This article discusses the meaning of development from a post-development perspective, based on a case study of a goat-keeping project involving a small community of farmers from a rural town in north-east Brazil. The development project was fraught with conflicting views of development as it sought to impose an interventionist, ethnocentric, and modernist view of what was best for the community, even stipulating how the farmers should work together. The modernist interpretation has been criticised on various grounds, but nevertheless continues to condition how the ‘development industry’ defines its values and views its mission.
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