Dissonance in Development. Foreign aid and state formation in Malawi
This PhD thesis focuses on certain characteristics of the state and of state formation in Malawi, with particular emphasis on the effects of development aid. It consists of three papers for publication in journals, each focusing on different aspects of the state and state formation, and an introductory discussion.
The first paper looks at the institutional set-up of the state.
The second paper focuses on bureaucratic practice.
The third paper explores some observed and some potential consequences of the poverty line.
All papers refer to different academic debates, but they all point to aspects of state formation associated with aid and development. They demonstrate some forms of dissonance: here used as a metaphor for the difference between how social phenomena appear when seen through the logic of the state, and how social life is experienced in actual, local, daily interactions. The conclusion is that aid can increase this dissonance.