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Development & Dispossession

The Crisis of Forced Displacement and Resettlement

Edited by Anthony Oliver-Smith

More people were involuntarily displaced in the twentieth century than ever before, and not only by war and natural disasters. Capital-intensive, high-technology, large-scale projects compel the displacement and resettlement of an estimated 15 million people every year in the process of converting farmlands, fishing grounds, forests, and homes into reservoirs, irrigation systems, mines, plantations, colonization projects, highways, urban renewal zones, industrial complexes, and tourist resorts. Aimed at generating economic growth and strengthening the region or nation, these projects have all too often left local people permanently displaced, disempowered, and destitute. Resettlement has been so poorly planned, financed, implemented, and administered that these projects end up being “development disasters.” Because there can be no return to land submerged under a dam-created lake or to a neighborhood buried under a stadium or throughway, the solutions devised to meet the needs of people displaced by development must be durable. The contributors to this volume analyze the failures of existing resettlement policies and propose just such durable solutions.

2009. 344 pp., 5 illustrations, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Gregory V. Button, Michael M. Cernea, Dana Clark, Chris de Wet, Theodore E. Downing, William F. Fisher, Carmen Garcia-Downing, Barbara Rose Johnston, Satish Kedia, Dolores Koenig, Anthony Oliver-Smith, Thayer Scudder

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“This is a fantastic book, well researched and written, covering a broad range of topics….Each of the authors constructively points to steps to be taken, and even steps that have been taken, to make development-induced resettlement more sustainable and successful.”
—Laura Hammond, School of Oriental and African Studies


“[A]n outstanding collection…[that] will meet a real need among scholars and practitioners in the fields of development studies, anthropology, and planning….”
—Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


“These contributions…demonstrate the diversity of approaches in research around displacement and resettlement arising from development projects….This rich cross-section of anthropological contributions is closely informed by decades of interaction between anthropological researchers with policy makers, planners and civil society.”
—Dept. of Anthropology, The Australian National University, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, vol. 10, no. 4, December 2009

  1. Introduction: Development-Forced Displacement and Resettlement: A Global Human Rights Crisis
    Anthony Oliver-Smith
  2. Resettlement Theory and the Kariba Case: An Anthropology of Resettlement
    Thayer Scudder
  3. Financing for Development: Benefit-Sharing Mechanisms in Population Resettlement
    Michael M. Cernea
  4. Does Development Displace Ethics? The Challenge of Forced Resettlement
    Chris de Wet
  5. Health Consequences of Dam Construction and Involuntary Resettlement
    Satish Kedia
  6. Urban Relocation and Resettlement: Distinctive Problems, Distinctive Opportunities
    Dolores Koenig
  7. Evicted from Eden: Conservation and the Displacement of Indigenous and Traditional Peoples
    Anthony Oliver-Smith
  8. Local Displacement, Global Activism: DFDR and Transnational Advocacy
    William F. Fisher
  9. Power to the People: Moving towards a Rights-Respecting Resettlement Framework
    Dana Clark
  10. Development Disaster, Reparations, and the Right to Remedy: The Case of the Chixoy Dam, Guatemala
    Barbara Rose Johnston
  11. Routine and Dissonant Cultures: A Theory about the Psycho-socio-cultural Disruptions of Involuntary Displacement and Ways to Mitigate Them without Inflicting Even More Damage
    Theodore E. Downing and Carmen Garcia-Downing
  12. Family Resemblances between Disasters and Development-Forced Displacement: Hurricane Katrina as a Comparative Case Study
    Gregory V. Button

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.

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