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Reforming and performing the informal economy: Constitutive effects of the World Bank's anti-informality practices in Kosovo
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, ISSN 1750-2977, E-ISSN 1750-2985Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The World Bank has for over a decade tried to formalize the informal economy in Kosovo. However, local journalists and businessmen among others provide an alternative understanding of informality that problematizes the World Bank’s view and actions. Against this backdrop, the article analyses the constitution and the constitutive effects of the World Bank’s anti-informality operations in Kosovo between 1999 and 2014. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s power analytics, the article claims that the Bank’s agenda, and the economic ideas enacted through it, does structure and shape informal economic practices on the ground. Yet this structuring involves two forms of misrecognition. As a result, informality is paradoxically constituted (in novel ways) and reconstituted through the World Bank’s imposed anti-informality agenda. The article concludes with a discussion of how this underlines the need for policy solutions that depart from liberal peacebuilding’s subject–object distinction to form instead around an acknowledgement of informality as emergent and transforming throughout international interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Informal economy, International interventions, Balkans, Pierre Bourdieu, World Bank, Symbolic power
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-275242DOI: 10.1080/17502977.2015.1137393OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-275242DiVA: diva2:899417
Swedish Research Council, 2015-00566
Available from: 2016-02-01 Created: 2016-02-01 Last updated: 2016-02-04

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Danielsson, Anna
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