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PDF Africas Development Impasse: Rethinking the Political Economy of Transformation

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Andreasson then argues that it is now time to resuscitate post-development theory's challenge to conventional development. In doing this, he claims, we face the enormous challenge of translating post-development into actual politics for a socially and politically sustainable future and using it as a dialogue about what the aims and aspirations of post-colonial societies might become.

Stefan Andreasson – The Conversation

This important fusion of theory with empirical case studies will be essential reading for students of development politics and Africa. Description Orthodox strategies for socio-economic development have failed spectacularly in Southern Africa. Show more.

Rethinking the Political Economy of Transformation

This nuance, as further advanced in the publication, is manifested in the widespread and growing disparity that surrounds many postcolonial nations in southern Africa. Toward that end, Andreasson advocates a postdevelopment perspective through alternative analysis. Readers interested in understanding the spectacular failure of orthodox strategies for socioeconomic development in Africa in general and southern Africa will benefit tremendously from this book.

In six chapters, Andreasson examines the failures, and explores the potential for alternatives, by analyzing a trio of southern African nations: South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, whose different paths to political independence have been unable to overcome a debilitating colonial legacy.

Chapter one explores the central development dilemma, whereby we learn that Africa's history teaches the importance of social harmony. In southern Africa, the issue of ubuntu , seen as the fundamental way that southern Africans regard life, has never been fully integrated into the development debate: on the contrary, uneven development, symptomatic of the region's historical evolution and its political economy, combined with the increasingly competitive global economy and its strict adherence to neoliberal economic doctrines, have produced tension and pressures on the nations and their citizens.

This chapter underscores the continuous social, political, and economic marginalization of the southern African people while discarding their indigenous sources of knowledge and legitimacy, political transitions to independence, and nominal democracy, which did not produce radical socioeconomic transformation.


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As a result, the targets of development do not factor in the development nexus. Instead, contemporary critiques of development theory assert that development poses solutions to problems in a particularly apolitical, antiseptic, and neutral way. For them, development involves directing others on what to do in the name of modernization, as well as nation-building, progress, poverty alleviation, and, indeed, empowerment- cum -participation.

Just and Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation

Chapter two looks at the development nexus in detail. It discusses interactions among state, market, and society to produce policies aimed [End Page ] at socioeconomic development. The crucial query to answer concerns the conceptual definition of development, which, in the case of South Africa, is engrained in the corporatist state. Chapter three articulates a new vision, through which developing countries can transcend current quandaries.

It explores postdevelopment theorizing in the African context and, by generally analyzing the approach, it argues that this new postdevelopment vision offers a genuine means to inject indigenous ways of thinking and being into the development debate. The second section of this chapter highlights different aspects of southern Africa's development trajectories. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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