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Avoiding Responsibility
Nathalie Karagiannis
Price: $ 27.5

Post-colonial European politics have undergone a profound shift. Constructing an intellectual history of European development discourse, this book brings together post-structuralist and critical approaches to understanding development. Nathalie Karagiannis takes full advantage of the latest writings on political and social theory, showing how theory might be used in post-colonial and development studies; she also reveals some of the discrepancies between theory and practice. / Karagiannis focuses on an analysis of three key-terms of European development discourse: 'responsibility', 'efficiency' and 'giving'. 'Responsibility', a philosophical concept, relates to our immediate experience as witnesses of the past and ongoing practice of development. By contrast, 'efficiency' is hardly ever investigated by either political and social theory and or political activism. 'Giving', finally, connects aid donors and recipients in ways that radically differ according to whether they call upon the ideas of the gift, the debt or the market exchange. / Situating these three terms in a concrete history of European post-colonial politics, the author shows how European policy has shifted from accepting responsibility for colonialism - constructed as it is on the paternalistic model of the gift - to a more amnesiac politics in which post-colonial countries are responsible for their own fate. In this way, Karagiannis illustrates that efficiency has become the overriding goal of development, and that the relationship between 'developed' and 'developing' countries is strictly and exclusively defined by market capitalism.

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