From ‘Global’ to ‘Revolutionary’ Development

Büscher, Bram


This article argues that Horner and Hulme's call for moving towards ‘global development’ to do justice to changing 21st century development geographies neither contributes to advancing our understanding of contemporary development challenges nor helps articulate realistic responses to tackle them. A key problem is that they try to explain several general trends in the geography of development with reference to mainstream statistics without appropriate critical reflection or adequate theorization. Focusing specifically on the environmental and conservation aspects of development, this article contends that these omissions not only confuse the debate on the current state and geographies of development, they risk something more serious, namely the reinforcement of a generic development narrative which will intensify 21st century development challenges. The article concludes that what we need is not global development but revolutionary development.