Unravelling Time: The Process of Closure in Short-Term International Development Missions in Kosovo

Stephens, Virginia. 2018. Unravelling Time: The Process of Closure in Short-Term International Development Missions in Kosovo. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis is about the influence of time on everyday development practice in short-term temporary international development missions, and seeks to explore what that means for our understanding of development organisations and their everyday operational practices.

Interdisciplinary in nature, this study draws upon ethnographic fieldwork of EULEX, a short-term European Union civilian mission deployed to Kosovo, and brings together sociological theories of time, organisational closure and development. I start from the premise that development practice is about working oneself out of a job; once a development organisation has achieved its goals and objectives there should, in theory, no longer be a need for it, and the organisation can close and withdraw from a host country. In this sense, if the ordering principle of a mission becomes about its very end – symbolized by what I term its ‘closure’ – the influencing role of time becomes ever more important to examine, particularly when that mission is indented to be short-term and temporary.

While I show that closure is integral to structuring and ordering development’s everyday working relations and activities, my aim is to cluster together sociological research about time, and recent advances made on the everyday of the development worker to render visible the processes of time in international development that perpetuate particular ways of ‘doing’ development. The underlying claim is that whilst ‘closure’ encourages different activities and rhythms of time, it also creates a dynamic temporal framework within which the everyday is constantly created and recreated.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00026038

Keywords:

Closure, Kosovo, EULEX, development, short-term, organisational closure, time and temporality

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Date:

31 October 2018

Item ID:

26038

Date Deposited:

14 Mar 2019 15:39

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 12:06

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26038

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