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Reshaping the World for the 21st Century evaluates post-World War II economic development efforts in the United States, in Canada, and, in Brazil, and in Mexico. It argues that the proposal that the more fortunate countries should bring prosperity to the less developed ones failed: it did not stop the growth of poverty, did not protect the environment sufficiently, and did not promote human rights energetically.
Smith begins with a presentation of the two chief development theories pursued after World War II, that is, the growth oriented, market driven model, and the communist ideology. She then chronicles the rise of dependency theory, a newer, 1960s based development perspective that was focused on the needs of less developed third world countries.
Based on personal accounts of daily life in the megacities Sao Paulo and Mexico City, and on a review of other development analysts' conclusions, Smith evaluates the failures in Brazil and Mexico--the transportation fiascos spawned, the housing situation--and wonders how it could be that the most advanced industrial powers just didn't see that the poverty suffered by most people in Latin American countries was worsening even during the 1960s and 1970s, an era of relative prosperity.
VIRGINIA SMITH's articles have appeared in Maclean's, and in the Toronto Star. She is the co-author of Perpetuating Poverty: The Political Economy of Canadian Foreign Aid, and a social activist with over 30 years of experience in community based organizations: chiefly Latin America and with groups that resist cutbacks imposed by globalizing governments.
Written in accessible language, often times casual and humorous, without detriment to the topic's importance…goes beyond the customary litany of critiques to offer, and analyze, potential avenues for improvement. --Arturo Escobar, Anthropology, University of Massachusetts
A well thought-out work that exposes the dangers of the present political and ideological malaise…a disturbing and compelling scenario that resonates globally. --J. Nef, Political Science and International Development, University of Guelph
|Date Published||17 Jan 2002|
|Publisher||Black Rose Books|