Cultivating Development : An Ethnography Of Aid Policy And Practice
Based on a detailed account of an actual development project, this book addresses an important question: Is development practice actually driven by policy?
Development agencies and researchers are preoccupied with policy; with exerting influence over policy; linking research to policy, and with implementing policy around the world. In this book, David Mosse argues that rather than being driven by policy, development practice is actually shaped by the exigencies of organisations and the need to maintain relationships. At the same time, however, development actors work hard at maintaining the fiction of representing authorised policy in their actions.
This book (which can be characterised as being a social investigation) asks pertinent questions about international aid, in particular of British aid for rural development. It does so by examining in depth the experience of a development project in western India over a period of more than ten years and as it falls under different policy regimes. Mosse analyses development processes in the light of the broad experience of the project workers (which included himself), even if it means destabilising policy representations. The book is a compelling re-examination of the politics and ethics of engaging with development and a rare self-critical reflection practice.
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