How Technology drives the History of the Green Revolution

Capitalism Nature Socialism 32 (4):73-90 (2021)
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This paper argues that histories of the Green Revolution are often underpinned by commitments to theoretical models of technology and science which shape the parameters of such narratives in politically normative ways. This paper explores the accounts of the Green Revolution in India given by Vandana Shiva and Govindan Parayil and demonstrates the ways in which these accounts are influenced by their models of technology and science. It is argued that Shiva and Parayil represent key theoretical positions in technological theory, determinist and instrumentalist, respectively, and that examination of their Green Revolution narratives clearly indicates the ways in which such theoretical commitments can determine the scope and content of analyses of technology-driven development, and thereby exclude political content necessary for the evaluation of the efficacy of such development and the validity of the theoretical model.

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Gregory Morgan Swer
University of KwaZulu-Natal


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