Securing the Northern Region of Ghana? Development Aid and Security Interventions
Torto, Eric Obodai
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This dissertation offers a perspective through which we can explore the processes of joint development and security interventions in conflict-prone regions. In employing the experiences of the Northern Region of Ghana as my case study, this thesis examines the ways that the rationales of both development and security interventions are articulated in the field of practice. The central argument of the thesis is that most analyses of aid interventions, particularly those stemming from mainstream development literature, rarely interrogate the underlying rationales and assumptions behind the ideas, strategies and discourses employed in aid intervention. Notably, these rationales and assumptions tend to reduce the complexity of development and security challenges, and, as an end result, facilitate the implementation of technical solutions. The translation of development and security discourses and strategies into programmable practices as they encounter a local population is characterized by complex processes. Following the central argument of the thesis, the key research question interrogates the way that the rationales behind development aid and security interventions have been articulated in conflict- prone Northern Region and how they have been received by the local population. With the overarching aim of understanding the complexities associated with the joint articulation of development and security programmes, this study provides a unique and critical analysis of international development and security practices. The study also provides deeper understanding of the broad socio-economic and political contexts for the delivery of aid interventions. I scrutinize the rationales behind these interventions through the critical examination of colonial practices and three contemporary interventions: 1) Region-wide interventions, 2) the UN Human Security Program, and 3) Post-liberal interventions used as a panacea to prevailing implementation challenges. Based on the analysis of archival documents, alongside policy, program, and interview documents, my study reveals the ways that the development-security nexus perpetrates liberal practices in the declared conflict-prone Northern Region of Ghana. I also evaluate the way that the development-security nexus reconstitutes individuals as resilient subjects through practices of empowerment and entrepreneurialism, and demonstrates the contestations, contradictions, and colonial features that characterize interventions in the field of articulation.