Post Development and Endogenous Development

Seminar Paper, 2016

9 Pages



I. Background

II. What is Endogenous Development?

III. Key Tenet of Endogenous Development: What is a Good Life?

IV. Globalization and Endogenous Development

V. Capacity Building and Social Inclusion

VI. Conclusion and Discussion

VII. References:

This text was written by a non-native English speaker. Please excuse any errors or inconsistencies.

I. Background

The mainstream development paradigm centered more on the goals of profit-maximization, mass production, result-oriented and global monetarism has now arrived into a problematic condition. The disillusionment about development characterized by strong failure of the state (elite capture) and the market (equal distribution) especially in the underdeveloped countries now crystallized alternative development paradigms which favour participatory and people-centered development – Post-development. Alternative methodology (as in participatory), epistemology (as in view of human being and agency), and re-oriented goal (as in respect for differing values and self-reliance) are the approaches that revived this reaction against modernity wherein GDP is no longer seen to be the sole measurement of growth dovetailed by the appropriation of human development as the appropriate measurement. This is the very claim of endogenous development; a repoliticization of development manifested through local mobilization.

II. What is Endogenous Development?

Endogenous development advocates “internally directed development” or “development within” wherein adaptation and innovation emulate from within the local community; control of local actors is crucial and pivotal. It views development as pertaining to “…mainly (though not exclusively) on local strategies, knowledge, institutions and resources.” (Abubakar: 2007) It resents independent accumulation of wealth.

It has been characterized mainly as to pertaining to the local in terms of development options, control of development processes and development benefits as opposed to exogenous development wherein all development dimensions are externally determined and then deposited into particular locales thus trampling over local values (Bill Slee).

Endogenous development intends to strengthen regional development which incorporates and respects humanistic (local) values into the economic system and provides a democratic distribution of wealth. Capital accumulations such as local savings and investments are concentrated on specific localities and territories. It subscribes to the community’s capacity for the diffusion of innovation throughout the local productive system and the role played by the local innovation system. Endogenous development involves not only the economic and social dimensions of development; rather, it greatly embraces spiritual dimensions of the local people in the community.

Rural communities, in the pre-capitalistic rural economy, was typified to be enslaved beneath traditional rules, living an undignified, stagnant and vegetative life; the self-sufficiency mode of living. The onset of emerging capitalistic development transformed the used-to-be self-sufficiency rural communities into export-import oriented production; the trade liberalization. During this condition, the rural communities became subservient to capitalist core that directly sets exogenous forces/policies on how to run the rural community’s development/modernization and dictates way of life. In this case; the donor, government, firm and NGOs and not the people are put first; the emphasis now is more on the macro level or focused on policies instead of the micro level as in the project’s details that arrest procedural constraints for genuine participatory democracy.

This opening up of the rural regions to trade liberalization/globalization has led to the enforcing of the rural region’s integration to the (inter)national markets. The power associated to development has been concentrated to external control; the elite capture which prescribed the nature of development.

The economic integration that occurred during the late 1980s paved the way for the new phase for development; where the model of fundamentalism of capital has been debunked. This paradigm shift of development was fuelled by several development policy failures carried out in various developing countries. The aid programs of the developed countries and international organizations fell short of attaining quality of life among the communities of developing countries while heralding the neglect of consultancy, joint decision-making and designing, and dialogue. The local (invisibles) were perfectly situated to be marginalized. In such cases, many people who espoused participatory development argued that this is not real development work.

Since then, there was a “turning of the corner” of development strategies. A new approach to development emerged and was then called as endogenous development. This approach development “…as a territorial process (not a functional process) that is methodologically based on case studies (not on cross-section analysis) and that considers that development policies are more efficient when carried out by local actors (not by the central administrations).” (Vázquez-Barquero. 2006)

As Giorgio Fua (1994) intellectually pointed out, sustainable development leans on “entrepreneurial and organizational capability, labour training and skills, environmental resources and the functioning of institutions”. Thus, he opens up to the facilitation of various development paths and recognizing diversity in development strategies (techniques, products, tastes, culture and policies) according to each community’s own potential. The individual in the community is considered to be crucial in development and becomes the handmaiden of change and with the recognition of their creative capacity and innovative nature (Fua, 1983). This is espousing Martha Nussbaum’s capability approach – providing each individual the opportunity to be and to do.

Endogenous development is characterized greatly by the participation of individuals in the community specifically in the implementation of policies rather than being mere depositories of foreign aids. This, in a very significant way, serves to ensure that they (local) are kept in mind (Hirschmann 2003). It feeds the “bottom-up” approach to development which caters to the principle that development must welcome interaction (negotiation/bargaining) and organization of local economy development; the deconstruction of socio-political hierarchies and structures. Only then that resources will be mobilized and development potential will be materialized and sustained.

Sustainability, the long term economic growth, thus is attributed to the local actors who organize themselves in order to carry out their projects. Therefore, they are being accountable to their own development responding to their economic and social needs.

III. Key Tenet of Endogenous Development: What is a Good Life?

The key tenets of endogenous development as enumerated in are as follows:

a. To recognise particular regional and national features and promote the development of those strengths.
b. To drive a transformation of natural resource use, constructing chains of production that link production, distribution, and consumption.
c. Efficient use of infrastructure.
d. To incorporate excluded populations.
e. To adopt a new lifestyle with a new model for consumption.
f. To develop new forms of organisation that are productive not only economically but also socially.
g. To construct productive networks that vary in size and technological structure, such as microbusinesses and co-operatives.

In brief endogenous development seeks to provide a socio-economic climate that:

- Is self-sustaining (and sustainable),
- Uses national products (regional and local) as much as possible,
- Generates dignified local employment,
- Respects the local environment,
- Achieves profits,
- Reinvests surpluses rather than removing them from the system,
- Provides a system of collective ownership of the means of production, and incorporates excluded populations.
- Makes full use of infrastructure and local resources,
- Creates solidarity with the environment, social responsibility (non- mercantilist criteria), and participation.
- Has an efficient and just social comptroller
- Promotes spirituality (not "fundamentalism," but rather emphasis on morality, ethics, and personal development),
- Is humanistic (the human being is central, after God),
- Promotes our uniqueness, our culture,
- Promotes our style of life and of consumption,
- Constructs productive networks of varied sizes and technological structures, such as microbusinesses and co-operatives.
- Appropriates technology as needed.

IV. Globalization and Endogenous Development

The dawn of globalization made it difficult for local actors to improve their peoples’ living standard and quality of life. Primary constraints to local development that local communities face are ineffective use of resources that led to shortages of financial, social, capital, natural and human resources. As globalization removed trade barriers and increased the webs of international market exchange of goods and services, the self-sufficient living of the local communities has been transformed and incorporated in the process of economic growth and structural change.

However, the idea of the globalization has come to a blur when endogenous development made its economic aspects integrated with its social realms. This change in the economic paradigm, the replacement of homo economics, has crafted its ultimate purpose of building up human capacities at the local level (Mark Shucksmith).

The economic and social transformation generated by endogenous development allowed the local individuals to take up strategies and initiatives aimed at improving the well-being of local society. Instead of accumulation there is capacitation and human development; instead of capital and external expertise there are human skills and local knowledge; instead of growth-led orientation there is equity-led approach; instead of state and market-led growth there is community; instead of technology-transfer there is endogenous development; instead of hoping for a trickle-down effect there is this hope of trickle-up through redistribution; GDP as a measure there is HDI; and instead of foreign aid or assistance there are partnership and mutual obligation. These changes within the local community revolve around the necessary dynamic transformation of local economies.

V. Capacity Building and Social Inclusion

Anthony Giddens briefly spots that “modernity produces difference, exclusion and marginalisation. Holding out the possibility of emancipation, modern institutions at the same time create mechanisms of suppression, rather than actualisation, of self.” (1991, 6 as cited by Schucksmith) Despite this, human agency is still valid as an argument to this; individuals given their various socio-economic dimensions still operate reflexively, taking decisions and following courses of action under differential conditions of material constraint. Indeed, Giddens (1991) argues that class divisions and inequality can be partly defined in terms of differential access to forms of self-actualization and empowerment. It follows then that structures of inequality and social exclusion which constrain capacity-building of individuals or the opportunity to be and to do must be arrested.

Coleman (1988, p. 98 as cited by Schucksmith) defined social capital as “the structure of relations between actors and among actors that facilitates productive activity… [It implies] a structure in which others may be contacted, obligations and expectations can be safely formed, information can be shared and sanctions can be applied.” This idea echoes Durkheim’s emphasis on group life as an antidote to anomie. Salient thoughts about social capital were brilliantly raised by Putnam (1993, p.167 as cited by Schucksmith) where he defines social capital as referring to “...features of social organisation, such as trust, norms, and networks, that can improve the efficiency of society by facilitating coordinated actions.”

The discussion on social capital so far has been in the light of the community or local level. Even Giddens (1998) has referred to social capital only in the context of “community-focused approaches” to fighting poverty: “community building emphasises support networks, self-help and the cultivation of social capital as a means to generate economic renewal in low-income neighbourhoods.” But how does individual social capital relate to collective social capital? And how does the capacity of an individual relate to the capacity of a locality? With this in mind, Bourdieu offers a solution by conceptualizing social capital with other forms of capital. Within any field, Bourdieu (1998) argues that scarcity fuels the individuals’ struggles over resources wherein their struggles are centered on the possession objects and means: of economic, social (valued relations with others), cultural (legitimate knowledge) and symbolic (prestige, honor, etc.) capital.

Having this in mind to work with, Bordieu suggests a redefinition of the “social capital” from being a collective good into which should appropriate individuals (the invisibles) who in the first place already have social and cultural capital, whether through their social connections, their ethnicity, their formal and informal education, or their style, taste, presentation and language. Through this, the elite capture (as blankets Bourdieu’s analysis of Gidden’s conceptualization of social capital) in endogenous development may not further its domination and legitimization of interests.

VI. Conclusion and Discussion

Globalization, and all its development undertakings, will greatly and continuously affect the rural areas. The effects include destruction of people, places and spaces; processes that give rise global restructuring and rent-seeking behaviour; and domination of developed countries over the economics, culture and politics of the people from the developing countries particularly targeting the rural communities. The trickle-down effect as development presumes rather leads to uneven distribution of wealth and policies.

However, since development methodologies and policies, which have created preconstituted choices and predetermined participation, have failed modifications in strategies. This aimed at “turning the room around” which sought to foster bottom-top development approach through greater participation generated from local level.

A challenge, however, is how capacity-building be applied at a collective level specifically the concern on the symbolic construction of a “community” while on the other hand, the redistribution of power to individuals in a positive light. As recognized by Bourdieu, endogenous development has a tendency to lean towards elite capture, in extreme cases, wherein development initiatives would favour those who are already-dominant in the community such as the literate and articulate. Hirschmann, as many development practitioners, has witnessed that the space in every social interaction or gathering supports socio-political hierarchy and structures. It also validates power blocs and mutes the invisibles such as the participation of women and the poor. Further, it strengthens biases such as class, ethnic and gender. In such cases, the poor, rural, illiterate including women are rendered invisible in the process because they have no contribution to the economic and social policy analysis and prescription. Thus, they only serve as bank depositories of foreign aid which Paulo Freire strongly debunks.

Endogenous development is couched therefore in the reimagination of agency and place, and creation of new networks and spaces of opportunity for people and communities.

VII. References:

Abubakar, Abdulai. 2007. “The Governor and the Governed: Enhancing Participation in Ghana’s Local Government System in the Bawku West District Assembly”.

Bourdieu, Pierre (1988) Homo Academicus. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Hirschmann, David (2003) ‘Keeping the last in mind: Incorporating Chambers in consulting’ in Development in Practice 13 (5): 487-500.

Slee, R. W. (1990), Agency Roles and the Development of Farm Diversification in the UK.

Paper presented to the Congress of the European Society of Rural Sociology, Giessen, Shucksmith, Mark (__), Endogenous Development, Social Capital and Social Inclusion:

Perspective from LEADER in UK in

Vázquez-Barquero, Antonio. 2006. “Endogenous Development: Analytical and Policy Issues”, in The Regional Question in Economic Development. New York and London: Routledge.


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Post Development and Endogenous Development
Master of Arts in Social and Development Studies
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Post-devolpment, endogenous development, mainstream development, profit-maximization
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Maria Victoria Dariano (Author), 2016, Post Development and Endogenous Development, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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