AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Development Brokers in a Relocation Project in Flores

by Nora Wildenauer

Institution: Leiden University
Year: 2015
Keywords: brokerage; development; translation; actor-network-theory; discourse; visual methods; relocation; good governance; Indonesia; religion
Record ID: 1255657
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/33038


The thesis is based on empirical fieldwork that investigated a disaster-induced relocation project in eastern Indonesia. Choosing an actor-focused approach that followed development brokers of a Christian NGO in the course of the project, enabled the author to expose multiple conflicting interests and agendas between and within government, the NGO and the 'host-community'. In this complex and contested discursive arena, brokers were strategically translating and shifting interests to create common realities and alliances from heterogeneous networks. By adapting and transforming objectives of the 'good governance' discourse, they were able to unify groups and win over supporters, despite the poor implementation of the project. How these translations competed with interpretations of other actors and how they influenced the brokers' positioning towards the goverment was of particular interest within this research. Applying visual methods has shed light on the performative and emotional dimensions of these translation processes. The ethnographic film 'Fighting for Nothing to Happen', which is the main part of the thesis, is accompanied by the multi-media pdf file that employs different interacting media and provides historical, political and socioeconomic background to selected sequences of the film. The different media inform and contest each other in a rhizomatic structure that produces a multi-layered and comprehensive understanding of the complexity of brokerage and development in Indonesia.