Journal article

Development alternatives: Practice, dilemmas and theory

AJ Bebbington, DH Bebbington

Area | Published : 2001


This paper argues that much scholarly work on civil society and alternative development has three weaknesses: it understates the diversity among popular organizations and their ideas about development alternatives; it pays insufficient attention to the economic dimensions of alternatives; and it understates the potential importance of the local state. Drawing on experiences from highland Bolivia, we suggest that a closer engagement with the dilemmas encountered in practical attempts to pursue development alternatives can suggest ways forward in each of these areas. Linking scholarly and practical work is thus important for theoretical reasons as well as ones of relevance.

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