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The Evolution of the Post-Development Theory

             As editor of the book, "Exploring Post-Development," Aram Ziai provides an introductory look at the discussions of post-development theory, taking a cursory look at the various arguments for, or against, post-development. Ziai expertly delivers an overview of the post-development movement, having arisen in the 1980s as a response to the dissatisfaction with the concept and practice of "development" already in place. Ziai more or less defines this movement as placing an emphasis on alternatives to development via grassroots, local and regional movements. Alongside support for post-development theory, Ziai also provides the criticisms, some of which are to be addressed in the book, for the audience. Nevertheless, both proponents and critics must agree on the two central post-development hypotheses that the traditional concept of "development" has tones of Euro-centrism and authoritarian and technocratic undertones. .
             In his article, Escobar provides the view on post-development as a shift of development away from "under Western eyes" or to focus on the vernacular cultures rather than the knowledge of so-called development "experts." He provides an outline for the tenets of post-development as creating a different discourse not bounded by outdated constructs of development, changing the practices of knowing, and expanding knowledge centers to give salience to the recipients of development. .
             Although post-development has its fair share of critics, these criticisms are not necessarily bound by a common body of work. Therefore, Escobar categorizes them into three main objections: post-development overlooking poverty and capitalism as the real problems of development, presenting an oversimplified view of development, along with strong resistance against development in the field, and romanticizing local traditions and social movements. Nevertheless, this discourse has had repercussions in developing new perspectives on development, as post-development arguments have shifted the views on certain aspects of development, including a rapprochement on political economy and cultural analysis.

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