Anthropocene and “Development”: Intertwined Trajectories Since the Beginning of The Great Acceleration

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Marina Dantas de Figueiredo orcid
Fábio Freitas Schilling Marquesan orcid
José Miguel Imas orcid


Objectives: We aim to propose the thesis that the trajectories of the Anthropocene and the current mainstream understandings of development are intertwined from the beginning. It means that the Anthropocene and the “development” are coetaneous: the implementation of development policies for the so-considered underdeveloped regions started to happen at the same time of what is known as The Great Acceleration of production, consumption and environmental degradation in a global level. Method: In this conceptual paper, we adopt a decolonial critique as an analytical lens and argue that different geopolitical positions may be necessary for approaching the issue of the Anthropocene from epistemological reflections that can include the cultural and political context of the production and reproduction of local knowledge. Results: Our theoretical argumentation sheds light on the role of Global North and South relations in shaping the environmental crisis. Latin America (LA) exemplifies the modus operandi of the intertwinement of the practical effects of development policies and the environmental consequences underlying the Anthropocene, in which natural resources are over-explored to satisfy export-oriented trade, from the South toward the North. LA is not only a propitious context to show the validity of our thesis, but also the source of alternatives to such developmental model. Conclusion: The emphasis on development as a cause of the Anthropocene supports The Great Acceleration thesis. The proposition of the name Developmentocene comes from the thesis that development and Anthropocene are coetaneous, the intertwinement of both resulting in the very definition of the new epoch.


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Figueiredo, M. D. de, Marquesan, F. F. S., & Imas, J. M. (2020). Anthropocene and “Development”: Intertwined Trajectories Since the Beginning of The Great Acceleration. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 24(5), 400-413.