The Pontis Foundation: Partly Disrupting the Development Discourse Through Partnership
New article by Tomáš Profant was published online in Forum for Development Studies. The article analyses the hierarchising and sanctifying effects of the development discourse. First, it presents this discourse using secondary sources and then it applies critical discourse analysis to several texts and interviews to analyse whether the Slovak non-governmental development organization (NGDO) the Pontis Foundation follows the development discourse in terms of sanctifying development and hierarchising cultures.
The analysis thus adds to the agency/structure discussion by analysing one actor in relation to the discourse. It also adds empirical results to the already existing critique expressed in regard to NGOs and their lack of partnership. Whereas the analysed texts are very much in accordance with the hierarchising discourse, in the interviews the respondents avoid hierarchisation and hierarchise cultures only after direct questions have been asked or when adhering to linearity in relation to South Korea. The respondents both reject and accept the term ‘development’ and blame its usage on external material and discursive pressure.