Development Brokers and Translators: The Ethnography of Aid and Agencies

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* Includes essays by some of today’s leading anthropologists working in development studies.
* Furthers the goals of both poverty reduction and ethnographic research by detailing their contributions to and reliance on each another.
* Provides a practical and theoretical resource for development agencies, policy makers, and students wishing to access a variety of case studies and new analytical approaches.

The success of any international development agency depends on an understanding of the ways in which a community and individuals relate to ideas and resources. David Lewis and David Mosse have brought together a number of anthropologists engaged in development research to show how ethnography can be an indispensable tool for understanding these complex and dynamic relationships.

The world that this ethnography of development reveals does not divide neatly into the developers and the developed, perpetrators and victims, domination and resistance, or the incompatible rationalities of scientific and indigenous knowledge. It is a world in which interests and practices are always hybrids, where the realms of reason and the real world are not neatly separate, and in which rational policy representations frequently conceal the messiness of practice that precedes the ideas and technologies of development.

The wealth of new ideas offered in this collection will be especially valuable to graduate students in anthropology and development studies, but also to undergraduates and those working in development organizations who wish to run more effective operations on every level.

Other contributors: Tim Bending, Bina Desai, Amity Doolittle, Pierre-Yves Le Meur, Peter Luetchford, Wiebe Nauta, Sergio Rosendo, Benedetta Rossi, Oscar Salemink, and Celayne Heaton Shrestha.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The excellent ethnographic material used to tell these stories provides a timely reminder that anthropology should, and can, provide invaluable insights on many issues of importance to sustainable development."

"Sure to interest students and practitioners of the anthropology of development and development anthropology, and may be especially useful to American anthropologists seeking an update on European works in these fields"

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565492172
  • Publisher: Kumarian Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Lewis is Reader in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and has published mainly on development policy issues in South Asia.

David Mosse is senior lecturer in social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is author of The Rule of Water: statecraft, ecology and collective action and Cultivating Development and has worked in development for Oxfam and the Department for International Development.

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Table of Contents

1) Theoretical approaches to brokerage and translation in development; 2) Aid policies and recipient strategies in Niger: why donors and recipients should not be compartmentalized into separate ‘worlds of knowledge’; 3) Resources, ideologies and nationalism: the politics of development in Malaysia; 4) Governing land, translating rights: the rural land plan in Benin; 5) Translating, interpreting and practicing civil society in Vietnam: a tale of calculated misunderstandings; 6) Brokering Fair Trade: relations between coffee cooperatives and alternative trade organizations - a view from Costa Rica; 7) Ethnographic research in a non-governmental organization (NGO): revealing strategic translations through an embedded tale; 8) Inside out: rationalizing practices and representations in agricultural development projects; 9) ‘They can’t mix like we can’: bracketing differences and the professionalization of NGOs in Nepal; 10) Rethinking the mechanics of the ‘anti-politics machine’

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