Project

Development Alternatives from North Africa: Big Plans and Small Farms in the Search for Sustainability

Code
1294523N
Duration
01 November 2022 → 31 August 2027
Funding
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Promotor
Fellow
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Development planning and policy
    • Futures studies
    • Other sociology and anthropology not elsewhere classified
Keywords
rural development theories of development Global South theory
 
Project description

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 North Africa: Big Plans and Small Farms in the Search for Sustainability (DEVALT) 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 Tunisian thinkers and practitioners, in dialogue with Egyptian economists and development experts, analyzed the problems of industrialization of agriculture and the causes of underdevelopment, rethought agriculture’s role in ecologically-sound development, fused their analyses of smallholder agriculture with the “dependency school” of economics, and produced local models for self-reliant development focused on smallholder farms. This intellectual history elaborates how North African researchers analyzed the mistakes of the past, produced their novel planning framework, and examines its intellectual content. 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.