Unjust Conditions follows the lives and labors of poor indigenous mothers in Peru, richly documenting the ordeals they face to participate in mainstream poverty alleviation programs. Championed by behavioral economists and the World Bank, conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are praised as efficient mechanisms for changing the behavior of poor people. While rooted in good intentions and dripping with the rhetoric of social inclusion, CCT programs' successes ring hollow, based solely on metrics to children’s attendance to schools or health clinics.
With a poignant voice and keen focus on ethnographic research, author Tara Patricia Cookson turns the reader’s gaze to landscapes of uneven development and grossly inadequate state investment, cleverly drawing out the tensions between social inclusion and conditionality.
Tara Patricia Cookson
is a Gates Cambridge Scholar and the founder of Ladysmith
, a women’s equality venture. Her research on gender, international development and social justice has been published in a variety of public and policy outlets as well as academic journals such as Antipode