Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary

Ashish Kothari, Ariel Salleh, Arturo Escobar, Federico Demaria, Alberto Acosta

Tulika Books



This book collects over 100 brief essays on specific terms/concepts that critique exclusionary development models and suggest alternative pathways forward. These range from the relatively commonplace (e.g. “human rights”) to the more esoteric (e.g. “sea ontologies”). The terms come from diverse cultures and languages, including various religious traditions (“Judaic Tikkun Olam”)

Many entries share a mistrust of emerging technologies (controversially, the essay on “reproductive engineering” excoriates IVF) and an embrace of older traditions. The authors are not necessarily anti-tech, however. The essay criticizing “smart cities” acknowledges, “a progressive, bottom-up and emancipatory subversion Smart City technologies and ICT may be viable” (page 69). A number of authors also seek out innovations in slogans or packaging of ideas (“post-economia”).

Pluriverse is a frequently polemical alternative encyclopedia that may be of interest to theorists, activists and linguists alike.


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