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Title: Bureaucracy beyond the desk : mobilising resources and hunting for users for a state-led development programme in Chiloe, Chile
Author: Valdivieso Sierpe, Diego
ISNI:       0000 0004 8504 7958
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is an exploration of the neoliberal state and how it can be studied through an analysis of the work of state actors at the local level. Specifically, my research is based on an ethnographic study of the everyday practices of state officials charged with implementing the Indigenous Territorial Development Programme (PDTI) in the archipelago of Chiloe in Southern Chile. I focus on how two distinct roles, that of the expert/technician and the state bureaucrat, are folded together in the working lives of those I refer to as field-level officials. I argue that the obligation to account for their practices, and the expectation of their active participation in the production and circulation of bureaucratic technologies, transforms members of extension teams in charge of providing technical support to indigenous farmers in rural areas into state bureaucrats. In more general terms, the focus on this duality sheds light on how state agencies and agents experience processes of decentralisation in a very centralised, neoliberal state system: as they internalise accountability practices, engage in competition for resources, and live with the benefits and uncertainties of flexible contracts. Accompanying the field-level officials in their daily tasks, I address issues regarding their role (as bureaucrats and technicians), and their potential for manoeuvre in the implementation of a generic programme, formulated at the central level, in a local context characterised by a particular socio-political, economic and cultural background. Furthermore, the thesis explores how the state is constructed and imagined in the everyday interactions between the users of the PDTI (Williche farmers) and the officials who are charged with the enactment of the programme. I draw here on the ethnography of how state effects are produced in peripheral territories through the routinised and centrally controlled practices of its decentralised institutions. Finally, I contend that in contemporary Chile, state presence takes on a specific form in programmes such as the PDTI that bring together the technical, the affective, the bureaucratic, and the political in the everyday practices of field-level officials. Reflecting on the role of the PDTI officials in the flow and materialisation of a public policy, I show the effect that their activities have on how a policy reaches the territories covered by the programme. In detail, I illustrate how they translate these policies into material and recordable outcomes mediated by entrepreneurial and development aspirations and impositions, and a managerial approach to territorial and identity-based belonging.
Supervisor: Wade, Stephen ; Harvey, Penelope Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chile ; Mobility ; Agricultural extension ; State effects ; Indigenous policies ; Development programme ; Bureaucracy ; Neoliberalism