law and development, representation, visualization, governance

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This article draws on Ian Hacking’s idea of ‘making up people’ to reflect on the relationship between development knowledge, practice and expertise. Using Hacking’s 5-part model as a counterpoint to mainstream accounts of development and its tasks, it (re)describes the manner in which development vision informs practice, while practice itself reconstructs the horizon of possibilities for developing states and their populations.

The picture that emerges is one of tight interconnections between expertise-driven institutional practice and what we come to see and therefore to ‘know’ about development. It is also one in which iconic figures such as the entrepreneurial woman emerge as products of, and catalysts to, legal and policy reform.

Hacking’s model can be productively applied to related projects, illuminating the paths of international (and domestic) rights-based struggles for gender equality. It thus stands to reveal otherwise opaque connections among projects in which law plays a central role.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.