Chapter 1 frames the international significance of Rwanda's "orderly entrepreneur", and introduces the main triad of tensions for post-developmental views of the citizen, in terms of creativity, credentials, and control. While some Western countries continue to debate the reasons for a stubbornly persistent economic crisis, Rwanda has already settled on a strategy for 21st century economic growth that draws on the recent experiences of a number of East and South-East Asian regimes. Combining a state-centered "developmental" approach with aspects of free-market neoliberalism, these countries are pursuing a new form of governance that is quickly rising to prominence on the global scene. This chapter also introduces the book's contribution to the theoretical foundations of the anthropology of policy, outlining a new model of governance as negotiated social learning. The research timeline, methods, and approach are also summarized.
Chapter 2 offers two different accounts of how the Rwandan government decided to introduce courses on entrepreneurship into its secondary school curriculum. Expanding what is initially a national policy-making narrative outward to consider international dynamics of social influence, the chapter examines the rise of neoliberalism and the ways in which this form of governmental rationality has profoundly—though not completely—influenced Rwandan policy-makers. Rwanda's entrepreneurship education policy, it becomes clear, holds a broader significance for understanding global shifts in dominant forms of governance. The chapter also presents in greater detail the theoretical perspective on governance as negotiated social learning, discussing its foundations in the concepts of governmentality, social field, habitus, the multiplicity of structures, and communities of practice.
Chapter 3 features excerpts from colonial and post-colonial documents about schooling alongside contemporary Rwandan curriculum developers' first attempts at creating an entrepreneurship curriculum for O-level (grades 7-9). This exploration shows how education specialists' ingrained understandings of the purpose of schools transformed the meaning of entrepreneurship education before it even reached the classroom. Despite their efforts to write a practical, learner-centered curriculum, following the ideals of active pedagogy, an unspoken settlement was quickly reached in which "practical relevance" was reinterpreted to mean codifying knowledge about entrepreneurship and government regulations in an examinable form. In the process, the more elusive aspects of the practice of entrepreneurship—such as creativity, initiative, and independent problem-solving—were either calcified or set aside.
Focusing on later episodes in the curriculum-development process, Chapter 4 illustrates how mid-process changes in Rwanda's government and educational institutions led to significant transformations in the social context of curriculum production. When the development of the A-level (grades 10-12) entrepreneurship curriculum began, the explicit policy instructions remained the same. But the context had changed, in three significant ways: the approach of the national examinations system, the level of exposure to external texts, and the language of instruction. The resulting O-level and A-level entrepreneurship curricula exemplified the internal tensions of the post-developmental state, hanging in the balance between creativity and controls.
Chapter 5 turns to observations and interviews in five schools where the new course in entrepreneurship was being taught, focusing on teachers' decisions to fit lessons about entrepreneurial creativity and government regulations into a mode of "chalk and talk". By just a few weeks into the year, these teachers had already defined "creativity" and moved on to other topics, even as they seemed to spend every day underlining the importance of examinations and credentials. The chapter discusses the limited power of curriculum—as a cultural text divorced from its original social conditions of production—to change teacher practices. A further paradox of the post-developmental state is also revealed: even while the neoliberal ideals of self-reliance and initiative require a fundamental change in teacher pedagogy, the parallel need for a strong-state disciplinary orientation can only be brought about when teachers maintain their authoritative role.
Chapter 6 argues that the entrepreneurship course ended up emphasizing disciplinary values more than neoliberal ones because students, not just teachers, preferred it that way. A series of vignettes show how students influence teacher practice through their responses and their silence, as a result playing their own significant role in shaping the government's entrepreneurship education policy. The chapter discusses the way in which teacher practice is mutually constituted with students' reactions of approval and disapproval, suggesting that students may strategically use disorderly conduct in service of maintaining the orderly school system they count on to help them prepare for examinations, for obtaining credentials, and thus potentially for socio-economic mobility. Finally, the chapter explores the belief shared by many students, that a course in entrepreneurship could never be practical—no matter what the pedagogical approach—unless they are also given capital to implement their ideas.
Chapter 7 follows Rwandan secondary school graduates beyond school walls, describing youth who are "just sitting at home", those who use their social connections to search for jobs, and the few who have created their own micro-enterprises. It becomes apparent that most manifestations of youth entrepreneurship in Rwanda that go beyond mere survival, in fact represent the means by which students attain an education, rather than its result. Ultimately, the chapter shows how disadvantaged students regard school credentials as an essential prerequisite for attaining the higher social, cultural, and economic capital that would enable them to move from a subsistence level of forced self-employment, to a level at which they could become high-earning entrepreneurs by choice.
Chapter 8 turns more directly to the implications of post-developmental state policies for the next generation of Rwandan youth who hope to move from mere survival to a life of some status and stability. Even as the Rwandan government promotes business activity, the overall regulatory regime is being extended deep into daily life. As graduates struggle to comply with these rules, many have begun to wish for the right to do business in a disorderly fashion—at least until they can set aside enough money to create something more stable and formalized. They argued that if the government is not going to act as their patron—by providing them directly with jobs, or with the capital they need to start their businesses—then it should at least fulfill the role of a partner by guaranteeing the conditions that would allow them to start their businesses with limited means.
This chapter summarizes the main findings of the research for a general audience, and discusses the significance of Rwanda's entrepreneurship policies in the context of a shifting international landscape of political, intellectual, and economic power. The chapter reviews the four scenes explored in the book—the national and international policy context that is today shaping a post-developmental style of governance in Rwanda, the offices and meeting rooms of Rwanda's National Curriculum Development Center, the classrooms of Rwanda's secondary schools, and Rwandan graduates' lives beyond school walls—and makes practical policy-relevant recommendations in relation to each one. It also summarizes the theoretical contributions that the book makes to the anthropology of policy by examining governance as a process of negotiated social learning. Finally, the chapter cautions governments experimenting with post-developmental strategies about the need to pay particular attention to the effects of their policies on the most disadvantaged.