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The Globalizers

, 392 pages

15 halftones, 10 line drawings

August 2005



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The Globalizers

Development Workers in Action

Using Honduras as a case study, Jeffrey T. Jackson illuminates the processes by which wealthy western countries target countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for political economic construction, or nation building. In the process, he draws a provocative connection between the efforts of international development workers and the emergence of global governance. Jackson examines the significant roles played by international development workers—"the globalizers"—operating in Honduras over the past thirty years, particularly in the troubled construction of the El Cajón hydroelectric dam, the creation of maquiladoras, and the multinational relief, recovery, and reconstruction efforts following Hurricane Mitch.

He finds in the international development community a close-knit coalition of policy makers who have inserted themselves into the local political process and pushed the Honduran nation-state to conform to international norms and integrate into a transnational structure of governance.

Jackson examines the mechanisms of power at the disposal of these development organizations, the expertise of those administering development aid, the agency of development workers, and the benefits that accrue to donor countries. In doing so he makes a persuasive connection between nation building and global governance—raising important questions about whose nations are being built and why.

Jeffrey T. Jackson is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi.

"An original and fascinating case study of how on-site development 'experts' are refashioning one corner of the global South into a locus of capitalist expansion. The empirical detail resulting from Jackson's intensive field-work is, in a word, exquisite."

"An admirable study of the development machinery in Honduras... A wonderful and compelling guide through the world of development. This work should get students, scholars, and the general public to seriously rethink it as anything but charitable, temporary, or minimal in its import."

"A detailed overview of how development works in a specific context, it could be well utilized in graduate courses as well as advanced undergraduate courses in globalization and development... A good read in a literary sense, holding the reader’s attention by carefully revealing detail after detail to unveil the hidden layers and the inner workings of economic development and political globalization."

"A rigorous ethnography of the practice of the global actors based in Honduras... There is now an enormous literature that questions the ideological stratagems of the globalization industry as propelled by the claims of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund... Jackson goes deeper than these accounts... What he illuminates is the mechanism by which this democratic powerlessness is produced, one in which consent rather than coercion is the dominant lever."

"This book definitely should go on your list of globalization readings!"

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