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The Politics of Poverty
Policy-Making and Development in Rural Tanzania

$120.00 (C)

Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: August 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108496933

$ 120.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • How is it that rural poverty in southern Tanzania appears both easy to explain and yet also mystifying? Why is it that 'development' is such a touchstone, when actual attempts at fostering development have been largely ephemeral and/or unpopular for decades? In this book, Felicitas Becker traces dynamics of rural poverty based on the exportation of foodstuffs rather than the better-known problems connected to exportation of migrant labour, and examines what has kept the development industry going despite its failure to break these dynamics. Becker argues that development planners often exaggerated their prospects to secure funding, repackaged old strategies as new to maintain their promise, and shifted blame onto rural Africans for failing to meet the expectations they had raised. But the rural poor, too, pursued conversations on the causes and morality of poverty and wealth. Despite their dependence and deprivation, officials found repeatedly that they could not take them for granted.

    • Challenges prevailing assumptions about the political role of development in Africa
    • Focuses on the role of environmental, practical, financial and political limitations in shaping development intervention, bringing out overarching patterns in the implementation of policy
    • Offers accounts of villagers' own attitudes towards poverty and inequality, giving us an in-depth understanding of their priorities
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108496933
    • length: 378 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The end of slavery, famine and food aid in Tunduru
    2. Changing configurations of poverty in the colonial Southeast and the myth of communalism
    3. The struggle to trade
    4. Independence and the rhetoric of feasibility
    5. Villagisation and the pursuit of market access
    6. The politics of development in the era of liberalisation
    7. Performing and pursuing development in Kineng'ene

  • Author

    Felicitas Becker, Universiteit Gent, Belgium
    Felicitas Becker is Professor of African history at Ghent University, and has previously taught at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, and the University of Cambridge. Her Ph.D. thesis from the University of Cambridge won the Ellen MacArthur Prize in economic history, and her first book, Becoming Muslim in Mainland Tanzania, 1890–2000 (2008), obtained a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship publication award. She is currently working on the interaction between notions of progress used in development discourse and those deployed by religious reformers in East Africa.

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