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An analysis of developmental governmentality in the Cold War period

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2006
Bilgin, Başaran
This thesis tries to provide a modest contribution to the critical studies on the history of development by exploring Cold War development practices. It questions the role of these practices in constructing a new regime that was conducive to govern the relationship between the West and the Third World after the Second World War. It suggests that development practices were composed of techniques and rationalities that were designed to solve the urgent problem of governing populations without using sheer force and sovereign power tools where these methods were not practical in the context of decolonization and Cold War. For this kind of inquiry, this thesis takes into account power relations embedded in the development practices and, by utilizing Michel Foucault’s theories, perceives these practices as an essential way of disseminating biopolitical methods to the Third World. Role of the development discourse in governing populations is analyzed with relation to the notion of governmentality, which refers to modes of thought and the techniques of accomplishing rule in a discourse. In line with this theoretical framework, the first part of this thesis explores three schools of thought -modernization, dependency and world system- in order to explain the ways of producing thought and knowledge pertaining to development and the involvement of power relations in this process. Additionally, analyzing development aid and development planning which were the techniques to institutionalize development practices in the Third World countries and to render them technical that were managed only by experts without muddling with politics constitute the second part of this thesis.