The Spirit of Development: Protestant NGOs, Morality, and Economics in Zimbabwe


This work is an ethnographic account of the work of transnational, Christian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe. Religious NGOs are one of the voices of pluralism in Southern Africa, sometimes challenging the state and at others collaborating with it. The tensions of such engagement are key to understanding the successes and failures of transnational, humanitarian endeavors to foster democratic governance in Zimbabwe. While much scholarship has been focused, theoretically, on the role of NGOs in democratization in Africa regarding international foreign policy, few studies offer empirically grounded insights into how transnational NGOs operate. "The Spirit of Development addresses, ethnographically, how an American discourse of Christian humanitarianism transforms, and is transformed by, local settings.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2003