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 with practical experience in development 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 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.
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