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Knowledge, power, and containment in global justice networks

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Abstract:

This paper examines tensions and power asymmetries within NGO, social movement and activist networks that mobilized to contest the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum in the 1990s. Drawing from institutional ethnography/political activist ethnography and the work of Griff Foley (1999) on learning in social action, it examines these ‘anti-globalization’ campaigns, using NGO, activist and official documents, and insights from the author’s ‘insider’ status as an activist/researcher in NGO conferences and campaigns. It critically interrogates ‘alternatives to globalization’ positions/alternative development models put forward by many advocacy and development NGOs, ostensibly committed to transformative social change, from an anti-colonial perspective. In doing so, it argues that hierarchies of power and knowledge within ‘alternative’ milieus often reproduce, rather than challenge dominant practices and power relations, and serve elite interests rather than those of constituencies which these organizations claim to represent. This paper adds to an emerging literature which troubles the NGOization of political struggles NGO claims of representation, and the privileging of professionalized NGO and academic knowledge at the expense of voices and histories from below (S. Sarkar, 1998; Bevington and Dixon, 2005). The paper suggests that successful counter-movements against capitalist globalization must directly confront ongoing colonial injustices closer to ‘home’(Kelsey, 1999; L.T. Smith, 1999; Choudry, 2007), recover/build upon conceptual resources from struggles against earlier forms of imperialism and colonialism, and make an anti-colonial/decolonization platform a central plank of global justice education and mobilization work.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492743_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Choudry, Aziz. "Knowledge, power, and containment in global justice networks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492743_index.html>

APA Citation:

Choudry, A. "Knowledge, power, and containment in global justice networks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492743_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: This paper examines tensions and power asymmetries within NGO, social movement and activist networks that mobilized to contest the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum in the 1990s. Drawing from institutional ethnography/political activist ethnography and the work of Griff Foley (1999) on learning in social action, it examines these ‘anti-globalization’ campaigns, using NGO, activist and official documents, and insights from the author’s ‘insider’ status as an activist/researcher in NGO conferences and campaigns. It critically interrogates ‘alternatives to globalization’ positions/alternative development models put forward by many advocacy and development NGOs, ostensibly committed to transformative social change, from an anti-colonial perspective. In doing so, it argues that hierarchies of power and knowledge within ‘alternative’ milieus often reproduce, rather than challenge dominant practices and power relations, and serve elite interests rather than those of constituencies which these organizations claim to represent. This paper adds to an emerging literature which troubles the NGOization of political struggles NGO claims of representation, and the privileging of professionalized NGO and academic knowledge at the expense of voices and histories from below (S. Sarkar, 1998; Bevington and Dixon, 2005). The paper suggests that successful counter-movements against capitalist globalization must directly confront ongoing colonial injustices closer to ‘home’(Kelsey, 1999; L.T. Smith, 1999; Choudry, 2007), recover/build upon conceptual resources from struggles against earlier forms of imperialism and colonialism, and make an anti-colonial/decolonization platform a central plank of global justice education and mobilization work.


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