n Acta Academica - Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in a Globalised World, Emma Crew and Richard Axelby : review

Volume 46, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0587-2405


Anyone interested in anthropology and the international development aid sector will benefit from reading this book by Emma Crew and Richard Axelby with the title . Development means different things to different people. While economists may perceive development to represent economic growth, sociologists may perceive development as the extent to which people targeted in developmental initiatives actually benefit from this development. Political scientists and environmentalists have other perceptions of development. However, this book is a brilliant account of how anthropology as discipline could make sense of development, underdevelopment and poverty. The authors also apply an anthropological way of looking at the reality of development work, through ethnography and the narratives of both the agents of developmental work and the recipients of development aid, to illustrate how global agencies and national and local initiatives try to respond to these challenges of human existence and coexistence. They try to answer questions such as, How do aid agencies work and what do they achieve? How does aid appear to those vulnerable people who received it? Is there some lasting improvement in the quality of life of so many households? What are the intended and unintended consequences of development policy and practice?

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