ABSTRACT

This chapter analyses developmental psychology as a radical resource inspiring and reflecting conceptual-political models of social and individual change. It discusses how developmental discourse has implicated psychology in politically unhelpful agendas, in particular through its subscription to, and definitions of, notions of nature and normality which then function in moral-political practices outside psychology. The chapter offers as illustrations of these claims two urgent examples. First, in relation to economic models of development, how the convergence of terminology between economic and psychological notions of development gives rise to specific occlusions as well as collusions within international aid policies. Second, from psychotherapy, how at the very moment that developmental psychology is called upon to justify psychotherapeutic models it so fixes these to a normative, antitherapeutic account of causality and temporality. The chapter shifts the narrative tone from analysis of the problems towards the formulation of some positive, if necessarily piecemeal, strategies and resources.