Development in Place
Perspectives and Challenges
Distributed for Amsterdam University Press
Viewing the world as ‘the commons’, which we, humankind, are polluting at an increasing rate, this collection deals with the landscapes and places of rural, urban and ‘wilderness’ areas in relation to oft-discussed ‘developmentalism’. Contributions examine the complex relationship that human beings maintain with their rural and urban environments and with other species in various places and spaces. These places are not as (easily made) legible as some development policy makers would have us believe. Nothing can be taken for granted: (colonial) history, globalization, glocalization, processes of hybridity, colonial or ‘shared’ architecture, religious backgrounds and claims to equal access to the commons, all fuse with (development) policy strategies. In this context, one of the biggest disadvantages faced by activists working for the poor within global governance institutions is their alienation from the vocabulary the university-policy nexus uses to describe global problems, projects, and policies.
In humanity’s struggle to find timely solutions to environmental problems, it is easily forgotten that access to the commons has never been equal for all human beings. As the articles in this volume demonstrate places and the social relations within and between them are the results of particular arrange ments of power. How far away are we still from ‘mutually established’ coercion – now that new players in the field of economic development (China, the Middle East, the Asian Tigers) also have enormous influence on the global scene - to equally share our access to finite resources?
This book also interrogates the eurocentrism underlying issues such as the protection of wilderness or the conservation of world heritage. Proceeding from ethnographic evidence, contributions discuss these issues within the framework of developmentalist discourse, while asserting the rights of access to the global commons for all world citizens as well as other species.
Books from the ANTROPOLOGIE ACADEMIE have an introductory character and are easily accessible for BA as well as MA students, but they also aim at a wider public, so in this case also at readers with a background in Development Cooperation networks. Books in the ANTROPOLOGIE ACADEMIE are published in cooperation with the ‘Antropologen Beroepsvereniging’ (ABv)