How the meaning of development comes to be confused:

James Ferguson, in his book The Anti-Politics Machine, discusses how the World Bank's development discourse constructs the "underdevelopment" in Lesotho, South Africa, as the object of development intervention. This "development" discourse conflates two different meanings of the term: the development of modern society and the improvement of quality of life. Because these two different meanings are conflated, it becomes possible to prescribe the construction of roads, for instance, as synonymous with the improved quality of life. The project failure is predictable, and Ferguson brilliantly demonstrates that the aim of the project--poverty alleviation--was of secondary importance from the viewpoint of the state bureaucracy. Ferguson believes that "...because 'failed' development projects can so successfully help to accomplish important strategic tasks behind the back of the most sincere participants, it does become less mysterious why 'failed' development projects should end up being replicated again and again."4 The primary objective of the "failed" development projects was to expand the power of the state over society in Lesotho. -- NIRA Review Winter 1997: Gender and Development in Kerala by Yasushi Uchiyamada. The reference given at 4 is to Ferguson's cited book at p256. Emphasis added.
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Authors Chris Watkins
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
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Created November 16, 2007 by Chris Watkins
Modified March 2, 2022 by Page script
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