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Asia-Pacific Studies: Past and Present
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Making a Difference?
Social Assessment Policy and Praxis and its Emergence in China
Edited by Susanna Price and Kathryn Robinson
316 pages, 3 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-457-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 2015)
eISBN 978-1-78238-458-8 eBook
“…an excellent collection of essays and case studies offering both a critical and nuanced look at how projects are produced from a practitioner’s perspective. Contributing authors . . . reflect work within a development enterprise where economic determinism reigns supreme . . . With an emphasis on highlighting the lessons learned, this book is an engaging, educational, and provocative read.” · Barbara Rose Johnston, Environment, Health and Human Rights, Center for Political Ecology
Social assessment for projects in China is an important emerging field. This collection of essays — from authors whose formative work has influenced the policies that shape practice in development-affected communities — locates recent Chinese experience of the development of social assessment practices (including in displacement and resettlement) in a historical and comparative perspective. Contributors — social scientists employed by international development banks, national government agencies, and sub-contracting groups — examine projects from a practitioner’s perspective. Real-life experiences are presented as case-specific praxis, theoretically informed insight, and pragmatic lessons-learned, grounded in the history of this field of development practice. They reflect on work where economic determinism reigns supreme, yet project failure or success often hinges upon sociopolitical and cultural factors.
Susanna Price is a Research Associate in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. She has pioneered strategies for social assessment, starting with AusAid, and was then recruited as a social development specialist, with a lead role in resettlement, by the Asian Development Bank. She is recognized internationally as an expert on social assessment in resettlement associated with major infrastructure projects. Publications include a special edited volume on resettlement in Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology (2009).
Kathryn Robinson is Professor in Anthropology at the Australian National University, in the School of Culture, History & Language, College of Asia and the Pacific; and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. She specializes in Anthropology, Economic Geography, International Relations, and Gender Specific Studies. Publications include Gender Islam and Democracy in Indonesia (2009) and Asian and Pacific Cosmopolitans: Self and Subject in Motion (2007). She also works as a development consultant in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.