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Performing Development Community-driven Development Discourse and Interventions Emmanuelle Poncin London School of Economics and Political Science Government.

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Presentation on theme: "Performing Development Community-driven Development Discourse and Interventions Emmanuelle Poncin London School of Economics and Political Science Government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Performing Development Community-driven Development Discourse and Interventions Emmanuelle Poncin London School of Economics and Political Science Government Department

2 Presentation Overview 1.CDD discourse and interventions 2.Analytical model of development discourse performativity 3.Case study: The Philippines Kalahi-CIDSS programme

3 CDD Programmes Aims: Empowerment and good governance Means: Give communities control over resources and decision-making to design, implement and manage their development project World Bank: $16 billion towards 637 CDD programmes in the 2000s New paradigm in international development?

4 The Gap between Discourse and Interventions CDD as discourse: The alternative to top-down development Effective instrument of good governance and empowerment CDD as interventions: Scarce, inconclusive empirical evidence May exacerbate socio-political inequalities

5 Three Approaches in Development Discourse Analyses 1.Rhetorical device to mask the realities of the ground (e.g. Bauer) 2.Dominant representations parasitical upon the social world (e.g. Escobar) 3.Practice deployed to order arenas for intervention, to enable interventions (e.g. Ferguson, Li)


7 1. Producing Interventions by forming intelligible arenas for intervention 1.Represent domain to be developed in terms of a set of deficits and deficiencies that interventions propose to address 2.Exclude what lies beyond the scope of intervention Form arenas where interventions become intelligible and thus possible

8 2. Legitimising & Reproducing Interventions by forming enabled/constrained arenas of intervention Constrained environments: deficit of agency, poor governance Enabled environments: high stocks of social capital, empowerment, progressive leaders Shift the responsibility for failure from interventions onto their recipients Validate the legitimacy of interventions, enable their reproduction

9 3. The formation of enabled/constrained environments depends on performances triggered by CDD discourse, regardless of the operations & effects of interventions Discourse hails individuals as specific subjects / CDD discourse hails local officials as progressive It succeeds or not in triggering recognition by those hailed, expressed in their performances Discourses performative strength resides in the institutional conditions of its production and enactment In the context of poor understanding of CDD & World Banks priorities of producing and reproducing interventions, performances are substituted for interventions operations and effects to form enabled/constrained environments

10 4- Discursive representations affect the power dynamics of arenas of intervention Impact on: 1.Local officials power 2.Institutions legitimacy By misrepresenting arenas and interventions, risk of participating in reproducing social inequalities and legitimising capture-prone institutions


12 Bohol: Discursive Representations Before Kalahi: Poor, unproductive, agricultural economy Lacking public goods & services, human & social capital Ideal arena for Kalahi intervention During Kalahi: Enabled province – less poverty, greater political stability, governance innovations Thanks to Kalahi, development projects, progressive leadership Evidence of rising poverty and inequalities challenging Bohol development/CDD success story

13 Kalahi Operations Local officials capture: Funding for local governments priorities Manipulated processes Irregularities Clientelism Yet, Bohols representation as enabled legitimised Kalahi operations and enabled its reproduction Why was Bohol formed as an enabled environment

14 1- Institutional Conditions of Reception Lacking local basis for capital accumulation Dependency on external resources Local officials recognition as progressive leaders hailed by development discourse Offer adequate performances

15 2- Institutional Conditions of Production World Banks staff awareness of capture versus Normative appeal of empowerment/good governance Disbursing funds quickly & replicating programmes Lack of viable alternative to CDD Discursive formations of local arenas based on local officials performances rather than CDDs operations and effects

16 The Effects of Performance-Based CDD Discourse 1.Increase local politicians power, reproduce power structures 2.Legitimise capture-prone institutions 3.Legitimise and reproduce institutional set-up of counterinsurgency-led development that engendered harassment and killings of political activists

17 Some Conclusions Flawed theoretical premises of CDD: 1.Disempowerment is not based on deficits of agency, but on deeply entrenched inequalities 2.Local officials pursuit of particularistic interests is not caused by insufficient social capital, but by their comparatively huge power 3.Poor governance is not an issue of insufficient popular demand, but is rooted in social inequalities and capture-prone institutions Overlook issues of power, inequality, contention and meanings Systematic misrepresentation of local arenas and interventions, to enable interventions production and reproduction, participates in legitimising capture-prone institutions and reproducing social inequalities

18 Thank you! Emmanuelle Poncin

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