An interdisciplinary, feminist study that challenges development theory and the basis of international aid as hierarchical and patriarchal. As a result, violence is seen to be an inextricable part of most so-called development, which is actually destructive of social fabrics, and increases the divide between rich and poor.
The violence takes many forms, among others military aggression, the dispossession of people of their land, economic and social poverty resulting from the debt crisis, the oppression of women, and the spread of disease and malnutrition in shanty towns and among rural populations.
With so little work done to link the knowledge gained from research to the actual needs of the people being helped, both the intellectual and the practical approaches to development continue to endorse all forms of violence.
Schrijvers offers a choice to academics and aid workers alike: to stop colluding with an oppressive political and economic world order, and to abandon the cloak of neutrality behind which academics, politicians and aid workers so often hide.