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Well-Being in Development: Comparing Global Designs with Local Views in Peru

  • James Copestake

    (Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath, Bath)

Disagreements over development arise in part from different ways of thinking about human well-being, an issue explored here with reference to two pieces of empirical research in Peru. The first is an analysis of ontological assumptions underpinning secondary literature on development policy at the national level. The second is the pilot testing of a combined ethnographic and psychometric approach to measuring individuals’ perceptions of well-being. Congruence and disjuncture between the different views of well-being that emerge from this analysis are systematically explored, along with the potential for reducing such gaps as a means to improving development practise. The paper also examines the link between such analysis and the role of what Mignolo refers to as ‘border thinking’ within the geopolitics of knowledge.Les désaccords concernant le développement résultent en partie des manières diverses d’envisager le bien-être humain. Nous examinons cette question en nous appuyant sur deux travaux de recherche empirique menés au Pérou. Le premier est une analyse des hypothèses ontologiques sous-tendant la littérature secondaire sur la politique de développement national. Le second est l’essai pilote d’une approche à la fois ethnographique et psychométrique de la mesure des perceptions qu’ont les individus du bien-être. Nous examinons systématiquement les contrastes et similarités entre les différentes perceptions du bien-être révélés par cette analyse ainsi que la possibilité de réduire ces écarts dans le but d’améliorer les pratiques de développement. Cet article examine également le lien entre une telle analyse et le rôle de ce que Mignolo appelle ‘la pensée frontalière’ dans le cadre de la notion de géopolitique de la connaissance.

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Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal European Journal of Development Research.

Volume (Year): 23 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 94-110

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Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:23:y:2011:i:1:p:94-110
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