The Economics of Involuntary Resettlement: Questions and Challenges

The Economics of Involuntary Resettlement: Questions and Challenges

The Economics of Involuntary Resettlement: Questions and Challenges

The Economics of Involuntary Resettlement: Questions and Challenges

Synopsis

"We cannot adopt a system in which the macroeconomic and financial is considered apart from the structural, social and human aspects, and vice versa."- James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank. Every important advance in development work yields lessons that point to new directions, fostering a dialogue between practice and research that encourages creative re-examination of past approaches. This volume is the product of such a dialogue on the complicated issue of involuntary population resettlement. It calls for overcoming an insular social perspective on resettlement and for building an 'alliance' between economic and sociological research about resettlement. It examines the economic tools for planning resettlement and searches for ways to refine them.The authors of this volume bring the perspectives of four scientific disciplines: economics, sociology, anthropology, and political science. They all converge in making the same basic case. They argue for an organic synergy and mutual reinforcement between economic and social knowledge in resettlement work. Bringing in the tools of economics to complement the sociological and technical analysis of resettlement processes is essential not only to better explain their anatomy, but also to guide decisionmaking and investments.

Excerpt

Every important advance in development work yields lessons that point to new directions, fostering a dialogue between practice and research that encourages creative reexamination of past approaches. This volume is the product of such a dialogue on the complicated issue of involuntary population resettlement. The volume calls for overcoming an insular social perspective on resettlement and for building an “alliance” between economic and sociological research about resettlement. It examines the economic tools for planning resettlement and searches for ways to refine them.

Historically, the disciplines that have most explored resettlement processes and have informed resettlement policy and operations have been social anthropology and sociology. But for reasons discussed in this book, the anthropological analysis of resettlement has remained somehow isolated and insufficiently complemented by parallel inquiry in the economic disciplines.

Although involuntary resettlements are a prerequisite for some infrastructural projects and exact multiple undesirable costs, development economics has paid little attention to the economic and financial underpinnings of resettlement. Awareness about the serious economic consequences of displacement has kept increasing, yet the economic study of resettlement is unjustifiably still lagging. Evidence about the externalization of project costs to resettlers also has kept accumulating, yet the methodology of financial analyses has somehow failed to . . .

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