Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 478101
Title The Malleability of Participation: The Politics of Agricultural Research under Neoliberalism in Bolivia
Author(s) Cordoba, D.M.; Jansen, K.; Gonzalez, C.
Source Development and Change 45 (2014)6. - ISSN 0012-155X - p. 1284 - 1309.
Department(s) Knowledge Technology and Innovation
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2014
Keyword(s) governmentality - management - improve - power - age
Abstract This article analyses how neoliberal restructuring encouraged the use of participatory methods in agricultural research in Bolivia and how, at a later stage, participatory development initiatives had to be adapted to prevent conflicts with the post-neoliberal views of farmer organizations. The article contributes to the debate on the normalization of participatory methods in agrarian development. Engaging with Foucault's work on governmentality and neoliberalism, our analysis goes beyond interpretations of participation which conceptualize it exclusively as a technology of power to discipline subjects. Drawing on a distinction between a liberal and a neoliberal moment in the restructuring of agricultural research, we study the case of PROINPA (Foundation for the Promotion and Research of Andean Products), a national NGO that was once part of the state system for agricultural research but was then privatized. Although PROINPA employed participation mainly to enhance managerial effectiveness, it also facilitated moments of participation from below. We argue that participation designed by this type of NGO is not just ‘technical’ as PROINPA professionals would like to perceive it, nor is it simply ‘political’ as critical views on participation hold. Instead it is malleable in the sense that each actor is involved in finding a new balance between technical, economic and political considerations.
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