Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

Sachs calls this type of development that focuses on

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Unformatted text preview: e history of peasant movements against colonial powers in this region is directly related to what is now thought of as an ecological movement.149 Responses to colonial powers are similar to the contemporary responses to mainstream sustainable development practices. Arturo Escobar, for example, argues against the globalization of a dominant development ideology: There are no grand alternatives that can be applied to all places or all situations. To think about alternatives in the manner of sustainable development, for instance, is to remain within the same model of thought that produced development and kept it in place. One must then resist the desire to formulate alternatives at an abstract, macro level.150 Escobar is optimistic that alternatives to the dominant sustainable development discourse will arise from multiple locales that reflect the collective concerns of local people. He believes that grassroots social movements will be the driving force behind such new articulations of “development” and SD.151 Proponents of these new articulations believe that the best strategies will be developed by the people who will be most affected by them “outside the control of foreign governments, international institutions, and domestic elites. Popular mobilization and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are seen as a key part of the process of change in the defense of the environment of the South.”152 Wolfgang Sachs believes that the MDC’s centralizing development strategies have been and are disempowering.153 Others, such as Steve Barkin, also stress the importance of autonomous, self-sufficient, sustainable development through a democratic process.154 Not only will these solutions be more politically feasible, according to bioregionalists, they will be more ecologically feasible. Bioregionalists promote decentralized decision making, and production and consumption based on local resources. Sachs calls this type of development that focuses on “local 260 CHAPTER SEVEN livelihoods” the...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

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