Constructive Complicity Enacted? The Reflections of Women NGO and IGO Workers on their Practices

de Jong, Sara (2009). Constructive Complicity Enacted? The Reflections of Women NGO and IGO Workers on their Practices. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 30(4) pp. 387–402.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07256860903214131

Abstract

Feminists have faced and are still facing a similar critique as NGOs and development organisations, namely, that they draw on predominantly Western, middle-class values and constructs in their work. The notions of reflexivity as used in feminist theory and the notion of constructive complicity as introduced in postcolonial theory are both responses to the need to find ways to operate productively and responsibly within unequal power structures. This paper will explore the parallels between this reflexivity and acknowledgement of complicity. It will consider whether and if so, how reflexivity and constructive complicity can be translated into NGO practices using material collected from interviews with women located in the global North who work for organisations that seek to support women in and from the global South.

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