'Development is a process, Amartya Sen famously noted, of 'expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy'. But freedoms depend upon on political and civil rights, or more properly a corpus of rights capable of removing such unfreedoms as tyranny, exclusion and neglect. Rights, Resources and the Politics of Accountability is the first study to seriously explore how the poor claim, contest and secure rights and how the rights of the powerful are deployed to defend their privileges and to control resources and access to power. Drawing upon exemplary case studies - spanning the globe from Mexico to Nigeria to India to the US - Newell and Wheeler have laid out a provocative new agenda for thinking about not simply the existence of a discourse of rights in development, but struggles over their character and institutionalisation, and the competing forms and mechanisms of accountability by which the poor can improve their well-being. A state-of-the-art book: theoretically rich, empirically compelling and irresistibly forward-looking.' -
Michael Watts, Director of African Studies, UC Berkeley
'This book is fascinating not only because it puts accountability at the centre of the debate between rights and access to resources and questions some inherently flawed assumptions about accountability oft repeated by today's development pundits, it is fascinating because it tells stories about how poor and marginalized come together to negotiate and claim their rights to resources from the rich and the powerful.'
Chandra Bhushan, Associate Director of the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi.
Dr. Peter Newell is senior research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, University of Warwick. His previous books include The Business of Global Environmental Governance (MIT Press 2005). Joanna Wheeler is research manager at the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation, and Accountability, University of Sussex. The contributors are researchers from a range of disciplines. The series editor is Dr John Gaventa, University of Sussex