ABSTRACT

For some time now, it has been difficult to talk about development, protest or revolution with the same confidence and encompassing scope with which intellectuals and activists once spoke about these vital matters. It is as if the elegant discourses of the 1960s-the high decade of both Development and Revolution — have been suspended, caught in mid-air as they strove toward their zenith, and, like fragile bubbles, exploded, leaving a scrambled trace of their glorious path behind. Hesitantly perhaps, but with a persistence that has to be taken seriously, a new discourse has set in: that of the ‘crisis of development,’ on the one hand, and of ‘new social actors’ and ‘new social movements,’ on the other. Many scholars even propose a radical reinterpretation of social and political reality based on a new set of categories such as ‘alternative development,’ new identities, radical pluralism, historicity and hegemony.