The Challenges of Development in South Africa

The Challenges of Development in Southern Africa


The following is a synopsis developed from press releases issued by the UI Communications and Marketing Department; additional comments in italics

Pauline Peters of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University traveled to UI to discuss her research on the challenges of development in southern Africa.

“Development is one of those touchstone ideas that attracts or repulses many people,” said Bill Smith, director of the university’s Martin Institute. “At what point should nations like ours help modernize societies elsewhere and at what cost to local cultures, and at what point should we let them chart their own paths? Peters is a perfect person to help us look at both sides of the question.”

Peters, a lecturer in public policy and anthropology, is a social anthropologist whose research concentrates on agrarian transformation. She also has extensive field research in southern and east-central Africa. In 1982, she joined the Harvard Institute for International Development, where she became a Fellow. She joined the Kennedy School of Government in 2000. Peters also has several publications, which include; “Dividing the Commons: Politics, Policy and Culture in Botswana” and “Development Encounters: Sites of Participations and Knowledge.”

The Departments of Geography and Sociology co-sponsored this visit.