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.
Bruce Currie-Alder,Ravi Kanbur,David M. Malone,Rohinton Medhora
Author: Bruce Currie-Alder,Ravi Kanbur,David M. Malone,Rohinton Medhora
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Category: Business & Economics
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
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.
Noel Castree,Paul A. Chatterton,Nik Heynen,Wendy Larner,Melissa W. Wright
Geographies of Hope and Survival in an Age of Crisis
Author: Noel Castree,Paul A. Chatterton,Nik Heynen,Wendy Larner,Melissa W. Wright
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
Armed with cheap digital technologies and a fiercely independent spirit, millions of young people from around the world have taken cultural production into their own hands, crafting their own clothing lines, launching their own record labels, and forging a vast, collaborative network of impassioned amateurs more interested in making than consuming. DIY Style tells the story of this international do-it-yourself (DIY) movement through a major case study of one of its biggest, but least known contingents: the "indie" music and fashion scene of the predominantly Muslim Southeast Asian island nation of Indonesia. Through rich ethnographic detail, in-depth historical analysis, and cutting-edge social theory, the book chronicles the rise of DIY culture in Indonesia, and also explores the phenomenon in Europe and the United States, painting an evocative portrait of vibrant communities who are not only making and distributing popular culture on their own terms, but working to tear down the barriers between production and consumption, third and first world, global and local. What emerges from the book is a cautiously optimistic view of the future of global capitalism - a creative, collectivist alternative built from the ground up. This exciting and original study is essential reading for students and scholars of anthropology, fashion, media studies, cultural studies and sociology.
The Empty Seashell explores what it is like to live in a world where cannibal witches are undeniably real, yet too ephemeral and contradictory to be an object of belief. In a book based on more than three years of fieldwork between 1991 and 2011, Nils Bubandt argues that cannibal witches for people in the coastal, and predominantly Christian, community of Buli in the Indonesian province of North Maluku are both corporeally real and fundamentally unknowable. Witches (known as gua in the Buli language or as suanggi in regional Malay) appear to be ordinary humans but sometimes, especially at night, they take other forms and attack people in order to kill them and eat their livers. They are seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The reality of gua, therefore, can never be pinned down. The title of the book comes from the empty nautilus shells that regularly drift ashore around Buli village. Convention has it that if you find a live nautilus, you are a gua. Like the empty shells, witchcraft always seems to recede from experience. Bubandt begins the book by recounting his own confusion and frustration in coming to terms with the contradictory and inaccessible nature of witchcraft realities in Buli. A detailed ethnography of the encompassing inaccessibility of Buli witchcraft leads him to the conclusion that much of the anthropological literature, which views witchcraft as a system of beliefs with genuine explanatory power, is off the mark. Witchcraft for the Buli people doesn't explain anything. In fact, it does the opposite: it confuses, obfuscates, and frustrates. Drawing upon Jacques Derrida’s concept of aporia—an interminable experience that remains continuously in doubt—Bubandt suggests the need to take seriously people’s experiential and epistemological doubts about witchcraft, and outlines, by extension, a novel way of thinking about witchcraft and its relation to modernity.
This volume presents new theoretical approaches, methodologies, subject pools, and topics in the field of environmental anthropology. Environmental anthropologists are increasingly focusing on self-reflection - not just on themselves and their impacts on environmental research, but also on the reflexive qualities of their subjects, and the extent to which these individuals are questioning their own environmental behavior. Here, contributors confront the very notion of "natural resources" in granting non-human species their subjectivity and arguing for deeper understanding of "nature," and "wilderness" beyond the label of "ecosystem services." By engaging in interdisciplinary efforts, these anthropologists present new ways for their colleagues, subjects, peers and communities to understand the causes of, and alternatives to environmental destruction. This book demonstrates that environmental anthropology has moved beyond the construction of rural, small group theory, entering into a mode of solution-based methodologies and interdisciplinary theories for understanding human-environmental interactions. It is focused on post-rural existence, health and environmental risk assessment, on the realm of alternative actions, and emphasizes the necessary steps towards preventing environmental crisis.
The United States and the Lure of Community Development
Author: Daniel Immerwahr
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Daniel Immerwahr tells how the United States sought to rescue the world from poverty through small-scale, community-based approaches. He also sounds a warning: such strategies, now again in vogue, have been tried before, alongside grander moderization schemes—with often disastrous consequences as self-help gave way to crushing local oppression.
Global Governance and International Migration Narratives
Author: A. Pécoud
Category: Social Science
Migration has become, since the nineties, the subject of growing international discussion and cooperation. By critically analyzing the reports produced by international organisations on migration, this book sheds light on the way these actors frame migration and develop their recommendations on how it should be governed.
Political Economies and Rural Realities of (un)Comfortable Bedfellows
Author: Bram Büscher,Veronica Davidov
Category: Business & Economics
Ecotourism and natural resource extraction may be seen as contradictory pursuits, yet in reality they often take place side by side, sometimes even supported by the same institutions. Existing academic and policy literatures generally overlook the phenomenon of ecotourism in areas concurrently affected by extraction industries, but such a scenario is in fact increasingly common in resource-rich developing nations. This edited volume conceptualises and empirically analyses the ‘ecotourism-extraction nexus’ within the context of broader rural and livelihood changes in the places where these activities occur. The volume’s central premise is that these seemingly contradictory activities are empirically and conceptually more alike than often imagined, and that they share common ground in ethnographic lived experiences in rural settings and broader political economic structures of power and control. The book offers theoretical reflections on why ecotourism and natural resource extraction are systematically decoupled, and epistemologically and analytically re-links them through ethnographic case studies drawing on research from around the world. It should be of interest to students and professionals engaged in the disciplines of geography, anthropology and development studies.
Governance Failure and the World's Urban Water Crisis
Author: Karen Bakker
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Political Science
Water supply privatization was emblematic of the neoliberal turn in development policy in the 1990s. Proponents argued that the private sector could provide better services at lower costs than governments; opponents questioned the risks involved in delegating control over a life-sustaining resource to for-profit companies. Private-sector activity was most concentrated-and contested-in large cities in developing countries, where the widespread lack of access to networked water supplies was characterized as a global crisis. In Privatizing Water, Karen Bakker focuses on three questions: Why did privatization emerge as a preferred alternative for managing urban water supply? Can privatization fulfill its proponents' expectations, particularly with respect to water supply to the urban poor? And, given the apparent shortcomings of both privatization and conventional approaches to government provision, what are the alternatives? In answering these questions, Bakker engages with broader debates over the role of the private sector in development, the role of urban communities in the provision of "public" services, and the governance of public goods. She introduces the concept of "governance failure" as a means of exploring the limitations facing both private companies and governments. Critically examining a range of issues-including the transnational struggle over the human right to water, the "commons" as a water-supply-management strategy, and the environmental dimensions of water privatization-Privatizing Water is a balanced exploration of a critical issue that affects billions of people around the world.
NGOs, Political Foundations, Think Tanks and International Organizations
Author: B. Petric
Category: Political Science
An analysis of the transnationalization of politics in several societies concerned by programs of democracy promotion, the contributors to this book seek to understand how these new global norms and programs create forms of appropriation and resistance at the local level.
Drawing on two decades of ethnographic research in Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tania Murray Li offers an intimate account of the emergence of capitalist relations among indigenous highlanders who privatized their common land to plant a boom crop, cacao. Spurred by the hope of ending their poverty and isolation, some prospered, while others lost their land and struggled to sustain their families. Yet the winners and losers in this transition were not strangers—they were kin and neighbors. Li's richly peopled account takes the reader into the highlanders' world, exploring the dilemmas they faced as sharp inequalities emerged among them. The book challenges complacent, modernization narratives promoted by development agencies that assume inefficient farmers who lose out in the shift to high-value export crops can find jobs elsewhere. Decades of uneven and often jobless growth in Indonesia meant that for newly landless highlanders, land's end was a dead end. The book also has implications for social movement activists, who seldom attend to instances where enclosure is initiated by farmers rather than coerced by the state or agribusiness corporations. Li's attention to the historical, cultural, and ecological dimensions of this conjuncture demonstrates the power of the ethnographic method and its relevance to theory and practice today.