This pathbreaking book grapples with an established reality: well-intentioned international development programs often generate local conflict, some of which escalates to violence. To understand how such conflicts can be managed peacefully, the authors have undertaken a comprehensive mixed-methods analysis of one of the world's largest participatory development projects, the highly successful Kecamatan Development Program (KDP), which was launched by the World Bank and the Indonesian government in the late 1990s and now operates in every district across Indonesia.
Contesting Development addresses major issues at the nexus of development research and policy: the level of local conflict accompanying institutional transitions; the role of development projects in shaping institutional transitions and conflict dynamics; and strategies for designing, implementing, and assessing projects in rapidly changing contexts. The book examines how KDP engages with these issues and discusses how staff members apply the critical principles of participation, transparency, local choice, and accountability to mediate conflicts that inevitably arise. The project mechanisms that bring about peaceful conflict resolution can have positive spillover effects: they frequently lead to stronger intergroup relations, participation, and problem solving in the community. The broader lesson, however, is not that KDP per se should be replicated elsewhere, but rather that the in-depth social research and consultation processes that helped produce it should be. With a rich array of analytical insights, empirical findings, and practical suggestions, this book is essential reading for everyone involved in international development or peace-building initiatives.
Patrick Barron, Michael Woolcock, and Rachel Diprose, Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflicts Dynamics in Indonesia is co-winner of the 2012 ASA Sociology of Development Section Faculty Book Award -- Sociology of Development Section Faculty Book Award co-winner * American Sociological Association *