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    Worlds beyond the political? Post-development approaches in practices of transnational solidarity activism

    Wilson, Kalpana (2017) Worlds beyond the political? Post-development approaches in practices of transnational solidarity activism. Third World Quarterly 38 (12), pp. 2684-2702. ISSN 0143-6597.

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    This article considers some ways in which one strand of post-development thinking has influenced non-governmental organisation (NGO)-led activist discourses and practices of transnational solidarity. It argues that there has been a tendency for these discourses and practices to rearticulate racialised constructions of unspoiled and authentic ‘natives’ requiring protection which are historically embedded in colonial practices of governance. In turn, this has meant the failure to acknowledge indigenous histories of political organisation and resistance. Further, the characterisation of development in binary terms as both homogeneous and always undesirable has meant the delegitimisation of demands for equality as well as the neglect of the implications of the decisive shift from developmentalism to neoliberal globalisation as the dominant paradigm. Drawing upon a discussion of aspects of the local, national and transnational campaign to prevent proposed bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri hills in Odisha (India), I argue that given that international NGOs are themselves embedded in the architecture of neoliberal development and aid, their campaigning activities can be understood as facilitating the displacement and marginalisation of local activists and silencing their complex engagements with ideas of development. This potentially defuses and depoliticises opposition to neoliberal forms of development, while transposing collective agency onto undifferentiated publics in the Global North, processes which, however, continue to be actively resisted.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Post-development, neoliberalism, Vedanta, NGOs, transnational solidarity
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2018 09:56
    Last Modified: 12 Jan 2018 09:56


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