Singularity and ethics in post-development thought: Interpreting Serge Latouche's L'autre Afrique: Entre don et marché

Yoshihiro Nakano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines a work of the French post-development thinker Serge Latouche, L'autre Afrique: entre don et marché (AA) (1998), in order to illustrate the normativity of post-development thought. The discussion is divided into two parts. Firstly, the article clarifies the general framework of Latouche's post-development thought by mapping his work in the currents of French social and political thought, especially the Anti-Utilitarian Movement in Social Sciences. Secondly, the article scrutinizes the underlying themes of several normative arguments in AA. I will show that, for Latouche, singularity is a fundamental category in exploring a post-development society. In particular, the article discusses the manner in which Latouche infers normative principles from his reflections on the singularity of the excluded people in African societies. In analyzing his normative claims such as 'the self-limitation of developed societies' and 'the recognition of the other Africa as an authentic partner', I will demonstrate that the normativity of his post-development thought is grounded on the Aristotelian ethics of phronesis, Illich's ethics of conviviality and Lévinas' ethics of responsibility. The article concludes that Latouche's post-development thought paves the way for a post-Heideggerian ethics of coexistence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-57
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of International Relations and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar 11
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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