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The September 11th memorial, New York City. In the second part of his review, Hodge reflects on the shift in development scholarship post 9/11. (Photo by Jin Lee, 2012).

The September 11th memorial, New York City. In the second part of his review, Hodge reflects on the shift in development scholarship post 9/11. (Photo by Jin Lee, 2012).

Writing the History of Development (Part 2: Longer, Deeper, Wider)

The neoliberal ascendancy of the 1980s, combined with the unraveling of the Cold War at the end of the decade, ushered in a period of prolonged crisis and skepticism about “development” as a global project. It was at this watershed moment that development as history was envisaged by a critical mass of scholars, most of whom understood what they were studying primarily in terms of discourse. The fixation with discourse shaped the parameters of the emerging field in crucial ways. The importance of ideas, particularly Read More »

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Response to the Commentators, Part Two

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. Once again let me express my gratitude to the commentators, most of who appear to agree with the overall argument, analysis and historiographical arc I have sketched out in these essays. That said, as previously noted, several contributors also see the need to reflect more deeply about the study of Read More »

Response to the Commentators, Part One

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. I would like begin by expressing my gratitude to the Humanity editorial collective, and especially to Nils Gilman and Sam Moyn, for providing me with the opportunity to publish these two pieces. I would also like to thank the commentators – Tom Robertson, Corinna Unger, Robert Packenham, David Ekbladh, Steve Read More »

Commentary on the Essay of Joseph Hodge

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. Joseph Hodge offers us a richly detailed analysis of the making of a new academic subfield, anthropological and historical studies of development. Students will be mining his footnotes for years to come, and they will appreciate the intelligent—and sometimes severe—critiques he presents of the literature whose influence he has made Read More »

Global and Usable Histories of Development

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. My sincere thanks to Dr. Hodge for producing this remarkable review essay. It brilliantly captures the simultaneous appeal and challenge of exploring the history of development. As Hodge shows, development has embodied both disruption and creativity, engaging a wide range of historical actors in both aspects of the work within Read More »

On Writing the Historiography of Development

This post is part of a roundtable discussion on two historiographic articles by Joseph Hodge published in recent issues of Humanity. For more about the roundtable and all currently available posts please see this page. In early 2002, amid the growing optimism surrounding the United States’ Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, I heard on the radio an U.S. official claim that the United States’ nation-building efforts should strive to transform Kabul into Zurich. The statement struck me as preposterous and perplexing. How would the United Read More »

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