Courtiers En Development: Les Villages Africains En Quete De Projets. (Book Reviews: Development)

By Rossi, Benedetta | Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, September 2002 | Go to article overview

Courtiers En Development: Les Villages Africains En Quete De Projets. (Book Reviews: Development)


Rossi, Benedetta, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute


BIERSCHENK, THOMAS J.-P. CHAVEAU & J.-P. OLIVIER DE SARDAN (eds), Courtiers en development: les villages africains en quete de projets (Collection 'Hommes et Societes'). 328 pp., bibliogr. Paris: APAD-Karthala, 2000. [euro]24.39 (paper)

This is an important study for many reasons. It breaks new theoretical ground in the anthropology of development, and breaches a deplorable hiatus between English and French anthropological studies of development in Africa. The contributors acknowledge the manifold links between their work and the British tradition of political and social anthropology, and engage in a constructive debate with the writings of researchers based in the UK, the US, and the Netherlands. Bringing together the work of senior scholars and a new generation of fieldworkers, the book is characterized by a refreshing nonideological and empirical approach to local micropolitics of development. It develops a model which goes beyond the rather vague - if extremely popular in Anglophone studies - notion of 'local agency', and explores in detail the different facets of a particular kind of agency, that of brokers in development (courtiers en development).

Following Boissevain's definition, the authors argue that 'the broker is a professional manipulator of people and information, who produces communication for profit. The broker does not control resources himself (lands, jobs, subventions, credits, specialized knowledge, etc.), but he has strategic contacts with those who control these resources: the broker's capital consists in his network of personal relations' (p. 20). The emergence of brokers in development is traced back to configurations of power, partly shaped in colonial times, and catalysed by new state decentralization trends and international 'participatory' approaches, which favour the direct participation of 'civil society' in development. These trends have set the conditions for the figure of the development broker to develop his (in all the examples provided brokers are men) intermediary function between the 'developers' and the 'developed'. Brokers operate at the interface between these two worlds, and their role consists in draining toward a village or region a part of the 'development revenue'.

One of the book's merits is to draw attention to the multiple ways in which, far from being passive recipients of mistargeted aid, local people attempt to take advantage of projects and other resources made available by 'development'. Hence, local perceptions of 'development' cast it as potential revenue to be appropriated before others do so. This situation is vividly exemplified by Mongbo's analysis of local strategies to capture development funds in Benin. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Courtiers En Development: Les Villages Africains En Quete De Projets. (Book Reviews: Development)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.