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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: December 2019

19 - The ‘Bihar Famine’ and the Authorisation of the Green Revolution in India: Developmental Futures and Disaster Imaginaries

from Part III - The Parochial/Plural Cold War


Critical literature on the history of developmentalism in the Global South has so far laid emphasis on the authorising force generated by the future telos of attaining the status of a ‘developed country’, by various developmental institutions and their violently transformative programmes for well over the previous century. Much like other significant utopias of the twentieth century, this promised telos was very rarely (if ever) actualised – its persistent quest has, instead, generated several monumental calamities. But, this is where the similarities between developmental futures and ‘mass Utopias’ come to an end. For while these other dreamworlds have, under the burden of their catastrophes, become ‘futures past’ in a ‘post–Cold War’ world, developmentalism has only tightened its grip, seemingly impervious to the vast catalogue of failures of its promises in this ‘age of catastrophe’.