[URBANTH-L]CPF: Critical Ethnographies of Contemporary U.S.
Mark A. Schuller
marky at umail.ucsb.edu
Wed Sep 13 14:44:09 EDT 2006
Critical Ethnographies of Contemporary U.S. Development: New Policies,
Practices and Institutions in the 21st Century
Proposed session for the 67th Annual Society for Applied Anthropology meetings
Foreign development in the U.S. has undergone a series of dramatic
changes during the past few years. New policies have taken root, such
as the abstinence-oriented AIDS prevention program, for the first time
open to religious groups, as part of the new Presidents Emergency
Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Transformational development
accompanies a renewed focus on fragile states following the
Presidents National Security address naming development as the third
pillar in the fight against terrorism. Another change in development
practice and orientation is performance-based management, especially
for health-related programs. There has been a flowering of new
development institutions as well, such as the office of the Global
AIDS Coordinator and the Office for Coordinator for Reconstruction and
Stabilization (S-CRS), ambassador-level posts in the State Department.
A new organization, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC),
implements the focus on transformational development. Finally, in
January 2006, the Secretary of State announced a reorganization of
development assistance, naming a new Director of Foreign Assistance.
These new programs, policies, and structures have been heralded as
more effective, responsive, cost-effective and successful, having been
designed following lessons learned specifically from failures of
the first half-century of the development experience. Are these new
directions meeting their stated goals? What effects do they have on
local communities? What are the unforeseen consequences? To date,
these new directions have not been rigorously analyzed by independent,
on-the-ground, ethnographic evaluations. This session aims to serve as
a forum for critical analysis and discussion of contemporary U.S.
development policies, practices, and institutions, in the spirit of
generating new tools for policy analysis and evaluation. In addition,
session participants will be encouraged to explore new approaches for
community advocacy appropriate to the shifting terrain.
Interested panelists are invited to contact session organizer Mark
Schuller at marky at umail.ucsb.edu by October 1st with a title and
general ideas. If selected, panelists will be required to register for
the SfAA meetings and submit a 100-word abstract by October 15th.
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