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NGOs and Governmentality in Chile The Case of TECHO and slum eradication programs

Frösén, Katja LU (2013) UTVK03 20131
Sociology
Abstract
This qualitative case study analyses the Chilean NGO TECHO, now present in 19 countries in Latin
America and the Caribbean, from the perspective of Foucault's concept of governmentality, as
elaborated by Rose and Miller (2008). They argue that non-state modes of power are the defining
features of contemporary societies, and that these operate through loose, associative networks
through which actors come to define common perceptions of problems and common aims.
Governmentality, it will be argued, operates with certain rationalities translated into programs that
seek to shape the conduct of others. In accordance with the theoretical framework, the study focuses
on the problematics, practices and programs of slum erradication, in which... (More)
This qualitative case study analyses the Chilean NGO TECHO, now present in 19 countries in Latin
America and the Caribbean, from the perspective of Foucault's concept of governmentality, as
elaborated by Rose and Miller (2008). They argue that non-state modes of power are the defining
features of contemporary societies, and that these operate through loose, associative networks
through which actors come to define common perceptions of problems and common aims.
Governmentality, it will be argued, operates with certain rationalities translated into programs that
seek to shape the conduct of others. In accordance with the theoretical framework, the study focuses
on the problematics, practices and programs of slum erradication, in which TECHO has been
participating as a constructor of emergency housing and as an intermediate entity between the
government and the inhabitants of slums, organizing them to apply for housing subsidies. My main
research question is: How has the role of TECHO evolved in relation to the government programs
to eradicate campamentos in Chile? The subquestions are: What practices has this role involved,
currently and historically? How do these practices enable “government at a distance”?
The material for the study was collected during a 2,5 month volunteering period with
TECHO in its office in Santiago, and includes 13 qualitative interviews with TECHO directors,
government employees, housing committee members and other organizations with experience on
housing policies, as well as field observation in a campamento in the Santiago Metropolitan Region
and various news sources and government reports. The findings of the study situate TECHO in a
complex network of relations, starting with the contruction of mediaguas, to becoming a supplier in
the government's constantly failing slum erradication programs. They also show how the neoliberal
forms of “government at a distance” and “government through community” involve not so much the
shrinking of government but expanding it into new spheres, as is the case with the “Social
Inclusion”, a government methodology adopted by TECHO, which involves intervening into both
group dynamics through community development and the psycho-social sphere of the group of
individuals who have been defined as a problem. As a conclusion, I will argue that these forms of
neoliberal governmentality have continuously failed to achieve their aims of erradicating the slums
and maintaining social cohesion, as they only address the inevitable consequences of a free-market
model that perpetuates inequality. (Less)
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author
Frösén, Katja LU
supervisor
organization
course
UTVK03 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Chile, governmentality, NGOs, slum erradication, social policies, housing, poverty
language
English
id
4003310
date added to LUP
2013-09-04 08:35:06
date last changed
2013-09-04 08:35:06
@misc{4003310,
  abstract     = {This qualitative case study analyses the Chilean NGO TECHO, now present in 19 countries in Latin
America and the Caribbean, from the perspective of Foucault's concept of governmentality, as
elaborated by Rose and Miller (2008). They argue that non-state modes of power are the defining
features of contemporary societies, and that these operate through loose, associative networks
through which actors come to define common perceptions of problems and common aims.
Governmentality, it will be argued, operates with certain rationalities translated into programs that
seek to shape the conduct of others. In accordance with the theoretical framework, the study focuses
on the problematics, practices and programs of slum erradication, in which TECHO has been
participating as a constructor of emergency housing and as an intermediate entity between the
government and the inhabitants of slums, organizing them to apply for housing subsidies. My main
research question is: How has the role of TECHO evolved in relation to the government programs
to eradicate campamentos in Chile? The subquestions are: What practices has this role involved,
currently and historically? How do these practices enable “government at a distance”?
The material for the study was collected during a 2,5 month volunteering period with
TECHO in its office in Santiago, and includes 13 qualitative interviews with TECHO directors,
government employees, housing committee members and other organizations with experience on
housing policies, as well as field observation in a campamento in the Santiago Metropolitan Region
and various news sources and government reports. The findings of the study situate TECHO in a
complex network of relations, starting with the contruction of mediaguas, to becoming a supplier in
the government's constantly failing slum erradication programs. They also show how the neoliberal
forms of “government at a distance” and “government through community” involve not so much the
shrinking of government but expanding it into new spheres, as is the case with the “Social
Inclusion”, a government methodology adopted by TECHO, which involves intervening into both
group dynamics through community development and the psycho-social sphere of the group of
individuals who have been defined as a problem. As a conclusion, I will argue that these forms of
neoliberal governmentality have continuously failed to achieve their aims of erradicating the slums
and maintaining social cohesion, as they only address the inevitable consequences of a free-market
model that perpetuates inequality.},
  author       = {Frösén, Katja},
  keyword      = {Chile,governmentality,NGOs,slum erradication,social policies,housing,poverty},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {NGOs and Governmentality in Chile The Case of TECHO and slum eradication programs},
  year         = {2013},
}