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The Paradox with Local Participation in Development-Caused Forced Displacement and Resettlement
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM. (Kulturarv och konflikt)
2009 (English)In: Revista Romana de Sociologie, ISSN 1224-9262, Vol. XX, no 1-2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article is an inquiry into the theoretical and empirical concept of local participation as it used within the field of development-caused forced displacement and resettlement (DFDR). Local participation has repeatedly proved its relevance for mitigating negative impacts caused by DFDR project by involving the people in the process. Paradoxically the people contributing with their very main asset of their culture and livelihood - the land - often end up in chronic poverty despite the use of local participation. It seems that the concept that was developed to protect and support the affected people to overcome poverty at the same time contributes to the undermining of the local culture, which shows signs of “falling-apart from within”. Several questions arise from this: Is it the concept per se that is misleading or misused? Or is it the way the project is constructed, processed and executed with its crucial elements of identified risks and compensations that needs to be reinterpreted and rethought?

In this article, I will argue, that we have to come to a deeper understanding of what is happening on the ground by focusing on the value domains that are created between the main parties during the negotiations. I see this approach as a way to avoid deadlocks and to avoid viewing the negotiations as an inflexible, hierarchical, one-way relationship between two main parties locked in an asymmetrical power game with no possibility to escape. The Zimapán hydroelectric dam project in Mexico will be used as the ethnographic jumping-off point for discussions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bucuresti, Romania, 2009. Vol. XX, no 1-2
Keyword [en]
local participation, forced displacement, development, DFDR, humanitarian action, lokalt deltagande, tvångsförflyttningar, utveckling, humanitärt bistånd
National Category
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-98239OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-98239DiVA: diva2:173926
www.revistadesociologie.roAvailable from: 2009-02-18 Created: 2009-02-18 Last updated: 2010-11-26Bibliographically approved

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