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The Critique of Development
Transcript of The Critique of Development
Discourse & Power
What were your thoughts on Life & Debt?
Is this neo-colonialism?
Until Ferguson's Anti-Politics Machine..
anthropologists (& other academics) who saw development as benevolent but needed to be studied to ensure project success
"add culture as a factor" approach
saw development as means to allow wealthy to continue to exploit resources
"It began with my dissatisfaction with the very repetitive policy-focused discussions going on at the time concerning development failure. The question was always, 'Why do development projects fail?' and 'How can we do it better the next time?' But these did not seem to me very productive questions. Lesotho was knee-deep in 'failed' development projects and to come in and say that they were failing seemed to me to be not actually saying very much-- that was obvious on its face."
What are development projects doing? How does it work in practice and what are its effects?
Interplay between discourse & institutions
So what is Ferguson's argument about the development discourse in relation to Lesotho?
What was the aim of the project?
How does Lesotho's relationship to South Africa affect agriculture, livestock and their general standard of living?
What were your thoughts on the Work for Food program?
What are the causes of poverty in Lesotho? How does this differ from the causes imagined by the WB project documents?
Why did the project's livestock initiatives fail? Was it because people didn't understand?
What factors did the project planners' vision of a integrated and decentralized project fail to take into account? Why?
What are the effects of failure?
What is the Anti-politics machine?
How are Ferguson's insights useful for understanding development and addressing poverty?
"side-effects"/ instrumental effects
extension of state bureacracy & power
via building roads, establishing district, government services
allowed for political control over opposition
Extension of state power
depoliticization of the causes of or solutions to poverty
"behind the backs of planners" -- unintentional
image of 'development' as monolithic
need clearer image of who is involved in actively or passively supporting development initiatives and an account of their motives, ideologies, etc.
how should/can development workers use this information?
What should we do? What should they do?