Mosse 2005 Cultivating Development ethnography

Title Cultivating Development : An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice (Anthropology, Culture and Society Series)
Format Publication
Authors Mosse, D.
Journal Name (if applicable) Anthropology
Date Published 2005
Open Access Y/N No
Hard copy PDF Available Y/N No
Abstract Today there is a preoccupation among development agencies and researchers with getting policy right; with exerting influence over policy, linking research to policy and with implementing policy around the world.


But what if development practice is not driven by policy? Suppose that the things that make for 'good policy' – policy which legitimises and mobilises political support – in reality make it impossible to implement within its chosen institutions and regions?


By focusing in detail on the unfolding activities of a development project in western India over more than ten years as it falls under different policy regimes, this book takes a close look at the relationship between policy and practice in development.


David Mosse shows how the actions of development workers are shaped by the exigencies of organisations and the need to maintain relationships rather than by policy; but also that development actors work hardest of all to maintain coherent representations of their actions as instances of authorised policy. Raising unfamiliar questions, Mosse provides a rare self-critical reflection on practice, while refusing to endorse current post-modern dismissal of development.