WHEN DEVELOPMENT MEETS CULTURE AND CONFLICT: THE CHALLENGES AND PARADOXES OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
This essay examines the nexus between development, culture and conflict. It finds that development is not so much a well-intentioned process to raise the well-being of poor people. Rather, it is the product of a political agenda that has transformed itself over time yet continues to be characterised by insufficient attention to the goals, cultural values and agency of those for whom development support is intended. The result is that development, even when well intentioned, can contribute to increased conflict. This paper finds that some of the approaches used in effective conflict resolution could usefully be incorporated into development theory and practice.