The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development,” Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho.

Lohmann, L., & Ferguson, J. (1994). The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development,” Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. The Ecologist. 24(5), 176-181.

This essay by James Ferguson and Larry Lohmann looks at the success of development in developing areas by first world nations. He argues that economic development is achieved through political endeavors and that bureaucratic powers look to increase their influence in other countries with low economic resources by promising aid through “development.” The authors study one specific case where this has been known to occur. They look at Lesotho, a place considered by many to be untouched by modern economic development but has rapid population growth. There is a different perception between people who are a part of the local community in Lesotho and outsiders, regarding the needs of the area. Many locals do not believe that Lesotho has been isolated from the world economy and the picture of the region constructed by the development agencies is nothing like the reality. Lesotho has had many organizations come in that start and fail at implementing their desired changes. However, Ferguson makes the point to say that the “side effects” of these attempts at development usually have some benefit for the locals. This is a big issue when it comes to environmental management because often times western organizations come but are not familiar with the environment and how the locals community engages with it, so they are not able to help in the best ways. One cannot simply implement strategies that work in some regions, in all regions. Ferguson says that the most important thing Westerners can do is simply participate in the politics and creation of policies in their own society