Freeing the ‘Aboriginal Individual’

Deconstructing ‘Development as Freedom’ in Remote Indigenous Australia

in Social Analysis
View More View Less
  • 1 Australian National University Hannah.Bulloch@anu.edu.au
  • 2 National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University Bill.Fogarty@anu.edu.au
Restricted access

Abstract

The idea that freedom should be an explicit goal of development schemes has become popular over recent decades. In this article we consider ways in which the concept is applied to remote Indigenous Australia, such as in Noel Pearson’s invocations of Amartya Sen’s concept of ‘development as freedom’. We draw on the work of governmentality theorists that critically probes the notion of freedom and the ways in which it is tied to its seeming antonym, discipline. We ask what understandings of remote Indigenous Australian life, what ways of thinking about Indigenous futures, may be eclipsed by approaching development aspirations through this (neo-)liberal prism of freedom.

Contributor Notes

Hannah Bulloch is a Research Fellow in Anthropology in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University, where she holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. Her research interests focus on the ways in which discourses of development vary cross-culturally and how they influence people’s life aspirations and identities. Much of her ethnographic work has focused on the Philippines, where she is also exploring the roles and aspirations of young women.

William Fogarty is a Senior Fellow in the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. His research is concerned with the nexus between development discourse, Indigenous policy, and education. His studies are informed by living and working with remote Aboriginal communities for over 15 years in the north of Australia.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

  • Agrawal, Arun. 2005. Environmentality: Technologies of Government and the Making of Subjects. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Alkire, Sabina. 2002. Valuing Freedoms: Sen’s Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Alkire, Sabina, and Rufus Black. 1997. “A Practical Reasoning Theory of Development Ethics: Furthering the Capabilities Approach.” Journal of International Development 9, no. 2: 263279.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Althusser, Louis. [1970] 2006. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. Trans. Ben Brewster. Delhi: Aakar Books.

  • Altman, Jon C. 2007. “In the Name of the Market?” Pp. 307321 in Altman and Hinkson 2007.

  • Altman, Jon C. 2011. “Alleviating Poverty in Remote Indigenous Australia: The Hybrid Economy.” Pp. 330336 in Economics as a Social Science: Readings in Political Economy, ed. George Argyrous and Frank Stilwell. Melbourne: Tilde University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Altman, Jon C., and William Fogarty. 2010. “Indigenous Australians as ‘No Gaps’ subjects: Education and Development in Remote Indigenous Australia.” Pp. 109128 in Closing the Gap in Education? Improving Outcomes in Southern World Societies, ed. Ilana Snyder and John Nieuwenhuysen. Clayton, VIC: Monash University Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Altman, Jon C., and Melinda Hinkson, eds. 2007. Coercive Reconciliation: Stabilise, Normalise, Exit Aboriginal Australia. Melbourne: Arena Publications.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Statistical Geography: Vol. 1: Australian Standard Geographical Classification. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bulloch, Hannah. 2013. “Concerning Constructions of Self and Other: Auto-racism and Imagining Amerika in the Christian Philippines.” Anthropological Forum 23, no. 3: 221241.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bulloch, Hannah. 2014. “Contending Developments: Local Notions of Development on Siquijor Island, Philippines.” Journal of International Development 26, no. 2: 177186.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bulloch, Hannah. 2015. “Ambivalent Moralities of Cooperation and Corruption: Local Explanations for (Under)Development on a Philippine Island.” TAJA. doi:10.1111/taja.12173.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bulloch, Hannah. Forthcoming. In Pursuit of Progress: Narratives of Development on a Philippine Island. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cape York Institute. 2005a. “Can Cape York Communities be Economically Viable?Viewpoint, Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, Cairns, November.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cape York Institute. 2005b. “Freedom, Capabilities and the Cape York Reform Agenda.” Viewpoint, Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, Cairns, October.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clark, David A. 2002. Visions of Development: A Study of Human Values. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Clark, David A. 2003. “Concepts and Perceptions of Human Well-Being: Some Evidence from South Africa.” Oxford Development Studies 31, no. 2: 173196.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Commonwealth of Australia. 2012. Cape York Welfare Reform Evaluation. Canberra: FaHCSIA.

  • Conklin, Beth A., and Lynn M. Morgan. 1996. “Babies, Bodies, and the Production of Personhood in North America and a Native Amazonian Society.” Ethos 24, no. 4: 657694.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cooke, Bill, and Uma Kothari, eds. 2001. Participation: The New Tyranny? London: Zed Books.

  • Cowen, M. P., and R. W. Shenton. 1996. Doctrines of Development. London: Routledge.

  • Crewe, Emma, and Elizabeth Harrison. 1998. Whose Development? An Ethnography of Aid. London: Zed Books.

  • Crush, Jonathan. 1995. Power of Development. London: Routledge.

  • Dean, Mitchell. 1999. Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society. London: Sage.

  • Dean, Mitchell, and Barry Hindess. 1998. “Introduction: Government, Liberalism, Society.” Pp. 119 in Governing Australia: Studies in Contemporary Rationalities of Government, ed. Mitchell Dean and Barry Hindess. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dumont, Louis. 1986. Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Escobar, Arturo. 1995. Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Ferguson, James. 1996. The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development,” Depoliticization and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ferguson, James. 2013. “Declarations of Dependence: Labour, Personhood, and Welfare in Southern Africa.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19, no. 2: 223242.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fogarty, William. 2013. “Indigenous Education: Policy, Pedagogy, and Place.” Pp. 247265 in In Black & White: Australians All at the Crossroads, ed. Rhonda Craven, Anthony Dillon, and Nigel Parbury. Ballarat: Connor Court Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fogarty, William, and Mathew Ryan. 2007. “Monday in Maningrida.” Pp. 263270 in Altman and Hinkson 2007.

  • Fogarty, William, and Robert Schwab. 2012. “Education, Land and Learning.” Ngiya: Talk the Law 4: 98121.

  • Foucault, Michel. 2010. The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1982–1983. Ed. Frédéric Gros; trans. Graham Burchell. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glaskin, Katie. 2012. “Anatomies of Relatedness: Considering Personhood in Aboriginal Australia.” American Anthropologist 114, no. 2: 297308.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hacking, Ian. 1986. “Making Up People.” Pp. 222236 in Reconstructing Individualism: Autonomy, Individuality and the Self in Western Thought, ed. Thomas C. Heller, Morton Sosna, and David E. Wellbery. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hasluck, Paul. 1988. Shades of Darkness: Aboriginal Affairs 1925–1965. Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing.

  • Hindess, Barry. 2001. “The Liberal Government of Unfreedom.” Alternatives 26, no. 2: 93111.

  • Hodge, Paul. 2014. “‘Governed Freedom’ in Oceania: AusAID, Subjectivation and the Practice of Critique in Studies of Governmentality.” Asia Pacific Viewpoint 55, no. 3: 292305.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hunt, Janet. 2008. “Development in Indigenous Australia: International Meanings and Local Approaches.” Paper presented at a seminar of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, 11 June.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Karp, Ivan. 2002. “Development and Personhood: Tracing the Contours of a Moral Discourse.” Pp. 82104 in Critically Modern: Alternatives, Alterities, Anthropologies, ed. Bruce M. Knauft. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keen, Ian. 2006. “Ancestors, Magic, and Exchange in Yolngu Doctrines: Extensions of the Person in Time and Space.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 12, no. 3: 515530.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Klein, Elise. 2015. “A Critical Review of the Capability Approach in Australian Indigenous Policy.” CAEPR Working Paper No. 102, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lamb, Sarah. 1997. “The Making and Unmaking of Persons: Notes on Aging and Gender in North India.” Ethos 25, no. 3: 279302.

  • Lattas, Andrew, and Barry Morris. 2010. “The Politics of Suffering and the Politics of Anthropology.” Pp. 6188 in Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia, ed. Jon Altman and Melinda Hinkson. Sydney: UNSW Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lawrence, Rebecca. 2005. “Governing Warlpiri Subjects: Indigenous Employment and Training Programs in the Central Australian Mining Industry.” Geographical Research 43, no. 1: 4048.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LiPuma, Edward. 2000. Encompassing Others: The Magic of Modernity in Melanesia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

  • Lovell, Melissa. 2014. “Languages of Neoliberal Critique: The Production of Coercive Government in the Northern Territory Intervention.” Pp. 221240 in Studies in Australian Political Rhetoric, ed. John Uhr and Ryan Walter. Canberra: ANU Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mahmood, Saba. 2005. Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Manne, Robert. 2007. “Pearson’s Gamble, Stanner’s Dream: The Past and Future of Remote Australia.” The Monthly, 30 August.

  • Marriott, McKim. 1976. “Hindu Transactions: Diversity without Dualism.” Pp. 109142 in Transaction and Meaning: Directions in the Anthropology of Exchange and Symbolic Behavior, ed. Bruce Kapferer. Philadelphia: ISHI Publications.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martin, David. 1997. “Regional Agreements and Localism: A Case Study from Cape York Peninsula.” CAEPR Discussion Paper No. 146, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, Canberra.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martin, David. 2001. “Is Welfare Dependency ‘Welfare Poison’? An Assessment of Noel Pearson’s Proposals for Aboriginal Welfare Reform.” CAEPR Discussion Paper No. 213, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, Canberra.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martin, David. 2006. “Why the ‘New Direction’ in Federal Indigenous Affairs Policy Is as Likely to ‘Fail’ as the Old Directions.” Topical Issue No. 5/2006. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, Canberra.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morris, Barry. 1988. “Dhan-Gadi Resistance to Assimilation.” Pp. 3363 in Being Black: Aboriginal Cultures in ‘Settled’ Australia, ed. Ian Keen. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morris, Barry. 1989. Domesticating Resistance: The Dhan-Gadi Aborigines and the Australian State. Oxford: Berg.

  • Mosse, David. 2005. Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London: Pluto Press.

  • Munn, Nancy D. 1970. “The Transformation of Subjects into Objects in Walbiri and Pitjantjatjara Myth.” Pp. 141163 in Australian Aboriginal Anthropology, ed. Ronald M. Berndt. Nedlands: University of Western Australian Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Novak, Michael. 2012. “The Moral Imperative of a Free Economy.” Pp. 287300 in The 4% Solution: Unleashing the Economic Growth America Needs, ed. Brendan Miniter. New York: Crown Business.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. 2000. Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Pearson, Noel. 2005a. “The Cape York Agenda.” Address on 30 November to the National Press Club published by the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, Cairns.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pearson, Noel. 2005b. “The Cape York Agenda: ‘Fundamental Transformation through Radical Reform.’Paper published by the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, Cairns.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pearson, Noel. 2005c. Welfare Reform and Economic Development for Indigenous Communities. St Leonards, NSW: Centre for Independent Studies.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pearson, Noel. 2009. Up from the Mission: Selected Writings. Melbourne: Black Inc.

  • Pearson, Noel. 2010. “Nights When I Dream of a Better World: Moving from the Centre-Left to the Radical Centre of Australian Politics.” John Button Oration, 7 September. http://www.partnerships.org.au/Library/Radical_Centre.htm (accessed 7 July 2014).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pearson, Noel. 2011. “Individualism versus Communalism.” The Australian, 6 August. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/individualism-versus-communalism/story-e6frgd0x-1226109346928 (accessed 30 June 2014).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Peterson, Nicolas. 1993. “Demand Sharing: Reciprocity and the Pressure for Generosity among Foragers.” American Anthropologist 95, no. 4: 860874.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robeyns, Ingrid. 2003. “Sen’s Capability Approach and Gender Inequality: Selecting Relevant Capabilities.” Feminist Economics 9, no. 2–3: 6192.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rose, Nikolas. 1996a. “Governing ‘Advanced’ Liberal Democracies.” Pp. 3764 in Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism and Rationalities of Government, ed. Andrew Barry, Thomas Osborne, and Nikolas Rose. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rose, Nikolas. 1996b. Inventing Our Selves: Psychology, Power, and Personhood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Rose, Nikolas. 1999. Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Rowley, Charles D. 1970. The Destruction of Aboriginal Society. Melbourne: Penguin.

  • Rowse, Tim. 2002. Indigenous Futures: Choice and Development for Aboriginal and Islander Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press.

  • Sachs, Wolfgang, ed. 1992. The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power. London: Zed Books.

  • Sanders, Will. 1996. “Local Governments and Indigenous Australians: Developments and Dilemmas in Contrasting Circumstances.” Australian Journal of Political Science 31, no. 2: 153174.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scott, James C. 1976. The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sen, Amartya. 1985. “Well-Being, Agency and Freedom: The Dewey Lectures 1984.” Journal of Philosophy 82, no. 4: 169221.

  • Sen, Amartya. 1990. “Development as Capability Expansion.” Pp. 4158 in Human Development and the International Development Strategy for the 1990s, ed. Keith Griffin and John Knight. London: Macmillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sen, Amartya. 1999. Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Sen, Amartya. 2005. “Human Rights and Capabilities.” Journal of Human Development 6, no. 2: 151166.

  • Shweder, Richard A., and Edmund J. Bourne. 1982. “Does the Concept of the Person Vary Cross-Culturally?” Pp. 97137 in Cultural Conceptions of Mental Health and Therapy, ed. Anthony J. Marsella and Geoffrey M. White. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sillitoe, Paul, ed. 2007. Local Science vs. Global Science: Approaches to Indigenous Knowledge in International Development. New York: Berghahn Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spiro, Melford E. 1993. “Is the Western Conception of the Self ‘Peculiar’ within the Context of the World Cultures?Ethos 21, no. 2: 107153.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stanner, W. E. H. 1979. White Man Got No Dreaming: Essays, 1938–1973. Canberra: Australian National University Press.

  • Storey, Donovan, Hannah Bulloch, and John Overton. 2005. “The Poverty Consensus: Some Limitations of the ‘Popular Agenda.’Progress in Development Studies 5, no. 1: 3044.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strathern, Marilyn. 1988. The Gender of the Gift: Problems with Women and Problems with Society in Melanesia. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thompson, E. P. 1971. “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century.” Past and Present 50: 76136.

  • Waller, Lisa. 2013. “It Comes with the Territory: ‘Remote’ Indigenous Reporting for Mainstream Audiences.” Australian Journalism Monographs 14, no. 1: 142.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Watt, Elizabeth. 2013. “The Implementation of the Capabilities Approach in Cape York: Can Paternalism be a Pre-condition for Participation?Development Bulletin 75: 3942.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 41 41 14
Full Text Views 8 8 2
PDF Downloads 3 3 0