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Title: Power and aid relations : a study of Cambodian NGO's and their international funders
Author: Shutt, Catherine
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2008
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This dissertation is a reflexive, ethnographic study of relations between four small Cambodian NGOs and their funders. I take a non-normative approach to understanding the operations of power in aid relationships, drawing on social power theory, the anthropology of development and NGO literature to explain my findings. Taking an unusual, micro-level approach that charts the stories of individual actors involved in these relationships, I show that structural analysis of power relations tends to attribute too much power to the rationality of international organizations. My findings show that power is diffuse and both produces and is produced by webs of actors, from the North and the South, who move around Aidland, acting as brokers and translators of the meanings of projects, organizations and of what constitutes proper use of Aidbucks. I argue that the NGO literature needs to develop a more dynamic conceptualization of 'organization interfaces' that is not so interested in cultural differences per se, but rather how actors cope with tensions produced by such differences - particularly those related to money - within the cultural borderlands produced by the social processes of aid relations. I contend that analysis of power in NOD aid relations must pay more attention to money and proceed from a nuanced understanding of the the complexity of local NGO financial management and the social nature of financial accountability. This thesis makes an original contribution to development studies literature on NGO aid relations through its non-normative approach to researching the inter-play between the contingent and affective quality of relations between individual actors operating in cultural borderlands and the organizational systems for the management of the Aidbuck.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available