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Title: Gandhi and post-development : re-enchanting emancipation
Author: Cox, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 9464
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2002
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Historically, emancipation has been interpreted as inseparable from modernity. Emancipation has been configured in terms of an increase in reason and a commensurate 'disenchantment' and a banishment of the sacred. The emergence of post-development as a recognisable discourse within the field of development studies and practice has raised important questions regarding understandings of social progress. Notable in the literature and practice of post-development is an increased reference to the human spirit and 'spirituality' as an integral part of the process of social liberation. According to Marxist theory, such reference undermines its emancipatory potential. This thesis provides an alternative way of interpreting this return of the sacred by arguing that post-development is more fruitfully interpreted as a reinvention of Gandhian praxis. Moreover, the conjunction of Gandhian categories with post-colonial and post-developmental analyses provide an alternative lens through which to frame a model of emancipation more appropriate to the context of post-modernity. This process foregrounds issues of agency and identity in social change locating discussion of the spiritual in activist narrative as central to the structural processes of social change. The framework produced by these discussions is subsequently employed in order to examine the verity of environmentalist claims to emancipation. The argument is informed by ongoing post-development activism in North India and a range of new social movement activity. Fundamental to the approach is the need to focus on the ongoing processes involved in social transformation as a means to emancipation, rather than to any pre-determined aims. In conclusion, I show how the conjunction of Gandhian thought and post-development. is providing a framework for re-enchanted understandings of emancipatory action. Contingent upon their location, such emancipations are applicable to the 'North' as well as the 'South'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available