The Anti-Politics Machine (1990) examines how international development projects are conceived, researched, and put into practice. It also looks at what these projects actually achieve. Ferguson criticizes the idea of externally-directed `development' and argues that the process doesn't take proper account of the daily realities of the communities it is intended to benefit. Instead, they often prioritize technical solutions for addressing poverty and ignoring its social and political dimensions, so the structures that these projects put in place often have unintended consequences. Ferguson suggests that until the process becomes more reflective, development projects will continue to fail.
Dr Julie Jenkins holds an MSc in anthropology and development from the London School of Economics and a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Sussex. She has been a visiting professor at Ball State University and Washington & Lee University, teaching courses on globalization and international development.
Ways in to the text Who was Ferguson? What does The Anti-Politics Machine say? Why does The Anti-Politics Machine matter? Section 1: Influences Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context Module 2: Academic Context Module 3: The Problem Module 4: The Author's Contribution Section 2: Ideas Module 5: Main Ideas Module 6: Secondary Ideas Module 7: Achievement Module 8: Place in the Author's Work Section 3: Impact Module 9: The First Responses Module 10: The Evolving Debate Module 11: Impact and Influence Today Module 12: Where Next? Glossary of Terms People Mentioned in the Text Works Cited