ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Towards Labour-Centred Development

The Global Development Crisis by Benjamin Selwyn, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2014; pp 224, £ 16.99.

What does “development” mean? This question, Selwyn argues, cannot be answered unless it is formulated appropriately as development for whom. This book challenges different approaches to development and presents an alternative discourse.

In mainstream discourse, development is synonymous with economic growth. In fact, the very division of countries as developed, developing or underdeveloped is made based on their growth rates. In such a discourse, which the author calls the “residualist conception of development,” nations on the development ladder remain on lower rungs as a result of “exclusion” from the capitalist system. The author argues that this conception obfuscates the real issue. In this discourse, instead of understanding the simultaneous existence of wealth and poverty as something inherent to the growth process, it is explained in terms of inclusion and exclusion, respectively, from this process.

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