Since the 2010-2011 Arab uprisings, rural poverty, agriculture, food import dependence, and climate change began to feature more prominently in Middle East-North African (MENA) development agendas. Development Alternatives from MENA: Big Plans and Small Farms in the Search for Sustainability focuses on intellectual “paths not taken” in smallholder development. It offers an intellectual history of development practitioners, agronomists, and economists’ rupture with the industrialization/modernization paradigm in agriculture since the 1960s. These thinkers and practitioners analyzed the problems of industrialization of agriculture and the causes of underdevelopment, re-thought agriculture’s role in ecologically-sound development, fused their analyses of circular agriculture with the “dependency school” of economics, and produced local models for self-reliant development focused on smallholder farms. This intellectual history elaborates how MENA researchers produced this planning framework, examines its intellectual content, and investigates how is it being taken up in the present moment of post-revolutionary upheaval. It uses archives, oral histories, and technical literature to address these questions and places them in the context of international circuits of agronomic and development-related intellectual production. It then accounts for how they are being again taken up in a post-2011 world.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/21 → 1/01/23|
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