Rethinking Development Politics

Ilan Kapoor ,

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Rethinking Development Politics

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In this innovative book, Ilan Kapoor and Gavin Fridell rethink development politics psychoanalytically, investigating its unconscious. Whereas mainstream development politics is organized around stability and rationality, psychoanalysis points to disharmony and irrationality, helping to explain the development subject’s often self-defeating behaviour — for example being seduced by growth and shopping, despite being aware of the inherent perils of inequality and climate crisis.<P><br/><br/><i>Rethinking Development Politics</i> reassesses development in relation to three significant schools of thought: Modernization; (neo)Marxist political economy; and Postdevelopment/Decoloniality. It exposes how all three disavow the unconscious temptations of development, resulting in the rationalization of the market, the undervaluation of fantasy and fetishism, and the advocacy of an uncritical politics of authenticity. The book distinguishes the psychoanalytic approach from its predecessors by focusing on contemporary case studies, including digital and green modernization, trade, neopopulism, anti-racist training, and radical politics in present-day Iran. Crucially, these case studies speak to the extent to which the unconscious may be a political resource for reconfiguring development politics to put the subaltern first.<P><br/><br/>Proposing a distinctive method of inquiry, <i>Rethinking Development Politics</i> will be of great interest to students, academics, and researchers in development studies, psychology, sociology, international relations, political science, and peace and conflict studies. Its critical analysis will also be of great use to global agency officials, corporate policy-makers, public policy institutions, and activist and advocacy organizations.<P>
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