Bridging the Gaps

Bridging the Gaps : Faith-based Organizations, Neoliberalism, and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

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As neoliberal philosophies and economic models spread across the globe, faith-based non-governmental ("third-sector") organizations have proliferated. They increasingly fill the gaps born of state neglect by designing and delivering social services and development programming. This collection shines a much-needed critical light onto these organizations by exploring the varied ways that faith-based organizations attempt to mend the fissures and mitigate the effects of neoliberal capitalism and development practices on the poor and powerless. The essays-grounded in empirical case studies-cover such topics as the meaning of "faith-based" development, evaluations of faith-based versus secular approaches, the influence of faith-orientation on program formulation and delivery, and examinations of faith-based organizations' impacts on structural inequality and poverty alleviation. Bridging the Gaps demonstrates the vital importance of ethnography for understanding the particular role of faith-based agencies in Latin America, revealing both the promise and the limitations of this "new" mode of development.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 162 x 239 x 22mm | 531g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739132873
  • 9780739132876
  • 3,076,041

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Faith-Based Organizations, Neoliberalism, and Development: An Introduction 2 Waging the War on Drugs: Neoliberal Governance and the Formation of Faith-Based Organizations in Urban Mexico 3 Fighting for "Livity": Rastafari Politics in a Neoliberal State 4 Encouraging Development "Alternatives": Grassroots Church Partnering in the U.S. and Haiti 5 Searching for Solidarity in Nicaragua: Faith-Based NGOs as Agents of Trans-cultural Voluntourism 6 Beyond Development and "Projects": The Globalization of Solidarity 7 How Is Your Life Since Then? Gender, Doctrine, and Development in Bolivia 8 "God Wants Us to Have a Life That Is Sustainable": Faith-Based Development and Economic Change in Andean Peasant Communities 9 A Chilean Faith-Based NGO's Social Service Mission in the Context of Neoliberal Reform 10 Faith-Related Education NGOs in Latin America: The Case of Fe y Alegria in Peru 11 Soka Gakkai in Brazil: Buddhism, Recruitment, or Marketing? 12 Faith, Hope, Charity: Catholic Development Organizations in Argentina 13 The Salesian Missions of Ecuador: Building an Anti-Neoliberal Nation through the Cultural and Political Construction of the Indigenous Movement
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Review quote

This collection is an important addition to the growing literature on faith-based organisations and how they engage with development. In its richly contextualised and nuanced ethnographies of FBOs in Central and Latin America and the Caribbean, it highlights the complexities of the faith-based sector and the ways in which FBOs themselves are transformed by their encounter with development discourse and neoliberalism. Together, the book demonstrates the possibilities and limits of faith engagement with development. It should be read by anyone seeking to understand the shifting roles, constraints, challenges, and opportunities of faith-based development activity. -- Michael Jennings, senior lecturer in international development at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
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About Tara Hefferan

Tara Hefferan is visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Central Michigan University. Julie Adkins is an instructor in anthropology at Southern Methodist University. Laurie Occhipinti is associate professor of anthropology at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
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