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Global frontiers of social development in theory and practice climate, economy, and justice


G l o b a l Fr o n t i e r s o f
S o c i a l D evel o pm e n t i n
Theory and Practice

By the same author
Kafka’s Cave: An Academic Memoir (forthcoming)
Global Frontiers of Social Development Theory and Practice: Economy,
Climate, and Justice (2015)
Reconstruction of Social Psychology (editor, 2015)
Death of an Elephant (debut novella, 2013)
Society and Social Justice: A Nexus in Review (2012)
Development, Poverty of Culture and Social Policy (2011)
Fallacies of Development: Crises of Human and Social Development
Reinventing Social Work: Reflections on the Metaphysics of Social
Practice (2005)
The Practice of Hope (2003)

Social Work Revisited (2002)
Unification of Social Work: Rethinking Social Transformation (1999)
Democracies of Unfreedom: The United States of America and India
Eclipse of Freedom: The World of Oppression (1993)
Global Development: Post-Material Values and Social Praxis (1992)
Glimpses of International and Comparative Social Welfare (editor,
The Logic of Social Welfare: Conjectures and Formulations (1988)
Denial of Existence: Essays on the Human Condition (1987)
Toward Comparative Social Welfare (editor, 1985)
New Horizons of Social Welfare and Policy (editor, 1985)
Social Psychiatry in India: A Treatise on the Mentally Ill (1972)
India’s Social Problems: Analyzing Basic Issues (1972)


Global Fr ontiers of S ocial
D eve l o pm e n t i n Th e o r y a n d
C l i m at e , E c o n o m y, a n d Ju s t i c e

Authored and Edited by
Brij Mohan


Copyright © Brij Mohan 2015.
Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition 2015 978-1-137-46070-7
All rights reserved.
First published in 2015 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN® in the United
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of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS.
Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above

companies and has companies and representatives throughout the
Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United
States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries.
ISBN 978-1-349-68985-9
ISBN 978-1-137-46071-4 (eBook)
DOI 10.1057/9781137460714
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Mohan, Brij, 1939–
Global frontiers of social development in theory and practice :
climate, economy, and justice / Brij Mohan.
pages cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-349-68985-9 1. Social policy.
2. Social planning. 3. Social change. I. Title.
HN18.3.M64 2015
A catalogue record of the book is available from the British Library.
Design by Amnet.
First edition: July 2015
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Gujri and Anupama



List of Figures and Tables






Foreword by Robert Kowalski


Prologue by Brij Mohan


Part 1

Social Practice: Frontiers of Human and
Social Development

1. On Social Practice: Archeology of Science and Hope
Brij Mohan
2. The Cultivation of an Eco-civilization
Brij Mohan


3. The Economic Illusions That Hold Back Human
Robert Kowalski


4. Economic Growth as Social Problem: The Case of
Climate Change
Max Koch


5. Dialectics of Development: How Social Sciences Fail People
Shweta Singh and David G. Embrick
6. Environmental Justice: Experiments in Democratic
Participation—An Indo-American Experience
Brij Mohan



Part 2 Toward Comparative Social Development
7. Comparative Social Welfare Revisited
Brij Mohan




8. Social Welfare and Transformative Practice
Brij Mohan
9. China as a Mirror and a Testing Ground for
Governance Beyond the West
Sander Chan and Matthias Stepan
10. Indigenous Communities’ Informal Care and Welfare
Systems for Local-Level Social Development in India
Manohar Pawar and Bipin Jojo
11. Outsourcing of Corruption: India’s Counterdevelopment
Vijay P. Singh




12. On the Madness of Caste: Dalits, Muslims, and
Normalized Incivilities in Neoliberal India
Suryakant Waghmore and Qudsiya Contractor


13. Mission Lost: What Does Evidence Base and
Standardization Mean for International Social Work?
Nairruti Jani


Epilogue: Mendacity of Development
Brij Mohan





L i s t o f Fi g u re s a n d Ta b l e s


“Social Hope” and “Quality” of Life (Sustainability)
Frontiers of Social Development: Climate, Economy,
and Justice
Unification of the Structural Dimnesions of
Standardization, Societal Problems, and Social
Toward Environmental Justice: Democracies of
A Tale of Two Democracies: Confronting
Catastrophes, Coping With Realities
Dialectics of Public Policy and Democratic
Determinants of Social Policy Thrusts
Nexus of Values and Disvalues
A Three Dimensional View of Poverty of Culture
Poverty of Imagination
Targets of Policy Innovation and Intervention:
A New Road to Freedom


6.1 Exemplars of Proactive Public-Policy Practice and
Democratic Environmentalism: A Comparative Study
10.1 Village/Community Problems and Needs Identified
by Participants
10.2 Participants Responses to the Five Questions
Relating to the Selected Problems/Needs
10.3 Needs and Problems That Can Be Addressed
10.4 Some Skills and Strategies to Enable Communities
to Use Their CICWS



Contribut ors

Sander Chan (sander.chan@die-gdi.de) is a researcher at the German
Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
He completed his PhD at VU University Amsterdam on partnerships for
sustainable development, in which he explored the emergence, adaptation,
and impacts of public-private partnerships in global and domestic (particularly
Chinese) governance contexts. He was a research fellow under the EU China
Science and Technology Fellowship Programme (EU-STF) at the China
University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) and Renmin University of
China (RUC). His ongoing research is on public-private partnerships in sustainability and climate governance. Currently Sander is involved in several
research initiatives to assess the effectiveness of nonstate and subnational
climate actions, and to advance a framework for such climate actions in the
post-2015 climate governance architecture.
Qudsiya Contractor (qudsiya.contractor@tiss.edu) is assistant professor at the
Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies, Tata Institute of
Social Sciences. She was a Max Planck Institute fellow at the School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her doctoral research
explored everyday processes of exclusion and instances of political violence that
construct Muslim localities and communal identities within urban contexts. Her
work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and in Laurent Gayer and
Christophe Jaffrelot (eds.), Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalization, Delhi.
David G. Embrick is an associate professor in the Sociology Department at
Loyola University–Chicago. He received his PhD from Texas A&M University
in 2006. He is a former American Sociological Association Minority fellow and
the past chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Race and
Ethnic Minorities. Currently, he is the president of the Southwestern Sociological Association. In addition, Dr. Embrick serves as the current editor
in chief for Humanity & Society (the official journal of the Association for



Humanist Society) and founding coeditor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, the newest ASA-sponsored journal of the Section on Racial and Ethnic
Nairruti Jani (njani@fgcu.edu) is an assistant professor at Florida Gulf Coast
University. She teaches Introduction to Social Work, Macro Social Work
Practice, Social Work Research, and Social Policy in BSW and MSW programs. She completed her master’s in social work from TISS, India, a master’s
degree in law from Warwick University (United Kingdom), and a doctorate
degree from University of Texas at Arlington. She has been serving as an
assistant professor of social work at Florida Gulf Coast University for the past
five years. Dr. Jani’s work is primarily in the area of human rights and human
trafficking. She has published several peer-reviewed articles on human trafficking and developed curriculum in this area. Her current research interests
include international and comparative social work.
Bipin Jojo, PhD, (bipinj@tiss.edu) is professor and chairperson at the Centre
for Social Justice and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai,
India. Professor Jojo was a JRF, 1988, University Grants Commission, GOI,
and a Commonwealth fellow 2008–09 at SOAS, London. His areas of interest include indigenous/tribal studies and empowerment, local/traditional self
governance, resettlement and rehabilitation of internally displaced people,
communities’ informal care and welfare systems, management of voluntary
organizations/NGOs/community-based organizations, and participatory
development. Dr. Jojo has conducted several research projects funded by
both government and nongovernment organizations and published articles in
journals and books.
Max Koch (max.koch@soch.lu.se) is a professor in social policy at Lund University. Max Koch completed both his PhD and habilitation in sociology at
the Freie Universität Berlin. An ongoing topic of his research has been the
ways in which political and economic restructuring are reflected in the social
structure, with an emphasis on welfare and employment relations and in comparative perspective. More recently, he has started to combine these research
interests with political ecology. Currently, he carries out research on synergies
in climate change and social policies and on minimum income schemes in
comparative perspective.
Robert Kowalski (bandb.kowalski@btopenworld.com), of the Instituto
Socioambiental e dos Recursos Hídricos, Universidade Federal Rural da
Amazônia, Brazil, is visiting professor in development. Bob completed his
DPhil a long time ago at Oxford. Originally with a technical background
in natural sciences, Bob has subsequently specialized in various aspects of
international development and change management. In this context he has
contributed to projects in SME development, conflict management, and institutional strengthening. Although he has worked in Africa, Asia, and South
America, his main focus has been countries in economic transition: Poland,




Czech Republic, former Soviet Union (including Central Asia), Bulgaria,
Romania, and the states of former Yugoslavia. Now retired from full-time
employment, he occasionally teaches as a visitor at the Instituto Socioambiental e dos Recursos Hídricos, Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia
and the Department of Economics and Organization of Enterprises, Warsaw
University of Life Sciences.
Manohar Pawar (MPawar@csu.edu.au) is professor of social work at the
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles Sturt University (NSW
Australia) and is the president of the Asia-Pacific branch of the International
Consortium for Social Development. Professor Pawar has received a number
of awards, including the citation award for outstanding contributions to
student learning (2008, from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council)
and Quality of Life Award (2001, from the Association of Commonwealth
Universities). His publications include Reflective Social Work Practice: Thinking, Doing and Being (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Water and Social
Policy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Social and Community Development Practice (Sage, 2014), International Social Work (second edition, Sage, 2013),
Sage Handbook of International Social Work (editor, Sage, 2012), Social
Development; Critical Themes and Perspectives (editor, Routledge, 2010), and
Community Development in Asia and the Pacific (Routledge, 2010).
Brij Mohan (brijmohan128@gmail.com), Louisiana State University, Dean/
Professor Emeritus. Chief Editor, Scholar’s Publications, Toronto, Canada.
Founding Editor-in-Chief, Environment and Social Psychology and Journal of
Comparative Social Welfare.
Shweta Singh (MSW, The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India;
PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) is associate professor of
social work at Loyola University Chicago and an associate faculty member of
the Women and Gender Studies Department, Asian Studies, and Center for
Urban Research and Learning. Her research area is empowerment and issues
of South Asian developing countries (i.e., work, education, and well-being
and identity in women and girls). She has recently edited Social Work and
Social Development: Perspectives from India and the United States, by Lyceum.
She is the editor of Ewomen Indian Magazine and the radio show host of
Global Desi World on Loyola Radio.
Vijay P. Singh is a university distinguished professor and the Caroline and
William N. Lehrer distinguished chair in water engineering at Texas A&M
University. Dr. Singh completed his PhD in civil engineering at Colorado State
University and his DSc in environmental and water resources engineering at
the University of the Witwatersrand. One of his ongoing researches has been
the water-food-energy-environment nexus under global warming and climate
change. Currently he is investigating the social dimension of this nexus and how
engineering and mathematical modeling can be brought to bear on protecting



and managing our ecosystem. He carries out research in stochastic and mathematical modeling of hydrologic systems, entropy theory, and copula theory.
Matthias Stepan (m.stepan@vu.nl) is a doctoral researcher in the Department
of Political Science at VU University Amsterdam. In his research Mr. Stepan
engages with comparative public policy, especially through the field of social
policy and welfare governance.
Suryakant Waghmore (suryakant@tiss.edu) is associate professor and
chairperson at the Centre for Environmental Equity and Justice, Tata Institute
of Social Sciences. He completed his PhD as a Commonwealth scholar from
University of Edinburgh (2010). He has been a visiting scholar at the Centre
for South Asia, Stanford University, and is author of Civility against Caste
(Sage, 2013).



This book is a collaborative success of many people who joined me in
deliberative endeavors on many forums on different occasions. I am
especially grateful to Professor Ka Lin, Zhejiang University, who gave
me a unique opportunity to interact with an international community
against the backdrop of the world’s most dramatic-constructive social
transformation, which is underway in China. I visited Hangzhou three
times (2010, 2013, 2014) to participate, present, and deliver lectures and
papers. The last two visits, sponsored by the European Union and China,
were particularly helpful for improving my understanding of the dynamics and dialectics of development as reflected by the contents of this book.
In 2013 I was commissioned to write and edit a book on comparative
social welfare by a very reputable international publication house. I
agreed in principle. Subsequently, I declined the invitation because of
the lack of academic freedom that I needed to undertake such a project. Palgrave Macmillan offered me the opportunity that I needed.
In order to accomplish ambitious objectives, I made an honest effort
to attain most results with humility and patience. This involved the
transformation of a solo monograph into this collaborative anthology
with a near encyclopedic scope. I am painfully aware of the limits and
potentials of this volume. I do hope the issues raised here will help
the advancement of global justice and socioeconomic diversities that
bridge the current inequality that is of staggering magnitude.
I am profoundly indebted to all of our contributions. Bob Kowalski’s foreword is an asset to this volume. His eloquence and clarity are
most gratefully acknowledged.
The book is lovingly dedicated to five-year-old Gujri and her mother
(my granddaughter and daughter), and their future. They inspired me
to revisit human-social-development processes afresh. Welcome home
Gujri and Neelu. Deficiencies of the book are solely on account of my
own limitations and imperfections.
Brij Mohan
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
April 2, 2015


Forew ord

Let us take stock of where we find ourselves.
In 2008 the world’s financial system suffered a proverbial tsunami
of at least the same magnitude as the Great Depression some threequarters of a century earlier. Indeed it has been a crisis so severe that
six years later we are still not sure whether the worst is yet behind
us (White, 2013). Since it was based upon selling indebtedness to
vulnerable people and then packaging those subprime lendings to
unsuspecting institutions whose sources of funds were the savings and
pensions of almost equally vulnerable people, the direct consequences
involved considerable human suffering. The potential damage rippling
out from the set of dominoes persuaded senior politicians the world
over to put their respective finance sectors on unashamed welfare, the
scale of which was mind boggling.1
In 2001, following the aerial assault on the World Trade Center
in New York, a war was declared on terrorism, which soon became
an actual war against the Taliban and then a first-strike war against
Saddam Hussein. Today the list of countries that are experiencing hot
war is growing, and to the violent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza,
Syria, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan, the
Ukraine and Yemen, we can add the civil unrest in Kenya, Nigeria,
Mali, Libya, and Pakistan and growing social disturbances in Egypt,
China, Thailand, and Greece. Such lists are by no means exhaustive.
Furthermore, the 2005 UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
recorded that
nearly two thirds of the services provided by nature to humankind are
found to be in decline worldwide. In effect, the benefits reaped from
our engineering of the planet have been achieved by running down natural capital assets. In many cases, it is literally a matter of living on borrowed time. By using up supplies of fresh groundwater faster than they
can be recharged, for example, we are depleting assets at the expense of
our children. The cost is already being felt, but often by people far away
from those enjoying the benefits of natural services. (MEA, 2005: 5)



Following on the heels of this, the Royal Society, in 2012, noted that
the per capita material consumption of the richest parts of the world
is far above a level that can be sustained for seven billion or more,
and, most recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(2014: 6) recognized that “people who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally, or otherwise marginalized are especially vulnerable to climate change.” Therefore, as I have reported
elsewhere (Kowalski, 2013), in the degradation of the environment,
the loss of species, encroachment of deserts, the continuing deforestation of the tropics and global warming, with its attendant climate
change, signify an imbalance between humanity and the planet that is
already the source of considerable human misery.
On the back of these problems, there is increased internal and
external displacement of people and even whole communities and the
accompanying scourges of slavery and people trafficking. We see the
rise of torture, sexual violence, pedophilia, and substance abuse, even
in the most affluent of so-called developed countries.2
In light of such evidence, I, for one, am in no doubt that our social
system, as currently constructed, is both undesirable and unsustainable, and if we are not to be the first species to fully document our
own demise, then we must take serious measures to restore balance.
What is more, Richard Beckhard (1969), in a now famous expression, argued that change will only occur when
Where D is dissatisfaction with the current situation (avoidance
V is a vision of what is possible as an alternative (attraction motivation)
F is the perceived feasibility of the first steps necessary to move toward
that alternative
R is resistance to change

This implies that there is a threshold of human will that must be
exceeded for anything much to be possible in changing the status
quo, and that a significant determinant of whether it will be exceeded
is the level of aggregate dissatisfaction with the current situation. And
therein lies a paradox.
Regarding the current situation, as set out above, the most dissatisfied
concomitantly have the smallest voice and so are least able to demand
change. Since
D=∑idi pi and pi~1/di




Where D is the total, population-wide level of dissatisfaction with
the current situation
d is individual dissatisfaction with their circumstances
p is the power that any individual is able to bring to bear to influence
that change happens

Furthermore, it is noteworthy that, regarding Beckhard’s expression,
Edgar Schein (1996: 28) spoke of “disconfirmation,” which is the
psychological tension manifested by dissatisfaction, which generates
“survival anxiety”: “the feeling that if we do not change, we will fail
to meet our needs or fail to achieve some goals or ideals that we have
set for ourselves.” When that goal is life itself, when individuals are
denied any ability to register dissatisfaction with their circumstance
because they have lost that life—by being bombed or shot or stepping on an antipersonnel mine, by being drowned trying to cross
the Mediterranean, by starving, by contracting dysentery, malaria,
tuberculosis, HIV, or Ebola, by being denied access to medicines or
hospital treatment, by exposure to the elements through lack of shelter, by hypothermia due to an inability to afford winter heating, by
suicide through the despair of having your land expropriated to pay
debts—then individual dissatisfaction (di), we may infer, would clearly
be at its maximum value (∞), but (pi), the voice of such an individual, is clearly zero. Thus at the most extreme cases, which are many,
di = ∞ × 0, which equals zero.
In addition, those who do survive bouts of the terrible crises of our
social system will almost certainly look back upon them with a certain
sense of “It was bad, but I survived and have rebuilt” or take a fatalistic approach that blames providence or believe that things have always
been this way and that we are simply being told more about them by
the ubiquitous media, and will also register a lower level of dissatisfaction as time and geography lend distance, before the next crisis hits.
Finally, the function cannot take into account the dissatisfactions of
future generations concerning the state of the world that they will
have inherited from us—even if they are the descendants of celebrities,
sports stars, Wall Street bankers, jihadists, or Russian oligarchs.
Thus the paradox is sustained that those who would have the most
to gain by changing the system are those who are least able to have
their voice heard, and those who are most comfortable with the status
quo tend to have the greatest influence in utilizing the inertia of the
system, even if they take a shortsighted view of their own interests. It
is in this very circumstance that the marginalized, the forgotten, the
victimized, the future generations, and the collateral damage need to



find “advocates” to campaign for justice, for reason, for humanity’s
greater potential.
Brij Mohan is one such person. Born in Mursan, in preindependence India, he first studied at Agra University before completing
his doctorate in 1964 at Lucknow University under the supervision
of Professor S. Zafar Hasan. He subsequently joined the faculty in
1964. For his work at Lucknow he became known as the “Father
of Indian Social Psychiatry.” Then in 1975 he moved to the United
States, where he joined, briefly, the University of Wisconsin (1975)
and the faculty of the Louisiana State University, eventually becoming
dean of the School of Social Work. During four decades of service,
despite horrendous challenges, he rose to an unrivaled status, being
accorded the epithet of the “Sartre of Social Work.” He has published
many books and articles and become an international speaker in great
demand. He founded and became editor of the Journal of Comparative Social Welfare. He retired from LSU at the end of 2009 but continues to be an active writer and international speaker.
Of all of his professional contributions, Professor Mohan will probably be most closely associated with three concepts: (1) the poverty
of culture, (2) Enlightenment II, and (3) comparative social development. Poverty of Culture is a withering analysis of the reasons
for dissatisfaction with the current social system, together with an
indictment of those most responsible, whose inability to rise to the
challenge, whose shoulder-shrugging indifference, and whose soleseeming response of simply throwing money at the problem is an
encapsulation of their cultural impoverishment.
However, analysis and indictment are not enough. In Beckhard’s
expression the second term is vision—and Brij’s second concept,
Enlightenment II, provides a clear exposition of an alternative future
to the one toward which we are seemingly hell-bent. Enlightenment
II is a call to return to the values of humanity’s highest aspirations,
underpinned and buttressed by reason. In contrast to free-market capitalism’s summoning of the dark, appetitive side of human nature with
all its pernicious vices, the call is toward the virtues that alone offer the
prospect of freedom and well-being for everyone. In many ways, and
in contradiction of the fatalism expressed as “The great fear we have of
becoming fully aware of our powerlessness in situations when nothing
can be done” (Rahnema, 1997: 392), Enlightenment II is a message
of hope and optimism.
Of course and inevitably, he has been accused of utopianism by
those who oppose his views, and his ideas have been pooh-poohed as a
consequence. Yet his true brilliance has shone through in his response




to Beckhard’s final term, feasibility, manifested in the third concept—
comparative social development. This is the idea that all societies have
something to contribute to our understanding and promotion of social
development, and that it is through the study of social practice in a variety of settings that what is feasible can be promulgated. As Brij himself
maintained: “International social work should be redefined as a professional transnational knowledge, studies, and experiences to foster equality and justice as vehicles of international understanding, collaboration,
and collective human-social development” (Mohan, 2012: 139).
Throughout his career Professor Mohan has devoted himself to
truthfulness and integrity, which has by no means smoothed his way
but which has always guided him to provide us with works that both
provoke and challenge. At this point I have to declare a bias toward
his ideas and arguments, since I have been independently maintaining
many of them over the same decades.4 Indeed my experiences as an
academic seem also to coincide with those of Professor Mohan, giving
me some of the unease that Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis
captured when they wrote, “How will we form the next generation
of European intellectuals and politicians if young people will never
have an opportunity to experience what a non-vulgar, non-pragmatic,
non-instrumentalized university is like? . . . Where will they learn to
recognize and respect freedom of thought and intellectual integrity?”
( 2013: 139). As Stafford Beer (2004: 802) advocated: “Let us get up
and do something in our own shameful mess of a world. It is better
than to make excuses; better than to sit on your tenure for 30 years,
and hang your hat on a pension.”
Thus when I was offered the opportunity to provide a chapter for
a book edited and written by Brij, and the distinguished team of contributors that he has assembled, I naturally jumped at the chance.
When I was invited to write this foreword, I must confess to feeling
both honored and privileged. I commend this work to you.
Robert Kowalski

1. As Nicholas Kristof (2009) noted: “Oxfam has calculated that financial
firms around the world have already received or been promised $8.4 trillion in bailouts. Just a week’s worth of interest on that sum while it’s
waiting to be deployed would be enough to save most of the half-million
women who die in childbirth each year in poor countries.”
2. Indeed, the European Court of Human Rights has recently found my
fatherland of Poland to have been complicit in the extraordinary rendition



and interrogation of suspects on their way to Guantanamo Bay (http://
www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28460628 [accessed July 22, 2014]).
3. Which Edgar Schein (1996) refers to as Disconfirmation.
4. For example, see Kowalski (2005).

Bauman, Z., and Donskis, L. 2013. Moral Blindness: The Loss of Sensitivity in
Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Beckhard, R. 1969. Organization Development: Strategies and Models. Reading,
MA: Addison-Wesley.
Beer, S. 2004. “World in Torment: A Time Whose Idea Must Come.” Kybernetes
33 (3/4): 774–803.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2014. “Summary for Policymakers.” In C. B. Field, V. R. Barros, D. J. Dokken, K. J. Mach, M. D. Mastrandrea, T. E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K. L. Ebi, Y. O. Estrada, R. C. Genova, B.
Girma, E. S. Kissel, A. N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P. R. Mastrandrea, and L. L.
White (eds.), 1–32, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group
II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Kowalski, R. 2005. “On Terrorism and the Politics of Compulsion.” World
Futures 61 (3): 188–98.
———. 2013. “Sense and Sustainability—the Paradoxes That Sustain.” World
Futures 69 (2): 75-88.
Kristof, N. D. 2009. “At Stake Are More Than Banks.” The New York Times
April 1.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. “Living beyond Our Means: Natural
Assets and Human Well-Being. Statement from the Board.” http://www
.maweb.org/documents/document.429.aspx.pdf (accessed March 28,
Mohan, B. 2012. Society and Social Justice: A Nexus in Review. Bloomington,
IN: iUniverse.
RaÚema, M. 1997. “Towards Post-Development: Searching for Signposts,
a New Language and New Paradigms.” In M. RaÚema with V. Bawtree
(eds.), 377–403, The Post-Development Reader (London: Zed Books).
The Royal Society. 2012. People and the Planet. The Royal Society Science
Policy Centre Report. 134. London: The Royal Society.
Schein, E. H. 1996. “Kurt Lewin’s Change Theory in the Field and in the Classroom: Notes Towards a Model of Managed Learning.” Systems Practice 9 (1):
White, William R. 2013. “Ultra Easy Monetary Policy and the Law of Unintended
Consequences.” Real-World Economics Review 63:19–56


Brij Mohan

I am a new American. The creed of this great nation has been a source
of inspiration to millions of people from all over the world. Yet, the
American Dream can morph into a nightmare if you are related to
Michael Brown or Eric Garner, Akai Gurley or Tamir Rice.1 A tragic
commonality among these people is that they are all black and were
mostly young children when they were killed by the police, usually
white men. A civil society is stained when poor and marginalized
groups are victims of monstrous atrocities.
Economy, climate, and justice are interdependent aspects of global
well-being. In a material world, economy is the king. Maynard Keynes
“is just the economist we need to get the world’s economy humming
again,” Peter Coy concludes (2014: 52). “If you believe the Keynesian
argument for stimulus, you should think Bernie Madoff is a hero.
Seriously. He took money from people who were saving it, and gave
it to people who most assuredly were going to spend it,” wrote John
Cochrane.2 Three billion people in “the world survive on $2.50 a day
or less.”3 A world on the cusp of a “new Cold War”4 is vulnerable to
antidevelopmental projects. It’s thus imperative to analyze developmental economy, climate, and justice in light of its global politics. Else,
each realm of discussion tends to atrophy.
Thomas Piketty’s controversial view on the skewed distribution
of wealth in the twenty-first century aside, the truth remains in the
United States at least that “inequality in wealth is approaching record
levels” (The Economist, November 8, 2014: 79).5 It’s difficult to
underrate Picketty’s argument about “patrimonial capitalism.”
Transience is the only enduring feature of human reality. This
existential duality of life is a formidable challenge to human-social development. Developmentality is a psychosocial urge to enhance oneself as an
individual, group, or community. As a manifestation of human trappings
for growth, varied outcomes—functional and dysfunctional—appear on
the developmental horizons of a society’s transformation. The processes



involve politico-ideological transmutations of social and economic
institutions that are deemed crucial for the augmentation of new
structures of growth and development.
On September 11, 2001, I was conducting a doctoral seminar in
room 326 when a student noted on his tiny electronic device a news
item beyond belief: the World Trade Center had been attacked. After
half an hour of nervous news watching, I had one clear thought: It’s
the end of a free society. We are all naked in our locker rooms. The
same is true of all neo-Darwinian templates of varied hues. The Arabian
Spring has morphed into a chaos. Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
seeks to establish a caliphate—a single, transnational Islamic state that
will replace all modern and traditional institutions that characterize
civility. Social development, as usually theorized and practiced, loses its
meaning in the fog of hybrid ideologies signifying unprincipled expedience that runs against our avowed creed. A Senate Intelligence Report
details abhorrent use of brutalities that CIA unleashed on detainees.6
The years and events that followed brought one single most crucial
change: mass murder became universal terror. There is nothing more
insulting than being nearly strip-searched when going through airport security. We have traded dignity for security. In order to ensure
common protection from ubiquitous sources of mayhem, the state
has assumed unprecedented power, with perceptual and real dangers.
Paradoxically, amid the state’s unprecedented authority, anarchist
nihilism is on the rise. From religious fundamentalism to corporate
despotism, antistate forces are shaking the foundations of governmental
power. Illegitimacy, legalized corruption, people’s alienation, and the
rise of the others are a new normal.
Rebellion against the free state is actually a negation of the liberal moralism that defines Western decency. Ambiguities of hope and
despair abound. From institutional breakdowns to social meltdowns,
we experience pervasive evidence of a contrapuntal existence, a notion
hard to describe.
Democracy, capitalism, and authoritarianism have complex relationships. Capitalism and inequality are inseparable. So are authoritarianism and capitalism. In other words, a global free market and
equality cannot go together. The rise of yawning inequality in the Age
of Terror—if you will—is bound to inflame, socially and politically.
I hope I am wrong.
Piketty’s book, which bluntly rejects Milton Friedman’s homilies
of free market capitalism, explodes the myth of social science and
warrants the unification of knowledge that sits at the heart of this


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