Handbook on Development and Social Change
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Handbook on Development and Social Change

Edited by G. H. Fagan and Ronaldo Munck

This Handbook provides an accessible critical review of the complex issues surrounding development and social change today. With chapters from recognized experts, examining economic, political and social aspects, and covering key topics and developing regions, it goes beyond current theory and sets out the debates which will shape an approach better suited to the modern world.
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Chapter 9: Developing democracy, democratizing development: a backlash against hegemonic norms and practice?

Matthew Louis Bishop


The purpose of this chapter is to engage with current implications of the democracy and development debates. Many assume a tightly constituted link between democracy and development, but this is far more contested and contingent than it usually appears. This chapter starts by outlining the essentially liberal account of why development and democracy are believed to go together, before asking why, if this is the case, there has been a backlash against attempts to promote them. Then, in the second section, the chapter examines the genesis of the backlash against this conception. The final substantive section reflects on the wider implications for global liberalism in the contemporary era, focusing on three broad patterns of change: reassertions of state sovereignty, the rise of economically nationalist rhetoric, and the undermining of multilateral institutions. The chapter concludes by briefly considering the significance of the argument for broader processes of global governance.

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