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What can socio-cultural anthropology contribute toward a serious ex ante evaluation of policy and strategy, programme and project, promising and planning for a better future to come? 
Raymond Apthorpe (Royal Anthropological Institute)
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Thursday 9 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

By comparison with the plethora of theoretical and practical guidance for ex post policy evaluation of the actual track-records which have been achieved (or not), despite important exceptions such as environmental social impact analysis it remains that publicly available such guidance for serious ex ante evaluation, forecasting, predicting, of promised and planned futures is largely non-existent. What could a socio-cultural anthropological sensibility contribute to such ex ante evaluation?

Long Abstract:

With its well-rehearsed concerns for instance with societal and cultural continuity as well as schism, normative social order as well as normative disorder, alternative ideational conceptions of times and futures and societal and cultural disjunction as well as conjunction, the multiple appearances as well as the multiple realities of socio-cultural landscapes, and along with both substantivist and formalist modes and models of linkage and effect both structuralist and functionalist epistemologies, surely an anthropological sensibility would have much to contribute towards the credentials of socially and culturally informed ex ante, anticipatory, policy evaluation. But what, and how, such an anthropologically informed ex ante evaluation is to be theorised and done remains currently an open question. Thus whether with regard to development, humanitarian or environmental policy and policy studies, case study and/or programmatic papers are invited with a view to improving the ethnographic and discursive intelligibility required for, for example, answers as to how to reduce risk of ‘double jeopardy’ where whether through irrelevance or adverse consequences an ignorant policy might ab initio be condemned to make promised futures worse not better.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 9 June, 2022, -