In recent years the sub-field of political anthropology, NGO-graphy, has dramatically expanded as anthropologists have begun to examine the work of NGOs in development and transition country contexts. The anthropological study on NGOs as well as civil society more broadly enriches our understandings of how knowledge and information is produced, the flow of ideas and the adaptation of metadiscourses to local contexts and how these effect decision-making. Anthropological studies in post-socialist states have examined the perils of importing and imposing western models and understandings of concepts such as civil society and democracy on the former Eastern bloc, revealing the moments of rift, dissonance, and disjuncture.
This research is aimed at trying to better understand the multiple perspectives, discourses, and strategies of the various actors, the relationships between these actors, and how the foreign aid has affected the development of civil society and democracy in Armenia. The implications of the asymmetrical relationships between local NGO members and donors and their flown-in experts cannot be overlooked given that the power inequalities inherent in these encounters affect the production of knowledge, the definition of problems, the circulation of information, decision-making and the outcomes of development or ‘transition’ projects and how civil society is conceptualised and operationalised
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