The politics of state–led development projects since the 1950s are explored through three case studies: the works of a soil scientist who served the British colonial state in Belize; two agricultural development projects that intended to settle Maya agriculture by improving mechanized rice production; and a ′counter–mapping′ project that offers an indigenous view of the geography of southern Belize. Wainwright demonstrates how development a stage upon which colonial struggles are replayed sustains the very power inequalities it aims to resolve.
Part I: Colonizing the Maya.
1. The territorialization of southern Belize.
2. The matter of the Maya farm system.
3. An archaeology of Mayanism.
Part II: Aporias of development.
4. From colonial to development knowledge.
5. Settling: fieldwork in the ruins of development.
6. Finishing the critique of cultural ecology.
"Theoretically sophisticated ... .It has some important things to say that are relevant to both scholars and practitioners concerned with development practices in the South today." (Geographical Journal, 2009)
"Culture studies sometimes receive a hasty, often incoherent introduction ... .Fortunately, this book is an exception. Wainwright provides a meticulous and actually readable explanation of the culture studies ′manifesto.′ One of the interesting issues discussed was the Mayas′ ′development′ into settled farming, as opposed to their original milpa (i.e., slash and bum) agriculture. Recommended." (CHOICE, December 2008)