Anthropology and Politics

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Development and 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.

Published By School for Advanced Research Press


6 x 9 in. 344 pages 5 figs.