Interpreting Modernity: Exploring El Alto, Bolivia’s Perspective

By Guido Alejo, translated from Spanish by Maria Fernanda Córdova Suxo

Within Bolivia, a country marked by high levels of economic informality – nearly 90% of its active workforce, according to the Centro Boliviano de Economía (CEBEC) – El Alto stands out. Perched at an elevation of 4,000 meters on the Altiplano plateau, this city embodies informality not only in its economy but also in its very inception, formed outside the realms of state planning. Being just 38 years old, El Alto is witnessing a profound evolution in its concept of modernity. Here, a dynamic interplay between economic advancement, social mobility, and the redefinition of urban identity is underway.

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Challenging Global Development while Defending Modernity and Enlightenment Thought

By Tanja Müller

The latest book in the EADI Global Development Series has recently come out with the apt title Challenging Global Development: Towards Decoloniality and Justice. It is a timely and important book, not least because it provides good summary of the history of ‘development’ and Development Studies, up to contemporary debates. It interrogates most of the relevant themes and contestations in relation to the concept of development and Development Studies as an (academic) subject. The book provides pertinent critiques of a diverse range of themes, such as inclusions and exclusions; transformative processes of knowledge production; questioning the growth-agenda; structural roots of global inequalities; and narratives based on dichotomies. A focus on decoloniality and justice is welcome, as is the recognition that colonialism is ultimately a power structure.

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