International Development and Race
Paulette Goudge "Whiteness of Power"
Race is a stifled topic in development. There are very few writers who write about the idea of race and development. Class, race and gender
Race is a socio- historical construct (not scientific) that shapes societal and institutional structures and racial designations have real
(damaging/ punitive) material consequences. It is an anchor because it molds society and societal structures. This definition applies when
speaking about the "West" and the relationship between the global north and global south. The power hiearchies created are not neutral, and
they have material consequences.
Theorists: George Sefa Dei, Njoki Wane, Ann Stoler, Chandra Mohanty, Mahmood Mamdani
Recognizing that "bodies" are marked and not neutral in development settings. Certain bodies have "power" and "privilege" over
We are not collapsed by our racial/ political designations. When you go to a part of the world, be conscious of your race and
social power/ privilege. It is assumed that you are from a better educated place and you have excellent knowledge.
Race and colonial hierachies are institutionalized and often go "unnoticed", shaping development policies and practices
They are a world of difference (ethnic tensions, religious clashes) and we are the neutral observers. The diversity, pluralism, and
tensions are them. When we navigate through communities on our understanding of their "pluralism".
People in position of power are writing policies for countries they didn't really have knowledge about.
Communities are "racialized" by an over- generalizaiton of their language, culture, religion ethnicity as markers of their difference/
unequal treatment vis-a-vis our "neutrality"
Yuval- Davis is talking about the context of Muslim women and Israeli women. There are stark differences and that's okay.
Move to the places where solidarity and move away from gray areas.
Structural racism prevents pluralism and the recognition that differences/ diversity are sometimes irreconcilable
4 major points about race
The field staff becomes receptors of knowledge that foreign ex- pat staff
Senior international staff arrive in Lahore for a 5 day meeting. The meetings run all day and are meant to be informative in terms of policy-
making and programs. The Canadian NGO employs 35 local staff. These staff have to attend the meetings. There is tension… why?
In a large UK NGO baed in Nairobi with over 50 employees, UK nationals are argued for the organization's top 15 senior positions. The
organization provides this staff with all sorts of luxuries. Theya are the among the wealthiest in Nairobi.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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