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Neveling, Patrick (2017) 'The political economy machinery: toward a critical anthropology of development as a contested capitalist practice.' Dialectical Anthropology, 41 (2). pp. 163-183.

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This article discusses anthropology’s current mainstream understandings of development and offers a historical materialist alternative. According to these, development was and is either a discourse-backed anti-politics machine that strengthens the power of postcolonial governments or a category of practice, a universal that generates frictions when it clashes with local historical–cultural formations. The approach proposed here reintegrates the analysis of development into the anthropological analysis of capitalism’s uneven and contested histories and practices. A reassessment of World Bank reporting on Lesotho and an analysis of the Bank’s impact on the wider policies of development in postcolonial Mauritius, one of the twentieth century’s preeminent success stories of capitalist development, underlines that development is best understood as a political economy machinery that maintains and amends contested capitalist practices in an encounter with earlier global, national, and local historical–cultural formations.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 03044092
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2017 15:26

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