'Development' is clearly a contentious concept. It is common knowledge that there is frequently a troubling divide between what Western developers think development entails and how those people affected understand the ensuing processes. By treating development as problematic, this book seeks to generate new insights into the relationships between the various parties involved and to enhance understanding of the ways in which particular 'discourses of development' are generated. Authors raise provocative questions about the relationship of politics, power, ideology and rhetoric to the institutional practice of development. These hegemonic considerations are shown to have a profound effect on the 'culture of aid' and the interface between development personnel and those whom development is supposed to benefit.
'The strengths of this excellent volume are three-fold. First, the authors successfully situate the study of development discourses within the broader sociocultural context in which they occur. Second, the articles effectively relate the discourses studied to what is happening on the ground, clearly demonstrating that there is no simple, unilinear relationship. Third, by focusing on the differing discourses of development that may be utilized even within the context of single program, the authors make the study of development richer and more nuanced in the process.' Anthropological Quarterly