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Development cooperation in the face of postcolonial studies

An analysis of the social enterprise GlobalMatch
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Bachelor Thesis from the year 2018 in the subject Communications - Intercultural Communication, grade: 1,2, University of Bonn, language: English, abstract: Eye level, help to self-help, partnership - these are words constantly heard in the context of »development cooperation«. However, the notion »development« can be criticized for being a ...
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Bachelor Thesis from the year 2018 in the subject Communications - Intercultural Communication, grade: 1,2, University of Bonn, language: English, abstract: Eye level, help to self-help, partnership - these are words constantly heard in the context of »development cooperation«. However, the notion »development« can be criticized for being a continuation of colonial thought patterns; a bare reproduction of western interests. Still, most western aid organizations claim as it were self-evident, that they practice a »development partnership« on equal footing with the global South. At first glance, it might seem obvious, that a relationship where there is a ‘donor’ and a ‘receiver’ can never be at eye level, because the donor has the power to decide when, how much, how long and for what (s)he wants to contribute. This directly implies a dependency, where the donor can set conditions which the receiver has to comply with. It is surprising, that even though the vast majority of western agents in this field of research and practice are very much aware of the diverse criticisms of their activities, they often do not realize that the relationship between the global North and South is constituted as a constellation of antagonisms, which were born in colonial times and frame the idea of »development cooperation« until today. Colonial narratives of uncivilized versus civilized, traditional versus modern shape both our understanding and the order of the world. Thus, »development cooperation« is discerned through the glasses of postcolonial scholarship as a continuity to colonialism. Mostly overlooking this impressive compromise of postcolonialism, western development scholarship and practice defend their mission by arguing that injustices are happening in the global South, such as malnutrition or death due to diseases, which might not be too difficult to solve with the adequate transfer of knowledge and finances from the global North. An enlightening interpretation of the development project and its postcolonial criticisms has been provided by Christine Sylvester’s essay Disparate tales of the »Third World«.
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