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The Forest People without a Forest

Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon

Glory M. Lueong

218 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-380-4 $90.00/£64.00 Hb Published (December 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-381-1 eBook

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Development interventions often generate contradictions around questions of who benefits from development and which communities are targeted for intervention. This book examines how the Baka, who live in Eastern Cameroon, assert forms of belonging in order to participate in development interventions, and how community life is shaped and reshaped through these interventions. Often referred to as ‘forest people’, the Baka have witnessed many recent development interventions that include competing and contradictory policies such as ‘civilize’, assimilate and integrate the Baka into ‘full citizenship’, conserve the forest and wildlife resources, and preserve indigenous cultures at the verge of extinction.

Glory M. Lueong is a senior fellow of the African Good Governance Network of the German Academic Exchange Service, where she works on issues of participatory natural resource governance. She holds a PhD in Sociology of Development from the University of Giessen. Her postdoctoral work is funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Subject: Development Studies General Anthropology Environmental Studies
Area: Africa

LC: DT571.B322 L84 2017

BISAC: SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; SOC062000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Indigenous Studies; SOC042000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Developing Countries

BIC: JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography; RNT Social impact of environmental issues


List of Figures
List of Acronyms


Chapter 1. Pygmies amidst ‘development’ practices in Cameroon
Chapter 2. Claims to Belonging: A confrontation of two versions of belonging in East Cameroon
Chapter 3. Reconstructing ‘rootedness in the soil’ to authenticate belonging to the roadsides
Chapter 4. Internal differentiation and inequality among the Baka
Chapter 5. Development participation among the Baka in the East Region of Cameroon



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