- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: University of Minnesota Press; New edition edition (February 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0816624372
- ISBN-13: 978-0816624379
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Anti-Politics Machine: Development, Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho New edition Edition
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Against the backdrop of the swarm of development agencies in Lesotho, Africa, he employs a Foucauldian notion of discourse being a practice (to engage in a discourse is to do something). In a fascinating analysis, he shows how World Bank's country report on Lesotho summarily labels Lesotho as a subsistence-based economy with high population growth untouched by capitalism. Ferguson argues that Lesotho was, in fact, affected by capitalism as early at 1910, that the World Bank is not just wrong, but systematically wrong in its portrayal of Lesotho. He describes the case of the World-bank funded Thaba-Tseka project (1975-84), which was originally designed to convert mountainous regions into commercial livestock ranges by providing road connections and low-cost production techniques. He then details why the project failed to live up to its original goals.
To do so, Ferguson traverses back and forth between discourse analysis of development and ethnographic field work in his method. Such a lens provides an understanding of the reconfigurations, causalities, and particularities of each other. Furthermore, it helps me understand the processes, practices and phenomena as occurring within a larger context of discourse production, rather than appearing to act in isolation.
He could have provided a less personal epilogue, though, which is rather disappointing in highly impressive book.
A must for anyone engaging with development.