The modern hyper-separation of economy from ecology has severed many of the ties that people have with environments and species that sustain life. In this paper we argue that a first step towards strengthening resilience at a human scale involves appreciating the longstanding social and ecological relationships that have supported life over the millennia. Our capacity to appreciate these relationships has, however, been diminished by economic science which encloses ecological space within more and more delimited confines.
The emergence of a participatory orthodoxy in the development industry has had enormous positive impact, however discourses of participation are also being used in surprisingly political ways. This paper explores how a “pro-local” discourse amongst development professionals in northern Thailand is being deployed in ways that undermine the goals of empowerment and emancipation that are central to the aims of participatory approaches.
In response to the accusation that development can only serve to perpetuate uneven power between the '1st' and '3rd' worlds, this paper explores possibilities for new postdevelopment approaches founded on an understanding of development as a political engagement.