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Development Brokers and Translators: The Ethnography of Aid and Agencies

David Lewis and David Mosse, editors
Development Brokers and Translators: The Ethnography of Aid and Agencies
ISBN: 978-1-56549-217-2
ISBN: 978-1-62637-947-3
2006/251 pages/LC: 2006005866
A Kumarian Press Book
"The excellent ethnographic material used to tell these stories provides a timely reminder that anthropology should, and can, provide invaluable insights on many issues of importance to sustainable development."—Development in Practice


The contributors to Development Brokers and Translators, all anthropologists with practical experience in development work, show how ethnography can be an indispensable tool for understanding the complex and dynamic relationships among communities, ideas, resources, and development agencies.


David Lewis professor of social policy and development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. David Mosse is professor of social anthropology at SOAS, University of London.


  • Theoretical Approaches to Brokerage and Translation in Development—D. Mosse and D. Lewis.
  • Aid Policies and Recipient Strategies in Niger: Why Donors and Recipients Should Not Be Compartmentalized into Separate "Worlds of Knowledge"—B. Rossi.
  • Resources, Ideologies, and Nationalism: The Politics of Development in Malaysia—A.A. Doolittle.
  • Governing Land, Translating Rights: The Rural Land Plan in Benin—P-Y. Le Meur.
  • Translating, Interpreting, and Practicing Civil Society in Vietnam: A Tale of Calculated Misunderstandings—O. Salemink.
  • Brokering Fair Trade: Relations Between Coffee Cooperatives and Alternative Trade Organizations—A View from Costa Rica—P. Luetchford.
  • Ethnographic Research in a Non-governmental Organization: Revealing Strategic Translations through an Embedded Tale—W. Nauta.
  • Inside Out: Rationalizing Practices and Representations in Agricultural Development Projects—B. Desai.
  • "They Can’t Mix Like We Can": Bracketing Differences and the Professionalization of NGOs in Nepal—C.H. Shrestha.
  • Rethinking the Mechanics of the "Anti-Politics Machine"—T. Bending and S. Rosendo.