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Global flows of government practices: development technologies and their effects

This article discusses certain technologies with which government practices are diffused on a global scale and some of the effects of this process. Using Foucault as a main source of inspiration, the circulation of know-how and capital are seen as the principal means by which government practices are irradiated. By analyzing social techniques such as projects, programs, conditionalities, documents, international laws and others, I argue that these are fundamental conduits for devising and reproducing the global order. In a second moment, I approach some of the outcomes of developmental practices in processes of state building and other political dynamics among recipients and donor countries. I stress some of the political, economic and social impacts of local appropriations of development actions. Of these, I emphasize those related to capacity building and what I call the misrecognition effect. The final remarks propose an articulated perspective on government practices that are shaped by diverse strategies.

development; government technologies; globalization; state building; capacity building; misrecognition effect


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