ABSTRACT

The post-modern critique, with its attention to difference and discourse, and its attack on the universalizing truths of Enlightenment thinking, has much to offer those who are critical of development theory and practice. Some Third World and Western scholars have drawn on this perspective to challenge the assumption that modernization is necessarily possible or desirable. They have questioned the belief that Third World development and westernization/modernization are synonomous and that Western political, social and economic institutions and practices (whether liberal or socialist) hold the answers to the Third World’s development problems (Escobar 1984; Ferguson 1985, 1990; Moore 1992).