Understanding Impoverishment: The Consequences of Development-Induced Displacement

By Christopher McDowell | Go to book overview

12
Policy Implications
of the Involuntary Ownership of
Resettlement Negotiations
EXAMPLES FROM
ASIA OF RESETTLEMENT PRACTICE

Alan Rew


Introduction

T he design and evaluation of resettlement continues to prompt strong reactions and controversy. Many would agree with the comment of David Aberle ( 1993:191) that 'Relocatees are removed from their homes because they are relatively powerless ... Hence relocation will almost always be a tragedy of greater or lesser proportions.' At the same time, other social scientists have sought to avoid academic fatalism and insouciance and pioneered the successful application of social science concepts to resettlement problems ( Cernea 1993b:26-29). This second experience strongly suggests that the worst resettlement outcomes and impoverishment can be avoided or minimised through resettlement planning ( Cernea 1994c:47) and that a vision of resettlement policy reform is necessary and practical.

Despite this contrast in resettlement analysis between the recognition of tragedy and the necessity of hope there appears to be widespread agreement in the literature about the scope for volition in resettlement planning. The relocatees, it is widely agreed, are forced to relocate because of land, infrastructural and other development investments. They are 'oustees' or 'involuntary' migrants, forced out

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