Victoria A. Lawson                                                               Spring 2003

Office 303-D Smith                                                               Tel: 543-5196



GEOGRAPHY 531: Making Development Geography


“As most of us are aware, development rarely seems to ‘work’ – or at least with the consequences intended or the outcomes predicted.  Why then, if it is so unworkable, does it not only persist but seem continuously to be expanding its reach and scope?” (Crush, 1995: 4)


“The notion and practice of development have been severely critiqued from both modernist and postmodern perspectives, yet the global development industry flourishes” (Blaikie, 2000: 1033)”


This seminar assesses recent intellectual trends within development geography and analyzes development theory and practice from a feminist political-economy perspective. Geography’s power in analyzing development stems from its enduring interest in the everyday, the mundane (Hanson, 1992).  This emphasis on the world not as we would like it to be but as it is, acts as a check on abstract theory and bears witness to the impacts of development in places.  Geographers have also insisted on the importance of relational analyses of place as the contexts within which power relations are constituted and in which identities take shape and salience.  And geographers have argued for the mutual interconnections of material and discursive processes.  In this way, geography challenges much development theory by pointing out that development does not exist as a thing, or an end point.  Rather, development is a series of relations between places, social groups, cultures, spheres of production and consumption.  Development is viewed as both a politically powerful discourse and as relentlessly material, entailing substantial transformations of society as a result of these power relations.  Livelihoods are transformed, people and communities are moved, social relations are reworked.  Contemporary development geography insists that these dimensions of development cannot be separated and has insisted on the centrality of spatiality, discourse and materiality in development debates.  We will analyze 'development' as polyvalent and contextual in terms of its intellectual and material foundations.  We will also attend to the formation and experiences of diverse subjects (people not topics) of development, analyzing the ways in which particular intellectual streams privilege or erase different subjects and actors.  We will also discuss the spatiality of development -- the ways in which discourses and practices of development link places, move through scales and operate in relation to boundaries -- in order to reveal and help explain the paradoxes of development.  In so doing, we will assess the ways in which analyzing the spatiality of development processes works towards democratizing development. 



Course Requirements include:


i) Completing all assigned readings before class meetings, and participating in critical discussions of those readings.


ii) Leading a class session (designed by you) that engages materials from the readings.


iii) Completing a research paper (20 pages) prompted by themes raised in class and guided by your own research trajectory.


iv) Writing a ‘think piece’ on 1 reading each week of the quarter.  These will be one paragraph in length, discussing your reaction to one of the readings for that week, these will be circulated at the beginning of the class session and will be incorporated into our activities for that session.



Important Dates



Monday May 26th                  – Memorial Day holiday

Wednesday June 4th             -- last class

Friday June 13th                    -- end of finals week

V.A. Lawson                                                                                      Spring 2003



Session 1:  Introduction [April 2nd]


Discussion of intellectual framing of the course.  All participants will introduce themselves and their interests.  Class discussion of learning goals and approaches to learning that are most successful for each person.  Discussion of what brought students to the course and of what each person hopes to take away.



Session 2: Development Theory in Geography [April 9th]


Watts, M.  1993.  ‘Development I: power, knowledge and discursive practice’ Progress in Human Geography 17(2): 257-272


Hart, G.  2001.  Development critiques in the 1990s: culs de sac and promising paths’ Progress in Human Geography 25(4): 649-658


Cowen, M. and R. Shenton, 1996.  Doctrines of Development.  London: Routledge, chapter 1 ‘The invention of development’


Hart, G.  2002.  Geography and development: development/s beyond neoliberalism? Power, culture, political-economy’ Progress in Human Geography 26(6): 812-822


Glassman, J.  2002  ‘Development Theory in Geography’ International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, UW Reference Library



Supplemental Reading


Escobar, A.  1995.  Encountering Development.  Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Peet, R (with E. Hartwick).  1999.  Theories of Development.  New York: Guildford.


Yapa, L and B. Wisner.  1995.   'Building a Case Against Economic Development' Geojournal 35(2): 105-118.


Toye, J. 1987.  Dilemmas of Development: Reflections on the Counterrevolution in Development Theory and Policy.  Oxford: Basil Blackwell.


Banuri, T.  1990.  'Modernization and its Discontents: A Cultural Perspective on the Theories of Development' in F.A. Marglin and S. Marglin, eds., Dominating Knowledge.  Development, Culture, and Resistance. Oxford: Clarendon Press.



Session 3: Marxian Development Geography [April 16th]


Harvey, D.  1985. 'The Geopolitics of Capitalism', in Social Relations and Spatial Structures, Gregory, D. and J. Urry, eds., Chapter 7.  London: Macmillan.


Corbridge, S.  1986.  Capitalist World Development.  Totowa, NJ: Roman and Littlefield, chapter 2.


Watts, M.  1988.  'Deconstructing Determinism: Marxism's Development Theory and a Comradely Critique of Capitalist World Development by S. Corbridge,' Antipode 20(2): 142-168.


Peet, R. and Hartwick, E. 1999: Theories of Development.  New York: Guildford, chapters 1 and 7.


Pickles, J. 2001.  ‘Development “Deferred”: Poststructuralism, Postdevelopment, and the Defense of Critical Modernism’ Economic Geography 77(4): 383-388.


Peet, D. and E. Hartwick.  2002. ‘Poststructual Thought Policing’ Economic Geography 78(1): 87-88


Pickles, J. 2002.  ‘Reading Development’ Economic Geography 78(1): 89-90.


Supplemental Reading


Corbridge, S. 1993.  'Marxisms, modernities, and moralities: development praxis and the claims of distant strangers' Society and Space 11: 449-472.


Corbridge, S.  1990.  'Post-Marxism and Development Studies: Beyond the Impasse' World Development 18(5): 623-640.


Billet, Bret.  1993.  Modernization theory and economic development: Discontent in the developing world.  Westport, CT: Prager



Session 4: Debating critical modernist development [April 23rd]


Blaikie, P.  2000.  ‘Development, post-, anti-, and populist: a critical review’ Environment and Planning A 32: 1033-1050


Schuurman, F.J. 2000: Paradigms lost, paradigms regained?  Development studies in the twenty-first century. Third World Quarterly 21(1), 7-20.


Bebbington, A: 2000 Reencountering Development: Livelihood Transitions and Place Transformation in the Andes.  Annals of the Association of American Geographers 90(3), 495-520.


Pred, A. and M. Watts.  1992.  Reworking Modernity.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.  Chapters 1 and 3.



Session 5: subjects of critical modernist development [April 30th]


Video, 2001: La Senorita Extraviata [SHOW THIS]


Wright, M.  2003.  ‘From Protests to Politics: Sex Work, Women’s Worth and Ciudad Juarez Modernity’ Manuscript in progress, Penn State University.


Mullings, B.  1999.  ‘Sides of the Same Coin?  Coping and Resistance among Jamaican data-entry operators’ Annals of the Association of American Geographers 89(2): 290-311.


Safa, H. 2002.  ‘Women and Globalization: lessons from the Dominican Republic’ in J. Chase (ed) The Spaces of Neoliberalism.  Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.


Mutersbaugh, T.  2002.  ‘The number is the beast: a political-economy of organic-coffee certification and producer unionism’ Environment and Planning A 34(7): 1165-1184.



Session 6: Geographies of modernist development [May 7th]


Brohman, J.  1996.  Popular Development.  Oxford: Blackwell, chapter 4 ‘The South (1): Neoliberal Policy and Strategy.’


Chase, J.  2002.  The Spaces of Neoliberalism.  Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, chapters 1 and 3.


Lawson, V.  2002.  ‘Global Governmentality and Graduated Sovereignty: National Belonging among Poor Migrants in EcuadorScottish Geographical Journal 118(3): 235-255.


Petras, J.  1997.  ‘Alternatives to Neoliberalism in Latin AmericaLatin American Perspectives 24(1): 80-91.


Ould-Mey, M.  1996.  Global restructuring and peripheral states: the carrot and the stick in Mauritania.  Lanham, MD: Littlefield Adams Books. Chapters 1 and 2.



Session 7: Post-structural readings of development [May 14th]


Lawson, V.  2003.  Making Development Geography, forthcoming, chapter 2 ‘Remaking development geography’


Crush, J.  1995. Power of Development.  London: Routledge, chapters: introduction, 9 and 11.


Marchand, M. and J. Parpart.  1995.  Feminism, postmodernism, development.  London: Routledge, chapters: 1and 12


Kabeer, N.  1994.  Reversed Realities.  Gender hierarchies in development thought.  New Delhi: Kali, chapter 9.



Session 8: subjects of post-structural dev [May 21st]


Nagar, R., Lawson, V. McDowell, L. and Hanson, S.  2002: Locating Globalization: feminist (re)readings of the subjects and spaces of globalization.  Economic Geography 78(3), 285-306.


Radcliffe, S.  2001.  ‘Development, the state and transnational political connections: state and subject formation in Latin AmericaGlobal Networks 1(1): 19-36.


Radcliffe, S.  2003.  ‘The transnationalization of gender and re-imagining of Andean indigenous development’ chapter 6 in forthcoming book on indigenous transnationalism.


Perrault, T.  2003.  ‘Making Space.  Community Organization, Agrarian Change and the Politics of Scale in the Ecuadorian Amazon’ Latin American Perspectives 30(1): 96-121.


Silvey, R.  2001.  ‘Spaces of Protest: Gender, Migration and Labor Activism in Indonesia’ forthcoming Political Geography.


Supplemental Readings


Escobar, A. 1992  'Imagining a Post-Development Era?  Critical Thought, Development and Social Movements'  Social Text pp.20-56.


Escobar, A. and S. Alvarez eds., The Making of Social Movements in Latin America.  Boulder: Westview Press.


Kuppers, G (ed), 1994.  Voices from the Latin American Women’s Movement. G. Kuppers ed.  Nottingham: Latin America Bureau.


Rosset, P.  1995.  ‘Understanding Chiapas’ in First World Ha Ha Ha! edited by E. Katzenberger, San Francisco: City Lights.


Alvarez, S.  1989.  'Politicizing Gender and Engendering Democracy' in Democratizing Brazil A. Stepan ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Session 9: Geographies of poststructural development -- The International of Hope [May 28th]


Slater, D.  1992.  ‘Theories of Development and Politics of the Post-Modern -- Exploring a Border Zone’ Development and Change 23(3): 283-319.


Corbridge, S.  1998.  “Beneath the Pavement Only Soil’: The Poverty of Post-Development’ Journal of Development Studies 34(6): 138-148.


Esteva, G. and P. Madhu.  1998.  ‘From Global to Local: Beyond Neoliberalism to the International of Hope’ in Grassroots Postmodernism.  New York: Zed Books. SELECTIONS


Rahnema, M. and V. Bawtree.  1997.  The Post-Development Reader.  London: Zed Books.  Chapters introduction, 28 and 37.


Escobar, A.  2001.  ‘Culture sits in places: reflections on globalism and subaltern strategies of localization’ Political Geography 20: 139-174.


Supplementary Reading:


Esteva, G.  1987.  'Regenerating People's Space' Alternatives XII(1): 136-.???


Gupta, A.  1999.  Postcolonial Developments.  Agriculture in the making of modern India.  Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.


Agnew, J.  2000.  ‘Globalization and the New Spatiality of Power’.  Paper presented at Conference on Neoliberalism in Africa and Latin America, Indiana University.


Hall, S.  1991.  'The Local and the Global, Globalization and Ethnicity' in A. King ed. Culture, Globalization, and the World System.  Department of Art and Art History, State Unviersity of New York, Binghamton.



Session 10: Agency and ethnography in studying development [June 4th]


Watts, M.  1991.  ‘Mapping Meaning, Denoting Difference, Imagining Identity: Dialectical Images and Postmodern Geographies’ Geografisker Annaler 73(1): 7-16.


Katz, C.  1992.  'All the World is Staged: Intellectuals and Projects of Ethnography' Environment and Planning D: Society and Space pp.


Silvey, R. 2001.  Feminists Talking Across Worlds: Sweatshops and Corporatization of the University.  University of Colorado at Boulder.


Rahman, M.  1985.  'The Theory and Practice of Participatory Action Research' in The Challenge of Social Change O. Fals Borda, ed. London: Sage.


Nagar, R. and S. Raju.  2003.  ‘Women, NGOs and the Contradictions of Empowerment and Disempowerment: A Conversation’ Antipode 35(1): 1-13.


Supplemental Reading


Burawoy, M. J. Blum, S. George, Z. Gille, T. Gowan, L. Haney, M. Klawitter, S. Lopez, S. O’ Riain, and M. Thayer.  2000.  Global Ethnography.  Forces, Connections and Imaginations in a Postmodern World.  Berkeley: University of California Press.  Chapters 1 &  10.


Katz, Cindi. 2001.  ‘On the grounds of globalization: A topography for feminist political engagement’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 26:4:1213-1234.


Katz, C.  1994.  'Playing the Field: Questions of Fieldwork in Geography' Professional Geographer.


Staeheli, L. and V. Lawson.  1994.  'A Discussion of Women in the Field: The Politics of Feminist Fieldwork' Professional Geographer.


Patai, D.  1991.  'U.S. Academics and Third World Women: Is Ethical Research Possible?' in S.B. Gluck and D. Patai, eds., Women's Words.  The Feminist Practice of Oral History.  London: Routeledge.  Chapter 9.


Miles, M. and  J.Crush.  1993.  'Personal Narratives as Interactive Texts: Collecting and Interpreting Migrant Life Histories' Professional Geographer 45(1): 84-94.