PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT: A CLASS & GENDER-SENSITIVE APPROACH
Development in Practice, vol. 7, no. 3 (Oxfam UK, August 1997)
Prepared for a manual for change agents under the auspices of the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, this article argues that integrating the strengths of political economy and gender planning into a participatory methodology yields an approach that puts people first, doesn’t isolate or privilege particular sectors for remedial attention, and places subjugation alongside poverty as social evils to be overcome, not simply alleviated. The outcome is an emancipatory practice of development, in which inequalities are addressed directly, not with a view to simply redistribute wealth on a transitory basis, but to reconfigure society to the benefit of the majority of its members, while empowering them to develop themselves.
Women & Politics in Nicaragua: “Diverse, Different, but United”
Unpublished article (1996) that was the basis for a chapter in D. Connell, "Rethinking Revolution" (Trenton, N.J.: Red Sea Press, 2002)
This article, based on research conducted in 1995 and 1996 explores the fraught relations between the Nicaraguan women’s movement and the political party that had led the Revolution against the Somoza family dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s and ruled the country for a decade of civi war with a U.S.-backed counterrevolutionary movement only to lose elections in 1990 and 1996. That decade had witnessed an explosion of autonomous women’s organizations, many led by former Sandinista leaders and activists who were disillusioned with the Front’s insistence on harnessing the movement to its political objectives in a oneway relationship that neither empowered women nor responded to their demands. The result was a political movement unable to win elections and a women’s movement with extensive popular participation and support but limited clout in the political arena.
What’s Left of the South Africa Left?
Against the Current, No. 58 (Detroit, September/October 1995)
The South African left is going through a profound transition from an underground resistance movement to an open political party. It has one foot in the new Government of National Unity and the other in a restive popular base impatient for structural economic and social change. Some argue that the left has so muted its politics that it has lost its identity as a revolutionary force. Others say the it is on track to complete the main tasks of the NDR and to position itself to struggle for socialism. The truth is more complex than these alternatives suggest.
Palestine on the Edge: Crisis in the National Movement
Middle East Report, Nos. 194-195 (July/August 1995)
Since Yasser Arafat returned to Palestine in July 1994 under the Oslo Accords, many people find themselves worse off than before. Tens of thousands are out of work as a result of Israeli border closures. Social services are contracting, as NGOs run out of funds and Palestinians lose access to Israeli services. The new Palestinian Authority is preoccupied with security issues and has not forwarded any program for reconstruction and development. Meanwhile, Israel has seized more than 16,000 hectares of Palestinian land since the 1993 Accords were signed. As the peace agreement unravels, frustration, mistrust and violence rise steadily, not only between Israelis and Palestinians but among Palestinians themselves. New forms of struggle are needed but the short-term outlook for renewal and change is grim, at least within the main political parties.