Elite development theory: a labour-centred critique

Selwyn, Benjamin (2015) Elite development theory: a labour-centred critique. Third World Quarterly, 5 (37). pp. 781-799. ISSN 0143-6597

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Abstract

Much development theory is based upon elite-led conceptions of social change. Elite development theory (EDT) conceptualises ‘the poor’ as human inputs into or, at best, junior partners within elite-led development processes. This elitism contributes to the continual (re)framing of the poor as passive beneficiaries of elite policy, and legitimates economic exploitation of the poor. These claims are illustrated by discussing a number of EDT traditions – the Washington/Post-Washington Consensus, statist political economy, modernisation Marxism and varieties of pro-poor growth. As an alternative to EDT the article argues for a conception and practice of ‘labour-centred development’.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Elite development theory, labour-centred development, states, markets, labouring classes.
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Depositing User: Jayne Paulin
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 13:14
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2016 10:55
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60054
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