Dialectics of Universal/ Pluriversal in the Sociology of Development

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:25
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Cristina ROJAS, Carleton University, Canada
This paper analyses the tension between development as a civilizing and modernizing project and recent responses to create a pluriverse which is best captured in the Zapatista call for a ‘world where several worlds fit’. The paper argues that since the 19th century development as a discipline and as practice was pivotal in the creation of an anthropocentric, civilized and capitalist uni-verse. The paper examines the effects of the separation nature/culture that founded the ‘modern constitution’ (Latour) over the dispossession of knowledges, territories and life worlds of those that did not have a place in modernity. The paper also examines how actors that have been marginalized from modernity such as indigenous and Afro-descendant communities are questioning the separation of humanity and nature, as well as linear understandings of time and progress. The paper engages with recent academic responses to capture the plurality of worlds and its potential impact on development otherwise including political ontology (Blaser, Escobar, de la Cadena), epistemologies of the south (Santos), indigenous cosmopolitics (de la Cadena and Stengers) and decolonial feminism (Lugones, de Lima Costa, Rivera Cusicanqui).