Sustainable Development in Costa Rica: A Geographic Critique
Abstract

This paper proposes a critical-realist conceptualization of development as a geographic process that requires places as instruments to materialize particular views of what is desirable and ought to take place. It also uses a Marxist geographic perspective to map the uneven geographic transformations associated with the neoliberal paradigm that permeates development practice around the world. In an effort to engage normative debates explicitly, it identifies the contending values and attitudes, environmentalism and neoliberalism, that legitimize and shape the Costa Rican sustainable development model and its consequences. This contradictory mix, the paper concludes, has created a fragmented national geography where conservation and pollution, economic growth and poverty, tourism and slums coexist.


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