Global Poverty and the Politics of Good Intentions
Ruth Buchanan and Peer Zumbansen (eds), Law in Transition: Human Rights, Development and Transitional Justice (Hart, 2014).
20 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2016
Date Written: June 1, 2014
In this chapter I argue that international institutional attempts to address poverty (re)iterated in the idiom of development are likely to make the problem worse, rather than better. The international development project can be understood as a continuation of ‘the benevolence of empire’ in which interventions were conducted ‘in the service of enabling the conditions of modernity to emerge, in the belief that these would serve better the interests and well-being of humanity’. The point of this characterisation is not to judge the sincerity of the ‘good intentions’, but to draw attention to the fact that ‘what remains indisputable is the authority with which such a gesture can be made, the vantage point from which it asserts itself’.
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