[F&ES 882/ANTH 582] / 2018-2019

The Black Box of Implementation: Households, Communities, Gender

Credits: 3



The implementation of development projects has been described as existing in a “black box”: development and conservation policy (even participatory policy) is often not defined to inform effective implementation (Mosse 2004), and data on actual implementation is rarely incorporated into policy. This course examines the invisibility of implementation, and the common, mistaken assumptions about implementation targets (like households, communities, and gender) that take the place of absent data in policy. The course also makes an effort to use anthropology to shed light into this black box, to allow students to think more critically about the varied and dynamic social field in which project implementation occurs. Political and economic aspects of relations within households and communities, particularly gender relations, are examined in all of their complexity, variation, and dynamism. The real focus of the course, however, is not the contents of the black box, but the political and economic relations between households, communities, and gender, on the one hand, and the world of development and conservation, on the other. How do households and communities respond to the differential opportunities and restrictions that development and conservation introduce? What are the implications of the fact that those responses are often invisible to policy makers? Three hours lecture/seminar.

F&ES 882 is a prerequisite for:
F&ES 965: Advanced Readings: Social Science of Development and Conservation