Funaro, Matteo (2015) Sviluppo, potere, partecipazione: uno studio di caso in Ghana. Doctoral Thesis.
This thesis reflects how people are involved in development projects in the frame of international cooperation. The aim of the work is two fold: on one hand we report on the conceptual limits that we found searching through a wide part of the vast number of sociological essays dealing with the paradigms of development, understood as a system of thought and action imposed on the countries of the ' South ' of the world; on the other hand, through field research, we describe the power relations that exist between the different actors of development in a specific context of Ghana. In the course of the empirical research, we defined the connotative aspects of the present dimensions of power and identified the institutions involved in the development process in the West Mamprusi District. At the heart of the field research stands the study of Chieftaincy with its statutory and non-statutory functions, and the role of the chief as the leader of development in accordance with the 1992 Ghana’s Constitution, but also holder of the “traditional power” according to the “traditional rule” in pre-colonial era. Through semi-structured interviews, we investigated the meaning that the resident population gave to development, participation, and the role of the chief in the villages involved in the International development project Ghaja. This work informs on the risk of losing the early form of participation; indeed, one of the central challenges for a development project to be sustainable is to act in respect of the local structures of power and local forms of participation.
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