Friday, October 7, 2011

Global, Local, Expert?

Sorry to be a bit boring, got development in mind lately. The movement to democratize the industry and let people self-determine is finally picking up steam in tangible ways. Rakesh Rajani's piece about the business of development provides a nice framework for the global-local relationship. So Ben Taylor's piece offering two possible approaches to Open Government in Tanzania is a nice follow up. What was it again? Oh yeah: think global act local. That must have been a few development paradigms ago. Plus ca change.

On the issue of global/local and 'expertise,' by stalking William Easterly on the Twitter I came across an article published in 2008 by Nathan Nunn and Leonard Wantchekon titled 'The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa.' Anyone who can claim to know the origins of mistrust in Africa is already taking a huge risk in my opinion. I find the article objectionable on any number of levels, but in the interest of saving time let me just ask you to contrast their approach to 'Africa' with this anthropologist's approach to studying a complex issue in an African setting. Social scientists, all three studying a culture not their own. The economists do come out of this looking like aliens trying to puzzle out human behavior. Sigh. Economists.

So, Chadema lost Igunga. Here's Omar's original piece on the importance of this election for Chadema, and a follow-up that dips into some past analysis. And a post-mortem from The Citizen that contains interesting opinions from 'the man on the ground'.

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