"development," Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho
Author: James Ferguson
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
Category: Business & Economics
Development, it is generally assumed, is good and necessary, and in its name the West has intervened, implementing all manner of projects in the impoverished regions of the world. When these projects fail, as they do with astonishing regularity, they nonetheless produce a host of regular and unacknowledged effects, including the expansion of bureaucratic state power and the translation of the political realities of poverty and powerlessness into "technical" problems awaiting solution by "development" agencies and experts. It is the political intelligibility of these effects, along with the process that produces them, that this book seeks to illuminate through a detailed case study of the workings of the "development" industry in one country, Lesotho, and in one "development" project. Using an anthropological approach grounded in the work of Foucault, James Ferguson analyzes the institutional framework within which such projects are crafted and the nature of "development discourse," revealing how it is that, despite all the "expertise" that goes into formulating development projects, they nonetheless often demonstrate a startling ignorance of the historical and political realities of the locale they are intended to help. In a close examination of the attempted implementation of the Thaba-Tseka project in Lesotho, Ferguson shows how such a misguided approach plays out, how, in fact, the "development" apparatus in Lesotho acts as an "anti-politics machine," everywhere whisking political realities out of sight and all the while performing, almost unnoticed, its own pre-eminently political operation of strengthening the state presence in the local region.James Ferguson is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California at Irvine.
'Development', Depoliticization and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho
Author: James Ferguson
Publisher: CUP Archive
Category: Business & Economics
The book is a case study of development in the Thaba-Tseka district of Lesotho during the period 1975 to 1984. It looks at the workings of the development industry in the country and in particular at one development project. The book looks at the way specific ideas about development are generated and deployed by development agencies, and the effects of these ideas in the outcome of the schemes.
The Anti-Politics Machine (1990) examines how international development projects are conceived, researched, and put into practice. It also looks at what these projects actually achieve. Ferguson criticizes the idea of externally-directed 'development' and argues that the process doesn't take proper account of the daily realities of the communities it is intended to benefit. Instead, they often prioritize technical solutions for addressing poverty and ignoring its social and political dimensions, so the structures that these projects put in place often have unintended consequences. Ferguson suggests that until the process becomes more reflective, development projects will continue to fail.
State, Decentralization, and Participatory Watershed Development
Author: Vasudha Chhotray
Publisher: Anthem Press
This book assesses the validity of ‘anti-politics’ critiques of development, first popularised by James Ferguson, in the peculiar context of India. It examines the new context provided by decentralization of state functioning where keeping politics out of development (development as the anti-politics machine) can no longer be taken for granted. The case of a highly technocratic state watershed development programme that also seeks to be participatory is used to illustrate the tensions between prescriptive development policy and a growing political democracy.
Poverty, Agency, and Human Rights collects thirteen new essays that analyze how human agency relates to poverty and human rights respectively as well as how agency mediates issues concerning poverty and social and economic human rights. No other collection of philosophical papers focuses on the diverse ways poverty impacts the agency of the poor, the reasons why poverty alleviation schemes should also promote the agency of beneficiaries, and the fitness of the human rights regime to secure both economic development and free agency. The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 considers the diverse meanings of poverty both from the standpoint of the poor and from that of the relatively well-off. Part 2 examines morally appropriate responses to poverty on the part of persons who are better-off and powerful institutions. Part 3 identifies economic development strategies that secure the agency of the beneficiaries. Part 4 addresses the constraints poverty imposes on agency in the context of biomedical research, migration for work, and trafficking in persons.
Women's Activism for Gender Equality in Africa This volume on Womens Activism for Gender Equality in Africa is a special collaboration between the Journal of International Womens Studies (JIWS) and Wagadu, two open-access journals that address gender issues within a transnational and cross-cultural context. Using interdisciplinary feminist and activist approaches these essays explore individual and collective actions undertaken by African women in cultural, social, economic, historical and political contexts. In revealing the diversity of African womens activism, the underlying issues around which womens social change work develops, and the impact that work has on individuals and communities, this volume has significance for women and men throughout the world.
A Companion to Moral Anthropology is the first collective consideration of the anthropological dimensions of morals, morality, and ethics. Original essays by international experts explore the various currents, approaches, and issues in this important new discipline, examining topics such as the ethnography of moralities, the study of moral subjectivities, and the exploration of moral economies. Investigates the central legacies of moral anthropology, the formation of moral facts and values, the context of local moralities, and the frontiers between moralities, politics, humanitarianism Features contributions from pioneers in the field of moral anthropology, as well as international experts in related fields such as moral philosophy, moral psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroethics
The Southern Africa region has experienced more than its fair share of problems in recent years. Just when it seemed that the hardships wrought by the devastating cycle of droughts and floods of 2000 to 2002 were a thing of the past, other problems emerged. At one level, there have been the weak and often erratic governance mechanisms and political crises in some countries of the region, leading to severe disruptions in agricultural production to the point that supplies and markets have virtually disappeared. At another level, socio-cultural rigidities have often militated against the adoption of efficient farming practices, resulting in sub-optimal choices that lock smallholders into a low equilibrium trap. In the face of the disappearing supplies and missing markets, these have engendered hyper-inflationary trends of a magnitude unknown anywhere else in the world. But in the midst of all this apparent dreariness, cases are emerging from which immense lessons can be drawn. This book assembles a collection of research papers based on studies completed in 2008 and 2009 in Southern Africa that examine various dimensions of the institutional constraints small farmers are facing in the region and how they are going about dealing with them. The papers draw from these diverse and polar experiences and present some theoretical and practical insights that should form the basis for more in-depth, country-level, sector-specific analyses, focusing mainly on citrus, horticultures, cotton and livestock. The thematic issues of income inequality, land reform, natural resource management and value chain governance and chain choice, are covered in this book and are expected to be of interest for a wide constituency, including researchers, development practitioners, rural animators, and policy makers.
Democracy, Development, and Muslim Women in Bangladesh
Author: Elora Shehabuddin
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Through extensive field research, Elora Shehabuddin explores the profound implications of women's political and social mobilization for reshaping Islam. Specifically, she examines the lives of Muslim women in Bangladesh who have become increasingly mobilized by the activities of predominantly secular NGOs, yet who desire to retain, reclaim, and reshape-rather than reject-their faith. In their employment and in their interactions with the legal system, the state, NGOs, and political and religious groups, women are changing state practices, views of women in the public sphere, and the nature of lived Islam itself. In contrast to most work on Islam and Muslims, which has focused on the Middle East and has privileged the study of religious and legal texts, this book redirects our attention to South Asia, home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, and emphasizes the actual experiences of Muslims. Women and gender, as well as Bangladesh's formally democratic context, are central to this inquiry and analysis.