Transforming Participation?: The Politics of Development in by N. Gaynor

By N. Gaynor

Do participatory tactics open a political house to marginalized teams and members? Or do they co-opt and coerce teams to enhance latest inequitable family members? In an leading edge comparative examine which breaks with culture this e-book explores those questions by means of taking a look at Malawi and eire.

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Additional info for Transforming Participation?: The Politics of Development in Malawi and Ireland (Rethinking International Development)

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Power, therefore, for Castells, is shared, though not evenly, across horizontal networks where different interests prevail. As we have seen in the introductory chapter, in contrast to these various ‘power sharing’ theses, a Marxist view, that the state operates as an instrument of the capitalist class, imbues, either explicitly or implicitly, Globalisation, Governance and Participation 31 much of the critical literature on PRSPs and Social Partnership. The Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci focuses on how social stability and order are maintained within such a system.

In a paper with Martin Carnoy, Castells argues that ‘the dramatic expansion of non-governmental organisations around the world, most of them subsidised or supported by the state, can be interpreted as the extension of the state into civil society in an attempt to diffuse conflict and increase legitimacy by shifting resources and responsibility to the grassroots’ (Carnoy and Castells, 2001: 13). The result of this re-configuration, following Castells’ theorisation, is a new form of state, a ‘network state’ which, ‘made up of shared institutions, and enacted by bargaining and interaction all along the chain of decision making … functions as a network, in which all nodes interact, and are equally necessary for the performance of the state’s functions’ (2004: 14).

Foreclosing opportunities for deliberation on the causes of these ‘problems’, this approach appears to limit the scope for more transformatory agendas within national governance processes, pointing towards a more instrumental form of participation, as theorised in the introductory chapter. State agency in this context is examined within this study (see in particular Chapter 5) to see if this is indeed the case. States, power and civil society Clearly, these new governance configurations, with their underlying principles of participation and partnership, imply changes in power relations between state and civil society actors.

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Categories: Comparative Politics