Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics
Author: Tania Murray Li
Publisher: Duke University Press
Category: Social Science
The Will to Improve is a remarkable account of development in action. Focusing on attempts to improve landscapes and livelihoods in Indonesia, Tania Murray Li carefully exposes the practices that enable experts to diagnose problems and devise interventions, and the agency of people whose conduct is targeted for reform. Deftly integrating theory, ethnography, and history, she illuminates the work of colonial officials and missionaries; specialists in agriculture, hygiene, and credit; and political activists with their own schemes for guiding villagers toward better ways of life. She examines donor-funded initiatives that seek to integrate conservation with development through the participation of communities, and a one-billion-dollar program designed by the World Bank to optimize the social capital of villagers, inculcate new habits of competition and choice, and remake society from the bottom up. Demonstrating that the “will to improve” has a long and troubled history, Li identifies enduring continuities from the colonial period to the present. She explores the tools experts have used to set the conditions for reform—tools that combine the reshaping of desires with applications of force. Attending in detail to the highlands of Sulawesi, she shows how a series of interventions entangled with one another and tracks their results, ranging from wealth to famine, from compliance to political mobilization, and from new solidarities to oppositional identities and violent attack. The Will to Improve is an engaging read—conceptually innovative, empirically rich, and alive with the actions and reflections of the targets of improvement, people with their own critical analyses of the problems that beset them.
From the politics of exclusion to the politics of citizenship?
Author: Sam Hickey
Category: Business & Economics
What are the underlying causes of chronic poverty? Can ‘development beyond neoliberalism’ offer the strategies required to challenge such persistent forms of poverty, particularly through efforts to promote citizenship amongst poor people? Drawing on case-study evidence from Africa, Latin America and South Asia, the contributions critically examine different attempts to ‘govern’ chronic poverty via the promotion of particular forms and notions of citizenship, with a specific focus on the role of community-based approaches, social policy and social movements. Poverty is seen here as deriving from underlying patterns of uneven development, involving processes of capitalism and state formation that foster inequality-generating mechanisms and particularly disadvantaged social categories. Sceptics tend to deride the emphasis under current ‘inclusive’ forms of Liberalism on tackling poverty through the promotion of citizenship as inevitably depoliticising and disempowering for poor people, and our cases do suggest that citizenship-based strategies rarely alter the underlying basis of poverty. However, our evidence also offers some support to those optimists who suggest that progressive moves towards poverty reduction and citizenship formation have become more rather than less likely at the current juncture. The promotion of citizenship emerges here as a significant but incomplete effort to challenge poverty that persists over time. This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Development Studies.
Thinking on development informs and inspires the actions of people, organizations, and states in their continuous effort to invent a better world. This volume examines the ideas behind development: their origins, how they have changed and spread over time, and how they may evolve over the coming decades. It also examines how the real-life experiences of different countries and organizations have been inspired by, and contributed to, thinking on development. The extent to which development 'works' depends in part on particular local, historical, or institutional contexts. General policy prescriptions fail when the necessary conditions that make them work are either absent, ignored, or poorly understood. There is a need to grasp how people understand their own development experience. If the countries of the world are varied in every way, from their initial conditions to the degree of their openness to outside money and influence, and success is not centred in any one group, it stands to reason that there cannot be a single recipe for development. Each chapter provides an analytical survey of thinking about development that highlights debates and takes into account critical perspectives. It includes contributions from scholars and practitioners from the global North and the global South, spanning at least two generations and multiple disciplines. It will be a key reference on the concepts and theories of development - their origins, evolution, and trajectories - and act as a resource for scholars, graduate students, and practitioners.
The rise of emerging economies represents a challenge to traditional global power balances and raises the question of how we can combine sustainability with continued economic growth. Understanding this global shift and its impact on the environment is the paramount contemporary challenge for development-oriented researchers and policy makers alike. This book breaks new ground by combining scholarship on the role of emerging economies with research on sustainable development. The book investigates how the development strategies of emerging economies challenge traditional development theory and sustainability discourses. With regional introductions and original case studies from South Asia, East Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, it discusses how to conceptualise sustainable development in the global race for economic prosperity. What characterises the development strategies of emerging economies, and what challenges are these posing for global sustainable development? How can emerging economies shed light on the global challenges, dilemmas and paradoxes of the relationship between socio-economic improvements and environmental degradation? This book will be a valuable resource for researchers and postgraduates in development studies, geography, economics and environmental studies.
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
Geographies of Hope and Survival in an Age of Crisis
Author: Noel Castree
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Social Science
Commissioned to celebrate the 40th year of Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, this book evaluates the role of the critical social scientist and how the point of their work is not simply to interpret the world but to change it Brings together leading critical social scientists to consider the major challenges of our time and what is to be done about them Applies diagnostic and normative reasoning to momentous issues including the global economic crisis, transnational environmental problems, record levels of malnourishment, never ending wars, and proliferating natural disasters Theoretically diverse - a range of perspectives are put to work ranging from Marxism and feminism to anarchism The chapters comprise advanced but accessible analyses of the present and future world order
Michel Foucault is one of the most cited authors in social science. This book discusses one of his most influential concepts: governmentality. Reconstructing its emergence in Foucault's analytics of power, the book explores the theoretical strengths the concept of governmentality offers for political analysis and critique. It highlights the intimate link between neoliberal rationalities and the problem of biopolitics including issues around genetic and reproductive technologies. This book is a useful introduction to Foucault's work on power and governmentality suitable for experts and students alike
The election of Evo Morales as Bolivia's president in 2005 made him his nation's first indigenous head of state, a watershed victory for social activists and Native peoples. El Movimiento Sin Tierra (MST), or the Landless Peasant Movement, played a significant role in bringing Morales to power. Following in the tradition of the well-known Brazilian Landless movement, Bolivia's MST activists seized unproductive land and built farming collectives as a means of resistance to large-scale export-oriented agriculture. In Mobilizing Bolivia's Displaced, Nicole Fabricant illustrates how landless peasants politicized indigeneity to shape grassroots land politics, reform the state, and secure human and cultural rights for Native peoples. Fabricant takes readers into the personal spaces of home and work, on long bus rides, and into meetings and newly built MST settlements to show how, in response to displacement, Indigenous identity is becoming ever more dynamic and adaptive. In addition to advancing this rich definition of indigeneity, she explores the ways in which Morales has found himself at odds with Indigenous activists and, in so doing, shows that Indigenous people have a far more complex relationship to Morales than is generally understood.
Childhood Deployed examines the reintegration of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone. Based on eighteen months of participant-observer ethnographic fieldwork and ten years of follow-up research, the book argues that there is a fundamental disconnect between the Western idea of the child soldier and the individual lived experiences of the child soldiers of Sierra Leone. Susan Shepler contends that the reintegration of former child soldiers is a political process having to do with changing notions of childhood as one of the central structures of society. For most Westerners the tragedy of the idea of “child soldier” centers around perceptions of lost and violated innocence. In contrast, Shepler finds that for most Sierra Leoneans, the problem is not lost innocence but the horror of being separated from one’s family and the resulting generational break in youth education. Further, Shepler argues that Sierra Leonean former child soldiers find themselves forced to strategically perform (or refuse to perform) as the“child soldier” Western human rights initiatives expect in order to most effectively gain access to the resources available for their social reintegration. The strategies don’t always work—in some cases, Shepler finds, Western human rights initiatives do more harm than good. While this volume focuses on the well-known case of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, it speaks to the larger concerns of childhood studies with a detailed ethnography of people struggling over the situated meaning of the categories of childhood.It offers an example of the cultural politics of childhood in action, in which the very definition of childhood is at stake and an important site of political contestation.
The Making of Low Carbon Economies looks at how more than two decades of sustained effort at climate change mitigation has resulted in a variety of new practices, rules and ways of doing things: a period of active construction of low carbon economies. From outer space observations of the carbon in tropical forests, to carbon financial reporting, and insulating solid masonry walls, these diverse things, activities and objects are integral to how climate change has been brought into being as a problem. The book takes a fresh look at society’s response to climate change by examining a diverse array of empirical sites where climate change is being made real through its incorporation into everyday lives – a process of stitching climate concerns into the discourse and practices of already existing economies, as well as creating new economies. The Making of Low Carbon Economies adds fresh insights to economic sociology and science and technology studies scholarship on the multiple origins and heterogeneous operation of markets, demonstrating the constraints and opportunities of an economic framing of the problem of climate change. It covers the obvious (and now well-researched) topic of carbon markets, as well as new more unusual material on the low carbon reframing of already existing markets and economies.