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A thought-provoking book on Development, State and Society by Seyoum Hameso, an author of Ethnicity and nationalism in Africa.
Development, State and Society is a nuanced overview of economic thought, political formations and social issues applied to Africa. In this thought-provoking book, Seyoum Hameso argues that the promise of development was taken to heart by millions throughout the world. After half a century of “development,” it remains unfulfilled for millions in Africa. The swollen bodies of children, emaciated faces of women, a relentless scourge of conflicts that have become a way of life, all point to a continent ill at ease with itself and less at ease with its external engagement. All this indicate that there is a pressing need for the redefinition of the existing approaches and practices with a view to help chart alternative development. The book contains two parts. The first part presents theoretical and historical aspects of development problematic. The second part deals with practical issues on economic performance, political governance, the role of culture and Africa’s relationship with the external world including the IMF, the World Bank and problems associated with globalization. The book is a timely contribution and a commendable reading for anyone involved in historical, political and social background of development problems.
Economic, social and political phenomena are often subject to a wide
variety of interpretations. Perhaps no discipline embodies this diversity
more than the study of development comprising as it does an array of
contrasting objectives, values and definitions. Variously denoted as
trusteeship, ideological necessity, freedom, Westernization, and most
recently, globalization, development is a virtual interface between economics
and technology, politics and culture. Conventional approaches
saw in development an equivalent to economic growth, industrialization,
and the transition from tradition to modernity. It became a standard
against which collective performance was measured. It established
and justified germane rules of entitlement and restriction, endowment
and appropriation. Above all it purported to be the means of pulling
people out of poverty..... One task here is to make the underlying ideas of development accessible
while situating development discourse within a multidimensional perspective.
All the more so since the past reliance on theoretical determinisms
of one sort or another have failed to explain African realities. It.