premise is that it is necessary to regain confidence in the future. This means to overcome any determinism that mainstreams the defining features of the current scenario or the undesirable consequences it potentially contains. It is essential to believe in the viability of other future world-systems. Therefore, overcoming fatalism and restoring confidence in the future is a fundamental stance, as trust is the basic raw material for building visions and alternative pathways for a more equitable future. • The second premise is that it is imperative to take ownership of the Global South lane. The countries and spheres that make up the Global South must not be seen as prisoners of the dilemmas imposed on them. The southern countries have a rich and significant cultural heritage, which is often underestimated if not directly forgotten and hidden. It is essential to know this heritage, to disseminate it, to enrich it in a critical way. The journey of the new


Global South can only take place by re-­ inventing a common heritage and putting it in dialogue with the current challenges. From this perspective, it can be argued that building a new development paradigm for the Global South involves defining a strategy that focuses on two key elements. 1. Generating a strong convergence of mobilizing factors or levers. It is necessary to bring together various factors or levers mobilizing social and cultural change that allow for the emergence of a new ideas or paradigms of development: • The first key factor is the establishment of key values such as ethics, trust (in oneself and in others), and transparency and solidarity. Without a commitment to these values, it is impossible to move forward together in building a common future or venturing into new paths of human progress. • This construction cannot be done from anywhere and should not be market determined. On the contrary, politics and policies must set the course for development and establish the sequences and the rhythms of change that benefit people and the environment. More precisely, the state must adequately create meaning and promote the construction of a collective consciousness that shares a common destiny. It also implies rethinking the state and its role in building a new history – a state that is adapted to the conditions of the Global South and the current phase of globalization. Crucial to the construction of a new consciousness and new ideas for the future is access to basic and higher levels of education, the development of human capital, and scientific and technological capacity building related to new technologies and innovations. It is clear that the development of countries and societies at the global level will depend on the educational base, scientific knowledge and innovation that can create a society. • A new relationship with nature, where nature is not seen and considered as a simple set of resources that can be appropriated and used in any way, but as a common good on which life

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as a whole depends, and without which there is no future. It is necessary not only to take into account the policies of protection of the environment, but also to change the societal outlook on nature, by respecting the cycles and the dynamics of the natural environment. Move from an economic logic of competitiveness to an economic logic of inclusion, based on the value of human capital. This means overcoming the notion of a growth-driven economy and building an innovative economy that gives rise to multiple forms of resource production and development, which are more sustainable and resilient. In this context, human rights and social wellbeing should not be considered a sectoral policy of governments, but as the inalienable rights of each individual, which must be guaranteed by a comprehensive approach to human dignity. Last, but perhaps most importantly, the cultural dimensions in the Global South must be embraced in order to give real meaning to rethinking development. Culture is the one that gives value to the past, and learned traditions are the only thing that make it possible to embark on a shared future. Valuing culture as a means of projecting towards the future implies, among other things, enhancing the highlights and figures of the past because it implies anchoring our future in respect to our own identity. Thinking and acting with reflection. The second strategic axis involves a change of attitude, which implies reflecting on what development or the future means to the Global South. Through action-oriented thinking we can build effective initiatives that generate facts that and strengthen this narrative. Decisive action must be guided by strategic reflection and a vision of a new future. A vision that concretely links to action and a corresponding dialogue, daring to go beyond the paths traced by the dominant discourses.

In this sense, we propose to adopt an approach that combines short-term problem solving in order to solve limiting situations, and the con-

struction of a long-term vision based on intercultural dialogue between researchers from the Global South. This also implies the emergence of alternative narratives and inventing new ways to see contextualize the world. This long-term vision will generate the social and cultural energy that will enable the design and construction of new institutional transitions (forms of politics and forms of the state), improve environmental conditions (towards a new logic and environmental rationality), and transform economic and cultural spheres towards less asymmetrical and unjust realities with a focus on multilateralism. However, thinking about concrete action also creates an enormous communication challenge. It is not just about understanding the world and building a vision for the future, but also about using the right language to generate consensus, add new perspectives, and influence multiple levels of political life in our respective countries.

The Aim of This Book This book aims to contribute to the discussion on development in the Global South. It is a set of approaches to an extremely complex problem. Each approach deals in depth with a relevant issue or aspect of the long list of problems we face today. However, we cannot proceed by simply “adding up” the approaches we discuss. Since the world today is increasingly, diverse, heterogeneous and fragmented, we require a broader view to see the big picture. Our solution is to provide a kaleidoscopic view that allows readers to observe something new, something different, something that will depend on the intentionality and the perspective of the observer to interpret this new fragmented and diverse reality. The reader’s interpretation is fundamental to organize the resulting “kaleidoscope” of world views. For this reason, the book should not be taken as a catalogue of definitive answers or as a recipe for public policy, but rather as a series of “keys” or “clues” to continue the process of thinking about the possible meaning development in the contemporary Global South.

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South

The contributions in this book are structured into four main ideas: The first idea is that the problem of (under)development, first raised more than 70 years ago, is still relevant because the world continues to be a place marked by inequalities despite our awareness of these inequalities (between north and south, but also within each country). The concept of “development” continues to condense aspirations for the improvement and progress of living conditions in “developing societies”. Looking to the future, there are basically three key questions in regards to underdevelopment: is it possible to bridge this gap? and, if so, what are the means to do so? and to what extent should developing “societies change their way of being”? Should we forget the concept or re-signify it? The second idea is that there are some key elements found in traditional definitions of “development” that deserve to be highlighted despite 70 years of failure. Although it can be said that the living conditions of “developing societies” have improved “in absolute terms”, they have not improved “in relative terms”. The world is an increasingly unequal place, in both the Global North and South. Several elements make it possible to characterize these profound inequalities, both between the North and the South, and within the countries themselves. For example, the technological gap has become increasingly difficult to close, ­resulting in limited agency for “developing societies” to make autonomous decisions without the oversight of companies or consultants based in the Global North. This technological gap has also widened in countries with highly developed technology sectors in the Global North and shifted to regions with fewer technological capabilities via outsourcing. Another element found in traditional definitions of development are the awareness of the ongoing environmental crisis and the “limits of growth”. Voices stemming from previous definitions of development have questioned the utopian vision of development. Sometimes, this research is accompanied by attempts to propose or update alternative notions, more or less ancestral, gen-


erally with other horizons, not always characterized precisely. Redefining development requires taking lessons learned into account. The third idea is that we are currently witnessing a paradox: on the one hand, the idea of development continues to structure a considerable mass of discourse and practices; on the other hand, large groups of experts, intellectuals, and activists increasingly criticize it. Are we doomed to face a schizophrenic world, whose “practices” walk in a different direction from what our “consciousness” indicates, and will the proposal to abandon the notion of development and the utopian horizons associated with it succeed in giving way to new configurations of discourse and practice? What will happen to inequality in the face of issues we cannot ignore such as the “harshness” of geopolitical realities or the exponential nature of technological advances? The fourth key idea is that we cannot realistically abandon the current understanding of development instantaneously or unilaterally. Development as a concept remains relevant for the countries of the Global South, even if it is increasingly necessary to rework it in depth, both theoretically and in terms of identifying and highlighting concrete experiences that can be used as a reference to overcome issues in development. It is important to heed the criticism of development as it may foreshadow new realities and horizons in a complex and uncertain global context. It is necessary to address these criticisms, even if they may seem distant and even irreconcilable. This book is organized in five parts containing several chapters.

 art I: Globalization, Dependencies P and New Geopolitical Scenario for Thinking About Development In this part of the book, we present several articles that discuss the diversity of contexts in the Global South in structural terms. The aim is not only to build an inventory of problems facing


these countries, as it is the objective of this book, but to show different situations that allow us to understand the problems of the Global South in relation to the dynamics of globalization, cooperation, and the definition of policies and paths to be followed by different countries. The following chapters are found in Part I: –– Gregory Houston & Crain Soudien present the historical process of African Development, which highlights the situation in many countries of in Global South face. In this chapter, the authors show that Africa’s development has been shaped by an international environment and that African countries have responded collectively at the continental, sub regional, and national levels. They go on to discuss the consequences development has had at all levels of analysis. This study examines official national and regional approaches to development, as well as the views of African researchers on these approaches. They also discuss the different historical phases of development of African development, focusing on key changes in the international system at each phase. –– Li Anshan presents a chapter that reflects on the real autonomy and capacity that the countries of the Global South have had to build their Development processes. Although this chapter uses examples found in Africa, its ideas and conclusions are also important for Latin America and Asian countries. The author begins his analysis by defining the concept of autonomy in international policies. The author then explains how most of the African countries won their political independence in the 1960s, yet many are still under the control of big powers in economic, social, and cultural fields, by receiving international aid. Africa’s economic autonomy is discussed as a key issue related to the healthy and sustainable development of African countries, and the Author urges Africans to regain economic autonomy so that they can realize sustainable development in their respective countries. –– Linked to these two previous chapters, Georges Gérard Flexor & Robson Dias da Silva present a brief reflection on the process

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of deindustrialization in Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil, and the renewal of efforts to exploit natural resources and export primary goods there. The economic development of Brazil and Latin America is placed in a broader historical perspective, as developing countries that have comparative advantages in the production of resource-intensive goods, yet a place of dependence in the global context, and a structural incapacity to follow the path of development of the northern countries. This chapter is extremely important as it allows an understanding of the dichotomies, dualities, and conflicts around the definition of development policies in the framework of the globalization process. –– Lastly, Alioune Sall proposes a general and comprehensive explanation of the impact of globalization in the Global South, using Africa as a regional case study on the possible alternatives for development without losing control to the Western bloc or with the Chinese bloc of global powers. This chapter presents the issues facing development from a general perspective that closes first part of the book by highlighting the issues surrounding development today.

 art II: Critique and Renewal P of Development Thinking Part II of the book looks at the structural conditions facing countries in the Global South, as well as their relationship with the process of globalization to emphasize the different critiques and alternative discourses put forth by researchers that seek to improve the quality of life in the countries of the Global South. Part II is comprised of the following chapters: –– Driss Guerraoui presents a historical overview of the paradigms of economic development and their impact on national and continental policies in the Global South. He makes an important contribution by discussing the emergence of new paradigms and new ideas about development in this new historical

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South


context that consider new forms of world of the different peoples engaged in these kinds governance. of development. –– Mohammed Noureddine Affaya then analyzes the concept of development and international partnerships as a way of thinking about Part III: The Ecological Transition another model of alternative development. as Key Factors for Change According to the author, this definition of and Renewal of Development development is generally defined as the “growth Models and accumulation of capital”. However, this understanding is, undoubtedly, the product of a Part III of the book focuses on the relationship whole reference system evoking “the values of between environment and development, showing progress, universalism, the mastery of nature, how environmental conditions have become a qualifying rationality”. Therefore, the author key factor in the renewal of development thinkargues that the values inherent to the cultural ing. This part is structured around three interlinkhistory of the West have been disseminated ing chapters written by different researchers. through the idea of development, through colonialism and globalization in different parts of –– In the first chapter of Part III, Aviram Sharma the world. This chapter suggests that, “developpresents a reflection on the relationship mentist thinking” was and still is guided by a between development policies and the envigreat paternalistic enterprise, and that rich ronment, using India as a case study. The countries ensure the development of the least author points out the absence of environmendeveloped countries. The author claims that the tal concerns in Indian developmental disterm development was then monopolized by course, and that several scholars, omitted its international experts who present themselves as inclusion while addressing the history of the strategists who show “underdeveloped people discourse of Indian economics and the linkhow to develop themselves”. Despite the critiages between economics with the environcisms of these developmentist policies which ment. This chapter attempts to bridge this gap demand the withdrawal of the State for the benand try to delineate how the environmental efit of the market and the interests of big busidiscourse emerged along the diverse developness, these experts change warp the terms used mental models over the last seven decades in to define concepts in development, by speaking India. In other words, the author explores how of “equitable development”, “good goverthe developmental discourse in India engaged nance”, “participatory policy”, “sustainable with environmental concerns, and how the development”, and “inclusive development”. fundamental assumptions and basic premises These are “conceptual crafts” that seem to sell of the developmental models do not adewords instead of “changing things”. quately engage with issues of intergenera–– The last chapter in Part II by Kozel & Sili, tional social justice and environmental presents a global view on the different dissustainability. State-led environmentalism and courses and interpretations on Development in market environmentalism fundamentally conLatin American countries (neo-­ tradict the values and principles of community-­ developmentalism, development in globalizaled environmentalism that has emerged at the tion, indigenous developmentalism, grassroots level. This chapter closes by sugsustainable development, etc.). In this chapter, gesting multiple pathways for sustainable each stream of thought makes clear reference development, which can achieve the twin to the underlying discourses that shape them, challenge of “sustainability with equity”. and show how they link to the environmental –– In chapter two of Part III, Arilson Favareto problems, the economic development, and the analyzes the emergence of a new recovery of the social and cultural patrimony Environmental discourse in development poli-


cies and practices in Brazil. The chapter emphasizes the need to revisit the topic of ecological transition according to the strategies and priorities outlined by the Brazilian development model. The author highlights aspects of the current negotiation between two models of Development in Brazil (as in the rest of the countries of Latin America and many countries of Africa and Asia). The first model is based on streamlining and increasing the production of primary goods, in order to meet increasing demand for animal proteins across the world and boost exports from Brazil and Latin American countries. The second is to build a new economy, where the wealthy global middle class shift their consumption styles to improve livelihoods in production regions via organic production or certification schemes. There is also an ongoing technological revolution taking place in Brazil, expanding and diversifying the use of natural resources (not only new forms of energy production, but also biodiversity usage, appreciation and payment for ecological services). –– Lastly, Maria Luisa Eschenhagen focuses her chapter on understanding how the global environmental crisis is giving rise to thinking about new alternatives to Development and how these new ideas and alternatives dialogue with each other by providing examples from Latin America. The chapter reviews the main critical points behind the idea of Development in Latin America, especially from the Environmental point of view, from this critical point of view raises alternatives to development, in line with the contribution

 art IV: The Role of Culture P in Constructing New Development Pathways Culture is a key factor in the construction of the meaning of Development and in all political practices. Culture can be understood as an engine for development or as a tool for “the clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order”, as stated by Samuel Huntington in the central

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hypothesis his 2001 work (Huntington 2001). This part of the book examines different cultural strategies and conceptions that constitute the basis of development thinking in different fields. In some places, these concepts effectively support policies, and in other cases, these concepts are maintained as ideological political frames of reference with little political empirical translation. The following chapters provide a variety of examples to demonstrate the role of culture in the construction of the meaning of Development. –– In the first chapter, Saley Boubé Bali analyses the recurrent environmental and geopolitical crises in sub-Saharan countries and the implications that this has had on the future of these societies and territories. Faced with these crises and the impossibility of thinking of development in the traditional and western sense of the term, the author analyzes the functions of culture and appropriate tools following periods of crisis such as draught, or wars caused by population displacement, and demonstrates their impacts on sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Resilience after crisis appears as a key factor in the survival of societies and, therefore, a key element in rethinking the role of culture and the meaning of development. –– In the second chapter, Zhang Jingting analyzes the role that “He” (Harmony) and “Tianxia” (All under Heaven) has had as cultural vectors of the new dynamics of China’s development. The author shows how China has undergone a shift from a largely agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse, but the focus of this chapter is to analyze the relation between the fast economic development of China and the underlying traditional philosophy and culture. This chapter shows that Chinese models of development are deeply rooted in the soil of Ancient China, which is interrelated with the terms such as He (Harmony) and Tianxia (all under Heaven) –– In the third chapter, Diego Burger Santos & Sangay Dorji present how Bhutan has revised the concept of development quantified it through gross national happiness. The authors

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South

point out that along with development and the fulfilment of most basic human needs across the world, there has been a transition in public discourse of how to increase life satisfaction, while also addressing the challenge of sustainability and environmental protection. The United Nations has helped incite this switch of perspective by supporting many holistic initiatives such as the World Happiness Report (WHR), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and the Human Development Index (HDI) which has been around since the early 90s. With these changes, Bhutan, a small Himalayan country claiming to use happiness instead of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a tool for decision making, and which is the only carbon negative country in the world, has begun to draw international attention. This article analyzes the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) in Bhutan, its history, cultural relevance, scope, potentials, and limitations. It also looks to some of the challenges Bhutan is facing in regard to accomplishing its ambitious goals, as well as some valuable lessons it has to teach the rest of the world. –– Fabricio Pereira da Silva presents development defined by communities in several ­countries in Latin America and Africa through two key concepts: the Sumak Kawsay/Suma Qamaña (good living) in Latin America and Ubuntu in Africa. The author states that the romanticized re-reading of a communal past is a central theme for a considerable part of critical thinking in the global periphery of capitalism. Concepts based on a holistic and communitarian vision of the world, extended family, and community, mixed with elements of European political philosophy, are recurrent. The idea of a shared communal heritage that ensures a direct transition to an egalitarian society, without the need to go through the trials of classical capitalist development, seems to be the common reason for peripheral critical thinking since the defense of the peasant commune’s potential by Russian populism in the nineteenth century. This idea was present among many intellectuals in Latin America, Africa and Asia. These proposals assume a


specific relationship with historical time: they project a future articulated with the past. It suggests that a common perception is that if something was possible in the past, it may be possible in the future. This chapter compares formulations that occurred at several points on the periphery throughout current development processes. All these formulations constitute proposals for building alternative societies based on ways of living, producing, socializing, feeling known, and being in the world that are distinct from the main path of Western modernity. –– Finally, the last chapter of Part IV immerses us in a powerful reflection on the ways of constructing the meaning of Development and well-being through a gender perspective, using the experience of Mexican migrant women in the United States. Diana Tamara Martínez Ruíz & Alejandra Ceja Fernández & Martha González Lázaro, propose some of the resignifications of well-being and migration parting from the imaginaries of women that are in contact with international Mexico-U.S. migration. The chapter presents elements that constitute development through social well-being and subjective well-being. These categories are the axis of the analysis of women’s narratives together with their imaginaries and ways to re-significate their well-­ being in the light of migration. The chapter compares the imaginaries of development and well-being between women who stayed in their origin communities and those who migrated, in order to show the forms of social and subjective well-being.

 art V: Knowledge and Ideas P to Build a New Sense for Development Strategies in the Global South The book ends with a fifth part focused on a reflection on the construction of knowledge and ideas about development. This last chapter not only constitutes a critical analysis of the construction of knowledge, but also goes beyond it to

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promote the construction of knowledge and ideas in accordance with the problems that face countries in the Global South. Thus, the hypothesis that supports this last chapter is that if the Global South intends to be a project, and intends to build a new path for development, it will first have to advance with the construction of new ideas, representations, and knowledge around development. The two chapters in Part V help to illuminate this proposal. –– First, Rahma Bourqia presents a critique and a proposal for the construction of knowledge relevant to the Global South. The author points out that while the countries of the South are looking for a way to engage in an accelerated development process, their attempts and research is still imbued with the theses and the paradigms of modernization and catch-up. However, the world is no longer bipolarized between modern and traditional societies or between a developed West and an underdeveloped South. Instead, it is multipolar as illustrated by the differentiated trajectories of countries, which has allowed for alternative forms of development, in a context where globalization that has created other types of disparities between countries. Advocates of globalization praise its benefits and opportunities for the integration of developing countries into the world economy, but this globalization has created new inequalities between North and South countries, and has sometimes split regions within the same country be it in the South or the North. This contribution is a theoretical reflection on development in order to identify new challenges facing the Global South in a globalized world, while focusing on the role that education, knowledge, and technological mastery have played in certain development models, in order to create alternative knowledge and pathways that can benefit the Global South. –– In a second and last chapter of Part V, Eduardo Devés & Andrés Kozel highlight the construction of new ideas around the Global South, this reflection is structured through an interview with Eduardo Devés, which proves

to be extremely relevant because it closes all the topics presented in each of the chapters. This chapter acts as a proposition to construct a new agenda, and to reflect on the ideas of development in the future, emphasizing the existence and development of peripheral thinking and its development in the countries of the Global South.

References Amin, Samir. 1976. Unequal development. An essay on the social formations of peripherical caîtalisme. Sussex: The Harvester Press. Amin, Ash, (2008), “Una perspectiva institucionalista sobre el desarrollo económico regional” in, Amin, Ash and Vigil, José Ignacio, Repensando el desarrollo regional: Contribuciones globales para una experiencia latinoamericana, Buenos Aires, Miño y Dávila. Appadurai, A. 2015. El futuro como hecho cultural. Ensayos sobre la condición global. Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica. Bagnasco, Arnaldo. 1988. La costruzione sociale del mercato: Studi sullo sviluppo della piccola impresa in Italia. Bologna: Il Mulino. Becattini, Giacomo. 1994. El distrito marshalliano: una noción socioeconómica. In Las regiones que ganan: Los nuevos paradigmas de la Geografía Económica, ed. George Benko and Alain Lipietz. Valencia: Alfonso el Magnánimo. Brusco, Sebastiano. 1996. Sistemas globales y sistemas locales. Información Comercial Española N° 754: 63–95. Coraggio, Jose Luis. 1997. Descentralización, el día después. Buenos Aires: Oficina de Publicaciones del CBC, Universidad de Buenos Aires. De Mattos, Carlos. 1999. Nuevas teorías de crecimiento económico: una lectura desde la perspectiva de los territorios de la periferia. In Globalización y políticas de Desarrollo Territorial, ed. Alberto Barbeito, Ana María Geymonat, Ricardo Roig, and Red iberoamericana de investigadores en globalización y territorio. Río Cuarto: Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto. De Sousa Santos, Boaventura. 2010. Para descolonizar Occidente: más alla del pensamiento abismal. Buenos Aires: Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales CLACSO; Prometeo Libros. Fernández, Victor Ramiro, Ash Amin, and José Ignacio Vigil. 2008. Repensando el desarrollo regional: Contribuciones globales para una experiencia latinoamericana. Buenos Aires: Miño y Dávila. Fernández, Victor Ramiro, Carolina, Lauxmann, and Manuel, Trevignani. 2014. Emergencia del Sur Global. Perspectivas para el desarrollo de la periferia

1  A Kaleidoscope of Ideas for Rethinking Development in the Global South latinoamericana. Economia e Sociedade, Campinas 23, n. 3 (52): 611–643, dez. 2014. Furtado, Celso. 1982. El subdesarrollo Latinoamericano. Ensayos de Celso Furtado. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica. Galindo Martin, Miguel Ángel, and Graciela Malgesini. 1993. Crecimiento económico: Principales teorías desde Keynes. Madrid: McGraw-Hill. García Delgado, D. 1998. Estado  – Nación y Globalización. Buenos Aires: Ariel. Huntington, Samuel P. 2001. El choque de las civilizaciones y la reconfiguración del orden mundial. Buenos Aires: Paidós. Kaul, Inge. 2013. The rise of the Global South: Implication for provisioning of global public goods. Occasional Paper, October 9. UNIDP Human Development Office. Méndez, Ricardo, and Caravaca Barroso, Inmaculada. 1996. Organización industrial y territorio. Madrid: Síntesis. Moncayo Jiménez, Edgard. 2002. Modelos de desarrollo regional: teorías y factores determinantes. Boletín Oficial de la Sociedad Geográfica de Colombia N° 45 (133): 91–116. Polése, Mario. 1998. Economía urbana y regional: Introducción a la relación entre territorio y desarrollo.


Cartago: Libro Universitario Regional  – EULAC/ GTZ. Porter, Michel. 1991. La ventaja competitiva de las naciones. Buenos Aires: Vergara. Quintar, Aida, and Francisco Gatto. 1992. Distritos industriales italianos. Experiencias y aportes para el desarrollo de políticas industriales locales. Buenos Aires: CFI/CEPAL. Rostow, Walt. 1960. The stages of economic growth: A non-communist Manifesto. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sauvy, Alfred. 1952. Trois mondes, une planète. L’Observateur, 14 de agosto de 1952, n°118, pag. 14. Sunkel, Osvaldo, and Pedro Paz. 1982. El subdesarrollo latinoamericano y la Teoría del Desarrollo. México: Siglo XXI. UNICTAD. 2018. Forging a path beyond borders. The Global South. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Vidal Villa, José María, and Javier Martínez Peinado. 1995. Economía Mundial. Madrid: McGrawz-Hill. Wallerstein, Imanuel. 1974. The modern world-system: Capitalist agriculture and the origins of the European world-economy in the sixteenth century. New  York/ London: Academic.

Part I Globalization, Dependencies and New Geopolitical Scenarios for Thinking About Development


African Perspectives on Development in the Context of a Changing International System Crain Soudien and Gregory Houston



African development has been largely shaped by developments in the international political system since its integration into this system as colonies, but even more so since independence from the mid-twentieth century. This chapter traces the impact of significant developments in this system on African development since decolonization, and continental, sub-regional and national responses of African countries to these changes. It examines official national and regional approaches to development, as well as the views of African scholars on these approaches and on African development in general during various historical phases of development, with a focus on key changes in the international system in each phase. It is argued that the current international system is shaped by three significant changes that unfolded after 1992: the rise of China as a global economic power; the growing threat to multilateralism and globalisation; and Russia’s new international role. How these changes unfold in the future and Africa responds to these changes shapes development continentally, sub-regionally and nationally.

Development phases · Decolonization · Development plans · Underdevelopment · International system · Response to change

C. Soudien (*) · G. Houston Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Cape Town, South Africa e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

In 1992 in The End of History and the Last Man Francis Fukyama argued that there would be a gradual spread of democratic capitalist institutions over time. He did not foresee several significant international changes that would unfold after 1992: the rise of China as a global economic power; the growing threat to multilateralism and globalisation; and Russia’s new international role. It is argued here that these changes in the international arena will have a major impact on African development in the future. It is further argued that an understanding of how these changes will impact on African development is best undertaken through an analysis of the historical process of African development in two phases: the post-colonial phase from 1957; and the post-Cold War phase from 1990. In each of these phases, African development was shaped by an international environment to which African countries responded collectively at a continental and sub-regional level, and individually at a national level with significant consequences for development at all these levels.

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



This study examines official national and regional approaches to development, as well as the views of African scholars on these approaches and on African development in general during the various historical phases of development, with a focus on key changes in the international system in each phase.

 he Historical Process of African T Development In this analysis of the historical process of African development, focus is firstly placed on the impact of changes in the international system in two phases on national and regional development initiatives and the consequences of these initiatives. Coupled with this is an analysis of scholarly interpretations of the impact of historical processes on African development and of African development initiatives.

The Post-colonial Phase The international system the newly-independent African countries entered from the late 1950s had three features that impacted on their development: first, the dramatic increase in African independence during the 1960s and 1970s; second, the domination by neoliberal international financial institutions of the global economy; and third, the division of the world into two blocs  – the western liberal democracies led by the United States on one side and the Eastern Bloc ­communist countries led by the Soviet Union on the other.

 he Impact of African Decolonisation, T 1957–1975 Most nations in Africa were colonised by European states in the early modern era during the scramble for Africa from 1880 to 1900. This condition was reversed over the course of the next century by independence movements: Liberia in 1847, South Africa, through gaining

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self-governing status from Britain in 1910, and Egypt, similarly, in 1922. Italy relinquished colonial control over Ethiopia in 1941, while Britain did the same for Libya in 1951. In 1956, several African countries became independent: Sudan (Britain/Egypt), the Kingdom of Morocco (France), the northern Spanish Zone of Morocco (Spain), and the International Zone of Morocco and Tunisia (France). Ghana became independent from Britain in 1957, while the Southern Spanish Zone of Morocco (Spain) and Guinea (France) became independent in 1958. In 1960, 17 African colonies attained independence: Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Mali, Madagascar, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, and Mauritania, which were all French colonies; Congo (Kinshasa), which was a colony of Belgium; and Somalia and Nigeria, which were British colonies. Independence was achieved by four former British colonies in 1961 – Sierra Leone, British Cameroon North incorporated into Nigeria, British Cameroon South which became Cameroon, and Tanzania. Another four became independent in 1962  – Burundi and Rwanda, from Belgium; Algeria from France and Uganda from Britain. Britain relinquished rule over several colonies thereafter, viz. Kenya (1963), The Gambia (1964), Botswana (1966), Lesotho (1966), Mauritius (1968), and Swaziland (1968); and similarly, so  did Spain over Equatorial Guinea in 1968 and the remainder of Morocco in 1969, and Portugal over Guinea-Bissau in 1973 and Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe, and Angola in 1975. Spain’s remaining colony, Western Sahara, became independent in 1976, while Britain’s last African territories became independent in 1976 (Seychelles) and 1980 (Zimbabwe). The last French colonies to become independent were the Comoros (1976) and Djibouti (1977). Namibia gained its independence from South Africa only in 1990 (while Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993, and South Sudan from Sudan in 2011). Thus, by the end of the 1960s, 48 African territories had become independent, and another 10 by 1980. Only one African colony  remained

2  African Perspectives on Development in the Context of a Changing International System

under colonial rule in that year. The attainment of independence brought with it new responsibilities for the political leadership of these former colonies, most particularly, responsibility for directing the economic future of their countries. African development efforts in the immediate post-colonial phase placed emphasis on national development plans that were a logical extension of the nationalist struggles for liberation from colonial rule of the preceding decades and a demonstration of independence (Green 1965: 249). As an example of these plans, after independence in 1957 Ghana developed first its Consolidation Development Plan (1957/1958– 1958/1959), followed by a five-year plan, the Second Development Plan (1959–1964), and then a Seven Year Development Plan (1963/1964– 1969/1970), all with significant socialist elements. In order to achieve and sustain rapid development, a major change occurred in the configuration of production, of employment, and of income distribution and consumption. This change has affected the ownership of the productive sector and the country’s  international trade (Green 1965: 263). By contrast, Kenya’s Development Plan (1964–1970) placed emphasis on rapidly increasing the African share of the national product; a focus on expansion of the agricultural sector; expansion of the manufacturing sector as a secondary focus; increasing primary-product exports; a greater role for the private sector in the economy than the state; and protection of Kenya’s existing exports to the East African common market (Greene 1965: 264–5). These differences reflected diverging ideological paths. Countries like Ghana moved in a socialist direction largely because of the ambitions of their political elites, while others like Kenya moved in a western-oriented capitalist direction largely because of the role played by Western-sponsored economic advisers (see McCauley 2013). These different ideological choices notwithstanding, by the mid-1960s most African countries had begun to slide into economic decline and into crisis by the mid-1970s. For instance, by the middle of the 1960s Ghana’s economy had


already gone into serious decline: at independence in 1957 it had foreign reserves of $200 million, a per capita income of $50, and a growth rate of 6% in 1960. By 1964, its growth rate had declined to 0.4% and to a negative rate of 12.43% by 1975 (Adu 2013). Twelve African countries had negative annual GDP growth rates per capita during 1960–1970, 20 countries had negative annual growth rates in 1970–1976; and, during the 1960–1970 period, while only 17 out of 45 countries had negative annual growth rates of per capita food production, the number had increased to 29 countries in the 1970–1976 period (Owusu 2003: 1656–7). Growth for the continent was around 3% in the early 1960s, close to 2% in the late 1960s, and slightly below 1.5% between 1970 and 1974 (Artadi and Sala-i-Martin 2003). These developments, according to scholars, were attributable to several factors, including political instability, corruption, and inept leadership (Konadu-Agyenang 2000: 472–3). African efforts at development co-operation at a continental level during this phase took off after the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. The 1960s, however, was a decade in which the OAU administrative secretary-general, Diallo Telli of Guinea, guided development strategy. Telli was a pan-African socialist technocrat deeply committed to African autonomy and disengagement from the capitalist world system, and urged that African states should prioritise the development of regional economic groupings and the establishment of an African Common Market. These proposals did not materialize during the 1960s (Nweke 1987: 141–2). African countries developed a collective strategy for development towards the end of the decade, namely, the OAU’s Strategy for Development in the 1970s. The Strategy called for a ‘determined effort … to remove those rigidities which are inherent in the economic and institutional links between African countries and developed economies and to change the production structure of African economies’ that had been created through colonization (Organization of African Unity and Economic Commission for Africa 1971). The development strategy also


called for, among others, increased trade between African countries; the setting up of national trading corporations and corporate bodies for the promotion of industry, as well as a national system of banking and finance and accelerated training of nationals. With regards to the international community, it called for the development of a strategy for external financial and technical co-­ operation to Africa to increase the flow of external assistance commensurate with the special requirements of African countries, facilitate the transfer of foreign technology appropriate to the needs of African countries, and generate structural transformation and changes in African countries by enabling them to utilize their own natural resources, accumulate their own capital and operate their own economies with a view to achieving not only an accelerated growth of average income, but also more equitable income distribution and more jobs for the rapidly growing labour force (Organization of African Unity and Economic Commission for Africa 1971). By the end of this period, however, African leaders and scholars began to argue that Africa’s failure to achieve development could not be explained by focusing on internal factors only, but required a deeper analysis of exogenous factors such as the impact of the international economic system; and the impact of the Cold War super-power political rivalry.

 he Impact of the International T Economic System, 1974–1985 In this period, the growth rate for African countries declined from 1.5% in the mid-1970s, to negative 1.2% in the second half of the decade, and zero between 1980 and 1985 (Babatunde 2012: 142). By 1980, 13 sub-Saharan African countries were receiving net aid (aid inflows minus principal repayments) at levels above 10% of GDP.  By the middle of the decade, aid was required to fund more than 40% of government expenditure in countries such as Malawi, Ghana and Zambia (Brautigam and Knack 2004: 257). Twenty of the 30 countries defined by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

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(UNCTAD) as the poorest in the world in the early 1980s were African. The region’s current account deficits rose from a modest $1.5 billion in 1970 to $8  billion in 1980, while external indebtedness climbed from $6 billion to $32 billion between 1970 and 1979. Debt servicing increased from 6% to 12% of export earnings in the same period. Foreign exchange reserves, which were comfortable in 1970, fell sharply such that by 1979 countries in the region could cover only 2 months’ imports (World Bank 1981: 3–4). During this phase, African scholars began to increasingly emphasise the impact of external factors on economic development in Africa. Drawing largely from Frank’s (1969) conceptualisation of the development of underdevelopment and Galtung’s (1971) conceptualization of the structural impact of colonialism, African scholars focused their explanations on the theory of dependency to account for what had gone wrong (Rweyemamu 1969, 1971; Amin 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977). According to Amin, the colonial system oriented the production of African societies towards export that provides a low return in terms of labor (Amin 1972: 524). Nkrumah argued that at independence Africa’s role in the international economic system was characterised by neo-colonial relations that extended the historical role that the metropolitan countries played during the colonial era (see Joseph 1976: 5; Berman 1974: 15; Szeftel 2000; Emeh 2013: 120). Walter Rodney’s 1973 book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, provided an additional explanation of the underdevelopment of Africa. Rodney argued that Europe underdeveloped Africa through centuries of slavery and, in particular, colonialism the needs of the industries in Europe were fulfilled by extracting raw materials and exploring new markets by the colonizing power and their local agents, in order to raise revenues relying on cheap labor by exploiting native population (Nzau 2010: 148). The key consequence was an acute form of structural dislocation of African economies, in which they produced primary products for external trade which they did not consume, and consumed man-

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ufactured products which they could not produce but had to import. (Konadu-Agyenang 2000) The focus on changing the endogenous factors underlying underdevelopment could only be approached at a continental level by African countries, which came largely through The Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa 1980–2000. The Lagos Plan blamed Africa’s economic woes on external factors, including Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) of the Bretton Woods institutions (see below) and the vulnerability of Africa countries to major shocks in the global economic system such as the 1973 oil crisis, but proposed a solution based on continental cooperation that would culminate in the formation of an African Economic Union by 2000, an increased role for the state in the economies of individual African countries, and national-based strategies and prescriptions on issues ranging from food and agriculture to women and development that would promote economic growth and income distribution (Owusu 2003). While aiming to promote African self-sufficiency, the plan included a call for global equality in trade relations and an increase in development aid from the international community. However, this Plan was a dismal failure because African countries lacked the financial resources to implement the plan and the OAU had failed to generate the desired attention and external financial support. In consequence, in 1985 the OAU agreed to an African Priority Programme for Economic Recovery 1986–1990, which blamed both exogenous and endogenous factors for Africa’s failure to develop. The exogenous factors included much of what had been depicted in the Lagos Plan. However, the Programme emphasised the need of African countries to address domestic problems that undermined development. Domestic difficulties in many countries made it difficult for these intentions to be realized. Many African countries were forced to resort to the SAPs of the Bretton Woods institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund because of the resources  – market-related loans  – they were able to provide to resource-­


starved African countries (Owusu 2003). Between 1980 and 1989, about 241 adjustment programmes were initiated by 36 sub-Saharan African countries (Jespersen 1992. Cited by Owusu 2003: 1659). The SAPs of the IMF and World Bank typically consisted of a package of actions that included currency devaluation, reducing inflation, down-sizing the public service, drastic cutbacks on government expenditure on social services, financial reforms, privatisation of public enterprises, export promotion and other policies geared to enhance economic growth (Konadu-­ Agyenang 2000). From the African perspective, the record of the Bretton Woods institutions’ engagement with African countries is a very negative one. The Economic Commission for Africa noted in its 1989 African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programmes for Socio-­ Economic Recovery and Transformation that the SAPs were not appropriate for Africa because they focused on short-term objectives that promoted adjustment, which Africa did not need. The SAPs, with their harsh conditions, left many countries as underdeveloped economically as they were before the programmes were introduced (Mkwandawire 1998; Rasheed and Chole 1994; Osabu-Kle 2000). What Africa needed much more, scholars said, was long-term social, economic and political transformation of their social structures that went beyond the focus on economics (Owusu 2003).

 he Impact of the Cold War Conflict, T 1974–1990 African scholars identified the Cold War as another factor that impacted on economic development on the continent. According to Nzau (2010: 146), this led to rival East-West blocs seeking ideological support from African regimes and political elites, resulting in the propping up of corrupt regimes and diversion of much needed resources to expenditure on the mechanisms for survival of these regimes instead of development. Among the most significant authoritarian African regimes the United States and its Western allies


supported during this phase under the guise of defending Africa from communism was Zaire under Mobutu Sese Seko and the Central African Republic under Jean Bedel Bokassa (Alemazung 2010; Zeleza 2008). Several African scholars have focused on the manner in which the Cold War fomented or facilitated destructive wars and conflicts from the Congo to the Horn of Africa to Southern Africa that undermined development in these countries (Munene et  al. 1995; Oyebade and Alao 1998; Akinrinade and Sesay 1999; Obanwe 2014). Newly independent nations such as Angola, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) provided the stages for some of the bloodiest proxy battles between ‘East’ and ‘West’, as the United States and apartheid-era South Africa tried to prevent the spread of communism in the global south, while the Eastern Bloc sought to support it. These conflicts have impacted negatively the African societies and hampered their economic growth, the process of democratization and developmental potential (Zeleza 2008: 1). However, the Cold War also provided the opportunity for African states to gain international influence by manipulating superpower rivalry. In particular, as more and more African states became independent in the 1960s and 1970s, the two superpowers increasingly sought their support in international institutions such as the United Nations (UN). In general, then, by the end of the 1990s, there was a wide divergence in African perspectives and the international community’s views on the most significant causes of African underdevelopment, and consequently the most appropriate strategies to deal with the problem, in particular conditionalities imposed by the Bretton Woods institutions. Nevertheless, there was cognizance among both groups that internal factors such as the structural consequences of colonization, including those that make African vulnerable to shocks in the international economic system, political instability, inadequate policies, corruption, and so on, as well as external factors such as unfair terms of trade, declining ODA, increasing protectionism by developed countries, high interest rates, currency fluctuations, high debt-­

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servicing obligations and the Cold War all impacted on African development.

The Post-Cold War Phase, 1990–2016 Africa’s debt service payments on medium- and long-term external debts grew from less than $1  billion in 1970 to more than $13  billion in 1985, before falling to $11  billion in 1988 (Greene 1989: 841). In 1990, 30 Sub-Saharan countries were receiving net aid levels above 10% of GDP, while close to 27 were receiving at least 25% of net aid as a percentage of government expenditure (Brautigam and Knack 2004: 257). Between 1983 and 1990, the following key developments unfolded: development aid to Africa dropped from more than $8  billion to $1 billion, exports declined at an annual rate of 7.5% as world trade increased at 2.5% per annum between 1980 and 1987; its share of exports of manufactured products from sub-Saharan Africa in trade in such products by all developing countries declined from 5.2% in 1975 to 2.5% in 1990 (Wangwe and Semboja 2003: 167); and there was a sharp decline in foreign investment during the 1980s, with French investment in Africa, for example, declining from a net annual inflow of about $1 billion at the beginning of the decade, to about $53 million in 1985, and a net outflow of about $824 million in 1988 (Decalo 1992: 18). This was the situation African countries faced when the Soviet Union disintegrated in the aftermath of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1990. However, the end of the Cold War gave rise to a wave of optimism in international politics. Finally, the arms race could end and funds that had been previously used for building up military power could now be invested in sustainable development and the struggle against poverty. The one remaining superpower, the United States, started to behave as if it could safeguard a new world order with its mission to spread and protect peace and democracy in the world. It is in this context that Fukuyama predicted the end of ideology and of history (Berwouts 2009). With regard to African development, this period saw the formulation of the New Partnership for

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African Development (NEPAD) which was adopted by the OAU in 2001. NEPAD called for a role for both African countries and the broader international community in African development efforts. The aim is to halt the continent’s marginalisation in the globalisation process by fully integrating Africa into the global economic and political system while working within it to alter its unequal nature and negative impact on Africa (Owusu 2003: 1662). NEPAD endorses the neoliberal economic paradigm as a solution to Africa’s economic problems, and also downplays the impact of endogenous factors on African development while placing the responsibility for solving the problem on African countries (Owusu 2003: 1662). NEPAD identifies a set of conditions for achieving sustainable development  – including political stability and accountable governance  – and sets up special initiatives for achieving them, including the Peace and Security Initiative, and the Democracy and Political Governance Initiative. Priority sectors are also selected at the sub-regional and continental levels, and proposals are made to bridge the substantial infrastructure gap Africa faces. Support from the international community for the initiative is expected to come from an annual inflow of about $64 billion, mainly through debt reduction, ODA and private capital. Thus, the objective is to make Africa attractive for investment by ensuring peace and security and good governance on the continent, while calling on the developed world to change the inequities in the international economic and political system. Its goals included a GDP growth rate of 7% per  annum and the achievement of the international development goals by the year 2015 (Owusu 2003: 1662–3). Its foundation was increased trade and investment. NEPAD was incorporated into the African Union (AU) when the latter was established in 2002. The NEPAD proposals have also been incorporated in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, Africa’s most recent blueprint and master plan for achieving inclusive and sustainable development. Agenda 2063 sets out 10 aspirations of the AU, with the two most relevant for this study being Aspiration 3, ‘an Africa of good


governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law’; and Aspiration 4, ‘a peaceful and secure Africa’. This was followed by the development of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan 2014–2023, which out specific goals and priority areas for the period. The goals for Aspiration 3 include ‘democratic values, practices, universal principles of human rights, justice and the rule of law entrenched’; and ‘capable institutions and transformed leadership in place at all levels’. The goals for Aspiration 4 include ‘peace, security and stability are preserved’; ‘a stable and peaceful Africa’; and ‘a fully functional and operational African Peace and Security Architecture’. Linked to these goals are various priority areas, targets, and implementation plans (African Union Commission 2015). The acceptance among some members of the African political leadership that internal factors play a significant role in Africa’s failure to develop was mirrored by a similar increasing acceptance of this view among African academics (see for example, Ake 1992, 1996; Achebe 1998; Ayittey 1998; Nnadozie 2010; Matunhu 2011; Emeh 2013). Ake, for example, argued in 1996 that Africa’s democracy is a pre-requisite for development of Africans, and a mean to deal with its constraints. Democracy has to be deepened to open the way for development strategies (Ake 1996: 86). However, Ake earlier qualified the nature of the democracy he is talking about, arguing that this is not the liberal-democratic representative government form, but a democracy in which the masses have a fundamental role (Ake 1992). This period saw an increasing wave of democratisation and attention to transparency and accountability in line with the NEPAD proposals. This included regular elections and occasional transfers of power; democratic institutionalization; the institutionalization of political parties; increasingly dense civil societies; and new political freedoms and economic growth (Lynch and Crawford 2011). While before 1989 only Botswana and Mauritius had been holding regular multiparty elections, between 1990 and 2009 39 African countries held ‘competitive’ presidential elections and 41 multiparty parliamentary


elections (McFerson 2010: 53). However, there were also several setbacks, including a number of illegitimate military interventions; democratic rollback and hybrid regimes; ongoing presidentialism and endemic corruption; widespread ethnic voting and the rise of an exclusionary (and often violent) politics of belonging; local realities of incivility, violence and insecurity; and extensive political controls and uneven development (Lynch and Crawford 2011). There has also been some positive response to NEPAD on the part of the international community. A significant proportion of ODA provided to Africa during this period is in conformity with NEPAD’s proposed support from the developed world for African development. For instance, the European Union (EU) injected €250 million from May 2004 into its Africa Peace Facility to fund peacekeeping operations carried out by Africans in Africa. This period also saw a dramatic increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa, rising from $15 billion in 2000 to $87 billion in 2007 (McKinsey Global Institute 2010. Cited in Soko and Qobo 2016: 80) constituting a rise in global share from 1.37% in 1990 to 5.27% in 2009 (Anyanwu 2011: 5). In 2000, the European Union signed the comprehensive trade and aid Cotonou Agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries that resulted in official bilateral aid to Africa, excluding debt relief, increasing from €6.047  billion (approximately 26% of total EU official aid) in 2004 to €10.605 billion (approximately 40% of total EU official aid) in 2008 (Kitt 2010: 6). In addition, between 2003 and 2009, total trade between the European Union and sub-Saharan Africa grew from approximately $84 billion to about $189 billion (Jacobs 2011: 21). Between 2001 and 2008, Africa experienced its ‘strongest consistent performance since the early 1970s’ of 6% on average, a growth in income, as the commodities upon which much of the continent’s formal economic activities are based experienced a spike in global prices, and an overall increase in demand for agricultural products that boosted farmers (Grimm 2014: 994). In general, then, by the early 2000s the African perspective on the causes of persistent underde-

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velopment emphasized internal factors that account for this state of affairs, while calling for some changes in the international economic environment as part of the suggested solutions. There was a general acceptance of globalization as a reality, and the African need to seek accommodation for some significant changes to be made to the international economic system.

 he Current International System: T Threats and Opportunities Three recent developments in the international system will have a major impact on African development in the foreseeable future. These are: the rise of China as a global economic power; the growing threat to multilateralism and globalisation; and Russia’s new international role. Several factors will impact on the trajectory of each of these three changes in the world system, and the unfolding of each process of change will have different impacts on African development.

China as a Global Economic Power The first major change in the international environment is the rise of Communist China as a global economic power, with an economy second only to that of the United States. Some scholars view China as the leading economic power because it possesses the world’s largest economy based on purchasing power parity that produced $23.12 trillion in 2017. The rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to this position occurred after several dramatic internal changes and the introduction of market reforms. Fukuyama could not predict a situation where a new economic superpower emerged to replace the old Soviet Union after the collapse of the Berlin Wall (Breslin 2010). Communist China’s foreign policy towards Africa took shape not long after the 1949 revolution, and from the 1950s was driven by the liberation and anti-colonial struggles in Africa and Third World solidarity. Up until 1978, China

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focused on giving moral and material assistance to various African liberation movements. This changed in 1978 when China embarked on a ‘going out’ strategy, the core of which was to allow Chinese state-owned enterprises to invest in African countries. This was followed in the late 1990s by the development of a new framework of all-around engagement with Africa encompassing trade, cultural, and diplomatic ties. To facilitate this process, an entity to centralize China-Africa relations – the Forum on China-­ Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) – was established. FOCAC has become the institutional vehicle for managing cooperation with Africa across a range of technical, economic, and political areas (Hanauer and Morris 2014: 19–20). The third FOCAC summit in November 2006, which proclaimed ‘the establishment of a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win–win cooperation’, set the basis for China’s current Africa foreign policy. This foreign policy is guided by four principles: sincerity, friendship and equality; mutual benefit, reciprocity and common prosperity; mutual support and close coordination; and mutual learning and seeking common development. The historic meeting that culminated in the signing of the partnership between China and the African Union took place between the Chinese leaders and the representatives of 48 governments in Africa in Beijing. The expansion of China’s involvement in Africa has taken a different route from that of many developed countries. Instead of offering aid and developing programmes that impose conditions on African recipients such as liberalizing trade and foreign exchange, and improving human rights conditions (Biersteker 1990: 477– 492), China’s interests in Africa often take the form of exchanging access to natural resources with contracts, particularly for the construction of infrastructure (Shinn and Eisenman 2008). Some explain this difference as China’s preoccupation with economics, and therefore a deliberate avoidance of ideological issues; others as arising from China’s own history of internal warfare and threats of internal disintegration, which have


resulted in a preference for non-intervention in the sovereignty of states (Payne and Veney 1998). From Africa’s point of view, China represents an alternative voice in the global arena; a third world voice, and a voice from a country that has many problems and interests similar to theirs. Some influential African officials have openly applauded China’s contribution to their much needed infrastructure expansion and consequent economic growth. In addition, the growing Chinese domestic market is sometimes cited as a potential platform that offers Africa a promising export destination. In 2013, China launched the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative that spans three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa. A major part of the initiative is the development of an infrastructural network (ports and railways) to establish the links (Brugier 2014: 1). The Silk Road Economic Belt extends from China to Europe through Central Asia, and the other, the twenty-first century Maritime Silk Road links China to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa along sea routes, together involving infrastructure projects in some 65 countries (Djankov 2016: 6). African countries have embraced China’s economic rise as a positive factor for future development. Several African leaders have expressed great support for close relations with China. Speaking about China’s offer of an alternative to the IMF and World Bank, Senegal’s president declared, for example, that ‘today, it is very clear that Europe is close to losing the battle of competition in Africa’, and Nigeria’s president stated that China will lead the world (Behar 2008. Cited in Zhao 2014: 1038–9). Some African scholars also see the opening up of new avenues for African development arising from the growth of China’s economic power. For instance, Aning and Lecoutre (2008: 41) provide an alternative image of China as the ‘energy grabbing’ dragon by arguing that China’s relationship with Africa “has opened new avenues of flexibility and manoeuvrability for African states previously squeezed into a tight spot by Western financial interests and conditions and left emasculated and open to the subtle overtures of an emergent China”. They do this by, for example,


demonstrating how China provided diplomatic support and weapons to the autocratic regime of Sudan, and insulated the country from the accountability based on the respect of human rights (Aning and Lecoutre 2008: 43–4). However, some African scholars and leaders raise concerns that China has become Africa’s new neo-colonial power. For instance, Maswana (2015: 95–6) draws attention to a statement made by Lamido Sanusi, the governor of Nigeria’s central bank, in 2013 “that the Chinese practice of importing Africa’s unprocessed primary commodities and exporting manufactured products to Africa is the ‘essence of colonialism”’. According to Maswana, there are ten African countries  – Angola, the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Chad, Zambia, Mauritania, the Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea – ‘in which an asymmetric trade relationship with China not only exists but is exacerbated by the growing dependence on China for financing of their infrastructure needs’. In particular, the intensity of their trade with China is at a level higher than that with their former colonisers, thus placing them in a state of trade dependency on China (Maswana 2015: 100). He warns that this type of trade dependency is characterized by similar neocolonial dependency relations African countries had with their European colonisers where African countries produce and export primary products to China in exchange for manufactured consumer goods (Maswana 2015: 108). Indeed, as much as 87% of China’s exports to African countries is made up of equipment and machinery, textiles and clothing, and other manufactured products (Soko and Qobo 2016: 83). In addition, African scholars such as Were (2018: 8) draw attention to increasing concerns about Africa’s overall debt sustainability arising from growing debt to China, particularly in the forms of loans to fund infrastructure projects. While by 2008 the Chinese state-backed China Exim Bank had financed more than 300 infrastructure projects in Africa worth at least $6.5 billion (Institute of Developing Economies n.d.), total Chinese commercial loans to African governments and state-owned entities reached

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$86  billion for 3000 infrastructure projects by 2014 (Were 2018: 2–3). Repayments of most of the loans are made in terms of natural resources, and, to a lesser extent, on favourable concessional terms. Chinese finance institutions provide favourable rates for loans, but in some instances these loans are creating significant debt burdens for African countries. Chileshe (2010) points to another problem, and that is the failure of African governments to publicly disclose information about the intended use and exact terms and conditions of loans made to them by the Chinese. This lack of transparency leads to public concerns that the loans are fostering corruption (Were 2018). Other critical studies have also painted a dismal view of China’s role in Africa (see Obiorah 2007; Mohan 2008: 6). Despite this, African scholars do report on some significant success stories in the engagement between individual Africa countries and China. Grimm, for example, cites Angola as a country that was able to obtain much needed finance from China to rehabilitate its infrastructure after the long civil war when Western donors did not respond to the call for a donor conference for Angola in 2002. Debt raised from China is repaid with Angolan oil, leading to a ‘win-win situation for Angola which is able to quickly acquire finance from China without any conditions similar to those of the IMF and World Bank’ (Grimm 2014: 1004–5).

 otential Future Scenarios P to Consider According to Ikenberry (2008: 23–4), realist scholars of international politics argue that one of two developments are possible as China becomes more powerful and the United States’ position erodes. The first is that China will try to use its growing influence to reshape the rules and institutions of the international system to better serve its interests. The second is that other states in the system, especially the United States, will see China as a growing security threat. Realists predict that this will lead to ‘tension, distrust, and conflict’, in which ‘an increasingly powerful

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China and a declining United States’ are ‘locked in an epic battle over the rules and leadership of the international system’. Ikenberry argues that such a situation is not inevitable. An alternative that could also happen is an international order in which China does not emerge as a competitor of the ‘Western-centred system that is open, integrated, and rule-based, with wide and deep political foundations’, but instead joins it and thrives within it. While the latter scenario poses no threat to Africa’s current development approach, the former is likely to cause major disruptions as the continent and individual countries are pushed to choose sides. This raises the potential for a situation similar to the Cold War taking root in Africa again.

The Growing Threat to Multilateralism and Globalisation The second major change in the international system is the growing threat to the international system of multilateralism and globalisation, particularly following the success of Donald Trump in the 2016 elections in the United States and the Brexit-vote in the UK in the same year. Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, which emphasizes American nationalism in international relations, has the sole aim of ‘squeezing’ more out of other countries. While multilateral agreements aim largely at opening up markets between countries involved in several arrangements, the Trump administration’s focus on bilateral agreements is aimed at achieving favourable conditions in trade agreements for the United States. Moreover, the Trump administration has taken several other steps to illustrate its commitment to withdrawing its leadership role in international law and institutions. This marks a shift away from the engagement and cooperation that marked international institutions in the pre-Trump era, and may, according to Boon, lead to future international conflict (Boon 2017: 1076). Indeed, Trump’s own predilection towards isolationism is evident in his identification of Brexit as the beginning –


or the promise – of a new world order based on national independence and identities (Adler-­ Nissen et al. 2017: 580). The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) passed in 2000 in the USA is a site for concern. A landmark bilateral agreement which provides for preferential access to American markets for 38 of the 54 African countries, it was expected to stimulate two-way trade. However, combined two-way goods trade in 2015 was valued at $36  billion (2014: $50  billion, 2013: $61 billion, 2012: $66 billion), indicating a significant decline from the high of $100 billion in 2008. Exports from AGOA countries to the United States dropped from $26 billion in 2014 to $19 billion in 2015 – a reduction of approximately 25% – and imports from the United States fell from $24 billion to $17 billion. The trade balance has consistently been in favour of the countries supported by AGOA, with a surplus of approximately $2 billion for these countries. In August 2017, the Trump administration engaged in its first high-level talks with Africa when a delegation travelled to Togo to discuss AGOA. Talks between African and United States officials to review AGOA ended with no decision, giving rise to uncertainty about its immediate future. It is not clear whether the United States wants to change the AGOA deal before it expires in 2025 or extend it further. Another example of the vulnerability of African countries to American foreign policy shifts is in the area of ODA. In 2014, the United States accounted for 17% ($9.3 billion) of official aid to African countries (OECD 2016). The top ten recipients of ODA in Africa in 2014 were Ethiopia ($3.58  billion), Egypt ($3.53  billion), Kenya ($2.66  billion), Tanzania ($2.64  billion), Nigeria ($2.47  billion), the Democratic Republic of Congo ($2.39  billion), Morocco, ($2.24  billion), Mozambique ($2.10  billion), South Sudan ($1.96  billion), and Uganda ($1.63  billion). The national budgets of many African countries are dependent on ODA, with some countries relying on ODA for up to 40% of their national budgets. For instance, Malawi, one of the most aid-­


dependent countries in the world, drew 40% of its budget from foreign aid in 2014, with foreign aid constituting 30% of GDP in that year (Mwanamanga 2015: 4).

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presidential elections in the United States; funding of populist movements and parties in a number of European countries; and its promotion of new institutional arrangements like the Eurasian Economic Union and the BRICS-led New Development Bank (Götz and Merlen 2019: Potential Future Scenarios 133). It posits itself as an alternative to the Western-led liberal order. to Consider Russia has also made forays onto the African Several scholars view Brexit as a threat to multi- continent in recent years. In early 2018, Russia lateralism and the Western-dominated liberal donated weapons to the Central African Republic global order, to Europe’s shared security, and to and sent contractors to train local soldiers in existing patterns of global governance (Glencross return for mining contracts after the African 2016: 48). The Brexit implies that the separation country requested international support against between economic integration and political alli- marauding militias. This marked the first Russian ances is possible (Hozić and Jacqui True 2017: high profile military intervention in sub-Saharan 280). Africa since the collapse of the Soviet Union, While the period since World War II has been and is a demonstration of its commitment to marked by growing economic and cultural glo- push for a renewed role in international politics. balisation and increasing political integration, the Russia is also seeking African support in the policies of the Trump administration and Brexit international arena in the wake of Western sancrepresent a threat to this trend. As demonstrated tions against it following the annexation of above, African countries are particularly vulner- Crimea in 2014. African countries constitute the able to major disruptions in the international eco- largest and one of the most coherent voting blocs nomic system, with the 1980 Lagos Plan in the United Nations, with three of its members identifying factors such as international reces- sitting on the Security Council at any given time. sion, commodity price collapse, adverse terms of To shore up African support in the United trade, decline in real terms of ODA, increasing Nations, Russia has signed 19 military cooperaprotectionism by developed countries, high inter- tion deals in sub-­Saharan Africa, including with est rates, and currency fluctuations – all potential Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe since 2014 consequences of economic nationalism  – as (Reuters 2018). threats to development. Linked to this is Russia’s earlier response to the Arab Spring that saw popular uprisings against regimes in several North African counRussia’s New International Role tries  – Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Libya – (as well as other countries in the Middle A third major development is Russia’s growing East). Russia set out to position itself as an alterrole in international politics, leading to a situa- native to the United States and the European tion that is increasingly reminiscent of the Cold Union by establishing or shoring up close relaWar era. Russia has recently called for a ‘Post-­ tionships with the autocratic regimes under threat West’ world order, and there is general agree- in the region. For instance, Russia strengthened ment among scholars that it is seeking to its partnership with Egypt after the military coup proactively and assertively undermine the United in that country in July 2013. It set up unpreceStates-led liberal international order. These are dented meetings with Egypt’s foreign and suggested in its annexation of Crimea, its involve- defence ministers in 2013 and 2014. It set up a ment in the affairs of the Ukraine, military inter- Russian-Egyptian commission on trade and ecovention in Syria on behalf of the Assad nomic cooperation in late March 2014, and government; alleged interference in the 2016 hosted a visit to Moscow by the leader of the

2  African Perspectives on Development in the Context of a Changing International System

coup, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, in August 2014. Russia’s relationship with Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria generally followed the same pattern, which include the signing of several trade and joint cooperation agreements and supply of arms. For these regimes, Russia offers a potential bargaining chip in their relationship with the United States and the European Union, while providing opportunities for economic and financial gains (Schumacher and Nitiou 2015). In consequence, Africa’s response to Russia’s new assertiveness has been, at a general level, cautious. For instance, soon after the referendum in Crimea in 2014, South Africa abstained on the UN General Assembly resolution on the territorial integrity of the Ukraine on the 27 March 2014. Only two African countries were among the 11 countries that voted against the resolution, while 18 of the 100 countries the supported the resolution were African, 27 African countries were among the 58 that abstained, and 6 African countries were among the 24 that were absent during the vote. Earlier in the month, South Africa issued a statement urging ‘the protagonists in the stand-off to settle the crisis through dialogue’. South Africa explicitly avoided condemnation of Russian actions in Ukraine (Sidiropoulos 2014).

 otential Future Scenarios P to Consider Götz and Merlen (2019) point to three possible consequences of Russia’s assertive role. The first is increasing competition between the United States and Russia as the latter attempts to expand its sphere of influence regionally and globally. The second is the universal and consistent application of existing international norms in an international system in which Russia’s status has been upgraded and its interests equally recognised. The third is the inoculation and protection of Russia from Western influences in order for the Putin government to hold on to power (Götz and Merlen 2019). The latter two consequences will have no impact on Africa’s current development approach. However, the former has the potential


to draw China into the struggle between Russia and the United States and its allies for global hegemony, particularly in view of expanding cooperation between the two countries (see also Kendall-Taylor and Shullman 2019). In the event of the emergence of a bipolar world with Russia and China on one side, and the United States and its allies on the other, another possibility arises for a situation similar to the Cold War to take root in Africa. If China is not drawn into this conflict, but continues to seek hegemony and spheres of influence in competition with the United States and its allies, as well as Russia, the consequence would be a multipolar world, which would have the similar effect of diminishing any influence that smaller states have in the current world system. Most importantly, however, it is likely to give rise to political instability and similar conditions that affected development in Africa during the Cold War.

Conclusion The historical evolution of African perspectives on development has followed a process in which there have been divergent official approaches to development among individual nations in the early post-colonial period, until continental agreement was reached on both the causes of underdevelopment and approaches to development, as well as coherence in national development plans across the continent. After the first decade of independence, however, it had become clear that Africa, as well as most of its countries, was not achieving progress in economic development. At this stage, both African governments and scholars began to emphasise endogenous reasons for African development, and sought changes in the international system to resolve the problems underlying underdevelopment. It had also become clear that internal instability in African countries, a major cause of underdevelopment, was increasingly linked to the bipolar Cold War international system, as well as the clientelist consequences of colonialism in the post-­ colonial era. The major causes of African underdevelopment were external.

C. Soudien and G. Houston


However, the failure of Africa to gain international support for the changes it required in the international economic system, increasing political instability on the continent, as well as widespread economic crisis, forced most African countries to resort to the SAPs of the Bretton Woods institutions. African governments and scholars drew attention to the dismal failure of these interventions, and in particular their failure to bring about the much needed social, economic and political transformations of entire societies and the international economic system. At the time the Cold War ended, while most African countries remained critically underdeveloped, however, a wave of optimism took root. In consequence, African countries collectively sought to manage the continent’s marginalization in the era of globalization by embracing the neoliberal economic paradigm as a solution to Africa’s economic problems, and emphasizing internal social, economic and political change to create the conditions for increased investment, trade and development assistance. It appeared that history had ended and that a new international order was in the process of being constructed following the triumph of neoliberalism. In the current era, however, three developments give rise to new opportunities and threats for African development. In the first place, on the one hand is the opportunities the rise of China as a global economic power presents for development on the continent, including its financial support to deal with African development needs, for example, infrastructure needs, and increasing power for the continent to engage with the international community on changes in the system that disadvantage Africa. On the other hand, this has given rise to a potential neocolonial relationship developing between China and the continent, and in particular a majority of its countries, that could undermine African development. In the second place, increasing protectionism and economic nationalism, as well as declining support for multi-national institutions that have become increasingly accommodative of African development needs, undermine African development at the very time that the African leadership has resigned itself to the inevitability of global-

ization and the dominance of neoliberalism. This is consequently a threat to NEPAD. Finally, the threat of an increasingly bipolar, or multipolar, international system characterised by competition for hegemony between two or more superpowers can lead to sharp divisions on the continent between African countries aligning themselves and supporting different superpowers. This would have a detrimental effect on continental unity, which is a requirement for engagement with powerful nations or groupings in the international system.

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African Economic Autonomy and International Development Cooperation Anshan Li


After independence in the 1960s, many African countries are still under the control of big powers in economic, social and cultural fields, especially by means of international aid. Africa’s economic autonomy is a key issue related to the healthy and sustainable development of Africa. It is true that various African countries have received aid since independence. Western aid to Africa has not been a small amount, but the effect is poor, a fact recognized by Western academia and governments. The author explains what autonomy of a sovereign government means in international relations, analyzes the economic autonomy of African countries both in strategy and action, compares the aid effect in the West and Emerging Market (case of China), and argues that only by having the right to govern its own affairs in various field, self-reliance, and self-­ determination in its domestic and international affairs, can African

A. Li (*) Center for African Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China Center for West African Studies, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), Beijing, China e-mail: [email protected]

countries regain economic autonomy so that they can realize sustainable development. It is proposed that China should respond resolutely to the current international aid system by having the courage to hold high the moral and just banner of international development cooperation, cherishing the ideal and wisdom to serve the community of common destiny, and carrying out bold innovations to create a new system of development cooperation with other international partners. Keywords

African economy · Economic autonomy · International aid system · International development cooperation What is “autonomy” in international politics? Autonomy means that a sovereign government has the right to govern its own affairs in various field, self-reliance, and self-determination in its international relations. Most of the African countries won their political independence in the 1960s, yet many are still under the control of big powers in economic, social and cultural fields, especially by means of international aid. Africa’s economic autonomy is a key issue related to the healthy and sustainable development of African countries. It is vital for Africa to regain economic

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



autonomy so that they can realize sustainable development. This article will elaborate the economic autonomy that African countries have strived for ad the related international development assistance.

A. Li

countries, .e.g., a strategy to achieve economic autonomy. Africa’s self-conscious effort posed a serious challenge to the existing international system, causing a serious feedback from the West. In autumn 1979, when the Lagos Plan was in the final stage of drafting, African Finance Ministers African Economic Autonomy in charge of African Department of World Bank sent a memorandum to the President of World in Strategy Bank, requesting the Bank to prepare a report on After nearly two decades’ exploration of devel- sub-Saharan Africa’s economic problems and opment path and the failure of various efforts to solutions. A report entitled “Accelerated copy other models, African leaders in the late Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Agenda 1970s recognized the plight of development and for Action” (later known as the “Berg Report”) raised the concept of self-reliance, the key for came out. To maintain a global system beneficial economic autonomy. In the Monrovia Declaration to the West, international financial organizations in July 1979, they shared an obligation to pro- used various means to stop Africa from its effort mote social development and economic integra- to reach autonomous position. African countries tion, strengthen social and economic exchanges were forced to carry out structural adjustment, and establish national, sub-regional and regional thus strengthened their dependence on the West. institutions for self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Over the next 10 years, Africa’s development was The declaration emphasizes self-reliance, again frustrated by the West under the name of regional cooperation and Africa’s own strength to international aid.1 tide over the difficulties, thus prepared the ideoThe first Tokyo International Conference on logical essence for the Lagos Plan of Action for African Development (TICAD I) was held in Economic Development of Africa 1980–2000 1993 and many African leaders attended the con(hereinafter the Lagos Plan) reached in 1980 by ference. African leaders suggested to increase the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the foreign trade and attract investment is more United Nations Economic Commission for Africa effective than aid and required donors to change (UNECA), after many years’ disagreement. the form of aid (Zhang Chixin 1994). This was a OAU and UNECA agreed to emphasize self-­ request for reforming the existing system and reliance. A consensus of development strategy is voiced dissatisfaction with the traditional aid to reduce dependence on the outside and trans- concept. The proposition of “self-reliance” and form into inward development on the basis of “partnership” in Tokyo Declaration expressed the achieving food self-sufficiency in Africa. At the concept of respecting African autonomy and special summit of the OAU in Lagos in April advocating equal relations. At the 37th Summit 1980, the Lagos Plan was discussed and adopted of OAU in Lusaka, Zambia, in July 2001, the parin accordance with the reality of Africa. The ticipants unanimously adopted the New development plan for Africa in the next 20 years Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), is elaborated comprehensively, including food the first blueprint independently formulated by and agriculture, industry, natural resources, Africa for the overall planning Africa’s political, human resources development and utilization, economic and social development goals, as a science and technology, transportation, trade and finance, measures to establish and strengthen 1 In 1980, African foreign debt was 123.339 billion (USD), economic and technological cooperation, envi- yet in 1990, it reached 288.773  billion (USD), and 338.510 billion (USD) in 1996. In 1980, the payment of ronment and development, the least developed principal and interest on foreign debt was 18.977 billion African countries, energy, women, etc. The Plan (USD), 27.738  billion (USD) in 1990 and 32.53  billion aims to enhance the self-reliance of African (USD) in 1997 (Yang Baorong 2011).

3  African Economic Autonomy and International Development Cooperation

development strategy to jointly address the challenges. In 2019, Continental Free Trade Area was realized by African Union. The objective of the strategy as staded in their document is to “create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union; to expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and instruments across RECs and across Africa in general; to resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes and to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources”.2

 frican Economic Autonomy A in Action Since independence, countries such as Mauritius, Morocco and Botswana have created a system suited to themselves by integrating traditional and modern systems into one, formulated their national strategy thus achieved a more stable development. Take Mauritius for example. During the mid-1970s, 90% of Mauritian export depended on sugar. In the 1980s, Mauritius also needed money to overcome its difficulties. IMF issued the same prescription for structural adjustment. Specific requirements are to abolish government subsidies on bulk food, stop ongoing implementation of free education, stop public health services and a series of related social welfare. Fortunately, Mauritia did not follow the IMF prescriptions and formulated its policy based on the national conditions. The goal of national policy was to ensure employment for all, sustainable growth of national wealth and the “CFTA – Continental Free Trade Area”, African Union. 2019-8-5. 2 


equitable distribution of wealth. Adopting economist Sir Edouard Lim Fat’s proposal to establish an industrial export processing zone (EPZ), Mauritius diversified its economy by attracting investment. Since the establishment of EPZ, Mauritius has made great progress in economy, and has gradually formed three pillars of sucrose processing, export processing and tourism (Bheenick 1991). With no mineral resources as the main driving force for development, Ethiopia has maintained an economic growth rate of 10% bout 10  years and become an ideal place for investors (United Nation 2017). Most suggestively, Ethiopia insists on autonomy in policy formulation and practice, a good example for African countries. In 1997, a heated debate occurred between Prime Minister Meles and IMF. Meles rejected IMF’s request to open up the banking system, then IMF suspended Ethiopia’s borrowing projects (Stiglitz 2002). Alkabe Oakbe’s Made in Africa  – Ethiopia’s Industrial Policy is significant for Africa, which offered his thinking on African development. As an Ethiopian intellectual directly involved in policy-­making, Arkebe Oqubay can confidently analyze the misleading impact of international academia on African policies. Moreover, the Ethiopian government formulated independently its national industrial policy by resisting multiple pressures from international financial institutions and donor groups who usually take the form of economic threats and force recipients to open its financial industry to foreign banks, privatize its communications industry, reform land ownership and to freeze public investment and expand higher education, etc. Ethiopia refused the demands and insists on its own policy-­ formulating, a manifestation of economic autonomy (Oakbe 2015). Surely, only an independent industrial policy can get rid of the dependence on the former suzerain or donor group. It is encouraging that on July 7, 2019, all African countries except Eritrea have signed ZLECAF, a plan for Continental Free Trade Area, thus a big step for the economic autonomy in the continent. It will definitely contribute to the building-up of the autonomous position of Africana countries and stimulate the economic

A. Li


development which has been frustrated by the unequal global system for several decades, especially by means of international aid system.3

International Aid System How to objectively evaluate the international aid system controlled by the West? What is the difference between China and West in the relations with Africa? What are the challenges to China’s assistance to Africa? These questions are worth discussing. Various African countries have been receiving aid since independence. Western aid to Africa has not been a small amount, but the effect seems to be poor, a fact recognized by Western academia and governments (Easterly 2006; Calderisi 2006; Collier 2006). In fact, African countries have paid much higher interest than their principal to repay their debts. Some scholars call this debt “immoral”, “illegal” and “usury”, because it has been repaid many times by African countries in the form of interest. In this way, capital sometimes flows not from North to South, but from South to North. French scholar Gabas criticized the system. He pointed out that the south countries pay to donor countries more than what they gain. If we consider just the interests paid by the countries benefiting from the aid, we find that they count for 100 and 120  billions of dollars between 1995 and 2000 (Gabas 2002, p. 28). A Kenyan parliamentarian argued, foreign aid had done much more harm to Africa than we would like to admit, and Africa could not set its own pace and direction of development without external interference. Many Africa’s development plans have been made by the “experts” in IMF or World Bank who have no contact with local African realities (Ayittey 1992). What is more, West media dominated African public opinion and discourse. It is indignant that when-

“What the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement Means for the Continent”, July 19, 2019. 2019-8-6. 3 

ever the development strategies fail, no one criticizes the “experts” of developed countries, the maker of the strategies, while the African leaders become the victim who are blamed as incompetent and the cause of the failure. China-Africa cooperation has been proceeding smoothly, yet China’s assistance to Africa has long been a topic of discussion or target for Western criticism (Li 2007, 2014). Various polls conducted in Africa demonstrate Africans’ positive impression of China, thus criticism against China has waned in the past years.4 However, an article on March 1, 2017 picked up this topic again with a provoking title “Is China Eroding the Bargaining Power of Traditional Donors in Africa?”. After the survey of high-­ranking donor officials with case-study of China’s engagement in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda, its conclusion seemly removed the worry over the past decade from Western politicians  – the clam that China was weakening the bargaining power of Western donors was overstated and African countries still relied on traditional donors to a large extent. Despite China’s growing influence in Africa, the position of traditional donors in the region has not been fundamentally changed (Swellund 2017). The conclusion might be true, yet with economic globalization, development cooperation-­ oriented aid has been promoted by emerging countries. Through such assistance, China, India, Brazil and other countries aim at strengthening cooperation among developing countries and one of the purposes is to achieve win-win cooperation and mutual development (Li 2011, 2013, 2015a, b, c). China’s assistance to Africa has achieved better results despite the limited amount. Why? The result of a poll themed “Opinions on China” conducted by Pew Research Center in 2015 indicated that most of the people in nine African countries held positive attitude to China: indicator/24/survey/17/, 2017-4-24; The result of a poll themed “Here’s What Africans Think about China’s Influence in Their Countries” (October 28, 2016) conducted by Afro barometer in 2016 involving 36 African countries indicated that 63% of their citizens hold positive attitude to China: heres-what-africans-think-about-chinas-influence-theircountries. 2017-4-24.


3  African Economic Autonomy and International Development Cooperation

Officials from U.S., Britain, France and West scholars all ask the question. The main features of such assistance comprise principles of equality, mutual support, no political strings, no interference in internal affairs and mutual benefits. Take China for example.

 merging Countries’ Development E Assistance: Case of China The contact between China and Africa has a long history (Li 2016). At present, China and Africa keep friendly relationships and help each other. Equality Between Nations/Partners  China has provided assistance to Africa on an equal footing. The similar experience of being colonized or semi-colonized makes China and Africa share the same principle in international relations: equality and mutual respect. Chairman Mao Zedong expressed the idea of equality between China and Africa continuously. He said to the Guinean delegation in 1963, “We feel very close to you. Our two countries and two Parties help and support each other. You do not play tricks on us and we do not play tricks on you.” He also pointed out to African friends that China and African countries are under similar situations. No one could intimidate the other or gain superiority. His claim was the mutual respect and equal relationship with African countries.5 The same applies to the second, third and fourth generations of Chinese leaders. In 1989, Deng Xiaoping told Burundian President Buyoya, “I am old, almost 85 years old and you are only 40. Today I have a young friend.” He said to Ugandan President Museveni, “We are very concerned about the development and prosperity of Africa. We are not rich now, and we are not able to provide great financial help to you, but we can share our experience and lessons to our friends. It

Li Jiasong, ed., Major Diplomatic Events of the People’s Republic of China (Vol 2: January 1957 to December 1964), Beijing: World Affairs Press, 2001, pp. 432–433, p. 438. 5 


is also a kind of help.”6 President Jiang Zemin delivered a message in OAU in 1996: China and Africa are equal friends and the cooperation is mutually beneficial. President Hu Jintao visited Africa five times and repeatedly expressed the strong desire to get along with Africa on an equal footing, support each other, and cooperate with mutual benefits. In 2013, President Xi Jinping put forward the idea of “Sincerity, Practical Results, Affinity and Good Faith” during his visit to Africa. All of them emphasize the equality between China and Africa. Mutual Assistance  Foreign aid is an extension of domestic politics and a tool of foreign policy. China’s assistance to Africa initiated during the African independence movement, its Africa policy took ideology as the mainstay and the assistance also concentrated in political struggle. When Mao Zedong met with African friends in 1959, he pointed out: “You need support, we also need support, and all socialist countries need support. Who is going to support us? Undoubtedly, it is the national liberation movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America that are the most important supporting power for us…”7 In 1961, he said to African delegates, “Africa is the front line of the struggle… You support our struggle and we support your struggle.”8 On January 14, 1964, after two rounds of talks with Ghanaian President Nkrumah who had just experienced a coup, Premier Zhou Enlai announced China’s Eight Principles of Foreign Economic and Technical Aid and stated that China’s assistance to Africa must be sincere, selfless and equal.9 It is

Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping (Vol 3), People’s Publishing House, Beijing, 1993, pp. 289–290. 7  Selected Works of Mao Zedong on Diplomacy, p. 370. 8  Ibid, p. 467. 9  At that time, many entourages suggested canceling the visit for security reason, but Premier Zhou said we should go on schedule, because President Nkrumah was in a difficult time and required our support even more. Huang Zhen, Paving the Road of Friendship to the Awoken Africa, Endless Remembrance, Central Party Literature Press, Beijing, 1987, p. 368; People’s Daily, January 18, 1964. 6 

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noteworthy that the Eight Principles are not targeted at the recipients but China itself.10

Mao stated, “China is willing to help Egypt. There are no strings attached to the help.”13 TAZARA becomes a legend of modern Sino-­ The mutual assistance can both accelerate African relations. Although the West turned down development and strengthen friendship, a typical Tanzania/Zambia’s request, China undertook the example was that friendly Africa countries “car- task, finished the railway with both countries. ried China into the United Nations” in 1971 Tanzanian President Nyerere was deeply (Qian Qichen 2003). After the political turmoil in impressed by the unconditional assistance from Beijing in 1989, China encountered sanctions by China (Monson 2009; Shen Xipeng 2018). At the Western countries. The first foreign head of state, 6th Special Session of the UN General Assembly the first foreign head of government, the first for- in 1974, Deng Xiaoping explicitly stated that the eign minister who visited China all came from sovereignty of the recipient countries should be Africa, “to show the world that Africa is a true respected without any political or military strings friend of China, more so in the most difficult when aid is provided (Ly Xiaoli et al. 2016). times of China”.11 China has done the same. Since the 1990s, China has greatly increased Besides supporting Africa in various occasions in its import of energy sources from Africa, causinternational arena, China resolutely supported ing unease in the West. It is believed such the African candidates in the election or re-­ “expansion” of China infringed on the tradielection of UN Secretary General (such as Salim, tional interests of the West (Berger 2006). Boutros-Ghali, and Kofi Annan). China was repeatedly criticized and was believed that the unconditional aid was to No Political Conditions  One of the Eight obtain energy sources from Africa. It is absurd Principles is that China’s assistance never since no-political condition has always been attaches any conditions or asks for any privileges. China’s policy since the 1950s. China believe In 1956, the Suez Crisis broke out. China strongly that the African Union or African countries denounced Britain and France for threatening have the right or are more qualified to make the world peace and donated CHF 20  million to judgement about African affairs. It is interestEgypt, together with Red Cross Society of ing that the US, who has castigated China many China’s donated medical supplies.12 Chairman times, adopted similar policies towards Equatorial Guinea (Vines 2006). Apart from emphasizing that assistance is mutual with no strings attached, the eight principles highlight the considerations of preferential terms for all aspects of recipients. The “Eight Principles” are: mutual benefit; no conditions attached; the no-interest or low-interest loans should not create a debt burden for the recipient country; to help the recipient nation develop its economy, not to create its dependence on China; to help the recipient country with project that needs less capital and quick returns; the aid in kind must be of high quality at the world market price; to ensure that the technology can be learned and mastered by the locals; the Chinese experts and technicians working for the aid recipient country are treated equally as the local ones with no extra benefits for them. Jiang Shixue, “China’s Principles in Foreign Aid”, China., November 29, 2011. opinion/2011-11/29/content_24030234.htm. 2019-7-20. 11  Ibid, pp. 256–257. 12  New China’s Diplomacy Over the Past 50 Years, edited by Wang Taiping, Beijing Publishing House, Beijing, 1999, p.540. 10 

Common Development  This is another important principle of China’s foreign assistance. The reform and opening up put China’s strategic focus on economic development. In Dec. 1982-­ Jan.1983, Premier Zhao Ziyang paid a visit to Africa. As a “major diplomatic act”, he announced Four Principles of Economic and Technological Cooperation with Africa: equality and mutual benefit, practical results, diversified forms and common development. In 1990s, China sought reform of foreign assistance and explored various forms. In 2000, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established, marking a new phase of Sino-African friendly cooperation. In follow-up actions, China Selected Works of Mao Zedong on Diplomacy, p. 249.


3  African Economic Autonomy and International Development Cooperation

has demonstrated what it means to be a responsible big country. China has undertaken to continue providing support to Africa and relieving part of their overdue debts, helping African countries develop human resources, and promoting Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa. By January 2012, 60% of goods exported from the least developed countries in Africa to China had enjoyed zero tariffs. The “African Products Exhibition Center” in Yiwu opened in 2011, bringing more than 2000 commodities from 27 African countries.14 China is Africa’s largest trading partner since 2009. While China-African trade volume keeps growing, China’s export commodity structure has been further optimized, with machinery/electronic goods and high-tech products accounting for more than half of the total exports to Africa. China’s assistance to Africa is concentrated on development.15 Chinese humanitarian aid to Africa also becomes impressive. Ebola virus broke out in Africa in 2014. When citizens of other countries evacuated from West Africa, Chinese doctors hurried to the affected area for help.16 The win-win cooperation 14  “African Observation: China takes proactive measures to help expand African export to China”, 8:55, March 22, 2013, CRI Online: detail_2013_03/22/23397282_0.shtml. 2019-8-1. 15  By the end of 2009, China’s foreign assistance amounted to RMB 256.29  billion, in which RMB 106.2  billion is nonreimbursable assistance, RMB 76.54 billion interestfree loans, and RMB 73.55 billion concessional loans, and out of which 45.7% for African countries. The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, China’s Foreign Aid (April, 2011), People’s Publishing House, Beijing, 2011. From 2010 to 2012, China’s foreign aid amounted to RMB 89.34  billion, including free grants (36.2%), interest-free loans (8.1%) and concessional loans (55.7%). The aid projects involve social public facilities, economic infrastructure, agriculture and industry. African countries still remain the focus of China’s foreign aid, taking up 51.8% of the aid funds. The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, China’s Foreign Aid (2014), People’s Publishing House, Beijing, 2014. 16  “Liberia Lauds Chinese Aid to CombatEbola”, August 14, 2014, The BRICS Post,; “Ebola rampant in four African countries, Chinese Medical Team Steadfast in West Africa”, August 8, 2014, Xinhuanet/People’s Daily: htm. 2019-7-30.


has not only enhanced China’s international status, but also won praise and recognition in Africa and international arena. Exchange of Development Experience  Holding seminars and training courses are also important steps towards cooperation with mutual benefits. To exchange experience in development, the first China-Africa Seminar for Economic Management Officials was held on August 3, 1998, involving 22 officials from 12 African countries. The purpose was “to enable trainees to learn about China and introduce their countries, to exchange ideas, deepen mutual understanding, and promote friendship and long-term cooperation between China and African countries.” According to President Jiang Zemin’s proposal, China would hold such seminars twice a year.17 The Chinese participants were officials from different sectors and they introduced to African counterparts lessons of their respective ministries, especially the experience for poverty alleviation strategies.18 The second type is training course for improving skills or techniques with two principles: the strengths of China and the need of Africa. In the 2nd Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC, China committed to train 10,000 African talents in the next 3 years. For better implement China’s commitment, the Ministry of Education convened the Fourth Seminar on the Exchange of Experience in Training Educational Aid Personnel for Developing Countries in 2006.19 From 2010 to 2015, 111,000 government workers, professionals and technical workers from developing countries were trained in China. Take Kenya for example: 2065 people had received short-term training in 10 years since 2011 in fields such as administration, agriculture, husbandry, economy and trade,

People’s Daily, August 4, 1998. People’s Daily, September 24, 2004. 19  “Minutes of the Fourth Seminar on the Exchange of Experience in Training Educational Aid Personnel for Developing Countries”, Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Ministry of Education, April 2006. 17  18 

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energy and security, medical treatment and public health, and communication technology.20 In addition, China has sent Chinese medical teams to Africa from 1963 and now it spread to almost the whole continent (Li 2011). China has topped US and UK as destination for Anglophone African students. “According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the US and UK host around 40,000 African students a year. China surpassed this number in 2014, making it the second most popular destination for African students studying abroad, after France which hosts just over 95,000 students.”21 Technology transfer also becomes a usual form of assistance (Li 2016). The old saying “teaching one to fish is better than giving him fish” aptly summarizes the purpose of China’s above-mentioned measures.

 onflicts Between China C and the West in Africa I once stated one of the challenges China facing in Africa is the conflict with the vested interests of Western powers (Li 2006a, b). Bernt Berger expressed similar concern, “China’s engagement in the region (Africa) is increasing, which has become a source of concern for EU policymakers. The emerging of external players like China and India poses a challenge to European strategy” (Berger, … p. 124). This probably explains why Western powers are trying to make China and other emerging countries obey their game rules by various means. There is another claim on China’s aid to Africa: despite the opposition from international public opinion, China supports 20  “Ambassador Liu Xianfa: China Will Continue Helping Kenya in Training Technological Talents and Enhancing Self-development Capabilities”, June 30, 2016, www. Times: hot/2016-06/9102175.html. 2019-8-2. 21  “China Tops US and UK as Destination for Anglophone African Students”, June 28, 2017, The Conversation. For an analysis of the issue, see Li Anshan, “African Students in China: Research, Reality, and Reflection”, African Studies Quarterly,17:4 (February 2018), pp.5–44. asq. 2019-7-20.

countries with poor human rights records in order to secure natural resources. I made a response before (Li 2006a, b). In fact, China also imports a lot of resources from other countries (such as Australia). Why no comments on that? Why must there be a special policy towards Africa? Isn’t it a double standard? At the FOCAC Summit in 2015, President Xi Jinping announced China’s willingness to implement “10 major China-Africa cooperation plans” with Africa in the coming 3 years. The package covers industrialization, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-­ people exchanges, and peace and security. To ensure the implementation, China would offer 60 billion (USD) of funding, including 5 billion (USD) of free aid and interest-free loans, 35 billion (USD) of preferential loans and export credit on more favorable terms, 5 billion (USD) of additional capital for the China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs each, and a China-Africa production capacity cooperation fund with the initial capital of 10 billion dollars.22 In 2018 FOCAC Summit, the same amount of funding was planned for the next three-years’ cooperation, covering various aspects. Calling Africa an important participant in Belt and Road Initiative, the declaration says China-Africa cooperation under the initiative will generate more resources and means, expand the market and space for African development, and broaden its development prospects.23 This will certainly “Forum sur la coopération sino-africaine plan d’action de Johannesburg (2016–2018)”, 2015-12-15, https://; Déclaration du sommet de Johannesburg du Forum sur la coopération sino-africaine, 2015-12-15, t1324348.htm. 2019-8-2; Zhou Yongsheng, “China Model Leads African Construction and Development  – Innovation of the Aid to Africa at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation,” International Aid, (2016) 1, pp. 14–19. 23  “Déclaration De Beijing―Construire une Communauté de destin Chine-Afrique encore plus solide”, 2018-09-12,; 22 

3  African Economic Autonomy and International Development Cooperation

infuse new vitality into China-Africa cooperation in the new situation.

 oreign Aid or Development F Cooperation? Kenyan scholar Shikwati said the international aid framework is based on an assumption that “some countries in the world have the capacity to solve problems while others will always passively wait for the solutions provided by others. Such cognition obscures the fact that the purpose of aid led by America, Europe, Australia, Japan and their allies is the self-interests of these donors, ranging from market entry, their fears of overwhelming African refugees due to political, economic and climate changes, to broad concerns about security, terrorism and disease, and to the acquirement and control of the rich natural resources of the African continent and the geopolitical games.” (Shikwati 2015). The donor/recipient relation generated a system of providers/ acceptors of solutions. Therefore, one is on the top, superior and arrogant, the other at below, inferior and obedient. For their own benefits, The donors provide solution to Africa that they did not know much about, while African recipients can only passively accept it. As African historian Depelchin says, the root cause of the problem lies in the West’s perception of Africans as barbarians who need to be colonized and the poor to be developed (Depelchin 2005). On the basis of this system, it is difficult for China to cooperate with the West unless a great change occurs. With awakening African and emerging countries, such change is not impossible and there are already traces of that. At present, we can clarify the following points on the issue of “international aid”: 1. Western countries have been keen on the international aid system and trying hard to

prove the necessity and rationality of the system. 2. The international aid system implemented for more than half a century has not changed the situation in Africa and the poverty in Africa has worsened. 3. African leaders have made it clear that such a system is irrational and that investment and trade are much more important than aid. 4. African scholars have stated the absurdity of the assumption of the international aid system and Africans should have their own initiatives.24 5. Western countries have realized the outdated name of “international aid”, replacing the term with “international development cooperation”, yet the change is in name, not reality. Most important, African countries’ economic autonomy is closely related to an effective international order which can only be achieved by reforming the existing system. Facing a new situation, China should respond promptly and resolutely. The Courage to Hold High the Moral and Just Banner of International Development Cooperation  The international aid system after WWII has lost its credibility, “looking eastward” by African countries manifests their suspect of the West model. China’s development set up an example for the South. On the basis of the experience of foreign assistance, the theory of international development cooperation that suits the South should be summarized and a new system be established. The Ideal and Wisdom to Serve the Community of Shared Destiny  Although the battered system of OECD is still under rehabilitation, its framework based on the unequal concept of “giving/taking” is unsustainable. In guiding the estab-

My doctoral student Antoine Roger Lokongo in CongoKinshasa stated that Congo is endowed with plentiful natural resources and needs no aid but fair trade and investment. Many African scholars expressed the same view.


“Forum sur la coopération sino-africaine plan d’action de Beijing (2019–2021)”, 2018-09-12, https://www.focac. org/fra/zywx_2/zywj/t1594326.htm. 2019-8-1.



lishment of a new system, China needs to have the ideal and wisdom of serving the community of shared destiny and act on it. China should welcome other countries to join it but must jointly act in accordance with the principle of equality based on mutual respect. Bold Innovations to Be Made to Create a Community of Shared Destiny  International development cooperation is both an act of national interest and providing public goods to the community of shared destiny. Market forces is a catalyst for realizing the combination of the two, yet the integration of the two should be gradually promoted. We need to understand and mobilize market forces, yet cannot vulgarly perceive international development cooperation as an economic activity. To establish a new international system of development cooperation is a big move which requires the initiative of the emerging countries including the autonomous African countries. The innovative action needs the involvement and integration of different nations, businesses, markets and civil organizations in this field.

References Ayittey, G. 1992. New Africa. Africa in Chaos, 275. London: Macmillan, 1999. Berger, B. 2006. China’s engagement in Africa: Can the EU sit back? South African Journal of International Affairs 13 (1, Summer/Autumn): 115–127. Bheenick, A. 1991. Beyond structural adjustment. Paper presented to seminar studies on Deficit Financing and Economic Management, University of Mauritius, Redult, Mauritius. Calderisi, R. 2006. The trouble with Africa: Why foreign aid isn’t working. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Collier, P. 2006. Africa left behind; editorial: Rethinking assistance for Africa. Economic Affairs (Oxford) 26: 4. Depelchin, J. 2005. Silences in African history: Between the syndromes of discovery and abolition, 6–10. Dar Es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers. Easterly, W. 2006. White man’s burden: Why the West’s efforts to aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good. New York: Penguin. Gabas, J. 2002. Nord-Sud: l’impossible cooperation, 28. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.

A. Li Huang, Zhen. 1964. Paving the road of friendship to the awoken Africa, 368. Beijing: Endless Remembrance, Central Party Literature Press, 1987. People’s Daily, January 18, 1964. Jiasong, Li. (ed.). 2001. Major diplomatic events of the People’s Republic of China (Vol. 2: January 1957 to December 1964), 432–433, 438. Beijing: World Affairs Press. Li, Anshan. 2006a. China-African relations in the context of “China’s rise”  – With comments on three views. World Economics and Politics 11: 7–14. ———. 2006b. On the adjustment and transformation of China’s African policy. West Asia and Africa 8: 11–20. ———. 2007. China and Africa: Policies and challenges. China Security 3 (3): 69–93. ———. 2011. Chinese medical cooperation with Africa: With a special emphasis on Chinese medical team and anti-malaria campaign. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. ———. 2013. BRICS: Dynamics, resilience and role of China. In BRICS-Africa: Partnership and interaction, 122–134. Moscow: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. ———. 2014. The evolution of the international discourse on the study of China-Africa relations. World Economics and Politics 2: 19–47. ———. 2015a. African diaspora in China: Reality, research and reflection. The Journal of Pan African Studies 7 (10): 10–43. docs/vol7no10/Bodomo-3-Anshan.pdf. 20 July 2019. ———. 2015b. Contact between China and Africa before Vasco da Gama: Archeology, document and historiography. World History Studies 2 (1): 34–59. ———. 2014, 2015c. The history and reality of International Aid: Theoretical criticism and benefit analysis (Part 1 and Part 2). International Aid, No.1, 2014, No.1, 2015. ———. 2016. Technology transfer in China–Africa relation: Myth or reality. Transnational Corporations Review 8 (3): 183–195. Ly Xiaoli, Zhang, and Xiuyan. 2016. Historical tracing and reason analysis of the principle no political strings attached in China’s Foreign Aid. International Aid, 48–56. Monson, J. 2009. Africa’s freedom railway: How a Chinese development project changed lives and livelihoods in Tanzania. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Oakbe, Alkabe. 2015. Made in Africa: Industrial policy in Ethiopia. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Qian, Qichen. 2003. Ten episodes in China’s diplomacy, 255. Beijing: World Affairs Press. Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping. 1993. People’s Publishing House. Vol. 3, 289–290. Beijing: People’s Publishing House. Selected Works of Mao Zedong on Diplomacy, 370. Shen, Xipeng. 2018. Study of China’s aid to the TAZARA railway. Tanzania: Huangshan Publishing House.

3  African Economic Autonomy and International Development Cooperation Shikwati, J. 2015. Aid and development: Why Africans must dream and go OShut. In Annual review of African studies in China 2014, ed. Li Anshan and Pan Huaqiong, 239. Bejing: Social Sciences Academic Press (China). Stiglitz, J. 2002. Globalization and its discontent, 32. London: Allen Lane/Penguin. Swedlund, H. 2017. Is China eroding the bargaining power of traditional donors in Africa? International Affairs 93 (2): 389–408. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. 2017. Economic report on Africa 2017, urbanization and industrialization for Africa’s transformation, 77. Addis Ababa: United Nations.


Vines, A. 2006. The scramble for resources: African case studies. South African Journal of International Affairs 13 (1): 72. Yang, Baorong. 2011. Debt and development: African debt in international relations, 33–35. Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press. Zhang, Chixin. 1994. Implement new Foreign Aid Policy, open up a new dimension. Yearbook of China’s foreign economic relations and trade 1994/1995, 62. Beijing: China Society Press. Zhou, Yongsheng. 2016. China model leads African construction and development. Innovation of the Aid to Africa at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. International Aid, Vol. 1, 14–19.

Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil Georges Gérard Flexor and Robson Dias da Silva


The main objective of this article is to provide a brief reflection on the process of deindustrialization in the largest economy in Latin America, Brazil, and also to present some proposals for economic policies to deal with it. The article deals with deindustrialization and its relation with the abundance of natural resources. After having identified the main arguments concerning the deindustrialization, we present the case of Brazil, a country where the deindustrialization process and its relation to the abundance of natural resources is the subject of economic policy debate. Keywords

Deindustrialization · Brazil · State · Natural resources

The main objective of this article is to provide a brief reflection on the process of deindustrialization in the largest economy in Latin America, Brazil, and also to present some proposals for economic policies to deal with it. G. G. Flexor (*) · R. Dias da Silva Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

These proposals come from the so-called “New Developmentism” (ND) approach, which was developed and defended by a small group of economists who explicitly consider the process of deindustrialization as the main problem of the Brazilian economy. However, before examining the policy arguments and recommendations developed by this group of economists, we will briefly address the broader debate on deindustrialization and the country’s economic development. Thus, the economic development of Brazil is placed in a broader historical perspective, that of the developing countries which have comparative advantages in the production of goods making intensive use of natural resources, a problem which affects in particular all the countries of Latin America.

Deindustrialization as a Phenomenon Before worrying economists and policy makers in developing countries, deindustrialization, or the relative decline in industry’s share in the economy, has been diagnosed as a historic process that has affected advanced economies. In a study by the International Monetary Fund, economists Rowthorn and Ramaswamy (1997) analyzed the causes and consequences of the decline in industry’s share in total employment in the

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,


G. G. Flexor and R. Dias da Silva

United States, Europe and Japan. They observe that in wealthy countries, manufacturing jobs have declined. From 28% of the working population in 1970, they dropped to 18% in 1994. This loss, worrying in itself because of the privileged role of industry in the historical process of economic development, has gained in importance because during this period real wages stagnated in the United States, and unemployment increased in Europe. Although the authors show that this phenomenon can be observed in the economies of all the rich countries, representing in this sense a natural feature of economic development, they underline the existence of strong variations between different countries regarding the beginning and the severity of the decline in the relative share of industrial employment. For example, in the United States, this process began earlier, from the mid-1960s, and more severely than in Europe and, especially, more than in Japan, where the share of industrial employment was much more stable, remaining above 20% over the years. At the same time, the share of services in total employment increased and this more in the United States than in Europe and in Japan. For Rowthorn and Ramaswamy, however, this development would not be a cause for concern. Deindustrialization, interpreted as the decrease in the relative share of industrial employment, would firstly be the result of productivity gains in the industrial sector, gains much higher than those observed in other sectors of the economy and, in particular, in that of services. With more goods produced per worker, an increase in industrial production does not require a proportionate increase in the number of employees and consequently, the relative share of industrial employment decreases. As the two authors point out, industry’s share of the total value-added of advanced economies has remained relatively stable. In this sense, deindustrialization is not necessarily a symptom of the failure of the manufacturing sector. On the contrary, deindustrialization is the result of successful economic development associated with an increase in living standards.

Premature Deindustrialization as a Problem The problem of deindustrialization first appeared on the agenda of developing countries in the 2000s, a period characterized (among other things) by the intensification of globalization of trade, the spectacular growth of the Chinese economy and a boom in commodity prices. As Rodrik (2016; 2) points out, the last decades most have seen a decline in the relative share of manufacturing in both employment and real added values. For many countries that strove in the 1950s and 1960s to build an industrial base through import substitution strategies, deindustrialization can be seen as premature because it occurred while these countries were still only middle-­ income countries. Analyzing data on real and nominal industrial value-added and the relative share of employment in this sector in a large sample of countries, Rodrik shows that the traditional relationship between the level of income per capita and industrialization  – in the shape of an inverted U  – is maintained in the case of developing countries. However, the shift occurs earlier and at much lower per capita income levels for the latter. There would therefore be a process of premature deindustrialization characterized by a joint reduction in the relative share of employment and industrial value-added at a time when many developing countries have not yet reached similar levels of per capita income to those in richer countries when they began their transition to a service economy. How to explain this process of premature deindustrialization? Rodrik’s analysis shows that, unlike rich countries, the decrease in the relative importance of industry in several developing countries is not due to the productivity differential between the industrial and service sectors. Technological progress can be a cause of premature deindustrialization, but systematic analysis, in time and space, shows that trade and globalization are the most important forces in this process. Globalization, creating drastic reductions in transport and communication costs, has stimu-

4  Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil

lated trade and greater integration of markets on a global scale. Because of the greater ease of importing and exporting products, productivity gains in the industrial sector and the increasing participation of countries with cheap labor in the world economy have led to a decline in relative prices of manufactured products that has proved harmful to the industrial sectors of countries which do not have comparative advantages in the production of these products. As these countries have not had time to create a modern and globally competitive services sector, their integration into the globalization process has led to a reprimarization of their economies and an increase in the low-intensive qualified labor services, often operating informally.

 bundance and Curse of Natural A Resources In countries rich in natural resources, such as those of Latin America, premature deindustrialization has been accompanied by increasing participation of the exports of goods which use this type of factor intensively. This has generated a growth bias marked by a relative increase in the production of agricultural raw materials, ore or energy (oil, gas and coal). The problem, as Ross (1999) and Robinson et  al. (2006) point out, is that there is strong evidence that resource-rich countries are performing economically below the world average. In other words, that the abundance of natural resources is a curse rather than a blessing (Auty 1995). The natural resource curse operates on several channels of transmission. One of the most influential arguments in Latin America is the thesis of the deterioration of long-term terms of trade between manufactured goods and raw materials, developed by Prebisch (1949). It considers that productivity gains are above all a characteristic of the industrial sector and stipulates that the peripheral countries (that is to say the developing countries) export raw materials and import industrial goods. Because of the higher income elasticity of the latter, the external equilibrium implies an underlying deterioration in the terms of trade.

However, as Ross points out, the econometric tests aimed at verifying the validity of the deterioration of the terms of trade thesis are not conclusive and depend essentially on the type of raw material exported. Another manifestation of the natural resource curse and its harmful effects on industry is the famous “Dutch disease” (Frankel 2010; Zadeh Embrahim 2003). This particular type of natural resource curse is associated with the increase in the relative prices of raw materials in times of soaring commodity prices. The rise in the relative prices of these goods raises the income of exporters of raw materials and decreases the income of manufacturers of products that compete with imports. In the short term, the increase in export supply results in an increase in demand for production factors, not only those specific to the exploration of raw materials exported, but also those used in other activities. In the context of a sustained rise in the relative prices of raw materials, wages and several important production costs for industry tend to increase and the manufacturing sector ends up losing its competitiveness, leading to the process of deindustrialization. In addition to the economic aspects, the natural resource curse also affects the political sphere. As Ross (ibid) points out, soaring prices generate extraordinary gains and ultimately stimulate short-term actions by political players who suffer from ‘myopia’, i.e. having difficulty calculating the negative consequences that will occur when prices drop. Karl (1997) also suggests that in times of improved prices for exported raw materials, the government tries to do too much too soon. For this author, these periods are also times when rent-seeking activities are particularly widespread, thus generating economic distortions and inefficiencies which limit the potential for economic development. Ross also highlights the importance of arguments that link the abundance of natural resources to the actions of interest groups. A high relative weight of commodity exports in trading tends to favor the political position of certain economic groups, and also to hamper the number of policies to more “progressive” social segments. For example, in the case of Latin America, the abundance of natural resources

G. G. Flexor and R. Dias da Silva

has made it possible to partially finance industrialization. However, when this development strategy showed signs of weakening, established interests organized themselves so that the protection policies of industry were maintained, hampering the spread of technical progress and the organizational innovations necessary to improve productivity. Other authors emphasize the harmful effects of the abundance of natural resources on political institutions. For Shafer (1994), the characteristics of the commodity export sectors influence State institutions and performance. According to this author, when these sectors are oligopolized, collective action is less costly. Therefore, when ‘times are tough’, they quickly put pressure on the State. In other words, when the prices of exported goods fall, these groups exert strong pressure on the State and because of their privileged economic position receive privileged treatment from it. On the other hand, the other sectors are less likely to organize collectively and suffer from a lack of attention from the State. After having identified the main arguments concerning the deindustrialization process and its specificities in the case of developing countries, we present the case of Brazil, a country where the deindustrialization process and its relation to the

abundance of natural resources is the subject of economic policy debate.

Brazil: From Growth to Stagnation Since 1930 and the crisis in the agro-export model, Brazil has developed a solid industrial base (Fonseca 2009). In five decades, during the period traditionally known as ‘National Developmentism’, Brazil made significant leaps in terms of productivity and structural change, ceasing to be an agro-export economy and becoming a diversified urban and industrial economy. The import substitution strategy that drove this transformation was adopted by almost all governments during this period. Thanks to sustained efforts to promote industrial development, Brazil experienced sustained growth until the early 1980s. As Fig. 4.1 shows, until then the annual growth rate of the Brazilian economy was high, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita having increased on average by 4.6% per year between 1961 and 1980. However, since the 1980s the national-developmentist model went into crisis and since this decade, the Brazilian economy has stagnated. From 1980 to 2016, the increase in per capita GDP was slightly








2000 Source: World Bank

Fig. 4.1  Annual change (%) in GDP per capita 1961–2017. (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from World Bank)

4  Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil

less than 0.8% per year. This period also experienced several very severe economic recessions, the main ones occurring in the early 1980s, the beginning of the following decade, and between 2014 and 2016. The 80s and 90s were marked by great economic and political transformations. Politically, the country had to bear the cost of learning how to function again as a democracy based on a new constitution. Economically, It was faced with hyperinflation, a budget crisis and an external debt crisis, and when these were resolved, low growth and high unemployment left their mark in the 1990s. Under the first administration of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, hyper-inflation was finally overcome thanks to an ingenious economic policy plan – the Real Plan – based on the restoration of fiscal balance, the progressive reduction of a large number of import tariffs, the privatization of several public companies, a very restrictive monetary policy and an anchoring of the exchange rate. However, the fundamentals of monetary stability also contributed to curbing economic growth and job creation. As Fig.  4.2 shows, gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), one of the main determinants of the growth rate,

fell sharply during the 1990s. In the 1970s, at the height of Brazil’s economic growth, it represented on average 22.91% of the GDP.  In the 1980s, it remained above 21%. However, hyperinflation and the external debt crisis had harmful effects on private and public investment, and the GFCF started on a downward path. Over the next decade, it fell by about one percentage point to an average of 19.05%. Since the new millennium, it has maintained its decreasing trend despite the rise observed between 2007 and 2014, a period marked by an improvement in economic growth. In this last brief period of improvement in gross fixed capital formation, the appreciation of the Brazilian currency  – the Real  – against the dollar (Fig. 4.3), due to the massive influx of foreign currency through commodity exports, eased monetary policy and boosted the industrial and service sectors, both by reducing interest rates and by increasing domestic consumption through maintaining the increase in the minimum wage, the increase in the wages bill (through job creation) and redistribution policies. In addition, the government empowered the three major state banks  – Banco do Brasil, Caixa Éconômica Fedareal and BNDES (National Bank for





15.0 1960



Source: Penn World Table

Fig. 4.2  Gross fixed capital formation in Brazil as % of GDP (1960–2017). (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from Penn World Table database ( – University of Groningen)

G. G. Flexor and R. Dias da Silva






1.5 2000





Fig. 4.3  Exchange rate  – R$/US$  – commercial 2000–2018. (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from IPEADATA ( – IPEA (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada))

Economic and Social Development)  – to facilitate financing for businesses and families. As a result, various sectors, from furniture manufacturing to the automobile industry and to housing for the middle class experienced a sustained increase in their sales. The pillars of this cycle are ‘the three Cs’: commodities, credit and consumption. It should be noted that the financial crisis of 2008 was not directly followed by a reshaping of the growth model. In fact, it accentuated it. The government opted for anticyclical expansionary policies, and the rapid recovery in commodity prices in the early 2010s facilitated continuity. In addition, the over-valued exchange rate led to wage increases in dollars, which led to greater consumption of imported goods which, until recently, had been reserved for a small number of Brazilians. The inclusion of more than 20 million workers in the formal labor market during the years of the governments of the Workers’ Party – that is, the governments of Presidents Lula and Dilma Rousseff  – contributed to the increase in consumption, making the new middle class (Neri 2011) the engine of growth. Part of this demand was met by imported products (tradables) which

replaced part of the local production and slowed down investments. However, in sectors where demand could not be met by imports, especially services, the increase in demand created inflationary pressures, and the collapse of supply in certain sectors such as energy exposed the structural problems of the growth model based on consumption, credit and the improvement of the terms of trade resulting from the boom in commodity prices. In addition to the inherent limitations of this growth model, the Brazilian economy has started to display more clearly its structural problems such as stagnant productivity and premature deindustrialization (Salama 2019), problems that limit its growth potential and enable understanding of the lack of dynamism observed since the 1980s. Figure  4.4 shows the evolution of relative labor productivity in Brazil compared to that of the United States during the period 1950–2018. Two phases are clearly visible. The first, associated with the industrial development effort, is marked by a process of convergence in labor p­ roductivity. In 1950, labor productivity in Brazil was about 29% of that in the United States. Three decades later, it reached 46%. The second phase, which began in the 1980s, was marked by the difference

4  Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil





25 1960




Fig. 4.4  Labor productivity – Production per person employed (US dollars in 2018 as % of productivity). (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from World Bank (

in productivity between the two countries. As can be seen, the output gap per worker between the two countries has widened steadily, with the exception of a few brief moments of improvement in the mid-1990s, thanks to the implementation of the Real plan, and during the period when the growth model of the 3 Cs was in force. The trajectory of total factor productivity (TFP) followed a similar evolution. Figure  4.5 illustrates this development. Until 1980, the TFP rose steadily, reflecting the improvement in efficiency associated in large part with the increasing integration of technical progress. Since then, it has exhibited a downward trend interspersed with brief periods of improvement in the 1990s and during the commodity price boom (2007–2014). The productivity problem is in part a mirror of the process of deindustrialization of the Brazilian economy. This process was already visible in the 1980s when the share of employment in the processing industry and the number of companies in this sector began to decrease. Figure  4.6 shows that this strategic sector of economic dynamism, due to its ability to generate productivity gains, occupied 27.1% of formal jobs in Brazil in 1986. Three decades later, however, it represented only 15.4% of these jobs. The share of the processing

industry in the total number of Brazilian establishments has followed exactly the same trend (Fig. 4.7). The export trajectory and the loss of complexity in the production structure are two clear signs of the loss of competitiveness of Brazilian industry in recent decades. The economic complexity index, developed by the economist R. Hausmann, the physicist M. Hidalgo and various collaborators (Hausmann et al. 2014), considers that the ­ complexity of an economy is linked to the interaction of individuals in productive networks. Products which incorporate broad specific knowledge and which involve interactions between multiple networks of actors are difficult to imitate and are rarely produced in many countries because there are a limited number of sites capable of mobilizing this type of resource. Due to the increasingly sophisticated nature of production processes, the manufacturing industry is obviously a sector characterized by a high degree of economic complexity. As Fig.  4.8 shows, the complexity index of the Brazilian economy rose until the mid-­ 1990s, reflecting the country’s ability to export goods having certain levels of technological sophistication. However, over the past two decades, this

G. G. Flexor and R. Dias da Silva




0.6 1960




Source: The Conference Board

Fig. 4.5  Total factor productivity at constant prices (2010) – Brazil (1954–2017). (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from The Conference Board (






15.0 1990



Source: IPEA

Fig. 4.6 Share of manufacturing industry in formal employment (1985–2017). (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de

Geografia e Estatística –

4  Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil









Source: IPEA

Fig. 4.7  Share of the processing industry in establishments (1985–2017). (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from IBGE (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e

Estatística –





-1.2 1970





Source: Atlas of Economic Complexity

Fig. 4.8  Brazil’s economic complexity index (1964–2017). (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from Atlas of Economic Complexity (

G. G. Flexor and R. Dias da Silva

trajectory has reversed and the index has declined. The improvement observed in 2015 and 2016 is mainly due to the increase in exports of some medium-to-high technology products, such as automobiles, and the sale of regional aircraft manufactured by Embraer. The combined effect of the loss of industrial competitiveness, overvaluation of the exchange rate and the surge in commodity prices has led to significant changes in the structure of Brazilian commerce. As Fig. 4.9 shows, at the end of the 1990s, Brazilian exports consisted mainly of unsophisticated products (food, wood pulp, shoes, timber and textiles) and motor vehicles (medium-high technology). In 2016, however, Brazil mainly exported primary products (soybeans, meat, iron ore and petroleum) and low-­ tech products. This development reflects the reprimarization of the Brazilian economy, characterized mainly by the relative increase in exports of goods making intensive use of natural

resources (Oreiro and Feijó 2010; Bacha and Fishlow 2011).

New Developmentism as a Development Strategy The problem of premature deindustrialization and its links with the abundance of natural resources is a historical question for economists, social scientists and formulators of public policies in Latin America. The so-called “new developmentism” school has earned space in the Brazilian economic debate largely because it aims to respond to the challenges posed by this problem. It adopts a critical stance towards neoliberalism and, at the same time, seeks to differentiate itself from state-led developmentalism (Carneiro 2012). New Developmentism also criticizes the 3Cs growth model. Its basic diagnosis is that the absence of a mechanism making it pos-

% of exports according to their technological sophistication (1997-2016) 45,00 40,00 35,00 30,00 25,00 20,00 15,00 10,00 5,00 -

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 COMMODITIES





Fig. 4.9  Relative share of Exports according to technological sophistication (1997–2016). (Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from SECEX (Secretária de

Comércio Exterior  –

4  Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil

sible to “neutralize” the effects of the abundance of foreign currency resulting from the surge in the price of commodities has led to a continuous appreciation of the exchange rate, which has ended up reducing the prospects for profits and, consequently, for investments in the manufacturing sector (Bresser-Pereira 2007; Bresser-Pereira and Gala 2010; Oreiro 2012). In general, New Developmentism seeks to position itself as an alternative to conventional orthodox discourse and to neo-Developmentism1 and its appeal to the State as a player in the sphere of production. It sees itself as a ‘third discourse’ capable of establishing an agenda that responds to national interests. The State has a fundamental role in New Development, because it is the actor which has the normative, administrative, financial and political capacities necessary for implementing the national development strategy (Bresser-Pereira 2007; Sicsú et al. 2007). Formed initially by a small group of respected economists (Bresser-Pereira 2007, 2010), New Developmentism has its roots in classical Keynesianism, but it updates it in order to adapt it to the context of developing economies with incomplete and middle-income industrialization (Flexor et al. 2017). Based on observation of the advance of capitalist forces in the period of strong industrialization and on the economic scenario of the 1980s and 1990s, the authors of this trend formulate the following diagnosis: resumption of the trajectory of national development will not be supported by a ‘reprimarization of exports’ (or resumption of the export model of basic products) but by a process of ‘national reindustrialization’, understood as ‘sophisticated production’ which includes modern services (Bresser-Pereira 2015; Bresser-Pereira et al. 2016). For Bresser-Pereira, the central problem of the Brazilian economy, responsible for low growth rates since the 1980s and, consequently, the integration of technical progress and productivity, stems from the Dutch disease. In Brazil, this comes mainly from two sources: the boom in commodity prices (Bresser-Pereira et  al. 2016) Curado (2017) explains why the Rousseff government and its state activism is not “new developmentalist”. 1 

and the high basic interest rates introduced since the mid-1990s as part of the inflation control strategy (Palma 2005). These two sources create a large inflow of hard currency (dollars in particular) which overvalues ​​the national currency and reduces the relative price of imports. According to Bresser-Pereira (2017), when the relative price of raw materials increases rapidly, causing the Dutch disease, the exchange rate which ensures industrial equilibrium, i.e. the exchange rate which makes companies in the manufacturing sector that use advanced technologies competitive, detaches itself from the exchange rate which is determined by the relative supply and demand of foreign currency. Compared to the rate which ensures industrial equilibrium, the exchange rate is overvalued, which has a negative impact on the industrial sector and stimulates the process of deindustrialization of the economy. Thus, the exchange rate is considered a fundamental kingpin in the model of New Developmentism because it can be either an instrument of revival and protection of the most dynamic industrial sectors or to consolidate the Brazilian economy. For the proponents of this approach, appreciation of the exchange rate supplies, in the short term, a feeling of well-being due to the monetary illusion of higher domestic wages (in dollars) which facilitates consumption of imported goods. In the medium term, however, it creates a dangerous obstacle that is important to medium and long term development, when the effects of stagnating productivity spread to the whole of the economic system and inhibit the rate of investment. Consequently, the Brazilian economy needs an adequate economic policy dedicated to the protection and stimulation of domestic industry. This must largely take the form of a policy which aligns the nominal exchange rate with an exchange rate which ensures industrial equilibrium. This is a central element of neo-­Developmentist thinking: low profit rates lead manufacturers to lower investment rates, reducing not only production, but also average productivity per worker and, ultimately, employment. This process extends to other economic sectors, in particular goods sheltered from external competition

G. G. Flexor and R. Dias da Silva

(which cannot be traded), which has the effect of further reducing profits, investments and jobs. Correcting this situation involves the construction of a new Developmentist state in which State institutions have the mandate not only to control the rate of inflation, but also to stimulate the rate of investment and employment. This objective requires monetary and budgetary policies capable of establishing the conditions for an exchange rate that neutralizes the Dutch disease. More concretely, thinking about what should be done to avoid the process of deindustrialization of the Brazilian economy, Bresser-Pereira and the members of the Reindustrialização Group2 – a collective of economists mobilized to offer diagnoses and analyses to political decision-­ makers  – have drawn up a list of six proposals which should be applied to promote industrial development in Brazil. The first is the adoption of base and market interest rates aligned with those practiced by countries that compete with Brazilian manufacturing exports. In addition to discouraging the inflow of foreign capital whose objective is simply to benefit from interest differentials, it would reduce the cost of capital in Brazil, the opportunity cost of industrial investment and the payment of interest on public debt. The second measure is the adoption of an exchange rate regime with a real ‘floor’ which takes account of industrial equilibrium. It would be a key measure to promote exports of manufactured goods, support industrial investment and increase productivity. The third proposal states that implementation of the exchange rate policy is a responsibility of the Central Bank. This should not only control price changes, but also act in favor of economic growth. The fourth measure concerns the level of tariff protection. The Reindustrialization Group is proposing lower tariffs on raw materials and intermediate inputs in order to improve the effective protection of the manufacturing sector. The fifth proposal aims to stimulate productive investment by exempting exports and investment and reducing the tax burden on the productive sector. Finally, they suggest the (controversial) retention of income from Web page:


commodity exports, with managed financial resources being invested in a fund. According to them, this measure would smooth the ­appreciation of the exchange rate and neutralize the main force behind the Dutch disease.

 ew Developmentism: Some N Criticisms Economists of the orthodox tradition present arguments against the New Developmentism theses (Bacha 2015; Lisboa and Pessõa 2016). First, they point out that there is no definitive evidence of the particular importance of industry in the process of economic development. Using econometric studies, they point out that the relative share of industry in GDP hardly explains the differences between countries’ economies. Furthermore, they criticize the thesis of premature deindustrialization. For Bonelli and Pessõa (2010), the relative loss of industry’s importance has always been associated with periods of recession and/or external crisis that do not constitute a long-term trend. According to the study by these authors, compared to international standards, the relative importance of industry in Brazil in the 1970s was much higher than could be justified by a set of variables such as the degree of economic and technological development, contributions from other factors and the size of the economy. In this sense, the decline observed since the 1980s reflects, in part, a hoped-for return to equilibrium, although they recognize that lately the relative importance of industry in the Brazilian economy may be slightly lower than the normal long-term trend. In addition to minimizing the problem of deindustrialization, orthodox economists argue that the effect of the quality of State institutions is more important for economic growth than industry. For Lisboa and Pessõa (ibid.), it is no coincidence that the sector that suffers the most from lack of competitiveness is also the sector that suffers the most from the costs of an ineffective and inefficient tax system. Analyzing the determinants of productivity stagnation in Brazil, De Mello et al. (2018) argue that the main problem

4  Deindustrialization, Natural Resources, and New Developmentism: The Case of Brazil

of the Brazilian economy is its widespread inefficiency, a problem that arises mainly from an economic environment that discourages investment in innovation. They emphasize that Brazil must provide a political and institutional framework in which unnecessary obstacles to setting up a business are not created; the tax system should be simple and transparent, as should the payment of taxes. Entrepreneurs should not be excessively punished for business failures; the judicial system must guarantee contracts and provide legal security to reduce transaction costs; sources of credit must be available and producers must have access to international trade. Another critical argument which can be advanced is linked to the political conditions necessary for the implementation of proposals for New Developmentism. Taking up ideas put forward by Robinson (2010), he argues that the implementation of an industrial policy can be legitimate given its possible positive effects on economic development. However, he argues that the actual results of such a policy depend less on the instruments chosen than on the political balance that prevails in society. In Brazil, the industrial elites obtained privileged access to the state apparatus during the period of industrial development, during which the Brazilian state acquired more corporatist traits (Schmitter 1974). But in a country rich in natural resources, the agrarian elites are historically powerful and their capacity to influence policy is meaningful. Their representatives hold key positions in legislative institutions and regional governments. In addition, they are represented by powerful interest groups well-­tuned to the political system. In other words, the elites associated with the resource-intensive sector represent players that cannot be excluded from the political game. They rely on various economic and political resources to assert interests that are largely linked to the exploitation of natural resources and have little convergence with those of the industrial elites. In this sense, the adoption of measures imposing significant losses on them is unlikely, unless an economic or political crisis changes the political balance. Let us take, for example, the proposal for a tax on the export of

basic products with the objective of neutralizing the Dutch disease. As Bresser-­Pereira himself (2015, 116) notes, there are no political conditions for a proposal of this nature.

Final Considerations Brazil is certainly the most emblematic case of Latin America in terms of the debate on deindustrialization, the role of natural resources and the role of the State in development. This is due to both its traditions and its economic potential linked to natural resources, as well as to the urban-industrial base created during the import substitution process. There is a long-standing debate on the paths of development between the so-called liberals, who value the market, and the ‘developmentists’ who advocate industrial policies aimed at increasing the competitiveness and size of national industry. This debate has intensified during the first two decades of the twenty-­first century as a result of deindustrialization, stagnant productivity and weak growth. The debate is not about to end. But, in this context, New Developmentism and its defense of industrialization are important because it underlines the need to think about the specificity of the economic development of middle income countries with abundant natural resources.

References Auty, R. M. 1995. Economic development and the resource curse thesis. In Economic and Political Reform in Developing Countries. Springer. pp. 58–80 Bacha, Edmar O. 2015. Futuro da indústria no Brasil: desindustrialização em debate. Editora José Olympio. Bacha, Edmar L., and Albert Fishlow. 2011. The recent commodity price boom and Latin American growth: More than new bottles for an old wine. In The Oxford handbook of Latin American economics. Bonelli, Regis, and Samuel de Abreu Pessõa. 2010. Desindustrialização no Brasil: um resumo da evidência. FGV. Bresser-Pereira, Luiz Carlos. 2007. Macroeconomia de estagnação: crítica da ortodoxia convencional no Brasil pós-1994. Editora 34. ———. 2010. Do antigo ao novo desenvolvimentismo na América Latina. FGV.

G. G. Flexor and R. Dias da Silva ———. 2015. Reindustrialização como projeto nacional. Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil, pp. 4–5. ———. 2017. How to neutralize the Dutch disease notwithstanding the natural resources curse. Textos para discussão 452, FGV EESP. Bresser-Pereira, Luiz Carlos, and Paulo Gala. 2010. Macroeconomia estruturalista do desenvolvimento. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 30 (4): 663–686. Bresser-Pereira, Luiz Carlos., André Nassif, and Feijó Carmem Aparecida. 2016. A reconstrução da indústria brasileira: a conexão entre o regime macroeconômico e a política industrial. Carneiro, R. de M. 2012. Velhos e novos desenvolvimentismos. Economia e Sociedade, 21(SPE), 749–778. Curado, Marcelo. 2017. Why Dilma’s government cannot be classified as new developmentalist. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 37 (1): 130–146. De Mella João M.  P., Isabela Duarte and Mark Durtz. 2018. Brazil’s productivity challenge: Structural change versus economy-wide innovation-based improvements. Spilimbergo & Srinivasan, Brazil: Boom, bust, and the road to recovery, IMF. Flexor, G., R. Dias da Silva, and J. Pinto. 2017. Le nouveau développementalisme: propositions et limites. Cahiers Des Amériques Latines, 85: 51–69. Fonseca, Pedro Cezar Dutra. 2009. O processo de substituição de importações. LCTE. Frankel, Jeffrey A. 2010. The natural resource curse: A survey. National Bureau of Economic Research. Hausmann, R., C. A. Hidalgo, S. Bustos, M. Coscia, and A. Simoes. 2014. The atlas of economic complexity: Mapping paths to prosperity. MIT Press. Karl, Terry Lynn. 1997. The paradox of plenty: Oil booms and petro-states. Berkeley: University of California Press. Lisboa, Marcos De Barros, and Samuel Pessõa. 2016. Crítica ao novo-desenvolvimentismo. Cadernos do Desenvolvimento 11 (19): 181–189. Neri, Marcelo Cortes. 2011. A nova classe média: o lado brilhante da base da pirámide, 4–5. São Paulo: Editora Saraiva. Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil.

Oreiro, José Luis. 2012. Novo-desenvolvimentismo, crescimento econômico e regimes de política macroeconómica. Estudos avançados 26 (75): 29–40. Oreiro, José Luis, and Carmem A.  Feijó. 2010. Desindustrialização: conceituação, causas, efeitos e o caso brasileiro. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 30 (2): 219–232. Palma, José Gabriel. 2005. Four sources of deindustrialisation and a new concept of the Dutch disease. Beyond Reforms: Structural Dynamics and Macroeconomic Vulnerability 3 (5): 71–116. Prebisch, Raúl. 1949. O desenvolvimento econômico da América Latina e seus principais problemas. Revista Brasileira de Economia 3 (3): 47–111. Robinson, J. A. 2010. Politique industrielle et développement: Analyse en termes d’économie politique. Revue d’économie Du Développement 18 (4): 21–45. Robinson, James A., Ragnar Torvik, and Thierry Verdier. 2006. Political foundations of the resource curse. Journal of Development Economics 79 (2): 447–468. Rodrik, Dani. 2016. Premature deindustrialization. Journal of Economic Growth 21 (1): 1–33. Ross, Michael L. 1999. The political economy of the resource curse. World Politics 51 (2): 297–322. Rowthorn, Robert, and Ramana Ramaswamy. 1997. Deindustrialization: Causes and implications. Salama, Pierre. 2019. Los dos pecados originales de los gobiernos progresistas de Argentina y Brasil. Revista de Economía institucional 21 (40): 207–232. Schmitter, Phillipe C. 1974. Still the century of corporatism? The Review of politics 36 (01): 85–131. Shafer, Michael D. 1994. Winners and losers: How sectors shape the developmental prospects of states. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Sicsú, João, Luiz Fernando Paula, and Renaut Michel. 2007. Por que novo-desenvolvimentismo. Revista de Economia Política 27 (4): 507–524. Zadeh Embrahim, Christine. 2003. Back to basics–dutch disease: Too much wealth managed unwisely. Finance and Developmenùt 40 (1): 50.


What Can Be the Position of Africa in the Contemporary Globalisation? A Few Thoughts in the Matter… Alioune Sall


The article propose a general and comprehensive explanation of the impact of globalization in the Global South, using Africa as a regional case study on the possible alternatives for development without losing control to the Western bloc or with the Chinese bloc of global powers. This chapter presents the issues facing development from a general perspective that closes first part of the book by highlighting the issues surrounding development today. Keywords

Conflict · Crisis · Culture · Development · Geopolitics · Resilience

We cannot evoke, nowadays, geopolitics and development without mentioning Globalisation. This notion has become practically unvoidable as it imposes itself into the debate and occupies a substantial part of it. Its booming fame is in fact nothing but an absolutely prodigious phenomenon, given the fact that noone heard about A. Sall (*) Founder and Executive Director, African Futures Institute, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

Globalisation in the aftermath of World War II, when the term Development replaced mis en valeur1 (raising value) which was common during the era of colonialism. Even Harry Truman, who utilized the term Development in its current sense, for the first time in Part IV of his investiture speech, 20th January 1949, did not mention Globalisation at all. And still, the term Globalisation neither existed in 1679 when the term Geopolitics first appeared in Wilhelm Leibniz’s writings; this German philosopher totally ignored Globalisation. The same applies to the Swedish professor of geography and political sciences, Rudolf Kijellen, who spreaded the use of the term [Geopolitics] as of 1889, but did not speak about Globalisation neither. The term Globalisation came into the debate right after the war, but, at that time, it was not related to geopolitics on the grounds that it had been used to legitimize German expansionism as well as Nazi ideology. The discipline was therefore temporarily proscribed, mainly in France, until the Vietman war when it came back to use, and a little later during the conflict between the Khmer Rouge and the North-Vietnamese. Nowadays, one cannot speak about neither Development nor Geopolitics without mentioning Globalisation. Translator’s note: French colonialism concept.


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Criticisized by some people as much as it is idolized by others, it is just impossible to feel indifferent about the notion of Globalisation, which attained the peak of its media hype during the 1980s with the neoliberal doctrine and in 1990 with the alter/anti-Globalisation movement. Thus, the goal of this paper is to shed light on two Globalisation-related discourses; the neoliberal discourse, on the one hand, and the Chinese counter-example, on the other hand, after which I will question the implications of such discources for Africa.

 he Neoliberal Discourse T of the Happy Globalisation Globalisation is far from being a new phenomenon considering the authors who trace it back to the Chang Dynasty of China (618–907  A.D.), Rome, Islam between 632 and 907 A.D., or the Iberic conquests (sixteenth century A.D.). However, in its modern form, it has been flourishing with the expansion of capitalism, the creation of a financial market in the Atlantic area, the drop in transportation costs, and the convergence of tradable goods prices over the period from 1860 to 1914 (Jacquemot 2017). Since 1980, a new form of Globalisation has began, which is mainly characterized with the process of « shifting wealth », having to do with the emergence of new growth drivers and the recent rebalancing of the global economy from the North-West towards the South-East. Globalisation has its sycophants, that are the neoliberals. In their understanding, if Globalisation is understood as the expansion of the capitalist system at a global level, it would represent a tidal wave, when all is said and done, in the same way as liberal democracy, which would become its end and twin sister. Hence, we have to do with a teleological concept of Globalisation, and a twinship relationship between this latter and democracy. For developing or emerging countries to benefit from this would-be certainly happy Globalisation, since it is supposed to combine the liberalism-boosted economic growth with the full enjoyment of freedoms guaranteed by demo-

A. Sall

cratic systems, they would have only to follow in the footsteps of the Northen countries. That is to say, to institutionalize and/or reinforce liberal democracy in parallel with their full and complete integration in global exchanges. This somewhat idyllic understanding of Globalisation reached its climax during the mandates of Reagan & Thatcher, when first appeared the « TINA effect », as the alter and anti Globalisation activists named a school of thought that had F.  Fukuyama as one its intellectual figureheads with his essay on « The End of History ». Nevertheless, two recent historical movements have come to smash this concept, which, after it seemed empirically verified, was proven to be a mere ideological invention. The first movement is related to the impressive rise of Chinese capitalism, making China the second global economic power. Strangely enough and contraversially as it may seems at first glance, it is now China that is proning open markets and exchanges against the United States which claim, in an unexpected manner and as controversially as it can be, a certain form of nationalist protectionism. China suggests a deliberate integration into the system of global exchanges, but a structuring method based on a political organisation that is opposite to that of liberal democracy. The effects of this conversion of China and the role it is currently playing globally, were just unthinkable 20 or 30 years ago. The second historical movement is relating to the stunning increase of inequalities in Northen countries, which feeds the feeling of identity alienation in the midst of the revival of populist movements in the West as well. Globalisation has undoubtedly benefited economically to many people in the Triadisation countries, but it has also created an economic and social downgrading of a fringe of the middle classes (those with limited higher education levels) as well as those belonging to lower social categories. Associated with policies of strict budgetary austerity that are slowly eating away the public service, this downgrading process is sadly making the population very receptive to right-wing and extreme right-­wing nationalist and populist discourses. These have designated as a scapegoat for their malaise, the autoritarianism of

5  What Can Be the Position of Africa in the Contemporary Globalisation? A Few Thoughts in the Matter…

supranational institutions, such as EU, WTO, UN, etc., which would jeopardize national sovereignty, immigration from the South and the Middle East representing a security threat since it conveys the great population replacement foreshadowed by those neo-­malthusians without any scientific proof, cultural invasion, which is a favourate theme of Islamophobes and all the followers of what Merleau Ponty called the « universel de surplomb », precarious work (as if precariousness has replaced prolitariat), and nostalgia for a certain idea of civilizational superiority of Western powers in global affairs, which degrades a little bit more with every declaration full of detachment/distinction, nay defiance of the West by Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, or Narendra Modi. « We are living in the end of Western hegemony over the world », noted Emmanuel Macron. A great number of his fellow citizens have a hard time admitting that Western hegemony which has prevailed in international relations since the eighteenth century, is now being questioned, and that « the times they are changing », as Bob Dylan used to sing. And since they are having a hard time accepting (even in their imagination) that this centuries-long political, military, and cultural order is being challenged, a great number of social groups have taken refuge in a growing fall back on nationalist ideas of identity in reaction to the antagonistic feeling toward Globalisation. The mirror effect of 1990s’ Africa is quite obvious, since it was brought under control by structural adjustment plans (that Greece would have to bear the cost in a space and time that was thought to be safe from this kind of extreme consequences), just as it is true that a number of violent conflicts in Africa, which consequences persist until now, have their origins in the increase of poverty following the abondonment, under injunction of Bretton Woods institutions, of public social policies that until then benefited disadvantaged social groups. The mirror effect of Africa also appears nowadays where forms of retreat into nationalist ideas of identity are spreading out all along social demarcations that can in turns take the shape of national, ethnic, or religious belonging, with the same violent expression tendancies. Confronted by States that seem more concerned with satifying the


expectations of ghost international investors than those of their own populations, States that are keener to abide by the political recommendations of international financial institutions than to prioritise solutions to social demands, disadvantaged communities cannot avoid being receptive to echoing indignation, disobedience, and rebellion calls, which might delegitimise the States and make ground for situations of anomie. Globalisation, in its current form, that is capitalist, individualist, unequal, alienating, conflict-­ generating, and violent, is polarising indeed, since it is marked with a strong force of technocratic discources disconnected from peoples’ daily lives, as well as with economic, political, and social marginalization of the greatest number of them. Of course, the geographic distribution of wealth has been subject to a few redirections with the emergence of certain Southern countries. However, the forms of convergence that Globalisation generates are less related to nations increase in wealth than to that of economically and socially suffering communities, composed of former and newly-poor people, that receive huge amounts of bitter potions in the shape of « necessary » measures of openness, « unavoidable » austerity measures, and other economic pseudo-­ arguments, presented like so many requirements for an economic growth that is raised to the rank of a categorical imperative since they are indispensable, according to the sycophants of the neo-­liberal ideology, to guarantee social wellbeing. This form of Globalisation is utlimately proven to be misirable for many people; who are « The Wretched of the Earth » of the time of Frantz Fanon, and whom we can call « The Wretched of the sea », considering the huge numbers of young SubSaharan Africans who drown trying desperately to cross the Mediteranean in their quest for Europe who refuses to receive them. Given that contemporary Globalisation leads to growing polarisations that pormote the development of populist and ethnic nationalist extremism in the European and American political fields, it consequently legitimises an essential questionning for the developing world. Insomach


as the experience of Globalisation prouves to be hardly desirable by many aspects, insofar as, as well, any idea of teleological trajectories becomes specious, either by its ineluctable nature or by that of its destination, is it not desirable, let alone, necessary, to design more endogenous development trajectories, which redirection to a globalized capitalism would naturally emanate from one’s own cultural data? Yes, is the answer of the followers of the Chinese counter-example.

The Chinese Counter-Example China has become the world’s factory, and is currently the second global economic power. Its breathtaking rise is mostly due to Globalisation. Its controled integration into global economy enabled it to improve its population’s economic conditions. In this regard, there is no doubt that the greatest achievement of China is the lifting out of poverty of half a million individuals since 1980s, with a decrease of poverty rate from 88% in 1981 to 6.5% in 2012. The improvement of the average living conditions also seems to have been done starting from the bottom as well. This actually shows a phenomenon that is well know to economists, according to which, income inequalities increase during the stages of substantial economic growth, but tend to decrease if initially rural populations can access better-paid jobs. Thus, income inequalities amongst the Chinese population tend to decrease since 2009 (but still, this is not the case for assets – Knight 2013, since this is a global trend as Piketty and Goldhammer (2017) has demonstrated). Besides the fact that the Chinese model is full of lessons to learn, like some other Asian ­countries (Japan, South Korea), it is a doublesided phenomenon too. It is founded primarily on the fact that it has enabled China to have a swift ascension and to rise to the rank of the world’s second economic power, which is itself a remarkable achievement that leaves quite a few early and newly-industrialised countries flabbergasted. And secondly, it is based on the fact that such an ascension was made based on a discourse and

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practices that are distant from the « doxa » that prevail in the economic and socio-political fields. Actually, at the economic level, the Chinese model is founded on a large-scale interventionism of the State in economic affairs, much less as a regulatory entity than as a full economic actor. It is a model where the state’s promotion of an environement favourable to « free and loyal » competition, is marginal compared to the huge efforts it makes to promote competiveness at the international level, even through activities that go a little bit astray of business ethics (even if this is far from being the preserve of Asian countries) as they are taught in MBAs curricula around the world. Such efforts were utlimately rewarding since they have certainly given the opportunity to many Western corporations to benefit from cheap labour force, which, however, came in exchange of a gradual promotion of the said labour force all along the global value chains. This is how the ongoing declared objective is to switch from textile to automobile manufacturing, from cheap to high-value products, and from the ancient to the new silk road and belt. Besides, the proclaimed and almost earned ambition to make the country a leader in the frantic race for artificial intelligence, contributes to the achievement of such an objective as well. As far as the political and social organisation is concerned, the Chinese model stands at the opposite side of liberal democracies. Hence, China conducts a deliberate integration in the globalised trading system, based on a political organisation that is opposite to that of liberal democracy. The teleological aspect of the Reagan-Thatcher discourse is totally inexistent. Given the fact that the representation of the people is exercised by a single party, as it used to be the case in communist countries, it is evident that modern China, eventhough it does not deny its belonging to this political category, embodies it in a particularly creative method. The fact of the matter is that it finds the resources needed for its structural transformation in a cultural heritage that dates way before the « cultural revolution » of Mao Zedong; Which is the Confucian heritage that China is willingly claiming at the present time. Following a similar movement, the interna-

5  What Can Be the Position of Africa in the Contemporary Globalisation? A Few Thoughts in the Matter…

tional influence that Chine seeks today, comes withing the scope of a contemporary adaptation of the Tianxia and Tianming concepts, which literally mean « all under heaven» and « mandate of heaven », respectively. These concepts that lay at the heart of the country’s understanding of international relations, opt for a management of international relationships that may be described as « relationships-based », rather than a management that would be « rules based ». According to this understanding, the world needs strong and large-­ scale consensuses so as to manage international relations within the framework of a real global governance. Eventhough China recognizes that, in this respect, strict rules are certainly useful, even if only because such rules may be used by smaller states to protect themselves from the arbitrary actions taken by certain strong states, the possiblity of establishing more flexible relations between nations is still on the table, even if the relationships-based governance that is supported by China can also be in favour of the strongest. It is without a false sense of shame that China admits such a fact which has to do with the Realpolitik of another era. In this respect, we can not be more explicit than the Chinese former minister of foreign affairs, Yang Jiechi,2 who, in 2010, affirmed that “China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that’s just a fact”. (Babones 2016). Nonetheless, even if China can be an example to follow in its remarkable economic path, that is manifested by its growth rates and its reasonably inclusive character, as well as by its ­deeply-­rooted cultural foundations, it would be absolutely naive if one thinks that the smooth talking that it is engaging with the African countries is not in return for something. Of course the Tianxia concept descibes a global community in which individuals would have constructive and calm relationships. But, in the Chinese imagination, such a community must be built around those who possess the Tianming, the mandate of Translator’s note: Since 2013, Mr. Yang Jiechi has served as director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China under Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (Wikipedia).



heaven, which is, from a pragmatic standpoint, nothing but the manifestation of an ascendancy in individual and social relationships, establishing a de facto hierarchy that should be recognized and accepted. If it is too much to talk about infeudation, the exact contours of a loyalty that involves an unequal relation, subject to the establishment of a de facto dependence, represent an area for a state of uncertainty that it would be really wise not to explore unless it is necessary to do so. Taiwan is certainly paying the price of that at the time being, and the mainly bilateral relations that characterize the relationships between China and Africa are not at all benign in this respect.

 hat Can be the Space of Africa W Within Such Contradictory forms of Globalisation? The African States have understood for a long time now, like in the Bandung Conference of 1955, that at the present time, it is highly importance for them to take a critical potition vis-à-vis the global main hegemoneous blocks, be them the Triadization countries (Europe, United States, Japan), or China and/or other emerging countries, to capitalize on the fierce competition that the big powers are undertaking, be them traditional or emerging ones, in order to draw the maximum benefits possible, while bearing, as much as possible, the lowest economic, social, environmental, political, cultural, and security-­ related costs. It has been quite a long time since the African States have understood that they are pragmatically obliged to joint their forces because, if they remain alone, and operate in a dispersed manner, they will have no other alternative, at the more or less long-term, but servitude to the interests of the world’s giants, since they are too small for the big things. Besides, it was for the sake of this realism that the « balkanisation » of Africa was presented, even before independence times, as a major risk by leaders such as K.  Nkumah, and even by some rather moderate political leaders such as L. S. Senghor. It is in the name of such realism that the African States, thinking that they can live through their


ideological differences, have tried to make up for their weaknesses by setting up a number of cooperation organisations and by developing what some called « a doctrine of integration », the latest example of which is the celebration of the implementation of ZLECAf (the African Continental Free-Trade Zone) in July 2019. No other continent has ever been committed to establishing regional entities as much as Africa. However, despite all their efforts to achieve a real mutualisation of resources, the performances of the Arfican inter-governmental entities in facing common challenges remain rather insignificant, as it is demonstrated for instance in the persistance of low intra-African trade exchanges (defined as the average of intra-African exports and imports), which did not exceed 15.2% in the period 2015–2017,3 while such exchanges reach 67.1% in Europe, 47.4% in America, 61.1% in Asia. Thus, there are two measures that can make a change under such a relationship. Firstly, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) should be given the means to play the role expected from them; the financial means of course, to extract them from their dependence vis-à-vis the European and American financial agencies that are modestly called technical and financial partners (TFP). This dependence rate reaches 70% as to the African Union vis-à-vis the European Union. But, similarly or even more importantly than the financial means, such IGOs need political support and legitimisation. Their weakeness in this respect is loud and clear, and the blame is largely to put on their member states who did not provide them with the means to their ambitions, especially, the status of a supranational entity that is denied to the African Union while such a status might have trengthened their negociating powers. It is in this same vein that proceeds the refusal to include the question of budgetary federalism in the agendas of the African States’s leaders summits, while such a

3  Economic Development in Africa Report 2019, UNCTAD, aldcafrica2019_en.pdf.

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federalism might be a solution to the delicate problem of the common currency. In order to find alternative ways to dependence, African leaders have to be convinced that the establishment of balanced regional groups must not be decided by the market. But, on the contrary, it is up to politics to decide which direction to go and to set up the sequences and rythms of change. This includes the rethinking of the States and their roles in the building of a new history. In this respect, the obvious separation between power and politics that Bauman observes, which is actually the centre of his reflection on vulnerability, is quite worrying. Hence, just like Anthony Giddens, he considers that power « has quit » politics, is now out of politicians’ reach, and is currently, more or less, in the hands of economic markets. And secondly, it is also urging that the African governments establish or re-establish a real political legitimacy to the populations whom they are supposed to represent. In this respect, the holding of elections is not enough, even if they are supposedly « free and transparent » according to the established formula, as it is demonstrated by the de facto democracy deficit that Western countries are facing within the context of an wild liberal Globalisation, and where people are more and more not going to the polls simply because it does not change anything at the end of the day, or, they do however vote for the extremist or the anti-system parties, following the idea that any kind of change is better than the status quo. Furthermore, it is even easier for the public decision-­ makers to choose between different paths of development, than to know how to listen to their peoples. There are quite a few common challenges. In terms of economics, the choice is made to cooperate in this field within a minimum of control of the activities of competing corporations. However, the security and environmental challenges, inter alia, go beyong the borders, and cannot be overtaken unless an even more voluntarist attitude is disseminated in terms of the building of multilateral relations between Africans. Perhaps, it is now time to revive the

5  What Can Be the Position of Africa in the Contemporary Globalisation? A Few Thoughts in the Matter…

panafrican ideal which used to affirm a strong cultural kinship between the peoples of the continent, that manifested at least in their common historical paths, in the relational processes towards the others and the family structures, within ethic relationships that some people may consider as the foundation of an accomplished African unity. Notwithstanding any retreat into nationalist ideas of identity, it seems important to question what is potentially behind the idea of Peoples’ cultural affirmation that would spread through not only the national articulation methods into globalized capitalism, but also a multilateral strategic repositioning based on a community of challenge that the South has to face given the old


and new hegemonic pipe dreams. To sum up, we have to question the pertinence of a new Bandung.

References Babones, Salvatore. 2016. Right concept, wrong country: Tianming and Tianxia in international relations. Asian Review of Books. Retrieved 7 October 2016. Jacquemot, Pierre. 2017. Le dictionnaire encyclopédique du développement durable. Sciences Humaines Éditions. Knight, J. 2013. Inequality in China: An overview. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6482. Available at SSRN: Piketty, T., and A.  Goldhammer. 2017. Capital in the twenty-first century. London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Part II Critique and Renewal of Development Thinking


Development Economics from the Bubble Burst to the Search for a New Paradigm. A Few Historical Milestones and Theoretical Approaches Driss Guerraoui



Around the globe, the economic development models that were inherited from the twentieth century have reached not only their peak, but they are leading the international community into a real dead-end, and to a world that is filled with endless uncertainties. Therefore, all states, societies and economies are urged to radically change the extant models of production, consumption, distribution, exchange and cooperation. They are also called upon to redefine their priorities based on their populations’ rudimentary and basic needs. In this context, since its establishment within the field of economics at the end of the Second World War, development economics has investigated the causes of underdevelopment and explored the possibilities and means of its eradication. The historical analysis embedded in this field of knowledge enables the identification of five temporal phases that correspond to five approaches underlying development-­ related issues. This contribution attempts to analyze the ins and outs of these approaches and phases, and aims to identify new development challenges and provide possible remedies for change.

Endogenous development · Structural inequalities · Debt · Economic dependence · Domination effects · Structural adjustment

D. Guerraoui (*) Open University of Dakhla, Dakhla, Morocco

Since it became a branch of economics in the aftermath of World War II, Development Economics has been seeking the causes of under-­ development and the possibilities of their eradication. In this respect, a historical analysis will allow us identify the following five high points corresponding to five approaches to under-development: • Under-development as an underachievement of development corresponding to the period of 1950s and 1960s; • Under-development as a consequence of development corresponding to the period of 1970s; • The phase of adjustments corresponding to the period of 1980s; • The phase of the end of the paradigm corresponding to the period of 1990s until the crisis of 2008; • And the phase of renewal of the paradigm from 2008 until today.

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



The analysis of this typology of approaches, which does not at all exclude the interpenetration between historical moments and theoretical approaches, will be focused mainly on the presentation of the prevailing theoretical models.

Under-Development as an Underachievement of Development This approach corresponds historically to the early 1950s through the 1960s when the western world discovered the first economic, social, institutional, and cultural realities of what Alfred Sauvy described as the “third world” in the article he published in the magazine France Observateur on 14th August 1954, and which became famous thereafter. This “third-world”, which was hardly getting out of the footsteps of colonisation, showed symptoms that are quite similar, in many aspects, to those of the “third Estate” of the old French Regime (poverty, misery, illiteracy, etc.). Also, the early attempts, to explain under-development, were based on the assumption that making a description of this phenomenon is the best way to have good knowledge of it. However, such a description could not be done without reference to an ideal-type development model, which is the model of developed countries. Therefore, under-­ development could not be anything but an underachievement of development. The most explicit presentation of this interpretation of under-­development was made by W.W. Rostow. According to Rostow, the history of human societies is shaped through five stages relating to the pace of growth of their economies. These stages included, traditional society, preconditions to takeoff, drive to maturity, age of high mass consumption, and finally, the stage of post-­industrial society. The transition from a traditional society to the postindustrial society and, consequently, from under-development to development is just a matter of time.

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Also, sooner or later or at long term, under-­ developed societies would rise to the rank of developed nations and would then make up for their underachievement; and this is the rule of progress. This latter, which is assimilated to the accumulation of technical and economic changes, is determined by the switch from agricultural activities into industry, to follow the case of Europe. This switch finds its main ‘‘raison d’être” in the efforts to make savings and the risk that nascent entrepreneurs take when they invest in directly productive activities. The advent of this category of entrepreneurs appears like an absolute necessity for the switch from one form of society to another. The creation of this should be then provoked. However, “in modern history, we notice that the preconditions to takeoff did not come together under the instigation of an internal cause, but following pressures exerted from the outside by more developed societies” (Rostow 1962). In this decisive stage of their history, traditional societies, this kind of pressure is an urgent necessity to boost their development. Developed nations have to take responsibility of their historical role in helping developing countries to overcome their underachievement. To do so, injection of capital and technologies are necessary to enable them produce more, provide a larger market, and release a surplus that is essential for emergence and for the expansion of a modern industrial sector. The introduction and development of new technologies and new activities, leading to an increase in productivity, enable the improvement of revenue of the population. However, even if the resistance of the archaic structures and values that the traditional societies carry and their limited capacity of absorption of capital can be a source of hindrance, this latter will soon disappear. The modern sector leads to certainly slow and moderate transformations in the traditional sector, because of its technological superiority and in terms of capital, but it “pulls” it at long term into modernity thanks to the spill-over effects and the transmission of growth from one sector to the other. Although with many variations, this interpretation is the basis of many models, especially

6  Development Economics from the Bubble Burst to the Search for a New Paradigm. A Few Historical…

those of W.  A. Lewis (1954), John C.  Fei and Gustave Ranis (1964); D. W. Jorgenson (1967); but also Paul N.  Rosenstein-Rodan (1943) and R.  Nurkse (1968). However, regardless of the specificities of these models, underdevelopment is considered, according those authors, as a compulsory stage for development, which is deemed to disappear under the multiple effects of industrialisation. Nevertheless, apart from a few exceptions, since developing economies have believed for a long time in the virtues of industrialisation, they have sacrificed agriculture for the benefit of industry. The technological, financial, and commercial bases of this strategy, which are not drawn from these economies themselves, and neither do they correspond to the realities and the constraints of their production systems, have led them to a food dependency without real industrialisation. It is this same dead-end situation which will open the way for a different perception of under-­ development, as a consequence of development.

Under-Development as a Consequence of Development This approach, which dominated in 1970s, was inspired from four fundamental realities: • The dead-end that faced the attempts of modernisation experimented during the 50s and 60s in many previously-colonised countries, because of the uncontrolled transposition of the development model that prevailed in developed countries; • The persistence of the situation of underdevelopment worldwide; • The widening of inequalities between developed and developing countries; • And, finally, the rise of awareness amongst the economic elites of the developing countries about the necessity of an equal distribution of wealth at the international level and its corollary: the claim for a new international economic order.


Be them focused on the effects of domination or dependency, the approaches to under-­ development as a consequence of development comes from the assumption that under-­ development is not a situation, but a consequence. It would stem from an age-old deterioration of the terms of exchange of developing countries (Bairoch 1992), that feeds the primary nature of their specialisation, and fuels a dependency, which translate the domination of the “centre” over the “periphery”, and produce an extroversion of developing economies, which corollary is the blockage of the transition of these latter to a national industrial capitalism. The main characteristic of this extroversion is the specialisation of the periphery in relation to the needs of the centre. The dominant forms of this specialisation are on the one hand, the development of an export agriculture that generates all over the periphery an agrarian capitalism that depends on the Other “development of an industrialisation that, having not been envisaged to serve agriculture, remains parasitic; since it feeds its accumulation by draining the rural world without quid pro quo for the development of agriculture”. This world of outward-­looking accumulation is translated “by the constitution of a local bourgeoisie that is mainly commercial and which depends to foreign capital, and by an uncompleted development” (Amin 1970). All these characteristics strengthen more and more the blockage of the development of the peripheral economies, which later leads to the development of under-development. Therefore, under-development which is closely related to the development of developed countries, remains the consequence of that. With this in mind, in order to break with this vicious cycle of dependency and domination, it will be appropriate to conduct an endogenous and self-reliant development strategy with multiple objectives: • At the national level, to widen the bases of growth at the level of the internal market by means of a policy that valorises an industrialisation that replaces imports, and to tend to a


better resource allocation, focused on the promotion of strategic sectors for the national economic development (industrialising industries, as expressed by G. Destanne De Bernis 1996), by means of utilising planning as an ideal constitutional framework for the accomplishment of this objective; • At the international level, to stop dealing with international capitalism and to act in the sense of the installation of a fairer and more equitable economic order. This strategy has been proved not really effective since it is not that realistic. The countries that promoted this (China, Algeria, Ethiopia, Congo, Cuba, etc.) had to witness the sacrifice of their development under a heavy economic, social, and political cost, which effects are still active. The “disconnection” that was advised by S. Amin, and which could not take place, resulted in the emergence of new alienations (debts, technological backdrop, absolute poverty, eviction from global market), declaring a new stage in the 80s; which is that of the structural adjustments.

The Stage of Adjustments During the 1970s, developing countries have somehow experimented development strategies based on import substitution policies, exports valorisation, and industrialising industries, within a favourable international financial context (relatively abundant savings, movement of capital and off-shoring of activities). Nevertheless, these countries would experience noteworthy m ­ alfunctions as of the middle of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s. The forewarning signs of this are the internal and external financial imbalance worsened by the drop of the prices of basic products and the two oil crises of 1974 and 1979. The financing of these deficits was made largely by having recourse to external borrowing. This recourse that became disproportionate, has led the economies of developing countries to a new dependency which most familiar description is the debt crisis. The intensification of these since the beginning of the

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1980s, has led to the setting up of large-scale programs of economic reforms called structural adjustment programs (SAP), with the support of the World Bank and IMF. This fact has opened up new perspectives in terms of analysis and development policies, which led to the replacement of even the concept of adjustment with the concept of development. This presents a new datum in the field of approaching and assessing economic reforms, hence opening space for a progressive “de-ideologisation” of the issue of development. In order to understand the foundations of political adjustments, it is necessary to start from the diagnosis made by the international financial institutions concerning the situation of the countries that undergo the related program. According to these institutions, the crisis of developing countries would be due to five factors: • The low degree of valorisation of export products in a global market where the nature of competition has changed with the industrial redeployment driven by the new scientific and technological revolution. This redeployment, which is less and less based on the abundance of raw materials and low-cost labour force, tends to downgrade the traditional products exported by developing countries. • Industrial activities, since they are focused on an over-protected internal market, progressively losing their competitiveness for the benefit of imported assets and industrial services, which provide better performance and are less expensive since they are subject to external competition. • The public policy of subsidies to the price of basic commodities and to certain production factors, by bringing about an artificial increase in internal demand within a context where the offer cannot provide any internal solution, results in a demand for imports, which therefore worsens external deficit, and consequently, the debt crisis. • The excessive intervention of the State in economic activity within a context of low savings, while disturbing private initiatives, contributes to the increase of the public request of

6  Development Economics from the Bubble Burst to the Search for a New Paradigm. A Few Historical…

external sources for the financing of investment. • Lastly, the fifth reason lays in the monetary and exchange policy. In fact, the non-control of the increase of money supply and the overvaluation of national currencies, since they do not correspond to the actual situation of performances achieved by businesses, leading the national economy to progressive losing external competitiveness. In order to address these malfunctions, adjustment policies generally recommend five essential measures: tight budget policy, relaxing of exchange control, privatisation policy, and liberalisation of prices, assets, services, and factories. Regardless of the viability of these programs, the obtained results are significantly different from one country to the other; with a macroeconomic success here, below average performance there, but with a shared background of exclusion and marginalisation everywhere. These results have led to the necessity implementation of social and institutional adjustment programs, opened new perspectives for analysis and for development policies, announcing the burst of the development paradigm.

 he Stage of the Burst T of the Paradigm This stage corresponds to the period of the 90s through the crisis of 2008. It reflects a process of assessment of over forty years of development experience, in which researchers, national decision makers, and international institutions express their perplexity as to the permanence and increase of poverty across the world, and the incapacity of the economic policies to control, in a satisfactory manner, the macroeconomic trends, faced with the extraordinary and more and more unpredictable potentials underlying the microeconomic rationalities of agents and institutions. Under the multiple effects of these factors, the 1990s had been room to a real burst of the paradigm, that revolved around two main elements.


• The questioning of the universalist models which dominated the system of global economics, the search for adequate methods of development in conformity with the specificities and constraints of every nation or regional alliances, and the redefinition of the relationships between the universal and the specific aspects in the analyses of development. Furthermore, history and culture are more and more called upon in rescue of national and regional strategies of development. The extent of this transformation comes from the awareness that a given standard of living in a given society cannot result in a greater well-being of the community without harmony with the life style that corresponds to it. These assumptions, refer to national ingenuity in determining new development policies. From then on, institutional innovation and economic and social experimentation have contributed to the strategies of development. The experience of the countries South-East Asia sheds more light on the good foundations of this reality. It demonstrates, in fact, that preserving cultural specificities is not in all times and spaces the antithesis of modernity. More than that, it shows that civilisation variations may be a strong lever for the achievement of the economic and political consensus which is indispensible to attain better economic performances. • Development is not anymore appreciated only in terms of accumulation of material wealth (GDP per capita) but in terms of Human development indicators (HDI), and even human security indicators (HSI). This perspective, taking into consideration all the dimensions of Man’s life (food, health, education, environment, freedom, peace), aims at raising “sustainable human development” to the status of the sole possible insurance of the necessary conciliation at the global level between economic progress, social equity, political development, and environmental balance. The financial and stock exchanges crisis and its consequences on the development model inherited from the entire twentieth century would


lead to a real change in the understanding the issues of development, declaring the age of renewal of the paradigm.

 he Stage of Renewal T of the Paradigm It is undisputable that the financial and stock exchanges crisis of 2008 would constitute a real turning point in the stage of the renewal of the paradigm of development. This structural crisis of capitalism has announced the emergence of a New Global Economy which shows the image a bursting and fragmented system, which is dominated by multi-facial and changing-geometry conflicts: • A Western Europe that doubts about itself and its future, with a broken growth and a suffocating model of democracy; • A North America that entered in a real phase of protectionism, economic patriotism, and disengagement from all sorts of its multilateral responsibilities in all direction and at all levels, from trade to climate, migration and culture, given that the United States has withdrawn from many agreements, conventions, and global agendas relating to all these fields. However, the United States of America continue to strengthen its strategy aimed to preserve its technological superiority and its worldwide supremacy, which is carried by a strong military and industrial compound and a formidable capacity of technological innovation; • A South America which emergence dynamic is in a standstill, mainly because of internal political instabilities, a deeply-rooted crisis, defiance to elected institutions, and inappropriate economic choices, worsened by a regional crisis that affects the main countries, especially Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, and Venezuela; • An Asia with multiple facets which stands as a real driving force of the New Global Economy, with China as a rising power, competing for leadership with emerging Asian and non-­

D. Guerraoui

Asian new powers, such as Russia and India, and at a lower extent South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey; • The Arab world which, apart from a few exceptions, is in the midst of decomposition, if not dissolution. This Arab world is about to get out of the course of History, and a large part of it will spend the rest of the third millennium building roads, schools, and free-of-­ charge community health centres. This occurs because of an uncontrolled logic of self-­ destruction, carried by either occult or declared forces, which operate on a field mined with ancient religious, ethnic, and political conflicts, amplified by foreign powers who act either directly or by proxy for their geostrategic and civilisation-related interests in the region. This region lives in an accelerated self-destructive logic for more than 15 years now, boosted by the anarchy that the United States wanted to create, and which was revealed in fact, wickedly destructive. This situation takes place in Arab societies that lost their elites and are weakened by the low level of education of their populations, the technological underachievement of their economies, endemic poverty, striking and increasing inequalities, and are overwhelmed by religious radicalism which feeds a ravaging culture of death; • And finally, an Africa that emerges, but with huge socio-demographical, socio-­institutional, economic, environmental, cultural, and security challenges. This new global system, which has become complex and quite chaotic, functions without any mutual steering accepted by all its regions, and without any governance that is really shared and coordinated between them. Furthermore, it operates within a context of a generalised uncertainty regarding the collective and effective capacity of the States to own the main global agendas, which have to do mainly with the Objectives of Sustainable Development, the Universal Social Protection Floor, the global climate agendas, migration, and the daring project of Basic Global Revenue, borne by the UN spe-

6  Development Economics from the Bubble Burst to the Search for a New Paradigm. A Few Historical…

cial Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. This new world is actually deprived of efficient mechanisms for building a sustainable peace. All this is worsened by a deep crisis of confidence of States in international institutions of world governance, which is consequently intensifying the crisis of the UN Security Council, which is, as a result, putting human security in danger and driving the whole planet into deep uncertainties. But, as paradoxical as it might seems, on such worrying and explosive grounds, our economies and societies have never produced this much of wealth, neither did they have as many unprecedented and major technological innovations, and they have never integrated a world system as open, global, interdependent, and connected as that. Such evolutions open promising perspectives for all Nations, all corporations, all territories, and all the actors of our civil societies, which will know how to use their ingenuities, their intelligence, and their strategic surveillance in order to innovate, create wealth, anticipate transformations, predict risks, and take part in the complex games and stakes of the new global geo-economics. These perspectives have to do with significant changes in the future methods of solving crises and monitoring of global agendas. This is about the emergence and development of new actors at the international scene, which are the organised civil societies and the coalitions they exude, the growing role of territories, the call, almost everywhere around the world, to the promotion of alternative forms of development, and the necessity of a global governance in tune with the new realities of our time.

 he Emergence of Global Coalitions T from Civil Societies In fact, one of the most striking traits of our century is the development at the international level of a universal citizenship awareness which is contributing to the emergence and reinforcement


of global coalitions initiated by organised civil societies across the world. These coalitions are on track to stand as real counter-powers on the international stage, while contributing to the positive regulation of the main malfunctions of the New Global Economy and to making the essential humane causes progress in many fields for the well-being of large numbers of the global population. They have to do with the Global Climate Agenda, social protection, combating extreme poverty, the trend within the UN Commission on Human Rights aiming to establish a basic universal revenue at the global level, and the movements working on the promotion of new generations of the rights of women, children, migrants, and special-needs persons. The dynamics that these coalitions are in the process of developing, announce the progressive increase in the margins of citizens power in the progress of their societies and of the world, which is a reinforced amplified power by the extraordinary possibilities provided to them by the digital revolution in terms of collaborative networking, of spontaneous revolts outside of elected institutions and at their fringes. This leads relatively to the increase of the influence of citizens and global coalitions in which they organise themselves in relation to the decisions of public policies, and at a longer term, regarding the course of History.

The Emergence of Territories As paradoxical as this might seem, within a globalised economy, the States and the big regional gatherings have never used the territories (Regions, Cities, urban metropolises) to deploy themselves and to turn local management into a principle for the installation and/or the delocalisation/co-localisation of their corporations at the international level. The territories owe this emergence to their inherent aptitudes of innovation and experimentation from their own capabilities of mobilisation of their actors, based in this, on their local knowledge and skills that are valorised by the collective ingenuity and intelligence of the living forces of their territories.


This evolution has such an impact on the international image of certain countries which their comparative, competitive, and strategic advantages identify even with those of their cities, regions, and metropolises. Further, in the new global economy, the territories become the real makers of nations, corporations, and the new living spaces, be them spaces of culture, arts, entertainment, sport, or religious and spiritual practices.

 he Call to Promote Alternative T Forms of Development Researchers, experts, analysts, and observers of the situation of the New Global Economy are unanimous in saying that the development models inherited from the 20s Century, have reached their limits. This observation is not new. Warnings about that date back to 1970s when, for various reasons but with almost similar concerns, the first voices started to call for the change of the methods of growth, and even for “the limits to growth” (Club of Rome 1972). However, more recently, the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Joseph E.  Stiglitz, seasoned economists and essay-writers such as Amartya Sen, Muhammad Yunous, and Jeremy Rifkin, prestigious international institutions from the family of the United Nations such as UNDP, specialised organisations like ILO, and even the World Bank, call for the promotion of alternative forms of development. Despite or because of the progress generated by this new post-industrial revolution, these models are nowadays objectively unable to mutually achieve growth, full employment, social well-­ being for all, and sustainable development of natural ecosystems. It is in this context that a special attention should be given to establishing these alternative forms of development by promoting social and solidarity-based economy, jobs related to the valorisation of nations’ immaterial capital, especially culture, arts, and heritage, sustainable development jobs, related particularly to green

D. Guerraoui

economy, blue economy, renewable energy, biological farming, and sustainable mobility. These alternative forms of development should also privilege a functional and organic solidarity between the State, the private sector, and civil society, through innovative partnerships that are decentralised and de-concentrated; this applies not only to social and solidarity action, but also to productive and wealth-generating activities. To do so, these future development models should allow our economies and societies to: • Build more wealth by releasing the energies of all the components of society, through the widening of the social platform of productive activities and the diversification of the sources of their generation of wealth; • Preserve natural resources by a responsible management, founded on effective mechanisms of monitoring, control, assessment, and accountability reporting; • And equitably distribute the generated wealth for them to benefit all the citizens and all the regions of the countries.

 inally, a World Governance That Is F in Tune with Our Time The New World Economy needs a more responsible and solidarity-based global governance in order to manage the new waves of insecurity and the new generations of wars. It should encourage the States and the Large Regional Groups to set up public policies that release the energies of their actors, by investing in human capital and sustainably preserving their natural resources by means of responsible and sustainable utilisation by corporations and territories in order to be in conformity with all global agendas related to sustainable human development and the preservation of the interests of future generations. It should finally, incite the States, the regional groups, and the international institutions to cooperate differently in order to achieve peace, stability, security, and mutual development of all

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nations. This new form of cooperation for development should be based on the promotion and strengthening of, within our societies and institutions, the values of tolerance, sharing, solidarity, dialogue, peaceful management of conflicts, by giving primacy to international legality and to respect of civilisation, cultural, religious, and spiritual differences.

References Amin, Samir. 1970. L’accumulation à l’échelle mondiale. In éd. Anthropos, Paris. Bairoch Paul. 1992. Le Tiers-Monde dans l’impasse, Paris, Gallimard. Club de Rome. 1972. Halte à la croissance?, Paris, Fayard.


Destanne de Bernis, Gérard. 1996. Industries industrialisantes et contenu d’une politique d’intégration régionale. In Economie appliquées, ISMEA, Paris. Fei, John C.H., and Gustav Ranis. 1964. Development of labor supplies, theory and policy. Homewood: R.D Irwin. Guerraoui, Driss. 2016. Economie et sociétés du XXI è siècle. In Editions la croisée des chemins, Casablanca. Jorgenson, Dale W. 1967. Surplus agricultural labor and the development of a dual economy. Oxford Economic Papers 19: 288. Lewis, Arthur A. 1954. Economic development with unlimited supplies of labor. The Mancheter School of Economic and Social Studies XXII: 139. Nurkse, Ragnar. 1968. Les problèmes de la formation du capital dans les pays sous-développés. Éd. Cujas, Paris. Rosenstein Rodan, Paul N. 1943. Problems of industriaisation in eastern and south eastern Europe. Economic Journal 53: 202. Rostow, Walt Whitman. 1962. Les étapes de la croissance économique. Paris: Le seuil.


Dead-Ends of a Development Process Imposed from Above: Deconstruction of the Concept of “Partnership” Mohammed Noureddine Affaya


This article suggests a critical analysis of development projects in the Mediterranean region, mainly for the Southern countries. It concerns primarily the ones conceived based on the Euro-Mediterranean Conference (November 1995) and on the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) suggested by France in 2008 under the framework of the Project for the Mediterranean. They both advocates for a new approach to the concept of development in the Maghreb and in Morocco. In this part of the world, many projects have faced recurring problems such as cultural underpinnings that reside in the initiators’ mentalities, contradictory agendas and interests, or various political maneuvers and circumvention schemes. This reflection aims at outlining the causes behind the failure of these two projects submitted by the Europeans to the Mediterranean population. In addition to the authoritarian, self-destructing polices and knots of adversities that are causing difficulties between to the two shores, the Northern partners are hardly making efforts in terms of investments and commitments for the realization of the proposed programs. In addressing

M. N. Affaya (*) Université Mohammed V- Rabat, Rabat, Morocco

these multi-dimensional challenges, and restrictions imposed by economic globalization, the article argues that economic development is being shaped, essentially, within the framework of the national state and calls for a genuine and endogenous strategy in the conception of a possible model of development. Keywords

Conflict · Crisis · Culture · Development · Geopolitics · Resilience

Serge Latouche has reduced the concept of development in most literature and in experiences to “the growth and accumulation of capital” (Latouche 2018). However, this understanding is undeniably the result of a whole framework that evokes the control over nature, a qualifying rationalism, the values of progress, and universalism. These values, inherent to the cultural history of the West, have spread through colonialism and globalization to different parts of the world. Furthermore, developmentalist thinking has always been directed by a large paternalistic enterprise where the wealthy developed nations are ensuring the development of the least developing nations. The word development was later taken up by so-called international experts who

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



present themselves in the scene of supply and demand for expertise as strategy-makers showing the “underdeveloped the way to growth”. In spite of the critics of these developmentalists’ “policies” that constantly call for the withdrawal of the state in favor of the free market and the benefits of large capital, each time these experts change their “lexicon”, referring to “equitable distribution”, “good governance”, “participatory policies” or even “sustainable development” and “inclusive integration”, they appear to be presenting conceptual bricolage that seem to sell empty words rather than making concrete changes.

Failed Projects for Our Region The proposed development projects for the Mediterranean, mainly for the Southern countries of this zone, either the one conceived on the Euro-Mediterranean Conference (November 1995), the “neighborhood” policy or the one proposed by France in 2008 (Project for the Mediterranean), call, for sure, for a new approach to the concept of Development in the Maghreb and in our country Morocco. In this context, the question is how could one conceive and manage cooperative efforts or a Union for the “development” of an area that is exposed to continual turbulence and structural complexities? And what were the possible and relevant mechanisms to drive the actors in progress and overcome the conflicting nodes? The complex nature of the situation and the rapid pace of change, particularly after the upheavals that North Africa experienced since 2011, and taking into account the new configurations that are emerging in the ­ Mediterranean region, it is necessary to undertake a critical reassessment of the two attempts of “partnership” building over the last two decades, namely the Barcelona Conference (1995) and the “Project for the Mediterranean” (2008). Given that the history of the modern policies of the Maghreb is essentially “conceived” by the Europeans, the concept of development will be then questioned as it responds to the Western imperative of an economic “take-off” through growth and stockpiling of capital. It will also be a

M. N. Affaya

question of identifying the internal and external causes of failures and deadlocks along with the cultural factors behind the blockages of the development projects in this region. In this part of the world, many projects have faced recurring problems. They are stalled either because of cultural underpinnings that resides in the minds of the initiators or because they are led by contradictory agendas and interests, or because of various political maneuvers and circumvention schemes. Some analysts consider that the failure of Euro-Mediterranean regional integration endeavors can be attributed to several of factors. First, the choice of the geographical framework. Second, the inherent factors of the “representation” that the northern shore has established throughout the vagaries of history of the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean, and of the Maghreb countries in particular. The failure is due, then, to the effects of the “myth” that Europeans have shaped on that region. This is why the image that pervades among the European perspective blurs the integration processes for two main reasons: the first is the “rhetoric of discourse” on the Mediterranean, which is particularly meaningless for the southern shore, and the second is the fact that the Mediterranean is not a catalyst for the South as it is a construction of the North that is connected with its colonial heritage. Yet, isn’t it time to break up  with the “Braudelian vision” which believed in Western supremacy over the rest of the world and considered the Mediterranean as a Western lake? Indeed, according to Claude Liuzu, Braudel considered Islam as an interloper, like Pirenne. Islam is still the product of the deserts, its place of birth, which has marked it as being congenitally. It is the “Counter-Mediterranean” (Claude Liuzu 1999). Does the Mediterranean still appear as an issue of “geographical location”? Does not the very fact of raising this question invites us to wonder every time about the background of its reformulation and the real motives that drive the people who raise it? Concerned by this type of question, Edmund Burk III believes that since the Mediterranean is intended to be a mere shield zone for Europe, it is

7  Dead-Ends of a Development Process Imposed from Above: Deconstruction of the Concept…

difficult for the Arabs and Muslim to be enthusiastic and engaged as partners (Edmund Burk III 2016). However, if the modern history of the Mediterranean is essentially made by Europeans, the great changes that the Maghreb countries are undergoing and the awareness of the determining stakes of the destiny of this region by its elites, require a great deal of intellectual serenity and political wisdom in the conception, organization and management of any attempt of collective construction.

 Region Trapped in a Euro-centric A Perspective The project that the delegates of the European countries bordering the Mediterranean conceived for the «Strengthening of the European Union’s Mediterranean policy” was the culmination of a whole process. It was drafted and debated at the European Summits in Corfu (June 1994), then in Essen (December 1994), and further refined in Cannes (June 1995). This EuroMediterranean plan was, in substance, meant to be an innovative and an all-inclusive project. Because of the “Global Mediterranean Policy” of the 1970s and the “Renewed Mediterranean Policy” of 1992–1995, the Europeans, and in particular France and Spain, felt that it was about time to enter the phase of a «Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. With that project, elaborated for the Mediterranean, the European Community intends to offer: • A fresh vision focused on new Policies that could ensure peace, stability and security in the region, with a commitment to promote economic growth and development, the benefits of which will be better redistributed in the region; • A new concept: the “Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”, which will go well beyond traditional forms of cooperation; • A new strategic goal of establishing a “Euro-­ Mediterranean region”, based on a “large Euro-Mediterranean free Trade Zone”.


The Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Barcelona (27–29 November 1995) was therefore considered by all the observers and the analysts as an essential milestone in the relationships linking Europe and the South-Eastern Mediterranean region. Historians, economists, political scientists, strategists and journalists examined before, during and after this Conference the main direction that guided its context, its economic and political stakes as well as the potential repercussions of the construction process of a new Mediterranean area by the region’s countries themselves. However, the main lines of the conference, from the outset, were paradoxically decided in a unilateral manner. They were mostly about economic cooperation, security in the Mediterranean, the war on drugs, illegal immigration, terrorism,1 the respect for Human Rights and the implementation of democracy in the Mediterranean region. On the Southeast side, both politicians and observers had welcomed this reorientation of Europe with some reservations because they considered the EU states not committed enough in investing in high value-added economic projects in the South-East Mediterranean countries. They were only making a timid financial contribution to helping the private sector to modernize or upgrade, and are not working to set up financial bodies capable of managing the development and economic diversification of these countries, while taking into account the need to create a balance between the newly formed countries of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean countries. Despite the fact that the European Union had centered its campaign to organize the Barcelona Conference on the need to create a new framework for political, economic and social cooperation, it turned out that the real political reasons converged in the permanent concern to give priority to Europe’s security considerations. In his study on: L’enjeu de l’islamisme au cœur du processus de Barcelone, Olfa Lamloum, notes that “official documents are keen to state as a matter of priority” the affirmation of security and the establishment of a climate of stability “before any democratic consideration” in, Critique internationale, N°18, 2003, P 178, or www.



M. N. Affaya

Trade and the elimination of customs barriers could have been beneficial for partners with similar level of development, but they have instead negative results when it comes to partners with unequal levels of growth and development. Europe showed a great willingness to open up to import agricultural products from the southern Mediterranean countries, but as long as it did not compete with its own products. The case of the negotiations with Morocco in the second half of 1995 was very revealing. Some European countries were strongly opposed to certain points of the agreement, especially concerning flowers and citrus fruits. The negotiations between Morocco and the Disabilities in the Countries European Union were a model of the difficulties that exist between a strong and unified entity and of the South-Eastern Mediterranean economically weak countries in political and Basin social crisis. In fact, the European Union had The majority of the countries around the south- come with a common file whose bases had been eastern Mediterranean are experiencing crises designed since 1994 meanwhile the countries of that are structurally difficult to overcome. They the southeast suffered from a crying lack of any have heterogeneous policies at the socio-­ form of coordination. Their claims were competeconomic level but some are similar in terms of ing, their visions inconsistent and their political certain productions. These facts constitute major gambling was dictated by individualistic calculaobstacles in the path of integration between the tions. All the countries of the southeastern countries of the southern shore, and one of the Mediterranean basin had presented themselves in most embarrassing dimensions of the Barcelona, each with its own case, its demands Mediterranean issue. and its particular considerations, without any The heterogeneity of the southeastern coun- form of mutual consultation and consensus. tries led some observers to doubt the credibility In the end, officials from the South played of the Mediterranean project. In fact, establishing individually in a field defined by the North, a free trade region between countries that are whose countries proceeded on the basis of a structurally heterogeneous and of contradictory united team with stakes prepared in advance, levels could only make sense if the necessary within the framework of a specific vision of the cooperation policies between the southern states Mediterranean region. This partnership advoand substantial European aid were adopted to cated by the European Union did not deserve its propel the development of the southeastern name, because it was based on selection and Mediterranean. There are feared inequalities imbalance. It distinguished between the free between North and South at the economic level. trade of goods and the freedom of people, and The weight of the countries of the southern allowed the elimination of obstacles in front of Mediterranean basin was estimated by a produc- the former, but built great walls in front of peotion rate, which was 380 billion dollars in 1993, ple, for fear of the “invasion of emigrants”. which represented about 5% of the total domestic In addition to this provocative distinction, the product of the countries of the Union. It was Union incorporates another difference in the ecoobviously difficult to conceive of a homogeneous nomic field, between industrial and agricultural or complementarity entity between the Euro-­ products. What the Union for the Mediterranean Mediterranean countries. (UFM) called “free” trade was, in reality, a uniThrough the economic reform projects advocated, the European Union claimed to activate and modernize the productive apparatus and limit the development of underdevelopment in the countries of the south-eastern Mediterranean in order to create the conditions for real stability in the region. Whereas, in reality, the European Union was essentially aiming, through these new agreements, to establish a strategy to protect its southern borders. Theses European security considerations were dictated by three major “dangers” for European societies: illegal emigration, religious extremism and drugs.

7  Dead-Ends of a Development Process Imposed from Above: Deconstruction of the Concept…

lateral trade because it wanted to impose draconian restrictions on Tunisian, Moroccan, Syrian and Egyptian agricultural products for the benefit of the member countries of the UfM. In short, the partnership expected was fundamentally unequal because it aimed to establish “cooperative” relations between a united and coherent economic giant and isolated entities facing serious economic, social and political challenges and dysfunctions. These remarks did not mean that the distance between the two shores needed to be widened further. On the contrary, regional cooperation had become a vital necessity in the light of the profound changes taking place in the Mediterranean worlds. However, in order to serve common interests, a realistic project should have been based on real principles of partnership between relatively balanced parties that could consolidate both the political understanding and the specific cultural diversity of the two main partners (the Islamic south-east and the north-west). The analysis of the “Barcelona Declaration” and the “Future Action Plan” could not help but notice that the Europeans had made the Western civilizational and cultural model the only reference to the expected Mediterranean project. It was striking to note the absence of the principle of equality among civilizations. Quite the contrary, the declaration shows that Western principles were presented as the expression of a triumphant and superior civilization that tends to spread its values by subjugating other Mediterranean cultures. Thus, the question of the Mediterranean, during the Barcelona conference, appeared as “a construction of the North that is articulated with its colonial history”. A decade after the Barcelona Conference, Sophie Bessis mentioned in a report that “the disappointments of both sides of the Mediterranean” because “the results are judged negative on all sides: by the Southern States that have signed free trade agreements that did not put an end to their economic problems and have not generated the expected acceleration, and by Europe, which is alarmed at the slow pace of developments in the South” (Sophie Bessis 2005). After having evaluated the overall negative results of the Euro-­


Mediterranean Conference commitments, the European Union “officially buried the Barcelona process in March 2003” to adopt another policy based on the concept of ‘neighbourhood’, which is part of the new ‘architecture’ of its enlargement.

 he Project for the Mediterranean: T For What and for Whom? The “Project for the Mediterranean” (UfM) was designed and proposed by France to break up with the causes of the failure of the Barcelona Process, to overcome its disappointing results and to draw inspiration from the “European Community process” in order to integrate the countries bordering the Mediterranean into a new momentum of partnership and complementarity. The members of the European Union, particularly Germany, did not receive the project, as initially announced, positively. In their view, it would have been wiser to revitalize the “Barcelona Process” and reinvigorate it instead of setting up new “budget-intensive” structures and programmes that risked being unsuccessful. After lengthy negotiations, the Europeans adopted the guidelines of the «Mediterranean Project» and the conditions for a summit meeting of the Euro-­ Mediterranean countries were achieved.2 However, were the initiators of the UfM, mainly France, aware of the complex issues that the agreements resulting from the Barcelona Process had to face? or did they want to engage the countries of the region in a new policy of circumvention (of Turkey’s accession) and integra-

The Euro-Mediterranean leaders opted for an “intergovernmental organisation” composed of 43 states, based on a “joint co-presidency” between the two shores of the Mediterranean with the objectives of “promoting dialogue and cooperation in the Mediterranean region”, with headquarters in Barcelona. It must also be said that this project was initially very ambitious, proposing major “priority” projects such as: the depollution of the Mediterranean, the development of motorways of the sea and land highways, civil protection, the Mediterranean Solar Plan, higher education and research, the Euro-Mediterranean University and the Mediterranean Business Development Initiative.



tion (of Israel in particular) without resolving the hotbeds of adversity in the Mediterranean? For the promoters of the UfM as Mr. Alain le Roy, the French ambassador, has raised the question whether the countries involved in the process will allow for widening the gap, despite the shared space and common interest, or working on narrowing it to bring people together. It is obvious that the rapprochement of the two shores of the Mediteranean, means giving the project a developmental vocation in order to increase employment of youth and diminish the trend of migration. (Alain Le Roy 2008) The statements that have already accompanied the promotion of this project are admirably frank and clear. It was eloquently stated that “Europe’s security and development will only be assured if the South develops”. By claiming to be moving away from an ideological vision to address a real and concrete problem, it is bluntly stated that migration is the real problem. Yet, all the announcements about a project put on hold cannot, in any way, avoid questions such as: how can we ensure European complicity and mobilize the various Mediterranean countries? Moreover, how can we promote a new project of the UfM or a even new generation of agreements with the surrounding countries without specifying the relationship with the structures and projects already underway? In any case, the Euro-Mediterranean project, no matter how “noble” it may have been, started out in trouble. The first signs during the process of its promotion show that it was received with varying degrees of reservation. The countries of the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean and the Arab countries are asking for investments, real partnerships and modes of exchange that are not limited to products but must include the free movement of people. Many observers of the Euro-Mediterranean reports consider that the limited results of the partnership agreements resulting from the Barcelona Conference (1995) and the pompous promises of the “Project for the Mediterranean” show the extent to which the European Union is unable to find “a real strategic project for the Mediterranean”. While claiming to ensure

M. N. Affaya

democratization and progress in the field of human rights, or advocating good governance, security and economic cooperation, European policy with the countries of the south-eastern shore of the Mediterranean, with the exception of arms sales, oil and gas purchases, suffers from a flagrant problem of inconsistency, misunderstanding and improvised interventions. The deadlock of all attempts at Euro-­ Mediterranean partnership, especially those of the Barcelona Process and the UfM, according to all observers and objective historians, were mainly due to Israel’s occupation of Arab lands, its continuing policy of colonization and denial of the rights of the Palestinian people. It is true that other nodes of conflict, such as those in the Maghreb, complicate the impetus for cooperation, but the Israeli-Arab conflict is among the main obstacles to European initiatives to create a Mediterranean region of “shared prosperity”. On another note, based on the negotiations on the UfM, which is the only plan proposed to the region, in addition to the concessions that have been made, are we able to overcome all the tensions and inequalities produced by a relationship that has been built for centuries – and that continues to be built – on a stereotypical image of the inhabitants of the Southeast shore and the image of the Arab and Muslim? In other words, will these “new barbarians” one day become partners of the same Euro-Arab Mediterranean community? Is there enough imagination and political will not to condemn future projects by reducing them to economic and security concerns alone – which are undeniably decisive – and forge a historical model based on solidarity and even trans-Mediterranean conviviality? Finally, as the great mediator of both shores, Jacques Berque, raised an important issue, when he expresses the challenging difficulty we face, when we draw a culture from a social process based on the technology or when we draw from a dynamic the social construct based on a religious culture. (Jacque Berque 1998) These are problematic questions that are constantly being formulated each time a project for the Mediterranean is proposed to the inhabitants of this part of the world for which Jacques Berque

7  Dead-Ends of a Development Process Imposed from Above: Deconstruction of the Concept…

calls “for a new beginning in Andalusia, whose heaps of rubble and tireless hope we carry within us” (Berque 1998). Unluckily, European attempts to create a partnership zone to build the conditions for development prevent it from becoming a “powder keg of the world” have failed, despite the existence of certain programs, however limited, that are still being carried out in the name of the UfM.

 or a New Model of Solidarity F and “Well-Balanced Prosperity” This reflection aimed at outlining the causes of failure of two projects submitted by the Europeans to the Mediterranean population. In addition, the authoritarian and self-destructing polices and knots of adversities that are causing difficulties do hardly help to incite the Northern partners to make more effort in terms of investments and commitments for the realization of the proposed programs. In addressing these multi-dimensional challenges, and the restrictions imposed by economic globalization, it is clear that economic development is being shaped, essentially, within the framework of the national state. Thus, a genuine endogenous strategy must prevail in the conception of a possible model of development in Morocco for example. In such a context, fundamental concerns arise before us. In fact, how can we speak of a developmental model when the basic prerequisites for a given model are lacking? Was Morocco invested, historically and ­objectively, in creating suitable conditions for a true emerging economy that has the potential to generate growth and development? How can we conceive a developmental model in the absence of a citizen Middle Class carried by its historical aspirations and in the absence of the basic foundations of an educational framework among the families, in schools and in the community, as well as in the cultural framework that stimulates thought, self-reliance, initiatives and labor? How can one even talk of the need for a model in the lack of model leaders, whether political or others, that may embody the values of work, altruism and solidarity? And lastly, can one imagine the


edification of a developmental model following orthodox financial policies, backed by the Ministry of Finances, which imposes deficits each year in addition to rates of inflation, the respect of macro-economic equilibriums and the continuous resort to indebtedness? These choices have given rise to situations of “economic frustration” and glaring inequalities experienced and felt by certain regions and social strata in the country. Faced with this situation, we are called upon to engage in a different “mental experience” (El Aoufi 2011) in the conception and management of “development” efforts, which would take into consideration what is vital and urgent and what is part of the long term. Investment in infrastructure, equipment, structural, industrial and agricultural programs are likely to broaden the productive base, intensify economic integration and create jobs. On the other hand, it is imperative for the state to invest in public services, social protection and capacity building in order to produce an enterprising and efficient human capital3 along with providing a response to the strategic needs of the national economy in the long term, and meeting the vital and urgent needs of large sections of society in the short term. This concept of “at the same time”, inspired by Paul Ricoeur, means, in the field of development, the possibility of constructing a synthetic model that would function at two complementary times (or walk on two feet): offering infrastructures that are the foundation of the economy and responding to the vital and urgent needs of the population. Since the beginning of this millennium, Morocco has been engaged in “major projects” and sectorial programs, which are certainly profitable in the long term, whereas for the second option, there are major deficits and major social and regional disparities. The State must implement these two interdependent choices “at the same time”. This is coupled with the

Despite Morocco’s deficits in this area, it is obvious that rich countries, in a blatant and Machiavellian manner, are pursuing policies to attract and encourage the emigration of the executives that Morocco trains. While our country invests large sums of money in their training.


M. N. Affaya


imperative of an equitable distribution or redistribution of these programs’ benefits to foster inclusion and reduce disparities. However, how can we be part of a dynamic of solidarity production without an ethic of recognition of rights and without a balanced equation of values and interests? This may seem a naïve question, but to what extent can we call for solidarity that actually breaks down the forms of inequality that structure a country which suffers from an appalling deficit of social development? We are witnessing various forms of territorial, linguistic, regional and cultural revenge attempts with the expression of an infinite mosaic of particularities, traces, signs and claims of “the right to have rights” (Arendt 1982) within a context where the discourse of diversity provides revendicators with legitimacy and opportunity. Morocco is in a seemingly favorable geographical situation but, in reality, the country is under siege. Europe is an unavoidable partner; however, it is time for European decision-makers to break with the “Braudelian” vision of the Mediterranean as a “western lake”. it is imperative to distance oneself from projects imposed from above in the muddle of reactions and urgency concerning the challenges of emigration or the dangers threatening Europe’s security. In addition, the idea of “Maghrebinity” is blurred by the presence, conscious or unconscious, of representations of the other. It suffers, above all, from the various nodes of conflict, particularly with the Moroccan-Algerian conflict, which “blocks” all projects likely to create a space for the ­promotion of a partnership dynamic and a climate propitious for a transition to democracy and inclusive development. To sum up, it seems that the real issues for the country are political (democracy), economic (thanks to a climate of trust and a middle-class citizenry), social (development for all), geopoliti-

cal (security for all) and cultural (access to an assumed and controlled modernity). Morocco needs a social state capable of building a model that would integrate economic capital as well as social capital in order to offer a serious horizon for its young people. For this, and here we seem to be in the romanticism, Morocco and the countries of the South need developmental models based on a true policy of solidarity and altruism which will be the Ariadne’s thread that will allow to harmoniously link the requirements of the economy, the citizens’ life satisfaction, and its future environment. Seneca used to say, “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we don’t dare that they are difficult.”

References Alain Le Roy. 2008. La dynamique de l’Union est à maintenir collectivement. La Matin, 10 Juillet. Arendt, Hannah. 1982. Les origines du totalitarisme, Vol. 2 L’impérialisme, trad. de l’angl. par Martine Leiris. Paris: Fayard. Berque, Jacques. 1998. Une cause jamais perdue. Pour une Méditerranée plurielle: écrits politiques (1956– 1995), 199. Paris: Albin Michel. Bessis, Sophie. 2005. Dix ans après Barcelone: état des lieux du partenariat euro-méditerranéen. La Revue internationale et stratégique N°59, Automne. Burk III, Edmund. 2016. Modernité, in Dictionnaire de la Méditerranée. sous la direction de: DionigiAlbera, Maryline Crivello, and Mohammed Tozy, 951. Paris: Actes Sud. Claude, Liuzu. 1999. La Méditerranée selon Braudel. Confluences Méditerranée 31: 186. El Aoufi, Noureddine. 2011. Le Maroc solidaire. Projet pour une société de confiance. Rabat: Ed Économie- Critique. Lamloum, Olfa. 2003. Before any democratic consideration. Critique internationale N°18: 178, or www. Latouche, Serge. 2018. Sans développement, pas de salut, mais… le développement de quoi ? Manière de voir, Le monde diplomatique, Le progrès en procès N° 61: 10.


New Discourses on Development Andrés Kozel and Marcelo Sili


This chapter introduces and analyses the preliminary results of a larger study that explores the connection between new discourses on development and the imagined futures for Latin America. A primary assumption guides the whole proposal: collective imagination does not work in a vacuum; far from it, it operates within a “social discourse”, which sets limits to the thinkable (Angenot), and within a “regime of historicity”, which organizes our relationship with temporality (Hartog). The chapter sustains that a productive mode of approaching the ways by which we imagine the region’s futures is to think in terms of more or less defined discursive configurations on development. It assumes that knowing and understanding these configurations can help us capture in an organized way the diversity of the voices that dispute and confront each A. Kozel (*) Laboratorio de Investigación en Ciencias Humanas (LICH), CONICET – Universidad Nacional de San Martín, San Martín, Pcia. de Buenos Aires, Argentina e-mail: [email protected] M. Sili Director del Centro de estudios para la Acción y el Desarrollo Territorial (ADETER), CONICET – Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Argentina e-mail: [email protected]

other, more or less fiercely, on development and imagined futures. The adjective new refers to the last three decades –it is not a completely arbitrary choice, since “1990” represents a “breaking point” in several senses: geopolitical, technological, environmental. Using tools taken from the structural analysis of ideological discourses, the chapter sketches a stylized profile of the images about the future related to each configuration, working on materials considered illustrative/contrastive. Keywords

Social discourse · Regime of historicity · Sustainable development · Neo-­ developmentalism · Post-development

This article introduces and analyses the preliminary results of a larger study that explores the connection between new discourses on development and the imagined futures for Latin America. A primary assumption guides the whole proposal: collective imagination does not work in a vacuum; far from it, it operates within a “social discourse”, which sets limits to the thinkable (Angenot 2012), and within a “regime of historicity”, which organizes our relationship with temporality (Hartog 2007). We sustain, in particular, that a productive mode of approaching

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,


A. Kozel and M. Sili


the ways by which we imagine the region’s futures is to think in terms of more or less defined discursive configurations about development. We assume that knowing and understanding these configurations can help us capture in an organized way the diversity of the voices that dispute and confront each other, more or less fiercely, around development and the imagined futures. As Angenot has pointed out, recovering Bakhtin’s teachings, it is convenient to think of speeches not as impervious “monads”, but as “links” of dialogic chains.1 Furthermore, knowing and understanding these configurations can help us better define both what we want and what we do not and, consequently, better outline our action strategies. The taxonomy of the discursive configurations that serves as a starting point for our study it is not a completely original creation, but is based on previous proposals from several authors, including our own (Kozel and Sili 2017; Calderón 2013, 2015; Araníbar and Rodríguez 2013; Katz 2016; Svampa 2016). Specifically, we begin by distinguishing six new typical discursive configurations on development. The configurations are: sustainable development (SD); development in neoliberalism (DL); neo-developmentalism (ND); post-development (PD); development in socialism (DSOC); local/territorial development (DLT).2 The adjective new refers to the last three decades –it is not a completely arbitrary choice, since “1990” represents a “breaking point” in several senses: geopolitical, technological, environmental. Using tools taken from the structural A broader discussion in this regard can be found in Kozel et al. (2019). 2  To tell the truth, we had established seven configurations, considering separately the artistic discourse on development and futures (Kozel and Sili 2017). Critical observations of some readers convinced us to rethink the point, so we now consider certain artistic expressions as part of certain discursive configurations, and not the “artistic configuration” itself. We would like to insist, however, on the fact that, for those interested in exploring the futures, it is important to carefully follow, using specific tools, the wide range of elaborations of artistic discourse. Perhaps they are not just mere doctrinal derivations: many times, instead of describing definite images of the future, they propose to shudder, disturb, even catharsis. 1 

analysis of ideological discourses, we try to sketch a stylized profile of the images about the future related to each configuration, for which we work on materials considered especially illustrative/contrastive. Among the dimensions of the future prioritized by our analysis are geopolitics, the network of actors involved, and technological and environmental issues. A certain dose of schematism and arbitrariness is inevitable in an exercise of this kind; however, the fact that the procedures are visible enables the possibility of making adjustments and rectifications. Figure 8.1 presents an outline of these development configurations.

 ur Common Future: Our Common O Sense? (Sustainable Development: SD) The key document to study the future image related to SD is Our common future, also known as Bruntland Report (United Nations 1987). The history of the document goes back, at least, to 1970: numerous meetings and reports prepared the ground for its formulation. Of course, as a discursive configuration, SD is more global than strictly Latin American. However, Latin American experts played a key role there, insisting on the need to emphasize the need to promote the development of Third World countries, even within the framework of a recognized environmental crisis (Estenssoro 2014; Gutiérrez Garza y González-Gaudiano 2010).3 In addition, SD has been, for the last three decades, the backdrop on which the other configurations have deployed, with their particularities and nuances.4 This is not to say that several of the other configurations did See. Although the problems of the eighties were no longer exactly the same as it were two decades ago, it can be said that, throughout the whole period, the optimistic horizon of the second postwar period vibrated until crunch; that shudder seems not to have stopped yet. 4  In fact, SD has been articulating countless summits, conferences, conventions, protocols, commitments, objectives and agendas, whose specificities can not be examined here. The key issue is, of course, the very special condition of its enunciation locus. 3 

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Fig. 8.1  Development configurations. (Source: Authors’ design)

not have antecedents by 1987; some of them showed, already then, a considerable thickness. But we think that our common future remodeled the terms of the whole problem and, consequently, the internal equilibria of each configuration. SD delineates a dual future image, at once optimistic and pessimistic. On the one hand, there is the image of the desirable future, a future of economic prosperity, international symmetry, social inclusion and environmental responsibility. The viability of this future is linked to a double trust: first, in technology (and in the responsibility of transnational companies with regard to their “homogeneous” dissemination); second, in the high decision-makers (as far as

their willingness and ability to responsibly take on board the report’s recommendations, among which is the in-depth review of decision-making structures and institutional arrangements). On the other hand, there is the image of the undesirable future, perfectly possible if the aforementioned double trust is defrauded, that is, if the techno-political equilibrium does not prevail. In such a case, humanity could be dragged into a dark scenario, even threatening its survival. In fact, the section that opens the first part of Our Common Future is entitled “A threatened future”. Among its leitmotivs are allusions to the “crisis”, to the “transgression of critical thresholds”, to the “interruption of progress”. In an intense passage, the image of a panorama of


“desolate ruins” is introduced. Of course, such an image of the undesirable future is not a Bruntland’s creation; the dystopian genre was not born in 1987. But its fixation in such a relevant document came to endow it with a singular resonance. We think that this dual image of the future –the desirable future threatened– has become a kind of epochal common sense. Nowadays, it is difficult not to ask about the future of SD, considering the fact that its legitimacy and ability to arouse enthusiasm seem to have eroded over time. The main point is that it really seems difficult to achieve the technopolitical balance mentioned above. There is a profuse iconography associated with SD –one of colourful and bustling prosperities inscribed on green landscapes. There are also artistic expressions associated with ecological criticism. It is a wide range, ranging from the documentary of denunciation to works that seek to “draw attention” to the impacts of prevailing technologies and production logics, such as the case of fish sculptures made with plastic bottles on the occasion of the Summit of Rio 2012. There is also the dystopian, vigorous genre nowadays, particularly in Latin America (Mercier 2017). In many cases, these elaborations go not only to the painting of gloomy and pessimistic landscapes, but also, sometimes masterfully, to the cultivation of the parody (Cotteaux 2017). In a way, these expressions can be thought of in relation to the rhetoric implied by SD configuration.

Techno-cybernetic Innovation, Comparative Advantages and Liberalization (Development in Neoliberalism: DL) In Latin America, DL is the discourse of power: economic, media, factual and sometimes also political power. From the other positions, it is usually stated that, when the word development is pronounced within this configuration, it refers, first of all, restrictively, to economic growth. This may be true, although things are not so simple. A solid core of ​​economic science, on which DL

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mainly rests, offers elaborate arguments, usually supported by careful data series and comparisons: its conclusions are not unobjectionable, but it should be heard, especially when addressing the issue of the difficulties to generate, in Latin American countries, adequate balances between savings, consumption and investment and, beyond, virtuous circuits of productive investment (Flexor et al. 2017; Vargas-Mazas 2017). DL tends to appreciate the political and state spheres with a negative sign, accentuates the prevalence of the market and places realism as the ultimate validating criterion. Hence, instigating notions such as “adaptation” or “taking advantage of opportunities” occupy a notorious place in their formulations. It is important to retain the idea that technology, and in particular, the so-called exponential technologies, play a prominent role in DL.5 In this line, DL points out that Latin America should take advantage of the opportunities available to “make the leap” from the phase of unfinished (and failed) industrialization towards the “new era”. This is thought not as something simple to be achieved, but as an applicant for complex strategies, both private and public-state. The public policies required by DL’s future must be dynamic, flexible and adaptable to a reality in accelerated change (almost a science fiction reality). Multidimensional, they are thought above all in relation to infrastructure, with trade liberalization and with the flexibilization of regulatory frameworks (seen, as a rule, as obsolete). DL often introduces persuasive innovative notions: glocal, innovative state, intelligent regionalism,

5  According to the Singularity University website, exponential technologies can be defined as those that are accelerating and shaping not only major industries, but all aspects of our lives. They include: artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR), data science, biotechnology and digital biology, medicine, nanotechnology and digital manufacturing, computer networks and systems, robotics and autonomous vehicles. Of course, the Singularity University is not a Latin American institution; however, due to different types of exchange with our region, it has a high degree of impact in spaces where technological innovation is debated nowadays.

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granular governance, techno-integration, three-­ dimensional convergence (see Béliz 2017). DL clearly distils an agenda for the Latin American countries: trade liberalization and the reduction of space for autonomous industrial policies occupy a key place. One can imagine here a Latin America focused on the export of raw materials (food, mining), resorting to the application of technological packages of mostly foreign origin, without it being ruled out outright the possibility of activating processes of adding value. Among other alternatives, the stimulus to poles associated with the digital economy is not excluded in this configuration. Criticism of DL configuration are profuse. It is usually noted that their leitmotivs are alibis from the dominance of the factual powers (corporate, financial); also, that the costs implied by the mentioned challenges are so high that there would be no way to achieve the desirable future. Anyway, it can be argued that the desirable future of DL is that of a generalized opulence, based on a virtually infinite technological deployment. In relation to Latin America, reaching that future requires adapting to the changes making use of the opportunities derived from the comparative advantages it has got: DL’s calls to proactivity are confined to operating fast in these planes, not to press on its limits, much less to redefine them. There is of course an iconography linked to the fascination with technology –for example, advertisements where a lone producer controls, through a specific technological device, a nature that has been efficiently put to produce–, as well as artistic languages that with their specificities seem to celebrate technological innovation, exploring its possibilities. It is worth mentioning, for example, the proposal of bioart, or transgenic art, which highlights Eduardo Kac, a Brazilian artist based in the United States. His green rabbit, presented in 2000, has been a disruption in the cultural scene. This type of proposals has raised controversies, which can be framed in the disciplinary subfield of ecological ethics. Some have even characterized them as veiled ways to “wash” the image of biotechnology (see Albelda y Pisano 2014).


 Multipolar World of Sovereign A States and Blocks (Neo-­developmentalism: ND) By 2010, Latin American ND was a powerful discursive configuration, the robustness and durability of which few would have been allowed to doubt. A superficial analysis exerted in 2017 or 2018 could have decreed its premature death –it is not, of course, the way we will pursue here. It is true that the enthusiasms of 2010 had lost centrality after the middle of the decade: changes in political orientation in Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina and the persistence of Venezuelan difficulties significantly modified the scenario. The way to designate the current phase is a matter of debate, although it is evident that in many cases there was a return to neoliberal strategies. Several analysts postulated that the continent had gone from a neoliberal phase –the 1990s– to a post-­ neoliberal phase, in which the governments of several countries deployed neo-developmentalist strategies. Shortly after, some foregrounded the image of a Latin America divided into two groups of countries: neoliberal and post-neoliberal (or neo-developmentalist). Some experts even pointed out that this contrast would approximately correspond to the Pacific Alliance/ Mercosur opposition. Then, other started talking about “new Latin American rights” and their characteristics. Currently [2019], the whole debate seems to be about to enter a renewed phase. From our perspective, the main point is that ND has a considerable historical “substance”, and still guides the practices of different actors; it will hardly disappear from the scene. An analysis of their characteristic formulations would reveal their hybrid condition: there are, interwoven, elements that, decades ago, would have been problematic to bring together, for example, the discursive inflections of the main populist leaders and the reasoning of ECLAC (CEPAL) economists. ND has also been/is a discourse of power, although, unlike DL, it would be the discourse of a political power that hopes to be able to lead to economic power. That is why some analysts have


thought of it as a counter-hegemonic discourse. In its most intense versions; ND has openly thematized this tension, raising the need to discipline the respective (pseudo) national bourgeoisies. In its more moderate versions, it has processed that tension by going to the image of the “referee State”. ND also defines itself as realistic, but objects to the supposed realism of DL, denouncing its status as an alibi of power, and pointing out its socio-political infeasibility. It is interesting to note that some authors have identified variants within ND.  Calderón (2015), for example, speaks of a “community” or “indigenous” ND, especially when he has in mind the case of Bolivia; for his part, Katz (2016) highlights the presence of “social-developmentalism conceptions”, especially (but not exclusively) in Brazil: they can be characterized as “intense versions” of ND, in a way closer to DSOC. Beyond the above, ND emphasizes two thematic clusters: at the internal level, the distributive issue; at the external level, the sovereignty issue, where notions such as multilateralism, integration into regional blocs and technological sovereignty emerge. These two emphases are expressive of the hopes placed on the State as the main support point to solve the problems of (under) development. The desirable future of ND is one of distributed opulence, which only seems possible in a world where relations between states and regional blocs are noticeably less asymmetric. Technological advances –including those related to exponential technologies– also play a role, but are articulated to the horizon of what is desirable only when they are imagined subordinated to the two clusters of notions just mentioned. Again, the place of Latin America can be linked to the use of its comparative advantages, but provided that enough margins of political autonomy are preserved to face the associated challenges (in particular, tariff and para-tariff barriers) and to avoid an excessive primary specialization. The narrative on how to reach that future may be more or less complex, but it generally includes some agreement with the thesis of the decline of American hegemony, the commitment to a type

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of neo-Keynesian exit to the global economic ­crisis, the hope in strengthening a multilateralism of regional blocks and the attention paid to the experiences of the BRICS. ND is questioned from other configurations through different arguments, highlighting those that associate it with populism in the pejorative sense of the expression (which highlights irresponsibility and corruption) and those that emphasize its low and false commitment to environmental sustainability. It is interesting to note that ND retains some of the discursive inflections that, in mid-twentieth century Latin America, imagined, at least for larger countries such as Brazil, México and Argentina, great destinations. If the leitmotifs of heavy industry and arms development have practically disappeared in the region, the same has not happened with other proclivities, where old impulses of hegemonic affirmation still resonate somehow. It’s worth noting that ND gave rise to the generation of documents with prospective value, both in Brazil and in Argentina, to say the least (Brasil 2010; Mercadante 2013; Patrouilleau et al. 2012, 2015; see also Bitar 2014).

 owards a New Social T and Environmental Rationality (Postdevelopment: PD) Many elements that make up a desirable future image can be appreciated in the most characterized elaborations of PD. Notions such as environment/nature, buen vivir, community, are carriers of futurity, and the idea of civilizational transition plays a prominent role. But PD is sensitive to objections contrary to the profiling of rigid utopias, seen as typical of modern rationality, which PD just wants to overcome. The future is thought here as something open and under construction, which requires contributions from various actors. Besides, the elaborations that make up PD are diverse. Lately a field of studies so called alter-­ development has emerged; there, alternatives to development are discussed, in the plural. Key meanings, such as buen vivir, remain elusive and

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disputed (see Vázquez Bustamante 2016; Vanhulst 2015). PD has provided creative and stimulating formulations, marked by important doses of reflexivity, flexibility, openness. The notion of concepts-horizons alluded to by Svampa and Viale (2014) is a good example: rights of nature, common goods (linked, on one level, to that of the pro-communal ethos), ethics of care (linked to ecofeminism). Another notable example is the theoretical work carried out by Arturo Escobar, who is not afraid of the creation of neologisms nor, also, of dialogue with other traditions of thought: pluralist communal, feel think with the earth, journeys to the Ecozoic era. Recently, Escobar has posited the conceptual tandem “strong relationality/weak teleology”. Weak teleology: this is a warning for those who seek to capture images of future characteristics. Escobar is taxative: “the emergent, by definition, is not designed”, and asks: how can the (traditional) community “design” a transition? How to think of a design that can be autonomous? (Escobar in Tinta Limón 2017). Thinking about the time between the present and the desirable future is not easy in this case either. As anticipated, the idea of transition ​​ is central. The preposition “towards” is frequently used. Schematically, what is proposed is a civilizational transition capable of leading us from “this world” –in a civilizatory crisis–, to “another world”, ruled by a new social and environmental rationality. Many of PD’s characteristic elaborations strive to detect signals that anticipate or foreshadow the desirable future. One problem that arises is that, in general, such signals are little more than fleeting flashes. One can ask: are the neo-Zapatista communities the main exception to this assertion? As for the image of the undesirable future within this configuration, it can be argued that it is shaped by motives that thematize the advent of a collapse –usually environmental– that could end life on the planet as we know it. PD directs its gaze mainly to the experiences of the subaltern social movements. It is a viewpoint from which it is difficult to think politics


and power beyond the denunciations and criticisms of what the factual powers actually do. The relationship, mainly tense, between the intellectuals who integrate this configuration ­ with figures who, having been part or close became part of government projects, is symptomatic of these difficulties. Such is the case of Álvaro García Linera, vice president of Bolivia since 2006 and author of numerous works, including Forma valor y forma comunidad, where Marx is reread to delineate the horizon of the universal ayllu (García Linera 2009 [1st ed. 1995]). The accent placed by PD in the rural and ethnic has had as a counterpart that less attention be paid to what happens/can happen with and in the urban spaces, overwhelmingly majority at this point. None of the above means, however, that PD is unable to formulate proposals and specific agendas. It highlights the exploration of the “transitions to buen vivir” developed by Gudynas and his collaborators of the Centro Latinoamericano de Ecología Social (CLAES), in Montevideo (see Gudynas 2012). PD is characterized by its “taking away” from the disposition to the uncritical celebration of scientific-technological advances. However, more than an anti-technological sensitivity, it would be fair to observe an emphasis placed on the precautionary approach against the implementation of advances. However, the image of the desirable future that can be associated with PD is far from that cultivated by any productivist utopia (be it extractivist, industrialist or technological, capitalist, socialist “twentieth century” or national-state). Pictorial productions like those of the Chilean-Mexican artist Beatriz Aurora, close to the neo-Zapatista movement, put us in touch with aspects of the image of PD’s desirable future. For this renowned artist, each Zapatista community is “like an orchestra of life”, where “the main elements and values ​​of another possible world” bubble up (Aurora in GIAP 2014). From this poetry derives a particular iconographic proposal, filiated in the tradition of naive/ primitivist painting, and expressive of a neo-­ archaic vision of community life.

A. Kozel and M. Sili


 eal Economy and Participatory R Democracy (Development in Socialism: DSOC) Although many had left him for dead after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the last decade and a half socialism has shown some vitality in Latin America.6 According to our purposes here, we will highlight two main roads: the “socialism of the 21st century” and the “ecosocialism”. The socialism of the twenty-first century experienced a fulguration around 2005. Here, in addition to the formulations of the then Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the contributions of Heinz Dieterich, a German sociologist resident in Mexico stand out (Dieterich 2006). Based on solid optimism in historical evolution and scientific-technological advances, Dieterich’s considerations have a prospective value, since they outline the socialist strategic horizon and the main features of the transition. For Dieterich, the main novelty of our time with respect to that of Marx is that now, with the help of advanced mathematics and computation –in particular, “thanks to the genius of Arno Peters”–, it is possible to calculate the real value of products (remember that, here, value is not equal to price). In the socialism envisaged by Dieterich, a planning team, skilled in handling the “Rose of Peters” while being subordinated to effective democratic-participatory processes, will complete the informatics and decision-making functions, today in charge of the market and businessmen. In his vision, the key actor in the whole transformation would not be the classical proletariat, but the “community of victims of neoliberal capitalism”. To condense the features of the desirable future of socialism of the twenty-­ first century, we can refer to the expression “computerized socialism” (Konrad Zuse). More or less at the same time, Michael Löwy, Franco-Brazilian sociologist, was making known his proposal of “ecosocialism”. As you can guess, the axis here is the environmental issue. Closer to the approaches of Walter Benjamin, the pathos of A highly recommended overview of its recent “adventures” can be found in Katz (2016: chapter IV).


Löwy is less unilaterally optimistic than that of Dieterich. In fact, there are catastrophic vanishing points in his texts, which tune in with areas of PD. For the rest, Löwy’s distance with respect to productivist sensibility is clear –as is his differentiation from “market ecology” or “clean capitalism”. The transition should not only lead to a new mode of production, but also to a new way of life, to a new civilization (see Löwy 2011). It is possible to emphasize the contrast between the two major paths just described, and say, for instance, that, while Löwy approaches PD, Dieterich appears closer to ND, at least to its more intense versions. But it would be also possible to affirm that, beyond the accents and nuances, the desirable future outlined by both lines of argument does not differ substantially: what is at stake, after all, is really to democratize the great decisions, which today they are far from being democratic.7

 Sphere Where the Experience A Space Can Unexpectedly Expand (Local/Territorial Development: DLT) As is well known, the notion of local development refers to the way in which development is expressed in certain specific spaces. In general, the term is associated with that of territorial development, although it is usually recognized that the notion of local development is more akin to neoliberalism (because of its emphasis on decentralization and competitiveness), while that of territorial development is more connected, whether with SD, ND, with variants of PD. If this were the case, DLT would be characterized by its ability to adapt to the previous configurations, that is, by certain non-specificity. Something similar seems to happen with the discourses that decline to development in a sectoral key: urban development, rural development, etc. Future It is really difficult to predict which paths an informed “popular will” could follow in the future; it is also difficult to predict what forms its counterpoint would take with the logic of rational planning.


8  New Discourses on Development


images related to DLT would also suffer from the same non-specificity. Although the foregoing is probably true, there are three aspects that are worth mentioning here. One is the centrality of the notion of “territorial planning”; in its way, it is a carrier of futurity, and implies a desirable future with specific contours. Another is that DLT is associated with the concrete and tangible, accentuating the consideration of the different scales of analysis and intervention. Closely linked to this, the most consistent modulations of DLT propose a special way of relating to the future: the rooting of significant areas of this configuration in “the concrete and palpable” promotes the delimitation of the horizon of expectations (reducing the space for “great utopias” and for “dislocated futures”) and the widening of the experience space (Ricœur 1996: 952–953). These characteristics seem to allow the involvement of more rooted and circumscribed images of the future than in the other cases.

tions, it seems to display some peculiar operations in relation to the forms of time. Regarding artistic expressions, even when in principle they can also be considered as non-specific, it seems unproductive to fail to notice the uniqueness of its endeavours, which have among their effects the emergence of special forms of concern on the modes by which we imagine possible futures, desirables or not. It might be possible to move forward in an intercultural dialogue among us about the potential analytical and empirical productivity of this scheme. It is worth asking, for example, if in other areas of the Global South there are pendulous oscillations between political projects referring to discourses on development that are partly opposed (i.e., Latin American DL and ND). Also, if the interpellations and confrontations between the different positions take on similar characteristics. Likewise, if the images of the future move more or less within the parameters that we have tried to characterize so far.

Final Appraisal

Acknowledgments The authors wish to thank Nancy V. Piñeiro and Diego Taraborrelli for their careful reading of an initial version of this chapter.

It does not seem excessive to maintain that “our time” is the time of SD, and that the general parameters in which the available future images are recorded are those established by that configuration. In two words: our hopes threatened. As we saw, overcoming the threats would require the achievement of a complex techno-political balance. Being discourses of power, although not equivalent, NL and ND are clearly inscribed in this backdrop, accentuating different elements: the techno-cybernetic in one case; the techno-­state in the other. PD introduces a questioning of the notion of development, and it would not be convenient to think of it as a discourse of power. DSOC seems to become nonspecific as it tends to ND (twenty-first century), or PD (ecosocialism); it is no less true, however, that it continues to carry nuclei of distinctive meanings and bearers of futurity, such as the appreciation of the real economy (“use value”) and direct democracy. DLT can also be seen as nonspecific; nevertheless, in certain modula-

References Albelda, José and Serena Pisano. 2014. Bioarte. Entre el deslumbramiento tecnológico y la mirada crítica. En Arte y políticas de identidad, Murcia, vol. 10–11, July–December. Angenot, Marc. 2012. El discurso social. Los límites históricos de lo pensable y lo decible. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veintiuno. Araníbar Arze, Antonio and Benjamín Rodríguez. 2013. América Latina, ¿del neoliberalismo al neodesarrollismo?. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veintiuno/PAPEP-PNUD. Béliz, Gustavo (dir.) 2017. Los futuros del MERCOSUR.  Nuevos rumbos de la integración regional. Buenos Aires: INTAL-BID. Bitar, Sergio. 2014. Las nuevas tendencias mundiales y el futuro de América Latina. Santiago de Chile: CEPAL/ Inter-American Dialogue. Brasil. Presidência da República. 2010. Brasil 2022. Brasilia: Secretaria de Assuntos Estrategicos. Coordinador: Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães. Calderón Gutiérrez, Fernando. 2015. Navegar contra el viento… O las perspectivas de América Latina en la era de la información. Revista de Sociología 30: 11–29.

106 Calderón Gutiérrez, Fernando (coord.). 2013. Las huellas del futuro. Contrapunto de voces sobre la realidad política latinoamericana. Buenos Aires: Siglo Veintiuno/PAPEP-PNUD. Cotteaux, Iris. 2017. L’ideólogie desarrollista dans 2666 de Roberto Bolaño. In Cahiers des Amériques Latines, París, IHEAL, núm 85. Dieterich, Hans. 2006. Hugo Chávez y el socialismo del siglo XXI. Caracas: Instituto Municipal de Publicaciones de la Alcaldía (ed. ampliada respecto a la 1ª de 2005). Estenssoro, Fernando. 2014. Historia del debate ambiental en la política mundial, 1945–1992: la perspectiva latinoamericana. Santiago de Chile: IDEA-USaCh. Flexor, Georges, R. Dias da Silva, and J. Pinto. 2017. Le nouveau développementalisme: propositions et limits. In Cahiers des Amériques Latines, IHEAL, núm. 85. García Linera, Álvaro. 2009. Forma valor y forma comunidad. Aproximación teórico-abstracta a los fundamentos civilizatorios que preceden al Ayllu universal. La Paz: CLACSO/Muela del diablo/Comuna. (1st ed. 1995). GIAP – Grupo de Investigaciones de Arte y Política. 2014. Entrevista a Beatriz Aurora. En Rufián revista, Santiago de Chile, núm. 17, January. Disponible en Gudynas, Eduardo. 2012. Sentidos, opciones y ámbitos de las transiciones al postextractivismo. En Más allá del desarroll, ed. M. Lang, and D. Mokrani. México: Fundación Rosa Luxemburgo/Abya Yala. Gutiérrez Garza, Esthela and Édgar González-Gaudiano. 2010. De las teorías del desarrollo al desarrollo sustentable. México: Siglo Veintiuno/UANL. Hartog, François. 2007. Regímenes de historicidad. Presentismo y experiencias del tiempo. México: Universidad Iberoamericana. (2003). Katz, Claudio. 2016. Neoliberalismo, neodesarrollismo, socialismo. Buenos Aires: Batalla de ideas. Kozel, Andrés and Marcelo Sili. 2017. Introduction. Les modulations récentes du développement. En Cahiers des Amériques Latines, IHEAL, núm. 85. Kozel, Andrés; Martín Bergel and Valeria Llobet. 2019. Introducción. Las Humanidades y la inquietud del futuro. Entre la obsolescencia y la voluntad de afirmación autonómica. En Futuros. Miradas desde las

A. Kozel and M. Sili Humanidades, ed. A.  Kozel, M.  Bergel y V.  Llobet. Buenos Aires: UNSAM Edita/FUNINTEC. Löwy, Michael. 2011. Ecosocialismo. La alternativa radical a la catástrofe ecológica capitalista. Buenos Aires: Herramienta/El colectivo. Mercadante, Aloizio. 2013. Brasil: de Lula a Dilma (2003–2013). Madrid: Clave intelectual. Mercier, Claire. 2017. Pensamiento distópico. Confrontando la intempestividad latinoamericana. Comunicación presentada en las VII Jornadas de Estudios sobre las Ideas, Universidad de Talca. Patrouilleau, Rubén Darío, Marcelo Saavedra, Mercedes Patrouilleau and Diego Gauna. 2012. Escenarios del sistema agroalimentario argentino al 2030. Buenos Aires: INTA/Prólogo de A. Ferrer. Patrouilleau, Rubén Darío, Andrés Kozel and Carlos Lacoste. 2015. Un nudo en el foco. Vigilancia prospectiva del sistema agroalimentario argentino. Buenos Aires: INTA. Ricœur, Paul. 1996. El tiempo narrado, Tomo III de Tiempo y narración. México: Siglo Veintiuno. Svampa, Maristella. 2016. Debates latinoamericanos. Indianismo, desarrollo, dependencia y populismo. Buenos Aires: Edhasa. Svampa, Maristella and Enrique Viale. 2014. Reflexiones finales. En Maldesarrollo: la Argentina del extractivismo y el despojo. Buenos Aires: Katz. Tinta Limón. 2017. Pragmatismo, utopismo y la política de lo real: hipótesis para el posdesarrollo. Entrevista a Arturo Escobar. En Lobo suelto! Anarquía coronada. Disponible en United Nations. 1987. Nuestro futuro común. Disponible en Vanhulst, Julien. 2015. El laberinto de los discursos del Buen vivir: entre Sumak Kawsay y Socialismo del siglo XXI.  En Polis, núm. 40. Disponible en https:// Vargas Mazas, Esteban. 2017. L’Alliance du Pacifique et le discours néolibéral du développment. En Cahiers des Amériques Latines, IHEAL, núm. 85. Vázquez Bustamante, Juan Pablo. 2016. Del Sumak Kawsay al debate por el Buen Vivir: significados en disputa y disputa por los significantes. Comunicación presentada en las VI Jornadas de Estudios sobre las Ideas, Universidad de Talca.

Part III The Ecological Transition as Key Factors for Change and Renewal of Development Models


The Environment and Development Debate in India: The “Greening” of Developmental Discourse Aviram Sharma


The chapter reviews the last seven decades of developmental discourse in India. It specifically, analyses, how the question of environment was dealt in the developmental discourse. For long, economic and social transformations remained the primary objective of the developmental policies/interventions in the country. Over the last five decades, varieties of environmentalism (state, market and community led) emerged and circulated at multiple scales. However, even after more than five decades of engagement with the environmental question, the dominant developmental models in India do not adequately engage with issues of inter and intra generational social justice and environmental sustainability. In this background, the paper describes the “greening” of the development discourse and decipher the fundamental assumptions and values which this “greening” entails. Keywords

Environment and development · Greening of development · Sustainability · Equity · India

A. Sharma (*) School of Ecology and Environment Studies (SEES), Nalanda University (NU), Rajgir, Bihar, India

For the newly independent nation state of India, the 1950s was an era of hope and of experimentation, even though the nation was facing the monumental tasks in term of scripting a new developmental trajectory. There was a large population base,  and a predominantly deindustrialised economy. The largely agrarian economy was facing multiple challenges of underdevelopment. It  was  a fervent time, when the growth models based on Nehruvian and Gandhian ideals tussled with each  other. The Gandhian model1 was based on the  village economy and village republic and the Nehruvian model was based on big industries and state socialism. The Gandhian ideals had lots of ardent supporters during the 1950s but eventually the Nehruvian model was adopted under the leadership of the first Prime Minister of India, which emphasized on economic and scientific modernisation (Basu 2018; Aoyama and Parthasarathy 2018). The economy got modelled along those lines for almost the next four decades. The first two decades of 1950s and 1960s witnessed the rise of the state power. Several big

Gandhi  – “God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism in the manner of the West. The economic imperialism of a single tiny island kingdom (England) is today keeping the world in chains. If an entire nation of 300 million took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts” (Cited in Baviskar 1995).


© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



industrial and infrastructural projects, such as heavy industries, big dams and canal networks were established by the state (Bardhan 1984). However, unlike adhering to a complete socialist growth model, the Industrial Policy Resolution adopted in 1948 proposed a mixed economy (Swain 1997). Majority of the strategic sectors were kept under the public domain, whereas, few sectors were open for private investment. A centralised planning model was devised to make five-year plans to lay the pathway of the developmental trajectory (Basu 2018). The Planning Commission of India was entrusted with the role of making five-year plans (Bardhan 1984). During the initial years, the focus was on developing a strong industrial base for achieving socio-economic progress. A number of Public Sector Undertakings were created under several categories, such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Coal India Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, Steel Authority of India Limited and many more for supporting the industrial growth.2 These public sector undertakings were supposed to provide a strong base in infrastructure for propelling the economic development of the nation. To train and prepare a modern workforce, new educational institutes (such as Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Management, Agricultural Universities) were established by the state. The state also invested in the agricultural development to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, which eventually led to the “green revolution” of the 1960s and “white revolution” of the 1970s’ (Nair 1985; Parayil 1992). Even though the state predominantly adopted the Nehruvian model, however, the Gandhian model of development was quite popular at the grassroots level (Aoyama and Parthasarathy 2018). Unlike the  Nehruvian model, the Gandhian model emphasized on self-rule, self-reliance and social transformation led by individuals and communities at the  local level (Kannappan 1962; For details, please refer  – general-knowledge/list-of-maharatna-andnavratna-companies-in-india-1467721897-1 2 

A. Sharma

Sinha 2008; Aoyama and Parthasarathy 2018). The Gandhian model lost its sheen over the years in the policy discourse, yet, at the idea level, it is quite valued as an alternative path among certain sections of society. The period after the independence and till the 1970s was of high hope and high aspirations, even though challenges of underdevelopment was widely prevalent. The GDP grew at a moderate rate of around 3–4% during most of this period (Kohli 2006a; Ghate 2012) but the industrial and economic base for transforming the Indian economy and society got established during this phase (Basu 2018). The period between the 1970s and 1990s started throwing up the discontent emerging from the state-based Nehruvian model of development. A number of major controversies and tussle among different stakeholders on the possible trajectories of development and growth models started emerging during this phase (Swain 1997). The socialist state-based policies continued during this period and taken a populist turn under the leadership of Indira Gandhi in the 1970s. However, by her second term, Indira Gandhi started pushing the economy towards the marked-­ based growth models (Kohli 2006a; Basu 2018). The GDP growth on average remained below 4% (Kohli 2006a, b) till the 1980s. For the first time, in the 1980s the GDP growth rate touched the 5% mark. It kept growing steadily at that rate until the economic crisis of 1990–1991. Yet, poverty and inequalities did not decline as desired during the initial years. India accounted for vast numbers of illiterate population, which did not have access to health, housing and many other basic necessities. However, the size of the economy kept growing over the years. The 1970s to 1990s was also the phase, when international treaties and conventions on development and environment started attracting  the attention of academia and policy makers in the country. Several studies evinced how the development debate has linkages with environmental questions (Meadows et al. 1972; Baviskar 1997; Scoones 2007; Adams 2008). The later period saw an upsurge in interests among major stakeholders along these lines and sustainability debate and developmental dis-

9  The Environment and Development Debate in India: The “Greening” of Developmental Discourse

course became integral to each other (Scoones 2016). India also became a party to many such treaties and conventions, and a whole array of environmental policies and laws were formulated (Swain 1997; Divan and Rosencranz 2001). The economic crisis at the beginning of the 1990s made India make a major policy shift in economic policy making (Kohli 2006a, b). Several “reforms” in the economy were brought and which eventually took the economy towards market-­based models and the neo-liberal developmental phase in India began. The country continued to follow the neo-liberal development model, which was significantly shaped by the forces of globalisation. The GDP on average remained above 6% after the 1990s and India became one of the fastest growing economy. During the last thirty years, some states, such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu benefitted more from this economic growth model than the others like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orrisa and West Bengal. In other words, every Indian state did not grow at the same rate and the neo-liberal developmental models created inequalities along regional lines (Kohli 2007). Overall, India witnessed a  rapid transition during the last three decades in terms of economic, socio-cultural, and environmental dimensions. The socio-economic transition was accompanied by rapid urbanization. Currently, around 34% of the Indian population lives in urban areas. More than 50 cities in India have a population between 10–50 lakhs and a number of megacities such as, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. During this era of “liberalization” many have argued that a “withering of the developmental state” has started in India. However, according to others, the state still plays a major role in India and shapes the economy, society and environment in significant ways. The rise of private capital and market-based mechanism since the 1980s has brought tremendous changes in the economy and society. After the 1990s, a plethora of other actors, such as courts, civil society groups, international NGOs has substantially gained importance in the developmental discourse carried


under the neo-liberal regime (Swain 1997). Yet, the academic literature dealing with the discourse on economy, development and environment does not offer a comprehensive picture on the changing relationships between state, economy and environment. Most of the time, environmental concerns did not occupy the primacy in the analysis of developmental discourse. For instance, several scholars, such as Kohli (2006b), Basu (2018) and Singh (2019) while dealing with the history of the Indian economy have almost completely neglected the environmental discourse on the  economy and the linkages of the  economy with  the environment. This paper attempts to bridge this gap and try to delineate how the environmental discourse emerged along  with the diverse developmental models over the last seven decades in India. In other words, we explore how the developmental discourse in India engaged with the question of the environment. The chapter is divided into four sections. Section two presents the conceptual framework. Section three reviews the developmental and environmental discourse in India. Section four offers concluding remarks.

Environment in the Developmental Discourse of India: A Conceptual Framework We will analyse the changing environment and development debate in India using two overlapping frameworks. First, we will analyse the top-­ down models of the “greening” of the state and economy. In this model, we will analyse the state led discourse on development and environment and market-based environmentalism. Under the bottom-up discourse on development and environment, we will analyse the environmentalism of the poor, primarily community led and common citizens led environmentalism. It is important to note that, these conceptual categories are not water tight categories, they do influence each other and the greening of the environmental relations in a particular context is result of complex interplay among these different categories of environmentalism. Environmentalism implies,


the ways in which different actors engage with environmental concerns, environmental values and the physical environment. We will explore how different developmental models engaged with the question of environment. How environmentalism emerged in relation to the developmental models. How the state-led environmentalism can be understood in the Indian context? How has the market-based mechanism engaged with the question of environment and natural resources? Similarly, how other actors’, such as common masses, civil society groups, and citizens deals with the environment? Before moving ahead, we will discuss the state-­ led environmentalism, market environmentalism and community led environmentalism in the subsequent section. State led environmentalism denotes the ways in which the state has engaged with the environmental question. We wish to bring the state back in environmental politics (Duit et al. 2016). State is a key conceptual category which has shaped the debate on environment over the years. No debate on environmentalism would be complete, without evaluating the role of the state in shaping societies relationships with the natural environment. We will analyse how state using its c­ oercive and faciliatory powers through administrative and regulatory structures shapes the human-­ environment relationship. Even though, the role of non-state actors and networks have increased several folds over the years, but that has not completely diminished the role of state actors and institutions. How new constellations of state actors and networks are emerging to deal with the question of sustainable development? What role have  they played in shaping the developmental discourse over natural resource use in India? How has the legislative, executive and judiciary engaged with the environmental discourse? What were the influence of all these state apparatuses on the market and community-based approaches of environmental governance? Market environmentalism refers to the idea that market-based approaches are the solution to environmental problems. Scoones (2016:300) states that, “market-led solutions aim to get the prices right, resulting in incentives to conserve,

A. Sharma

protect, and assure sustainability.” Market environmentalism contends that command and control based regulatory policies of the state are inadequate and inappropriate for addressing environmental pollution and efficient governance of natural resources (Cordato 1997). Market environmentalism promotes the idea of property rights and emphasize that property rights should be clearly defined and enforced. In such conditions, the “free market” will allow individuals and firms to make efficient decisions for using and governing natural resources. Stavins and Whitehead (1992) argue that command and control regulations are costly and economically inefficient. Environmental protection can be achieved through a decentralized market-­ based mechanism. In their opinion, firms and individuals can make the best decisions to protect and conserve the environment, if the right financial incentives are created. The market for carbon offsets and carbon trading, payment for ecosystem services and ecological modernisation of industries occurred employing the idea of market environmentalism. It was argued that market environmentalism would lead to green growth (Jänicke 2012), which will ensure resource-­ efficient, cleaner and resilient growth without slowing it (Hallegatte et al. 2011). However, others argue that commoditization of nature and financialization of nature occurs due to market-­ based approaches and it fails to deliver sustainability (Bakker 2010; Kenis and Lievens 2015; Scoones 2016). We will analyse, how market environmentalism got shaped in India over the last few decades and how it interacts with other varieties of environmentalism. Environmentalism of the community deals with the ways in which common public and communities engage with nature. Community based environmentalism is one of the most well represented view of environmentalism from the global south (Gadgil and Guha 1995; Guha and Matinez-­ Alier 1997). Initially, environmental historians from the global north argued that, environmentalism of the poor is a paradox. It was argued that poor are not “green” because they lack awareness and they do not have the means to invest in environmental protection (Guha and Matinez-Alier

9  The Environment and Development Debate in India: The “Greening” of Developmental Discourse

1997). Environmentalism in those days, was seen as mark of affluence. Inglehart (1981) argued that environmentalism in the  west was a result of post-materialist values. The developing countries does not have environmentalism, as they were still struggling to deal with questions of development and economic growth. The PM of India, Indira Gandhi in a UN speech in 1972 stated that “Are not poverty and needs the biggest polluter?”3 Scholars from the developed world and politicians from developing world have denied the idea of environmentalism of the poor or community led environmentalism till the 1970s. Later on, several studies evinced that, how the poor and marginalised communities in the global south has engaged with nature and they produced a rich literature on environmentalism of the poor (Gadgil and Guha 1995;  Matinez-Alier 1997; Guha and Matinez-Alier 1997: Baviskar 1997; Matinez-­ Alier 2012). Most of these studies, focused on poor, subalterns’ groups, which was termed as “empty-belly” environmentalism by Guha and Matinez-Alier (1997). Only lately, few studies analysed the middle-class environmentalism in India (Mawdsley 2004; Véron 2006). The size of  the middle class in India has significantly increased during the last three decades. Their size, consumption behaviour and influential role in the setting the developmental agenda puts disproportionate influence on the environmental discourse. In this background, we will analyse the varieties of environmentalism emerging from the bottom; which are led by community actors and individuals.

State Led Environmentalism After the independence of the country, the state continued to follow the old colonial pattern of resource management (Saberwal and Rangarajan 2003). According to Swain (1997), the National Forest Policy of 1952 followed the Forest Policy of 1894 in which the state reinforced its exclusive control over the management and protection of accessed on Aug 5, 2019.



the forests. The forest dwellers and their rights over the natural resources were ignored by the state bureaucracy (mostly forest departments). During the early decades, the focus of the state was on protecting the wildlife and forest areas. According to Guha (2000), in the 1947, India had less than a half dozen wildlife reserves, which crossed the 400 mark by 2000. Most of these wildlife parks were established in the 1970s. One of the major scientific programmes for the conservation of wild fauna was initiated in 1973, i.e., the project tiger (Rangarajan 1996; Saberwal and Rangarajan 2003). Apart from forests, water resources and agriculture got prominence in the policy discourse in the early years after the independence. During the first five-year plan (1951–1955), around 29% of the budget was allocated to irrigation and India planned to build 160 large dams (Swain 1997). The multi-purpose projects led by the state was supposed to take care of irrigation requirements of the agrarian sector, control floods and provide energy for the growing industrial sector. Massive dam projects included, the Bhakra Nangal on Sutlej river in North, Hirakud on Mahanadi and Damodar River Valley project on Damodar river in the East and Nagarjunasagar on Krishna in the South. The multi-purpose projects have left a lasting impression on the developmental trajectory of India. Instead of solving all the developmental woes, new dynamics emerged, such as inter-state river dispute, environmental damage by submergence, farmer agitation over the use of water (Baviskar 1995; Roy 1999; D’Souza 2006). By the 1970s, water pollution started emerging as a major concern (Guha 2000). The initial environmental policies in India in the 1970s were formulated to deal with water pollution. Later on, several other environmental policies were formulated. For instance, India enacted the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act in 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act in 1981, the Environment Protection Act in 1986, the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rule in 1989, Coastal Zone Regulations in 1991, the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations in 1994. As a culmination of the state actor’s engagement with the envi-

A. Sharma


ronment, finally the central government of India established the Ministry of Environment and Forest in 1985, which is now renamed as Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The state led environmentalism, which was started in the 1970s was a result of the global environmental stewardship (Jasanoff 2004; Sharma 2017a) and a response to pressure emanating from the local environmental movements emerging in various parts of the country. The period between the 1970s and 1990s also saw the engagement with the energy question at the state level. The Commission for Additional Sources of Energy (CASE) was established in 1981 and later it became Ministry of Non-­ Conventional Energy Sources in 1992 and renamed as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in 2006. The energy security debate was intertwined with the environmental discourse  (Srivastava and Rehman 2006). As a result, the government of India has set the goal to move towards the renewables. India wants to shift from coal-based energy system to the renewables. For instance, according to reports, 10% of India’s total electricity output now comes from renewable power and the govt wish to increase this share to 40% by 2030.4 India is one of the best performer in renewable energy adoption among developing countries. During the last three decades, the Indian state actively participated in Climate Change discourse at the international level. The India government has supported different measures for mitigation and adaptation pathways to tackle climate change related changes (Sathaye et al. 2006). The Indian government established the National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008 and there is a growing body of climate related policy in India (Dubash et  al. 2013). Thaker and Leiserowitz (2014:107) argues that, “India’s concerns about increasing energy access and security, along with newer concerns about vulnerability to climate change and the international leadership aspirations of the Indian government, along with emer accessed on August 20 2019.

gence of new actors and institutions, has led to plurality of discourses” on climate change and mainstreaming of climate change concerns in the developmental policy. The government of India has aligned its national priorities with meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations.5 The SDG critically influence the developmental discourse in India. There is a  great overlap between the national priorities and SDG goals in terms of achieving, poverty reduction, zero hunger, water and sanitation goals, education and health goals, economic growth, clean energy and climate change related actions. The environmental policy-making was being done by the state actors earlier under the command and control model and after the 1990s under the neo-liberal regime. The economic assumptions of the different developmental models mostly remained intact and greatly influenced the market environmentalism and community led environmentalism. Apart from the role of legislative and executive branches of the state, in recent years, we also witnessed the rise of the judiciary in the environmental domain (Véron 2006). Increasingly, the judiciary is playing a critical role in shaping the environment and development discourse in India (Williams and Mawdsley 2006). The emergence of Public Interest Litigations (PIL) and Green Tribunals along with a plethora of laws to deal with resource use and governance indicates the active role played by the judiciary in determining the future of environmental politics and environmentalism in India (Rajamani 2007).

Market Environmentalism The idea of market environmentalism has started growing in India during the last two decades. Majority of the cases of market environmentalism is reported from the advanced economies. However, increasingly market environmentalism is coming up in India, China and in other devel-

4 accessed on August 20 2019.


9  The Environment and Development Debate in India: The “Greening” of Developmental Discourse

oping countries. With the opening of the economy in India in the 1980s and 1990s, a new era of market-led growth started. The domestic private firms and multinational corporations operational in India did not engage with the environmental questions before 2000. However, over the last two decades, several cases of market environmentalism came up in India. The market environmentalism in India was a result of increasing regulatory pressure from government and civil society actors and international engagement (Perkins 2007). The increased trade between India and foreign countries and the entry of foreign companies in Indian market further shaped the market environmentalism during the last two decades. Over the years, the government of India promoted several market-based mechanisms to increase the uptake of environmental technologies and address other environmental concerns, including global warming and climate change (Pfund 2003; Sarzynski et al. 2012; Shrimali and Tirumalachetty 2013). The renewable energy market is one such promising sector pushed by ideals of market environmentalism. India has achieved considerable competence in the green technology sector. India has developed a few globally leading private corporations in the wind and solar sectors. For instance, Suzlon Energy established in 1995 is  a leading private corporation in wind energy. Moser Baer established in 2005 is focused on Photo Voltic. There are several small manufacturers in both the wind and solar sector. Indian wind power sector is the fifth largest in the world (Lema and Lema 2012). In the solar sector, the government of India has aimed to install 100 GW by 2022 and a major contribution to achieve the target is expected to come from the domestic industry (Kar et  al. 2016). Indian private automobile industry is investing in electric and hybrid vehicles, which are promoted as the future of transportation. Mahindra Reva and Tata Motors are leading Indian corporations in the  hybrid vehicle category. Similar to the  green technology sector, India is also emerging as a potential market and leading exporter for environmental goods and services, which was non-existent two decades back (Van Son and Kalirajan 2013).


In the agricultural sector, GM crops were promoted based on the idea of ecological modernisation (Kumbamu 2006). It emphasized on the idea of “ecologization of economy” and “economization of ecology” (Mol 2000). Synthesis of economic and ecological ideas was sought, assuming that it will bring innovations in the market, which will address environmental concerns. The Agri-­ biotechnology sector, which was earlier dominated by public funded institutions, have been overtaken by private players over the last decade (Kumbamu 2006).6 How much economic and ecological benefits were derived from ecological modernization in India is a debatable point. However, market environmentalism showed that the private capital has also realigned their priorities in changing economic and environmental context. The market for payment to ecosystem services was the outcome of the idea of “economization of ecology” based on market-based approaches. The initiation of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) India chapter in 2011 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests was the outcome of this philosophy.7 In the last one-decade, a huge amount of literature was amassed on ecosystem services in India (Badola and Hussain 2005; Ninan and Kontoleon 2016). India too saw the upsurge of policy prescriptions for creating a market and mechanism for ecosystem services (Indira Devi et  al. 2017; Kumar et  al. 2019), which was its own limitations (Sharma 2017b). These initiatives by different players form the core of market environmentalism in India.

Community Led Environmentalism Two categories of community led environmentalism came forth over the last seven decades in India. The first category was coercive, where accessed on 20 Aug 2019. 7 accessed on 20 Aug 2019. 6 


local community came against state actors, business houses and other interest groups over issue of resource use and management. The second category was voluntary, where community actors presented an alternative way to engage with nature, resource use and environmental governance. In other words, in the first case environmentalism of community/citizens came in direct conflict with the state-led developmentalism and environmentalism of the state. Whereas, in the second case, environmentalism of the community/citizens did not directly confront the developmentalism and environmentalism of the state or the market. However, in many indirect ways, the environmentalism of the community continuously interacted with the environmentalism of other major players, especially the market and the state. The decades after independence was a period of hope. Even large displacement of common public for big infrastructural projects, such as Bhakra Nagal Dam, Hirakud Dam, and dispossession of land for establishing several public sector industries did not generate huge conflicts and discontent among the  general masses. Jawaharlal Nehru while speaking to villagers ­displaced by Hirakud Dam in 1948 stated that “If you are to suffer, you should suffer in the interest of the country” and later given another famous statement that “Dams are the temples of modern India” (Roy 1999). However, the era of hope started disappearing by the 1970s. The state-led Nehruvian model of centralised planning and growth led to a number of conflicts by the 1970s (Roy 1999; Swain 1997; Routledge 2003). By the 1970s small farmers, tribal groups, fisherfolks and many other subaltern communities started getting disenchanted from the state-led developmental models which marginalised and suppressed local communities (Routledge 2003). Predominantly, farmers, tribal groups and other marginalised societies in rural India suffered the most and paid the cost of the development. However, they did not benefit in the same proportion in comparison with other social groups. The livelihood, the socio-cultural identity and the “way of life” of the local masses was threat-

A. Sharma

ened by many of the state led developmental projects (Roy 1999). The 1970s saw the rise of environmental movements across the country over resource use in India, primarily along forests and water resources (Guha and Matinez-­ Alier 1997; Routledge 2003; Baviskar 2004; Mawdsley 2004). The conflicts over forest was for management and control over forest resources. The state agencies consistently ignored the subsistence-­based needs of local people for fuel, fodder and timber. Often, they have favoured commercial interests over local people interests. The Chipko (hug the trees) movement in the 1970s in Uttaranchal, India put the people (villagers) against the Forest Department in the Central Himalayas. Conflicts between villagers and forest department was also reported from Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra (Gadgil and Guha 1994). These conflicts finally led to the emergence of participatory Joint Forest Management in the 1990s (Bhattacharya et al. 2010) and further changes in forest policy in the later decades (Kumar et  al. 2015). Over the years, 106,482 Joint Forest Management Committees were established which covered 22 million hectares of forest land across 22 states of India (Bhattacharya et  al. 2010). However, Sundar (2000) argued that the “jointness” in the JFM was predetermined and it is not entirely participatory in nature. Whereas, others argued that it had yielded mixed results (Murali et al. 2003). In relation to forest resources management, the central question was over the control of resources. Increasingly, the state favoured the commercial interests, whereas tribal groups and villagers stood for customary rights over the forest products. The creation of many wild life sanctuaries and national parks based on “scientific conservation” models from the 1970s to 1990s led to more conflict between the state actors and forest dwellers. The displacement caused due to such projects was termed as conservation induced displacement (Kabra 2009). The idea of wildlife parks harnessed larger support from middle class urban dwellers and they became another stakeholder to the debate. The middle-class wildlife enthusiasts often stood against the demands of

9  The Environment and Development Debate in India: The “Greening” of Developmental Discourse

the local population over the use of forest resources. The other major cause of conflict and displacement was big dams (Gadgil and Guha 1994; Roy 1999; Routledge 2003). Many environmental movements and conflicts aroused over issue of water sharing and construction of big dams. The prominent ones are Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada), Silent Valley Case in Kerala, Koel Karo Dam in Bihar, Tehri Dam in Uttaranchal, Kaveri water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Naidu, Melluperiyar in Kerala (Gadgil and Guha 1994; Roy 1999) and many more big and small conflicts in later years. According to some estimates, more than 12 million people were displaced between 1951 and 1985 due to dam-related development (Gadgil and Guha 1994), whereas others have even projected a higher figure of dam-displaced people in India (Duflo and Pande 2007). India has the third higher number of dams, around 4000 large dams and many small ones (Ibid.). In many of these cases, a situation of conflict aroused between the state and the local communities. It predominantly remained a discourse on developmental models, where questions over resource control and  the role of the  local population in decision-making process were contested in different fora. Another major environmental conflict in the developmental discourse was about resource extractions (mostly from mines). Conflicts were reported from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Goa. Mines were crucial for the  industrial development of the newly industrialised country but it led to considerable environmental degradation. Most of the time, the conflicts were among the local villagers, who were the victims of environmental degradation and state or private owned mining companies (Gadgil and Guha 1994). One of the very recent conflicts was in Niyamgiri, where an indigenous tribe called Dongria Kondh fought against multi-national corporations (Vedanta Aluminium) and public sector companies of India. The MNC was planning to mine the bauxite ores (Jena 2013) in the tribal belt, which was eventually settled by a judgement of the Supreme Court of India. Conflicts over resource use were also reported from coastal areas, wet-


lands and in deep seas. In most of these cases, the skirmishes were over the use of the  common property  resources. For instance, traditionally, fisherfolk used to have customary rights over water resources, which was threatened by the introduction of private actors. One of the biggest industrial disaster (Bhopal Tragedy) of India also led to movement against industrial giants  (Jasanoff 2007). However, in cases of industrial pollution, often the environmental concerns were overpowered by public health concerns. Along with industrial pollution, air pollution too has increased over the years in major Indian cities. During the last two decades, a new phenomenon of middle-class “environmentalism” emerged in India, which was mostly missing before 2000 (Mawdsley 2004; Véron 2006). Most of the middle-class environmentalism revolved around issues faced in day to day life  by middle class urban dwellers in urban India. The middle-class environmentalism was mostly around resource use and management (water, urban forest, air  pollution, green  public places). The rise of public interest litigations on issues around “brown agenda” was the outcome of middle-class environmentalism in Indian cities (Mawdsley 2004). In recent years, India also witnessed elite environmentalism or celebratory environmentalism (Brockington 2008), in which elite sections of society got involved in the environmental protection campaigns.8 Community led ecological restoration was another major form of environmentalism which emerged over the years. These were some time coercive to state and market-based policies but often they were the result of voluntary actions of community towards managing the common property resources. Community led forestation (Apiko movement), water-shed management (Relegaon Siddhi) and agricultural revival (Zero Budget Farming) are few relevant examples (Gadgil and Guha 1994; Khadse et al. 2018). Most of these environmental movements drew inspirations from Gandhian values and thus often conceptualised under accessed on Aug 15, 2019



A. Sharma

Gandhian environmentalism. However, neo-­ capital, and political marginalisation of common traditionalist romanticism of several traditional masses happened along with economic growth practices of engaging with environment has also (Kohli 2007). Even though, at another level, the been reported over the years among middle class state-based regulations and policies kept engagand several other sections of society (Mawdsley ing with the environmental discourse emerging 2004). Religious and cultural values do shape the during these periods. The environment and sustainability debate in environmentalism in the global south. However, critical scholarship on this theme is hardly India cannot happen without addressing the inequality and equity related concerns. Those available. who engage with the question of inequality, such as social scientists and other actors, primarily ignored the environmental concerns. Whereas, Conclusion for long environmentalists representing the state The state-led Nehruvian socialism established and market interests failed to engage with the the role of the  state as the supreme arbitrator, question of inequalities and social justice. The manager and governor. It led to the growth of the inequalities are of different types, based on gendevelopmentalist state in India. The state led cen- der, class, caste, region and even religion. In the tralised growth model of the first few decades neo-liberal growth phase, the middle class “idea” after independence ignored the demand and of development is being portrayed as the voice of needs of the local populace in general. The domi- the nation. In this background, the bottom-up nant groups (middle-class, industrialists, policy environmentalism of the subaltern class come in makers) used the S&T led imaginaries of devel- direct conflict with the dominant imaginary and opment, which prioritised economy over envi- models of development. ronment and social justice. The economy grew at However, at the normative level, the state led a slow but steady rate. Socio-environmental con- environmentalism led to the emergence of multicerns were mostly neglected at the ground level. tude of organisations, networks, policies and The voice of the farmers and indigenous commu- laws dealing with environment. The state actors nities were increasingly got side-lined and re-­ asserted their “commitment” to the idea of susappropriated in many cases (Shah 2007; Reddy tainable development. Similarly, market environand Mishra 2010). As a result, by the 1970s, the mentalism promoted the idea of “green” growth. overpowering state was confronted by the com- However, the economic assumptions in decision-­ munity led environmentalism from the bottom. making processes in these models remained tied The bottom-up environmentalism was guided by to the  capitalist models of economic growth. Gandhian environmentalism, Marxist socio-­ The  revival of community-based institutions ecological movements and indigenous environ- based on traditional and indigenous knowledge mentalism (Gadgil and Guha 1994). As a result, system comes as footnote in the policy discourse. India achieved “growth without equity”. Recent scholarship has conceptualised commuThe introduction of market-based approaches nity led development, which has roots in from the 1980s onwards further strained this situ- Gandhian environmentalism and ecological ation. For a long period, no market environmen- Marxist movements as a degrowth model capable talism emerged in the country after the adoption of offering an alternate to capital dominated of market-based approaches. The focus remained growth models in context of global south (Gerber on economic growth and social justice and envi- and Raina 2018; Pansera and Owen 2018). ronmental sustainability did not achieved prior- Kothari et al. (2014) argued for ecological swaraj. ity. In the hegemonic neo-liberal economic In the indigenous models, “living with nature” is development post 1990s “economic growth” valued more than dominating nature for generatremained the primary goal! Economic inequali- ing profit. A number of movements (Zero Budget ties, stagnation in the job market, domination of Natural Farming, Development Alternatives,

9  The Environment and Development Debate in India: The “Greening” of Developmental Discourse

Vikalp Sangam, Radical Ecological Democracy) are taking place at the grassroots levels. These aim to explore alternatives to the existing growth models. The “sustainable development” discourse (Scoones 2016) is still at its nascent stage in India even after more than five decades of environmentalism shaping the developmental trajectory of the country. The economic growth models mostly emphasize on economic priorities of an emerging economy; whereas socio-environmental concerns remain at the periphery of this debate. The state led environmentalism adheres to technocratic vision and managerial fixes as the solution to emerging environmental challenges. The fundamental assumptions and basic premises of the developmental models do not adequately engage with issues of inter and  intragenerational social justice and environmental sustainability. The state-led environmentalism and market environmentalism fundamentally contradicts the values and principles of community-led environmentalism emerging at the grassroots level. Identifying the multiple pathways for sustainable development, which can achieve the twin challenge of “sustainability with equity” is the real challenge. Can the alternate environmentalism be mainstreamed in such a context is a question, which is worth pondering.

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The 2030 Agenda, the Territorial Dimension of Brazilian Development and the Drivers of Sustainability Transition 


Arilson Favareto



The chapter aims to analyze the practices and narratives about Brazil’s development in the beginning of the twenty-first century. The current model, based on the increasing of primary goods production, is criticized for its negative consequences, especially with regard to inequality and environmental impacts. However, in addition to this general characteristic, the country’s recent trajectory has also resulted in different regional profiles, making the search for alternatives more complex. The differences involve the degree of urbanization, economic diversification, and ways of using natural resources, giving rise to at least three major types of territories. The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals can be an opportunity for the emergence of new paths, especially if it manages a dialogue with this territorial diversity. For this, some vectors for an ecological transition and transformations already underway are presented.

Ecological transition · Agenda 2030 and sustainable development goals · Territorial development · Brazilian development model

A. Favareto (*) Federal University of the ABC Region (UFABC), São Paulo, Brazil Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (Cebrap), São Paulo, Brazil e-mail: [email protected]

Introduction The advance of climate change has made the idea of ecological transition become one of the main concerns of political leaders, the environmental movement and public administrators – although there is no scientific literature on the matter. Recently, similar works have been released, such as low carbon economy and, before that, sustainable development. So far, the best model can be found in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. It resulted from the Paris Agreement in 2015, conducted by the United Nations, in which many countries from different continents participated, including Brazil. Many goals were stablished for different social needs, for instance, poverty, marine life, inequalities, energy, employment and economic growth, among others (UN 2015). Government plans should strive to meet the milestones set by the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), since the State has already committed to them and, also, they represent a cohesive whole of results to

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,


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be achieved. However, in recent years, we have been going to the opposite direction, according to a recent document prepared by the Civil Working Group for the 2030 Agenda (2018). Besides the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) themselves, there is an invitation to create new narratives on how to reach growth, welfare and nature preservation. Moreover, one of the leading authorities on the subject, Robert Constanza et al. (2015), calls attention to the fact that a theory of change has not yet been created – one that shows which paths should be taken in order to reach the goals, for instance, which combination of public and private actions should be made or how to face a possible trade-off between the 2030 Agenda areas. To be congruent with this approach, the idea of ecological transition applied to the current Brazilian context should entail more than just addressing issues related to the sector agendas (environmental, agricultural/ agrarian, industrial, etc.). It suggests a substantial change in the relationships between society and nature and, with that, a qualitative shift in the way natural resources  – materials, energy, ecosystem services – are transformed into goods and services for the Brazilian population welfare. That is no small thing. In the Brazilian case, the specialization in an economic model, which increasingly depends on the agriculture of commodities, has compromised the natural resource base (mainly forests and biodiversity). In addition, it has caused a territorial division with different regional profiles, which, together, are unable to follow the same path in terms of sustainable development. Therefore, it is important to analyze recent lessons learned from track records and to look into future challenges in order to think about operating  drivers to bring about change to the commitments made in the 2030 Agenda. With regard to the recent past, it is correct to say that there was an ambiguous situation during the first 15 years of the twenty-first century. It is undeniable that there was more innovation in the regulatory apparatus, public policies and sector programs, reduction of deforestation and more actions to control environmental crimes and abuse. On the other hand, the natural resource

industry increased, there was an agenda of big infrastructure constructions  – many of them enhanced the impact on traditional populations and nature – and there was more dependency on fossil resources. As a consequence, the idea of an ecological transition in the future needs to go beyond reediting what was done before or reinforcing previous adopted measures, otherwise, these ambiguities may expand. Thus, it is necessary to rediscuss the topic of ecological transition according to the strategies and priorities of a  Brazilian development model. A truly new development will need to overcome the challenges of the lived experience.1 As for the future, Brazil’s international plan faces contradictory incentives that can reinforce the dilemma and ambiguities from the past decade: they can strengthen the exportation of primary goods or the emergence of a new economy. In terms of increased specialization in production of commodities, it is expected to see a population and economic growth that points to a more “Asian and African” world. Since they are continents with high poverty rates, this growth and eventual rise in income has a tendency to be transformed into a bigger demand for primary exports  from Brazil and Latin American countries. As for fostering a new economy, the middle class from richer countries or emerging economies have new consumption styles (the most well-known style is organic products, but it is not the only one). There is also an ongoing technological revolution, expanding and diversifying the use of natural resources (not only new forms of energy production, but also biodiversity usage, appreciation and payment for ecological services). The temptation is to take advantage of the best of each opportunity. Nonetheless, simply trying to accommodate both incentives by joining them would result in something close to a squizophrenic strategy, since the advance of one undermines the basis of the other. All in all, it is not See Abramovay (2010, 2012) for essays on the Brazilian development in the 2000s and about the ambiguities of the technological gains in terms of environmental agenda and inequalities.


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possible to make a trajectory towards an ecological transition which is coherent to the twenty-first century if the industrial and regional policies make long-term investments in typical sectors from the twentieth century, such as: agricultural commodities, ore, fossil energy sources or energy generated from hydraulic and mechanical systems and traditional car industry. It is also not possible if there is a policy that stimulates the advance of the agricultural frontier to the Amazon forest, resulting in a deforestation similar to the one that occurred in the Cerrados (a tropical savanna ecoregion in Brazil). In both cases, there was a raise in intraregional inequalities. These sectors are important for the international position Brazil has today, but the tendency is to reduce their strategic insertion to generate value and to be part of the technological frontier in the next decades. Betting everything on this would mean reinforcing the position of technological subordination in the conditions of future international trade exchanges. The regional question also falls into this. Based on the milestones of the model proposed here, the classic contrast between the Northern and Southern parts of Brazil will probably not make sense anymore. Little by little, at least three regional profiles will be consolidated. First, the Amazon and Semi-arid Brazil, with weak economies, great concentration of poverty, ongoing internal inequalities compared to the rest of the country and economic flows that depend on public transfers. Second, the Central-West with a dynamic economy based on commercial agriculture  advancing towards the south of the Amazon forest and the so-called Matopiba Region, with a positive  impact retricted to  its main centers and    severe contradictions in their social and environmental agendas. Last, the South and great part of the Southeast with diversified economies, the best welfare indicators and with high levels of inequality. To sum up: the country is experiencing  an economic reprimarization process, concentrated  industrialization and the emergence of a “tertiarization” heavily dependent on public transfers.  This classification hides intraregional diversities: there are pockets of poverty in the South and small areas of industrialization in the


Northeast. The expectations that  the industrialization of the South-Central parts of the country would gradually spread  to the countryside, or that  the wealth generated by agricultural sector could positively affect the transformation industry, or even create an advanced tertiary sector, are simply not  ocurring. It is mandatory to rethink the development model and its territorial implementation. The two main parts of this text seek to bring more evidence for these claims and to present a set of elements that could sustain the ecological transition  drivers. In the first part, we present reflections regarding the international and national contexts and how they influenced the State’s actions. In the second part, we present innovative vectors on public policies and the formulation of policies coordination as examples of what can be done so that the country avoids falling into the trap of comparative advantages. Moreover, we put the country in the context of construction of new comparative advantages, according to the ecological transition requirements and the 2030 Agenda’s main message.

Where Are We? The modern Brazilian crisis was sparked by the 2007/2008 global financial crisis. During the following years, Brazil’s economy was still stable. However, little by little, the commodities price drop in the international market influenced the funding of a social development model, implemented during the Worker’s Party (PT) government. So far, it was possible to increase the poor’s income and credit availability and invest in the infrastructure expansion. After 2012, the economy started to face difficulties which would result in stagnation and, then, recession followed by political crisis and deteriorating after 2014.2 Due to this situation, some supporters of the last decade’s model argue that the problem is not on the political agenda itself, but on the context of See Singer (2012, 2015) and Bresser Pereira (2015) for a more consistent and detailed analysis of the Brazilian political and economic context.



international crisis – which may have propitiated the institutional coup that resulted in Dilma Rousseff’s deposition. In practical terms, after the crisis, the conditions that favored the twenty-­ first century’s (1st decade) success would be restored. Nevertheless, those conditions are unlikely to exist again and, even if they do, it would not  be sufficient to reestablish the 2000s agenda. Repeating the context of high appreciation for agricultural commodities in the international market may be possible, but, according to experts, it is not the most likely scenario. It is a fact that the global growth will be boosted by Asian countries, starting with China, and that means a certain demand is guaranteed for Brazilian primary goods. However, these countries’ pace of growth will not be as exponential as in the previous decade, particularly China, which has been changing its economic  growth style. The economic expansion has been making way for a governmental planning that deals with moderate projections – growth is no longer more than 10% a year, but “only” about 7%. Although rapid growth reduced poverty and increased industrialization, it was followed by strong inequality. As a consequence, this high level of inequality may hinder the system and create conflicts and questioning. In addition, the election of President Trump in the USA promised to review international trade rules, which would decrease the demand for Chinese products. If China exported less, it would grow less and require less raw materials from Latin American countries. The consequence for Brazil is that it would still stimulate the market, but the commodities would not receive the same payment they did compared to the last decade.3 It is the worst of both worlds: incentives to specialize brazilian economy in primary goods with low monetary compensation. It is not desirable to specialize in commodities exports due to well-known facts. First, historically, primary goods have a falling trend in price compared to manufactured goods, which makes a country export more and more primary goods to See Fabiano Escher et al. (2015) for the recent evolution of the Chinese experience and its standards. 3 

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import the same quantity of manufactured goods with high technology, resulting in a permanent imbalance. Second, there is no local control over commodity prices, which are determined by international markets and by competition with other producing countries. Third, there is greater susceptibility to crises in the buying countries, reflecting internal constraints in exporting countries, such as Brazil. Finally, but perhaps more importantly, an economy that specializes in exporting primary goods ceases to sophisticate its productive structure, with less importance  to transformation and support activities. The consequences are negative in terms of incomes and investments internalization and for  the emergence of other social sectors and organizations representing more diversified segments, which is something fundamental to reduce the political and economic weight of primary goods producers. This is shown by the work of brazilian economists such as Paulo Gala (2016) or Bresser Pereira (2015), and in line with the latest contributions of major authors of  development economics, such as Acemoglu and Robinson (2014) or Douglass North et al. (2009) – for which the decentralization of wealth and power are on the basis of lasting cycles of economic growth with expansion of welfare, because they prevent the capture of State incentives and public fund allocation. The unwanted consequences of specialization in commodity exports involves, therefore, productive aspects and aspects related to the social classes structure. It involves not only international insertion, but also the conditions to build a solid, complex and resilient economy. Due to these reasons, the specialization in exporting commodities is not desirable, even with the attractiveness of obtaining short-term incomes. And in the long run it would still raise one more question, related to the Chinese investments in Africa. The climatic conditions allow the production of soybeans and meats in that continent with potentially inferior costs to those that involve Brazilian exports, for example with transportation. Would it be reasonable or prudent to imagine that the Chinese will depend on Brazil as a major supplier in the same current patterns for decades to come?

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The international context brings other aggravating issues. The international position Brazil has strived for in the last century (from President  Vargas'mandate, in the 1930s to that of President Lula, in the 2000s), has been occupied by Asian countries, specially China and South Korea since de 1980s. The European and American economies are based today  on advanced tertiary sectors, high technology and financialization of their economy. Asian economies occupy the production of consumer goods market, for example with the car industry, electronics and other manufactured goods. At last, Latin American countries are undergoing a process of reprimarization, despite all the effort for development in the last 80 or 90 years. The process of exportation reprimarization is accompanied by the “tertiarization” of domestic economy, with  the new  jobs and expressive part of income being created particularly by the commerce and services sector. However, it is not an advanced trade and services sector, linked to industrial production sectors, such as in Europe and the USA. It is not a service sector that is created after the ripening of industrialization, at least not in most part of the country. It is a tertiary sector that is bustling with  low technology-­ intensive services, which is not preceded or accompanied by widespread industrialization. A process that, precisely for this reason, the economist Dani Rodrik (2015) called premature deindustrialization. In the face of the industry’s decline in exports and the price drop in commodities, how to continue financing social policy and the expansion of investments in public equipment and infrastructure that marked the pinnacle of Latin American progressivism? This tertiary sector, although intensive in labor, does not sustain itself precisely because, instead of being driven by the other productive sectors (agriculture and industry), it is pulled mainly by the expansion of State’s social expending, now shaken by the ­fiscal crisis stemming from the new commodity price condition. Other elements (long term) from the international context also represent challenges for Latin America, specially Brazil. In terms of environment, one of the tendencies for the future is the


transition to a low carbon economy. China has been investing in changes for its energy mix and in solar energy and it has acquired international biotechnology companies. This is a specific example, but it represents a general worldwide movement to substitute fossil energy sources and materials for more varied and renewable sources. The demand for materials based on biodiversity, biomass and bioenergy tends to increase – these are the three “Bs” Ignacy Sachs (2007) postulated decades ago in his essays about Transition Strategies for the twenty-first century. Furthermore, the demand for agricultural and livestock products and water shortage make the investment on Latin American natural resources highly  attractive. This is the reason why the Chinese have been acquiring lands in the African continent and expanding their investments in Latin America and why American and Canadian pension funds have also been investing in areas that allow them to control natural resources in Brazil. This process is known as  land grabbing and it has called the attention of many international researchers; for the Brazilian case a mention should be made to the studies of Sauer and Leite (2016). The process of natural resources foreignization threatens what could be the new door for Brazil in the new  international economy  organization  – a high technology matrix based on new uses of natural resources, apart from commodities. Moreover, the wealthiest countries in the world have been concerned about how they will reequate their internal social cohesion. According to Thomas Piketty (2014), in “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, after more than half a century reducing inequalities thanks to the European social welfare state, the last 20 or 30  years have been marked by a reversion of these gains in that region. Inequality levels have been similar to the ones observed in the period before the World Wars. This stems mainly from the new conditions of the international capitalism: the microelectronics revolution decreased the number of workers and the financial sector has become the dynamic center of accumulation. This sector employs few people and does not offer substantial contribution to the production of


material goods related to welfare. It is no longer necessary to capitalists expand  consumer markets, because its reproduction is guaranteed with only a part of the world population consuming or with the gains obtained from the financial market. The result is a structural exclusion that can be seen in the high levels of unemployment. For example, in Spain, almost a quarter of the population and around 50% of the young adults are unemployed. It can also be seen in the struggle to keep financing social policies that guarantee the welfare acquired in the post-­war period – during the so-called “Golden Age” of capitalism – and the reduction of inequality. This is the social contract breach, which explains events from nationalist conservative parties, such as: Brexit, Trump’s election, rise in discourses against immigrants and xenophobia. Because of that, Ignacy Sachs stated that the modern world presents themes and issues that are different from the ones seen in the twentieth century (Sachs 2009). According to him, it is due to this difference that the twentieth century’s big narratives or social organization projects are no longer feasible. We are sitting on top of what is left from the three social organization models that society has created during the last 100 years. Real socialism sought to elevate the levels of the social welfare in the countries where it was established. However, this model was not combined with political democracy and diversity or pluralism. Although it has fostered leaps in productivity and economic competitiveness, it was not able to sustain this growth in the long-term. On the other hand, liberalism does not offer good solutions for economic growth, environmental and social issues in the long term. Liberalism sought to live with democratic regimes and, many times, allowed for a balance in public finances. Nevertheless, liberalism increased inequality, it did not contribute to social welfare and it did not lead to long-lasting economic cycles. After a few years, the social costs appear and the population demands change. Social democracy seems to have been able to balance characteristics from the two previous models: policies applied in democratic regimes, which enabled a long-lasting growth and increased welfare. Nonetheless, the

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accomplishment of the social democracy’s success compromised the basis for its maintenance. Technological innovations decrease employment and undermined the expansion of this economic model and politics. It has worked for 30  years and now it does not. In order to face the twenty-first century challenges, societies worldwide should seek new narratives and social organization models that are compatible with this new context. It is already possible to see the signs of new narratives. It is not a coincidence to see the rise in sustainable development discourses in the midst of those three narratives’ crises. Recently, the international agreement that revolves around the Sustainable Development Goals, represents an attempt to expand the Millennium Development Goals, focusing on fighting global poverty and presenting variables to the environmental, inequality and economic growth aspects. It is soon to say that this new narrative will go as far as the previous ones, since it is generic and there is a lack of consistent forms of governance that are in tune with those new discourses. However, at least the SDGs are able to put new themes on the table,  even though there is still no answer about them. In this scenario, where is Brazil at? The Brazilian context is marked by a brutal inversion of expectations. The Economist published in the end of 2000s an edition with Rio’s Christ the Redeemer skyrocketing in the cover, with the headline “Brazil takes off”. The Brazilian economy had been growing on an average of 4% a year. Poverty decreased significantly. The recently discovered pre-salt oil reserves promised a wealthier future and there were plenty of jobs. The country was chosen to host major international sports events, increasing its visibility. Few years later, Lula and his party started to become the target of major street demonstrations and court cases that prevent them from being eligible. The same magazine published in 2013  a new cover with the same statue now spiraling downwards, with the headline: “Has Brazil blown it?”. The economy was unstable, inflation and public finances extrapolate goals, poverty reduction slows down, unemployment increases and sectors, that used to support the government, stop

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doing so. Due to this context, the institutional crisis sparked off and led to former President Dilma Roussef’s deposition. At the end of the same decade the economy is unstable and social indicators do not improve. It is not possible to say when the crisis will end, but it is possible to analyze the past decade and understand what we can learn from it and which challenges we need to face to start a new cycle. The answer to that is not simple, but some elements need to be brought to attention. The first one is that the decade from 2000 to 2010 was undeniably successful in terms of economic growth, substantial reduction of poverty and inequalities, as it was mentioned before. These improvements came from before, but they were intensified in the 2000s – specially, in terms of expansion throughout the national territory. However, in terms of income inequality, there is a significant number of municipalities in the North and Northeast where inequality remained stable or even increased compared to the rest of the country (Favareto et al. 2014). According to the data gathered by Medeiros (2015) and Morgan (2017), labor income has also gotten better, but  if  wealth and properties are considered, inequality has increased in aggregate terms in the country in the same period. It is also important to highlight that even with all the progress seen in these various indicators, the North-South inequality in the country remains. Or, more than that, what was seen in the past decade with an economy mainly pulled by the tertiary sector and agriculture, was the consolidation of certain regional profiles, with three predominant patterns.  If we compare  levels of income, welfare and inequality are compared, we see that in a large blot involving most of the cities in the North and Northeast, even with all the advances, the lowest levels of income and welfare still prevail. Despite the high income and variable inequality, municipalities with low l­ evels of welfare also remain in the central portion of Brazil. In the South-Southeast potion of Brazil, there is a mixture of two types of municipalities: those combining good income and welfare indicators with low inequality and those with an equally expressive number of good income and


welfare indicators combined with high inequality levels. That is, in Central Brazil, the great challenge is to convert the high income into greater welfare; in the South-Southeast region, the biggest problem is facing the inequality remains in many cities; and, in the North-Northeast region, the issue is still improving all aspects, decreasing the gap between these regions and the South-­ Southeast regions. Therefore, Brazil has not experienced one style of development in recent years, but several, or one with heterogeneous results in different parts of the territory. The third aspect, that marks the recent trajectory, is the stagnation of the recent cycle. Two indicators show how Brazil’s performance was declining. Since 2012, poverty reduction has disrupted the optimistic trajectory it had been experiencing, starting with stabilization and a slight increase in the number of poor people. Due to the fact that it is not only called the “hard core” of poverty, which is more difficult to revert, but it is also due to the context of greater fiscal restriction that has reached the State’s ability to continue with the same tone in its social policy. Recent data shows that with the deepening of the crisis, 4.1 million people have entered or returned to the condition of poverty only in 2015 (IPEA/UNDP/ FJP 2017). Similarly, the economic growth lost momentum over Dilma Rousseff’s first term, it became stagnant and, under Temer’s mandate, it entered recession. These elements are responsible for wearing out the support of the governments during that period and for laying the ground for the allegations of corruption. These allegations had already begun in Lula’s first term and, then, they found echo in wider sectors of the population. That means it was not the political crisis that ignited the economic crisis. There was a situation in which the deterioration of economic indicators undermined the authority and support of the government, transforming itself into a systemic crisis, in which the political, economic and even moral aspects began to influence each other negatively. It is obvious that there was a coordinated movement from the opposition, which influenced the crisis and Dilma Rousseff’s deposition. However, it is necessary to look at the fragility of the model that opened doors for conflicts

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of interests within the Brazilian society. The result of this kind of finding is that it would not be enough to stop the political crisis so that the economic aspect had a good performance. This is a structural crisis, which requires restoration in both areas. So far, this is something that has not been achieved. The fourth aspect to be highlighted is the decisive characteristic of the Brazilian social policy in the indicators’ improvement. In 2014, retirements and pensions accounted for approximately 340 billion reais annually, directly benefiting 31 million people and more than 100 million indirectly. It would take almost 100 PAAs (Food Acquisition Program) and PNAEs (National School Meals Program) added or 20 Pronafs (National Program for Strengthening Family Farming) to reach the similar number. If only the rural retirement resources were considered, it would be necessary to double the so-called rural productive programs to achieve the same level of investment. The economy of a large part of the country’s small municipalities is based on commerce and services activities  that are largely driven by this type of resources and public transfers. So, it is clear that it is not only the income of many families, but also the economy of entire regions that depend on Brazilian social policy. It is for this reason that the change in the rules of social investment, such as the recent constitutional amendment limiting the expansion of public spending, has an overwhelming impact, not only on the social, but also economic indicators of the Brazilian countryside. The current unemployment rates, higher in the Northeast, are clear reflection of this. The context of fiscal austerity tends to further sharpen these aspects. This decisive character of social policy can also be observed in the analysis of the sectoral composition of local economies: municipalities, where industrial participation remains in the economy’s value, are relatively restricted; how the economy of Central Brazil is heavily linked to agriculture and livestock; and the economy of the municipalities of the Semiarid and the Amazon regions is based in the commerce and services sector. The presence of the tertiary sector is also strong in the Southern part of the coun-

try, but there this sector has more links with industrial activities, resulting in well-paid and good jobs. In the Northern portion of Brazil, the commerce and services sector is heavily dependent on the mass of resources from public transfers of various types, since the agricultural and industrial production are fragile.

Possible Transition Drivers It is clear that the current context does not allow Brazil to give up its current comparative advantages. The importance of pre-salt oil or the prominent position Brazil occupies in the international trade of meats and grains cannot be ignored. The issue is not to abandon the current comparative advantages, but to use them in order to build new competitive advantages in a twenty-first century economy. With some relative differences regarding the resource base, it is this kind of transition that has been conducted by China in the recent period. This is the kind of transition that Brazil will need to make. An operation of this size involves ample effort. At least four large drivers would need or could be mobilized that much. They are mentioned below as examples, not as prescriptions. Because an operation of this nature involves an agreement between the country’s main social forces. Something similar to what was done in the beginning of the urbanization and industrialization cycle, which lasted from the 1930s until the mid-1980. Or later, since 1988 until recently, with the cycle that had the expansion of rights and citizenship and the construction of democratic institutions in the context post military dictatorship. The presentation of these ideas is made in a clear dialogue with the Brazilian State’s public policy agenda.

Territorial Planning Policy It is simply impossible to coordinate a development agenda from an ecological transition perspective without a strong territorial planning policy. It is astonishing that Brazil does not have a territorial planning policy, when one thinks of

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its complexity, continental dimensions and the absolutely strategic character of its borders and its resource base. Such a policy implies the harmonization of a set of parts today organized by sections, which depend on a centralized action of the federal government. The result is that, in the face of eventual changes of government, this coordination effort fails, because it is anchored in the ruler’s political will and not in a solid institutional architecture, as it has been seen in recent years, post-coup. A territorial planning policy should rule and command sectoral plans such as the 10-year or 20-year energy expansion plans, mining, among others. It should also update, integrate and harmonize existing territorial planning instruments such as the City Statute, the legislation on the urban plan installment, coastal management and Land Statute and land regularization. This type of action, besides submitting sectoral interests to a logic of social and territorial cohesion, it would enable the management  of certain tensions we have today. It would define the complementarity between spaces of social participation and those for veto, and a balance involving command and control actions with others concerning social concertation.

Improvement of Programs and Policies that Already Exist or Have Been Tried Since the Constitution of 1988 and during the first decade of the twenty-first century, several programs have been created and they can be strengthened, enlarged or  improved. The Bolsa Verde program is an example: it was an important innovation, but with restricted range and only partially connected to other initiatives. The same goes for the implementation of the program Brazil Without Extreme Poverty (Brasil sem Miséria). Rural Land Tax is another clear example of something inefficient, which few people know about. In a fiscal restriction context, it would be essential to introduce a legislation to burden the speculative sector and discourage negative environmental and social impacts. Land


taxation could be neutral at first for the most productive sectors and diminishing in terms of benefiting producers who make a more efficient use of natural resources, both socially and environmentally speaking, but on the other hand, it could be progressive for  those who concentrate land ownership without generating positive social and environmental effects. The same goes for the existing public funding funds and several other programs and policies. The important thing is to put the adjustments in line with the requirements of an ecological transition.

 arly Management of Socio-­ E environmental Conflicts Recent experiences such as the highway BR163 and the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant have brought an attempt to associate the mitigation and compensation for the impacts of these works with more structural plans and investments related to the development of its surrounding areas, in order to protect or benefit the resident populations. The results, however, are at least controversial. Part of this is due to the fact that it is very difficult to manage the dynamics triggered by the enormous demographic and resource flows mobilized by these works. The other part is due to the fact that there is little strategic thinking for the development of the regions in conflict. Most of the time there are lists of investments extremely important, but of immediate character aimed at compensating the structural deficit accumulated in public equipment and social services. Nonetheless, the plans to expand investments in the agricultural, livestock, mining and energy sectors allow us to design a potential map of socio-environmental conflicts that should occur in the next 20  years. The creation of Natural Conservation units in strategic positions to contain or slow down the advance of the agricultural/livestock expansion was an important step, but this is not enough. There is a need for a special plan for these areas in order to prepare them for a transition in their territorial organization, strengthening their social and economic ties and creating new opportunities to the face the

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challenges to come. In other cases, it is even the case of avoiding these new works and activities, such as new large hydroelectric dams in the Amazon region, which should be replaced by new sources of energy. These new sources are becoming increasingly viable thanks to the reduction of costs from the associated technologies, for example, the expansion of wind energy in Brazil or solar energy in other countries.

New Productive Model This is a central aspect. Today’s the most dynamic Brazilian economy sectors should need more conditions and better environmental incentives. The sectors still incipient and more consistent with a twenty-first century economy would need to be emulated in a less timid and punctual way. This involves a legal and fiscal architecture that overcharges the natural resources sectors and generators of high environmental impact and finances the emerging and more efficient sectors that are social and environmentally friendly. This also involves a scientific and technological policy capable of generating the necessary innovations, facing an array of solutions and decreasing production costs. Moreover, it involves the construction of markets for these innovations and new ways of using natural resources. Four sector groups would need to receive special attention and guidelines: agriculture/livestock and food, energy and mining, transport, and car, chemical and biotechnology industries. It is possible and necessary to change the ways they use materials and energy, their technological models, taxation and incentives and the market’s access and organization. For example, the enormous Brazilian potential in solar and wind energy can be seen, and much of this potential is in areas of low economic dynamics and poor populations. However, there is little connection between these three dimensions in this sector’s institutional architecture. Another example is that Brazil has created dozens of new universities and hundreds of technology institutes, most of them in the country’s inland regions. But what is the relationship between these universities, technology insti-

tutes and the basic and intermediaty levels of education network in these regions? Or, what is the relationship between this scientific and technological base and the generation of strategic projects, for example, one that connects the network of middle cities in the countryside and its surroundings? One last example is the crucial problem of transportation in Brazil, urban or cargo. Will we continue to bet on the same paths of the twentieth century? Can new systems, new forms of fuels, new  modes  of transportation emerge as answers? The naval industry and biodiesel program experiences have given us lessons on the ways goods and services are connected, stimulating changes in the productive base, generation of employments and social inclusion. At the international level, the best example is South Korea, where there was a strong connection between asset distribution, a new scientific and technological base and a planned industrial transition perspective. Korea did so in the transition from capitalism supported by the production of mass consumer goods to the context of capitalism supported by microelectronics. It went from being a peripheral country to having industrial and technological power. Brazil will also need to do so, but now in the context of the transition from post-industrial capitalism to a society capable of confronting inequality and environmental problems in its transition strategies. As opposed to concerns to be dealt a posteriori or merely through redistributive mechanisms – it is necessary to make the production of wealth, goods and services for welfare, more environmentally efficient.

 s a Conclusion – Which Social A Coalition Forces? In the previous pages, we sought to introduce three central ideas. First, that the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs mean an invitation to think about new relationships between society and nature by placing the expansion of welfare and the conservation of natural resources at the center, which implies rethinking of development styles worldwide. Second, in the specific case of Brazil, our

10  The 2030 Agenda, the Territorial Dimension of Brazilian Development and the Drivers…

recent trajectory seems to go against the commitments discussed in the Paris Agreements in 2015. In our case, two challenges are added: the one shared with the other nations of the world, related to the new standards mentioned above, and the second related to our trajectory, a specialized economy and dependent on the commodities exports. Third, the idea that a transition towards another model, here qualified as an ecological transition, could be supported by a small set of vectors. It is worth noting that the drivers  mentioned here focus both on a set of sectors and a set of spaces. This is particularly important because it exemplifies the need, importance and feasibility of considering intersectoral and multiscale approaches to rethink the Brazilian development model and the transition prospects. This type of approach is quite different from a narrative that has been used, for example, by part of the managers and regional development policies experts. According to this approach, it would be necessary to respect the productive specialization trajectory and the technological model of certain regions and concentrate on building new competitive advantages in other regions. In other words, this dominant  narrative considers, for example, that there is no need or space to rediscuss the agricultural/livestock specialization model in central Brazil, efforts should be made in terms of encouraging new potentials in the Amazon, Semiarid and other areas with less competitiveness, since there would be room for various models to coexist. This idea ignores the long-term costs of today’s model or even the immediate social costs. Unlike this narrative, the focus is to approach a transition trajectory, even within those regions. A trajectory in which new sectors need to be created, and traditional sectors will certainly continue to exist, but they would need to operate on new and more sustainable bases, such as agribusiness, mining or the energy sector. It is essential to think of a new coalition of social forces capable of supporting and sustaining this new agenda, otherwise, what has been said so far is impossible to be achieved. This is


the most complex task and it is where good plans often wreck. It is necessary to show who wins and who loses. A transition implies throwing away old interests, without the existence of a solid basis for the new order. One of the problems is that we often still conform to the typical interests of the twentieth century capitalism: the national industrial capital and “the” middle class. It would be the case to ask whether this sector still exists in an internationalized and financialized capitalism, or if a good part of this capital can be easily reproduced in the financial circuits, without the risking production. Who are the carriers of innovations and interests associated with an ecological transition in the Brazilian economy today? Similarly, is there a single middle class in Brazil today or is it heterogeneous to see advantages in a transition of this kind? Finally, it is necessary to think about territorial actors: most mayors of small and medium-sized cities think they are being penalized with the productive model and the money collection structure. It is not uncommon for local elites, in the commodity production regions, to complain about the losses associated with the tax exemption for agricultural commodities. A transitional agenda has to be connected to new social forces and possibly to new organizations representing these forces. Without that, good ideas will hardly get off the ground. This will not be achieved in a four-year plan. We need a plan to cope with some of the most structural historical blockages in the formation of Brazil and a new social contract aimed at inaugurating a new and long development cycle. The 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals are an invitation to think about the future in these ambitious terms, overcoming the short-­ term dictatorship and the limitations of the immediate context. Acknowledgments  This text regains and updates considerations made previously at a series of seminars and conferences about the related topics between 2015 and 2018. Mentioning, by name, each of these moments and people who contributed with comments and suggestions would make this note too long. Here I would like to thank these institutions and people. Also, the opinions expressed in this essay are the author’s responsibility.


References Abramovay, R. 2010. Desenvolvimento sustentável  – qual estratégia para o Brasil? Revista Novos Estudos Cebrap. Número 87: 97–113. ———. 2012. Muito além da economia verde. São Paulo: Abril Ed. Acemoglu, D., and J. Robinson. 2014. Por que as nações fracassam. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Campus. Bresser Pereira, Luis Carlos. 2015. A construção política do Brasil. São Paulo: Editora 34 letras. Constanza, Robert, et  al. 2015. An overarching goal for the UN sustainable development goals. The Solutions Journal 5 (4): 13–16. Escher, F. et al. 2015. Bilateral relations and development trajectories of Brazil and China: BRICS’ Agrarian issues at the centre of the contemporary ‘Double Movement’. Working Paper n. 7. Bicas  – BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies. Favareto, et al. 2014. A dimensão territorial do desenvolvimento brasileiro recente (2000–2010), Documentos de Trabajo. Santiago do Chile: Rimisp. Gala, P. 2016. Complexidade econômica: uma nova perspectiva para entender a antiga questão da riqueza das nações. São Paulo: Ed. Contraponto. Grupo de trabalho da sociedade civil para a agenda 2030. 2018. Relatório Luz da Agenda 2030. Disponível em: https://brasilnaagenda2030.files.wordpress. com/2018/07/relatorio-sicc81ntese_final_download. pdf. Medeiros, M. et  al. 2015. O topo da distribuição de renda no Brasil: primeiras estimativas com dados tributários e comparação com pesquisas domiciliares (2006–2012). Dados vol. 58 no. 1 Rio de Janeiro Jan./ Mar. 2015.

A. Favareto Morgan, M. 2017. Extreme and persistent inequality: New evidence for Brazil combining national accounts, surveys and fiscal data (2001–2015). WID.  World  – Working Paper Series n. 2017/12. North, D., et al. 2009. Violence and social orders – A conceptual framework for interpreting recorded human history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. UN. 2015. Transformando nosso mundo  – A Agenda 2030 para o desenvolvimento sustentável. New York: United Nations. Piketty, T. 2014. O capital no século XXI. São Paulo: Ed. Intrínseca. PNUD/IPEA/Fundação João Pinheiro. 2017. Relatório Radar IDH-M. Disponível em: http://www.atlasbrasil. Final_6.pdf. Rodrik, D. 2015. Premature deindustrialization in the developing world. Consultado em: Sachs, I. 2007. Rumo a ecossocioeconomia  – teoria e prática do desenvolvimento. São Paulo: Ed. Cortez. ———. 2009. A terceira margem do rio  – em busca do ecodesenvolvimento. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. Sauer, S., and S.  P. e Leite 2016. Expansão agrícola, preços e apropriação de terra por estrangeiros no Brasil. Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural, 50(3), 503–524. Singer, Andre. 2012. Os sentidos do lulismo. São Paulo: Cia. Das Letras. ———. 2015. Cutucando onças com varas curtas  – o ensaio desenvolvimentista no primeiro mandato de Dilma Rousseff. Revista Novos Estudos Cebrap 34 (2): 43–71.

Nature and Alternatives to Development in Latin America: Contributions for a Dialogue


María Luisa Eschenhagen


Although there is a long history and evidence on a systematic critic to the politics and concept of sustainable development and there are several well-known facts about the unsustainability of this discourse especially form the Global South, the mainstream politics of the Global North (and partially from the South) still insists in it. Therefore, is a need of alternatives to development. This chapter will argue the important contributions of the environmental thinking in Latina America and how it has been consolidating some theoretical clarifications and critiques that has progressed over decades up to contemporary environmental discussions and its criticisms of development. Therefore, in the new millennium, in Latin American critical thinking is now working on post-development issues, concerned with its relationship with the natural environment, which has been shown by the indigenous communities and their proposal of suma qamaña or sumak kawsay. But it requires a review and rethinking of hegemonic knowledge, which will need intercultural dialogues, where the funM. L. Eschenhagen (*) Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia

damental challenge consists of listening, seeing, respecting the other one different, and learning. So in the last part of the chapter are some initial proposals and perspectives for that dialogue. Keywords

Latin America · Environmental thinking · Alternatives to development · Worldview · Suma qamaña · Dialogue

Emphasizing some Known Facts Water, air, soil, biodiversity, and the seas—without these elements and basic spaces, human life on this planet is not possible. This is an affirmation of obvious common sense but one that politics and economics—synthesized in the notion of development and expressed in their obsession with economic growth—apparently still do not understand. This has clearly been expressed in two recent United Nations global reports since the beginning of 2019—one on the world economic situation (United Nations 2019) in which the central concern for growth is expressed and the other on the environmental situation of each continent (for Latin America, see: UNEP 2019), in which the degradation, contamination, and

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,


M. L. Eschenhagen


destruction of ecosystems turn out to be more and more serious. If we add to these reports the panorama of global socio-environmental conflicts systematized in the Environmental Justice Atlas ( and last year’s report on the victims (see: Global-Witness 2018), there can be no doubt that the problem is serious. Eager societies of the world, guided and dominated by the idea of development in its current version of savage, neoliberal, neo-extractivist capitalism, are systematically threatening life and their own chances of survival. The world is facing increasingly severe uncertainties that have myriad manifestations: resurgence of right-wing regimes, trade wars, natural disasters, anthropogenic environmental disasters, armed conflicts, job instability, mass migrations, tax havens beyond control, etc. At the same time, critiques calling for attention and proposals from the most diverse places (social movements, academics, politics, etc.) are considerable. In this panorama, the proposal by the United Nations stands out in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which have turned out to be hegemonic, imposing themselves on all government agendas. Some goals try to improve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which have not been achieved, representing a larger and more comprehensive perspective, comprising not 8 but 17 goals—recognizing problems globally and posing them as a global agenda supposedly not only for the “underdeveloped” South, on issues such as inequality, environmental degradation (consumption patterns), and extreme poverty. That is to say, a more holistic and interrelated vision was finally implemented, also considering different responsibilities. However, it is a very ambiguous document, with poorly designed and contradictory goals, according to Gómez-Gil (2017). Perhaps the most vital structural point is that at the decisive moment of financing the SDGs, willpower was deficient, considering that if large multinational miners would pay their fiscal responsibilities proportionally and adequately, surely a good part of the inequality, poverty, and environmental destruction would not occur in those dimensions. The proof of this problem can be seen here:

Two months before their approval [SDGs], Western countries opposed a fundamental agreement to reduce fraud and tax evasion at the Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, thus maintaining the loss of revenue for developing countries needed to boost the SDGs by some 100 billion dollars a year and blocking the developing countries’ proposal for the G77 to create an independent global body against fraud and tax evasion. At the same time, the SDGs support and sanctify the dynamic sectors of the economy through free trade and a private sector to which no limitations are placed, without even requiring basic compliance with conventions and agreements of the United Nations such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (Gómez-Gil 2017, p. 8)1.

This turns out to be a crucial point, reflecting the greed of the capitalist cumulative system, which is extremely unsustainable. If we do not start rectifying this problem from its roots, it will be difficult to see long-term improvements. At present, the great majority of national government policies are contrary to the good (non-obligatory) intentions expressed in the SDGs.

 ystematic Critique of the Idea S of Development and the Contributions of Environmental Thinking In Latin America, there is already a historical trajectory of systematic critique related to ideas on the concept of development in which the different positions of the Global North and South are explained with respect to the interpretations of the problem. In the 80s, Ignacy Sachs (1981) used the concept of eco-development to connect the issues of development and environment, which was immediately well received both among intellectuals and Latin American institutions, which greatly contributed to its conceptualization. Eco-development made it necessary to rethink the central concepts of development, proposing a as Estenssoro Saavedra (2015) says, a development which has to be adapted to the eco-­ systemic realities of each region or ecoAll citations in this text are originally in Spanish and where translated.


11  Nature and Alternatives to Development in Latin America: Contributions for a Dialogue

region, especially the rural regions of the Third World, recognizing their specific needs and problems—ecological as well as cultural. It is important to note here that Sachs was not against development but rather was in favor of recognizing the interdependence between development and nature and using scientific-technical progress to protect ecosystems while recognizing socio-cultural aspects. The concept of eco-development had socialist aspects, which (in the middle of the Cold War) was vetoed in the United Nations and then supplanted by sustainable—clearly liberal—development ideas, whose theoretical basis was offered by the Brundtland Report in 1987 and it was instrumentalized with Agenda 21 in Rio 1992. With regard to the Brundtland Report, also called Our Common Future, in 1990, Latin America pronounced and positioned itself through Our Own Agenda, which took up many aspects of Brundtland but emphasized equity in the distribution of the social benefits of natural resources. Furthermore, by the end of the 90s, the concept of sustainable development emerged, which started a long debate between the more liberal and hegemonic proposals of sustainable development compared to a more comprehensive, social, and environmental understanding. Two positions were later expressed: sustainable (whose Spanish equivalent term is sostenible) development in TheEarth Charter (United Nations 2000) and sustainable (meaning sustentable in Spanish) development in A Manifesto for Life: In Favor of an Ethic of Sustainability (2002). It must be noted that the difference between sostenible and sustentable cannot be expressed in the English language, so belatedly, recognizing the differences, also the English speaking area began to differentiate between weak (i.e., sostenible) and strong (i.e., sustentable) sustainable development. During the same period of the 70s and 80s Enrique Leff, a great Latin American environmental thinker from Mexico, has been consolidating some theoretical clarifications and critiques that has progressed over decades up to contemporary environmental discussions and are valid until date.


Enrique Leff has been thinking, analyzing, and de- and re-constructing thoughts and reflections about environmental problems for now more than 40  years. His fundamental thesis is: the environmental crisis is the reflection and the result of the western crisis of civilization and is caused by this civilization’s ways of knowing, understanding, and therefore transforming, the world. All of his work revolves around this central thesis. On one hand, in order to demonstrate, and on the other, to propose concrete paths toward a cultural transformation that would contribute to the overcoming of this crisis of civilization. Leff suggests that the profound causes of the environmental crisis are founded in dominant ways of knowing; that is to say, the crisis is rooted in the epistemological bases of modernity. Leff has systematically dedicated himself to proposing and constructing concepts that deconstruct modern suppositions, and at the same time, make new ways of understanding and apprehending the world possible (see Eschenhagen 2012). Living confined within one way of knowing the world frequently disables one from seeing its (our) limits of validity, and from visualizing other possible ways. This, confinement obscure the causes and roots of problems. We are stuck prisoners of the economic and instrumental rationality that shaped modernity. This vision of the world “naturalizes” ideas such as “progress,” “development,” “individualism,” and “ownership,” and forgets the diversity, multiplicity, and heterogeneity of other possible worldviews. The “universalization” of modern rationality as a hegemonic form of knowledge has suppressed, eliminated, and rendered invisible other ways of seeing and knowing the world. Perhaps Leff’s proposal can be summarized as follows: recognizing that the roots of the environmental crisis are found in the ways of knowing with which the world is transformed and possessed, his work concentrates on the construction of concepts capable of criticizing and bringing to light existing flaws in knowledge. In turn, this criticism makes it possible to visualize new and diverse ways of knowing in order to re-adapt the world. Leff attempts the structural creation of an environmental knowledge in order to construct

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an environmental rationality across a dialogue of knowledge from an environmental epistemology, which permits the proposal of a broad environmental education and concrete political ecology. It is about constructing new knowledges and rationalities capable of understanding environmental complexity. Leff’s way can also be called a strategy of political epistemology. In parallel with these debates that emerged in Latin America, Escobar’s work (1996) offered an innovative perspective and reading of development. The central question of his work is how the South ended up believing the myth of being “underdeveloped”. He illustrates classic themes of development, such as poverty, growth, hunger, peasants, and the environment, which he turns into fables; these, at the same time, end up becoming a discourse, which are constructed and materialized through the institutionalization and professionalization of development theories. He also demonstrates how the Global North infantilizes the so-called Third World, through practices, techniques, and representations, which manage to discipline and transform local realities. Furthermore, he demonstrates the importance of the articulation between knowledge and power and the need to think about alternatives to development. This perspective on development generated great debates throughout Latin America and beyond. This work can no longer be ignored in any way in the discussions on development. It has inspired a myriad of initiatives and both theoretical and practical alternative proposals, which are very diverse and rich, both in academic spaces and among social movements. Then, the new millennium arrived with a renewed focus on the economy based on primary resources. Countries in the Global North “began,” or rather resumed, a race for natural resources to guarantee their economic growth, and countries in the Global South continue to fall into the trap of believing that foreign investment will bring them the desired development. This type of economy repeats the colonial history of vile exploitation of resources, which can be seen on different maps showing the territories granted for large-­ scale mining exploitation (for example, see: León

2013), concessions that are necessarily closely linked to social conflicts. Due to this abuse, as a result of appropriations at the beginning of the new millennium, new but at the same time old voices from the continent began to be heard more attentively, especially in Ecuador and Bolivia, through the indigenous movements of the Aymara and Quechua, whose demands were, are, and will continue to be in defense of their lives, territory, and the environment. The trigger in Bolivia was the intensification of water privatization in Cochambama in 2000. In Ecuador, three consecutive presidents were overthrown by the indigenous movement until a new constitution was created in 2008. In 2009, a new constitution came into effect in Bolivia. The first indigenous president, Evo Morales, who is Aymara, took office in 2006 in Bolivia. In both constitutions, indigenous movements participated significantly and managed to incorporate somehow their own concepts. Criticisms of development, therefore, took on new nuances in the new millennium, as seen in the case of Escobar, who continued to inspire Latin American critical thinking, now working on post-development issues, concerned with its relationship with the natural environment. Hence, for example, in Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life, Webs2 (2010) he takes up Fals Borda’s concept of thinking-feeling with the Earth, contributing reflections from relational ontologies. Recently, he worked on the concept of autonomy and design, in his latest book Another possible is possible: walking toward transitions from Abya Yala/Afro/Latin America (2018) to continue thinking-feeling in other paths.

 ew Impulses: Toward Alternatives N to Development Two new concepts emerged in this context: the suma qamaña of the Aymara indigenous people and the sumak kawsay of the Quechua-speaking All book titles are translated, but the books are in spanish.


11  Nature and Alternatives to Development in Latin America: Contributions for a Dialogue

indigenous people. In its incomplete translation, these words mean “good living” or “living well” and embody a large social, political, and economic movement. This movement has also managed to widely permeate academic discussions on development, which is why it is possible to already find sufficient reflections and exercises of states of arts about living well, which can be found in the works of authors like CONAIE (Confederation of Inidigenous nationalities of Ecuatdor) (2007), Hidalgo-Capitán (2013), Le Quang and Vercoutere (2013), and Vanhulst and Beling (2013). These works draw attention to the different ways in which the idea of living well— with its origins in indigenous movements and world views—has been accepted, interpreted, and transformed. This has led to at least three aspects or trends of works and interpretations that can be identified in discussions and positions. According to Hidalgo-Capitán (2013), there is a trend indicated by a socialist and statist position, a trend marked by ecology and post-­development, and the last one indicated is indigenist and pachamamista. Le Quang and Vercoutere (2013) calls the three trends eco-marxist, ecologist, and culturalist. Therefore, if the problem is in the ways of recognizing, that is to say, modern rationality does not allow for understanding environmental complexity, as proposed by Leff, and if there is a discourse that has professionalized and institutionalized specific theories of development, as proposed by Escobar, the paths toward alternatives to development will necessarily also go through a review and rethinking of hegemonic knowledge. However, this change will require intercultural dialogues—such as with indigenous peoples and other local communities (e.g., Afro and peasant)—and will need encouragement and contributions from both, social movements as well as from other cultures (in this case outside of Latin America), as well as forceful rethinking from and within academia itself. Therefore, one of the challenges and opportunities to enable alternatives to development will be in intercultural dialogue. To visualize the potential and the challenge of this dialogue, I want to present some main con-


cepts of the worldview of the suma qamaña of the Aymara people in Bolivia. This is an idea that, perhaps, most closely resembles the concept of development, but it definitely is not development because the Aymara language does not have any translation for the concept of development. Hence, the difficulty begins with the translation of the suma qamaña itself, which, depending on the corporal expressions and vocal intonations, can have up to six different meanings. It is not about how to live, but rather about life itself, and the central element for this is to know how to “cultivate values of coexistence with cosmo-­ biotic life.” An approximation, according to Yampara, to the translation of the Suma Qama Qamaña, where Suma, is translated as nice, that which pleases; Qama, as seat, headquarters, administrative capital or food with flavour; Qamaña, as to inhabit, to live, to dwell, to reside, to be in a place (Yampara 2016). So with this, it is clear that translations like “good living” or “living well” are too short and insufficient to understand the meaning of these concepts through all its dimensions and richness. Another important aspect to contemplate are the ideas of territorial organization related to knowledge and energies. Thus, the territory is conceived through different central ideas that mark the “eco-climatic territorial breaks.” Here, it is necessary to keep in mind the geography of the Andes, a very high mountain range whose highest points reach up to 6–7000  meters, with the Pacific Ocean on one side, and the Amazon rainforest, on the other. That is to say, there is a great eco-systemic diversity, and the ancient cultures in Latin America have known how to manage and take advantage of these different ecosystem levels horizontally. Hence, other logic and ideas for inhabiting the territories emerge from these conditions. With the huge and large chains of the Andes and on one side the Pacific Ocean and the other side the Amazon forest, which means geological, climatological, and biological variety that is revealed in the territory and is taken into account influences the people’s ways of thinking, being, and living. This diversity also marks the social organization and idea of governing itself, and

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therefore opposed and completely different to Western knowledge, which is far from its territory and nature, with fragmented and dualistic ideas. How can we do the dialogues toward converging in territorial management and joint use of natural resources? Also, with regard to social organization, an interesting aspect is that the Aymara people have ancestral forms partially still in use—a system of life that they have been able to preserve to this day in some regions. Its basis is Ayni, which means reciprocity with the different worlds (pluriverse of interactive networks) of planet Earth with the objective of cultivating values, knowledge, and food for life. The emphasis is on the seedbed, that is, the Ayllu understood as the seedbed to grow, qualify, and quantify the nest and the Marca, which is the path, the way to know how to live and to how to coexist by cultivating energies with the different worlds in reciprocity (Yampara 2016) in order to put into practice the life model of suma qamaña. This Ayllu works through family networks that are organized through different work institutions, especially four. The first is (1) Ayni, which means reciprocity, and its implication for the network, is mobilization of energies of the life of the ancestral peoples; (2) Mink’a, which means reciprocity with supplementary cooperation and its implications are the contribution to the mobilization of energies of life; (3) Mit’a, which means shift work system and implies diversified and shift-based mobilization of energies of life; and (4) Qama, which means work in living and coexisting, and its implication for the network is the factor of living and coexisting in harmony with the energies of life (Yampara 2016). In other words, coexistence is shown through reciprocity, shift work, and cooperation. This organization of work is important to ensure the proper functioning of potato crops—the fundamental basis of Andean life. The system of Ayllu works through the annual allocation of land to the family network according to need and in function of the observations of the bioindicators in the territory as well as respecting the rotation of crops and the rest times required by the land, every 7–10  years. That is to say, agricultural activity

and, more specifically, growing potatoes is fundamental in this context in which the ways of understanding, knowing, and inhabiting are closely woven together (see Yampara 2016). In this context, this process of work and ceremonies is interrupted and/or transformed through processes such as climate change; changes in organizational and property systems (by modern institutions and legislation); the incorporation of potatoes with agribusiness technologies (chemicals, machinery, transgenics); and changes in diets. In short, changes induced by the development model definitely impact this tissue and even destroy it. Therefore, this is already a very clear and concrete point to take into account when talking about alternatives to development. Without a doubt, the capitalist system has systematically destroyed these processes and structures precisely through, and by imposing, other knowledge. Here, we compare two adverse ideas of how to conceive the human being-nature relationship. The question of how to promote the dialogue and seek alternate ways of meeting in order to coexist and guarantee the long-term capacity for reproduction of life is then raised.

Contributions Toward Dialogue The fundamental challenge consists of listening, seeing, respecting the other one different, and learning. Recognizing, understanding, accepting, and coming to terms with the fact that other epistemologies do exist is difficult while naturalizing one’s own and ignoring others. In the range of discourses, policies, and economies of development, this listening and seeing is very rarely present—the hegemonic epistemology is overwhelming. While these hegemonic epistemologies are not recognized, deconstructed, and reconfigured themselves, it will be very difficult to visualize and enable alternate paths because any ambition to improve will remain anchored in the hegemonic epistemology.3 There have been many efforts to remedy, improve, and solve the deficiencies, gaps, and problems of development models through adjectives such as sustainable, at human


11  Nature and Alternatives to Development in Latin America: Contributions for a Dialogue


Therefore, the objective here will not be to present instruments, projects, or “concrete” proposals for alternatives to development but to draw attention to some philosophical, epistemological, and conceptual assumptions, which will need to be reviewed, changed, and modified before being proposed because they indicate the ways of reasoning and justifying any proposition. These assumptions are also indicated by the places of enunciation and the social, historical, and cultural trajectories through which they have passed because of specific worldviews whose ideas are even more seldomly discussed in these spaces as they can be about matter, time, and origin. The challenge will be to foster dialogues and paths of understanding and coexistence. By way of illustration, only some characteristics of the hegemonic epistemology that deserve to be discussed and looked at more closely in the future will be mentioned since each will deserve much greater review and research on its own. For example, aspects as fundamental as the idea of fragmentation that later materializes in work spaces, prayer, and family—the fragmentation of time between work and leisure and between the natural, the social, and the technological—and the idea of dualism, that is, mind/body, matter/ spirit, nature/society, theory/practice, good/bad; these aspects are very noticeable in the Christian-­ modern world view and is also accompanied by a conviction, if not mythical faith, of universality. This idea of universality is already very present in the doctrine of progress from the eighteenth century and later in the discourse of development in the twentieth century (Nisbet 1981), considering that the unconditional applicability of the Eurocentric parameters of education, agriculture, economic production, etc. to the rest of the world has generated endless conflicts and socio-environmental destruction at the local level (as shown here with the very simple example of potato growing in the Andes). That is why it is fair to question and look deeper into the sup-

posed conviction of universality that the West has. In this regard, Raimon Panikkar (1988) says that there are different ideas of universality. To elucidate this point, he provides the example that while the Buddhist dharma, the Confucian li, or India’s cakravartin aspire to open validity, without limits, more in the metaphorical sense, this claim of universality differs from that of the West, which is accompanied rather by a sense of prior grandeur and superiority, thinking in absolute terms. Panikkar (1988) identifies a thirst for universality as a part of the western myth, which implies the opportunity to recognize the myth of others but a great difficulty in recognizing the own myth4. Behind this thirst, there is conviction from very early times that everything can be measurable and knowable. However, it is necessary to recognize that it is simply and only about one way of seeing, understanding, and doing; otherwise, such a position becomes intellectual colonialism. Another characteristic of modern epistemology is the idea of simplification and homogenization to predict, exploit, and plan (both humans as well as nature). These methodologies start with positivism and then acquire different nuances, variations, and changes. This is where the discussions begin regarding the potentialities and limitations of approaches such as the general theory of systems (e.g., with authors such as Ludwig von Bertalanffy) or complex systems (with Rolando García), approaches from interdisciplinarity (for example, see Leo Apostel and Roberto Follari) or complexity science (for example, see Carlos Maldonado and the Santa Fe Institute). The case of the water temples, the irrigation systems in Bali, analyzed by the anthropologist Lansing (2006), can be studied to illustrate the concrete and material implications of ways of understanding different epistemologies. These systems were destroyed in the 1960s by development policies, by the so-called green revolution—with the

and regional scales, which have culminated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In this regard, some interesting critiques can be found in Gómez-Gil (2017).


Panikkar says also that it seems that the only way fot the Western culture to apparently reach peace of mind and heart, is by reducing everything to one single pattern with the claim to universal validity (1988).

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widely known results of impoverishment and dispossession of peasants and the destruction of ecosystems—justified and legitimized on the basis of economics, engineering ideas, and Eurocentric and positivist planning. Using modeling, Lansing demonstrates through complexity science that the ancestral and ancient irrigation systems, the water temples, were perfect. Now, the overdetermination of the economic/instrumental rationality as another characteristic of the modern epistemology must also be thematized and made visible. This rationality is not capable of thinking in terms of life; it is only motivated by inert objects, thus, ignoring environmental complexity. This has been reported and demonstrated by Enrique Leff, throughout his life’s work of over 40 years, and he opposes an environmental rationality (see among others 1977, 2004, 2014), because modern overdetermination has led us to believe that environmental management (recycling, clean production mechanisms, etc.) and the commercialization of nature (polluters must pay, environmental services, etc.) can solve environmental problems, without considering the causes. But 32  years after the Brundtland Report and the adoption of sustainable development policies, they have not brought substantial improvements. On the contrary, sustainable development has failed (see Eschenhagen 2015). Then, what would involve thinking in terms of non-universality, complexity, and environmental thinking?

Epistemologies from the South to Generate Alternatives to Development The Global South, therefore, requires thinking, proposing, and acting from its own cultural, political, eco-systemic, social, and economic conditions. It is imperative to decolonize, review, and reconfigure the epistemology with which the problems are read and proposals for solutions are made. It is clear that the modern hegemonic epistemology has fallen short and is insufficient to

understand these Southern socio-environmental complexities. Hence, as an initial incentive, three starting points for review and dialogue are proposed. First, there is the most important factor, which is life itself and guaranteeing its ability to reproduce in the long term. Therefore, the issue of the environment must be the central, that is, the ability to think from and for life. In this sense, Latin American environmental thought and, more specifically, the proposals and epistemological and philosophical reflections of Enrique Leff are very enriching. Second, there is the problem of Eurocentrism that is very prominent and present in the most diverse areas. Hence, reflections on modernity/ coloniality, as a proposal from Latin America, with concepts such as the coloniality of knowledge, the coloniality of power, and the coloniality of being, which require recognition and overcoming—offer critiques and perspectives that allow for the decolonization of political, economic, and educational spaces. Third, there is the problem of the classical scientific method that does not allow for an understanding of environmental complexity. In contrast, there are e.g. the proposals of complexity science,5 which work from non-linearity, uncertainty, incommensurability, non-classical logic, unpredictability, multicausality, self-­ organization, emergence, and more, thus, explicitly breaking modern assumptions of epistemology. The first exercise to glimpse the potentialities, limitations, requirements, and challenges of these three starting points to enable thinking about alternatives to development was carried out at a seminar that called for a debate in 2014  in Medellin, Colombia. The contributions and debates are included in the book Epistemologies of the South to Generate Alternatives to Development: Discussion between Enrique Leff, Carlos Maldonado and Horacio Machado (Eschenhagen and Maldonado 2017). In this Here, it is necessary to highlight that complexity science differs substantially from the idea of complexity presented by authors like Edgar Morin.


11  Nature and Alternatives to Development in Latin America: Contributions for a Dialogue

debate, differences and difficulties are outlined, as well as potentialities and possible paths of dialogue, that is, they begin to see and point out intriguing challenges for future work. This proposal and exercise differs from but does not contradict other approaches to enable epistemologies of the South, such as those proposed by Sousa Santos (2009). He makes important contributions by pointing out the problem of blindness present in modern epistemology, which makes the diversity that builds the invisible “diferencia abismal”.6 To counteract this problem, Sousa Santos proposes the sociology of absence, the sociology of emergence, and the ecology of knowledges in order to achieve “a prudent knowledge for a decent life,” a subject and title that he already included in his book in 2003. As a whole, these are questions that will help to alter the supposedly obvious and immovable, to make other possible worlds visible. In the medium and long term, these reflections will impact ways to comprehend, for example, politics, power, the idea of nation, wealth, resources, equality, universality, or community and, at the same time, the idea of development, if this concept is not replaced by other visions, imaginations, and futures. Other worlds are possible.

References CONAIE. 2007. Propuesta de la CONAIE frente a la Asamblea Constituyente Principios y lineamientos para la nueva constitución del Ecuador Por un Estado Plurinacional, Unitario, Soberano, Incluyente, Equitativo y Laic. Quito. Retrieved from ConaiePropuestaAsamblea.pdf. Eschenhagen, M.L. 2012. Aproximaciones al pensamiento ambiental de Enrique Leff: Un desafío y una Aaentura que enriquece el sentido de la vida. Environmental Ethics 34 (Suppl 4): 89–95. enviroethics201234Supplement57. Eschenhagen, María Luisa. 2015. El fracaso del desarrollo sostenible: la necesidad de buscar alternativas al desarrollo, algunas entradas. In Espaço, políticas públicas e territorio: Reflexoes a partir da América do Sul, ed. A.  González Serna and E.  Torres Aguiar Gomes, 72–102. Brasil: UPFE.

See for this special concept: Sousa Santos (2010)



Eschenhagen, María Luisa, and C.  Maldonado. 2017. Epistemologías del Sur para Germinar Alternativas al Desarrollo, debate entre Enrique Leff, Carlos Maldonado y Horacio Machado. Bogotá: Universidad del Rosario. Escobar, A. 1996. La invención del Tercer Mundo, construcción y deconstrucción del desarrollo. 1st ed. Bogotá: Ed. Norma. ———. 2018. Otro posible es posible: caminando hacia las transiciones desde Abya. Yala/Afro/Latino-­ América. 1st ed. Bogotá: Desde Abajo. Estenssoro Saavedra, F. 2015. El ecodesarrollo como concepto precursor del desarrollo sustentable y su influencia en América Latina. Universum 30 (1): 81–99. Retrieved from Global-Witness. 2018. At what cost? Irresponsible business and the murder of land and environmental defenders in 2017. Retrieved from at-what-cost/. Gómez-Gil, C. 2017. Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS): una revisión crítica. Papeles de Relacoines Ecosisociales y Cambio Glboal 140 (18): 107–118. Retrieved from Hidalgo-Capitán, A. 2013. Seis debates abiertos sobre el sumak kawsay. Íconos Revista de Ciencias Sociales 48: 25–40. Lansing, J.S. 2006. Perfect order: Recognizing complexity in Bali. 1st ed. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Le Quang, M., and T. Vercoutere. 2013. Socialismo y buen vivir, diálogo entre dos alternativas al capitalismo. Quito: Editorial IAEN.  Retrieved from https://www. vivir/Ecosocialismo_y_Buen_Vivir_Le_Quang_ Vercoutere.pdf. Leff, E. 1977. Etnobotánica, biosociología y ecodesarrollo. Nueva Antropología II (6): 99–110. Retrieved from Etnobotánica_biosociología_y_ecodesarrollo. ———. 2004. Racionalidad ambiental. La reapropiación social de la naturaleza. 1st ed. México: Siglo XXI. ———. 2014. La apuesta por la vida, imaginación sociológica e imaginarios sociales en los territorios ambientales del sur. 1st ed. México: Siglo XXI. León, N. 2013. Crisis, reprimiarización y territorio en economías emergetnes: caso Colombia. In Crisis económica e impactos territoriales  – V Jornadas de Geografía Económica AGE Univ. de Girona 2012, ed. R. Llussà, J. Feliu, and X. Paunero, 1st ed., 252–266. Girona: Universitat de Girona. Retrieved from http:// Crisis_economica_e_impactos_territoriales/per_ imprimir/Crisis_economica_e_impactos_territoriales. pdf. Manifiesto por la vida, Por una Ética para la Sustentabilidad. 2002. Bogotá: PNUMA.  Retrieved

144 from Manifiesto.pdf. Naciones-Unidas. 2000. La Carta de la Tierra. Naciones Unidas. Retrieved from images/uploads/echarter_spanish.pdf. Nisbet, R. 1981. Historia de la idea del progreso. 1st ed. Barcelon: Gedisa. Panikkar, R. 1988. The invisible harmony: A universal theory of religion or a cosmic confidence in reality. In Toward a universal theology of religion, ed. L.  Swidler. New  York: Orbis Books. Retrieved from Sachs, I. 1981. Ecodesarrollo, concepto, aplicación, beneficios y riesgos. Agricultura y Sociedad 1 (18): 9–32. Retrieved from articulo?codigo=82465. Sousa Santos, B.DE. 2003. Conhecimento prudente para uma vida decente: “Um discurso sobre as ciências”, Revisitado. Porto: Edições Afrontamento. ———. 2009. Una epistemología del Sur. 1st ed. México D.F: CLACSO/Siglo XXI.

M. L. Eschenhagen ———. 2010. Para descolonizar Occidente: más allá del pensamiento abismal. 1st ed. Ciudad de Buenos Aires: CLACSO. UNEP. 2019. Global Environmenta. Outlook, GEO-­ 6, Regional Assessment for Latin America and the Caribbean. Retrieved from United-Nations. 2019. World economic situation prospects. New York. Retrieved from development/desa/dpad/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/ WESP2019_BOOK-web.pdf. Vanhulst, J., and A.E. Beling. 2013. Buen vivir: la irrupción de América Latina en el campo gravitacional del desarrollo sostenible. Revista Iberoamericana de Economía Ecológica 21: 1–14. Retrieved from http://; https:// de_America_Latina_en_el_campo_gravitacional_ del_Desarrollo_Sostenible. Yampara, S. 2016. Suma Qama Qamaña: paradigma cosmo-biótico tiwanakuta. In Crítica al sistema mercantil kapitalista, 1st ed. La Paz: Ediciones Qamáñ Pacha.

Part IV The Role of Culture in New Pathway Construction and Sense of Development

Culture, Resilience and Geopolitics of Development in Sub-Saharan Africa


Saley Boubé Bali


Resilience allows the continuity of solidarity relations in a socio-cultural area distributed among several States. Beyond language and culture, resilience can be a factor of spontaneous integration, facilitating the rapid care of victims in the event of armed conflict, natural disaster. Unfortunately, resilience, in its classic design, is foreseen in the post-crisis period and is only studied on a reduced scale of territoriality. In a perspective of development geopolitics and the challenges of the contemporary world, it is more than imperative to implement it at a global proportion on the scale of political and economic and environmental groupings such as the Economic Community of African States of West (ECOWAS), West African Monetary Union (WAMU), G5-Sahel, the Inter-State Committee to Combat Drought in the Sahel (CILSS), etc. whose common goal is to promote sub-regional integration for sustainable development. To this end, this analysis highlights the importance of harmonizing national cultural policies on the basis of overall cultural mapping and planning in order to identify positive ancestral practices in crisis S. B. Bali (*) Professor, Zinder University, Zinder, Niger

situations and foster resilience. Post-crisis in an area like Sub-Saharan Africa to asymmetric wars, to the vagaries of cyclical droughts causing displacement of populations and humanitarian disasters. Keywords

Conflict · Crisis · Culture · Development · Geopolitics · Resilience

Introduction Sub-Saharan Africa faces two major crises: drought and armed insurgencies. These crises impact negatively on the prospects for development. They cause displacement of populations in brutal conditions disrupting age-old customs and local traditions as well as causing physical trauma. Resilience is a word borrowed from English: in ecology, it is ‘the capacity of an ecosystem or species to recover normal functioning and/or development following a traumatic experience’; in sustainable development this is called the act of returning to normal functioning after a disaster. Classical resilience, if it is able to solve economic or psychological problems in all respects, does not answer the socio-cultural concerns of

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



the people who are the helpless spectators of the total annihilation of their civilization. In their new environment, often imposed out of political expediency, people displaced by war and drought face basic socio-cultural problems which when solved prevent any possible return to normal life. Indeed, the forms of humanitarian assistance offered by UN organizations seem to be only palliatives and not remedies in relation to the magnitude of their existential drama. As can be seen from the repeated failure of the resilience of victims of war and drought, the limits to current approaches have been exposed when care of displaced persons in emergency situations is involved. In these reflections on the process of development strategies for the countries of the South, the so-called underdeveloped countries, the question is how to analyze the functions of culture? Following droughts, asymmetrical wars, displacements, what are the appropriate tools for enhancing the populations’ resilience? What is their impact on sustainable development in sub-­ Saharan Africa.

 rought and Armed Insurrections: D Two Recurrent Crises Our collective memory teaches us that droughts, locust waves and epidemics used to be the three plagues of sub-Saharan Africa because of their harmful socio-economic and environmental consequences. Indeed from 1830 to 1974, according to Bernus (1974), the Saharo-Sahelian belt experienced prolonged droughts, especially: • • • •

1830–1840, ten years; 1900–1903, four years; 1911–1914, five years; 1968–1973, seven years.

Sub Sahara Africa has experienced twenty-six (26) years of drought in a century and a half. Oral accounts bear witness to the painful after-effects, in particular the famines they cause and the decimation of populations, fauna and flora. In fact, these regular scourges create a permanent feeling of desperation and a spirit of fatalism blocking all

S. B. Bali

innovation from possible sustainable development. The fight for survival takes precedence over the spirit of invention. This situation combined with colonization at a time when the West was engaged in the race for industrial development, the modernization of its infrastructure and technological innovation, blocked the development of this part of Africa which was battling at the same period to provide food for its inhabitants. The other major crisis that is currently causing unrest in all areas of Africa is the myriad of conflicts, unlike droughts which are generally confined to the Sahelian zone. Today, there is no independent African country that is not fighting a domestic war while so-called border conflicts between states seem to be disappearing. According to (Gazibo 2011), from 1948 to 2002, forty two (42) African countries have at least one focal point of conflict, including twenty-eight (28) internal, four (4) regional, four between states, six (6) for independence. The majority are civil wars, and directly involve the inhabitants. In 2019, out of forty ongoing conflicts in the world, twenty (20) are taking place in Africa. The Sahel War or jihadist insurgency covers six (6): Algeria, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad; that of the Lake Chad basin started in 2010, and concerns Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The immediate consequences are the forced displacement of populations on both sides. According to Emergency Nigeria, an agency of the UNHCR (High Council for Refugees) on April 11, 2019, ‘the Boko Haram insurgency has displaced nearly 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad Basin.’ Statistics provided by the governments of the countries concerned and the NGOs are alarming, as illustrated by the two tables on displaced Nigerians and Malians victims of jihadist terrorism (Tables 12.1 and 12.2). Since 1990, Niger, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and today Burkina Faso have faced armed insurgencies on an ethnic or religious basis with massive displacement of populations inside and outside their borders. States have lost all administrative and security control over the affected areas. We can see that the strategies to deal with droughts and these new wars are only spontane-

12  Culture, Resilience and Geopolitics of Development in Sub-Saharan Africa


Table 12.1  Nigerian IDPs (internally displaced persons) by country Country Nigeria Cameroon Chad Niger

Source IOM IOM IOM Government

Date July 31, 2019 April 8, 2019 April 30, 2019 June 30, 2019

Number of displaced persons 1,980,036 262,831 133,338 104,288

Source: Authors’ calculation based on data from IOM (International Organization for Migration) and Government of Niger Table 12.2  Malian IDPs (internally displaced persons) by country Country Mali Mauritania Niger Burkina Faso


Date July 31, 2019 July 31, 2019 June 30, 2019 July 31, 2019

Number of displaced persons 139,000 56,343 56,343 25,754

Source: Authors’ calculation based on data from UNHCR

ous emergency actions that are limited to food rations. Other countries like Japan, that are used to cyclones and earthquakes, have been able to build strategies based on preventive resilience; sub-Saharan Africa is content to create precarious refugee camps that are real nests of poverty. These droughts are no surprise even for the populations. Specialists speak of cyclical droughts every 10  years that plunge people into absolute poverty, and cause unrest. In the past, the strategy used to face drough or war was migrating to other areas of the country where rainfall was abundant, and taking advantage of long-standing relationships with other communities.

I mpact of Droughts and Wars on Development Sustainable development, initiated by Harry S.  Truman, President of the United States of America in 1949, ushered in the development era, and focused on economic and environmental issues. Sociology has been interested in the problem of development since Karl Marx (1818– 1883) for whom it is inseparable from capitalism that imposes the instruments of production, strategies and priority aims as it pleases. The holistic vision followed with Emil Maximilian Durkheim (1858–1917), and was deepened and then devel-

oped by Georges Balandier (1920–2016) who maintained that the problems of development are not only economic, insofar as that is not enough to meet all material conditions. It remained for Karl Emil Maximilian Weber (1864–1920) to give an evolutionary and cultural vision, and establish the relationship between social order, values, and consideration of human activities. But including development as an autonomous branch of sociology really began in 1960 with ‘the suns of independence’ to use the title of the novel by Ahmadou Kourouma. In Africa, Herbert Frankel (1909–1996) was one of the first to protest against the economist’s vision of development. According to him, developing people or a territory was something quite different from investing to obtain an increase in income. Frankel had the merit of focusing primarily on the social, political, cultural and economic components in which the dynamics of the future manifest themselves. Youssouf Tata Cissé revolutionizes the development approach by drawing on ancestral Mandingo traditions. Thus, he questions development from ‘the analysis and interpretation of popular myths and legends’. Tata defends the thesis that development is relative and can depend on a people’s vision of its society and culture, a reason for people to revitalize themselves from their roots. As for underdevelopment, it is diagnosed on the basis of two

S. B. Bali


dominant theories: modernization and dependence. The theory of modernization devised by Walt Whitman Rostow is composed of five stages ranging from traditional society which makes the earth the sole source of wealth up to the consumer society. Based on this theory, African countries are in the majority at the second stage of development with political and religious upheavals and the concern to develop education, to make savings and investment and introduce technology at all levels. Europe, considered the model of development, was at the third stage of development when it started colonizing the rest of the world. The consequence is that the numerous strategies and programs in favor of the countries of the South have not enabled them to find a suitable path to development that meets the aspirations of the people. Poverty is gaining ground to such an extent that several countries are struggling to provide minimum subsistence for their population. To this state of affairs must be added problems of instability in several forms. Indeed, sub-­ Saharan Africa for example, more particularly the Saharo-Sahelian belt, has to live at the rhythm of cyclical droughts and armed insurrections that cause mass displacements and prevent any sustainable development initiatives. For the victims, it means beginning a new form of existence in another reception area, followed by traumas difficult to overcome, and with the classic mechanisms of care of persons, resilience oriented towards reduced or even its individual economic and psychological aspects. We rarely think of resilience taking into account the geopolitical dimension of development going beyond the borders inherited from colonization and administrative decentralization. Sub-regional institutions: Economic Committee of West African States (ECOWAS), West African Monetary Union (WAMU); Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), etc. pay little attention to traditions and endogenous factors such as cultural practices. African states have issued declarations of cultural policy, memoranda of understanding which advocate living together. Far from having a social

objective or an assisted factor designated for the benefit of communities, culture occupies a negligible place although it is undeniable that it constitutes the foundation of community integration, unique in any place, any time, before, during and after any activity. Indeed, culture in its most general and diverse aspects is an indisputable force, a source that can be valued and mobilized to allow social, economic and political objectives to be achieved from a development geopolitical perspective. Resilience is considered a complex process, resulting from a balance between risk factors and protective factors, by proposing a model for understanding the subject in its biological, psychological and social global nature, for its vulnerability factors but also for its health-creating potential. However, in the case of people who develop in adverse surroundings, we will find studies that focus mainly on behavioral adaptations and are interested in socio-emotional aspects. Therefore, resilience can be analyzed in terms of positive adaptability and integration into the social and psycho-emotional environment but also from the psycho-dynamic functioning of the subjects. Resilience is therefore part of a perspective of sustainable community reconstruction by including social and cultural dimensions. This assumes that there are other broader parameters beyond conventional approaches.

 ultural Resilience, Mapping C and Planning Geopolitics of the African continent is defined according to the borders inherited from colonization which constitute barriers between African states. Protocols and treaties to facilitate the free movement of people and goods have not achieved their objectives. Immigration services are more in evidence, and carry out daily ‘hunt-the-­ foreigner’ patrols across borders. The main shortcoming of inter-state memoranda of understanding is the failure to consider the cultural aspects linking the populations who con-

12  Culture, Resilience and Geopolitics of Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

tinue to consider themselves citizens in the event of a drought or armed insurrection in cultural areas divided among States. This state of affairs shows that political decisions seem to be ignored by people who continue to maintain age-old ties. On many occasions in the event of crises such as those under way in the Lake Chad basin, the Great Lakes region and the Saharo-Sahelian belt, cross-border solidarity greatly contributes to avoiding large-scale humanitarian crises, and to the socio-cultural integration of migrants as quickly as possible, especially when they share the same languages, religious beliefs and eating habits. On the other hand, when migrants move to reception areas where their culture is different from that of the host population, the risks of rejection which most often result in xenophobia are great. African internal migration in its multifaceted aspects is a major concern which is already affecting the future of the African continent, straining sustainable development. Social structures such as education and health are seriously affected. In 2018, according to a report by the Poverty and Equity Department of the World Bank, 673 schools were closed, forcing 49,786 students to drop out. In Burkina Faso, in 2019, 1135 schools are suffering the same fate as those in northern Mali and 154,233 students are affected. To this end, thinking must be put in a preventive perspective with the cultural area as a priority aim, to the detriment of the political area. Reflection on cultural areas was initiated in 1963 in the United States by Carl Sauer through the Berkeley school. Michel Panoff (1973) defines the cultural area as a geographical unit bringing together several ethnic groups, which, although different, nevertheless present a certain number of similar and comparable cultural elements. Raffestin (1985), gives a broader definition by considering the cultural area as “a geographic area, most often supranational in scope, which is distinguished by societal elements such as language, religion, family model, but also the way of life and production, political structuring.” Language promotes exchanges and religion can allow community integration beyond ethnic-


ity. To do this, cultural areas must be mapped not from the perspective of the creation of nation states as advocated by certain separatist movements but from a humanitarian and resilience perspective, in order to ensure the continuity of development gains and age-old ties between peoples.

 ultural Mapping and Planning C in the Approach to Resilience in Disaster Situations Post-crisis resilience would only be possible with in-depth knowledge of the reception area for victims of war or drought. To do this, we need qualitative and quantitative data collection activities that are rated at their fair value. Cultural mapping should focus on the type of society and the most suitable place likely to guarantee rapid social integration. It must precisely identify the rituals, popular knowledge, language particularities. Indeed, it is easier to solve an economic problem than a problem of religion and food habits of individuals in distress away from their traditional lands. Experience has shown that inter-­community solidarity becomes a reflex between two communities when they share cultural elements. As for cultural planning in resilience, it constitutes the third important element. It is based on the cultural mapping of a given cultural area and must be strategic and integrated throughout the process of drawing up community development plans. It considers essential needs people. For Teaiwa (2012: 12), cultural planning is an integral part of developing plans related to lifestyle, structural elements of life and quality of life, basic daily activities and living environments, markets, work and amusements, or planning applied to populations, activities and places. In emergency situations, as in the case of forced displacement during droughts and wars, cultural planning makes it possible to take into account what the populations want, and the possibility of finding their own way of life in their new reception area. In order to be effective, objectives must be clearly defined and planned on a case-by-case basis. Cultural resilience must

S. B. Bali


have social objectives as a priority in the care of victims of trauma in crisis situations such as war, drought or famine in order to facilitate rapid integration in reception areas. It is necessary to choose an environment that offers cultural protection factors. Johnson (1995) suggests two designated factors, traditions and the extended family, that cover the whole range of ancestry and alliances, where the family enables socialization and development of communication skills in a given cultural context. To be more effective, these designated factors must be circumscribed and planned within a cultural area within which people recognize themselves in reference to their own culture.

Conclusion The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by alternating climatic hazards and wars, the sources of chronic instability. This situation contributes to its dependence on the rest of the world, in particular the Western countries, which take advantage by imposing their vision of the world through economic policies that are unsuited to local realities. Any new approach must take into account the territorial and cultural dimensions defined from the concepts of cultural area, cultural mapping and cultural planning. This makes it possible to establish a main objective with a view to the resilience of victims to droughts and wars on an inter-state, sub-regional and continental scale and to lay the foundations for a more coherent sub-regional geopolitical situation. Indeed, droughts and insurgencies with religious overtones undermine the foundations of basic social structures (education, health) and sectors such as livestock and agriculture considered as the lifeblood of the economy in the Sahel. The evolution of the word clearly shows that resilience is a struggle, an awareness, a victory in the face of adversity. Even if it can only intervene after a disaster, the emergency when confronted by unconventional wars and climatic vagaries must challenge us to mature reflection on the possibility of creating the conditions for its ­

s­ uccess and to include it as an essential path to sustainable development. Therefore, it is necessary to find methods to create the conditions for post-­disaster resilience. To this end, exploring different approaches makes it possible to orient the concept as a database according to socio-cultural realities. From the resilience perspective, culture should be given the most attention because it is the least tangible. This supposes that it is necessary to redefine the notion of territory by speaking from now on of cultural area in place of State and region defined from maps and inclusive cultural planning. These two tools not only enable the location of cultural practices likely firstly to contribute effectively to the resilience of a displaced community, and secondly to the rationalization of the elements identified.

References Anaut, M. 2015. La résilience: évolution des conceptions théoriques et des applications cliniques. Recherche en soins infirmiers. 121: 28–39. Balandier, G. 1954. Sociologie de la colonisation et relations entre sociétés globales. Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie, 17:17–31. Paris: PUF. ———. 1957. Les conditions sociologiques du développement 301–310. Paris: Politiques étrangères, N°3. Bataillon, C. 1999. Pour la géographie. Paris: Flammarion. Bernus E, Savonnet G. (1973) Les problèmes de la sécheresse dans l’Afrique de l’Ouest. Présence Africaine 88 (4):113. ______. 1974. Les Problèmes des sécheresses dans l’Afrique de l’Ouest, Collections des références N°6753, ORSTOM. Cernea, M. 1998. La dimension humaine dans les projets de développement: variables sociologiques et culturelles. Paris: Karthala. Chevrier, Y. (2008). La traversée des sciences de l’Homme: aires culturelles, humanités et sciences socials. In Carnets de terrain. Pratique géographique et aires culturelles, Thierry Sanjuan, dir., 43–94. Paris: L’Harmattan. Gazibo Mamoudou(dir). et Roromme Chantal. 2011. Un nouvel ordre mondial made in China. Montréal, Presses de l’Université de Montréal. Goussault, Y. 1982. Où en est la sociologie du développement. Tiers, Monde 23 (93): 237–243. Johnson, M. (1995). Patriarchal Terrorism and Common Couple Violence: Two Forms of Violence against Women. Journal of Marriage and Family, 57(2), 283– 294.

12  Culture, Resilience and Geopolitics of Development in Sub-Saharan Africa Lacoste, Y. 1965. Géographie du sous-développement. Paris: PUF. Mario, B. 2017. Les vertus identitaire, relationnelle et heuristique de la territorialité. D’une conception culturelle à une conceptualisation tripartite. Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography. Panoff, M., M.  Perrin. 1973. Dictionnaire d’ethnologie, Paris: Payot. 293 p. Raffestin, C. 1985. Les notions de limite et de frontière et la territorialité. Regio Basiliensis 2/3: 119–127. Résilience et reconstruction durable: que nous apprend La Nouvelle-Orléans. Annales de géographie 2008/5 (n° 663), 104–124.


Rostow, W.W. 1965. Les étapes de la croissance économique. Traduit de l’américain par M.-J Du Rouet. Revue éconmique, 629–630. Saley, B. 2018. “Les enjeux du développement en Afrique postcoloniales”. Encres, Revue scientifique semestrielle de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, Universite abdou moumouni, Niamey, 63–76. Teaiwa M. Katérina. 2012. Guide de mise en oeuvre, de suivie et d’évaluation des politiques culturelles en Océanie, Secrétariat Général de la communauté du Pacifique, Fiji. Traoré, A. 2017. Comprendre le développement, 355. Bamako: Presses universitaire du Sahel, La Sahélienne.

He and Tianxia, Vectors of a New Dynamic of China’s Development


Zhang Jingting


This article analyzes the role that “He” (Harmony) and “Tianxia” (All under Heaven) has had as cultural vectors of the new dynamics of China’s development. The author shows how China has undergone a shift from a largely agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse, but the focus of this chapter is to analyze the relation between the fast economic development of China and the underlying traditional philosophy and culture. This chapter shows that Chinese models of development are deeply rooted in the soil of Ancient China, which is interrelated with the terms such as He (Harmony) and Tianxia (all under Heaven). Keywords

China · Economic development · Traditional philosophy

China’s meteoric rise over the past half century is one of the most striking examples of the Z. Jingting (*) Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China

impact of opening an economy up to global markets. From the reform and opening-up policy, the country has undergone a shift from a largely agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse. In the process, we could see its sharp increases in productivity and wages that have allowed China to become the world’s secondlargest economy. From the data, we could see that because of the reform and opening-up policy, the 1978 was the defining moment in shifting the country from its unsteady early economic trajectory on to a more sustainable path. From the 1980, China has allowed the foreign capital enter its market which help to boost regional economies. This process of market liberalization led to the establishment of China as a major global exporter. Because of the specific context of the nation and the history, the modernization of China’s economy has developed a special mode, that is, through a planned economy, the centralized allocation of resources is realized and the industrialization and urbanization have been established in a small scope. On the other hand, the resources in a small scope have driven the economy at the large scope which contribute to the industrialization, urbanization, marketization and internationalization. In this article, we will reflect on why China has developed so quickly in the last 40 years and China’s role on the global landscape in the future.

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



 pening-Up Policy, the Miracle O of China and the World

Z. Jingting

China’s contribution to world economic growth is over 30%. China’s economic growth has generated a large number of positive effects for other With regard to the reform and opening-up policy, countries, including developed countries. Without according to Yu Guohui (2017), there are three the rapid development of China’s manufacturing main false opinions. First, the economic growth industry, people in developed countries cannot since the reform and opening up was attributed to buy quality goods and services at such affordable the free market system, and the planned economy prices. of the Mao Zedong was regarded as stagnant and Just as China promotes foreign trade and backward. The second is to regard the Western-­ domestic manufacturing companies to improve style democratization as the only direction of the their production and promote the quality of development of the contemporary Chinese poli- Chinese goods, China is furthering the open up tics. The third is to regard “seeking truth from policy in the service market and promote the facts” as a pragmatic principle. According to the steady rise of the quality of the service industry, opinion of Yu, there are some scholars are too which is of great significance to China and the superstitious about the free market, deny the world. long-term significance of the infrastructure construction carried out in the Era of Mao. They have serious “Western centralism” in their values (Yu China’s Tradition and Its 2017). Development Therefore, what are the progress of China’s development model nowadays? Since the reform Following the investigation line, we have underand opening-up policy, the relationship between stood the actual Chinese situation of developthe country and the society has changed. It has ment, but this concept is not invented nowadays, changed the state of “strong country – weak soci- on the contrary, it has rooted deeply in the soil of ety” in the past into “strong state-strong society”. Ancient China, which is interrelated with the On the other hand, the reform of the political sys- terms such as “He” (Harmony) and “Tianxia” tem is mainly to realize the strategic transforma- (All under Heaven). tion from the “all-round country” to the “public So, in the second section, after the statement service-oriented government”. of the progress that China has obtained in the past In the early period of reform and opening up four decades, we are going to explore the terms policy, China set up several special economic of “development” from the perspective of ancient zones such as Shenzhen and Zhuhai to carry out civilization. The Word “He” or “Harmony” is not pilot projects. After achieving success, the expe- freshly coined with politics, but a philosophical rience and practices were promoted all around tradition. Thousands of years ago, Chinese carved China. This country has become a model which the character “He” (和), which means harmony could be replicated in many countries. In the pro- and peace, on tortoise shells. The character 和 is cess of promoting reform and opening up, China like this:there are two parts, on the left is seedling has continuously assessed whether the various and on the right, it’s a mouse. That means if the measures are effective and adjusted. It is also people have food to eat, the world is harmonious. willing to listen to and learn from the successful The “harmony” encompasses the fundamental practices of other countries and draw on both principles of nature, society and humanity. It is positive and negative experiences from its own also a prerequisite for cultivating one’s morality, practice. protecting one’s family, governing one’s nation Since the application of this policy, China has and stabilizing the world. Harmony is at the core implemented large-scale poverty alleviation and of Chinese traditional culture. development, and has lifted more than 700 milPhilosophically, Confucius (551  B.C. to lion rural people out of poverty. At present, 479  B.C.) expounded the philosophical concept

13  He and Tianxia, Vectors of a New Dynamic of China’s Development

of “harmony without uniformity”, meaning a world is full of differences and contradictions, but the righteous man should balance them and achieve harmony. Other representatives of Confucianism in Ancient China like Mencius, Xunzi also make an incisive statement of the essence of He (harmony) in human relations, which is regarded as a faculty possessed by human beings that refers to showing love and affection to one’s counterparts in social interaction. In addition, Taoismo, the other important Chinese ideology, is based on the “Tao” doctrine – which means the way to achieve harmony. The main Taoism postulate is the principle of balance and relationship of the masculine “yang” and the feminine “yin” and educate people to achieve harmony between “yin” and “yang”. It’s worth mentioned that during the Ming Dynasty in China, there is a phenomenon called “Three teachings harmonious as one” (Chinese: San Jiao He Yi, 三教合一), which refers to Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism when considered as a harmonious aggregate. In order to understand why the unique case happened in China, it’s essential to understand the harmony is the key concept along Chinese history for the country, the society and the people. In the one teaching combined by three religions, Confucianism often functioned as a political ideology and a system of values; Daoism has paid more attention to the lifestyle and the nature; and Buddhism offered, according to some analysts, a proper soteriology, an array of techniques and deities enabling one to achieve salvation in the other world. The notion “Tian Xia” (literally “all under heaven”) also correspond that the harmony drive like the core of Chinese culture and people’s life. In “The New Tianxia: Rebuilding China’s Internal and External Order”, Xu Jilin (2015) connoted both an ideal civilizational order and a world spatial imaginary with China’s central plains at the core. In the Chinese tradition, people share the value of “Tian Xia” instead of Nation or State. Because in the ancient time, when the world and the civilizations distributed in the distinct continents didn’t connect, in the value of Chinese people, the word “China” (zhongguo,中国), refers to the “center” of the


world. In other words, China was tianxia, the embodiment, the universal. An interesting concept that the western scholar Charles Taylor presented is called “the Great Disembedding”, which means that humans have been embedded into the natural world through social groups accompanied by religious practice, through the cosmos, and finally into the divine realm. Primarily, Taylor’s claim that Axial Religion and this “Great Disembedding” shed new light on man’s sense of self-perception is a questionable one, do the fact that man is a social being. With this in mind, “individualism” is simply a social order. With the termination of the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese society has completed “the Great Disembedding”, but the value “Tian Xia” is always rooted in the ideology of Chinese people. The other topic that aroused my interest is about the “Civilization and Barbarism”. According to Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, it was a concept of dichotomy, in which under the context of the Argentine Civil War, “civilization” makes reference to the values and ideas of Europe, and “barbarism” to the rejection of them. Unitarians thought that Buenos Aires should impose those values to the other regions of the country. But considering the value of Tian Xia, We could notice that the historical relations between the Han people and the various non-Han “barbarian groups” on China’s peripheries are the processes of assimilation, borrowing, and integration. The notions of “Chinese” and “barbarian” were not understood in racial terms but in civilizational terms. For instance, pre-modern Chinese people spoke not just of tianxia but also of the difference between barbarians (夷) and Chinese (夏). However, these notions like barbarism and civilization were completely different than the China/West, Us/Them binary discourse on the lips of today’s extreme nationalists. The difference between barbarian and Chinese was determined solely on the basis of whether one had a connection to the values of tianxia. In the Chinese history, The Han people (Chinese) were originally a farming people, while the majority of the Hu people (Barbarians or minority nationality)


were a grassland people. In Chinese history, those dynasties such as Liao dynasty (916–1125), Western Xia (Xi Xia) dynasty (1038–1227), Jin dynasty (1115–1234), Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) and the last dynasty Qing (1616–1912) were built by the people of minority nationality in China. These “barbarians” who are in power, dominate the “Chinese”. Yet during the process, there is a harmonious integration. For example, the blood of the “Chinese” has mixed within it elements of barbarian peoples; from clothing to daily habits, there is not a single area where the people of the central plains have not been influenced by the Hu peoples. Therefore, the traditional Chinese concept of heaven and man, the temperament and the humanity of the spirit and the humanity are important cultural factors which exert much influence the traditional Chinese cultural belief model. In the tradition of Confucian culture as the mainstream, it advocates the core of “HE” (Harmony), which contribute to the development and the peace of the whole world.

China’s Rising Impact Traditional culture does not mean the “culture of the past”. Traditional culture is essentially a stream of ideas and a value orientation. Not all cultural content can become a tradition, a mode of thinking, ideas, and lifestyles. It has represented by Confucianism which has been inherited for thousands of years, which is related to its historical basis of blood patriarchal society. The history of China, with its blood-based roots, has created a traditional culture with Chinese ­characteristics and will inevitably carry on its cultural genes. The historical inevitability of tradition has not necessarily mean that the tradition cannot be changed. The times are changing. On the one hand, traditional culture affects people all the time and shapes social life. On the other hand, people preserve and update traditional culture in established traditional culture. Tradition is not static, and the vitality passed down from generation to generation. Each nation has a cultural tra-

Z. Jingting

dition that constitutes the spiritual cohesion and value orientation of the people. Different national traditions are associated with different historical backgrounds. So that from the universal perspective of Tian Xia, we could notice the influence of the HE (Harmony) as the core value in the Chinese tradition. Historically speaking, Chinese civilization was tianxia. So how to transform tianxia, in the context of globalization? Fei Xiaotong, Chinese sociologist, introduced the notion of “harmony in diversity” in ethnic relations, pointing out that between the civilizations of nationalities it is necessary to “accept the beauty of your own civilization, and accept the beauties of other civilizations; share all the beauties and create a harmonious world” (Xiaotong 2005). Feng Youlan (1999) uses the philosophical theory of “harmony in diversity” to review and look into the trends and results of the cultural developments of nationalities in different states. He believes that in ancient Chinese philosophy, ‘harmony’ and ‘commonality’ did not have the same meanings. ‘Commonality’ could not contain ‘differences’; not only could ‘harmony’ contain ‘differences’, but it needed ‘difference’ in order to be called ‘harmony’. According to Feng Youlan (1999), the enmity could be dissolved in harmony is objective dialectics, regardless of people’s desires and the contemporary society. The international community developed according to this objective dialectic. Therefore, we could notice that both of the Chinese sociologists make emphasis on the concept of harmony in the contemporary society and different civilization could coexist with the acceptance of the beauty and characteristics of other civilizations. Comparing with the modern civilization, which emerged in Western Europe, we could observe that during process of its expansion towards the rest of the world, it experienced differentiation, stimulating the cultural modernization of various peoples and axial civilizations, sometimes the wars cannot be avoided. In Clash of Civilizations and the Reconstruction of World Order, Samuel Huntington (1927–2008) clearly differentiated between two different narratives of universal civilization: the first appeared within

13  He and Tianxia, Vectors of a New Dynamic of China’s Development

the binary analytical framework of “tradition and modernity,” which was part of Cold War ideology. The other narrative employed the analytical framework of plural civilizations, which understood the concept as the common values and accumulated social and cultural structures that could be mutually recognized by various civilizational entities and cultural communities. But on the contrary with the concept of He (Harmony), Huntington predicted that the clash of cultures, would have its most profound impact in the divisions it would create between the West and Islam. We will also discuss the issue of “trade war” and analyze the cooperation in the national and international level such as some ongoing projects “The Belt and Road Initiative” and “BRICS Development Bank” considering the concept of HE. A trade war between the US and China has been heating up for much of this year, and it could continue to escalate in the next year. There is no doubt that the current US-China trade war will clearly have profound impacts on the future economic and political order of our world. As we know He is the core ideology of Chinese people, we could see that during the trade war, the US is being perceived as aggressive and offensive in the trade war, while China is regarded as reactive, defensive and reciprocal. But the harmony doesn’t mean that China won’t take any measures to confront the threats of US. We take the case of “trade war”. In June 2018, India and Pakistan joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as full members for the first time at the SCO summit in Qingdao, China. In September, China just hosted the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Beijing again. And in November, the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) just be held in Shanghai, a significant attempt to demonstrate China’s commitment to globalization. It shows that China’s power and capacity in all aspects of the global landscape. The other platform of cooperation is the New Development Bank, formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank. It’s a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). According to the Agreement on the


NDB, “the Bank shall support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.” On May 28th, the third annual meeting of the BRICS New Development Bank was held in Shanghai. K.V.  Kamath, director of New Development Bank, said that since 2018, the bank had approved $1.7 billion in projects, and this year’s overall target will be $4 to $4.5 billion. The on-going project the Belt and Road initiative also correspond to the concept of “tianxia”. It’s an evolving initiative that will engage in new states, partners, sources of funding and projects over upcoming decades. As Confucius taught “not to impose on others what you do not desire”, this project would help promote economic prosperity and regional cooperation, strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations and promote world peace. It’s a win-­ win project. So after the analysis of the heritage of traditional Chinese culture, we could learn that the harmony is a key component of the ongoing Chinese projects. According to “harmony in diversity” and the experience from Chinese history, in the global landscape of the future, China will also maintain its influence, enhance the cooperation and solve the contradictions with harmonious ways.

Final Reflection In today’s era of the nation-state, if we take reference of the ancient Chinese history and the value of Tian Xia, it seems possible in the international level, the relationship between countries and its neighbors, regardless of whether they are great or small nations, will be defined by the principles of respect for each other’s sovereign independence, equality in their treatment of each other, and peaceful co-existence. Globalization is reshaping the social life of nations in the world in a profound way. Along with the globalization process, more and more global consensus has taken into the aplications. However, there are various “civilized conflicts” that Huntington said in the culture between the East and the West and even among the various national cultures.

Z. Jingting


Globalization requires more culture from the East and the West. When discussing the impact of culture on social development, many scholars believe that the current era is the influence of multiculturalism on the world, which is very different from the traditional era. The “harmony” has become a key factor in the construction of the new order of the world. Whether it is the requirement of the background of globalization or the realization of the Chinese dream, no matter whether it is national cohesion or national integration, it is inseparable from the construction of the national spiritual homeland and cannot be separated from the Chinese traditional culture. In the process of modernization, we cannot ignore the inheritance of culture and the traditions.

References Fei Xiaotong. 2005. “Beauty in common” and human civilization. Group words. 2005 (1): 17–20. 费孝通. “美 美与共” 和人类文明 (上)[J]. 群言, (1), 17–20. Feng Youlan. 1999. History of modern Chinese philosophy. Guangzhou: Guangdong People’s Publishing House. 冯友兰. 1999. 中国现代哲学史, 广州:广东 人民出版社. Xu Jilin. 2015. New worldism: Rebuilding China’s internal and external orders. Intellectuals (13th Series). Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Publishing House. 许纪 霖. 2015. 新天下主义: 重建中国的内外秩序. 知识 分子论丛 (第 13 辑). 上海: 上海人民出版社. Yu Guohui. 2017. Overseas academic circles on the relationship between the two historical periods before and after China’s reform and opening up a refutation of the wrong view. Foreign theoretical development, 12, 013. 于国辉. 海外学界论中国改革开放前后两个历 史时期的关系——兼对错误观点的辩驳. 国外理论 动态, 12, 013.

Bhutan & Gross National Happiness


Diego Burger Araujo Santos and Sangay Dorji


The authors present how Bhutan has revised the concept of development quantified through gross national happiness. The authors point out that along with development and the fulfillment of most basic human needs across the world, there has been a transition in the public discourse of how to increase life satisfaction, while also addressing the challenge of sustainability and environmental protection. The United Nations has helped incite this switch of perspective by supporting many holistic initiatives such as the World Happiness Report (WHR), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and the Human Development Index (HDI) which has been around since the early 90s. With these changes, Bhutan, a small Himalayan country using happiness instead of money as the main indicator for decision making, and which is the only carbon negative country in the world, has begun to draw international attention. This article analyzes the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) D. Burger Araujo Santos IENH University, Novo Hamburgo, Brazil e-mail: [email protected] S. Dorji (*) Paro College of Education, Royal University of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan e-mail: [email protected]

in Bhutan, its history, cultural relevance, scope, potentials, and limitations. It also looks at some of the challenges Bhutan is facing in regard to accomplishing its ambitious goals, as well as some valuable lessons it has to teach the rest of the world. Keywords

GNH · Happiness · Public policies · Bhutan · Sustainability

All human beings want to be happy--we live in the best moment of history (Pinker), and yet we are not happier (Seligman). Along with development and the fulfilment of most basic human needs across the world, there has been a transition in public discourse to how to increase human’s overall life satisfaction, while also reconciling the challenge of sustainability and how to take care of the environment. The U.N. has helped incite this switch of perspective by supporting many holistic initiatives such as the World Happiness Report (WHR), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and the Human Development Index (HDI) which has been around since the early 90s. With these changes, Bhutan, a small Himalayan country claiming to use happiness instead of Gross Domestic

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



Product (GDP) as a tool for decision making, and which is the only carbon negative country in the world, has begun to draw attention. This article will analyze the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) in Bhutan; its history, cultural relevance, scope, potential, and limitations. It will also look to some of the challenges Bhutan is facing in regard to accomplishing their ambitious goals, as well as some valuable lessons it has to teach the rest of the world. However, before proceeding with the analysis, it is convenient to consider some basic facts about the country. The country of Bhutan is a small democratic monarchy in the Himalayas, which is similar to Switzerland in size, measuring 38,394  km2. Its population is ten times smaller than Switzerland’s, with only 807,000 Bhutanese citizens. Bhutan is most known for the prioritization of its people’s welfare and for its environmental sustainability, which are exemplified in its political system and public policies. The geopolitical position of the country is challenging as it is surrounded by the two largest and most populated countries in Asia: India and China. Bhutan is a country of the Global South, yet it is very different than those around it. Its policies could be better compared to those of Costa Rica or Uruguay; countries with limited financial resources that are aiming to create a social welfare state through peace. These three countries have small militaries and depend on larger and wealthier countries for protection (i.e., Bhutan depends on India). Vajrayana Buddhism being the national religion of Bhutan makes it unique within the world, as no other country holds this religion in such a position. The only other country to have had Vajrayana Buddhism as its national religion was Tibet, and since its invasion and subsequent diaspora in the 1950s, a fear that something similar will happen to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, has increased. Though Bhutan and Tibet share a very similar cultural and religious history, they have many differences as well and are by no means the same. Nonetheless, the similarities make visiting Bhutan an emotional experience for those who have studied, lived in or have a deep affiliation with Tibet.

D. Burger Araujo Santos and S. Dorji

In Bhutan, the national language is Dzongkha, which is a linguistic relative of classical Tibetan. However, Dzongkha is only one of 18 languages spoken throughout the country. One of the challenges of Bhutan is its landscape. Historically, the mountainous terrain meant isolation, separating the small country in to deep valleys which, in turn, gave rise to the various languages that can be heard today. In many ways this issue still exists, although to a smaller degree. It is costly to build roads in the mountains and further complicated by Bhutan’s tight allegiance to protecting the environment. Bhutan is not a rich country, and rapid development is costly, especially in this rugged landscape. One must give some credit to the government, which in consideration to these many challenges still manages to be able to afford free education and health care. Additionally, due to its vast forest coverage, Bhutan sequesters more carbon dioxide than it produces, making it the only carbon negative country in the world. In its constitution, it is stated that Bhutan must preserve 60% of the country under forest cover at all times (Article 5 Section 3) (The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2011).

 NH: Four Pillars, Nine Domains G (Definition) The concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) was first introduced in 1972 when the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, was asked about the economic situation in Bhutan. In response, he answered that “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product” (Oxford). By giving this statement, he was saying that a higher GDP does not define good governance and that, rather, the happiness of the constituents is more important. A correlation between money and happiness does exist and that is why Bhutan has a keen interest in improving their economy, but overall, growth for its own sake is not the goal. Although the concept of GNH was only coined in the 1970s, the concept that the government should help increase the well-being of the population has existed in Bhutan long before. In

14  Bhutan & Gross National Happiness

Bhutan’s ancient legal code from 1629, it is stated that “if the government cannot create happiness for its people, then there is no purpose for government to exist.” The correlation between their religion, Vajrayana Buddhism, and the concept of happiness is clear since it is described in the wisdom of ancient texts about the importance of being compassionate and promote happiness for all sentient beings. In 2008, Bhutan formed their constitution and became a democracy. For the first time in history, a monarchy had become a democracy without an external pressure or war. It was the decision of the fourth king who understood the importance of including the populous in the political dialogue. A GNH country is a country in which the politicians represent the population and their needs. For that reason, the people must be heard. GNH is a “multi-dimensional development approach seeking to achieve a harmonious balance between material well-being and the spiritual, emotional and cultural needs of society” (GNH Centre Bhutan). Since happiness in the West is associated with pleasure and a child-like euphoria, some argue that GNH should stand for Gross National Harmony, as harmony and peace may describe more accurately what the fourth king intended when he mentioned happiness. Bhutan’s definition of happiness is very similar to the one used in positive psychology, and it is very different from pleasure or even joy. This happiness is a synonym for overall well-being. It can last for life, and it can include moments of sadness. Different from pleasure or joy that happens in the moment, happiness is one’s perception of their life as a whole. Bhutan has been considered a living example by many for leading the debate on what is considered real human development. The government’s focus was not just on the economic progress of Bhutan, but a flourishing of a human society living in harmony with nature as well. GNH ­consists of four pillars: Good Governance, Sustainable Socio-economic Development, Preservation and Promotion of Culture, Environmental Conservation. The four pillars are then split into nine domains: Living standards, Education, Health, Environment, Community Vitality, Time-


use, Psychological well-being, Good Governance, and Cultural Resilience and Promotion. As can be seen, GNH is a holistic reflection of the general well-being of the Bhutanese population rather than a subjective psychological ranking of happiness alone, as some might assume. It presumes that only a holistic approach can measure whether a government is heading in the right direction or not. Sustainable socio-economic development means that economic development needs to value social and economic contributions to households and families, as well as free time and leisure since these factors play major roles in overall happiness. The overarching belief is that development should bring greater well-being for the present moment as well as for future generations. So the best strategy is to grow slowly, while making sure that all aspects of society are moving in the right direction. The hardest domain to understand is time-use. This domain studies the needs of each person and how they allocate their time. With this data the government can understand the needs of the elderly, the amount of time spent by parents on childcare, as well as which activities are established routines of common people, and its correlation with their overall well-being. This domain comes from the perspective that time is a finite resource, and as such deserves to be used wisely. The biggest accomplishments of GNH policies are free education including college and free health care. Bhutan is also a very safe country. As mentioned earlier, Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world with 60% of the country required to be under forest cover by the constitution. As of 2019, 71% of the country is under forest cover. These are tremendous achievements as Bhutan is only the 106th richest country by GDP per capita. Corruption in Bhutan is also relatively low as seen in its position within the Corruption Perception Index where Bhutan ranks as the 25th least corrupt country. Based on these accomplishments, the population believes in their government and is grateful for everything that it has done. Another significant accomplishment of Bhutan is its tourist industry. Bhutan is trying to


balance preserving its age-old traditions and economic development. This unique approach attracts many tourists. In order to prevent the invasion of tourists in a country with such a small population the government has implemented limitations, one of which is to charge 250 dollars a day per tourist. In the cheapest package, this includes room, board, a tour guide and transportation. This industry generates a great deal of revenue for the government, as well as for local businesses and guides. The big difference between Bhutan and other countries is GNH, from the preservation of culture and the environment, to a holistic framework of development that challenges the simplistic idea of GDP.  It is also very difficult to become a resident in Bhutan, since its strict immigration laws mean that even marriage with a Bhutanese citizen does not guarantee the right to live in the country--work visas are also difficult to come by as the government gives preference to employing local people. These factors lend Bhutan a certain mystique that sparks a curiosity in tourists as to how this small country organizes itself.

GNH Implementation As previously discussed, GNH is not only a measurement, but a philosophy that is ingrained in the Bhutanese culture. It is part of the history of their country and as such impacts different spheres and have the potential to affect many more. The GNH view of an ideal society is that is should regard the well-being of all sentient beings in all actions, from the individual to the societal level. It is an internal as well as external process. It is also a practice based on teaching the population, mainly children, that when you do good to others, you feel good, and that this act feels better than any pleasure driven activity. This is not guessing, philosophy or ideology anymore; it is science that has been extensively proven by Positive Psychology (Seligman 2011). The other capstone of GNH philosophy is that politicians are there to serve the people, so the framework to make any decision needs to be “is this going to increase the overall happiness of the people?”

D. Burger Araujo Santos and S. Dorji

Since we are trying to create a framework based on evidence and not guesses, a screening tool was created to measure each policy that is proposed. The GNH Commission receives the idea (policy or law), and hires someone specialized in that area to conduct the measurement. There are 23 factors that range from 1 to 4. 1 means it will negatively impact that area, 2 means it is uncertain, 3 means it is neutral and 4 it will positively impact that area. For a policy to be approved by the GNHC, it needs to achieve at least 69 (neutral) from 92 possible points. However, each area that receives less than 3 is revised to see how it can be changed to achieve at least a neutral impact (Gross National Happiness Commission 2019). The GNH survey is done by the Centre of Bhutan Studies (CBS 2019) every 5 years. They tried the first one as a pilot in 2006 and the second pilot in 2008. The first survey that was an accurate representation of the diverse population of the country was done in 2010. The second was done in 2015, and the next one is going to be done next year in 2020. The research gathers data from eight thousand people; somewhere close to 1% of the population and 1.5% of the population in the age group are interviewed. The questions are asked to people who are 15  years old and above. There is no maximum age, and they do not ask questions to people younger than 15 due to the complexity of the questions. The choice of 15 and above is a standard for most censuses across the globe. The most important aspect of the survey is not the percentage of people interviewed, but to make sure that they are an accurate representation of the reality of the country. If more people live in the city, more people from the sample should be interviewed there, so on and so forth. The interviews were conducted across 5 months. Each interview takes an average of 1 h. Between 80 and 90 of the questions asked are related to GNH; some other questions are added to use the opportunity to gather some census information. The questions on the survey, since 2010, have been very similar and the idea is to keep it this way so the data and comparison will be more precise. From 2010 to 2015, some

14  Bhutan & Gross National Happiness

improvements were shown that the overall index of the population grew from 0.743 to 0.756, showing across the nine domains of GNH that, overall, people’s lives are getting better (2015 GNH survey). The 2010 study shows that people living in urban areas were happier than those living in rural areas, and also that men were happier than women. Those gaps have decreased in the 2015 survey, showing improvement. The most significant increases in overall happiness were noticed in the western and central regions of Bhutan, the same areas that have received more development and better infrastructure. The data is aligned with scientific studies from the West that show that people from rural areas are not intrinsically more unhappy. People are unhappier when they have less infrastructure, or in other words, not have the conditions to live with dignity. The gap between men and women is not intrinsic and has to do with the patriarchal society. In most parts of the world, this gap is decreasing and the rights of women and their possibilities are increasing, boosting their overall well-being. Those gaps are projected to get progressively closer to zero in coming years. The CBS is an independent research organization, the same way GNHC is also autonomous. It is essential to give freedom for those entities, so they are not influenced by the changes in government or political pressure. Bhutan has dedicated itself to the system of checks and balances to fight corruption, and make sure that all areas of the society are working efficiently towards the same goal. Corruption and lack of cohesion between different spheres of the government is a common problem across the globe. Bhutan is not only dealing with it well, it is also creating a framework that can be used by other countries. It still has a lot to improve, but there is a sense in the country that although Bhutan might be walking slowly, nevertheless it is going in the right direction. This trust from the population for the government is uncommon worldwide, and probably has a lot to do with GNH policies where the people see the government as fighting for their well-being


above all. It is in the constitution of the country, Article 9 Section 2: “The State shall strive to promote those conditions that will enable the pursuit of Gross National Happiness.” The GNHC is the commission that decides where the money goes, how much goes to each place and each area. To do this, they use a Resource Allocation Formula (RAF). The idea is that the decisions of how much money should go to each place cannot be a political decision. It needs to be based on facts. The second point is that the government should help the areas that have more problems. According to Thinley Chedhen from GNHC, one of the main downsides of democracy is competition and political pressures to do favors between political parties, but the RAF solves this problem. The idea is that the RAF should be used on all levels: national, district, and city. The percentage of importance can change in different countries and context, but what cannot change is the decision being formulated by math. Overall, GNH is very similar to other rankings that measure happiness, the most famous one being the WHR (World Happiness Report 2019). Bhutan’s ranking on WHR is 97th, which demonstrates that it is not a paradise and still has a lot of work to do. The HDI is another ranking that has been around for a longer time, on which Bhutan is listed even lower, ranking 134th. In this movement of well-being, WHR is considered a better version of HDI since it takes more into account (Human Development Report 2018). Still, considering the lower position of Bhutan on international rankings, GNH is more than just a ranking; it is a philosophy that has been growing and affecting the structure and ideological stance of numerous spheres. The goal is to one day have GNH affecting everything, and while perfection of this ideal is impossible, it is towards that direction that Bhutan is aiming. Unlike other countries, Bhutan takes the well-being of its people as a priority and has the tools to do so. Although Bhutan is not even close to being the happiest country on Earth, it still has a lot to teach to any other government.


Challenges of GNH The biggest challenge to GNH is money. Bhutan does not have the money to implement all the changes in its infrastructure as desired. As we see prior, the country has been doing a fantastic job and going in the right direction on most issues. However, one big challenge is waste management. Bhutan did not have a trash system until it opened its borders in 1961. This meant no trash cans; there was no notion of putting trash aside for waste collection. During that time, their waste was 100% organic and biodegradable, and since most people lived on farms or close to nature, they simply threw their waste anywhere. This act did not cause any problems because this “trash” would decompose fast or more probably an animal would consume it. Nowadays the situation has changed, but it is not easy to educate the whole population on disposing of trash in the right place. Some policies have been made around the importance of recycling and how to produce the minimum amount of waste possible. As of April 2019, plastic bags were banned from the country as a way of reducing the waste of single-use plastic. It is challenging to create a circular economy in Bhutan since most of the industrialized products are produced elsewhere. The recycling business in Bhutan is small and there is no big company doing it, however, there are some local initiatives. Bhutan’s economic issues are amplified by the increasing amount of unemployed youth, and slow in the private sector (GNHC). According to the World Bank Bhutan has one of the fastest growing economies in the world with an average annual growth of 7.6%. The national poverty headcount fell from 12% in 2012 to 8% in 2017. The overall unemployment has also decreased from 2.9% in 2013 to 2.1% in 2016. The real problem was youth unemployment, with rates increasing from 10.7% in 2015 to 13.2% in 2016, and was especially high among educated youth. The youth unemployment rate with a bachelor’s degree was 67% in 2016, which is a direct consequence of an education system that lacks practicality and only prepares the students for

D. Burger Araujo Santos and S. Dorji

government jobs, even though less than 30% of them will acquire one. The government in Bhutan is so good, and the kings are so generous that it has backfired in the sense that the population most of the time is not proactive, but wait to be saved. This is a problem not only on the economic level, but also on the political level. Good Governance is necessitating peoples’ participation, and although many initiatives try to promote this, it is still an area that needs further development. The phenomena of groupthink are very strong in Bhutan, as it can be assumed to be a collectivist culture, so there is a lack of willingness in taking risks or doing something outside of the normative. Those characteristics, combined with an education that is not problem-solving oriented, results in a lack of entrepreneurship. This is a shame as it could solve many of the social problems, create jobs, and generate income. The idea of businesses of social impact has yet to be introduced to the country as a whole, although some initiatives already exist. A culture shock is occurring in Bhutan. This problem is happening all around the world; however, in Bhutan it feels stronger because it is happening at a faster pace since many modern amenities were not present at all until recent years. Bhutan was closed off from the rest of the world until 1961, when trade with India slowly began. Since then, India has been the primary partner of Bhutan in all political issues. With that, Bhutan began to import industrialized products which have been shifting various aspects of the culture. For example, there is a certain degree of bewilderment and ignorance regarding how to approach technology and how to implement it in various forms. This creates generational problems: an older generation that does not understand all those changes, and for the first time is not being cared for by their loved ones because of family migration to big cities. The generation below the elders is one of adults that can see both the good and bad sides of these changes, but the younger generation tends to idolize the West since it was raised watching Hollywood movies. The youth of Bhutan want to consume the same products as the West, and generally have a more

14  Bhutan & Gross National Happiness

materialistic mindset than their predecessors. It is part of GNH and the Buddhist teachings to understand the difference between wants and needs and to praise those that don’t desire luxury, and the youngest generation is now being taught in a more holistic education. No one knows how all these changes will affect the culture in the future. Another challenge is to convince the population to take holistic approaches in their own lives. For example: taking care of one’s health before getting sick by choosing to eat healthier food and exercise; by choosing to be more responsible for their trash and hardly produce trash; or in regard to education. Bhutan is changing their early childhood education for a more constructivist approach based on Steiner and Montessori. In almost any other place on the planet parents pay private school fees for these modern approaches, but Bhutanese parents are skeptical of them since they are so different from traditional ways. With this approach, Bhutan aims to foster a generation with greater critical thinking that is ready to reach their full potential in the future and hopefully bring more peace and harmony.

GNH and the Global Context Even with all the challenges, Bhutan was able to create GNH and be considered by the United Nations as one of their references for the development of well-being. Since 2011, the UN has encouraged all countries to start measuring development in a more holistic way by creating some model similar to Bhutan’s GNH Index (Oxford). Bhutan’s discovery through public policies based on GNH shows a strong correlation with the results of the WHR. People are happy when they have their basic needs met and are capable of living with dignity under less stress. This can be seen by the fact that countries with a strong welfare state are higher in the WHR.  Those include the Scandinavian countries, such as: Switzerland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. These findings jive well with those of Dr. Daniel Kahneman, the only psychologist to ever receive a Nobel prize,


who proved that after a certain point more money does not increase happiness. This amount of money in the US is 60 thousand dollars per year per family, each family being two adults and one child. Although this is still a significant amount, two things should be taken into consideration. First, the relation between money and happiness starts to become less strong when getting closer to the 60 thousand dollar mark. The happiness of the family increases a lot more from 20 to 30 thousand dollars a year, compared to a family that goes from 40 to 50 thousand a year. As mentioned before that above 60 thousand does not correlate with happiness. The second point is after knowing this information, our perception of money changes. Ideally, governments will advocate for a strong middle class rather than to make a few individuals millionaires. Individuals themselves may also stop looking to celebrities and thinking they must be happy with all that wealth, because in reality there is no correlation between the two. A government should help their people to achieve those basic needs that include: health care, education, safety/security, and justice. When we talk about well-being, we cannot think only about the present moment, but also in the long run. That is why environmental policies are so important for guaranteeing that a better and happier future is being created, and not the other way around. Fulfilling these needs should be the priority, but more specific issues that increase happiness should not be forgotten: like increasing social connections (which is the factor that is most related to happiness), physical exercise, good sleep, leisure time, religion/spirituality, healthy food, and valuing experiences more than superficial, material goods. Bhutan provides a different perspective while measuring happiness that is not present in other paradigms: Preservation and Promotion of Culture. As explained prior, much of this concern has to do with its geopolitical situation and small population. Bhutan is surrounded by the two biggest countries in Asia (China and India), who have previously invaded the former neighboring countries of Tibet and Sikkim. Moreover, since

D. Burger Araujo Santos and S. Dorji


Bhutan is a poor country, its people tend to see western culture as superior, which increase the importance of government stepping forward to preserve it. Although ideally, a government should not impose a culture, Bhutan’s government do this in some ways since the context requires this more “extreme” approach to keep its identity and prevent an invasion. The importance of preserving culture does not limit itself to those issues since we know that belonging (social connection) is the factor that most increases happiness, so the topic should receive more attention from public policies. The concept of having a cultural identity can be very soothing for one’s psyche.

Conclusion These concepts of happiness are universal, but how each government will implement them depends on the cultural and local circumstances. The end goal needs to be the same, but the regional differences need to be respected. Just because a policy worked in one country, does not mean it will work in another. The central teaching that Bhutan has to give to the world is to put the well-being of its population at the center of any policy. The policy is only worth it if it increases the happiness of the people. GDP is only relevant if it increases the GNH.  In many ways it does, and those should be maintained, but in others, if it does not, then it should not be implemented. The politicians are in power to represent the needs of the population and should find the best ways to increase their overall well-being in the present and the future.

References Bhutan India Trade Relations. Royal Bhutanese Embassy New Delhi. Recupered from: rbedelhi/?page_id=30. CBS Center for Bhutan Studies. 2019. Personal Interview. Culture, Language and People. (2014). Little Bhutan. Recupered from: culture-language-and-people. GNHC Gross National Happiness Commission. 2019. Personal interview. “Has Bhutan’s growth been jobless?” World Bank Blogs. Recupered from: has-bhutan-s-growth-been-jobless. History of GNH. GNH Centre Bhutan. Recupered from: gnh/. Human Development Report. 2018. Human development indices and indicators, 22–25. New York: UNDP. Kahneman, Daniel. Transcript of the riddle of experience vs. memory. TED.  Recupered from: transcript?language=en. Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), Recupered from: national-policy/gross-national-happiness-index/. Pinker, Steven. Is the world getting better or worse. A look at the numbers. TED. Recupered from: talks/steven_pinker_is_the_world_getting_better_or_ worse_a_look_at_the_numbers?language=en. Seligman, Martin E.P. 2011. Authentic happiness. North Sydney: William Heinemann. The 4 Pillars of GNH.  GNH Centre Bhutan. Recupered from: the-4-pillars-of-gnh/. The 9 Domains of GNH. GNH Centre Bhutan. Recupered from: the-9-domains-of-gnh/. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. 2011. Printed at Kuensel Corporation. Transparency International. 2018 Research  - CPI  – Overview. Recupered from: World Happiness Report. 2019. The ­worldhappiness. report/ed/2019/.

The Community and the Paths of Critical Thinking in the Global Periphery: The Cases of sumak kawsay/suma qamaña and Ubuntu


Fabricio Pereira da Silva



The romanticized rereading of a communal past is a central theme for a considerable part of critical thinking in the global periphery of capitalism. Concepts based on a holistic and communitarian vision of the world, extended family, and community, mixed with elements of European political philosophy, are recurrent. The idea of a shared communal heritage that ensures a direct transition to an egalitarian society, without the need to go through the trials of classical capitalist development, seems to be the common reason for peripheral critical thinking. These proposals assume a specific relationship with historical time: they project a future articulated with the past. It suggests that a common perception is that if something was possible in the past, it may be possible in the future. This kind of propositions is analysed in this chapter comparing two original projects of development, proposed in several countries in Latin America and Africa through two key concepts: the Sumak Kawsay/Suma Qamaña (good living) in Latin America and Ubuntu in Africa.

Community · Sumak Kawsay/Suma Qamaña · Good living · Ubuntu · Critical thinking

F. Pereira da Silva (*) Department of Political Studies, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The romanticized rereading of a communal past is a central theme for a considerable part of critical thinking in the global periphery of capitalism. Concepts based on a holistic and communitarian vision of the world, the extended family and the community, mixed with elements of European political philosophy, are recurrent. The idea of ​​a common inheritance which can ensure direct passage to an egalitarian society without having to go through the trials of classical capitalist development seems to have been the general reason for peripheral critical thinking since defense of the potential of the peasant commune by Russian populism in the nineteenth century. This idea has been present in the works of José Carlos Mariátegui, Fausto Reinaga, in the negritude of Aimé Césaire and Léopold Senghor, in the ujamaa of Julius Nyerere, in the conscientism of Kwame Nkrumah, in the Andean sumak kawsay or suma qamaña, in the “community socialism“of García Linera, in Mexican Zapatism, in the ubuntu of South Africa  – to mention just a few examples. These proposals assume a specific relationship with historical time: they project a

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



future, but a future linked with the past. If it has been possible in the past, it may be in the future. What I would suggest then is the viability of comparing the formats that came from several points of the periphery throughout the process of accelerated expansion of modernity over the surface of the planet. All these formats constitute proposals for building alternative societies based on ways of living, producing, socializing, feeling known, being in the world and yet distinct from the main path of Western modernity  – ways of living which would be part not only of the social memory of these peoples, but also still of its present as survivors or as memories. These are typical formats from intellectual groups formed in the global periphery in search of a place in the world for themselves and their people since the moment that they acquired the “consciousness of being periphery” (Devés Valdés 2017). Those I have just cited generally constitute currents on the left of these groups, seeking their acclimatization to zones different from those where they were originally thought. The concepts of sumak kawsay (quéchua/quichua) and suma qamaña (aimara) of Andean origin, and ubuntu (of xhosa and zulu), of South African origin, are two particularly comparable examples of such phenomena since they constitute very similar ideas. They start from material, cultural bases, and from a common “world vision” – and because they are contemporary. These are the most recent expressions of a trend from the nineteenth century that will be compared in this chapter. First, I will discuss the origins and developments of the concepts. Next, I will present a typology of their uses. Finally, I will suggest some keys to understand them.

Sumak Kawsay/Suma qamaña Sumak kawsay can be translated as “good living“, but also as “clean and harmonious life”, or as “good life”. Suma qamaña can mean “living well”, but also “living in peace”, “living well together”, leading a “sweet life”, “creating the life of the world“.1 The most reasonable thing to Sometimes the expression ñande reko is used as a com-


F. Pereira da Silva

assume is that these terms are not subject to an exact translation, giving us approximations at best. However, they appear to be an open idea, a flexible and polissemic concept, under debate and in construction. A concept historically constructed and in constant transformation (Ramírez 2010). The appearance of the terms sumak kawsay/suma qamaña is recent. Their emergence as a set of ideas in academic and political debates appeared, roughly speaking, only in the early 2000s, and their expansion has developed since the second half of the decade (Vanhulst 2015).2 However, we must recognize that it also refers to a broader tradition, part of political culture and linked to the physical nature of its region of origin. It is a reinvention begun in the 1970s and 1980s with Indian intellectuals (mainly aimaras) who were studying in universities and who were looking for alternative narratives to liberalism and Marxism with the support of other intellectuals and Western NGOs. But it is also a recovery from a pre-existing repertoire and cosmologies, even without being decoded as concepts in the academic or political sense. In sum, the idea is recent insofar as a body capable of being mapped, studied and understood as part of codified political thought. But some basic elements of the base were already there, even without being named. It is possible to conceive of the fact that the core of the concept involves a change in the relationship of human beings between themselves and Nature. Two basic ideas can be found: (1) communalism in relationships among individu-

plement, which could be understood as “harmonious life”. Generally, the expression appears as a synonym for sumak kawsay or suma qamaña in political speeches, but it does not necessarily have the same meaning for Guarani Indian intellectuals or for specialists of lifestyles of this nation. In addition, the concepts are currently used by ethnic groups with which they had no previous relations, such as the Guaranis themselves, the Shuar, the Afro-Equatorians and even the indigenous Mapuche and Maia movements (these more distant from its geographic origin). 2  I have noted a single reference from before the 2000s and that proposes ideas for this notional body: it comes from the book compiled by the scientist Simón Yampara with the title Naciones autóctonos originárias: vivir y convivialir in tolerancia y diferencia, published in 1991 (Yampara 1991).

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als, supported by reciprocity and equality; (2) and a holistic conception of the relationship between man and Nature, of integration instead of domination and exploration, from “externality” towards a harmonious relationship, implying in intergenerational justice (Wray 2009). Such a relationship can be expressed on two fronts: man/ Nature and present generation/future generations. Reciprocity amongst individuals in the present and in relation to future (and even past) generations could as well be observed in the man/ Nature relationship: man obtains his survival from Nature by being part of it and it compensates him for its regeneration; and Nature later, being grateful, will once again offer him its fruits. It is a circular conception of time, an alternative to that characteristic of modernity: progressive, evolutionary, linear. Some critics will understand it as “pre-modern”, contrary to the well-being of their societies and associated in a hegemonic way with the advancement of modernity; their supporters will see it as “post”, “trans” – modern and at least potentially capable of nurturing “another modernity”. The same occurs with respect to ubuntu, as we shall see. The two previously mentioned bases are linked, respectively, with the space of the aylluet to the notion of pachamama. The first is the center of indigenous community conviviality, anchored in extended and territorial family ties. In it is expressed the qama-ña, the place of being/ of existing, the social and harmonious space-time of well-being, locus of the community. It is linked inseparably with the jaka-ña, which relates rather to living, to the space-time where life is created, where it (re) occurs, and it is the locus of the ­couple, of the home (jaqi); and with jiwa-ña, the place to die (Medina 2011). In summary, the ayllu is the space where we live well. And the qama-ña, jaka-ña and jiwa-ña, in turn, are inseparable from the space of Nature, the pachamama, with which relationships are established and with whom we live together, on which the life of the couple is supported, as well as being in community and dying. Qamaña Qamaña also implies living together with Pacha Mama. Qamasa is the energy, the vital force to be able to live and share


with others. This is an explicit relationship between the root qama and we, where we inhabit and where we make our home (Albó 2011). Sumak kawsay/suma qamaña links with the reforming governments in Bolivia and Ecuador – during the constituency procedures in both countries as well as afterwards, within government strategies. Probably the concept then took on the capacity to refer to the roots of governments and movements in each of these societies made up of re-ethnized indigenous and mestiza majorities. In this sense, the concept seems to have been introduced in the Constituent Assemblies of Bolivia (2006–2007) and Ecuador (2007–2008) by intellectuals, assembly members, certain NGOs and social movements in order to inspire and designate a variety of institutional initiatives. The concept has also played a role in the process of legitimizing a range of positions within intra-­ governmental disputes and between governments and the sectors of society. In Bolivia, the concept is transmuted into an ethical and moral principle which should inspire the state, society and the economic model. Article 8 of the Constitution states: “The State assumes and promotes as ethical and moral principles of plural society: ama qhilla, ama llula, ama suwa (do not be lazy, do not be a liar, do not be a thief), suma qamaña (living well), ñandereko (harmonious life), ivi maraei (land without harm) and qhapaj ñan (path or noble life)”. The same article lists a series of values that the state supports “in order to live well” merging, in my opinion, “originating” elements, the “traditional” left and even liberal. The values that the Bolivian State stands, so as “to live well”, are “unity, equality, inclusion, dignity, freedom, solidarity, reciprocity, respect, complementarity, harmony, transparency, balance, equal opportunities, social and gender equity in participation, well-being in common, responsibility, social justice, distribution and redistribution of products and social goods”  (Asamblea Plurinacional de Bolivia 2009). In the Constitution of Ecuador of 2008 the idea took on the function of discursive unification of the numerous projects in dispute since the

F. Pereira da Silva


Preamble, where the assembly members affirmed that they have decided to build “a new form of citizen coexistence, in diversity and in harmony with Nature, to achieve good living, sumak kawsay”. A body of fundamental rights is constituted by those “of Nature”, perhaps the most important innovation of the text, insofar as Nature is understood here as a subject of social rights, especially as regards its preservation and regeneration. In addition, a good amount of social rights – more traditional or of recent development – have been grouped under the instruction of “rights to live well”, that is to say, the concept comes to define a body of fundamental rights. Social rights “guarantee”, “allow”, “realize” good living. It is from them that a so-called “good living regime” originates, in which policies of inclusion and equity come together, protection of biodiversity and natural resources; both a “development regime” which must ensure the realization of good living. This asserts the primordial duty of the State to ensure “access to good living” to “plan national development, eradicate poverty, promote sustainable development and the equitable redistribution of resources and wealth”. We realize the breadth of meanings that the concept can cover, at the same time by returning to the profound innovation on the “rights of nature”, by associating with the notions of “development” (“national” and“sustainable”) (República del Ecuador 2008, sp). The concept was used repeatedly in speeches and in presidential texts, more particularly by Evo Morales, as well as by government documents and partisan programs of the “Movimiento al Socialismo” (MAS) in Bolivia and the “Patria Altiva y Soberana” (PAÍS) to Ecuador. It is noticeable that the concept takes its course as a fundamental referent to give names to government plans. In Bolivia, the “Economic and Social Development Plan under the Benchmark of Integral Development for Good Living (2006– 2020)” is under way. In Ecuador, in turn, the National Development Plans of 2009–2013 and from 2013–2017 were named “National Plans for Good Living”, structured by the National Secretariat for Planning and Development (SENPLADES).

Ubuntu Ubuntu, an expression from the Xhosa and Zulu languages, has been one of the most frequent subjects in debates on Africa for some time. This can be seen in several fields of the humanities, from law to political philosophy, from ethnography to theology, from sociology to social services, from linguistics to pedagogy. It has also served various political purposes, as it has expanded and continuously renewed itself. It is noticeable, moreover, in the spread of the concept over other fields of growing interest such as ecology, literature on personal and entrepreneurial development and computer science. Ubuntu is just one of the terms from the original Bantu languages to be taken up at the same time, being the one that has gained wider popularity in recent years,3 For Gade (2011), the use of ubuntu in written texts can be traced back to 1846, at least – even if occurrences are rare. Its main meanings until the middle of the twentieth century, at least, revolve around human nature, humanity, manhood and humanness. From the start, therefore, ubuntu has been linked to a human quality. But, already in a good number of the first texts where the term is mentioned, it would be a quality proven overwhelmingly among Africans, the Bantus, the “natives” – an idea which would establish itself later on. Since the second half of the twentieth century the concept has gradually become understood in the sense of a particular “philosophy” or an “ethics” (black-African or Bantu). In the 1970s it was incorporated into “African humanisms” or “African socialisms” which fed the processes of decolonization and the construction of new states, assuming in this way more clearly political uses. In this political sense ubuntu was engaged more specifically during two transitional periods: the end of white supremacy in Rhodesia, culminating in the founding of Zimbabwe in

There are others with meanings deemed similar by many specialists: umunthu (chewa), umundu (yawo), bunhu (tsonga), unhu / hunhu (shona), botho (sotho and tswana), umuntu (zulu), vhutu (venda), yumunhu (changani), utu (swahili)


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1980, and the eclipse of apartheid that led to the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1994. In Zimbabwe, it took on a closer meaning of “decolonizing or indigenous ideology” (with an “ism”), while in South Africa it was widely understood politically as a “world vision” and academically as a “philosophy” or an “ethics”. The main reference for the ideological use of the term ubuntu in Zimbabwe is the book by the brothers Stanlake Samkange and Tommy Marie Samkange with the title Hunhuism or Ubuntuism: A Zimbabwe Indigenous Political Philosophy, from 1980. It seems to us to be the first book that specifically treated ubuntu and the first also to have presented it as a political philosophy. The authors defend the need for a political philosophy or an ideology peculiar to a new country, based on its own traditions and, in this way, distinct from “foreign” ideologies. They call it “Hunhuism” or “Ubuntuism“. Among other characteristics, it would contribute to the unity of the country, the promotion of a national identity and the preservation of communal ownership of the land (Samkange and Samkange 1980). However, the concept did not have much success in its own country despite the initial proposals, being unmentioned in official documents and a wider circulation. It was used occasionally by Robert Mugabe (head of the country as Prime Minister or President of the Republic between 1980 and 2017) and served as the basis of agreements for national unity between the dominant Zimbabwe African National Union  – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the opposition in 1987 and 2008 (Mangena 2016). But the political process in Zimbabwe would not be the one that decisively contributed to the global circulation of the idea of u​​ buntu. Currently, the focal point for the development of the concept and from where it spread is South Africa and this since the end of Apartheid. It seems that the ubuntu era has become for many politicians and intellectuals a providential element of unity and the formulation of public policies of what was understood as a new nation and a new state under construction. Gade (op. Cit.) It suggests that it was during this transitional period in South Africa, more precisely between 1993 and 1995,


that ubuntu gained today’s hegemonic meaning. It is to be understood as a particular worldview that can be defined through the proverb nguni umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu – vaguely translated as “a person is a person through other people”. The philosopher Augustine Shutte had an important role in the amalgamation between ubuntu and this proverb in his book Philosophy for Africa, published in 1993 in South Africa and in 1995 in the United States (only after this second edition ubuntu was noted as the theme of the book) (Shutte 1995); as well as Desmond Tutu in No Future Without Forgiveness, published in 1999 and receiving immediate worldwide approval  (Tutu 1999). Since then, ubuntu has been linked on several occasions with another expression having a meaning close to that one: “I am because we are“.4 The term ubuntu was introduced into the Interim Constitution of South Africa, ratified in November 1993 to serve as the legal basis for the transition from apartheid to democracy. In it the concept was mentioned in a vague way, without having a definition, being associated with the need for national unity and reconciliation: The adoption of this Constitution lays the safe foundation for the people of South Africa to transcend divisions and struggles of the past that have been the result of serious violations of human rights, the transgression of humanitarian principles in the form of violent conflicts. and a legacy of hatred, fear, guilt and revenge. This can be addressed now because of a need for understanding but not revenge, a need for reparation but no retaliation, a need for ubuntu but no victimization (Republic of South Africa 1993). The concept ended up being absent from the final Constitution promulgated in December 1996. Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court constantly prides itself on ubuntu in order to justify its interpretations, including in it a basic principle of the Constitution and South African society. Several decisions of the Court show ubuntu as the basis for an “African” jurispruNot enough can be said about this quote that comes from John Mbiti’s classic work African Religions and Philosophy, published in 1969 (Mbiti 1969).



dence, at the same time in harmony with Western and contemporary values which run through the Charter. Another key to understanding the visibility acquired by the concept during the South African transition is to be found in the functioning of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This was the mechanism invented from the negotiated transition that could produce national reconciliation and unity, “on the basis of the need for understanding but not for revenge, a need for reparation but no reprisals, a need for ‘ubuntu but not victimization’, in the terms of the Interim Constitution. Tutu’s role throughout the South African transition and as President of the TRC deserves special note. I thus suggest that the fixation of the idea of​​ ubuntu as an African “world view“ and its approximation to the proverb umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu largely come from the archbishop during his countless interviews, sermons, videos, speeches and books of total disclosure since the 1990s. Ubuntu would be a way of ensuring the cohesion of a deeply divided and unequal society, wounded by violence and oppression, consisting in the possibility of cohabitation of the former oppressors with the oppressed. Tutu played an important role in the deployment of the idea of ​​“restorative” instead of “retributive” justice, by proposing that the former was already inscribed in African tradition, specifically in the idea of ubuntu. It is reasonable to identify at least two processes in parallel during the development of the concept. The first relates to its complexity, going from a human quality to a more systemic ­reality – ethics, (political) philosophy, ideology, world view. The second process is the growing rapprochement with the black African, with something that goes with his way of life, his origin, the way of defining the form of his relationship to the community (ancestors and future generations included) and to Nature. These developments occurred from the middle of the twentieth century and are the key to understanding the contemporary uses of ubuntu since the 1990s – uses by associating it with an original (South) African contribution to the encouragement of community,

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solidarity, forgiveness, unity, harmony and justice. To define ubuntu it is necessary to go further from “a person is a person through other people” and from “I am because we are”. A point that is repeated in the definitions of ubuntu goes beyond the fact that it is attached to the community on several levels: to the common place, to solidarity, to the interdependence of people. Shutte (2009) specifies that the concept should be considered with “community” and not with “collectivism” – more precisely, with the African concept of community. The author asserts that individualism and collectivism are both Western conceptions, supported by an artificial view of society as an aggregate of individuals  – differing only in the importance attached to the individual or to society. In ubuntu, on the other hand, it would be close to communalism. The latter would be an African concept that can be a branch vaguely connected to organicism, but linked more precisely to the person. For Shutte, ubuntu is a kind of ethics, the acquired human quality characteristic of a accomplished person and of the community shared with others that results from it. Thaddeus Metz (2014), a North American political philosopher living in South Africa, is currently the author most taken by this proposal of ubuntu as a basis for ethics, which according to him is quite fertile for elaborating a contemporary moral theory and a theory of justice. According to him, ubuntu as an ethical theory has a lot to tell us about how individuals and institutions should behave in the twenty-first century. Metz’s intention is to defend the validity of the concept as an ethical basis for action and justice. Still according to him, he would have a series of experiences and actions in contemporary South African life that would relate to ubuntu and should be stimulated, and that would be capable of universalization  – beyond the South-African or black-African experience. In contrast, Mogobe Ramose (2003a, b) emphasizes ubuntu as a basis for an African philosophy. Ubuntu is what a human can become, adds the author (human-ness) – never an ‘ism’ as claimed by the Samkange brothers (human-ism). Nor is it humanity in the sense advocated by

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Shutte (and by Metz), who, according to Ramose, is looking into the concept of ethical values ​​capable of being spread to all humanity, insights for a better life as a community. The author reaffirms the African-ness of the concept (therefore, its peculiarity), and the fact that it is via ubuntu that African religion, politics and law would always aim for “cosmic harmony” to be obtained by means of consensus: obtaining peace through achieving justice. Munyaradzi Felix Murove (2009) emphasizes relationality, interdependence, in the act of becoming human in relation to the concept of ubuntu. A person is a person from another person insofar as the humanization process proceeds from relationality with others: someone becomes fully human only in contact with other people. Murove also insists on the interconnection between the past, the present and the future, between immortality and mortality crisscrossing the concept. In all likelihood ubuntu, like sumak kawsay, refers to a concept of time and a relationship with the environment that are alternatives to those of Western modernity. Ubuntu therefore refers to a conception of circular time in which past, present and future generations are interconnected  – and yet distinct from the notions of progress or evolutionary theory that have marked Western modernity. The governments of the African National Congress (ANC) have linked ubuntu to a wide variety of public policies. The principle that informed the Batho Pele (Sotho expression that would mean “ People First “), inaugurated in 1997, was probably inspired by ubuntu. The ubuntu initiative was one of its founding ­elements, the “moral regeneration” initiative launched by Mandela in 1997 and which was deployed in the Movement for Moral Regeneration launched in 2002 by the government of Thabo Mbeki and sectors of civil society. Finally, in 2011 Jacob Zuma introduced Ubuntu Diplomacy. Beyond public policies resolutely inspired by ubuntu, it is possible to reinforce the dimension reached by the concept from its repeated presence in presidential speeches and in declarations and documents of the ANC.  In this sense, it is quite possible to suggest that the notion has played a


central role for the South African hegemonic party and its governments. Leaving aside the uses of ubuntu that can be understood as being properly political, the concept continues its course and flourishes in the most diverse environments, such as the business world, entrepreneurship, social responsibility, sustainable development, emotional intelligence etc. The concept has largely been emptied of more substantial meanings, and is now circulating in a hegemonic way through meanings such as “kindness”, “compassion”, “respect”, “collaboration”, “teamwork” and “helping others” “. In a certain sense, as it became less (South) African, it has lost its more consistent meanings: “moral”, “philosophy”, “worldview”, “Weltanschauung”. We have seen that among other possible meanings ubuntu has historically been aligned with “human qualities”, “humanism” or human-ness. If the concept is associated with the first two ideas, its potential is considerably reduced the more the concept “Westernizes”, and approaches the concept of man as the center of all things. In accordance with this version it can be possible to associate it to any theory of modernization or development projects. In this case, ubuntu can be seen as solidarity, a connection between living human beings. However, in the versions which one could call “the most originating” of the ubuntu linked to human-ness, trade between the living and past and future generations is generally accentuated, and this even between non-­ living human beings and inanimate beings. That is where ubuntu takes on a more holistic aspect and assumes a greater epistemic radicality, since it requires a conception of man integrated into Nature and as a compromise to future generations. In any case, in the same way as it happens in sumak kawsay/suma qamaña, it is always a reworking that will have no connection with what ubuntu was  – in fact, we do not know exactly what ubuntu was, or even if it was specifically something. The most likely would be to imagine that the term refers to a myriad of vaguely “African” relationships, beliefs and lifestyles; that ubuntu is a mode (it could have been another) to name what was superior in the past and that was destroyed after the advent of modernity  –


modernity, it must be said, that also means conquest, domination, slavery, segmentation and apartheid. In addition, ubuntu has served and continues to serve for social cohesion and the construction of the national South African state, something which should not be understood as negative – this is the impression given by much of the academic literature on nationalisms. There is no doubt that ubuntu, in its nationalist or pan-Africanist forms, can imply “essentialisms“. Defending the fact that there would be a way of being connected to an African “soul” or to a race or some sort of metaphysics are theories that no longer have a place in respectable academic debate  – nor in politics. But, on the other hand, it is possible to affirm that this indeterminacy called ubuntu refers to ways of life, to concrete visions of the world that are in evidence in very many African societies, either from the past history of the continent, or still as survivors adapted or in power in contemporary African societies. This positioning, which can be supported by historiographic, economic, sociological, anthropological, political and culturalist arguments, is valid because the debate around African “unity” or “fragmentation“is still open within academia, in thinking both on the continent itself and in the diaspora. There is no essentialism in this type of argument  – only the defense of the fact that, beyond diversity, there are possibly common elements capable of unifying the continent in the past, in the present and potentially in the future.

Typology Test It is possible to identify three uses for the concepts compared here. It is from these uses that I propose a typology. This can be exemplified by authors, but be aware that they are intangible types – so they are simplifications not existent in pure form in reality. In several cases, the authors can transit between these types at different times, or even mix two or three of them. For example, Tutu circulated through three types, sometimes simultaneously: ubuntu originally African, but also as an inspiration for all of humanity; he is a

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vision of the world, but also food for theological-­ philosophical discussion and thinking of alternative societies; it is the basis of the constitution of the nation state, but it is also the basis for opposing policies “against the spirit of ubuntu” practiced by that same state. Originals: This positioning affirms the originality of these concepts in the sense that they could be respectively indigenous or black-­ African. As has been demonstrated, the argument doesn’t need to be essentialist  – it can be supported on economic, sociological, political, anthropological bases, etc. However, we are arguing here for greater precision in the concepts or, in other words, for the impossibility of their universalization. According to these versions, they could only be truly understood and experienced by the communities where they came from. Eventually, they are not even considered as “leftist” concepts (here “left” and “right” as Western parameters foreign to their symbolic universe). This “indigenous” approach is present in Simón Yampara and in Mogobe Ramose. Counter-hegemonic: Progressive intellectuals with a clearly more “Western” background in search of a lost alternative project are currently appropriating these concepts. They are looking for another path to development, modernity, capitalism and they have started to deploy post-­ structuralist, post-modern, post-colonial or decolonialized forms of these concepts. Alberto Acosta, Edgardo Lander, Eduardo Gudynas, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Augustine Shutte and Thaddeus Metz are examples of this type. It suggests the supersession of individualism, lack of solidarity – of extractivism and consumerism which form the basis of the economies of these countries. But there is no consensus about what should replace them: some authors defend the need for “alternative developments”, a new concept of development, a new “development regime”; others defend the superiority of the very idea of ​​ development, “non-development” or “post-development”; and still others, a linking to socialism. Officialists: The institutional, governmental and partnership uses of these concepts. They are more visibly neo-developmentalist, turned

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towards state strategies of development and social equity, to forms of social policies that are supportive  – but not socializing. These include concepts as levers for economic and social development projects and not as “development alternatives” per se. These customs have gradually hegemonized government officials in Bolivia, Ecuador and South Africa, at least since the approval of their Constitutions  – and can be found in the speeches of their presidents and in the programs of the political parties forming the government.

Final Considerations It is the relationship between the archaic and the modern, the past and the future, that should be at the center of all this thinking. This debate may be useful in considering going beyond the teleologies of history. Sumak kawsay/suma qamaña and ubuntu are not necessarily backward-looking: they think of the future as being in close contact with the past. Michael Löwy and Robert Sayre (2015) argue that romanticism can be understood not as an artistic-literary movement from the beginning of the nineteenth century, but as a way of seeing the modern world which extends to the present day, like an antithesis of modernity. Romanticism would constitute a criticism of modernity stemming from own modernity. This makes us question this backward, reactionary image, often detaching the aspect of bearer of the future, able to present itself as a revolutionary. It is therefore not a return to the past, but a seeking for elements in the past to build another future – since this past is seen as a moment of full development of the individual, of nationality and community. If it has occurred, it may still exist on new bases. Among the ideal types of romanticism proposed by the two authors, I want the fact that the sumak kawsay/suma qamaña and ubuntu were on many occasions placed in the mold of a “reforming” or “revolutionary and/or utopian” key, both being romantic perspectives looking to the future. I consider that they could be framed mainly in the intangible type of “reformist romanticism”. Their


political uses and a good part of their academic interpretations are aligned to this perspective: these concepts are thought of, in such cases, as sometimes radical criticism of individualism, reification, materialism and the lack of solidarity of modernity. However, the transformation programs materialize with difficulty into concrete and even less radical projects. Some authors, for their part, judge sumak kawsay/suma qamaña and ubuntu in a way that is more like what Löwy and Sayre define by the notion of “revolutionary and/or utopian romanticism”, better expressed by its subtype “populist” as launched by the Russian populists. The “populist” subtype of “revolutionary and/or utopian” romanticism wants to save, restore or develop as social otherness the forms of production and community life of pre-modern ‘people’. Others affirm the survival of communal practices in Andean America or in contemporary Africa (even as decadent or submerged), and imply that they can be the base for the transformation launched by “originating” elements, and not a replication of Western paths.5 To conclude, it is possible to reflect on the reasons by which these concepts have become relevant – evolving, in addition, outside their original geographic areas. It is reasonable to say that they would have the potential to fulfill certain demands in a “market of ideas” impoverished by the “crisis of utopias” – an imprecise term, but which states a phenomenon that is difficult to deny. They refer to communion, to humanity, to reconnection with family, community, Nature, cosmos, past generations and those yet to come. The concepts promise, moreover, a resetting of dislocated individuals, a re-enchantment of disenchanted and deeply reified existences, a narrative quick to offer meaning to an unintelligible present time by re-connecting it, by the same movement, to a mythical past and a project for the future. In

There are also conservative or reactionary uses - particularly in the case of ubuntu, which gradually assumes a sense of moral regeneration or entrepreneurial reorganization. But this lies outside the limits of this text which deals with concepts taken from critical thinking.



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and L.  Vasapollo. La Paz: Plural, CIDES-UMSA, Fundación Xavier Albó. Metz, T. 2014. Just the beginning for ubuntu: Reply to Matolino and Kwindingwi. South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (1): 65. Murove, M. 2009. An African environmental ethic based on the concepts of Ukama and Ubuntu. In African ethics: An anthology of comparative and applied ethics, ed. M.  Murove. Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-­ Natal Press. Ramírez, R. 2010. La transición ecuatoriana hacia el Buen Vivir. In Sumak Kawsay/Buen Vivir y cambios civilizatorios, coord. I. León. Quito: FEDAEPS. Ramose, M. 2003a. The philosophy of ubuntu and ubuntu as a philosophy. In The African philosophy reader, ed. P.H. Coetzee and A.P.J. Roux, 2nd ed. New York/ Londres: Routledge. ———. 2003b. The ethics of ubuntu. In The African philosophy reader, ed. P.H. Coetzee and A.P.J. Roux, 2nd ed. New York/Londres: Routledge. Republic of South Africa. 1993. Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. chr_old/indigenous/documents/South%20Africa/ Legislation/Constitution%20of%20South%20 Africa%201993.pdf. República del Ecuador. 2008. Constitución de la República del Ecuador. S.l.: Registro Oficial. Samkange, S., and T.M.  Samkange. 1980. Hunhuism or References Ubuntuism: A Zimbabwe indigenous political philosophy. Salisbury Harare: Graham Publishing. Albó, X. 2011. Suma qamaña convivir bien. ¿Cómo Shutte, A. 1995. Philosophy for Africa. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press. medirlo? In I. Vivir bien: ¿paradigma no capitalista?, coords. Farah, L.  Vasapollo. La Paz: Plural, CIDES-­ ———. 2009. Politics and the ethic of Ubuntu. In African ethics: An anthology of comparative and applied UMSA, Fundación Xavier Albó. ethics, ed. M.  Murove. Scottsville: University of Devés Valdés, E. 2017. Pensamiento periférico: Asia-­ KwaZulu-Natal Press. África-­ América Latina-Eurasia y algo más. In Una tesis interpretativa global. Santiago: Ariadna Traverso, E. 2016. “Mélancolie de gauche. La force d’une tradition cachée” (19e-21e siècles). Paris: La Ediciones. Découverte. Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia. 2009. Constitución Tutu, D. 1999. No future without forgiveness. Londres: Política del Estado. S.l.: Gaceta Oficial de Bolivia. Random House. Gade, C. 2011. The historical development of the written discourses on Ubuntu. South African Journal of Vanhulst, J. 2015. El laberinto de los discursos del Buen Vivir: entre Sumak Kawsay y Socialismo del siglo Philosophy 30 (3): 303. XXI. Polis, Revista Latinoamericana 14 (40): 233. Löwy, M., and R.  Sayre. 2015. Revolta e melancolia: o romantismo na contracorrente da modernidade. São Wray, N. 2009. Los retos del régimen de desarrollo. El Buen Vivir en la Constitución. In El Buen Vivir. Paulo: Boitempo. Una vía para el desarrollo, comps. A.  Acosta and Mangena, F. 2016. Hunhu/Ubuntu in the traditional E. Martínez. Quito: Abya-Yala. thought of Southern Africa. Internet Encyclopedia of Yampara, S. comp. 1991. Naciones autóctono originarias: Philosophy. vivir y convivir en tolerancia y diferencia. La Paz: Ed. Mbiti, J. 1969. African religions and philosophy. Londres: Qamañ-pacha, CADA. Heinemann. Medina, J. 2011. Acerca del Suma Qamaña. In Vivir bien: ¿paradigma no capitalista?, coords. I.  Farah

short, these are “romantic” stories in their fullness. In this sense, for Enzo Traverso (2016) there is a submerged tradition traversing the leftists that has been able to preserve the memory of past experiences (defeats, in particular) in order to bequeath them to the future. It is a hopeful strategic memory called by the author “leftist melancholy“. In these beginnings of the twenty-first century the dialectic between the past and the future is shattered and the world remains frozen in the present  – which is singularly devastating for critical thinking and for leftist experiences. Thus, reactivation of the quest for a fictionalized past through sumak kawsay/suma qamañas and ubuntu can be associated at this time with the rupture of the dialectic between the past and the future and with an effort to reweave them: the quest for a past as a possible condition in order to be able to project a future once more.

A Women’s Imaginaries Regarding Development and Well-Being


Diana Tamara Martínez-Ruíz, Alejandra Ceja-­Fernández, and Martha González-Lázaro


This work reveals some of the resignifications of development ideas and well-being related to expectations about migration parting from the imaginaries of women that are in contact with international Mexico-U.S. migration. This chapter is based on women’s stories, compiled in multi-sited ethnographic work during several fieldwork seasons in Michoacan, Mexico and Chicago, Illinois. The authors analyzed different interviews from wives, daughters, sisters and mothers of migrants, equally from women who decided to migrate. From the collected stories, we could observe elements and categories identified by women as part of welfare and development sense, offering different dimensions in public and private to be examined, such as body, motherhood, relationships, family and work, as well as the construction process of aspirations and future. These women involving migration share a conjunct of imaginaries D. T. Martínez-Ruíz (*) · A. Ceja-Fernández M. González-Lázaro Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores, Unidad Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Morelia, Mexico e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

prior to the migratory experience, which are transformed during and after the event, whether by micro or macrostructural conditions that depend on valorization scales that may be subjective, similarly to the emotional condition of each person involved in the migratory process. Keywords

Development imaginaries · Well-being imaginaries · Mexico-USA migration · Migrant women · Migration expectations

This work exposes some of the resignifications of well-being and migration parting from the imaginaries of women that are in contact with international Mexico-U.S. migration. The first part presents elements that constitute development, social well-being and subjective well-being; these categories are the axis of the analysis of women’s testimonies, their imaginaries and ways to resignificate their well-being in the light of migration. The next part gives context to the actual Mexico-U.S. migratory situation, particularly in the state of Michoacán (where informants are from) with the aim of showing characteristics and different positions of women facing migration and its consequences.

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



This work is based on semi-structured interviews with women related to the migratory phenomenon, compiled in multisite ethnographic work during several fieldwork seasons in Michoacán and Chicago, Illinois. For the purposes of this chapter, we analyzed narratives of Michoacán wives, daughters, sisters and mothers of migrants, as well as of women who decided to migrate. Subsequently, analyses of the interviews are presented, observing elements and categories identified by women as part of the sense of well-­ being and development, offering different dimensions of the public and the private to be examined, such as body, motherhood, relationships, family and work, as well as the process of construction of aspirations and future. Finally, we are interested in comparing the imaginaries of development and well-being between women who stayed in their origin communities and those who migrated, in order to show the forms of social and subjective well-­ being sense.

 tarting Points. Conceptualization S of Development, Well-Being and Migration There is a long tradition regarding Mexico-U.S. migration: on the last decades, it has been transforming in magnitude, intensity and characteristics, setting new dynamics to the phenomenon (Zúñiga et al. 2006). Causes for migration are diverse: nowadays, conditions affecting Mexico, produced by economy, inequity, corruption and drug trade, turns it into a vulnerable country, therefore, an ejector of people in vulnerable position; women and children, due to gender and physical conditions, are in most danger (Herrera et  al. 1997; Salgado et al. 2007). It is important to mention that several people engage with the migration process: not only those who relocate, but relatives such as spouses, parents and offspring who stay in the original community. If they are permanent migrants, are able to leave the recipient place, are migrants going

D. T. Martínez-Ruíz et al.

and coming from their original community, are returning migrants, were deported, etc. is also a factor. These situations represent a greater challenge to migration studies, since it is required, to acknowledge understanding and a deeper analysis, observation of their different constituent aspects, making this a complex phenomenon in its explanation and analysis, including personal, familiar and social aspects. To elaborate on the previous, theoretical constructs are described, underneath which we analyze narratives of women immersed in international migration, such as development, social well-being and subjective well-being. Historically, the concept of development has been sustained on economist postures, such as economic growth in relation to libertalization of markets and to the State. Subsequently, less dogmatic elements were integrated and the historical moment and geographic place were contextualized, to get sustainable global improvements in the quality of life. At present, it is considered that development is a highly complex process that demands integration of different factors such as public politicies and involved actors (Mujica and Rincón 2010). In addition to the satisfaction of basic needs, it is essential to consider aspects such as gender equity, respect to ethnic minorities, the exercise of democracy, environmental sustainability and territorial and community assessments. From this perspective, economic growth is an important condition to generate equal opportunities for everyone, by means of the exercise of the State from the axis of law and well-being in the benefit of human development (Lozano 2015). In order to understand the concept of development, it was proposed in the mid-seventies that the needs of people were the center of analysis, to construct crucial social indicators based on them to configure such concept. Social well-being is one of the main goals of every country, representing satisfaction of society’s needs, basic and superfluous. In this manner, the hunt to determine the level of social well-being level has resulted in the consolidation of different composite indexes, being one of the

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most representatives the Human Development Index (HDI), which has three dimensions: health, education and per capita income, factors that define the level of well-being of a society. Nevertheless, this index has been submitted to an exhaustive scrutiny in the last decade’s literature (Actis Di Pasquale 2008; Giménez et al. 2016). For the purposes of this analysis, we considered positive valorations of social equity based on health services, education and income indicators; and negative valuations based on inequity as the expression of the education gap, unavailability of health services and poverty experimented in the Mexican and migrants’ context, particularly when contrasted to the U.S. context. They are described as follows: • Education: public education expenditure, children who complete fifth grade, illiteracy ratio between men and women, enrolment ratio between men and women, per capita gross domestic product, sum of professors, available classrooms and available schools. • Health: population with access to sanitation facilities, population with access to water sources, population with access to medication, immunized one-year old children, deliveries attended by skilled attendants, physicians, health expenditure per capita, undernourished people, people with HIV/aids, prevalence of smoking, under-one mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio, GDP per capita and available beds in hospitals. • Income: Average annual change in the consumer price index, inequality index, exports, imports, gross foreign investment, total debt service, development assistance received, public expenditure, energy consumption per capita, Internet users, schooling level, economically active population, employed personnel, economic entities, gross capital formation, wages and salaries. However, subjective well-being expresses satisfaction of individuals with specific or global aspects of their existence, with prevalence of positive states of mind. There are three characteristic elements:


• The subjective character, which relies on personal experience of the individual. • The global dimension, which includes a valuation or judgement of areas in their life. • Inclusion of positive measures, which naturally goes beyond the mere absence of harmful factors. It involves comparing positive and negative feelings or assessments based on an emotionalvaluation. To analyze subjective matters of the narratives employed in this paper, development indexes inscribed in subjective well-being and quality of life (García Viniegras and González 2000) were used. Hereafter we will describe dimensions of subjective well-being to be analyzed in the narratives of women immersed in Mexico-U.S. migration integrated by several studies made with migrant population (Pozo et al. 2004; Hernández et al. 2005; Parella 2007; Shershneva and Basabe 2012; Vallejo Martín and Moreno 2016).

Dimensions of Subjective Well-Being 1. Satisfaction with life: Global judgement of the own life, an evaluation made in the long term in regard to the conditions of life corresponding to aspirations. Valuation of the migratory experience in relation to their own goals, beliefs, values and desires; feeling of self-­ fulfillment. Or if the experience was negative when there is a discrepancy between aspirations and acknowledgements. 2. Familiar support networks: management of family care, support during stressful vital events. 3. Support networks between migrants: legal advice, information about the country, how to integrate to it, how to handle housing, employment and education issues. 4. Job satisfaction: is decisive to remain in the United States. 5. Adaptation to destination country: mental health conditions, high self-esteem, psychological satisfaction, depression, anxiety, isolation, solitude, failure to get an appropriate job,


negative social status change and being away from the family are factors that can provoke stress and discomfort in migrant people.

D. T. Martínez-Ruíz et al.

triations. Among those repatried, it is interesting to observe data regarding returning children and youngsters, as they represent one of the most vulnerable sectors among migrant population for different causes. Between the 9348 repatriated Figures of the Migration Mexican minors, 451 were from Michoacán. It stands out that returning children travel as unacPhenomenon in Michoacán and Its companied minors, a situation that is urgent to Impact on Social Well-Being attend and resolve. According to figures from the Yearbook of migraAbout labour integration of returning tion and remittances México 2019 (BBVA/ migrants, it is known that 40% of them manage to SEGOB/CONAPO), in 2017 Mexico was the incorporate into the market in their original place second country in the world in number of emi- during the first three months, while the 90% of grants (12.3  millions). In parallel, U.S. is posi- them achieve to do it within the first six months, tioned as the destiny country. Migration although the working niche is in the informal Mexico-U.S. occupies the first place in the South-­ market. North corridor. In the case of migrant women, Concrete data in Michoacán show that 41% of Mexico was the main ejector country with returning migrants that incorporate into the work6.1  millions in 2017, followed by Russia (6.0) ing market, do it in the agricultural sector, folIndia (5.8) and China (5.4). lowed by the building trade (14.3%) and According to this source, in the United States manufacturing industry (11.3%). there are nearly 12 683 066 Mexican; it is estiAccording to the World Bank (Cohen et al. mated that between 2 and 4  millions are from 2012), there are 11 countries in Latin America Michoacán, but there are no precise numbers due and the Caribbean where remittances have a posito the lack of official documents, making difficult tive effect on education, health, savings and macto get reliable and up-to-date information. It is roeconomic stability, which increases social fundamental to acknowledge Michoacán as a well-being and contributes to diminish poverty binational state and join efforts to concrete the and social inequity in the region. International proposal of a unique identity card to be used in migration can be seen as a vital element of globoth countries. balization, playing a fundamental role in the proIn relation to remittances, Mexico is the motion of human development indexes and the world’s fourth receptor of remittances: in 2018 reduction of poverty (Abu Warda 2008); even so, 33.5 million dollars were received approximately when referring to the migratory phenomenon, it in the country. With this historic-high amount, is necessary to see the two sides of the same coin, Mexico consolidated as the first place in remit- and acknowledge the negative impact it has, tances in Latin America and the Caribbean. including brain drain, family disintegration (in Remittances concentrate in states of migrant tra- some cases), physical and mental health probdition, and Michoacán is positioned as the first lems, and social vulnerability of migrants. The Mexican state in remittance reception according aforementioned topics place the discussion on to data from the third trimester of Banco de how certain is that remittances help to a nation’s Mexico, with 2 459 846 million dollars received development; in Mexico, in spite of the long (from January to October 2018), followed by migrant tradition, we observe that no significant Jalisco, Guerrero and Estado de Mexico. development has been achieved thanks to remitAccording to Michoacán State Ministry of tances, and there is no evidence to show how Migration, until October 2018, a sum of 174,556 remittances promote development; tightening of Mexican migrants was repatriated (Secretaria del politics regarding remittances can be the reason, Migrante 2018); 14,945 of them are from as banks charge large fees to exchange coin, and Michoacán, representing 8.5% of national repa- there are no other safe ways to send them home.

16  A Women’s Imaginaries Regarding Development and Well-Being

Being the first Mexican state in remittances, Michoacán is the eighth in terms of high marginality; development, economic heterogeneity and inequity are issues yet to be resolved (CONAPO 2010). Data of the survey conducted in transnational homes in Michoacán  in 2012 (Martínez-Ruíz 2014) shows that regarding remittances and the entire amount of the monthly income sent by migrants, 39% of participants mentioned that it is enough to cover their basic needs; 31.2% mentioned their expenses are covered some times, and 29.5% said it is not enough. We observe that most of the participants find it is enough, but if we merge participants who sometimes receive enough with those who said it is not sufficient, we will find that in more than 50% of binational households remittances are not enough to cover essential needs. We infer that migration is not providing conditions to improve development and well-being of migrant families in Michoacán. Another explanation is that 29.5% are not perceiving income from their relatives living in the U.S.

Social Well-Being and Migration It is fundamental to discuss how remittances are impacting on the well-being of transnational families, as well as their repercussions on the national economy. Considering that Michoacán is one of the Mexican states with larger remittance proportion, it has become urgent to take action to improve financial mechanisms and participation of migrants in projects for regional and national development, to achieve social well-­ being and raise the living standard. Regarding education, the issue related to boys, girls and teenagers returning is crucial, especially after a higher quantity of the youngest c­ omebacks, it will be increasingly essential their incorporation into the Mexican Nacional Educational System. According to Vargas and Aguilar (2017), approximately 69% of minors who return to Mexico accompanying their parents were born in the USA.


Figures of the 2010 census show that nearly 130 thousand minors between 6 and 14 years, in primary and secondary school age, migrated from U.S. in the five previous years, while the 2015 inter-census survey identified another 83 thousand minors in the same age group. In the age group of those studying higher education, nearly 27 thousand adolescents returned to Mexico between 2005 and 2010, and almost 17 thousand arrived from U.S. between 2010 and 2015. Facing these numbers, one of the big questions is if the National Education System has the capacity to allocate these minors in schools in Mexico, and if it is possible, how that integration would take place. Incorporation of migrant children is both a material resources and a sociocultural adaptation matter. Language needs to be acknowledged as an obstacle that returning children face. Michoacán occupied the third national place concerning returning minors in school age in 2015, with 11,937, so it is important to intensify efforts to create and apply strategies focused on the opportune integration of migrant children. Although requisites to validate basic education studies made abroad have loosened, school integration in the superior level is more difficult.

 he Imaginaries of Women T and Migration Keeping in mind the figures and data that contextualize the migratory phenomenon in Michoacán regarding important aspects of development and social and subjective well-being, allows us to have a frame of reference to promptly get into the narratives of women involved in migration and analyze which elements of their life experiences are considered by them as part of well- being and development. We address the imaginaries that women construct based on notions of development and well-­ being from their stories of events and situations in their lives, to make it possible to come closer to some of the dimensions that cover development and well-being, such as education, the work implied on earning income, to have or not have

D. T. Martínez-Ruíz et al.


access to health services, to enjoy leisure time and entertainment, to have satisfaction with life, among others. We understand the imaginary as cultural constructions that combine mental representations on a daily basis about the ways of thinking and acting of the social group members in a randomly contextualized imagination that is shared by the former guiding their thoughts and practices (Iparraguirre 2017). As Iparraguirre (2017) points out, discursive and affective components are fundamental to investigate social imaginaries, because it is by means of linguistic manifestations that we can get close to them, and, at the same time, these discourses are loaded with an affective dimension that frames and provides sense to whatever is expressed or communicated. It is important to emphasize historical and cultural foundations of imaginaries, as well as their shared nature, because we understand they are a conjunct of ideas, feelings, aspirations, wishes and ways to comprehend the world, which generate practices and discourses in the social groups that share them. For the purposes of this paper, we approach the imaginaries of women in contact with migration regarding social and subjective well-being, development and practices, with narratives that express the relation between well-being, development and migration. As we mentioned before, migration in the context of the state of Michoacán has deep historical roots and is considered a traditional practice, so the aspiration to migrate or to marry a migrant are goals of life shared by most of the population. Gravano (Gravano, as cited in Iparraguirre 2017) suggests another way of understanding the imaginary when he defines it as systems of images from which the members of a social group – actors – interpret their past and present, and above all, they interpret their vision of what they hope to accomplish in the future. These aspirations are especially important when analyzing the imaginaries about development and well-­ being in a migratory context, since success at first is related to the migrating possibility, and conse-

quently job, economical and familiar achievements. Aspirations for the future are especially important when analyzing the imaginaries of development and well-being in a migratory context, because success is related to the possibility of migration at first, and with work, economic and family achievements, consequently. Below, we analyze some elements that are part of the imaginary around the dimensions of welfare and development, expressed by women in contact with migration that were gathered through interviews throughout different ethnographic work seasons. In their stories it was possible to identify how they express, confirm, or reveal the existing changes in the imaginary regarding well-being and migration in Michoacan State. With reference to aspirations for the future, we find that the act of migration is conceived as a way that opens possibilities of having a “better future”, emphasizing the economic fact and the prestige of being a migrant or the wife of one. Therefore, to cross the border and manage to get a job in the United States is a goal shared by most of the young people of Michoacán. In this regard, Maria1 shared her story about how her grandmother pressured her to marry to a migrant preferably, as a result of having been realized that in their town people tend to give considerable importance to marriage to migrant men because they share the idea that this will bring better economic possibilities. Nevertheless, María told us how she wondered herself in exchange of what for, highlighting the importance of being next to her partner. In Maria’s experience, we observe the imaginary that young women of many communities have regarding marrying a migrant: their hopes and goals in life are projected to the union with a migrant man. This aspiration has its base on the belief that migration provides more economic resources, however, as Maria points out, there is a questioning regarding emotional costs of migration, such as the constant absence of the partner, the solitude, and what it means for the wives who All the names of our informants were changed.


16  A Women’s Imaginaries Regarding Development and Well-Being

stay. In her testimony, Maria has selected to put in the balance both options and her reflection takes her to decide to take a husband that doesn’t migrate, because nearness is a better option than having a good economic income. In line with Maria’s ideas, Alicia also spoke up about the importance of having her husband support in order to have a stable life, and how her mother encouraged her also to find a partner who would stay by her side so that she would not be “alone”. When marrying a migrant man or someone who ́s short-term plan is to leave the community in search of new opportunities, usually work in the United States, women tend to stay in the community to wait for their husbands (although some of them decide to follow them and migrate shortly after). That waiting state generates solitude, and facing the other members of the community, they “stay alone” despite being married, and are often targets of flirting of other men, who interpret their situation as an opportunity to conquer them, even if they are not planning to establish a serious or long-term relationship. In addition, Alicia emphasized that money or “green bills” (US dollars) are not worth the sacrifice of being separated, thus she regretted having pressured her husband to go to United States when he was young. In the aforementioned stories we find as a common point that women acknowledge that, in a first moment, they had this idea of having better income if they married a migrant, that their familiar economy would be wealthy, or, at least, stable; nonetheless, after some time, they realize that their economic situation is not as good as they thought it would be and they must cope with distance and remoteness from their partners, generating high emotional costs that money can’t solve. At this point, material and objective conditions that a job in the U.S. supposedly would cover in a satisfactory way for the family, namely, to achieve elements of development and social well-being, link together with elements of subjective well-being such as personal satisfaction at an emotional level. Concerning social prestige that represents once being a migrant or a migrant’s wife, we


resorted to Jobita’s experiences who mentioned about the conflicts she had with her mother-in-­ law when the former decided to work despite the fact that her husband worked in United States. Then, the latter told her that it was an embarrassment for her migrant son, questioning her about what townspeople would say and think since she was a migrant’s wife hence she was supposed to be in a good economic situation. As we can see, there is an idea shared by “the people” about having a migrant husband, that the family that stays, wife and children, have a good life, which implies having basic needs covered and certain economic comfort. Nonetheless, Jobita recognizes that she needed to find a job because what her husband sends home is not enough, and having a partner in the United States is no warranty of economic bonanza. We can read on a superior significance layer, Jobita mentions the affective dimension that triggers migration. Her mother in law condemns her decision to work because “the people” would frown on it and it would bring shame on the family that the wife of a migrant had to go through it, because being the wife of a migrant is supposed to be a condition of social prestige. Regarding subjective welfare, Itzel shared her perspective between life here -Michoacan- and there -United States-. For Itzel, a working life is very contrasting, she mentioned that in United States everyone works outside home – both men and women -, whereas in town (Michoacan) women work a lot but they are restricted to domestic chores in their own home. On the other hand, she pointed out that she liked people “dressing up” more everyday while being there (United States), than here during the weekends to go to mass or on holidays. She also compared the way free time and leisure are used, concluding that in the US weekends are more enjoyable than here because work in the fields and home never end, in her words, weekends pass almost unnoticed in town. Based on Itzel’s perceptions, we can identify some elements that shape imaginaries about well-being; the importance given to division of time between weekdays and weekends and the related activities. Temporality of the weekend is


associated with recreational, religious, leisure and family life activities, while the rest of the week is associated with work. It is interesting that clothing is different for each of the days, not the same clothes are used to go to work, mass or to go out on weekends. Grooming and dressing up are other important elements that physically distinguish the division of time during the week, namely, it is with the body that quotidianity and the rupture of it during the weekend expresses. Differences between here and there are fundamental when talking about imaginaries of migration well-being. Occasionally, some are the expectations about how life is across the border, but it results that those expectations are not met. In this case, Itzel compares routines in the U.S. with those in Michoacán: for her, returning to her original community makes her realize that here (in Michoacán) one has to work everyday, there are little leisure days -except Sundays or festive days-, while in the United States, weekends are a constant pause in the work routine. Next we will see how other women involved with migration, such as wives that stay in the community waiting for their migrant husbands, have a different idea of work here and there: for them, the concept of work and leisure gets inverted, their stories express that there in the U.S. life is just work, that their husbands don’t come because they are always working, and they do not have time to rest, call home or come to see the family. Marcela is another case, who initially stayed back at her community to raise her five children while her husband worked in United States. However, along the years, she decided to migrate to settle with her husband and work in a factory to send money to their children who remained back in Mexico. In Marcela’s story, we observe that there is a motivation based on economic shortage as well as an emotional one -remoteness from the partner- to decide to emigrate. Here we can see an explicit sorting of the family budget. Upon arriving to the U.S., Marcela found out that it was necessary to work to support themselves because her

D. T. Martínez-Ruíz et al.

offspring needed the other check. She finds out that money is not spare, that it is tight. Another reason expressed by women who make the decision to migrate to United States is their vulnerability, the insecurity manifested in violence. In Daniela’s case, gender-based violence was the main breakout. Her decision to migrate was based on the problems she had with her partner and that she was in her first months of pregnancy. For this reason, she considered it as an exit to go away from day-to-day violence at home before her son was born, with a strong intention of preventing her child from growing up in a violent environment. It is important to highlight that Daniela had a lot of courage to consider migrating heavily pregnant, and to end her relationship because violence was quotidien. We need to point out that she had the support of her brother, who had been living in Chicago, Illinois for several years, and that him and her sister-in-law took her in when she got there. Her situation was privileged because she had secured a job in an organization that supports Michoacán migrants in the U.S. We observe familiar and work networks are a fundamental element of the decision to migrate or not. Conversely, when women decide to stay in their original community, support networks are fundamental as well to endure the remoteness from the partner, his absence to upbring children and to cover some expenses when the remittance takes too long to arrive. To bring the matter to a close on this section, we chose to stress the issue related to the notion of life satisfaction, enjoyment and self-worth of the migratory experience, resorting to two women’s point of view who see it positively. Firstly, Daniela expressed that even though she didn’t have enough free time due to her job in the US, she enjoyed spending her spare time with her family and being able to take her son to the park during weekends. Secondly, Alejandra, who made an assessment of her migratory experience, concluded that at this moment of her existence she feels peaceful and grateful with life, especially after she left behind her ex-partner conflicts stage and now she can confirm in a positive way that she is content with her living.

16  A Women’s Imaginaries Regarding Development and Well-Being

We want to highlight the emphasis made by migrant women on the enjoyment they have achieved in their lives in the United States in spite of adversity. To spend time with the family, to do leisure and entertainment activities, as well as having a job they like are elements that add up to subjective well-being. Peace of mind, compared to violence or insecurity experienced before, is a big improvement in migrant women’s quality of life and well-being.



ceived as not enough to cover emotional costs of absence, such as the sense of solitude and helplessness facing decision making, sharing life and parenting, and not having moral and emotional support; these are cultural constructs rooted in being a woman in the community and what marriage involves. About resignifications in life, specifically in women who migrate and work, we observe that regardless of the difficulty and complexity of the integration and change process, as well as the high emotional cost, they value their job and having achieved a better life than the one they lived in Mexico. The migratory experience is resignified according to the perspective of women depending on where they stand: from the original community, it is perceived as problematic and piteous; in contrast, those who migrate perceive themselves more challenged but once they overcome it, they find they have more freedom and defined aspirations. One of the main imaginaries about migration is to make conditions of development and well-­ being possible both in the macrostructural scale and in communities and families; nonetheless, and despite Mexico being one of the main remittance receptors in the world, and Michoacán one of the top Mexican states in the matter, marginalization and poverty indexes do not decline, evincing in educational gap and health precariousness, putting on the table the challenge to coordinate efficient public politics that allow harmonization between development and social and subjective well-being in the migratory context.

Women involved with migration -wives, daughters, mothers and grandmothers that stay in their original community or who migrate- share a conjunct of imaginaries prior to the migratory experience, which are transformed during and after the event, whether by macrostructural conditions (rule of law, diverse dimensions of the economy) or microstructural conditions that depend on valorization scales that may be subjective, as well as the emotional condition of each of the persons involved in the migratory event. It should be noted that contemporary positions concerning development integrate a multidimensional vision of both subjective and objective elements, such as social and subjective well-being, the later construed as the satisfaction of life level perceived by women in migration. We found in the women’s testimonies regarding imaginaries of development that the United States enables better employment and economic opportunities, in comparison to the place of origin. However, their discourses do not consider the conditions to allow a migrant without documents to completely integrate, such as having References support networks to help them get established, use of language, precariousness when arriving to Abu Warda, N. 2008. Las migraciones internacionales. Ilu. Revista De Ciencias De Las Religiones XXI: the U.S., as well as legal uncertainty, which make 33–50. this experience an emotional battle for migrants, Actis Di Pasquale, E. 2008. La operacionalización del concepto de Bienestar Social: un análisis comwhile the relatives that stay must deal with debt parado de distintas mediciones. En Observatorio and the necessary adjust of the household. Laboral Revista Venezolana 1 (2): 17–42. Concerning the elements of subjective well-­ Retrieved from: being identified in the stories, the assessment Observatoriolaboralrevistavenezolana/2008/vol1/ no2/1.pdf. about the absence of the partner, in contrast with economic gain, money sent by the partner is per-

188 BBVA/SEGOB/CONAPO. 2019. Yearbook of migration and remittances México. México: Secretaria de Gobernación/CONAPO/Fundación BBVA Bancomer. Cohen, J. H., D. Ratha, and I. Sirkeci. 2012. Migration and remittances during the global financial crisis and beyond. Washington, DC: World Bank Group. en/701621468149081927/Migration-and-remittances-­ during-the-global-financial-crisis-and-beyond CONAPO. 2010. Intensidad migratoria a nivel estatal y municipal. Consultado en: http://www.conapo.gob. mx/ García Viniegras, V., and I.  González. 2000. La categoría bienestar psicológico: Su relación con otras categorías sociales. Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral 16 (6): 586–592. Retrieved from: arttext&pid=S0864-21252000000600010&lng=es&tl ng=es. Giménez, V.M., F.J.  Ayvar, and J.C.L.  Navarro. 2016. Economía, Sociedad y Territorio 16 (52): 591–621. Hernández, S., C.  Pozo, E.  Alonso, and M.J.  Martos. 2005. Estructura y funciones del apoyo social en un colectivo de inmigrantes marroquíes. En Anales de Psicología 21 (2): 304–315. Retrieved from: https:// Herrera, G., A. García, D. Nieto, and G. Aréstegui. 1997. Historia de Nuestro Tiempo. México: Trillas. Iparraguirre, G. 2017. Imaginarios del desarrollo. Gestión política y científica de la cultura. Buenos Aires: Editorial Biblos. Lozano, M.C. 2015. El desarrollo humano a propósito de las ciencias sociales. In Desarrollo. Prácticas y discursos emergentes en América Latina, ed. M.F. Saduño, 29–46. Bogota: CLACSO. Martínez-Ruíz, D.  T. 2014. Diagnóstico Actualizado de la Situación Migratoria en el Estado De Michoacán, basado en tres grupos poblacionales: niños, mujeres y tercera edad (PAPIIT IA 300813-2). (Technical report). Morelia: Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores, Unidad Morelia, UNAM. Mujica, N., and S.  Rincón. 2010. El concepto de desarrollo: posiciones teóricas más relevantes. In Revista

D. T. Martínez-Ruíz et al. Venezolana de Gerencia, 15 (50), 294–320. Maracaibo: Universidad del Zulia. Retrieved from: https://www. Parella, S. 2007. Los vínculos afectivos y de cuidado en las familias transnacionales: Migrantes ecuatorianos y peruanos en España. En Migraciones internacionales 4 (2): 151–188. Retrieved from: arttext&pid=S1665-89062007000200006&lng=es&tl ng=es. Pozo, C., S.  Hernández, and E.  Alonso. 2004. Apoyo Social y Bienestar Subjetivo en un colectivo de inmigrantes ¿efectos directos o amortiguadores? Boletín de Psicología 80: 79–96. Salgado, N., T.  González, L.  Bojorquez, and C.  Infante. 2007. Vulnerabilidad Social, Salud y Migración México-Estados Unidos. In Salud públicade México 49 (número especial 1): E8–E10. Secretaria del Migrante. 2018. Información oportuna. Morelia: Gobierno del Estado de Michoacán. Shershneva, J., and N.  Basabe. 2012. Bienestar Subjetivo de los nativos e inmigrantes en Europa. Retrieved from: nativos_e_inmigrantes_en_Europa. Vallejo Martín, M., and M.P. Moreno. 2016. Satisfacción Vital y su relación con otras variables psicosociales en población Española residente en Alemania. Escritos de Psicología 9 (2): 12–21. Vargas, E., and R. Aguilar. 2017. Inmigrantes y educación en México. Los nuevos desafíos en la era Trump” (en Red). Revista de evaluación para docentes y directivos, México, INEE. Retrieved from: mx/index.php/publicaciones-micrositio/blog-revistared/610-blog-revista-red-home/blog-revista-redarticulos/2818-inmigrantes-y-educacion-en-mexico. Zúñiga, E., J. Arroyo, A. Escobar, and G. Verduzco. 2006. Migración México Estados Unidos. Implicaciones y Retos para Ambos Países. México: CONAPO, Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, El Colegio de México.

Part V Knowledges and Ideas to Build a New Sense for Development in the Global South

Alternative Knowledge on the Global South


Rahma Bourqia


The author addresses a criticism of the theoretical legacy on the concept of development. The history of development in countries of the South provides lessons to be learned in this quest for cognitive alternatives in the context of globalization. It is a reflection on the process of construction of a concept dealing with a duality differentiating developed societies from underdeveloped ones. Development therefore was constructed around the paradigm of modernization and the cash up, that has dominated debates and approaches on constraints facing most of the countries in the world, even within some international organizations dealing with the issue of development. However, the world is no longer bipolarized between modern and traditional societies or between a developed West and an underdeveloped South. Instead, it is multipolar as illustrated by the differentiated trajectories of countries, which has allowed for alternative forms of development, in a context where globalization that has created other types of disparities between countries. Advocates of globalization praise its benefits and opportunities for the integration of developing countries

R. Bourqia (*) The Royal Academy Morocco, Rabat, Morocco

into the world economy, but this globalization has created new inequalities between North and South countries, and has sometimes split regions within the same country be it in the South or the North. This contribution is a theoretical reflection on development in order to identify new challenges facing the Global South in a globalized world, while focusing on the role that education, knowledge, and technological mastery have played in certain development models, in order to create alternative knowledge and pathways that can benefit the Global South. Keywords

Development · Human development · Knowledge · Globalization · Global south · Development theories

If the countries of the South are looking for a path that commits them to a process of accelerated development, research is still often taught within the paradigm of modernization and the framework of catching up. However, the world is no longer polarized between modern and traditional societies, or between a developed West and an underdeveloped East, it is multipolar due to the effect of differences in the paths taken by coun-

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,


R. Bourqia


tries which have brought about new forms of development, where globalization has created other types of disparities between countries and within each country. Advocates of globalization praise its benefits and the opportunities it offers for the integration of developing countries into the world economy, but globalization has created new inequalities between North and South and between different Souths,1 and has intensified them within the same country whether in the South or in the North. Many countries of the South, barely out of ‘the long night’, to paraphrase the expression of Achille Mbembe (Mbembe 2013a, b), and of colonization,2 try to overcome deficits in development shown in illiteracy, poor education and health as well as poverty and inequality, and then find themselves caught in the process of accelerating changes produced by globalization. This is why the major challenges facing the countries of the South are linked to conceptions of development in order to overcome the legacy of their own history, as well as to the position they occupy in the new world order, which involves them in the new process of integrating the world society at an economic, social and cultural levels. The present contribution attempts to revisit the path of a theoretical reflection on development in order to rethink it in the light of the new challenges facing the countries of the South in a globalized world while at the same time focusing on the role that education, knowledge, and mastery of technology have played in certain development models, in order to lay claim to alternative knowledge about the global South.

The level of development of China is not that of the countries of the African Sahel. 2  The Bandoeng conference organized in 1955 by African and Asian countries in Indonesia, marked a moment of for taking position with regard to decolonization. It was a historic political event that gave rise to a freeing of awareness. The intellectual movement that followed remains through poetry and literature and writings. 1 

 he Evolution of Narratives T on Development Why requestionniong the concept of development after having lost its appeal to researchers for the past two decades to become a field of work and expertise for UN and international organizations? The concept of development is a normative concept. It bears conceptually the well-­ established idea of a referencial developmental model created by the historical experience of Western countries. It is thus designed to analyze the situation of the least developed countries compared to the advanced. This raises the issue of the relevance of the concept of development in knowledge and the paradigms which make it possible to comprehend the position of inequality between human societies concerning economic, social and cultural factors. This concept was developed in Europe within the framework of theoretical and explanatory paradigms on the factors hindering the advance of newly-decolonized countries, to orient them towards progress and modernity. Knowledge about development was first produced by researchers in advanced countries and then conceptualized as a model inducing prospects for action and intervention to overcome ‘underdevelopment’. Modernization theory has offered a conception of development that predominated during the post-World War II period. It evolved in the shadow of liberal theories, and prevailed throughout three decades of the second half of the twentieth Century. In this concept ‘under-developed’ countries, categorized by the notion “third world”, appears as a matter of lateness, requiring a catching-up period to reach the level of development of advanced countries. Hence the need to embark on a modernization process offering these countries, which have just been decolonized, the possibility of going beyond the legacy of the traditional and cultural structures hampering their development. The purpose of this process is to arrive at the convergence of paths in the

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process of evolution of countries towards modernized development.3 The West, through the build-up of knowledge and the approaches developed by sociologists and economists, has produced a narrative on the development and movement of societies considered as hampered by traditional and cultural structures keeping them in ‘underdevelopment’. Overcoming barriers can only be achieved by modernization leading these societies to “take off”. This knowledge and sociological theories, with their “shared certainties” (Hours 2007), find an echo in the arguments of liberalism guiding the policy of international organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank which during the 1970s recommended structural adjustments to the developing countries. It was the time when abundant literature on the third world was produced leading to development programs designed and prepared by experts employed by international organizations (Bairoch 1992). Such a concept of development does not have a limited lifespan; but it can continue in other forms. The debt of developing countries provides an opportunity for the World Bank and the IMF to impose restrictions and conditionalities that are not always favorable to improving the standard of living of the majority of the population. Furthermore, recommendations often focus on reducing social spending by cutting expenses and budgets, increasing taxes, and privatization. Subscribing to economic neoliberalism demands the respect of discipline and macroeconomic rules. However, researchers clearly show how Japan and Korea developed without respecting neoliberal orthodoxy (Viterna and Cassandra 2015, p. 251), and the history of development has clearly revealed that the theory of modernization has not always provided an accomplished development. Another theoretical Marxist approach, carried by researchers from the South, emerged around

The theory of modernization was developed by Walt Whitman Rostow (Rostow 1962) The convergence theory which corresponds to the idea that developing countries will catch up and join developed countries is inspired by the work of economist David Ricardo.



the 1960s. While criticizing the theory of modernization, it approaches the relationship between developed and developing countries as a relationship of dependence. Sociology and economics researchers have constructed theories around the concept of dependence. The particularity of this theory is that it is carried mainly by the voices of researchers from developing countries in order to offer new analyses and challenge the theory of modernization. Researchers from Latin America have actively contributed along these lines to a current of collective reflection in order to create a community of ideas. The German-American economist André Gunder Frank (Gunder 1972), the Brazilian sociologists Fernande Henrique Cardoso (1969) and Ruy Mauro Marini, the German-born Mexican Rodolfo Stravenhagen (1973), the Peruvian Anibal Quijano, and others belong to this community. The effect of this theory has spread in intellectual circles in the countries of the South. In their desire to appropriate knowledge about development these researchers have created another narrative claiming independence and challenging the dependence of the Periphery in relation to a dominating and hegemonic Center. In the same drift of ideas we find the work of Immanuel Wallerstein (1974, 1979, 1980) “The modern world-system” (in three volumes) in which he develops the theory of uneven development between the center and the periphery, while making use of the great contribution of Braudel on the development of economic exchanges of empires and their networks in his work on the Mediterranean (Braudel 1966). Developing countries are facing a world galloping towards globalization and the complicating effects of the North/South relationship. The works of Wallerstein and Samir Amin (Samir 1973), that support an approach denouncing the predominance of the North and uneven development, have initiated an analysis of the capitalist world system with its economic exchanges, and an analysis of the disparities between the Center and the Periphery, at the same time as they highlight the dependency ratio of the Periphery vis-à-vis a dominant Center.

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This thesis was criticized for its inability to translate into a model of development in a new context of globalized interdependence. Even if it did not generate a theory of action, so that independence of the countries of the Periphery from those of the Center can be achieved, it initiated and confirmed, with Samir Amin, the appropriation of reflection on development by researchers from developing countries. In fact, if modernization has created a uniform standardized view of the world and a linear concept of the history of societies, the theory of the independence of the Periphery in relation to a dominant Center is confronted with the complexity of the relationship North/South and the complexity of the paths of countries and their historical and political configuration. The sociologist Eisenstadt, referring to the turning point in developing countries and the emergence of diversified models, non-Western countries like Japan, China, Korea, Brazil and India, has focused his criticism towards the theory of modernity to claim Multiple modernities (Eisenstadt 2004, 2007). In fact modernism is dualistic. The complexity and intermingling of what is modern and what traditional creates new configurations where the modern has lost its essence as well as the traditional. This is how modernity, this foundation of the development of advanced countries, is not uniform, but is, according to Eisenstadt, multiple. The criticism is not without meaning. Even if Eisenstadt had not contributed to the debate on the concept of development, the theory of multiple modernity suggests multiple paths of development. Development has been theorized since the end of the Second World War. The rise of communism and socialism had an effect not only on the political systems of the countries that were qualified at the time by the residual term ‘third world’, but also on the theoretical history of development, where an intellectual cold war looms between the researchers defending modernization, a corollary of capitalism, of market enlargement, and those who defend indepen­ dence without domination, a corollary of socialism perceived at the time as a liberating system.

Reflection on development has thus had a tortuous history where studies and theoretical contributions, born within sociological and economic disciplines, migrate to the agendas and programs of international organizations.4 Globalization and neoliberalism have renewed the discourse with a new narrative redirecting the path of development towards integration in a globalized world that is interdependent and interconnected. We can say that the debate on development since the 80s has become an economic one supported by economists and experts from international organizations: World Bank, IMF, World Economic Forum, WTO … and relayed by international NGOs. Over the last two decades, the sociology of development has been seen to be vanishing. Jocelyn Viterna and Cassandra Robertson, in an article on “New directions for a sociology of development” (Viterna and Cassandra 2015), analyzes how, after a period when the analysis of development had a certain attraction, sociologies have taken up other fields of reflection and abandoned the development issue. Development research, as such, has lost its value and is less and less presented as a field of investigation in the social sciences. Worn down now, disputed by researchers from developing countries, sometimes associated with Westernism, and arousing little interest among sociologists, this concept of development reappears on the agendas and programs of international organizations which take it up and give it new life. First, it is reborn in the concept of sustainable development which gives impetus to a reconciliation between development, the environment and the preservation of the ecosystem. But the concept of sustainable development, after a few years, has been supplanted by the concept of human development. Indeed, under the aegis of the UNDP, in 1990, that the World Report on human development was published, under the direction of Amartya Sen who contributed to humanize development. In fact, the concept of development has a long history. It was used in the pact of the League of Nations from 1919 and dedicated by US President Harry Truman in 1949, announcing the will to help underdeveloped nations.


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Development and what actions it involves is well integrated into the missions of international organizations working for the benefit of the least developed countries and which are still drawing deficits in economic development, education, health, poverty and employment. It intervenes through partnerships with agencies carrying out development projects and operating in the countries of the South. International and national NGOs in these countries have also become actors working in the development field. All these organizations have become authorized development authorities. Reports published on developing countries pointing to the levels of development achieved are often received with media coverage. In addition, the United Nations is launching the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), including eight goals by 2015. This is considered by some authors to be segmented, fragmented and piece-by-piece development, (Rist 2017). The objectives have not always been achieved by most countries. After 2015 we will design Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030, with 17 goals. It is not excluded that results of the SDGs conceived in the same way, do not reach the assigned objectives. This is how measurable indicators of development, devised by international organizations, split development into a series of prescriptive propositions. Although these indicators target dimensions which require development, other parameters needing to be acted on, and which are not always reduced to those to which these indicators refer, do not always favor notable advances and a qualitative leap towards development. Development is a systemic and multidimensional phenomenon requiring a holistic approach. Reducing it to a few objectives and indicators, which certainly provide information and call for action on health education, poverty, etc., could provide only a fragmented development. Development is generally dealt with through authorized expert knowhow, legitimized by international organizations (World Bank 1998). These assume that development knowhow requires a one-dimensional transfer from developed countries to developing countries. Development aid


and partnerships are the means mobilized for this transfer, and failures are rarely assessed. Although some expert anthropologists call for not neglecting local indigenous knowhow in the planning of development, debates on this knowhow are often based on the knowledge of experts on development (Hans-Diefer et al. 2010). The history of development in countries of the South provides lessons to be learned in this quest for cognitive alternatives in the context of globalization and the rise of neo-liberalism. The theme of development has ceased, since the 90s and the beginning of the millennium, to have an attraction for researchers belonging to disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. But we can consider that research on development-related issues has advanced thinking without falling within the scope of research on ‘development’. The feminist camp is an example where thinking has developed on gender while remaining outside the theory of development.5 Renewed economic theories have enabled new approaches to development (Amartya Sen 1999a). A field of reflection has developed on the situation of ex-colonized countries carried by postcolonial studies in literature. Proponents of this postcolonial theoretical current demanded the liberation of knowledge about these societies, by reflecting on the “subordinate” as part of a current of thought, developed in American universities (subaltern studies) (Spivack 1988). Knowhow renewing the reflection on development in the South and in the North has developed, apart from the theories of development, by putting forward a revival of multidisciplinary reflection on the relationship of development in politics, geopolitics, international organizations, to the world market economy, the resurgence of religious identities, violence, gender inequalities, emigration, social and territorial differences, and inequalities in the context of globalization. Research carried out in disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, There is a whole body of research literature on gender and the status of women. Research has advanced thinking on the condition of women in several disciplines: sociology, anthropology, economics, literature, psychology, etc.



economics contributed to the progress of knowledge on development. Without being part of a developmentist workplan, they all contributed to build non-hegemonic knowledge and to create openings for other narratives on the development of a Global South.

Bipolarity or Multiple Development Neither the narrative of the theory of modernization, or dependence, or even the orders of international organizations could have designed a single operational and transposable model of development. But the evolution of certain Asian countries and the great transformation they have accomplished in a few decades demonstrate that development is in the world of the possible, and that it has enabled these countries in three decades to leave the bloc of developing countries. Their achievements, characterized by economic development in the context of globalization, have buried the theory of dependence. This raises questions about the endogenous and exogenous factors of this development and its models in the context of globalization. The rise of China has created an unprecedented model of development (Lemoine 2007). China has in a few decades achieved a breakthrough as an economic power to a world level rivaling the USA.  The Chinese model and its quick integration into globalization did not happen without arousing admiration and fears of expansionism. This emergence is considered by the media as the bi-polarization of two world leaders, the United States and China, two powers integrating the market economy with two different social and cultural political models. Japan, which rebounded just after the Second World War and occupied the position of second power at the time alongside the United States, has now been relegated by the rise of China to third place in the world economy. But if Japan early on was the Asian country that experienced rapid development, it was followed a few decades later by other countries like South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

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If China occupies the international scene today through its economic power and its race towards the conquest of markets through the Silk Road, the rise of other Asian countries within the world economy has created a diversity of trajectories and development processes. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and India are experiencing the start of an economic positioning among emerging countries. Their economic breakthrough has created a dichotomy in the conglomeration of developing countries between the emerging and the developing. It should be noted that if globalization has been the context in which the miracle of economic development of these countries has been achieved, the global context of interdependence has also deepened inequalities between countries, and has created a hierarchical international order and inequalities, not only between North and South, but also among all the developing countries of the South. If these countries represent multiple models of development, what are the characteristics of these models and what are the common levers of development that these countries share? The accelerated development of these Asian countries has the distinction of being an essentially endogenous development which has positioned them as economic powers on the world market, and has enabled them to occupy a place in globalization. This process of endogenous forces challenges the idea of ​​ modernization imposed by exogenous forces inherited from a Euro-centric vision of development. Endogenous development is attributed, through research, to the political parameter and the role of the developer state, considered as the invisible hand of the State in the mode of Eastern development (Régnier 2007, p.  74). Neoliberal theories tend to show that it was thanks to the market economy that the Asian miracle took place; the role of the state was paramount. In the Japanese experience for example this role is reflected in industrialization and in that of China, where the state is the instigator and the driver of its economic power. These countries have thus achieved economic growth and development with a qualitative value,

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resulting in the social and cultural well-being of an entire society. Development manifests itself in the organization of society, governance, and the sovereign role of the developer state, which has played a key role in bringing about structural, economic, social and cultural change. It also manifests itself in the mobilization of society around the idea of ​​progress and development. In the endogenous development process of Asian countries, states have chosen to proceed by transferring technology from Europe and the USA (Régnier 2007, p. 74). Since the nineteenth century, Japan has transferred knowhow and technology by attracting foreign experts from Germany, France and the United States so as to accelerate the acquisition of knowledge and thus make the necessary reforms (Jun 2008). Japan has managed to combine its culture with ancestral tradition and the achievements of scientific progress, borrowed from European countries through cooperation. In these development choices, investment in education and knowledge have figured prominently. The development breakthroughs achieved by Korea, Taiwan and Singapore are telling examples. The lesson to be drawn from the development of Asian countries is that development generates a multiplicity of models. But that all these models of development require a return to the matrix of society, namely its political system, its conception of development, the declared social contract, the participation of citizens in the development process, and culture. But whatever the configuration adopted for the matrix components of society, no country has emerged without a large investment in education, research, science, technology and instrumental knowledge capable of transforming itself into social action by the political will marking out the development path. If the rise of Asian countries: Japan, China, and the countries of the Dragons as well as the Tigers, occurred at a period coinciding with the historical moment of the beginning of globalization, and were able to position themselves as economic powers, other countries during the ­ same period were living through decolonization newly achieved through a struggle for liberation. This is why a significant number of countries in


Africa, Latin America and Asia still face economic, social and cultural deficits, coupled with a scientific and digital divide amplified by the accelerated evolution and progress made by advanced countries in digital science and technology.

 he Challenge of the Knowledge T Divide Education, knowledge and technology, as proved by their success in the development of Asian countries, have been essential to the mastery of the transformation process of overcoming the obstacles of development and now have acquired a position on the international scene in scientific and technological manufacturing. Data can serve to illustrate education deficits and the science and technology gap in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America where inequality and illiteracy are prevalent. Cognitive disparities occur through the worldwide distribution of scientific work, and they are becoming a reality as part of globalization. This has helped to stimulate the internationalization of scientific research, operating through communication, exchanges, and collaboration between researchers from both the South and the North. Researchers from the South, who often are trained in universities in the North, through collaboration maintain scientific links with their training universities. But this collaboration remains confined to an unequal relationship between those researchers who belong to scientific structures with vast means and significant financial resources, and those belonging to structures with limited means, and to universities facing ever-increasing numbers of students who have to focus their efforts more on training students and less on scientific research. In many countries of the South research has become institutionalized with a scientific community not yet confirmed and recognized. However, for researchers from the South to be real actors in scientific cooperation, they would have to be producers and disseminators of knowledge, and each country should have an active sci-

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entific community offering an adequate framework for scientific results, setting standards and instituting peer review. As studies show, with few exceptions, many countries in the South do not participate in the internationalization of science. Researchers do individual research, live in isolation, and often disseminate knowledge that is outdated (Shinn et al. 2010). And since research is not always part of career advancement, researchers rely on expertise work to survive. One could not speak of country inequalities in scientific knowledge, innovation and technology without raising the functional hierarchy of language ​in their relation to knowledge. English as the language of scientific publication is gaining acceptance around the world. Even some French journals have adopted a strategy of translating part of their publications into English (Gingras and Mosbah Natson 2010). Researchers in scientific disciplines, in almost all countries, opt for the use of English, a language that has become widespread throughout the international scientific community. In a study by Yves Gingras, Sébastien Mosbah–Natanson, the authors show that “the strategic question of access to published works in a foreign language first arose for American governments and researchers in the mid-1950s at the time they discovered the scientific power of the USSR when the Sputnik satellite was put into orbit” (Gingras and Mosbah Natson 2010). This led to the American decision to translate the scientific journals published in Russian. Currently the linguistic trend of scientific publishing at world level is oriented towards the English language. So, in order to disseminate their work and have a place in the international scientific community, researchers adopt the strategy of publishing in English. While producing in English contributes to the circulation of knowledge on an international scale, it nevertheless deprives local readers of knowledge about the local: for example, writing on development, inequalities, identity, education, is often on local issues.

One More Divide: The Digital China and countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have risen through rapid development and major scientific advances. By doing so, they have been followers and contributors as performers in the digital technology revolution of the twenty-first Century. The scientific and technological progress made by these countries has redefined the borders between North and South to create a great disparity between the countries at the forefront of technology and science and those that are still fighting against illiteracy and for better quality of education. The fourth technological and digital revolution has had a devastating effect on humanity, more drastic than the effect of the discovery of the printing press. It has drawn the world into a great transformation, to use a concept from Polanyi (Polanyi 1983). If humans have always created technologies to perform their activities and domesticate their environment, the technological revolution at the beginning of this millennium is the reflection of the adventure of human intelligence in its desire to explore new territories of knowledge, pushing the limits of the field of knowledge; limits that were considered insurmountable a few decades ago. The technological and digital revolution has transformed the media, writing, communications, exchanges, social relations, knowledge, culture, economics and economic growth. It is obvious that digital technology, which is expanding at an ever-­ increasing rate, benefits those who have produced it, and that access and spread of the use of the Internet on a planetary scale do not in no way prove the democratization of technology and science. The digital revolution has widened inequality between development of the advanced countries and those already on the way. GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) monopolize the world of digital technology. It is obvious that digital technology has democratized access to information, but its accelerated development has widened gaps between countries and has left most of them behind by this revolution.

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Artificial intelligence, an extension of the development of computer science, translates into an increase in the computing power of the large masses of data generated by the internet, and digital platforms have given power to algorithms. The programming language of machines while drawing inspiration from the behavior of the human brain goes beyond what the brain itself could achieve (Harari 2018). Supported by the capacity and power of computer calculations and programming languages, artificial intelligence is deployed throughout research in different fields: manufacturing, medicine, education, transport, communications, banking, ecology … and thus transforms the use and way of solving problems. This brings humanity into a new era where robot machines supplant the work of humans while creating disruptive effects on activities, professions and methods of operation. In addition, the digital and technological revolution represents one of the major challenges for the future of humanity. The momentum of technological progress leads to a race where advanced countries establish the foundations of digital development and artificial intelligence. But while acceleration of the effects of this revolution benefits humanity and glorifies the work of human genius, it nevertheless causes fears and raises questions. These developments have created a scientific, technological and digital divide between countries of the North and those of the South. This leaves the majority of the planet’s population on the sidelines of progress, hampered by the effects of poverty, illiteracy, education deficit, the low level of human development and access to digital education. Another form of inequality arises between the part of the world which benefits from public and private information by retaining it and the rest which does not have the means to enable the processing of information. Data is valuable. Mass data ownership empowers internet giants GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, etc.). It is certain that access to information is facilitated by internet and exchange platforms, and this has created the potential for its democratization. However, countries of the South are not produc-


ers of digital technology. In addition, they are exposed to the brain drain and advanced skills with expertise and the ability to support technological development. In the majority of cases, the countries of the South have invested in university scientific training in these skills, but find themselves deprived their human capital from carrying out scientific development. Faced with these  challenges, questions arise for developing countries which have timidly entered digital connectivity without contributing to producing this technology and without mastering the future direction where humanity will lead it. Digital development has created fractures between those who are involved in the movement, the advanced countries, and those in development. So the divide is not related to access to technology or the infrastructure that is relatively democratizing, but to the knowledge behind it.

Is There an Alternative to Development? If the economic, technological, scientific and digital divide between the advanced countries and the countries that we call the South is real, and if the advances made by several countries have been achieved only through the vector of education and knowledge, the path to development lies in the renewal of education systems and the acquisition of critical knowledge. In this context how can we develop critical knowledge that feeds development thinking and action without turning it into a concept – a recipe or an established model ready to be adopted? In fact an alternative concept could only be a critical one if it follows the conceptions of development and the theoretical foundations that support them. We can see that theories have a lifespan, but they also survive when they change their discourse and continue to exert an effect on development policies and the public policies chosen, and provide recommendations to decision-­ makers. Dominant theories adapt over time to new criticism. Currently the World Bank is interested in human capital. This was not the case


even in the 1970s and 1980s when the approach was structural adjustment. To escape the paradigm of modernization which still haunts the imagination, the alternative consists in appropriating part of critical knowledge from both the South and the North. An idea has emerged from the countries of the South to claim the appropriation of knowledge. Indeed, researchers and thinkers from Latin America, Africa, and Asia have contributed to the debate and formulated relevant analyses that deconstruct the economic and social realities of developing countries. The history of development theory shows that alternative thinking is possible by researchers from the margins. In fact, the quest for a model is first of all a quest through reflection and analysis, and that any alternative to development in the countries of the South must first pass through a renewal of thinking on development in a new context of globalization. The idea of ​​ a development model implies implementing a unique configuration that is intended to supplant the old and allow the countries of the South to overcome inequalities and divisions and show them the way. However, there is no single model, but multiple configurations owing to the complexity and combinations of endogenous and exogenous factors in the countries of the South. Any reflection on development of the South must necessarily involve a reflection on the new economic, social and cultural configurations that world order has created. And it is from the prism that is called South that we should at least define its borders with an alternative idea. While dialoguing with all the theories, whether produced by researchers from the South or the North, the approach is critical, embedded in the disciplines of knowledge, history,6 economics, sociology, anthropology, and theories of development. This process had already started when it received contributions from a generation of authors who have not limited themselves to assessing development by indicators of poverty, For example, we are witnessing a current initiated some time ago on the rereading of history in order to deconstruct Eurocentrism. 6 

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education, illiteracy, health …, but by treating it from its structural factors drawing on knowledge and innovative analyses. Hence the need to undertake intellectual work that can contribute to the reflection on the South’s alternative ways. This movement has already begun with intellectuals in Latin America, India and Africa. ‘The idea of liberation’, a current of reflection, elaborated and claimed by one of the Latin American researcherrs and intellectuals, has been a contribution to this process of appropriation of the South’s knowledge so as to open new ways to it. These researchers organized themselves in a heterogeneous multidisciplinary and trans-­ disciplinary group, so as to create movement of ideas, while sharing the intellectual commitment for research on Latin America. The most important figure representing this current is Enrique Dussel, founder of the philosophy of liberation (Berthony 2016). This group developed the critical theory of “coloniality” targeting the geopolitics of knowledge within the framework of a world system, where the spread of the West is not only economic but also cultural, and amplified by globalization. This contribution initiated an intellectual process of production and construction of concepts while entering the field of knowledge of the Other, the West, so as to give a voice to “non-­ hegemonic countries” (Losego and Arvanitis 2008). In this current of reflection which produces knowledge about the developing South, Amartya Sen, an economist coming from the South (India), challenges neoliberal economism and the modernism of the dominant theory. Through an innovative economic approach, he has turned his attention to the inequalities of developing countries with knowledge that enriches the theory of development. The case of Amartya Sen’s contribution shows the role that scientific work, emanating from Southern thought and recognized by the scientific community, can play in changing a development paradigm. Despite the wealth growing around the world, poverty, deprivation and inequality are growing in parallel in the countries of the South. Amartya Sen’s writings have contributed to

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understanding development and the impact that knowledge about modes of action can have. Under the influence of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) a new approach into its programs was integrated, and in 1990 produced the human development index, which combines gross per capita income, enrollment and life expectancy. This has brought inequality on to the international agenda and put the world under pressure to rethink poverty and inequality. State policies often privilege the treatment of inequality as a problem for vulnerable categories: women, youth, children, etc., which leads to sectoral policies operating in isolation without convergence and sometimes without consistency. Social policy is often designed and implemented alongside the economy and not at the heart of the economic model; this gives social intervention a charitable dimension. However, the issue of territorial and social inequality requires a kind of development that treats it in all its multiple facets and its complexity: redistribution of wealth, fiscal policy, policies for supplying social services and for poverty reduction, all implemented by a State basing its policy on the principle of inclusion. This approach brings a dimension of humanity and justice to liberalism. Obviously fighting inequality is utopian, but society and the economy can be made fairer and more equitable in a liberal system. John Rawls (1971) offered an important contribution in the way to rethink the neoliberal system saturates the world today. If achieving an egalitarian society is utopian, achieving a just society is a possibility. John Rawls made equity a virtue in a just society. It is from the principles of equity and justice that inequalities should be thought out. While criticizing him, Amartya Sen acknowledges his greatest intellectual debt to John Rawls who has advanced thinking on more humane capitalism and neoliberalism (Amartya Sen 2000). Amartya Sen clearly shows that the idea of​​ equality runs up against the difficulty of being circumscribed because of human diversity and its omnipresent heterogeneity (age, sex, fortune, inheritance, physical and intellectual); which thus requires the choice of a variable (income,


happiness and wealth) from which we can assess equality and the variable focus on which the assessment of inequality and its integrated areas is based (income, wealth and happiness). This is how the central core, according to Amartya Sen, lies in the freedoms that are only possible and acquired through ability by a process of empowerment, that is to say, enabling individuals to do it (Nussbaum 2012). If a country’s gross national product increases, that does not automatically mean that its people’s standard of living improves. The reality of the poverty of individuals often escapes economic indicators. Human capacity development is at the heart of development. Often development theories emphasize indicators and remain faithful to the modernization thesis and the catching-up thesis, or else they focus on growth which leaves aside poverty and inequality without attacking the fundamentals of development, who the individuals are, and what they are able to do and become (Amartya Sen 1999b). In this approach we can consider development and the economy as freedoms, but also say that freedoms are to be considered as a vector of economy and development. In this equation, growth must be inclusive to ensure that the situation of the poor enters a process of improvement in their living standards by increasing their income more than that of the remainder of the population. Amartya Sen linked his new economic model to development, justice and freedom. Most of the countries of the South are restricted by the trend to unethical capitalism and by a trend that strives to take away their freedoms and their abilities. In his work “A new economic model. Development, justice, freedom” Amartya Sen reconciles the concern for growth and ethics to make economics a moral science (Amartya Sen 1999b). He places the human side at the center of thinking about development and places freedom as a component of development. This can be appreciated by means of a holistic approach where ‘economic opportunities, political freedoms, social provisions, guarantees of transparency and protective security’and development (Amartya Sen 1999a) provide economic policies towards substantial freedom for individuals. He thus shifts the center


of growth analysis to that of freedom. Inclusive growth is where the question arises: what is a person capable of doing in life? A guiding idea to be found in the works of Amartya Sen and Martha Nusbaum on capabilities (Nussbaum 2012). Development is not just about growth or industrialization or transfer of technology, nor is it just the attractiveness of foreign companies. It essentially comes down to the power of human capacity in its multiple dimensions that freedom offers. According to Amartya Sen the lack of freedom contributes in denying the social freedom as the political freedom denies it in the economic sphere. (Amartya Sen 1999a, p.22). While adopting values that ​​ must accompany freedom, development is seen as a dynamics and an integrated process. Freedom of the market-place must go hand in hand with other freedoms (Amartya Sen 1999a, p.22), to strengthen the capacity of individuals to become agents of development, not simply its beneficiaries or passive recipients. As part of the knowledge created by researchers from the South about the South, Arjun Appadurai, an anthropologist of Indian origin, initiates a reflection on globalization, an era which introduced the interdependence and complexity of North/South relationships (Appadurai 2007). He directs his analysis towards a context of globalization where the processes of change have generated new paths: Japan which is committed to development while preserving its cultural traditions; China by working through a strong and interventionist state, Russia by gradually abandoning socialism to join capitalism; the emerging countries seeking alternative development paths. Today, the center has multiplied and fragmented as a result of the globalization of networks. A phenomenon that the analysis of anthropologist Arjun Appadurai calls ‘scapes’. The inequalities between North and South remain, but they have taken new forms and make one think about these new horizontal ­configurations which Appadurai creates a typology “scapes”: ethnoscapes, mediacapes, financescapes, ideoscapes, and each ‘scape’ constitutes a moving network (Appadurai 2005). The flow of

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these networks is what characterizes our global world. Thus Appadurai does not speak of center-­ periphery, but of global and local, insofar as globalization is an active process which blurs the borders between North and South and that the global invades the local, and that the local is transformed by the effect of the global, hence the complexity of North/South relationships. Globalization has introduced uncertainties and fears of identity in the North as well as in the South. This generates violence around the world that is looming behind a ‘geography of anger (Appadurai 2007) and violence, to which Appadurai devotes a  book (Appadurai 2007). Nevertheless, it is the populations of the countries of the South who are the most affected by ethnic, identity and religious tensions, and what they produce as tensions: violence, and deadly wars. Many African and Asian countries had barely emerged from colonization and built their independence by developing infrastructure, education, health and industrialization and agriculture, when they found themselves caught up in ethnic conflicts and terrorism driven by predatory groupings. In short, the contribution of these figures (a philosopher, an economist and an anthropologist) represents alternative ideas that reflect on the South by constructing new categories of analysis. Enrique Dussel invites us to produce new concepts to analyze ‘decoloniality’, Amartya Sen to see the individual differently, his freedom and his ability in the model of economic development, Arjun Appadurai to think of the new relationships between the global and the local in a globalized world. These are just a few examples: other African, Latin American and Asian writers, who are following the same path and opening up new horizons of thinking about development (Mbembe 2013a, b; Diagne 2014). They are applications of knowledge to think about and see the world, the global South, and the North in a different way. It is a question of rebuilding critical imagination and constructing new paradigms to establish the bases of cognitive justice and an alternative idea which can inspire and incite reflection on

17  Alternative Knowledge on the Global South

the economic, social and cultural cross-border positions of societies in constant change in a globalized world. These can then energize the dynamics of the global South as an subject of reflection. Critical imagination, conveyed in an alternative idea, does not target only Eurocentric imagination and its approved knowledge, but also the internal reality of the countries of the global South with the tensions that animate them and the forces of resistance hampering their development. The concept of global South certainly refers to the Western matrix, insofar as it implicitly evokes the dichotomy of the two blocs: North and South, but it is used in this article as a heuristic concept to lead reflection on the situation of development in a part of the world in Africa, Asia, Latin America, where countries cannot yet enjoy the same progress achieved by humanity. In this context, without falling into a current that takes all talk of the South away from researchers in the North, we should discuss their knowledge so as to build critical knowledge about the South and the North. The global South, while integrating the global challenges which are added to the local, must master knowhow and create reflection on its challenges. This is how, through alternative thinking, the global South can talk about itself and the world.

References Amartya Sen. 1999a. Un nouveau modèle économique. In Développement, justice, liberté. Odile: Jacob. ———. 1999b. L’économie est une science morale. Paris: Editions La découverte et Syros. ———. 2000. Repenser l’inégalité. Paris: Seuil. Appadurai, Arjun. 2005. Après le colonialisme.    Les conséquences culturelles de la globalisation. Paris: Editions Payot. ———. 2007. Géographie de la colère. La violence à l’âge de la globalisation. Paris: Editions Payot. Bairoch Paul, 1992. Le Tiers Monde dans l’impasse. Le démarrage économique du XVIII au XXème siècle.  Paris Gallimard.   Berthony, Saint Georges. 2016. L’éthique de la libération d’Enreque Dussel. Penser l’altérité et l’utopie à partir du contexte Latino-Américain. Bruxelles/New York: P.I.E Peter Lang.

203 Braudel, Fernand. 1966. La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l’époque de Philippe II. Paris, Armand Colin, 1949; deuxième édition révisée. Cardoso, Fernando. 1969. Sociologie du développement en Amérique Latine. Paris: Anthropos. Diagne, Bachir Soulaymane. 2014. Comment philosopher en Islam. Collection document. Eisenstadt, Samuel Noah. 2004. La modernité multiple comme défi à la sociologie, 189–204. Revue du MAUSS, paragraphe 46 URL: Eisenstadt, Samuel Noah. 2007. Une réévaluation du concept de modernités multiples à l’ère de la mondialisation. Sociologie et sociétés 39 (2): 199–223. Gingras, Yves, and Mosbah Natanson Sébastien. 2010. La question de la traduction en sciences sociales/Les revues françaises entre visibilité internationales et ancrage National. Montreal: Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie. UQAM. Gunder, Frank André. 1972. Le développement du sous-­ développement. Revue Tiers Monde 51: 675–677. Hans-Diefer, Evers, Markus Kaiser, and Christine Muller. 2010. Savoir et développement: les appareil épistémiques dans le contexte mondial. Revue Internationale des sciences sociales 195: 67–82. Harari, Yuval Noah. 2018. 21 leçons pour le XXI° Siècle. Paris: Albin Michel. Hours, Bernard. 2007. “La sociologie du développement dans la Revue Tiers Monde 50 années pour une discipline improbable”. Revue Tiers monde: n°191, p. 699–716. Jun, Oba. 2018. L’organisation du système éducatif japonais. online, http// index-fhtml Lemoine, Françoise. 2007. La montée en puissance de la Chine et l’intégration économiques de l’Asie. Hérodote 2007/2 (125): 62–76. Losego, Philippe, et Régas Arvanitis. 2008. La science dans les pays non hégémoniques. Revue d’Anthropologie des connaissances. Vol 2 (03): 334–242. Mbembe, Achille. 2013a. Sortir de la grande nuit. Essai sur l’Afrique décolonisée. Paris: La Découverte. ———. 2013b. Critique la raison nègre. Paris: La Découverte. Nussbaum, Martha. 2012. Capabilités.  Comment créer les conditions d’un monde plus juste. Climats: Edition Flammarion. Polanyi, Karl. 1983. La Grande Transformation, Aux origines politiques et économiques de notre temps. Gallimard, (1944). Rawls, John. 1971. La théorie de la justice. Seuil, Paris.  Régnier, Philippe. 2007. Histoire de l’industrialisation et succès asiatique de développement: une rétrospective de la littérature scientifique francophone. Monde et développement 139: 74. Rist, Gilbert. 2017. “Que reste-t-il du développement”. In Bertrand Badie et al; Un monde d’inégalités, p 132– 139. Paris: La Découverte Poche/Essais.  Rostow, Walt Whitman. 1962. Les étapes de la croissance économique. Paris: Editions Seuil.

204 Samir, Amin. 1973. Le développement inégal. Essai sur les formations sociales du capitalisme périphérique. Paris: Editions de Minuit. Shinn, Terry, Dominique Vellard, and Waast Roland. 2010. Introduction: la recherche au Nord et au Sud. Paris: Dossier La division internationale du travail scientifique. Cahiers de la recherche et de l’éducation. Spivack, Guayatri Chakravorty. 1988. Can the subaltern speak? In Marxisme and the interpretation of cultures, ed. Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg, 271–313. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Stravenhagen, Rodolfo. 1973. Sept thèses erronées sur l’Amérique Latine. Paris: Anthropos.

R. Bourqia Viterna, Jocelyn, and Robertson Cassandra. 2015. New directions for sociology of development. Annuel Review of Sociology 41: 243–269. Wallerstein, Immanuel. 1974. The modern world-system. In Vol. I: Capitalist agriculture and the origins of the European world-economy in the sixteenth century. New York/Londres: Academic. ———. 1979. The capitalist world-economy. Cambridge: University Press. ———. 1980. The modern world-system. In Vol. II: Mercantilism and the consolidation of the European world-economy, 1600–1750. New York: Academic. World Bank. 1998. Knowledge for development. Washington, DC: WDC.

Peripheral Thought: Intellectualities Beyond the Center


Eduardo Devés and Andrés Kozel


This chapter presents a conversation between Eduardo Devés and Andrés Kozel. Of Chilean origin, Devés is one of the few authors who treats peripheral thought (or the Global South) as a whole. In this exchange, Devés addresses The conversation that follows constitutes the slightly modified English version of Chapter 8 of Estudios eidéticos [Eidetic studies], a book recently published in Spanish by Devés and Kozel (2018). The translation was made by Alejandra Bravo. The original has been enriched taking into account the particular objectives of this volume. It is important to note that Devés is one of the few specialists in the Global South who has dealt with the thought of these regions as a whole. He has published in 2012  Pensamiento periférico [Peripheral Thought], not yet translated into English  (Devés 2017). The book of which this chapter is part (Estudios eidéticos) provides its own terminology to refer to different aspects of the life of ideas: “Peripheral thought”, “centralitarian/identitarian”, “eidetic entities”, “eidetic development”, etc. Part of the meaning of these and other categories is clarified throughout the dialogue that follows. Kozel’s voice appears in bold typeface, while Devés’ voice remains in normal typeface. E. Devés Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, Universidad de Santiago de Chile (IdEA-USaCh), Santiago, Chile e-mail: [email protected] A. Kozel (*) Laboratorio de Investigación en Ciencias Humanas (LICH), CONICET – Universidad Nacional de San Martín, San Martín, Pcia. de Buenos Aires, Argentina

the main issues explored in his books Pensamiento periférico and Estudios eidéticos (not yet translated into English): the common denominators or patterns of peripheral thought; the tension/alternance between centralitarian and identity-based attitudes; the possibilities and limits of the circulation of ideas among the intelligences of the Global South. Some of the main theoretical and methodological challenges of this type of studies are explored, and considerations are made around the notion of “eidetic development” and the links between ideas and development in our time. Keywords

Peripheral thought · Intellectualities · Global South · Ideas’ circulation · Ideas’ development

1. It seems clear to me that one of the most interesting contributions of your book Pensamiento Periférico is the extrapolation of the thesis regarding the tension/alternation between the centralitarian and identitarian provisions from the Latin America scope to the totality of the peripheral space. How did you come to this formulation?

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



Peripheral countries clearly have similar problems of dependency, imperialism, poverty, marginalization, and the dichotomy of democracy/ dictatorship. We also have the problem of the low presence of our thought at a global level. However, due to the fact that we are perceived as different continents with different cultures, we have been led to believe that we are very different than other peripheries, and that we have never said anything to each other and have nothing to tell each other. However, the reaction to European and Western expansion has been and is currently extremely similar in all peripheries. In fact, a thought of similar structure is forming in all of the peripheries, whose pattern is the one you mentioned: to be like the center or to be like ourselves. This involves a common pattern beyond the differences of religions, languages, and ethnicities. We have mentioned the importance of the contributions made by Leopoldo Zea in this regard. However, I must also highlight another work that was extremely important in devising the notion of “peripheral” thinking with those characteristics. These are the contributions made by the Polish writer Eugeniusz Górski, who provides a comparison of parallels and tensions between South American thought and Western Europe. The work of Górski, which in turn was inspired by Zea’s work, as well as by Andrzej Walicki’s work, achieves a set of formulations that were instrumental for me (Górski 1994). Classical approaches such as Isaiah Berlin’s could also be mentioned. This author undoubtedly made a great contribution to the understanding of contemporary “western” Russian thought by masterfully revealing both authors and trends. His approach, among others, led me to imagine the notion of a peripheral thought that shared a similar pattern or structure in various peripheries. The insistence of Berlin in the clash between “Slavophiles” and “Westernizers” is key when highlighting Identitarism and Centralitarism. Of course, Berlin only speaks of Moscow and Petersburg; Russia and the USSR were so much more than this, but Berlin was not too sensitive to that fact. More recently, Marlene Laruelle, a

E. Devés and A. Kozel

French author who works in the U.S., has expanded on the version that the classical works of Berlin had offered us regarding Russian thought. One of Laruelle’s achievements has been connecting Russian thought with Turkish and Islamic thought, enriching and pluralizing the image of what defines this great country in eidetic terms, with so many and diverse intellectual ecosystems (Laruelle 2007, 2008). 2. In a few words, how would you characterize that “common pattern” of peripheral thought? What would you say the “common denominators” of peripheral intellectuals are? The term “peripheral thought” is understood as thought that emerges in/on the part of intellectuals who think in relation to the center and broadly move between the choice of being-like-­ the-center versus being-ourselves. I have formulated this notion with the purpose of understanding a kind of thinking that took place in the last few centuries in most of the cultural spaces of the world. A peripheral intelligentsia is an intelligentsia impressed by what the center is; this intelligentsia admires the power and beauty of this center, a center that disqualifies others as subhuman, decadents or barbarians (it must be noted, this has taken place in an immense amount of cultures). This intelligentsia impressed by the center generates a kind of thinking which is quite different than that of the intellectuals who are from those same regions that have not yet noticed the presence of a center and continue to think in terms of their own ancestral cultures or world views. What occurred historically among these cultures and world-views is that they suffered a kind of earthquake when the contact with the center took place; new intelligentsia were popping up everywhere thinking structurally in relation to the center. This kind of thinking is only understandable from a type of sensitivity whose nature is related to the inferiority complex. In summary, the central idea is as follows: In several regions of the world, from the eighteenth century onwards, but especially during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, an intellectuality

18  Peripheral Thought: Intellectualities Beyond the Center

who thought of reality within the framework of the “peripheral quandary” appeared. The perspective of “imitation” versus “differentiation” has inspired the most important controversial issues in much of the world. The fascination of the model of the center versus the rejection of that model is what constitutes the dilemma of the periphery. 3. In your opinion, what have been the main contributions of the notions “peripheral thought” and “peripheral intelligentsia” to Latin American eidetic studies? What might their projections be? These concepts have facilitated progress in three directions. First of all, they have been helpful in understanding a great part of the intellectual work of the last centuries. Secondly, they have contributed to understanding the similarities among the South American, Asian and African regions, which refrain from being understood under the East/West notion; they have also been helpful in understanding the similarities of some parts of Oceania and Europe as well, where the intelligentsia has thought in a “peripheral” manner. Thirdly, they have helped us begin to assume from where, or from what level, it is necessary to take a leap into a dialectic that breaks away from the dilemma of being-like-the-center versus being-ourselves. An additional issue for which these concepts have been useful, albeit more indirectly, has to do with the fact that they have allowed me to work with the circulation of ideas in a better way in addition to allowing me to formulate this notion in the context of the South-south “circulation streams”.


tion of agendas and eidetic development. What would this groundbreaking dialectic specifically be about? I don’t really have good answers for this. I only have rudiments, or perhaps the desire to get out of this dilemma more than proposals about how to actually achieve it. This dilemma has been the core of thought among the regions that have been invaded, colonized, and imperialized by Western European expansion. Although this process is not over yet, I think the perseverance of the topic may inhibit us rather than project us – this even applies to intellectuals who are mestizo products of said process. Considering things in other terms seems to be key in not getting stuck in the past or in a present that refuses to end. I wrote about this in Pensamiento Periférico: Probably the greatest observation that must be made to those who continue to think within the framework of the peripheral dilemma is that they are unable to cut the Gordian knot of such quandary, or free themselves from it to take on other ways of thinking. That is to say, this discussion as to whether we should be like the center and in which way, is truly preventing us from seeing the most important and more radical dilemma: greater or lesser happiness, fulfillment and autonomy, beyond any belief, culture, custom, model and vested interests. That is to say, a thought and an intelligentsia that aims towards good-thinking and dealing with those elements that go towards greater knowledge, better intellectual levels, better education and thought levels, greater well-­ being and quality of life, a better practice of democracy and politics, higher levels of equality and freedom, a better situation in terms of nutrition, health and the environment; to have better or worse quality of life, better expression of what we are and want to be, higher levels of happiness, of fulfillment, of loving and friendly treatment among the people.

4. The third direction you mentioned refers to the ability to be placed in some kind of platform or threshold based on which we could undertake a leap toward a “new dialectic”, capable of breaking away from the dilemma of being-like-the-center versus being-­ 5. Given this, a critical reader could tell you ourselves. It gives me the impression that that this dilemma that presents as the most we are, again, in the territories of formulaimportant and radical is a dependent vari-


able of the peripheral and dependent condition of our countries. I believe one would have to argue in the following manner: peripheral thought is only understandable in relation to a certain peripheral situation; on the other hand, understanding a situation as peripheral stems from a thought which possesses bases to perceive this condition… there are eidetic bases in various entities which make it more possible to assume this condition of marginality and impairment, and these bases can be very ancient. 6. In my notes I wrote a statement according to which your readings of recent years have tended to focus on a number of authors who seek to establish connections among various parts of the world, and especially in regard to the south-south circulation. The list of names is extensive. It includes some authors you have mentioned in passing throughout these discussions, such as David Armitage, as well as several others who until now have not been mentioned here. I would like to devote a moment to comment on what you have been reading and with what emphasis. One of the main reasons I have been interested in those authors who manage to establish connections between various parts of the world, and particularly in the area of south-south circulation, is because I believe they help us get out of the notion of influence, which is as productive as it is dangerous. The notion of “influence” denotes a series of issues and connotes many more. In particular, in our region it connotes a kind of naturalization that we are always influenced or biased, but never influential, albeit this is not found in the denotation of the word influence. When referring to the south-south circulation, on the other hand, we do not have the underlying assumption that the center is emitting, and we are only receiving. What David Armitage (2013) proposes as more innovative, although it is a bit obvious from the point of view of eidetic studies in South America, is the idea of “international shift”.

E. Devés and A. Kozel

Intellectual history studies are losing the national character people frequently bestowed upon them, as the spatial issue goes beyond borders in order to take into consideration transnational contacts and circulations in wide regions. However, the findings of Armitage don’t seem to be such a novelty for the “Latin American thought” studies, borrowing a more conventional formulation. We had always imagined a space that transcended national states, not only because of the European source from which ideas originated, but also because in many opportunities regional and non-nationals eidetic trends were studied. This has taken place from Colonial times until today, even more so if we observe the approach of the indigenous contemporary intellectuals, who were inspired by conceptions previous to the arrival of Europeans. Having said that, the formulation of Armitage seems relevant to me. However, it could be the case that this formulation has entered into our field as a fad and there will be no shortage of people who believe and maintain that this has only recently begun to be practiced and will regard it as a discovery. I may be simplifying a bit his approach, an approach whose assertions are very well formulated. 7. What other authors have struck your attention? The following Turkish authors: Selçuk Esenbel, Cemil Aydin, Arif Dirlyk (see bibliography). These three authors, the first one a woman, the other two men, have published a great number of works in English; that’s why I was able to get to know them. Their great contribution has been connecting Ottoman and Turkish thought and, more broadly, the thought of Islamic regions with intellectuals of other Asian ecosystems. Along these same lines, I have been interested in the work of the German author Thorsten Botz-­ Bornstein, who has worked on Muslim, Japanese, and Chinese thought, among others  (see Botz-­ Bornstein 2010). I should also mention Pieter Boele van Hensbroek (1999), a Dutch author who has worked on South-Saharan Africa, politi-

18  Peripheral Thought: Intellectualities Beyond the Center

cal thought and philosophy. His book inspired me to write my work on sud-Saharan thought and he also inspired me to think about some of the levels at which I could innovate in regard to what has already been done in these matters. Many more authors should be mentioned; for example, Mark Bevir (2003), Anne Cheng (2002), Andrzej Walicki (1975, 1977). I would like to allude once more to the French author Marlene Laruelle, whom we recalled a moment ago when mentioning the contribution of Isaiah Berlin on Russian thinking and culture.


and connections and highlighting emerging sources of ideas.

It may be useful to delve into and better explain the second part of these points, that is, the topic of “necessary extensions”. This is particularly due to the fact that I understand that studies on the African thought have conceived South-­ Saharan Africa as being quite small and have left out a huge number of hotspots or emerging sources of thought. It is true that my “outline” is maintained on two coordinates which are those from other 8. After your new mention to Boele van works: writing and production in European lanHensbroek, the question about the book guages and languages derived from them –howyou dedicated to South-Saharan African ever, my outline aims to cover the whole field thought goes without saying. What was it which said coordinates establish. In this outline I that led you confront that effort? have the following objectives: Firstly, to cover a wide period, which addresses 150 years between I wanted to create a book on African thought 1850 and 2000. Secondly, to assume the differfor several reasons. A first reason, although ence between African and black people in order clearly insufficient, is that there are in fact very to encompass the intellectual South-Saharan few works on African thought in Spanish and space in response to the production of black, other languages, except English. More important white and Asian intellectuals. Thirdly, to try to than that is that the brief outline I offered, with- account for a production that is not only generout attempting to achieve the degrees of erudition ated in the anglophone West Africa but also in the of some of the existing works, nor their detailed following countries and languages: the region of deepening in the Anglophone Western Africa South Africa, which is barely addressed in other (which normally occupies two-thirds of the histories of thought, countries with French-­ work), aimed at four main objectives indicated in speaking intelligentsia beyond Senegal, and the Introduction to the volume: countries with Lusophone intelligentsia. Fourthly, to expand disciplinary areas by moving beyond 1. To reach a schematization of South-Saharan papers and political thinking toward disciplines African thought, intended for people who, such as the pedagogical, historiographical, ecofrom multiple disciplines and geo-cultural nomic, philosophical, theological, and aesthetic backgrounds, are interested in the intellectual thought. Fifthly, to be open to non-conventional production of the region. sectors, such as women’s thought by looking for 2. To cover a notoriously broader spectrum than the outbreak of its emergence; I also want to be the one covered by the above-mentioned texts open to the thought of Eastern intellectuals, espeby conceiving South-Saharan thought with its cially the thought of Indian or Indo-descendant necessary extensions. origin, the works of foreigner professors and for3. To show some parallels and connections eign resident researchers in Africa who have between South-Saharan thought and other lived there for years and are inserted in the South-­ regions of the world, particularly with other Saharan intellectual environment. Sixthly, to expressions of peripheral thought. assume, even in a small portion, what is happen4. To contribute to the constitution of South-­ ing in Islamic spaces. This other academia bears Saharan thought by providing concepts, defin- little relation to the “recognized” academia in the ing schools of thought, showing inheritances way which is proper to a university yet affects


more and more the reality of the region. Lastly, to deal with connections with non-African thought, and not be restricted to the most well-known thought, which is Caribbean and U.S thought. Ultimately, the aim is to recognize, map, and present South-Saharan thought in a no doubt incomplete and sketchy way, albeit broader than the conventional way. One is given the impression that conventional studies do not even suspect the immense variety of existing intellectual ecosystems in that great region (paragraphs taken from Devés 2011). 9. You were just telling me that the book of Boele van Hensbroek served as an inspiration and support in this case. To which degree would you say your effort has brought something new to the study of this topic? As I was saying in the previous response, the most important thing in my personal contribution was to more broadly include French thought and, above all, Portuguese thought, which Boele didn’t take into account in his work. On the other hand, Boele focused on political thinking in the broad sense and I wanted to go clearly beyond that by pointing to cultural issues in a broader manner, as well as including international, ethnic and theological matters for the purpose of putting an end to discussions on Globalization. By doing this, I attempted to offer a more comprehensive overview and highlight the role of a few South-­ Saharan thinkers. I must take this opportunity to tell you something that doesn’t come from the book in question, which is the great difference between African descent in the U.S. America and African descent in South-America, especially in Brazil. African descent intelligentsia in the U.S. is more independent, precocious, more creative and more able to establish itself in networks. There are a lot of reasons that may account for this kind of virtuous circle. I believe that the development of civil society, the protestant religion, economic means, literacy, as well as religious and educational institutions are some of the reasons for this advantage.

E. Devés and A. Kozel

10. Can it be said that in order to study African thought it is necessary to rely on paradigms or methodologies that are different from those used to address Latin American thought? An important difference, although calling it “paradigmatic” doesn’t seem obvious, refers to the relationship between the thought of South-­ Saharan Africa and U.S. American thought (and in part Caribbean), particularly the thought of the afro-descendant intelligentsia, which is considered more relevant than European thought when it comes to understanding the thought of that region. In Latin America and the Caribbean, on the contrary, there are many more references to European thought than U.S. American thought. 11. But what specific theoretical challenges would you say resulted from the effort of schematization of sub-Saharan African thought? I prefer “sud-Saharan”. Africans are credited with too many “subs” to add one more and in any case, as my north is the south, they would not be sub, but “super-Saharan”. Unfortunately, in the Portuguese edition of my book, which was the first, the cover of the book indicates “sub-­ Saharan”, thus contradicting the content. It seems inevitable that the construction of the “schema” of a thought involves theoretical challenges. I think that, in this case, there were three most relevant challenges. The first challenge was to thematize “driving forces”. The second was to formulate the “most important causes”. The third challenge was to make progress in the development of a series of concepts that would allow each species to be designated within the wide eidetic diversity. Thematizing “driving forces” means conceptually discovering and formulating those “intentions” or “objectives”, or “designs” or “topics” that cause African thought to move and allow us to understand the “sense” of their movement. “Causes” are those recurring elements which modulate with nuances in places or times by different people, and that are recognizable as

18  Peripheral Thought: Intellectualities Beyond the Center

repeated concerns in the sud-Saharan space, while at the same time are shared with other thoughts, particularly emanating from other intellectuals who think peripherally. The development of concepts to designate the various eidetic species stumbled, in this case, upon the “mono-thematism” of some scholars that have almost identified “African thought” with “nationalism”, showing on the one hand a lack of imagination and, on the other, a lack of knowledge about the “semantics variety” that exists for naming schools of thought in the region. 12. There seems to be here an interesting controversy. What exactly do you mean by the opposition between “mono-thematism” and “semantics variety”? The explosion of African thought of the last decades makes the collecting, naming and classifying a variety of manifestations that are proliferating, for example within philosophy and theology and everywhere, increasingly interesting to those of us who are dedicated to eidetic studies. The more interesting this becomes to the extent that, as the intellectual longevity increases, there are people who throughout their existence welcome and cultivate several eidetic species, in a proliferation similar to Friedrich Schelling’s, who throughout his decades, it is said, gave life to five different systems. It’s key to assume and name this eido-diversity. For this reason, to use almost solely the notion “nationalism” to refer to the South-Saharan thought is impoverishing the thinking of the region and shows little imagination. 13. In that book not only did you cover African thought, but also intended to study the connections with the thoughts of other regions… As important as expanding the study of the interior is, it is just as important to expand the study of the connections with the exterior: its parallels, relationships, and kin. This is something I tried to go into more depth on, or at least increase, in Pensamiento Periférico. In the case of African


thought, this dimension has traditionally been addressed in its most important aspect: the relations of African thought with the thought of black Americans, both Caribbean and US-America; however, this leaves other multiple relationships almost without treatment. And it should be understood that relationships are both “from the outside in” of the region and vice versa. Also, it should be understood that such relations come about not only through personal contacts but that there are parallels, similarities or kinship where few or no personal relations were involved. Perhaps the fact that I wrote this book as part of my progress on the thought of peripheral regions can help clarify this point; then, the book melts almost completely, but is corrected and increased with the other book about peripheral thought. In that regard, it was an insight of a larger project. It was a product of the great leap that my research gave on these matters the year I taught at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras; I was invited by my dear friend Jorge Rodríguez Beruff, during a period of great creativity, when Cartas a la Intelectualidad was created along with this work which is now read, during a brief trip from there to Dominican Republic. 14. Speaking of connections, circulation and dissemination, I have heard you in a couple of opportunities talking about your research on the reception of Latin American theology in Asia, particularly in South Korea. What lessons have you extracted from that no less “exotic” incursion? You ask me for “lessons”… I don’t know what lessons you mean nor if I extracted any or not. Let’s see if my answer refers to any “lesson”. I had already worked on something like this before. The most important thing has been the paragraphs included in the book on peripheral thought and a few articles about projections of the ECLAC-Dependentist thought in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. I have a paper on the influence of Gandhi in South America and, before that, Ricardo Melgar and I had written about the


presence of Asian thought in our region along with another article, altogether, on theosophical thought, which, tangentially, barely covers a few aspects of Asian thought. More recently, I have wanted to venture into the Pacific in order to look elsewhere. The idea is not to look at the world by traveling across the Atlantic and through Europe, but instead to look directly at the Asia-Pacific region. The study on the impact of Liberationism on Minjung theology was one of the ways in which I did this (Devés 2016). 15. What were the main findings? It has been stated and reiterated that Minjung theology was inspired by Latin American theology and/or that it was a South Korean expression analogous to the liberationist theology of over here. The idea at that time was to detect how the Korean theology had learned about what was happening in this region in the 1970s, since it was clear that both intelligentsias had practically no knowledge or relations with one another. The most interesting thing to highlight in this respect, I think, was the role of the EATWOT network of theology in the Third World, as a “mediator” of ideas between Asia, Africa and South America. More broadly, I would say my interest in Asian thought must be associated with a number of concerns: firstly, there is a concern for peripheral thought; secondly, there is a concern for the extensions of studies on Latin American thought. This extension has to do with the inspirations received, which clearly go beyond western European thought, which is what (almost the only thing) has most been studied. Lastly, there is also a concern for the projections of Latin American thought towards Asia, particularly the economic and social ideas toward the Indian subcontinent. 16. What has this contributed to your studies and more generally to your academic endeavor? A task of mine since the year 2000 has been to place myself in the dynamics of thought in the

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different regions of the world of the past 200  years. In the so called “Asia”, a continent which is quite heterogeneous, and where most of mankind is concentrated, nothing could be said of the totality without taking into account these regions. This, which is a no-brainer, is not seen as such by those who deal with the study of ideas in South America. The first thing I learned was a more global vision, which at least allowed me to say something on the thought of China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, and various other places. More than that, I learned to establish connections and parallels that other people had not seen between these regions and South America, especially with Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, but also with a number of other countries in the region such as Peru, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I could also mention a motivation for the promotion of academic meetings and the expansion of networks, although minimal, in the context of our activities in IDEA-USACH and the Internacional del Conocimiento. Above all, it has allowed me to get to know ideas and people that I barely knew before, let’s put it this way, because of general culture. In particular, historical figures such as Gandhi and Sun Yat-sen, as well as figures who are alive, such as Subalternists… 17. You mentioned Gandhi and the Subalternists and, a moment ago, the Indian subcontinent. In this very complex case, does the “semantic variety” allow itself to be captured in the peripheral dilemma? What would you say, briefly, on the possibility of comparing the Indian eidetic dynamics with the ones from other immense spaces such as the African, Chinese, and Latin American spaces? Have you identified a “distinguishing feature” in that space? Answering that I have not identified any distinguishing feature might sound like superficiality or stupidity. At the same time, it would sound pretentious to assume that I was in a position to

18  Peripheral Thought: Intellectualities Beyond the Center

capture a common characteristic of such heterogeneous intellectuals. These intellectuals were expressive of societies that amounted to, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, more than a billion people, with so many diverse cultures and very different intellectual ecosystems. Only recently has it encompassed in the state that we today call the Republic of India, something so superficial and so recent for them, for a thousand-­ year-­old trajectory of learned intelligentsia. I don’t want to do that because it would be vulgar. It would suffice to think of Bengal and Mumbai (Bombay) or of Delhi and Keralam as places facing greater differences than those existing between Mexico and Seville or between Buenos Aires and New York. It is about intellectuals that host eidetic entities which emerged and/or were created in Sino-Tibetan, Dravidian, Indo-Aryan or Iranian languages, some of those languages more different among themselves than Spanish from Polish or Portuguese from Swedish. Even if I have read, on the other hand, something of R. M. Roy, Rabin-Dranath Tagore, M. Gandhi, Amartya Sen, Gayatri Spivak or Vandana Shiva, what common reflection could I establish on these figures, that was valid for Indian intellectuals as you ask? It’s easier for me to characterize American and South-Saharan intellectuals as educated intellectuals of very recent date and originated, as literate, from the European path. Especially the South American, as South-Saharan intellectuals already existed as literate before the fifteenth century in several places in the region, such as what is now Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, North Sudan and Ethiopia. This even occurred as far back as two thousand years ago and, it must be noted, I am not referring to the geo-cultural breadth of what today we call Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, but rather, the Amhara people and the Tigray. Something similar happens with what we today call the Federal Republic of Somalia, Eritrea and even Tanzania, or Zanzibar specifically. For example, I find it fascinating how the Amhara-Christian intellectuals next to the Patriarchate of Alexandria distanced themselves from the European intellectuals after the Council


of Chalcedon had become affiliated with Monophysitism. You can imagine the Amhara intelligentsia, the Coptic and even the Zanzibari (for some years now, I have had to deal with demonyms of so many peoples of the world for whom our Spanish dictionaries do not have names) as something frozen in time, at least until the first decades of the twentieth century. This is something that makes it difficult but not impossible to feed and even promote innovations such as certain forms of Marxism in the margins of the Red Sea, the Horn of Africa and even in the African islands of the Indian Ocean. In the Americas, if there was an educated intelligentsia among the Maya, this path was cut off relatively soon, and it appears there is no educated path that lasted until the arrival of the Europeans, which makes the South American literate intellectuality clearly more homogeneous from this point of view. On the other hand, the intelligentsia included within what today we call the People’s Republic of China have been more homogeneous than the Indian because of the centralization degree of the ancient empire, with a Mandarin system which was regular and widespread between the years 600 and 1900 approximately. You may possibly complain about the fact that I resorted to erudition by ignoring the need to give you an answer. What else could I have done in response to a question of such magnitude? By the way, I couldn’t have answered it in half a page without making offensive generalizations due to its simplicity for the intelligentsia of this great space, who may read these lines. 18. Why did you want to study the Pacific Rim lately? I have also heard your speeches about it, even the announcement of a major research project. It’s not at all a “major project”… As I was saying, it has been a challenge filling the balloon of ideas, with some of their history, at least of the last two centuries. Several years ago, I published a first article (2009), inspired by the work of Marius Jansen (1967), on pan-Asian networks in the Pacific


toward the 1900s, covering Chinese, Japanese, Philippine, Korean, Vietnamese and a few more. Then, in the book about peripheral thought, I expanded on ideas and peoples, taking notes on several things in the South Pacific: New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Caledonia and as so on. Afterwards, I worked on the circulation of the Liberation theology in South Korea (2016). I have felt this calling for several decades now in the bosom of my IDEA-USACH and in our networks to progressively open new spaces and have something to say about this vast region. There is a debt of South American thought with the Pacific, so to speak. We have thought too little about this space. Atlantic connections have monopolized the interest and have left connections through the Pacific very much in the background and I understand that for you, as an Argentinian from Buenos Aires, it will be even more difficult than for me. But this should change as “power moves” towards here, as some people say. Precisely the “circulation” concept of which we have already spoken enough, contributes a lot to this matter of thinking about the Pacific –this Pacific “within us” of which we are navigators, to paraphrase Epeli Hauofa. On the other hand, I’d have thought it is relevant to detect how in that world so unknown to us, the Liberationist thought in pedagogy and theology, has had enough presence, and how, from the 1970s onwards, numerous figures who led the independence processes of those territories were the inheritors of this thought. 19. What can you tell about the connections between the notions of “eidetic development” and “economic development”? In what sense can eidetic development as you have defined it contribute to the development of the Global South? While both notions are related, they allude to different problems. I have elaborated the notion “eidetic development” from that of “economic development”, understanding it as growth and management of eidetic growth. Economic science is not content to describe and verify; seeks

E. Devés and A. Kozel

to improve economy ic performance. Similarly, eidetics as a discipline cannot be content to describe or explain what has happened to ideas, but should seek to contribute to the development of ideas. Although this same notion does not fail to understand certain risks, like every human task, otherwise. Studying the circulation, it seems clear that any type of circulation implies “friction”. The greater the circulation the greater the friction. The greater the friction, the greater the global warming. However, nowadays ideas circulate largely as electronic messages, and this circulation is extremely “light”, being almost insignificant, compared to others, in terms of friction. Therefore, the risk of eidetic development does not lie at that level. More risky might be to think of intellectual work in “developmentalist” terms, because we could turn to a simple productivism, a kind of intellectual stajanovism. An absolutely herramentalist eidetic engineering could also be risky, against which we must be critical. One can only imagine that the greatest production of ideas should ultimately involve the best quality of ideas. Better ideas can only come out of the greatest proliferation and encounter between ideas. There is no external criterion that serves to determine what ideas may come in the future. From the conversation will come better ideas. The problems of the peripheries could never be attributed to an excess of ideas. This does not mean, however, that abundance automatically brings good ideas. Therefore, we must assume that eidetic development should contribute to the improvement of living conditions, international insertion and global significance of the peripheries, which would thus cease to be peripheries, leaving their thoughts of being peripheral thought: thus, peripheries would deny and overcome themselves. 20. I would like to know why, at this delicate point, you are deliberately avoiding using the concept of “development”. Because economic development is one of the ways in which it has been meant to say: “improve

18  Peripheral Thought: Intellectualities Beyond the Center

the lives of human beings”. Today, many people question the notion of development. In addition, the emphasis placed on some dimensions caused others to be left aside. The theory of modernization, for example, imagined human beings partly as machines, and history partly as infinite progress –without questioning their sustainability. It is not necessary to think of history and humanity exclusively in terms of progress and growth: it is a transposition of the Christian idea that we are getting closer and closer to the Kingdom of God. Nor is it necessary to think in terms of history or even humanity. However, we are inserted in thinking and to think about the human condition is to think in relation to a better or worse being-­ being. The latter is unavoidable, although it does not have a unique formulation. Thinking in terms of development is not the only way to think. It is not about giving up the notion, nor about suppressing it, but about keeping the discussion open. 21. We could say then that you think that the notion is now questioned, but that it is not obsolete at all. I do not defend or attack the notion of development. We, who study the life of ideas, certainly assume cycles and/or fashions and/or booms, but, considering the long term, we can also realize how eidetic entities live, mutate and cross and rework, and survive, and revive, under new formulations. Continually ancient ideas “return” and regain its validity. Look, for example, at the Neo-neo-neo…Pythagoreanism, or at the eidas that make up what is designated as New Age. Very little or nothing dies in ideas. Everything is recycled, reworked and, if we want to radicalize the argument, it is even encapsulated, waiting for “new life opportunities”, such as those offered by the Rosetta Stone or the discovery of manuscripts such as that of Huaman Poma or those of the Dead Sea, which have allowed certain eidetic systems to resurrect. However, here we are interested, rather, in the short duration, i. e., thinking in terms of decades. There is a frequent desire to overcome eidetic


tendencies by virtue of the new one that is intended to inaugurate, establish, put into use, such as those who say that the miniskirt has gone “out of style”. Hegel was probably the one who lead that way of thinking to its extreme. Very little or nothing dies in ideas, although that does not mean that they remain unchanged. They hybridize and rework themselves. Theory of ­modernization, positivism, Marxism, Christianity and so many other eidetic tendencies have repeatedly taken for dead. They have been “dispatched”, as who says: –“This product was valid for ten years, now it is expired, to trash”. By 1970 Wallerstein said that the theory of modernization had “died” and, of course, that of the world system, which was better, had contributed to his death or obsolescence. How Wallerstein was wrong! How many times since then new and new expressions of the theory of modernization have been seen, emerging as Hydra’s heads! You could say he was wrong in the formulation: only the W.  W. Rostow version was dead. Maybe it was so. The death of development economics was also decreed at that time, and several more times. However, as long as the peripheries continue to have peripheral characteristics, it is difficult to imagine that a notion such crucial as “development” simply disappears.

References Armitage, David. 2013. The international turn in intellectual history. In Rethinking modern European intellectual history, ed. Darrin McMahon and Samuel Moyn. New York: Oxford University Press. Bevir, Mark. 2003. Theosophy and the origins of the Indian National Congress. International Journal of Hindu Studies 7: 1–3. Boele Van Hensbroek, Pieter. 1999. Political discourses in African thought, 1860 to the present. Westport: Praeger. Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten. 2010. Genes, memes, and the Chinese concept of wen: Toward a nature/culture model of genetics. Philosophy East and West 60 (2, April): 167–186. Cheng, Anne. 2002. Historia del pensamiento chino. Barcelona: Bellaterra. Devés, Eduardo. 2011. El pensamiento africano sudsahariano. Desde mediados del siglo XIX a la actualidad. Biblos: Buenos Aires.

216 ———. 2016. La circulación de las ideas, una conceptualización: el caso de la teología latinoamericana en Corea del Sur. Santiago de Chile: Estudios Avanzados, No. 25, Universidad de Santiago de Chile. ———. 2017. Pensamiento periférico. Asia  – África  – América Latina – Eurasia y algo más. Una tesis interpretativa global. Santiago de Chile, Ariadna ediciones. Edición corregida sobre la 1ª de 2012. Devés, Eduardo, and Andrés Kozel. 2018. Estudios eidéticos. Una conversación desde el Sur sobre la vida de las ideas y la reconfiguración de un espacio disciplinar. Santiago de Chile: Ariadna ediciones. Górski, Eugeniusz. 1994. Dependencia y originalidad de la Filosofía en Latinoamérica y en la Europa del Este. UNAM: México.

E. Devés and A. Kozel Jansen, Marius. 1967. The Japanese and Sun Yat-Sen. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Laruelle, Marlene. 2007. The struggle for the soul of Tatar Islam. In ———. 2008. Eurasianism in Russia: The ideology of empire. Washington: Woodrow Wilson Press/Johns Hopkins University Press. Available in: Walicki, Andrzej. 1975. The Slavophile controversy: History of a conservative utopia in nineteenth-century Russian thought. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ———. 1977. Russian social thought: An introduction to the intellectual history of nineteenth- century Russia. Russian Review 36(1). Available in http://www.jstor. org/stable/128768.

Conclusion: Paths for Rethinking Development. Perspectives from the Global South


Rahma Bourqia and Marcelo Sili


The concept of the Global South is the product of an evolution in thinking about economic, social and technological inequalities at a global level. In some ways, this concept emerged to fill the vacuum left by the criticism and controversy of the notion of the Third World within a configuration that had shaped the world, with two major super powers, USA and USSR, and a Third World where most of countries had just emerged from colonization and preserved alliances with one of the super powers. The world today is far away from this era. A tremendous legacy of the theoretical criticism about development have been accumulated from the sixties to the beginning of this century where new complex globalized configurations of World are taking place. This new context implies several ways in which we may conceptualize the world. Its emphases and implications are different from models that bear globalist perspectives (a single globalized and Westernized R. Bourqia The Royal Academy Morocco, Rabat, Morocco e-mail: [email protected] M. Sili (*) Director del Centro de estudios para la Acción y el Desarrollo Territorial, CONICET – Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina e-mail: [email protected]

world), civilizational worldviews (the world as a cluster of civilizations) or interstate approaches (the world as some two hundred sovereign states). Keywords

Global South · Development · Pathways · Paradigms

The concept of the Global South is the product of an evolution in thinking about economic, social and technological inequalities at a global level. In some ways, this concept emerged to fill the vacuum left by the criticism and controversy of the notion of the Third World within a configuration that had shaped the world, with two major super powers, USA and USSR, and a Third World where most of countries had just emerged from colonization and preserved alliances with one of the super powers. The world today is far away from this era. A tremendous legacy of the theoretical criticism about development have been accumulated from the sixties to the beginning of this century where new complex globalized configurations of World are taking place. This new context implies several ways in which we may conceptualize the world. Its emphases and implications are different from models that bear globalist perspectives (a single

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



globalized and Westernized world), civilizational worldviews (the world as a cluster of civilizations) or interstate approaches (the world as some two hundred sovereign states). It is clear that the Global South concept exhibits connotations associated with the search for greater levels of justice, equality and autonomy. In its own way, this concept has the strength and ability to maintain the relevance of inequality as a topic on the world stage, with a broad perspective, and even to a certain point overcoming the ideological schism implied in the notion of developing countries. Nonetheless, as a concept, it persists in a dichotomous approach, that sets the South and the North against one another, the periphery against the center. However, it would be difficult to deny that reality is less dichotomous than a concept such as this would lead us to believe, at least in the first instance. As we have seen in the various contributions that sustain this collective intellectual work, the Global South is far from being a homogeneous entity in geographic, cultural, social or economic terms. On the contrary, as stated in the central hypothesis of our book, the Global South can be better characterized as a fragmented mosaic of situations and challenges, of territories with disparate trajectories, at times contradictory among themselves, whose connection to global dynamics also occurs in dissimilar ways, in many cases achieving “progress” in terms of economic and quality of life indicators, while remaining in conditions of poverty and marginalization in others. However, commonalities exist, which is exactly what a concept such as the Global South seeks to highlight. Indeed, nearly all the countries and regions that make up the Global South have experienced historical difficulties in autotomizing an individual path to economic and social development, capable of sustainably overcoming undeniable situations of poverty, marginalization and subservience. This is the case in general terms, even as there are some countries that have been able, in rapid rhythm, to “advance” more than others such as some Southeast Asia countries or China for which, the question of whether China is part of the South or it is emerging as a new power within a new dynamics reshaping the configura-

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tions of the new globalized world, to offer a new alternative system of development. It is evident that the causes underlying the difficulties pointed and referenced above are varied and complex. Their analysis could not be a simplistic task or treated as a linear process. Issues of development and progess, could not be approached within the limited frontiers of an area or a country. What is specific about the era, where we live, is that phenomenon, such as poverty, environmental stress, diseases, security…expand across borders. It is not enough to elaborate international prescriptions and compile statistical series on the behavior of a bundle of indicators over time to achieve a change in the configuration of the World and the problems facing a wide range of societies. This book, in making each author in dialogue with other, argues that these constructions and interpretations are necessary steps, but in no way are they sufficient. However, in order to understand the functioning and the dynamics of the countries and regions that comprise the Global South, we must review the fundamental assumptions that underpin the different ways we understand reality. Above all, it is important to transition toward a decolonization of our viewpoint, leaving behind the strictly linear approach that is characteristic of the Western view of a single path forward, in order to move toward constructing new outlooks capable of grasping complex and diverse realities. This conclusion has led us to introduce the metaphor of the kaleidoscope, a device that shows us different images depending on a combination of the viewing angle, lighting conditions and other aspects that, while they are variable, do not deny the actual existence of the object being viewed. Undertaking an exercise of kaleidoscopic viewing entails an invitation to let go of one’s prejudices and assumptions about the object to be observed and allow it to show all its facets and possibilities. We have chosen to join together various ideas around the challenges faced by the countries of the Global South under a kaleidoscopic approach, allowing the reader to discover in each of the chapters the thousand forms and potential realities that can materialize in the

19  Conclusion: Paths for Rethinking Development. Perspectives from the Global South

countries of the Global South. We insist that, for the time being, we do not seek to organize this knowledge as in a treatise or encyclopedia. Perhaps now is not the best time to present these types of tentative steps forward. The reality of the countries in the Global South in the current historical context cannot be fully appreciated as viewed via ready-made general theories or systematic approaches, nor those that exclusively emphasize certain conceptual constructions or the analysis of series of statistics—not, at least until we have questioned the basic assumptions behind our methods of understanding. This is to say, until we have reflected deeply upon what it would mean to abandon linear, pathway-based conceptions. For this reason, we chose to share various nuanced views of the different facets of a problem that is as cogent as it is complex: the challenge presented by the asymmetries and inequalities among the territories of the world. Adopting the mosaic and the kaleidoscopic approach can help us not only to rediscover common denominators and cross-cutting themes, but can also enable us to rethink the future. The idea is to create a platform where we can ask the tough questions, that can ignite debates aimed at deeply examining how we view the world and our underlying assumptions. One of the first discoveries that surfaces in this work is the emergence of a new globalized world, besieged by novel forces and dynamics. These forces include climate change, as well as events with global impacts such as pandemics, as is the case with COVID-19. Both situations are transforming territories and human activities, while changing the global conditions in which we conceptualize development and its challenges. Thus, for example, as a result of climate change, areas that were previously cold and inhospitable are today emerging as territories where life and productive development are possible, while other areas are being threatened (including with their disappearance), agricultural frontiers shift, and millions of forested areas vanish. In addition to these situations, we can append a new system of mobility and attachment within territories, which is the product of the pandemic and security crises: safe places no longer exist in the world; our


homes, towns and cities have been transformed into isolated spaces: human beings appear to be facing the challenge of building new territorially anchored systems from scratch, which will lead us to rethink our lifestyles and habitat. These two big changes are taking place at the same time as the world undergoes economic and social paradigm shifts that are associated with a new geopolitical productive system, both in terms of primary resources, as well as manufactured goods and services. Within this framework, the countries of the Global South figure as large suppliers of primary resources, especially foodstuffs and minerals, as is the case with Latin America and Africa. Historically, this has been their role, and it does not appear that substantial changes have occurred. However, China and southeast Asia have emerged and consolidated themselves as the factories to the world. Moreover, the provision of services cannot go unconsidered. Although the northern countries play a primary and nearly monopolistic role in this area, some southern countries are also beginning to figure in this sector. Any forward-looking analysis will show that these scenarios will continue to strengthen in the future. Perhaps we are entering a world in which the marked structural differences between north and south will be relegated to the past. In some ways, we face a situation where it appears we can think in terms of a kaleidoscopic mosaic, applied to the south and the north, as well as within each country. Without losing sight of global inequalities, it is important to construct an approach that is attuned to an exceedingly complex collage. The goal is not just to highlight the mosaic of the south, but also to take notice of the mosaic that exists throughout the world—a world where the north faces challenges that in some ways remind us of some of the south’s classic problems, and where the south contains some areas characterized by high levels of dynamism. A second emerging element that is crucial to our book is the emphasis placed on the need to reinvent how we comprehend development. Our message is clear: there is no room to continue thinking of development as a closed, monologed system. It is important to refocus on “situational”


development, maintaining a critical, open and dialogic disposition among different cultures. The concept of development comprises many viewpoints, thoughts and meanings—ideas that are tied to symbols, culture and national and regional traditions. It is necessary to let these ideas emerge and nourish them because they enrich the belief in a better future for everyone. The experiences and journeys of different cultures cannot be constrained within a single concept of development because that would truncate innovation and creation. This does not necessarily mean that the concept of development should be abandoned or forgotten, not least because it includes relevant arrangements, with highly symbolic and political meanings, very much associated with the idea of achievement. To summarize: it is still necessary to think and act in terms of overcoming our challenges; however, there is no single prescription nor an identical journey for everyone. A third element that it is important to review is linked to the necessity to reinvent development based on a new relationship between nature and society. Development as understood from a Western growth-based perspective was based on a logic of use and exploitation of natural resources: man dominated and appropriated a nature that was separate from him, manipulating it in the interest of economic growth and progress. Although in recent decades additional ideas were integrated into the concept of development, seeking to account for the need to improve environmental conditions and thereby reconcile the exploitation of resources with economic growth and environmental conservation (the idea of sustainability is one example), the ruling logic continued to be, broadly speaking, the same: that of a separate natural world that must be administered. This book’s contributions open the doors to conceive of a new relationship between society and nature, where humankind constructs its evolution (and thus its development) jointly with nature, in partnership and integrated with it. The transition to a new model of integration between society and nature should be a bedrock upon which we create new concept of development.

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A fourth lesson is that the challenge of development should also be considered from the perspective of culture. The emphasis here is that culture points to and illuminates the development path that is unique to each society. In a broad sense, culture is defined as the way in which a society constructs its sense of being and belonging in the world. Culture does not just point out the paths forward for innovation and progress, but also the innate ways for individuals and societies to take root and remain firm, in spite of the conflicts and tragedies that may befall a given people or society. In other words, culture has historically been and increasingly is the element that enables a society to anchor itself and exist in a globalized world, despite the hegemonic advance of the logic of modernization and growth. This anchoring and being can be understood as the deployment of a society’s ability to innovate in order to improve quality of life, its territories and the economy. It also functions in the search for mechanisms that help to overcome the damage inflicted by different types of environmental and social catastrophes: the poorest and most dispossessed countries’ experience of resilience is a clear example of this. In this reflection on the role of culture in the emergence of new meanings for development, two key themes clearly appear. The first is the need to consider the role of the imaginary as it relates to development. The idea of development has been colonized by Western modernist thinking. The different contributions in this book make it clear that there is a need to decolonize this thinking and the definition of development in order to leave room for alternative symbols and meanings to emerge, just as is currently occurring at the core of various societal experiences in the Global South. One could even assert that if there is a single element that characterizes the Global South, it is the persistence and coexistence of multiple, rich viewpoints and representations regarding development and its meanings. These constitute an invaluable source of wealth that should be sustained and nourished, sparking new intercultural debates and dialogues. Second, the emergence of new meanings for development from

19  Conclusion: Paths for Rethinking Development. Perspectives from the Global South

women’s perspectives is vital in this cultural dimension. An analysis of the life journeys of migrant women clearly demonstrates meanings and symbols distinct from the definitions that belong to the Western growth-based version of development. Before concluding, it is important to insist once more that any undertaking of debate and reflection regarding the Global South and its challenges requires that we rethink the ways in which we approach information and their underlying assumptions, our ways of constructing knowledge about the world and about ourselves. It is important to continue our progress in the task of overcoming the hegemonic knowledge and desire, and taking a steps forward on more


a­ utonomous paths, capable of freeing the creative potential and activating the generation of knowledge pertinent to our realities. However, in this area, as in others, we must be careful because having greater autonomy in the construction of knowledge does not mean closing ourselves off from science, education and culture. Quite the opposite: the idea is to build more fruitful dialogues, based on respect for and recognition of the capacities for knowledge and understanding among the peoples of the Global South. Mosaic, kaleidoscope, dialogue: in the provocative force of these images and in the promises embodied in their expression, we may find/encounter the key elements that have given shape to this collective work.


A African development Cold War, 29, 30 decolonisation, 26–28 democratic capitalist institutions, 25 global economic power, 25 international economic system, 28, 29 international environment, 25 international system China, 32–34 economic integration, 36 global economic power, 32–34 global governance, 36 globalisation, 35, 36 growing economic and cultural globalisation, 36 multilateralism, 35, 36 Russia, 36, 37 national and regional approaches, 26 post-Cold War Phase, 30–32 post-colonial phase, 26 African economic autonomy in action, 45–46 self-reliance, 44 in strategy, 44–45 African economy and China challenges, 50–51 common development, 48, 49 economic development, 48 Eight Principles, 48 equality, 47 exchange experience in development, 49–50 mutual assistance, 47, 48 Continental Free Trade Area, 45 development plan, 44, 46 national policy, 45 self-conscious effort, 44 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), 35 Agricultural products, 92, 93 Agricultural programs, 95 Agricultural raw materials, 57 Agro-export model, 58 Alternatives to development, 138–140

Autonomy description, 43 in policy formulation and practice, 45 See also African economic autonomy B Barcelona Declaration, 93 BNDES (National Bank for Economic and Social Development), 59–60 Brazil commodity prices, 65 cost of capital, 66 deindustrialization, 61, 67 economic complexity index, 61, 63 economic development, 55 economic growth, 59 economic policy, 65 economy, annual growth rate, 58 exports, 64 GFCF, 59 industrial elites, 67 labor productivity, 60, 61 share, processing industry, 61, 62 stagnation, 66 Brazilian development model big infrastructure constructions, 124 commerce and services sector, 127, 130 commodities exports, 126 demand, 127 democratic institutions, 130 development economy, 126 ecological transition, 123–125 economic growth, 124, 129 economy, 130 European social welfare state, 127 financial market, 128 fossil energy sources, 127 government plans, 123 hydraulic and mechanical systems, 125 innovation, 124 institutional crisis, 129 international capitalism, 127

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Bourqia, M. Sili (eds.), New Paths of Development, Sustainable Development Goals Series,



224 Brazilian development model  (Cont.) international context, 127 international market, 126 international trade, 130 international trade rules, 126 liberalism, 128 municipalities, 129 natural resources, 124 new productive model, 132 political democracy and diversity, 128 population, 124 programs and policies, 131 public and private actions, 124 sectors, 125 social classes structure, 126 social coalition, 132, 133 social democracy, 128 social development model, 125 social organization models, 128 social policy, 130 socio-environmental conflicts, 131, 132 South-Southeast regions, 129 sustainable development, 123, 124 territorial planning policy, 130 transformation industry, 125 transition, 130 urbanization and industrialization cycle, 130 BRICS Development Bank, 159 C Celebratory environmentalism, 117 China International Import Expo (CIIE), 159 China’s development “civilized conflicts”, 159 harmony, 160 impact, 158, 159 industrial powerhouse, 155 industrialization, 155 international level, 159 market liberalization, 155 national cohesion, 160 national integration, 160 opening-up policy, 156 social development, 160 tradition and development, 156–158 urbanization, 155 China-Africa cooperation, 46, 50, 51 Climate Change discourse, 114 Commission for Additional Sources of Energy (CASE), 114 Community led ecological restoration, 117 Community led environmentalism, 115 dams, 117 industrial pollution, 117 public sector industries, 116 resource extractions, 117 socio-cultural identity, 116 Community led forestation, 117 Community socialism, 169

Conceptions of development globalization (see Globalization) history of societies, 194 holistic approach, 195 human development, 194 knowledge, 193 legacy, 192 Millennium Development Goals (MDG), 195 modernism, 194 modernization theory, 192, 193 referencial developmental model, 192 sociology, 194 theoretical Marxist approach, 193 Cultural diversity, 93 Cultural heritage, 72 Cultural history, 89 Cultural invasion, 71 D Deindustrialization Brazilian economy, 61, 66 developing countries, 55 economic development, Brazil, 55, 56 import substitution strategies, 56 industrial employment, 56 industry’s share, 56 natural resources, 67 ND approach, 55 premature, 56, 57, 66 role, State, 65–67 Development, 69, 71, 72, 74 "at the same time", concept, 95 conception and management, 95 deficit of social development, 96 discursive configurations, 98 economic “take-off”, 90 elimination, customs barriers, 92 ND (see Neo-developmentalism (ND)) orthodox financial policies, 95 PD (see Post-development (PD)) policies, 90 SD (see Sustainable development (SD)) South need developmental models, 96 Development configurations, 98 Development economics, 79 Development in neoliberalism (DL), 98, 100, 101 Development in socialism (DSOC), 98, 102, 104, 105 Development plans, 27, 37 Development thinking, 16, 17 Development, Global South awareness, 3 backwards societies, 1 challenge, 2 characteristics, 12 characterization, 10 classical thinking, 1 construction, 12–14 critique and renewal, 16, 17 cultural traditions, 9

Index dependencies and geopolitical scenario, 15, 16 disasters, 2 ecological transition, 17, 18 economic and social limitations, 11 economic growth, 2 economic theory, 2 elements, 15 endogenous development, 5–7 environmental crisis, 15 gender and cultural identities, 8 geopolitical changes, 8 global relationship management, 9 globalization, 15, 16 government actors and civil society, 12 human development, 5–7 income groups, 10 inequalities, 9 international and national policies, 8 international organizations, 9 Keynesian approaches, 3, 4 knowledge and ideas, 19, 20 Marxist approaches, 4, 5 national territories, 2 nationalist protectionism, 9 neoclassical approach, 3 number of global transformations, 12 obscurantist traditions, 2 outcome, 7, 8 policies, 3, 4 public policy, 14 quality of life, 2 regions, 1 role of culture, 18, 19 Developmental discourse of India environmentalism, 112, 113 market-led solutions, 112 physical environment, 112 state actors and networks, 112 state and economy, 111 state led environmentalism, 112 Dialogue, 138–142 Discursive configurations, 97–98, 101 Doctrine of integration, 74 Domination effects, 81 E Ecological transition, 17, 18, 123–125, 130, 131, 133 Ecologization of economy, 115 Economic autonomy Ethiopia, 45 independent industrial policy, 45 self-reliance, 44 traditional and modern systems, 45 Economic Commission for Africa, 29 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), 3 Economic Committee of West African States (ECOWAS), 150 Economic complexity index, Brazil, 61, 63

225 Economic dependence, 81, 82 Economic development, 48, 56, 155, 156, 159 Economic frustration, 95 Economic globalization, 95 Economic growth, 156 Economic patriotism, 84 Economic theory, 2 Economic zones, 156 Ecosocialism, 104, 105 Ecosystems, 135 Endogenous development, 81 Endogenous Growth theories, 5 Energy sources, 48 Environmental policy-making, 114 Environmental protection, 112 Environmentalism, 112, 113 Equality, 47, 48 Ethiopia's Industrial Policy, 45 Euro-Mediterranean partnership, 91, 94 Europe's security considerations, 91 F Federalism, 74 Food dependency, 81 Food self-sufficiency, 44 Foreign aid, 47 Foreign direct investment (FDI), 32 Foreign trade, 44 Forest resources management, 116 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), 33, 48, 159 Free market, 112 Free trade, 91–93 Future Action Plan, 93 G Geopolitics, 69, 91, 96, 150, 152 Global Climate Agenda, 85 Global economics, 83 Global Mediterranean Policy, 91 Global periphery community, 169, 171, 176, 177 critical thinking, 169, 178 good living, 170, 172 indigenous approach, 176 ubuntu (see Ubuntu) Western modernity, 170 Global South alternative concept, 199 bipolarity/multiple development, 196–197 center-periphery, 202 cognitive justice, 202 concept, 203 development (see Conceptions of development) development theories, 200, 201 digital one, 198–199 global challenges, 203 globalization (see Globalization)


226 Global South  (Cont.) holistic approach, 201 human development, 199, 201 idea of liberation, 200 innovative economic approach, 200 justice and freedom, 201 liberalism, 201 scientific work and knowledge, 197–198 technology, 202 Globalisation as liberal democracy, 70 Chinese capitalism, 70 Chinese model, 72 conflict-generating and violent, 71 development, 69 downgrading process, 70 economic growth, 71 economic level, 72 geopolitics, 69 global community, 73 happy Globalisation, 70 income inequalities, 72 liberal democracy, 70 modern form, 70 neoliberal discourse, 70 polarisations, 71 political and social organisation, 72 poverty rate, 72 public social policies, 71 social groups, 71 sycophants, 70 Green revolution, 141–142 Greening of development agrarian economy, 109 centralised planning model, 110 economic crisis, 111 economy, 109 environmental concerns, 111 GDP, 110 GDP growth rate, 110 market-based mechanism, 111 market-based models, 111 public sector, 110 socio-economic transition, 111 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 161–162 Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), 59 Gross National Happiness (GNH), Bhutan challenges, 166–167 concept, 162–164 Global Context, 167–168 implementation, 164–165 political system, 162 public policies, 162, 167, 168 sustainability, 161, 162 H Harmony in diversity, 158 Human Development Index (HDI), 83, 161, 165, 181 Human security indicators (HSI), 83

Hybrid vehicle category, 115 Hyperinflation, 59 I Ideological discourses, 98 Imaginaries of women community, 186 development imaginaries, 179–181, 183, 184, 187 emotional costs, 184 Mexico-U.S. migration, 179–181 migration, 180–181 migration expectations, 186 migratory experience, 186 migratory phenomenon, 183 social imaginaries, 184 social prestige, 185 social well-being, 182–183 subjective well-being, 181 violence, 186 well-being, 180–181, 185, 186 working life, 185 Industrial activities, 82 Industrial development effort, 60 Industrial export processing zone (EPZ), 45 Industrial Policy Resolution, 110 Inequality and equity related concerns, 118 Inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), 74 International aid system, 46–47, 51 Africa's economic autonomy, 43 International development cooperation, 51, 52 innovative action, 52 issue, international aid, 51 shared destiny, 52 International Monetary Fund, 55 K Kenya’s Development Plan (1964-1970), 27 L Labor productivity in Brazil, 60, 61 Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), 150 Latin America bioindicators, 140 climate change, 140 diversity, 139 ecology, 139 economics, 135 eco-systemic diversity, 139 ecosystems, 135 environmental thinking academic spaces, 138 characteristics, 141 classical scientific method, 142 coloniality, 142 complexity science, 142 cultural transformation, 137

Index development policies, 141 eco-development, 136, 137 economic/instrumental rationality, 142 economy, 138 eco-systemic realities, 136 environmental crisis, 137 environmental rationality, 142 hegemonic epistemology, 140 indigenous movements, 138 interpretations, 136 irrigation systems, 141 social benefits, 137 social movements, 138 Southern socio-environmental complexities, 142 sustainable development, 137 sustainable development policies, 142 thinking-feeling, 138 Third World, 138 universalization, 137 family networks, 140 financing, 136 fraud and tax evasion, 136 geography, 139 hegemonic knowledge, 139 national government policies, 136 politics, 135 post-development, 139 socio-environmental conflicts, 136 translation, 139 Liberalization, 111 Local/territorial development (DLT), 98, 104, 105 M Macroeconomic instability, 8 Market environmentalism, 112 green technology sector, 115 idea, 114 in India, 115 Marxist approaches, 4, 5 Middle-class environmentalism, 117 Millennium Development Goals (MDG), 114, 128, 136 Monophysitism, 213 Mutual assistance, 47, 48 N National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008, 114 National developmentism, 58, 65 National-developmentist model, 58 National Forest Policy, 113 Natural resources, 57, 86 channels of transmission, 57 curse, 57 finance industrialization, 58 on political institutions, 58 premature deindustrialization, 57 relative prices, 57 soaring prices, 57

227 Neo-developmentalism (ND), 55, 64, 65, 67, 98, 101, 102, 104, 105 New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), 30–31, 44 P Paris Agreement, 123 Peripheral thought Asia, 212 centralitarian and identitarian provisions, 206 circulation of ideas, 207, 214 common pattern, 206–207 condition of marginality and impairment, 208 connections with thoughts, 211 development of ideas, 214 economic and social ideas, 212 exotic incursion, 211–212 Global South (see Eidetic and economic development) groundbreaking dialectic, 207 Indian eidetic dynamics, 212–213 indigenous contemporary intellectuals, 208 inspiration and support case, 210 intellectuality, 206, 213 Minjung theology, 212 mono-thematism and semantics variety, 211 Pacific Rim, 213–214 peripheral intelligentsia, 207 schematization of sub-Saharan African, 210–211 South-Saharan Africa, 208–210 south-south circulation, 208 Planning Commission of India, 110 Political adjustments, 82 Political organisation, 72 Post-development (PD), 98, 102–105 Premature deindustrialization, 56, 57 Project for the Mediterranean (UfM), 90, 93–95 Protectionism, 84 Public Interest Litigations (PIL), 114 Public policies, 82, 85, 86 R Raw materials, 57, 65, 66 Renewed Mediterranean Policy, 91 Reprimarization, 57, 64, 65 Resilience, 147–152 Rethinking development, 13 challenge of development, 220 civilizational worldviews, 218 dichotomous approach, 218 economic and social development, 218 Global South, 219 globalist perspectives, 217–218 interstate approaches, 218 kaleidoscopic approach, 219 role of culture, 220 south’s classic problems, 219 Rural Land Tax, 131


228 S Scientific conservation, 116 Second Development Plan, 27 Self-reliance, 44 Seven Year Development Plan, 27 Shared destiny, 51, 52 Social crisis, 92 Social discourse, 97 Social protection, 85 Socialism, 104 Socio-environmental conflicts, 131, 132 Sociology, 149 Sophisticated production, 65 Sophistication, 61, 64 Stagnant productivity, 60, 65, 67 Stagnation, 58, 60, 65, 66 State functional and organic solidarity, 86 in economic activity, 82 territories, 85 world governance, 85 State institutions, 58, 66 State-led developmentalism, 116 State led environmentalism dam projects, 113 legislative and executive branches, 114 SDG, 114 water pollution, 113 water resources and agriculture, 113 wildlife and forest areas, 113 Structural adjustment programs (SAP), 82 Structural adjustments, 82 Structural inequalities, 81, 84 Sub-Saharan Africa cultural resilience, 150, 151 disaster, 147, 151, 152 drought, 148–150 economic/psychological problems, 147 environment, 148 insurrections, 148, 149 mapping, 150, 151 planning, 150, 151 resilience, 147 UN organizations, 148 wars, 149, 150 Sustainability, 110, 112 Sustainable development (SD), 90, 98–100, 104, 105, 119, 149 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 114, 124, 128, 136, 161

T Technical and financial partners (TFP), 74 Territorial development, 124, 125 The Belt and Road Initiative, 159 The Real Plan, 59, 61 Theory of modernization, 215 Tokyo Declaration, 44 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD I), 44 U Ubuntu African unity/fragmentation, 176 community, 174, 175 contemporary moral theory, 174 cosmic harmony, 175 decolonizing/indigenous ideology, 173 essentialisms, 176 human quality, 172 humanitarian principles, 173 progress or evolutionary theory, 175 proverb, 173 public policies, 175 theory of justice, 174 theory of modernization, 175 TRC, 174 Underdeveloped societies, 4 Under-development, 28, 30, 32, 37 as consequence of development, 79, 81 causes, 79 dependency and domination, 81 in modern history, 80 peripheral economies, 81 as underachievement of development, 79, 80 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), 28 United Nations Development Program (UNDP), 201 Universal citizenship awareness, 85 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 136 Universalism, 89 Unsophisticated products, 64 W West African Monetary Union (WAMU), 150 Western growth-based perspective, 220 White revolution, 110 World Happiness Report (WHR), 161, 165, 167 Worldview, 137, 139, 141