Issue 18 (Spring 2012): Challenges of Development

Edited by: Daniel Crump, Qamarullah Islam, Rory McGinley, Seamus MacLeod, Anthony Reynolds

Photograph: Adrian Carr/Focus Photography

Design: Kimberly Scott

For issue 18 of eSharp, Challenges of Development, we present a volume of articles which engage with challenges of development, real and perceived, contemporary and historical, from within the spheres of the social sciences and the arts and humanities.

Long embraced roads of development, both economic and political, have been closed by recent events in the Middle East and in the financial markets. As nations, groups, and individuals struggle to overcome new barriers to development the subjective nature of progress is highlighted. Academia must embrace and explore this dichotomy in order to engage with diverse and often contradictory understandings of development. Conducting an analysis of the origins, challenges, and consequences of development, both within and across disciplines, will help construct a more complete picture, contextualise topical concerns, and indicate fruitful lines of further enquiry.

Within this issue is a collection of essays that consider challenges of development from a wide array of perspectives. Claire Bynner has conducted a study of a local community on the periphery of local welfare provision policies in the UK, and explores the ways in which it copes in the face of poverty, austerity and a changing population. Frauke Uhlenbruch investigates the ideological role of biblical utopianism for some early settlers in the Americas, considering the ways in which Biblical and Puritan texts informed the philosophies and actions of the colonisers. Martha Kirby addresses the challenges found in developing national health and nutrition policy in the face of growing prosperity in post-war Britain, and how medical understandings of obesity are linked to its social experience. Nahuel Arenas-Garcia explores current methods of international economic development in South America, which aim to better facilitate wealth amongst the poorer populations of the region in the wake of failed neoliberal policies.

These works represent a critical approach that seeks to understand the ways in which actions and processes viewed as 'development' in some spheres often have undesirable consequences for the 'other'. This collection suggests that every development comes with new and potentially difficult challenges, which we must continually strive to understand.


Bynner, Claire Equity, Austerity and Access to Public Services Abstract  18_1_Bynner
Uhlenbruch, Frauke Promised Land into Real-Life Utopia? Utopian Theory, Numbers 13 and Of Plymouth Plantation Abstract  18_2_Uhlenbruch
Kirby, Martha Too Much of a Good Thing? Society, Affluence and Obesity in Britain, 1940-1970 Abstract  18_3_Kirby
Arenas-García, Nahuel 21st Century Regionalism in South America: UNASUR and the search for Development Alternatives Abstract  18_4_Arenas-Garcia