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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Whose Modernity? Indigenous Modernities and Land Claims After Apartheid
Author:Robins, Steven
Periodical:Development and Change
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:rural development
customary law
land law
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Abstract:This paper questions some of the key assumptions of post-development and anti-development critics, who tend to prescribe a puritanical and principled rejection of 'exogenous development' that does not necessarily reflect the needs and desires of the beneficiaries of development. Drawing on fieldwork research on land claims among the Makuleke, Nama and San in Northern Cape and Northern Provinces (South Africa), the author argues that these beneficiaries tend to deploy hybrid and highly selective and situational responses to development interventions. These hybrid responses can be regarded as 'indigenous modernities'. Development packages are resisted, embraced, reshaped or accommodated depending on the content and context. The author also questions the statement that depoliticizing development discourses inevitably buttresses bureaucratic State power. Rather, the fieldwork findings suggest that State-led development is often a risky business that can undermine the legitimacy and authority of governments. In addition, it is often the retreat of the neoliberal State, rather than 'the tyranny of development', that poses the most serious threat to household livelihood strategies and economic survival. Responses to development are usually neither wholesale endorsements nor radical rejections of modernity. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]