Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Socialism without liberation: Land Reclamation Projects in Guinea-Bissau

Kohnert, Dirk (1988): Socialism without liberation: Land Reclamation Projects in Guinea-Bissau. Published in: Sociologia Ruralis , Vol. 28, No. 2/3 (August 1988): pp. 161-175.

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Abstract

One of the outstanding aims of most liberation movements has been to increase the economic well-being of their people, Guinea-Bissau being no exception in this respect. How far has the new Nation State succeeded in fulfilling this aim? A comparative analysis of the implementation of land reclamation projects during colonial and post-colonial times reveals astonishing similarities: especially the centralization of development efforts in the hands of administrators disconnected from the grassroots, lack of target group analysis and misconceptions about the aims and needs, as well as the resources, of the population involved in the development efforts, on the part of the administration. The effects of this negative conditioning process of 'development' over many years on the chances of cooperation between peasants and the administration are still largely unknown. Any development planner who wants to encourage the local population to take their future into their own hands, would have to take account of this negative conditioning process.

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