Development anthropologists are doubly damned-criticized by both academics and development professionals on romantic, moral, and intellectual grounds, and basically regarded as second-class citizens within the "development community." As a result, they have studiously avoided defining the principal objectives of development. Likewise, they have shied away from developing theories that direct action to the underlying causes of "underdevelopment." And given their traditional focus on the local context, development anthropologists have often been hard pressed to deal effectively with external factors, particularly power, whether political, institutional, or economic. An analysis of three rural development projects shows how anthropologists dealt with power. A key element was their effectiveness in the policy arena, based partly on their "anthropological authority," but also on their relative autonomy. Equally important is a broader definition of local participation that includes a realistic approach to empowerment. For development anthropology to shed its stigma of damnation, it is necessary for it to increase its concentration on critique and analysis, leading to better policy formulation, and the opportunity to implement policy as theory in practice.

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