C05
Ethnographies of development policies: understanding policy translation within the global south (Paper)

Convenors:
Vidya Pancholi (The University of Sheffield)
Stream:
C: Development cooperation and Humanitarianism
Location:
D1
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The session aims at discussing poicy translation into reality. The specific aim is to learn from the ethnographies of development policies that can help explain the complexity of policy as institutional practice; the social life of projects; and practices that policy legitimises as social processes.

Long abstract:

The session aims at discussing how development policies translate into reality within the Global south. The aim is to specifically look at ethnographies of development policies such as housing, slum redevelopment, basic services/utilities, mobility, health, and education and discuss mechanisms/ processes through which policies become reality. Ethnographies, it is believed, can help explain the complexity of policy as institutional practice; the social life of projects; and practices that policy legitimises as social processes (Mosse, 2005). In order to understand the complexities associated with the implementation of development policies, it is important to pay attention to how policies travel at various levels/scales. Such a focus may reveal complexities associated with the everyday practices in the policy space such as informalities (Roy, 2009; McFarlane, 2012; Paller, 2015) and transversalities (Holston, 2008; Cladiera, 2016), to name a few. The session would specifically aim at understanding policy translations into reality and mechanisms through which such realities are arrived. These mechanisms may range from everyday bureaucratic practices (Mathur, 2016), to engaging skilled brokers - consultants, fieldworkers, community leaders, as well as politicians - for the purpose of policy translation (Mosse, 2005), through to collaboration as well as dealing with contentious political episodes (McAdam et al., 2001; Tilly and Tarrow, 2006) for achieving reputation, legitimacy, and claims to success within policy. The session therefore aims at learning critical insights on shifting power relations between state and society using policies as a discursive space.