Indigenous knowledges and development: a postcolonial caution

Briggs, J. and Sharp, J. (2004) Indigenous knowledges and development: a postcolonial caution. Third World Quarterly, 25(4), pp. 661-676. (doi:10.1080/01436590410001678915)

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Abstract

As a result of the failure of formal top-down development, there has recently been increased interest in the possibilities of drawing upon the indigenous knowledges of those in the communities involved, in an attempt to produce more effective development strategies. The concept of indigenous knowledge calls for the inclusion of local voices and priorities, and promises empowerment through ownership of the process. However, there has been little critical examination of the ways in which indigenous knowledges have been included in the development process. Drawing upon postcolonial theory, this article suggests that indigenous knowledges are often drawn into development by both theorists and development institutions in a very limited way, failing to engage with other ways of perceiving development, and thus missing the possibility of devising more challenging alternatives.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sharp, Professor Joanne and Briggs, Professor John
Authors: Briggs, J., and Sharp, J.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Third World Quarterly
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:0143-6597
ISSN (Online):1360-2241
Published Online:07 August 2006
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2004 Routledge
First Published:First published in Third World Quarterly 25(4):661-676
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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