Victims of Development: Resistance and Alternatives

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9780860913856: Victims of Development: Resistance and Alternatives
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This combination of analysis and first-hand reportage looks at the connections between development, economic growth, social justice and the environment—not in theory, but as this tangle of relationships affects people in their daily lives. It is rooted in the experience and struggles of people all over the world—in the Himalayas or on the islands of Malaysia, in the slums of Manila and Delhi or the tenements of Sao Paulo, as well as in the inner-city areas of Liverpool or the council estates of Cornwall. The author argues that the Western path of development has brought at least two intractable problems. The first is the widening chasm between rich and poor, within countries and internationally. The second is the damage to the resource-base of the earth, on which all economic systems depend. With the end of Communism, the dispossessed apparently no longer pose any threat to this kind of “development.” Relieved of the threat from the poor, the rich, only too aware of the environmental menace to their well-being, may be tempted to resolve it at the poor‘s expense. Avoiding this harsh possiblity is the objective of those seeking another form of development: one based upon a decent sufficiency for all, within the limits of what the earth can bear. This book aims to illuminate and champion that struggle.

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Claiming that "the prescriptions of the West are actually a formula for impoverishment and loss to the world's poor," Seabrook ( The Landscapes of Poverty ) combines description and analysis of the effects of development in this meandering but impassioned book. He finds many heartbreaking examples of depredation in the "Two-Thirds World": Smoky Mountain, a Manila garbage dump inhabited by the poor and dislocated; the environmentally degraded tourist zone of Malaysia; the exploitative Thai sex tourism trade. He also sees the costs of such conditions to the West, observing the alienation created by the market's cruelties in his native Britain. Seabrook's search for solutions is understandably sketchy. He profiles a communal agricultural village in India and quotes several people on the importance of local, sustainable development. One Bangladeshi observes that the failure of Soviet socialism doesn't "exonerate capitalism from its globally negative record." Seabrook suggests that rich countries should emphasize human resources and poor countries should gain a greater share of the wealth in order to move toward a more human notion of economic development.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780860916116: Victims of Development: Resistance and Alternatives

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ISBN 10:  0860916111 ISBN 13:  9780860916116
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