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To the Editors of The Crimson:
We protest the offer of the directorship of the Harvard Institute for International Development to Dr. Harberger. As graduate students of anthropology, interested in international development, we are acutely aware that development strategies have direct social and political ramifications for developing nations. In his past work Dr. Harberger has consciously disregarded the implications of his actions on human rights and social inequality. In fact, it is clear that his particular policy emphasis actually works to the detriment of these concerns.
The appointment of someone with virtually no experience outside formal economics is inconsistent with HIID's efforts to achieve a more integrated understanding and approach to development. Harvard faculty and students, including economists, have voiced concern over development policy that ignores environmental, social and political issues. Harberger's appointment would not only continue, but reinforce this narrow economic perspective.
Furthermore, in choosing an economist with Harberger's point of view, Harvard acts to actively exclude these issues from HIID's future involvement in developing nations. Harberger's past work is well known for its free-market policies to "shock" third world nations into economic stability. As students of anthropology, we find it impossible to ignore the political repression and social inequalities that result from these policies.
The social injustices promoted by Harberger's work in Latin America have been widely discussed here in the Crimson and in the national press. In his own defense, he has rationalized these repressive measures as necessary for the policies that foster development. It is clear that these policies result in increased deprivation and repression of the vast majority of the people in these countries, while it benefits a very few a great deal. Harberger fails to deal with the fact that his involvement in developing nations in the past has been at the invitation of and to the benefit of this small minority only.
As graduate students involved with these problems, we will continue to be involved in these issues. We demand that the future director of the Harvard Institute for International Development be aware and responsive to them as well, both in perspective and past record. It is evident that Arnold Harberger is unfit for the position on either of these grounds. Richard Reed Jerome Hasenpflug Michael Rhum Bruno Pajaczkowski Emily McIntire Mariza Peirano Rafique H. Keshavjee James P. Ito-Adler Roberto Kant DeLima George Bisharat Hy Luon Elizabeth Eames Martin Etter Nancy Nicolson
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