SS 3410Spring 2008 Weeks 3-4 Reading Guide

SS 3410Spring 2008 Weeks 3-4 Reading Guide - SS 3410 Spring...

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Unformatted text preview: SS 3410 Spring 2008 Weeks 3-4 It is important to keep in mind that much of the reading for this course focuses our attention on ways of thinking about the topics of development and resource use. These readings avoid a textbook approach and instead present research that discusses how we might think about the political character of development programs. By reading this research we enter into a discussion of arguments concerning development as a concept and interpreting case studies. To analyze the empirical data collected by researchers we use concepts that explain the idea of development. In turn, we make sense of conceptual arguments by relating them to the sorts of information collected by researchers in the field. You are being asked to read scholarly material that is often quite dense and without an expectation that you will immediately or easily get it. I think the payoff will be improved skills for reading all sorts of complex writing, not to mention preparation for writing exam answers. What follows is a guide for reading and thinking about the readings by Peet, Neumann, and Forsyth. Peet introduces globalization and the neoliberal ideology that underlies much of the policy and strategy for development associated with governance institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Trade Organization (WTO). A key conceptual argument of his is that explanations of globalization are never neutral, regardless of how objective sounding they may be. All comments on development issues, including his own, are ideological, which is to say they present a certain way of viewing and understanding the world. Peet directs his attention to explaining the ideology of neoliberalism, which he argues is a viewpoint that dominates the strategies and policies of development pursued by the most powerful governance institutions: the unholy trinity listed above. It follows that statements opposing globalization come from an ideological opposition to neoliberal globalization and may be based in alternative (humanitarian potential in Peets words) visions of globalization. Peet is at pains to explain this distinction because, he argues, the neoliberalism that now informs even conventional thinking about globalization has achieved the status of being taken for granted or, more than that, has achieved the supreme power of being widely taken as scientific and resulting in an optimal world. (4) According to Peet, it is not only taken as scientific and resulting in an optimal world....
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course SS 3410 taught by Professor Henquinet during the Spring '08 term at Michigan Technological University.

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SS 3410Spring 2008 Weeks 3-4 Reading Guide - SS 3410 Spring...

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