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The introduction situates contemporary student-initiated development within the broader context of development work in West Africa since 1960. While the earlier era was top-down, state-driven, and largely focused on infrastructure and things material, contemporary development aims small and targets the grassroots, concentrating on education, human rights issues, and entrepreneurialism—thus, more on human potential and things immaterial. The current moment, characterized by scholars as “neoliberal,” also mandates that needy individuals take responsibility for their own development. The chapter also discusses the appeal of student-initiated development in today’s global university while describing the initiatives of Duke students in Togo and the background context of the region in which they are located. Two lessons emerge: for any development project to succeed, it must tap into local knowledge; and failure should be expected, but such failure can also be instructive.

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Figures & Tables

Contents

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References

References

References
Benjamin
,
Bret
.
2007
.
Invested Interests: Capital, Culture and the World Bank
.
Minneapolis
:
University of Minnesota Press
.
Foucault
,
Michel
.
2010
.
The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979
.
New York
:
Picador
.
Handler
,
Richard
.
2013
. “
Disciplinary Adaptation and Undergraduate Desire: Anthropology and Global Development Studies in the Liberal Arts Curriculum
.”
Cultural Anthropology
28
, no.
2
:
181
203
.
Harvey
,
David
.
2007
.
A Brief History of Neoliberalism
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
.
Kristoff
,
Nicholas
.
2010
. “
DIY Foreign-Aid Revolution
.”
New York Times Magazine
,
October
29
,
2010
.
Moyo
,
Dambisa
.
2010
.
Dead Aid: Why Aid Makes Things Worse and How There Is Another Way for Africa
.
New York
:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
.
Piot
,
Charles
.
1999
.
Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
.
Piot
,
Charles
.
2010
.
Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
.
Redfield
,
Peter
.
2013
.
Life in Crisis: The Ethical Journey of Doctors without Borders
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
.
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