Who are the ‘international community’? Development professionals and liminal subjectivity
Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Reason for embargo
This article explores international development space at the micro-level through the career stories and discursive representations of three aid workers—two nationals, one expatriate—who worked together on the same project in Tajikistan in 2008–9. Findings bear witness to the ‘liminal subjectivity’ of development where professional aid workers are, vocationally and socially, culturally and politically, neither domestic nor foreign. Aid workers’ careers demonstrate the resilience of ‘the international’ in contemporary humanitarian practice. At the same time, their biographies are not easily sutured into emergent cosmopolitanism as they remain encumbered by the boundaries of the national and international. Moreover, the article demonstrates that, while the rhetoric of international development and its putative leaders are criticized within the community itself, the international community may be formed by subordinate individuals in their liminal subjectivities.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 10, pp. 77 - 96