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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 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2016)
ISBN 978-1-80073-216-2 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Not Yet Published (January 2022)
eISBN 978-1-78533-381-1 eBook
“The book will be of interest to students, development practitioners and anthropologists more broadly, particularly as a lesson in the broader consequences of the cultural framings of the groups we engage with.” • Social Anthropology
“This is a fascinating and important case in Cameroon and a crucial lesson for anthropology, which has at times been inclined to take the erroneous position that groupness is an inexpungeable reality when it may not exist today and may not have existed in the past.” • Anthropology Review Database
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.