Development Communication and the Development Trap

  • Cees J. HamelinkEmail author
Living reference work entry


The basic argument of this chapter is that development communication as “part of overall development” (UNGA 1962) can only contribute to “positive social change” if the field manages to escape from the “development trap.” A constitutive element of this powerful trap is the colonial conception of development as external intervention in a process of linear transfer. This process contributes more to “envelopment” than to genuine development as mobilization of inherent potentialities. For a productive way, forward development communication needs to be based upon the grounds of evolution theory and postcolonial cosmopolitanism. This requires rethinking development as an evolutionary adaptive process, reconceptualizing communication as a complex adaptive system, and challenging agencies operating in the field of development communication to transform into convivial institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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