What is Development? : Peruvian local perception on “development” and foreign development aid- a way to a “non-westernized” development?

University essay from Högskolan Väst/Avd för juridik, ekonomi, statistik och politik


Abstract“Development” is an essentially contested concept within academia and some critics, the so-called post-development school, argue that the concept and practice of development is a world-view monopolizing our imagination. The school of thought promotes alternative ways to think about development but is merely at the theoretical level and lacks taking into account empirical cases. Therefore, this theoretical approach is to test and develop existing literature and the theory is originating from the work of Michel Foucault and theory of post-development’s presented hegemonic development discourse. The aim is to study Peruvian NGO executives’ perceptions on development and alternative development collaborations through in-depth interviews and a critical case study design. The study reveals an alternative thinking about “development” and local perceptions challenge the “truth” of the hegemonic development discourse. A donor-recipient relation is visible where local knowledge is limited and local NGOs are coerced into new behaviors to satisfy donors’ demands. Studying “periphery” grass-root voices from the Third World is important to be able to imagine “development” differently in discourses silenced, limited and at the margins.

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