- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 11 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415068622
- ISBN-13: 978-0415068628
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.7 x 23.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 458 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,013,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Development Betrayed: The End of Progress and a Co-Evolutionary Revisioning of the Future Paperback – Mar 17 1994
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Development Betrayed crystallizes the growing disenchantment with the idea of development, giving a stunning analysis of why development has so frequently failed and the reasons why it is programmed to fail. But this is not one more ecological gloom and doom book. Norgaard, by getting at the heart of why progress and development have gone wrong, can show us where we might start to go right. To claim to have all the answers would be to fall into the progress trap, but Norgaard gives us sufficient clues as to how we might begin to create interdependent sustainable societies and sustainable environments to give the reader significant grounds for hope. This is a book whose understanding of the world can genuinely help to change it.
Robert N. Bellah, University of California, Berkeley
Norgaard...presents a trenchant critique of modernity's vision of progress.
Many critics have argued that modern society is hurtling down the wrong track, heedlessly destroying natural and cultural treasures en route, by basing its understanding of systems too narrowly on Newton's mechanics. Richard Norgaard, an activist scholar, extends this critique to elaborate on the implications for nature and society of a more biological understanding of systems as consisting of coevolved parts. Thus he challenges the reader with a fresh view of the past, present and future of humanity's tenure on Earth.
Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich, Stanford University
. . .while sustainable communities may be out of reach now, we will have a greater chance to reach them by reading Norgaard. And his 60 pages of bibliographic essays will certainly help the serious scholar.
A. Allan Schmid, Michigan State University
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
His basic thesis conceives of a co-evolutionary theory, where "the world can be thought of as having become a patchwork quilt of loosely interconnected, co-evolving social and ecological systems." 90 These social, economic, cultural, religious, business and family systems do not exist in a vacuum but co-evolve together.
Norgarrd is a Economics Professor at UC Berkeley and his most incisive critiques are of conventional economic thinking, in a vein similar to that offered by JK Galbraith.
"The logic of economics does not yield unique answers when more than one social unit might express an interest in choosing. Without a single answer, economics cannot be used technocratically to deduce what society should do." 125
His solution is to put more weight behind the power of "groups as decision making units". "The modern portrayal of social systems as the sum of the interactions of autonomous individuals responding to their individual values DENIES interconnections between people and nature and thereby both the existence of and the need for social and environmental values." 131
Norgarrd's more specific suggestions to how our world can be conceptualized better, work well in concert with JK Galbraith's critique of standard economic logic. This is a well thought out book that anyone who is concerned about more accurate economic assessment of environment should read.