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The Forest People without a Forest: Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon

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The Forest People without a Forest

Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon

Glory M. Lueong

218 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-380-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-381-1 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The book will be of interest to students, development practitioners and anthropologists more broadly, particularly as a lesson in the broader consequences of the cultural framings of the groups we engage with.” • Social Anthropology

“This is a fascinating and important case in Cameroon and a crucial lesson for anthropology, which has at times been inclined to take the erroneous position that groupness is an inexpungeable reality when it may not exist today and may not have existed in the past.” • Anthropology Review Database


Development interventions often generate contradictions around questions of who benefits from development and which communities are targeted for intervention. This book examines how the Baka, who live in Eastern Cameroon, assert forms of belonging in order to participate in development interventions, and how community life is shaped and reshaped through these interventions. Often referred to as ‘forest people’, the Baka have witnessed many recent development interventions that include competing and contradictory policies such as ‘civilize’, assimilate and integrate the Baka into ‘full citizenship’, conserve the forest and wildlife resources, and preserve indigenous cultures at the verge of extinction.

Glory M. Lueong is a senior fellow of the African Good Governance Network of the German Academic Exchange Service, where she works on issues of participatory natural resource governance. She holds a PhD in Sociology of Development from the University of Giessen. Her postdoctoral work is funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Subject: Development Studies Anthropology (General) Environmental Studies (General)
Area: Africa


List of Figures
List of Acronyms


Chapter 1. Pygmies amidst ‘development’ practices in Cameroon
Chapter 2. Claims to Belonging: A confrontation of two versions of belonging in East Cameroon
Chapter 3. Reconstructing ‘rootedness in the soil’ to authenticate belonging to the roadsides
Chapter 4. Internal differentiation and inequality among the Baka
Chapter 5. Development participation among the Baka in the East Region of Cameroon



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