Why do so many anthropologists of development simply limit themselves to critiques of development rather than direct engagement? Maybe, says Edward Carr, to maintain some sort of distance between themselves and their "objects" of study? More from Carr:
However, limiting oneself to critique still invokes an ethics of engagement, for if these critiques come too late to be acted upon, or do not speak to the institutional context from which these practices spring, the end result will be writing accessible only by other academics that has little if any benefit to those with whom we work in the Global South. This de facto extractive knowledge industry can hardly be seen as progressive, and its existence should upset us.
Now there's something to think about.