Interrogating Geographies of trust in Community Development — ASN Events

Interrogating Geographies of trust in Community Development (14229)

Christopher Wright

A number of scholars (Mosse, 2005; Van Gastel and Nuijten, 2005; Gould, 2005; Rossi, 2006) have sought to interrogate the dynamic interrelationships that play a pivotal role in the determination and implementation of community-based development projects and policy. However, this paper seeks to develop a “more nuanced” (Dietz, 2011:220) analysis of the micro-social relations of development by focussing on the role of trust between governmental, non-governmental and Indigenous community actors in Sabah, Malaysia. Building on the analysis of Horowitz (2011) and the methodological tools of Tsing (2005) and Mosse (2005), this research blends the Anthropology of Development with Political Ecology to highlight the critical importance of trust in community development in a way that enables to reader a glimpse of the contemporary geographies of trust at play in community  development in Sabah.  

Through this perspective, this paper seeks to highlight the critical impact that differing trust relations can have on community development, and the manner in which it may be created, contested and constantly re-created within and across social spaces surrounding development projects. Furthermore, through a series of interlinking narratives of trust, this research will present a number of the cultural, interpersonal and institutional dynamics at play.. It will also suggest that future research within the world of 'project implementation' consider the importance of trust, in order to understand the geographies of trust and the potential they have to influence development across community, state and national scales.