The Anti-Politics Machine (1990) examines how international development projects are conceived, researched, and put into practice. It also looks at what these projects actually achieve. Ferguson criticizes the idea of externally-directed ‘development’ and argues that the process doesn’t take proper account of the daily realities of the communities it is intended to benefit. Instead, they often prioritize technical solutions for addressing poverty and ignoring its social and political dimensions, so the structures that these projects put in place often have unintended consequences. Ferguson suggests that until the process becomes more reflective, development projects will continue to fail.
Table of Contents
Ways in to the Text
Who was James Ferguson?
What does The Anti-Politics Machine Say?
Why does The Anti-Politics Machine Matter?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text
Dr Julie Jenkins holds an MSc in anthropology and development from the London School of Economics and a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Sussex. She has been a visiting professor at Ball State University and Washington & Lee University, teaching courses on globalization and international development.