, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 65-77
Date: 15 Feb 2012

Africa Humiliated? Misrecognition in Development Aid

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Abstract

Critiques of development aid from its recipient’s sometimes draw our attention to the perception of paternalism on the part of ‘development industry’ actors. Even within participatory project designs, critical voices recount experiences of clear power divides and informal hierarchies determining the content and form of ‘cooperation’. While neoliberal as well as neo-Marxist scholars base their critiques on a distributive scheme of global justice, post-development theory emphasizes respect and recognition as the central aspect of justice Indeed, post-development theorists continue to complain of neo-colonial power structures between nations as well as on a micro-level between the ‘experts’ and local people. The latter feel misrecognized in being judged according to the parameters of Western actors within the international community. This article explores how charges of misrecognition within development cooperation challenge the assumption by many liberal political theorists that more global justice could be achieved through more aid.