Abstract: By examining the policies of Australia and other Western nations, this book provides a critical account of the discourses and practices of self-help in contemporary rural development. While it examines the problems of a self-help approach, it also moves beyond a straightforward exposition of the impediments to self-help that are often experienced by those facing disadvantage. Instead, taking a Foucauldian governmentality perspective, it puts forward a theoretical analysis of the self-help concept, assessing it as a means of governing rural development in an advanced liberal manner. Contents 1. Introduction : the problem of self-help 2. Power and government : a governmentality perspective 3. Contemporary discourses of self-help 4. A problematics of government : self-help as discursive practice 5. Technologies of capacity building : disciplining and regulating conduct 6. Relations of rule : self-help in Warmington and Woomeroo 7. Docile bodies? : translating self-help 8. Conclusion : implications for rural development.