Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-nlvjk Total loading time: 0.401 Render date: 2022-05-21T00:49:36.796Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Chapter 4 - Decolonizing the Idea of Development

from Part I - Origins of the Development Episteme

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 October 2020

Corrie Decker
Affiliation:
University of California, Davis
Elisabeth McMahon
Affiliation:
Tulane University, Louisiana
Get access

Summary

This chapter outlines the connections between African resistance to cultural imperialism during the colonial era, the call to “decolonize the mind” in the 1970s and 1980s, and, finally, debates about decolonizing development today. All of these movements have challenged the racial and cultural inequalities built into the development episteme. Decolonizing development entails much more than pointing out the legacies of the civilizing mission or colonialism in contemporary development discourses on Africa. Both Western and African cultures transformed over time, but what has not changed is the perception that the former is “modern” and the latter “traditional.” The false dichotomy between the “developed” West (or “the global north”) and the “less developed” or “developing” countries of Africa (as part of “the global south”) reifies colonial-era stereotypes and continues to fuel the development industry. Whether seeking to transform a “backward” custom or making decisions about expenditure, hierarchies of power are foundational to the development episteme. As long as Africans remain the targets of intervention rather than the policy makers or drivers of development, and as long as development remains an industry whose power base remains in the global north, efforts to decolonize development will fail to restructure the development episteme.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Idea of Development in Africa
A History
, pp. 79 - 100
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×