It is generally believed that the idea of “development,” in the sense of economic growth induced by economic planning and usually coupled with international aid, came into public circulation only after Harry Truman announced the Point Four Program in his inaugural address as the 33rd President of the United States. Esteva  even goes so far as to say that “the era of development” dawned on January 20th of 1949, when President Truman delivered his address.The conceptualization of the idea of “development” presupposes a certain episteme or culturo-philosophical mindset peculiar to a particular era or culture; it would be difficult to see it emerge, for example, in a religious tradition heavily steeped in the idea of karma. Drawing on the works of Rist  and Okada [1992; 2001], this paper first tries to trace the origin and gradual evolvement of the concept of “development”by examining the way “history” was conceptualized in ancient Greece and Rome. The cyclical conceptualization of time borrowed from the passage of seasons and lifecycles of animals and plants eventually was followed by the birth of the ideology of progress after Europe had experienced the Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution from the 17th century to the late 18th century. The unfolding of Western “humanitarian colonialism” à la “civilizing mission” in the latter half of the 19th century is also discussed, since it presaged many policies and projects that have come to be implemented in the “era of development.” One example of “humanitarian colonialism” closely reviewed in the paper is the “Ethical Policy” implemented in the Dutch East Indies (present Indonesia) for about 30 years in the early 20th century. Like many other policies of “humanitarian colonialism,” the Ethical Policy tried to improve the economic wellbeing, social welfare and educational level of the “natives.” The irony of the “humanitarian colonialism” is that the more educated the natives were, the more vocal their objection to colonialism had become. No matter how well-intentioned “humanitarian colonialism” might have been, there had been no undoing the colonizing and colonized relationship.This paper is the first of a two-part analysis of the evolvement of the concept of “development.” The focus of this paper is on Europe where monarchs predominated until the early 20th century and international relations were always couched in terms of domination and subordination, especially in their relationships with areas and peoples outside of Europe. The second installment focuses on the United States of America, which espouses republicanism and democracy. It is the intention of the second installment to understand why the idea of “development” was proposed by the US, not by European powers, by looking at the diplomatic relations that the US had with Latin American countries in the 19th and 20th centuries.
This is an attempt to follow and describe from the perspective of Simondonian ontogenesis the emerging imbroglios constituted interactively by leaking radioactive materials, inorganic substances, organisms, institutions, interests and words in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. People attempt to control such irreclaimable imbroglios, at least at the level of political discourse fortified with technical symbols: imbroglios are artificially dissected and are placed in separate domains, premised on different scales. The one constituted with political language, by nature, cannot speak for those formed at the levels of molecules, organisms and eco-systems. Despite Prime Minister Abe’s assertion that “the situation is under control,” the radioactive water continues to leak into the soil and into the ocean. Words that re-present the situation do not correspond with what is happening “out there.” A fisherman I met in Hisanohama was trying to promote the safety of fish caught off the coast. “Fish from Fukushima are safe to eat.” Yet, he wouldn’t let his son eat those very fish. Agricultural Cooperatives and Fukushima City use locally produced rice in school lunches in order to send a positive signal to consumers. “Rice from Fukushima is safe to eat.” Parents of small children in Fukushima, however, do not necessarily trust the basis of the safely standards for radiation protection. I describe various attempts by non-experts and nonconforming experts to follow the imbroglios of hidden actors in the vicinity of nuclear power plants. Following the imbroglios is a task of extreme difficulty. The essay ends with an imagined conversation on the method with Akira Adachi.
This article is about dying, death and care-giving in an old people’s home in Sri Lanka. While the majority of older Sri Lankans still live with their adult children, roughly 200 old people’s homes provide social safety nets for those who lack familial support. Ageing and especially dying in an old people’s home without emotional or physical support of one’s kith and kin seemed to be not only exceptional but also a tragic experience for both residents and staff. Through a case study of an old people’s home on the south-western coast of Sri Lanka, this study explores how the staff strove to define their relation with dying residents and how they made sense of their care-giving activity in an ethical way. While caring for dying residents, staff sometimes expressed their sense of ‘kalakirima,’ or despair with life. Their narratives showed that they were deeply involved in the suffering of residents, not through empathy (“If I were you”), but because they themselves were subject to similar kinds of suffering: suffering due to dying, and suffering due to the contingency of life. Staff tried to give good care to residents because they would wish to be treated in the same way if they were to spend their final years in such an institution. In examining such narratives, this article seeks to find common ground between their (staff members’) ethics and ours, reflecting on several earlier works on care ethics in Japan.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 transformed the lives of the people of Uzbekistan. The last 20 years have witnessed the bankruptcy of collective farms, the degradation of the social security system, and a reassessment of traditional gender roles, the last of which dictated that men should be financial providers for their families and women should be mothers and homemakers. This thinking has re-emerged since Uzbekistan was freed from the Soviet ideology of gender equality.Recent studies have described women as marginalized during post-Soviet Uzbekistan’s social transition. Ideologically, women are expected to remain at home; however, most women have to work to support their family, e.g., as day laborers on private farms.This paper focuses on rug production in northern Qashqadaryo Province to explore how women use this activity as a means of vercoming marginalization. Rug production is performed only by women, and it allows women to socialize and take a break from housework. It was found that women voluntarily lived according to the traditional gender roles but were occasionally able to depart from such roles.
The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the discourse which has emerged in the course of development. In 1994 a workshop on ‘Development and Orientalism’ was held in Kyoto. The workshop was organized by Adachi Akira to discuss the political meaning of development discourse in relationship to colonialism, orientalism and capitalism. In this paper I would like to address points that emerged from the workshop.The vital point among them is how we should analyze the process of resistance against the discourse and the internalization of the discourse. To consider this point I would like to take as reference the process of Japan’s revival after WW II. Using the revival as the term related to development, we could get the situation of destruction and ruin which has been concealed in the course of development. In other words, development discourse presumes the destruction as the beginning which had been externalized as past and others. However I would like to appropriate the beginning theoretically in order to criticize development discourse in this paper.
During the 1930s, British colonial authorities changed their attitudes towards agrarian production in Africa. Soil conservation became a fundamental issue in the strategies that emerged for African development during this period. The devastation of soil seen in the Dust Bowl of the American Midwest during the 1930s impressed the scientists and administrators of British colonies, including the Kenya Colony. This paper aims to study the formation of the soil erosion discourse, especially its influence on the native administration of Kenya, by examining mainly some research papers submitted by government committees. The concept of soil erosion that might threaten the future of the whole colony allowed colonial scientists and administrators to take a particular form of intervention into the affair of native African people. I point out that it is a fruitful approach to study the continuity of the colonial rule before and after the Second World War to follow the historical transformation in the formation of the soil erosion discourse within the native administration policy.