Edited by Harald Wydra and Bjørn Thomassen
Anthropology has consistently struggled with its role as a trustee of a ‘global liberal project’. Against this backdrop, this chapter examines the relationship of political anthropology to the politics of development through the prism of a long-term process – incomplete and perhaps ultimately unsuccessful – of disassociating anthropology from the (post)colonial project of domination through improvement. The chapter scrutinizes such a potential decolonization of anthropology by problematizing the means and ends of development. It thus investigates the development interface, actor-oriented approaches and entangled social logics. A key premise of this chapter is that the imperial legacy – above all the epistemic habits established through colonial government – continues to shape the way political anthropology and anthropologists participate in the politics of development.
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