ABSTRACT

Development thus defies definition, although not for a want of definitions on offer. One recent development studies text, notably entitled Managing Development (Staudt 1991), advances ‘seven of hundreds of definitions of development.’ Development is construed as ‘a process of enlarging people’s choices’; of enhancing ‘participatory democratic processes’ and the ‘ability of people to have a say in the decisions that shape their lives’; of providing ‘human beings with the opportunity to develop their fullest potential’ and of enabling the poor, women, and ‘free independent peasants’ to organize for themselves and work together. Simultaneously, development is defined as the means to ‘carry out a nation’s development goals’ and to promote economic growth, equity and national self-reliance (Staudt 1991:28-9).