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Contesting Development

Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflict Dynamics in Indonesia

Patrick Barron
Rachael Diprose
Michael Woolcock
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    Contesting Development
    Book Description:

    This pathbreaking book analyzes a highly successful participatory development program in Indonesia, exploring its distinctive origins and design principles and its impacts on local conflict dynamics and social institutions.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16848-8
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Institutional Change, Development Projects, and Local Conflict Dynamics
    (pp. 1-24)

    To most observers, the village of Wates in the district of Ponorogo, East Java, appears much like hundreds of thousands of others in the developing world. In many respects, to echo James Scott, Wates is “a village of no particular significance.” It is not in the crossfire of a raging civil war or sectarian violence; it is not besieged by HIV/AIDS; it is not suffering from drought, pestilence, or floods—it is, rather, the quintessential rural village in a steadily growing developing country. Absent such major problems, “doing development” in Wates should be relatively straightforward.¹ It is regularly selected to...


    • CHAPTER 2 The Conflict-Development Nexus Revisited
      (pp. 27-47)

      In recent years, understanding violent conflict and identifying ways to prevent it have become major preoccupations of the international development enterprise. Even so, the ways in which the conflict-development nexus has been conceptualized in development theory and practice tend to obfuscate a more complete understanding of how policies, projects, and practices—and the types of contexts within which they occur—affect the onset and trajectory of violence and the ways that (violent) conflict, in turn, influences development outcomes.

      The increasing interest of the international development community in the issue of conflict has been apparent in its engagement with this issue...

    • CHAPTER 3 Methods, Contexts, and Project Characteristics
      (pp. 48-80)

      Assessing the efficacy of social development projects is a complex undertaking, not least because a defining feature of many such projects is the nonstandardized way in which they seek to adapt to idiosyncratic local circumstances and, in the process, generate outcomes (such as enhanced participation and inclusion) that do not have an established metric or emerge on a known trajectory over time (Woolcock 2009c). As such, it is extremely difficult—in analytical and empirical terms—to isolate the effects of a program from other contextual factors in the community and beyond. These include aspects of governance and local power structures,...


    • CHAPTER 4 When Do Development Projects Generate Conflict?
      (pp. 83-140)

      Development projects introduce new resources into communities. In the absence of effective rules and procedures for managing these resources, projects may trigger new conflicts or feed existing ones. The Kecamatan Development Program specifically aims to empower marginalized individuals and groups within villages, thus changing local power balances and hierarchical structures. This in turn may cause conflicts as elites and their support bases resist these changes. This chapter assesses the nature and extent of conflicts triggered or caused by KDP. In so doing, it seeks to answer the following questions: Does KDP trigger or cause new conflict or worsen existing conflicts?...

    • CHAPTER 5 Can Development Projects Be Part of a Solution?
      (pp. 141-165)

      We have shown that KDP is very good at solving program-related problems. Like any development project, KDP causes tensions and on occasion triggers conflict, but almost all of these conflicts are dealt with through the program’s in-built conflict resolution mechanisms. In this respect, KDP often works better than other development projects. Is there any evidence of increased conflict management capacity in KDP areas in terms ofnonprogramconflicts? Are the KDP mechanisms used to deal with nonprogram conflicts? Are there other social spillovers that result in improved conflict management capacity? If so, in what ways has the program made a...

    • CHAPTER 6 Indirect Effects of Development Projects on Local Conflict Dynamics
      (pp. 166-209)

      In Chapter 5 we found that in most cases KDP had little direct effect on conflict management. There are other ways, however, in which the program may lead to changes in the level and impacts of local conflicts and in how they are managed when they arise. This chapter examines three ways in which KDP mayindirectlyimpact conflict management capacity: through changing social structures, forms of behavior, and norms and perceptions in the localities where it works.

      Development projects such as KDP aim, albeit implicitly and in often unacknowledged ways, to reshape inter- and intragroup and state-society relations. The...

    • CHAPTER 7 How Contexts Shape Project Performance and Conflict Trajectories
      (pp. 210-244)

      Thus far we have examined the different impacts, positive and negative, direct and indirect, that KDP has on local conflict and its management. We have found that KDP triggers conflicts and interacts with existing tensions, but that these do not become violent. The program has little direct impact on either conflict levels or conflict management; its forums and facilitators are not often used for disputes unrelated to the program. It does, however, indirectly affect conflict environments and, in so doing, helps improve medium- to long-term conflict management capacity.

      These are aggregate findings representing general trends across the different research areas....


    • CHAPTER 8 Contesting Development: Policies and Projects as if Social Theory Mattered
      (pp. 247-270)

      This book has focused on the local-level dynamics of social change and conflict that are part of the larger processes of development. These dynamics are accentuated by, and can often be most clearly observed by studying, initiatives such as development projects that explicitly seek to intensify the scale and pace of those processes, often for targeted groups (such as the poor). In this sense, development is “history in a hurry.” This book has explored these processes through an examination of the conflict-development nexus in Indonesia, in particular, via a detailed examination of the Kecamatan Development Program, a project designed largely...

  8. APPENDIX: Additional Methodological and Empirical Details
    (pp. 271-292)
  9. Notes
    (pp. 293-322)
  10. Glossary
    (pp. 323-326)
  11. References
    (pp. 327-350)
  12. Index
    (pp. 351-358)