Guerrilla Auditors

Guerrilla Auditors: The Politics of Transparency in Neoliberal Paraguay
Kregg Hetherington
2012, Duke University Press
296 pages

INFORMATION is one of the most important weapons in modern political warfare, and coflict between interests and classes is far more likely to be over documents and transparency and conducted by researchers, journalists and public officials than it is by the traditional actors of the past with raised fists or wearing fatigues. Kregg Hetherington’s highly original account of the rise of information and transparency in the governance of Paraguay points to a new kind of struggle and one that political scientists wedded to old categories and classes would do well to consider. Hetherington argues that in late twentieth-century Paraguay, the politics of land – at the very heart of contemporary developments in this country – moved unexpectedly from the roads and fields into the archives and documentary recesses of the state bureaucracy. This generated new forms of conflicts bewtween peasant organisations, NGOs and bureaucrats – not least over who gets to narrate the the past and the future of the country. It is encourgaing to note that peasants – despite every effort to exclude them from model concepts of citizenship – have found novel ways to circumvent their exclusion by officials and thereby challenge the established conceptual foundations of development policy. This book should become essential reading on modern politics courses, highlighting the new forms of contestation that are shaping Latin America’s globalised future.- EC