Village Models: Etawah, India, and the Making and Remaking of Development in the Early Cold War




In 1946, American architect Albert Mayer began a pilot project in “village reconstruction” for India. The resulting Etawah project in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh helped inspire a national program in India and appeared as a model to U.S. policy makers, international organizations, and postcolonial leaders seeking to align peasants to elite development goals. Although it would be swept up in Cold War ambitions and in Cold War historiography, Etawah was not just a Cold War project or even simply an American or Indian project. Over time, Indians colluded with Americans in the erasure of Etawah’s transnational roots and rewrote the pilot project for a range of, often contradictory, purposes. Unpacking the many versions of Etawah reveals that the origins of development as a field are to be found in transnational interchanges, contending national, imperial, and disciplinary visions, and conscious efforts to shape its meaning.

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Copyright © 2013 Oxford University Press. This article first appeared in Diplomatic History 37:4 (2013), 749-778.

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