International colonization, development and environment

Calvert, P. (2001) International colonization, development and environment Third World Quarterly, 22, (1), pp. 51-63.


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'Internal colonisation' is a poorly defined term, but no other phrase so accurately captures the full nature of the complex interactions involved. Here the term 'internal colonisation' is used in a broad but quite specific sense, to designate the process by which, on the pretext of 'development', large parts of many Southern states are still in effect being colonised by their own ruling elite.
The process parallels in all important respects external colonisation and is in essence the same process, differentiated only by its geographical location. Just as towns formed a key link in colonisation, the use of political power to bring about enclosure and encourage the growth of settlements gives the elite the ability to develop both town and countryside. The urbanisation of the countryside and the expansion of towns are therefore each special cases of the desire to control land and use its capacity to generate wealth. The accelerated growth of urban settlements in the South has, however, serious implications for the environment. Thus the concept of internal colonisation helps explain the distinctive nature of environmental politics in the South.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0143-6597 (print)
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ePrint ID: 35052
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Date Deposited: 18 May 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 22:11
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