Akin On the Conservation of Force

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This chapter considers bureaucracy itself to be a site of struggle within the marine park and explores how the valorization and exclusion of particular kinds of knowledge within park institutions works to marginalize Mafia residents despite the official emphasis on participation. The final chapter, “Tourist Encounters: Alternate Readings of Nature and ‘Development,’ ” considers the different meanings assigned to development by various park actors as well as the social implications of the particular form of “development” being championed within the marine park—tourism.

I was also at times called upon to serve as an intermediary with individuals involved in Chole’s tourist camp or with the marine park. Some people clearly hoped that what I might say, or later write in my book or ripoti, could serve as a means to communicate with more powerful others who could not, or would not, otherwise hear their viewpoints. Although my relationships with people on Chole were marked by a closeness built, in some cases, on affection and friendship, and in others on mutual self-interest, my relationships with other actors on Mafia were at times more fraught.

On Mafia, rather than politically appropriating the concept of maendeleo or development, residents have instead mapped it onto broader historical understandings of wealth and economic relations. Similarly, what are often referred to as modern institutions have also been put to multiple uses within the marine park. For exam- 16 • Introduction ple, contestation over the apparatus of park bureaucracy itself formed a significant strand in the social drama of Mafia’s marine park (see chapter 7). In addition, the fact that bureaucracies can institutionalize rights and counter abuses of power (while also imposing their will upon the less powerful) is a point that may be too easily neglected in some Foucauldian accounts.

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