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The Westernization of the World. Significance, Scope and Limits of the Drive Towards Global Uniformity

  • ID: 2247564
  • Book
  • March 1996
  • Region: Global
  • 160 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Serge Latouche is one of Europe′s leading authorities on the political economy of the Third World. In this provocative new book, he argues that the historical rise of the West to world domination has brought widespread destruction in its wake.

Latouche suggests that the drive towards global uniformity – of cultures, lifestyles and mentalities – has been the cause of untold political and economic disasters: ruined industries, widespread national debt, endless coups d′État, endemic civil wars, and the erosion of all non–western cultures.

Latouche mounts a powerful critique of the western concept of Third World ′development′. He argues that it has become synonymous with the accumulation of capital and is driven by specifically western values: technical progress, universalism and the mystery of nature – values which ought to be called into question. Oppressed people, he claims, want nothing to do with this kind of development: they aspire simply to survive, and if possible to live well, according to their own values and cultural choices.

This challenging and iconoclastic book will be essential reading for students and researchers in development studies, sociology, politics, and the economics of development.

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Preface to the English Edition.


1. The Irresistible Rise of the West: The Crusaders′ Revenge.

2. Where and What is the West?.

3. Uprooting the Planet.

4. The Limits of World–wide Westernization.

5. Beyond or Elsewhere.

6. Must we Save Babel?.



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′In this intellectually sparkling and emotionally charged book, Serge Latouche criticizes the western model of civilization and development, which has become ever more pervasive in the wake of decolonization. Surveying the ruinous impact of westernization with a broad historical sweep and across continents, Latouche not only condemns its role in the deculturation and underdevelopment of the so–called ′Third World′ but also highlights the possibilities offered, against all western theories, by the survival strategies of self–organizing marginalized communities.′
Bob Jessop, Lancaster University
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