You are on page 1of 9

Departmet of communication studies

Subject -: Communication and Development

Subject Code -: CS105
Assignment No.- 1
Assignment Name -: Post Development & 5 photos
depicting development and 5 depicting progress.
Guided by
Prof.- Isha Pungaliya
Submitted by

Mr.- Sagar Talagade

Roll No. Post-Development

First, what Post-Development intends and what it
means, will be shortly introduced. To put Post-Development in a
theoretical background, postmodernism and its relation to Post
Development will be explained. Second, the main points of criticism
will be presented. In a next step, these points will be given an order and
will be answered and analyzed in terms of finding out their relevance
towards Post-Development.- Development is criticized of being culturalrelativist. Therefore Post- Development stands in suspicion to accept
oppression and violence and to be indifferent towards the violation of
human rights.
Post- Development is accused to feel an affinity for
neoliberalism. According to Nederveen Pieterse, it is argued that both
approaches reject state intervention and agree on state failure: Escobar is
skeptical towards state planning, he questions social engineering and the
faith in progress lead by the state. The neoliberal thinker Deepak Lal
condemns state-centered development economies (Nedeveen Pieterse
1998: 364). Further, also advocates of different Additionally, they both
aim at a very contrasting world-view. While Post- Development
emphasizes solidarity and the well-being of human beings in the first
place, neoliberal thought focuses on the competition of individuals and
the commercionalisation of community. Therefore, I do not think that
both schools stand close to each other
Post-Development as a critique of mainstream
development and alternative development stands in the tradition of
poststructuralism and postmodernism. Therefore it definitively shows a
skeptical attitude towards modern paradigms such as objectivism,
postivism and the hierarchisation of culture and knowledge.

Nonetheless, there is no complete rejection of all achievements of the

modern age. Rist declares: the idea, then, in spite of development, is
to organize and invent new ways of live between modernization, with
its sufferings but also some advantages, and a tradition from which
people may derive inspiration while knowing it can never be the
realization, that the western model of consumerism may not be
It is about the consensus that needs to be find and
negotiated. In reference to Escobar, culture is never static, but a
transformed and transformational force. Ziai puts it right in stating: If
culture in terms of constructivist manner is defined as the sum of (the
changing) norms and practices of one specific group, deviating behavior
is a sign, that some practices are no longer capable of belonging to the
consensus5 (Ziai 2007: 105). The problem of discourse analysis to focus
on power structures and seeing individuals as vehicles of institutional
power is articulated in Katherine McKinnons article about development
projects in Northern Thailand. In her research she came to the
conclusion, that a Foucauldian analysis limited what could be seen and
said about professional subjects and what could not be seen: The
focus, in other words, is on structure over agency on the discourses
that shape our becoming subjects, rather than how subjects might shape
the discourses (McKinnon 2008: 287).
In terms of a Foucauldian analysis, development workers
could be seen as agents of governmentality, their role of acting like
community advocates and their ambivalent role of realizing this role and
being institutional agents at the same time, is not being observed. In
reference to Judith Butler McKinnon states: () we must presume that
subjects are not only made of in the enactment of normative discourse

through self-government, but that also, as Butler (1993) has argued, with
each act of constituting ourselves as subjects, we not
Deconstruction of so-called truths leads to new ways of seeing reality. In
my opinion, therefor it definitely is constructive. Summing up, some
points of the critique can contribute to a reflective, self-critique PostDevelopment. It is important that Post- Development thinkers are aware
of their starting point. As I mentioned in chapter 2 it makes also sense to
differentiate between the various authors that belong to PostDevelopment. If authoritarian and ethnocentric elements of development
theory and politics should be avoided, it is not possible to define
development as a normative model (as a state of 'good society for
example). Following the logic of postmoderism, these definition can
only be made by affected persons in a democratic discussion (Ziai 2006).
Post-Development and Postmodernism consequently do not
mean to be lost in diversity. Referring to Rapahel Daum, agency and its
legitimation out of a postmodern perspective means in the first place to
respect difference and diversity. From that a small consensus can be
worked out, which is not a new story of truth, but which can and should
resume to the better aspects of modernity, its emancipatory force and
human rights (Daum 2004).
The analysis of the criticism is important to proceed in the process of
decolonizing our minds and searching for new landscapes Escobar
speaks of. The conclusion in chapter 3.3 leads to the questions that I ask
myself: What now is its impact on me? What is my personal encounter
with Post-Development?
Discussing post-development in the seminar seemed like a summary of
my whole study of International Development. The question What is
Development? was raised in my first university session some years ago.
Step by step development and my positive, world bettering view on it
was disillusioned, the world my world deconstructed. I did not only
feel that these deconstruction is destructive: it brought a new, profound
way of thinking and a seeking for reality, that has many different
facettes negative and positive.

Though, the reading of different critical comments on PostDevelopment, reminded me on the criticism that I put on my study of
International Development. Because in my study there can be found a lot
of influence of Post-Development theory, the points of critique that are
formulated on Post-Development theory parallel my thoughts towards
my field of study. Feeling without perspective in this whole criticism,
that made sense, but also involves the danger of hopelessness.
In any case, it is clear that change starts at the local level. Regarding
Post-Development, supporting development practice, the support of
local movements, is a way to adapt theory in practice. In my personal
life, the local engagement in my environment became now more
theoretically reasoned. Being aware of the privileges as well as of the

5 Photos depicting development and 5 depicting