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 22: From the ghost of development to Buen Vivir (living well): building utopias

Alberto Acosta


With its postulation of harmony with Nature and harmony among individuals and communities, as a proposal laden with experiences Buen Vivir (good coexistence) allows alternative visions of life to be formulated. In this chapter, we will start by laying bare the limitations of the concept of development. Then we will provide a quick read on the recent origins, meaning, scope and mobilizing potential of Buen Vivir that can act as a platform to discuss, agree and even respond to the devastating effects of climate change and the increasing marginalization and social violence in the world. This opportunity arises in the midst of a multifaceted crisis – social, economic, ecological, political, and even a crisis of civilization – that is battering the planet. Humanity can, and must, learn from those human groups which have learnt how to live in harmonious communities and alongside Nature, those which have accumulated a long-life memory.

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