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Foucault in der Entwicklungstheorie

Aram Ziai

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The article examines the numerous attempts to usefully employ Foucauldian concepts of power and discourse in an analysis of development policy. Best known among these is the so-called post-development school, whose exaggerations and implausible generalizations can be traced back to an improper use of Foucauldian theory. Other attempts also provide interesting insights while leaving some questions unanswered. Foucauldian concepts in development theory point to the historical contingency of the idea of development as well as to its eurocentric and ideological implications. As yet, however, the relations between the macro-level of development policy and the micro-level of the individual are not sufficiently explored. Therefore, an application of the thus far neglected Foucauldian concept of governmentality on development policy seems promising.