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.