In Village Work, Alice Wiemers has provided us with a helpful and revealing addition to the discussion of development in the twentieth century. Analyzing the rural Ghanaian north, particularly the village of Kpasenkpe, and marshalling sources from several archival sites in Ghana as well as more than 100 interviews, she analyzes what she terms “hinterland statecraft.” Contrary to seeing rural areas of the Global South as places where government is largely absent, she argues that both small-scale village development projects, along with “networks of engagement with development” among the members of Kpasenkpe's chiefly family, were “site[s] where statecraft happens” (20, 25). Covering periods involving colonial and late colonial rule, the early nationalist state, the “green revolution” of the 1970s, and the arrival of international NGOs such as World Vision in the 1980s, she shows how these seemingly disjointed efforts and disparate actors in fact constituted patterns in outsider engagements...

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