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Far-Fetched Facts

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Far-Fetched Facts

A Parable of Development Aid

Format

Hardback

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Far-Fetched Facts by Richard Rottenburg
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Description

In 1996, the sub-Saharan African country of Ruritania launched a massive waterworks improvement project, funded by the Normesian Development Bank, headquartered in Urbania, Normland, and with the guidance of Shilling & Partner, a consulting firm in Mercatoria, Normland. Far-Fetched Facts tells the story of this project, as narrated by anthropologists Edward B. Drotlevski and Samuel A. Martonosi. Their account of the Ruritanian waterworks project views the problems of development from a new perspective, focusing on technologies of inscription in the interactions of development bank, international experts, and local managers. This development project is fictionalized, of course, although based closely on author Richard Rottenburg's experiences working on and observing different development projects in the 1990s. Rottenburg uses the case of the Ruritanian waterworks project to examine issues of standardization, database building, documentation, calculation, and territory mapping. The techniques and technologies of the representational practices of documentation are crucial, Rottenburg argues, both to day-to-day management of the project and to the demonstration of the project's legitimacy. Five decades of development aid (or "development cooperation," as it is now sometimes known) have yielded disappointing results. Rottenburg looks in particular at the role of the development consultant (often called upon to act as mediator between the other actors) and at the interstitial spaces where developmental cooperation actually occurs. He argues that both critics and practitioners of development often misconstrue the grounds of cooperation -- which, he claims, are moral, legal, and political rather than techno-scientific or epistemological.

Author Biography

Richard Rottenburg is Chair of Anthropology at the Institute for Anthropology and Philosophy at Martin-Luther University and a Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, where he heads the Law, Organization, Science, and Technology Research Group.
Release date Australia
May 19th, 2009
Contributors
Translated by Allison Brown Translated by Tom Lampert
Country of Publication
United States
Illustrations
8 b&w photos, 5 b&w illus.
Imprint
MIT Press
Interest Age
From 18
Pages
280
Dimensions
152x229x14
ISBN-13
9780262182645
Product ID
3036263

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