"Participatory Development, Complicity and Desire"
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This article is an attempt at rethinking participatory development (PD) in terms of empire, undertaking a postcolonial and psychoanalytic reading. Postcolonialism helps point out that our discursive constructions of the Third World say more about us than the Third World; while psychoanalysis helps uncover the desires we invest in the Other. Thus, to the question, 'why do neo-imperial and inegalitarian relationships pervade PD?', the article answers, 'because even as PD promotes the Other's empowerment, it hinges crucially on our complicity and desire'; and 'because disavowing such complicity and desire is a technology of power'. The argument, in other words, is that complicity and desire are written into PD, making it prone to an exclusionary, Western-centric and inegalitarian politics. The article concludes with possibilities for confronting our complicities and desires through PD's radicalisation.