‘Development’ and Power: A Sociological Analysis of Power in ‘Development’ Cooperation Cover Image

„Rozvoj“ a moc. Sociologické analýzy moci v „rozvojovej“ spolupráci
‘Development’ and Power: A Sociological Analysis of Power in ‘Development’ Cooperation

Author(s): Tomáš Profant
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.
Keywords: development; power; discourse; agency; structure; governmentality

Summary/Abstract: The social sciences offer a variety of theoretical approaches to grasping the issue of power. ‘Development’ represents a good field for such analysis. Power tends to be a neglected issue and does not figure in governmental, non-governmental, or international discourse. In the academic field it is less overlooked, but in the Czech-Slovak environment there is as yet no theoretical overview of the various approaches to studying power and ‘development’. This article sets out to answer the question of how best to examine power in ‘development’ and replies with a multidisciplinary approach. It begins by focusing on the understanding of power within the context of its first dimension, which is most vividly reflected in the perception of the World Bank as a dominant actor. The second part of the article concentrates on power in development discourse. The third part analyses disciplinary power in relations of ‘development’ cooperation. The fourth looks at agency, which disobeys the discourse and structure, in order to recognise the capacity for resistance among even the least advantaged. The final part focuses on governmentality and ‘development’. In the conclusion the author attempts to make a brief synthesis of these approaches, on the one hand viewing power as a kind of strategic situation, but on the other hand arguing the importance not to overlook the enormous power of structure just as much as the capacity of certain privileged actors to influence it. What is important then is a subjectivity of power.

  • Issue Year: 49/2013
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 291-317
  • Page Count: 27
  • Language: Slovak