An Orthodoxy of 'The Local': Post-colonialism, Participation and Professionalism in Northern Thailand

Katharine McKinnon

The emergence of a participatory orthodoxy in the development industry has had enormous positive impact, however discourses of participation are also being used in surprisingly political ways. This paper explores how a “pro-local” discourse amongst development professionals in northern Thailand is being deployed in ways that undermine the goals of empowerment and emancipation that are central to the aims of participatory approaches.

Suggested citation

McKinnon, K. 2006. "An orthodoxy of the local: post-colonialism, participation and professionalism in northern Thailand." The Geographical Journal 172(1): 22-34.