IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sru/ssewps/2016-04.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Nonhumans in the Practice of Development: Material Agency and Friction in a Small-Scale Energy Program in Indonesia

Author

Listed:
  • Yuti Ariani Fatimah

    (Eindhoven University of Technology)

  • Saurabh Arora

    (SPRU, University of Sussex)

Abstract

We develop the outlines of a new approach to study the role of nonhumans in constituting ‘implementation’ and calculative-discursive practices in development projects and programs. Developing a conceptual framework built on the concept of friction (material resistance or recalcitrance encountered in processes of transformation), we analyze an Energy Self-sufficient Village program in Indonesia. Focusing on specific projects and episodes within this program, we identify multiple distinctive instances of friction. These were driven by nonhumans’ (and humans’) resistance, as remolding of development beneficiaries’ practices was attempted by project administrators, government officials, entrepreneurs and by the (scientific) calculations embedded inside their policies, strategies and models. In concluding, we distill four ways in which nonhumans shape development practices: a) by resisting representations and calculations produced by human actors, b) by re-directing planned/expected courses of action, c) through biophysical change to their weight or textures as they move in space and time, and d) by mediating competition for resources. Overall, nonhumans play a central role in making and unmaking asymmetric relations of power. Their diverse material and discursive agency, which manifests differently in different relational settings, also highlights the importance of broadening the range of spokespersons who speak on behalf of nonhumans and whose voices can be considered reliable and true. Our study thus provides support to calls for pluralizing and democratizing development ‘expertise’ beyond the usual suspects in science, government and civil society.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuti Ariani Fatimah & Saurabh Arora, 2016. "Nonhumans in the Practice of Development: Material Agency and Friction in a Small-Scale Energy Program in Indonesia," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-04, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:2016-04
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/swps2016-04
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Donald Mackenzie & Fabian Muniesa & Lucia Siu, 2007. "Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics," Post-Print halshs-00149145, HAL.
    2. Bulat Sanditov & Saurabh Arora, 2015. "Social network and private provision of public goods," Post-Print hal-01266463, HAL.
    3. Saurabh Arora & Naomi Baan Hofman & Vinod Koshti & Tommaso Ciarli, 2013. "Cultivating Compliance: Governance of North Indian Organic Basmati Smallholders in a Global Value Chain," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 45(8), pages 1912-1928, August.
    4. Petersen, Alexander M. & Rotolo, Daniele & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2016. "A triple helix model of medical innovation: Supply, demand, and technological capabilities in terms of Medical Subject Headings," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 666-681.
    5. Gabriele Pellegrino, 2015. "Barriers to Innovation: Can Firm Age Help Lower Them?," SPRU Working Paper Series 2015-33, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    6. Ben R. Martin, 2016. "What’s happening to our universities?," Prometheus, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 7-24, January.
    7. Michel Callon, 2008. "Economic markets and the rise of interactive agencements: from prosthetic agencies to "habilitated" agencies"," Post-Print hal-00819091, HAL.
    8. Amrita Chhachhi & Kevin P. Donovan, 2014. "‘Development’ as if We Have Never Been Modern: Fragments of a Latourian Development Studies," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 45(5), pages 869-894, September.
    9. Bulat Sanditov & Saurabh Arora, 2015. "Social network and private provision of public goods," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-01266463, HAL.
    10. Kenneth Iain MacDonald & Catherine Corson, 2012. "‘TEEB Begins Now’: A Virtual Moment in the Production of Natural Capital," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 43(1), pages 159-184, January.
    11. Suraya A. Afiff, 2014. "Engineering the Jatropha Hype in Indonesia," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 6(4), pages 1-19, April.
    12. Richard Heeks & Carolyne Stanforth, 2014. "Understanding Development Project Implementation: An Actor‐Network Perspective," Public Administration & Development, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 14-31, February.
    13. Anthony Bebbington & David Lewis & Simon Batterbury & Elizabeth Olson & M. Shameem Siddiqi, 2007. "Of texts and practices: Empowerment and organisational cultures in world bank-funded rural development programmes," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 597-621.
    14. repec:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2015-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Bulat Sanditov & Saurabh Arora, 2015. "Social network and private provision of public goods," SPRU Working Paper Series 2015-35, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    16. Ohid Yaqub, 2015. "Explaining Variation in Medical Innovation: The Case of Vaccines, and the HIV AIDS effort," SPRU Working Paper Series 2015-34, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    17. Gert Jan Veldwisch & Alex Bolding & Philippus Wester, 2009. "Sand in the Engine: The Travails of an Irrigated Rice Scheme in Bwanje Valley, Malawi," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 197-226.
    18. Matthew L. Wallace & Ismael Rafols, 2016. "Shaping the Agenda of a Grand Challenge: Institutional Mediation of Priorities in Avian Influenza Research," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-02, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    19. Edwin Rap, 2006. "The success of a policy model: Irrigation management transfer in Mexico," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1301-1324.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Grassano & Daniele Rotolo & Joshua Hutton & Frédérique Lang & Michael M. Hopkins, 2017. "Funding Data from Publication Acknowledgments: Coverage, Uses, and Limitations," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 68(4), pages 999-1017, April.
    2. Glover, Dominic & Poole, Nigel, 2019. "Principles of innovation to build nutrition-sensitive food systems in South Asia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 63-73.
    3. Karoline Rogge, 2016. "Reviewing the evidence on the innovation impact of the EU Emission Trading System," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-09, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    4. Mari Martiskainen, 2016. "The role of community leadership in the development of grassroots innovations," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-10, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    5. Lyndsay M. C. Hayhurst & Lidieth del Socorro Cruz Centeno, 2019. "“We Are Prisoners in Our Own Homes”: Connecting the Environment, Gender-Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights to Sport for Development and Peace in Nicaragua," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(16), pages 1-29, August.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ben R. Martin, 2016. "What’s happening to our universities?," Prometheus, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 7-24, January.
    2. Petersen, Alexander M. & Rotolo, Daniele & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2016. "A triple helix model of medical innovation: Supply, demand, and technological capabilities in terms of Medical Subject Headings," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 666-681.
    3. Matthew L. Wallace & Ismael Rafols, 2016. "Shaping the Agenda of a Grand Challenge: Institutional Mediation of Priorities in Avian Influenza Research," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-02, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    4. Emily Cox, 2015. "Opening the Black Box of Energy Security: A Study of Conceptions of Electricity Security in the UK," SPRU Working Paper Series 2015-37, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    5. Nicola Grassano & Daniele Rotolo & Joshua Hutton & Frédérique Lang & Michael M. Hopkins, 2017. "Funding Data from Publication Acknowledgments: Coverage, Uses, and Limitations," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 68(4), pages 999-1017, April.
    6. Saurabh Arora & Naomi Baan Hofman & Vinod Koshti & Tommaso Ciarli, 2013. "Cultivating Compliance: Governance of North Indian Organic Basmati Smallholders in a Global Value Chain," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 45(8), pages 1912-1928, August.
    7. Vaughan Higgins & Jacqui Dibden, 2011. "Biosecurity, Trade Liberalisation, and the (anti)Politics of Risk Analysis: The Australia-New Zealand Apples Dispute," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 43(2), pages 393-409, February.
    8. Henny Romijn & Sanne Heijnen & Saurabh Arora, 2012. "Standardizing Sustainability: Certifying Tanzanian biofuel smallholders in a global supply chain," Working Papers 12-02, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised May 2012.
    9. Andriani, Pierpaolo & Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2011. "Performing comparative advantage: The case of the global coffee business," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 167, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    10. Aarnoudse, E. & Closas, Alvar & Lefore, Nicole, 2018. "Water user associations: a review of approaches and alternative management options for Sub-Saharan Africa," IWMI Working Papers H048782, International Water Management Institute.
    11. Mari Martiskainen, 2016. "The role of community leadership in the development of grassroots innovations," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-10, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    12. Kristof Van Assche & Martijn Duineveld & Monica Gruezmacher & Raoul Beunen, 2021. "Steering as Path Creation: Leadership and the Art of Managing Dependencies and Reality Effects," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 9(2), pages 369-380.
    13. Lilian Muchimba & Alexis Stenfors, 2021. "Beyond LIBOR: Money Markets and the Illusion of Representativeness," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(2), pages 565-573, April.
    14. Liu, Duan & Tang, Runcheng & Xie, Jun & Tian, Jingjing & Shi, Rui & Zhang, Kai, 2020. "Valuation of ecosystem services of rice–fish coculture systems in Ruyuan County, China," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
    15. Leigh Johnson, 2013. "Index Insurance and the Articulation of Risk-Bearing Subjects," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 45(11), pages 2663-2681, November.
    16. Monia Niero & Charlotte L. Jensen & Chiara Farné Fratini & Jens Dorland & Michael S. Jørgensen & Susse Georg, 2021. "Is life cycle assessment enough to address unintended side effects from Circular Economy initiatives?," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 25(5), pages 1111-1120, October.
    17. Thomas Abrams, 2017. "Disability, economic agency, and embodied cognition," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 16(1), pages 81-94, November.
    18. Leon Wansleben, 2013. "Dreaming with BRICs," Journal of Cultural Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(4), pages 453-471, November.
    19. Loconto, Allison & Rajão, Raoni, 2020. "Governing by models: Exploring the technopolitics of the (in)visilibities of land," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).
    20. Peter Miller, 2008. "Calculating Economic Life," Journal of Cultural Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 51-64, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    actor-network theory; practices; relational agency; development policy; sustainable development; agrofuels; bioenergy; Indonesia;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:2016-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/spessuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: University of Sussex Business School Communications Team (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/spessuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.