By Tania Murray Li
Demonstrating that the “will to enhance” has an extended and afflicted background, Li identifies enduring continuities from the colonial interval to the current. She explores the instruments specialists have used to set the stipulations for reform—tools that mix the reshaping of wants with purposes of strength. Attending intimately to the highlands of Sulawesi, she exhibits how a chain of interventions entangled with each other and tracks their effects, starting from wealth to famine, from compliance to political mobilization, and from new solidarities to oppositional identities and violent assault. The Will to Improve is a fascinating read—conceptually cutting edge, empirically wealthy, and alive with the activities and reflections of the ambitions of development, individuals with their very own severe analyses of the issues that beset them.
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