THINKING REFORM OTHERWISE

IN THE SEMI-PERIPHERY:
AGENCY, FLEXIBILITY AND
TRANSLATION
Paul Stubbs, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb (pstubbs@eizg.hr)


IPA Panel: Thinking and Performing ‘Policies Otherwise’: towards an
ethics and politics of policy translation

Friday 4 July 2014
STRUCTURE
1. ‘Policies Otherwise’: towards an ethics and
politics of policy translation
2. Performing Reform in the Semi-Periphery:
revisiting social welfare in Bosnia-Herzegovina
3. From Recalcitrance to Resistance: protests,
Plenums and a glimpse of ‘policies otherwise’
John Clarke, David Bainton,
Noémi Lendvai and Paul Stubbs
‘Making Policy Move: towards a politics
of translation and assemblage’.
Policy Press, 2015.
‘POLICIES OTHERWISE’
 Translation as a site of struggle – multiplication of policy
assemblages and search for the ‘beyond’, the ‘not yet’
(Rojas, de Sousa Santos)
 The multiple, the contradictory and the awkward in the
policy process
 From ‘pluralism’ to ‘pluriverse’ – lying outside ‘the
prevailing web of interlocutions’
 Relational attentiveness – ‘changing the subject’ (Gibson-
Graham) and the possibility of ‘collective disidentification’
(Butler)
 New ‘loci or enunciation’ (Rojas) – alternative rationalities,
knowledges and practices
 Exploring ‘limitations, refusals, counter-tendencies and
instabilities that constitute the conditions for other
possibilities (Clarke)
PERFORMING REFORM IN THE
SEMI-PERIPHERY
 Bosnia-Herzegovina (B-H) tropes of ‘transition’: ‘failed
state’, ‘endemic inter-ethnic tensions’, ‘post-conflict’, ‘post-
socialist’, ...
 Semi-periphery (Blagojević) – contradictory
‘modernisation’, ‘semi Other’ to an imagined ‘West’
 Crowded playground of flexible, intermestic reform actors
– projectisation
 Consultancy mode – translation pathways – ‘open space’ –
B-H realities and specificities and ‘buy in’ - DFID – IBHI –
BSAL – performative enactments and emotional
disagreements
 Improvised nature of governance and rule with ‘a variety of
actors operating across a range of spatial scales’ (Jeffrey)
 Multiple claims in a fractured public sphere – variable
geometry of practices and imaginaries
FROM RECALCITRANCE
TO RESISTANCE I
Exploring and expanding ‘sceptical capacity’ (Clarke)
“The newcomers were never at peace; they allowed no one else to
live in peace. It seemed that they were resolved with their
impalpable but ever more noticeable web of laws, regulations
and orders to embrace all forms of life, men, beasts and things,
and to change and alter everything, both the outward
appearance of the town and the customs and habits of men
from the cradle to the grave. ... Naturally, here as always and
everywhere in similar circumstances, the new life meant in
actual fact a mingling of the old and the new. Old ideas and old
values clashed with the new ones, merged with them or existed
side by side, as if waiting to see which would outlive which. ...
By a natural law the people resisted every innovation but did
not go to extremes, for to most of them life was always more
important and more urgent than the forms by which they lived”
(Andrić)
FROM RECALCITRANCE TO
RESISTANCE II
 Consultants as ‘insultants’ speaking ‘ubleha’
 Raja (Šaviha-Valha) – irony, humour and
zafrkancija – as a negotaation of the paradox
of co-operation and antagonism
 Humanitarne akcije (Brković) – citizens’
actions – locally embedded enactments
dependent on networks and the ability to
‘keep moving’
 Bebolucija protests (June 2013)
FROM RECALCITRANCE TO
RESISTANCE III
 February 2014 street protests
 Plenums translation of ‘direct democracy’ –
‘changing the nature of political discourse’
(Sarajlić)
 Practice of listening “to speak for others is to first
silence those in whose name we speak” (Callon)
 Interruptions, creative expressions of “the new,
the unthought and the unexpected” (Gibson-
Graham)
 From ‘recognition’ to ‘transformative
redistribution’ (Fraser)?


http://bhprotestfiles.wordpress.com/