Partnerships as Interpellation

Sigrid Bjerre Andersen, Steffen Jensen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


This article explores the consequences of labelling international development relations as partnerships, as has gained prominence over the past decades. It contributes to a growing literature on the ethnography of development by suggesting that ‘partner’ identity is destabilized and renegotiable rather than stable and predictable. By exploring how partnership works within a system of discursive interpellation we illustrate that donors and recipients are given a new set of possibilities and constraints in the practice of shaping their relation. We exemplify this through ethnographic analyses of the political partnership between Liberia and the European Union, and the partnership between a South African and a Danish NGO. Both illustrate how neither donor nor recipient, as it is otherwise often assumed, can univocally announce a partnership. Rather, representatives of the institutions involved mutually interpellate and constantly negotiate partner identities.
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Development Research
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)93-107
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2017


  • Donor-recipient relations
  • European Union
  • Interpellation
  • Liberia
  • Partnership
  • South Africa

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