Realist methodology and the articulation of modes of production : an analysis of Palestinian peasant household production in the north Jordan Valley of the Occupied West Bank/the Central Highlands of Palestine
This thesis outlines the main features of empiricist and positivist epistemology and looks at the critique of this position developed by conventionalist philosophers of science. It then attempts to present the basis of an alternative realist epistemology. This realist alternative is then used as a means of laying down a set of methodological protocols for reinterpreting the anti-empiricist debate in development theory over "the articulation of modes of production". This debate was concerned with producing an alternative paradigm to explain the causes of poverty and underdevelopment in such a way that the internal determinations of poverty in nation-states would be part of the explanatory structure, rather than treating poverty and underdevelopment as a phenomenon which was essentially generated through relationships of exploitation between the countries of the "developed" and Third World. Having outlined the basic concepts of this debate in a manner which is compatible with the research protocols of methodological realism, the concepts - social formation, modes of production and articulation - are applied to the concrete context of peasant relations of production in the north Jordan Valley of the Occupied West Bank/the Central Highlands of Palestine. The last section considers some of the major strategic models designed to resolve the problem of Third World poverty and underdevelopment, viz. Community Development, the Green Revolution and Basic Needs. Finally, a radical democratic approach to development intervention is suggested as a background to development action in the context of settler-colonialism and military occupation.