Development policy makers and practitioners are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their ability to target ‘development’ interventions and the psychological domain is now a specific frontier of their interventional focus. This landmark study considers the problematic relationship between development and psychology, tracing the deployment of psychological knowledge in the production/reproduction of power relations within the context of neoliberal development policy and intervention. It examines knowledge production and implementation by actors of development policy such as the World Bank and the neo-colonial state - and ends by examining the proposition of a critical psychology for more emancipatory forms of development.
The role of psychology in development studies remains a relatively unexplored area, with limited scholarship available. This important book aims to fill that gap by using critical psychology perspectives to explore the focus of the psychological domain of agency in development interventions. It will be essential reading for students, researchers, and policy makers from fields including critical psychology, social psychology, development studies and anthropology.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Power and psychology 3. Genealogies of the psychologisation of development interventions 4. The psychologisation of contemporary development interventions 5. The State and implementing subjectivities 6. A place for psychology in development? 7. Conclusions. References
Elise Klein is a Lecturer of Development Studies at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne in Australia
"Although the significance of transdisciplinarity is generally recognized in critical psychology, there exist only a few studies that focus, as this book does, on development studies on the background of anthropology, indigenous studies, and psychology. Elise Klein’s clearly articulated book shows the limitations of traditional psychological approaches and the possibilities of critical reflection for development intervention while rethinking ideas about human subjectivity. Critically inclined students, academics, and professionals can learn from this concise book more than from volumes of abstract research papers that do not connect to the conduct of real life. The book also provides hope that resistance in neo-liberalism is not futile." Thomas Teo, York University, Canada
"In this exciting and timely scholarship, Klein takes us on a journey that traces the deployment of psy-expertise within development interventions. From Mali to Australia, Klein makes visible how psychology is used to rearticulate social, economic and political problems as individual 'problems'. This highly original book is essential reading for those studying and working at the interface of psychology, development and behavioral economics." China Mills, Lecturer in Critical Educational Psychology at the University of Sheffield, and author of Decolonizing Global Mental Health: the Psychiatrisation of the Majority World (Routledge, 2014).
"In sum, the piece demonstrates robustly that there is good reason to expect that psychological knowledge’s inclusion in development will create issues."— Lachlan Summers, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities