Prologue: Unholy Development

Prologue: Unholy Development

By Wolfgang Sachs

To begin our special series on the book Non Sancto Development, an edited volume by Adrian Beling and Julien Vanhurst, we have this prologue by Wolfgang Sachs. In this piece, Sachs analyses the perspective of Pope Francis on development, and his move away from a technocratic model and toward a model of solidarity.

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From the political-economic drought to collective and sustainable water management

From the political-economic drought to collective and sustainable water management

By Gustavo García López

Over the past months the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico has experienced one of the worst droughts in years. The country has been suffering for a while a progressive worsening of the quality, availability and distribution of water. The local press has argued that a "rainfall deficit" is the cause of the problem. The drought is presented as a "natural" and "administrative-technical" problem (read: apolitical), which can be remedied with larger and more "efficient" infrastructure and management of the supply system. In this article the author examines more closely the reasons why these problems of planning and the management of water are so persistent. He suggests that they are rooted in the political-economic system of Puerto Rico. From this perspective, planning in Puerto Rico has successfully encouraged the accumulation of capital in certain sectors, but not the common wellbeing and sustainability. On the other hand, traditional solutions based on the construction of infrastructure, which respond to the logic of this model (capitalist developmentalism), have also failed. In order to confront this situation it is necessary to transform these traditional schemes and start to conceptualize water as a common good that must be managed collectively for the well-being and sustainability of the population.

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Alternautas - Journal Issue No. 2 available

Alternautas - Journal Issue No. 2 available

In early 2015, the Alternautas family grew bigger. With a team of eight-member Editorial Board and thirteen Commissioning Editors, Alternautas has strengthened its community, organising several panels at international conferences, as well as maintaining a vibrant online community. To further contribute with sharing and debating the very timely and original body of thinking arising from the South, we are launching the second edition of the Alternautas Journal.

Unlike a traditional journal, Alternautas favors short articles, also welcoming research-in progress and essayistic, experimental writing, while maintaining high standards of academic rigor and the peer-review process of traditional journals. These innovative characteristics are meant to enhance dialogue, exchange and dissemination of ideas among researchers (also early-stage), public scholars, and reflexive practitioners. This new edited collection aims at further disseminating the short academic writings published as posts on our blog during the first half of 2015. The compilation invites our readers to reflect on development from a range of academic landscapes.

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Seeds of Maya Development: The “Fiestas y Ferias de Semillas” Movement in Yucatan

Seeds of Maya Development: The “Fiestas y Ferias de Semillas” Movement in Yucatan

By Genner Llanes-Ortiz

This article describes the fiestas y ferias de semillas movement that take place in the Yucatan region, in Mexico, and offers an interpretation that stresses its importance not just as a site of Indigenous resistance, but as a strategic opportunity for the construction of alternatives to development. Celebrated in different sub-regions of this culturally distinctive area, these events bring together Maya-speaking peasants, anti-GMO activists, and organic produce aficionados from the federal states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. Here, Maya understandings of welfare and prosperity are historically and politically reconfigured within a Pan-Yucatec Maya cultural perspective, at the same time leaning on and leading to what I call Cosmayapolitan ways of locating communities and social actors in the global situation.

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