The geography of participation

Permanent URL to this publication:

Korf, Benedikt (2010). The geography of participation. Third World Quarterly, 31(5):709-720.

[img] PDF - Registered users only
View at publisher
Accepted Version


Revisiting the critique of participatory development and one of its core political technologies, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), this paper suggests that participation in the form of PRA creates 'provided spaces' that dislocate 'development' from politics and from political institutions of the postcolonial state. PRA thereby becomes what Chantal Mouffe calls a post-political aspiration through its celebration of deliberative democracy (although this is largely implicit rather than explicit in the PRA literature). What makes this post-political aspiration dangerous is that its provided spaces create a time-space container of a state of exception (the 'workshop') wherein a new sovereign is created. In combination with other developmental techniques, PRA has become a place where a new order is being constituted—the state of exception becomes permanent and nurtures the 'will to improve' that undergirds 'development'.


4 citations in Web of Science®
8 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™



29 downloads since deposited on 12 Nov 2010
10 downloads since 12 months

Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Deposited On:12 Nov 2010 12:29
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:15
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Additional Information:This is an electronic version of an article published in Third World Quarterly, 31(5):709-720. Third World Quarterly is available online at:
Publisher DOI:10.1080/01436597.2010.502691
Official URL:

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page