By Vijayendra Rao, Michael Walton
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Extra info for Culture and Public Action
This suggests the need for a process of discovery of what diﬀerent groups believe and value, and a recognition of where there are genuine choices to be made. Kuran’s example of a more liberal majority in Islamic societies being silenced by the voices of a radical minority is clearly a case of preference falsiﬁcation. “Man in the street” interviews conducted by journalists in repressive dictatorships where the interviewees express strong support for the regime are another. When those beliefs are internalized and become part of the value system of all groups, we would call them constraining preferences.
Also important was the focused attention on respecting the cultures of indigenous groups in the design of policy and projects that might aﬀect them— with the development of speciﬁc guidelines on approaches to engage and debate with such groups (see the chapter by Sabina Alkire). 30 Culture as a concept began to make inroads into thinking about policy (Serageldin and Tabaroﬀ 1994) and was explicitly developed as a theme by James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank (Wolfensohn 1998). This report introduced the concept of empowerment as one of the central pillars of poverty-focused development.
See the chapter by Carol Jenkins for further discussion of sexual subcultures and their role in HIV-AIDS. 4. An important challenge was that sex workers faced losses of about 60% of their income if they used condoms because their clients had a strong preference for condom-free sex (Rao et al. 2003). 5. Despite this long engagement, Klitgaard (1994) proposes four reasons why anthropological notions have not yet become part of the mainstream practice of development. These are diﬀerences in the cultures of economics and anthropology, the fear that taking culture into account will lead to an oversimpliﬁcation and misguided use of complex ideas, the sheer diﬃculty of constructing an analytical apparatus for the subject, and a “misguided notion of policy analysis” (Klitgaard 1994, 87).
Culture and Public Action by Vijayendra Rao, Michael Walton