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A conjunctural analysis of Canadian official development assistance Mahoney, Adam 2015

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A CONJUNCTURAL ANALYSIS OF CANADIAN OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE by  Adam Mahoney  B.A., St. Francis Xavier University, 2009  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Geography)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2015  © Adam Mahoney, 2015   ii Abstract  This thesis examines two recent changes to Canadian official development assistance. First, new pilot projects in international development with Canadian mining companies were announced in 2011. Second, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade were merged to create the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in 2013. I argue that these changes are new efforts to instrumentalize official development assistance for commercial and foreign policy interests. Canadian international development has always served commercial and foreign policy interests, but the two changes I examine are significant cementations of these interests. The government’s justification for the merger, “policy coherence,” is itself incoherent, and it legitimates the prefigured goal of instrumentalizing official development assistance. The pilot projects are effectively a subsidy for the Canadian mining industry in that government-funded development projects are replacing companies’ corporate social responsibility projects. I provide a conjunctural analysis of these changes in order to elucidate the challenges and opportunities for political change in response to them. I intervene in the key public debates that have surrounded the changes, and I advance a broader strategy for responding to the changes that turns on development ideology. I argue that there is a rupture in development ideology in Canada and that political action should focus on this ideological rupture.    iii Preface  This thesis is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, A. Mahoney.   iv Table of Contents  Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii	  Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iii	  Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... iv	  List of Figures .............................................................................................................................. vii	  List of Abbreviations ................................................................................................................. viii	  Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... ix	  Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1	  1.1	   Development ...................................................................................................................... 5	  1.2	   Conjuncture ........................................................................................................................ 9	  1.3	   Procedure ......................................................................................................................... 16	  Chapter 2: Anti-Pendulum .........................................................................................................22	  2.1	   Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 22	  2.2	   An Anti-Pendulum Overture ............................................................................................ 23	  2.3	   Before CIDA .................................................................................................................... 26	  2.4	   CIDA’s Beginning ........................................................................................................... 29	  2.5	   1990s Onwards ................................................................................................................. 36	  2.6	   Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 42	  Chapter 3: DFATD and the Incoherence of ‘Policy Coherence’ .............................................44	  3.1	   Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 44	  3.2	   Becoming DFATD ........................................................................................................... 46	  3.2.1	   Precursors .................................................................................................................. 48	    v 3.2.2	   Comparisons ............................................................................................................. 53	  3.2.3	   Debate ....................................................................................................................... 58	  3.3	   The Incoherence of ‘Policy Coherence’ .......................................................................... 68	  3.3.1	   Genesis ...................................................................................................................... 69	  3.3.2	   Definition(s) .............................................................................................................. 71	  3.3.3	   Critique ..................................................................................................................... 75	  3.4	   Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 81	  Chapter 4: Frontiers: Mining, Development, and the Subsidy Debate in Canada ................83	  4.1	   Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 83	  4.2	   The Pilot Projects ............................................................................................................. 85	  4.2.1	   The Subsidy Debate .................................................................................................. 88	  4.3	   Frontiers ........................................................................................................................... 93	  4.3.1	   The National Frontier ................................................................................................ 94	  4.3.2	   The International Frontier ......................................................................................... 99	  4.4	   The Socioethical Frontier ............................................................................................... 104	  4.5	   Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 117	  Chapter 5: Conclusion: Ruptures and Sutures .......................................................................118	  5.1	   Introduction .................................................................................................................... 118	  5.2	   A Different Perspective .................................................................................................. 120	  5.3	   Why Ideology? ............................................................................................................... 123	  5.4	   The Ideology of Development ....................................................................................... 125	  5.5	   The Development (Ideological State) Apparatus ........................................................... 130	  5.6	   An Ideological Rupture .................................................................................................. 136	    vi 5.7	   Suturing the Rupture ...................................................................................................... 141	  5.8	   Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 146	  Bibliography ...............................................................................................................................148	      vii List of Figures  Figure 1: Grid of Motivation for CIDA’s Private Sector Development Projects. ........................ 37	     viii List of Abbreviations  CCC Canadian Chamber of Commerce CCIC Canadian Council for International Cooperation CERI Canadian Energy Research Institute CIC Canadian International Council CIDA Canadian International Development Agency CIDA-INC Canadian International Development Agency Industrial Cooperation Program CSR Corporate Social Responsibility DAC Development Assistance Committee DFAIT Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade DFATD Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development DFID Department for International Development EAO External Aid Office FDI Foreign Direct Investment GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GSC Geological Survey of Canada IMF International Monetary Fund ISA Ideological State Apparatus MAC Mining Association of Canada MFA Ministry of Foreign Affairs NGO Non-Government Organization NORAD Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation NRC Natural Resources Canada ODA Official Development Assistance OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development USAID United States Agency for International Development WTO World Trade Organization WUSC World University Service of Canada    ix Acknowledgements  I have received help and encouragement from numerous people in a variety ways in the course of writing this thesis. My supervisor, Trevor Barnes, has been scrupulous, patient, receptive and generous. Thank you, Trevor, for your unflagging support. I am grateful for the guidance already given and for that yet to come. Geraldine Pratt was a tremendous second reader, offering encouragement and feedback when I most needed it. Thank you, Gerry, for your thoughtfulness.  Thanks goes to my fellow graduate students, who have taught me much during classes, home seminars, committee meetings, hallway chats, and pub meets. You’re one of the biggest reasons I enjoy what I’m doing.  Endless gratitude goes to my parents, who continue to love, support and encourage me in ways small and large. You’ve enabled me to be where I am.  Sarah, you make every day a joy. You’ve had my back through every step, and you never fail to invigorate me. I can’t thank you enough.    1 Chapter 1: Introduction  This thesis examines two recent changes to Canada’s official development assistance (ODA)—the state-led, voluntary, and international transfer of resources putatively to promote economic development and welfare in other states. First, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which has long been responsible for the majority of Canada’s ODA, was in 2013 merged into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), resulting in a new mega-department: the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD). The bureaucratic organization that manages Canada’s ODA will be overhauled through this merger, impacting on how ODA is implemented. Second, the Conservative government has placed a renewed emphasis on private sector development as a major component of ODA. Most controversially, this includes partnering with Canadian mining companies in development projects near mining sites. This type of private sector partnership is novel in the context of ODA.  Neither change is minor. They represent a major shift in how Canada’s ODA will be delivered and, most importantly, whose interests it will serve. In what follows, I maintain that these changes are renewed efforts to instrumentalize Canada’s ODA for the purpose of advancing Canada’s own interests. This instrumentality is contrary to the very definition of ODA,1 which specifically refers to resource transfers that promote economic development and welfare abroad rather than domestically. Of course, such instrumentality in itself is not new. This thesis will detail how Canadian ODA has always been instrumentalized to promote Canada’s                                                 1 ODA is otherwise known as foreign aid. The designator ODA comes from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which coined the term precisely in order to differentiate it from other state-led international resource transfers that are not aimed at promoting other states’ economic development and welfare.   2 foreign policy and commercial interests. What is new, however, is the unique extent to which ODA is being instrumentalized.   The merger of CIDA and DFAIT is the culmination of a long history of attempts to gain control over CIDA’s majority share of the Canadian ODA budget by other federal departments. Foreign Affairs,2 Canada’s diplomatic branch of government, stands out in this regard. Historically, it has strived to exert its influence on CIDA in order to instrumentalize Canadian ODA for its particular interests. When Foreign Affairs was charged with state-building in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union, for instance, it was determined to redirect a substantial portion of CIDA’s bilateral aid to countries in that region. While the case for this redirection of funds was in part made on welfare grounds, Foreign Affairs was candid about its priority of bolstering Canada’s effort to contribute to an Eastern Europe reconstructed in its own image through economic development and integration. CIDA’s mandate, however, was to contribute to the economic development of the world’s poorest—for which Eastern Europe did not quite qualify—and it sought to protect this mandate by maintaining its autonomy and independence from Foreign Affairs. This conflict characterizes the predominant historical relationship between the two agencies: while Foreign Affairs sought to bring Canadian ODA into the fold, CIDA sought to ward off Foreign Affairs and preserve its own mandate. It was a clash of institutions as much as political aims. The merger of CIDA and DFAIT, then, is one of two institutions that have long been at loggerheads. The government has repeatedly justified the merger by insisting that it will promote “policy coherence.” This, of course, seems rather straightforward and desirable: if two government agencies have been at odds for decades and                                                 2 The department responsible for Canada’s foreign policy has had many names throughout its history—here I refer to it simply as Foreign Affairs for consistency.   3 have advanced policy frameworks with competing and contradictory objectives, then achieving policy coherence would appear to be a reasonable remedy to that conflict. That straightforwardness and desirability, however, is shown to be muddled upon closer scrutiny of the concept of policy coherence. The concept is itself exceedingly incoherent, as I will demonstrate. Most importantly, general references to policy coherence leave ambiguous what, exactly, policies will cohere around. Will DFAIT and CIDA both compromise and meet somewhere in the middle of their historically divergent priorities? Or will one of them determine the course of the other’s policies?  CIDA has a long history of development efforts involving the private sector. From food aid being tied to procurement from Canadian producers since the beginning of Canada’s ODA, to financial incentives for Canadian foreign direct investment (FDI) abroad, to the direct provision of lucrative contracts to Canadian firms for carrying out projects that were viewed as developmental in one way or another, ODA has recruited the private sector in ways that have been highly supportive to its commercial success and expansion. Enter Canadian mining companies. At first glance, it might seem like private sector partnerships with these companies are merely an extension of Canadian ODA’s longstanding private sector collaborations. One must understand, however, the broader context of this industry to understand why these partnerships are unique. The extractive industries have had—to understate the predicament—a problem of public relations throughout the last few decades. A litany of harms and abuses to communities in the vicinity of mining projects worldwide, compounded with an increased international public scrutiny of such abuses, severely damaged the industry’s reputation. To use an expression popular within the extractive industries, many companies lost their “social license to operate”: that is, they lost the consent, especially the consent of communities nearby mines, to   4 conduct mining operations free from conflict and resistance. For the past fifteen years or so, however, the extractive industries have been desperately seeking to win back their so-called social license to operate—trying to earn back the public trust in order to continue their mining activities. The industry has been the vanguard of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement, which consists of discretionary measures for ostensibly promoting the well-being of the communities near their operations, including local development initiatives. While the industry seeks to reclaim the social license to operate through CSR initiatives, not everyone is convinced by its born again goodwill. Skeptics view CSR initiatives as pacification schemes—efforts to placate nearby communities with charitable gestures rather than address the fundamental causes of mining companies’ harm and abuse. Moreover—and this is where Canadian ODA fits in—these new pilot projects with mining companies, which are billed as part of Canada’s national CSR strategy, are seen by critics to be effectively subsidizing those companies. In response to these allegations, the Conservative government and other proponents of the pilot projects have insisted that they are not subsidizing these companies, rather they are “leveraging” their funds and expertise to increase the impact of Canada’s development program. This has been the nub of the public debate in Canada. Do the new pilot projects constitute a subsidy for Canadian mining companies? Or do they leverage more funds from those companies to support development outcomes?  These issues are to some degree Canadian—the decisions were made in Canada, by the Canadian government, and all ODA is taxpayer-funded—but their ramifications will be felt mostly outside of Canada. 90% of Canada’s bilateral (country-to-country) assistance will now go   5 to 25 countries, almost all of them in Asia, Africa, or the Americas (DFATD, 2014).3 Changes to ODA that are unilaterally enacted by the Canadian government will have an impact on the ground in those countries. Moreover, these changes are part of broader trends among state development agencies. Norway, for example, preceded Canada’s departmental merger by nearly a decade, absorbing its aid agency into its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The U.S. didn’t fully merge its departments, but recently it did more closely integrate its aid agency into its State Department. Following the Canadian merger, Australia followed suit with its aid agency. It can be expected to happen again elsewhere. Partnering directly with mining companies, on the other hand, seems to be a rather novel development. This is all to say that while my research hones in on changes to Canadian ODA, there will be broader effects, and the analysis here will be applicable to other national cases should other donors continue to replicate Canada’s restructuring of development assistance.  1.1 Development Development, which I refer to often in this thesis, is a thoroughly ambiguous term—it “defies definition” (Lawson, 2007, p. ix)—with a multitude of meanings in different contexts. In chapter 2 I explain how development discourse is rife with buzzwords and empty signifiers; some have even insisted that development itself is a buzzword (Rist, 2007) or an empty signifier (Ziai, 2009). Its most common usage, however, might be best encapsulated by what Li (2007) calls “the will to improve.” It is used in two senses: one, as an ideal outcome (development as                                                 3 Even the choice of which countries will receive Canadian bilateral assistance itself carries implications for ODA. As we will later see, these countries of focus have been selected less for their privation than for the strategic concerns of Canadian foreign policy and commerce.   6 successful improvement), and two, as the process by which that outcome is sought (development as intervention). Development, therefore, refers both to means and ends. Hart (2001; 2004) makes a distinction between “big-D” Development and “small-d” development. The latter is defined as “the development of capitalism as a geographically uneven, profoundly contradictory set of historical processes” (Hart, 2001, p. 650). This type of development, argues Hart, has persisted since the dawn of industrial capitalism. “Big-D” Development, on the other hand, refers to “a post-second world war project of intervention in the ‘third world’ that emerged in the context of decolonization and the cold war” (Hart, 2001, p. 650). Despite the distinction, Hart identifies significant continuity between “small-d” development and “big-D” Development. The latter also consists of the former’s hallmarks: trusteeship and the will to improve. Nevertheless, the aftermath of World War II marked an important transition between these two types, wherein development became a semi-autonomous operating sphere led by wealthy states and multilateral organizations. It also took on an invigorated, internationally-oriented mandate. Although development initiatives were carried out prior to the mid-20th century, they were then carried out mainly through national or colonial initiatives; under Development, these took the form of interventions by “developed states” (already successfully “improved”) into formally independent “developing states” (in need of “improvement”). The goal of development as improvement, in some respects, is worthy. The persistent poverty of the majority of the world’s population, in absolute and relative terms, is perhaps the gravest injustice worldwide. Roughly 50% of the global population survives on less than $2.50 per day, and 80% of people worldwide live on less than $10 per day, which means they make less in one day than the minimum legal hourly wage in British Columbia, where this thesis was   7 written (UNDP, 2014). Global income inequality has been steadily expanding. Measuring in terms of income only scratches the surface of global poverty. Billions lack access to clean water and adequate healthcare, for instance. The injustices that development sets as its task to correct, therefore, are serious ones.  Much critical research on development, however, has demonstrated that it has historically been inadequate for achieving its goals. There is an “inevitable gap between what is attempted and what is accomplished” (Li, 2007, p. 1); that is, there is a glaring disconnect between development as a means and development as an end. It was the starkness of this disconnect that led many critical scholars, especially in the 1990s, to critique the very foundations of development. “Post-development” scholars argued that not only is development incapable of meeting its goals, it actually exacerbates the injustices that it seeks to correct. This is the gist of Escobar’s (2012) landmark Encountering Development, which dissected the discursive function of development. Another important text is Ferguson’s (1994) The Anti-Politics Machine, which demonstrated how development depoliticizes its own mechanisms as well as its milieu.  Backlash to what was seen as post-development’s discourse-centeredness, particularism, and wholesale rejection of development, resulted in efforts during the 2000s by radical scholars to recuperate a critical yet constructive notion of development—especially in human geography. Gidwani (2008), for one, argues that development is a diagram or a machine in the Deleuzian sense. In this conception, development puts into connection or relation formerly separate parts (openly defined) to enable some sort of improvement scheme. In some cases, this serves to “feed the machine of capital,” but in others, it may “open a breach for oppositional subaltern politics” (p. 132). Gidwani’s analysis ultimately promotes “an understanding of ‘development’—quite unlike postdevelopment scholars—as a mobilizing force that has the capacity to expand   8 ‘freedoms’ but that is also, by nature, unstable” (p. 131). Wainwright (2008) offers a different but complementary analysis based on the concept of capitalism qua development. This concept embodies the recognition that as “small-d” development was extended through colonial endeavours, it took up an ontological attachment with capitalism. Development, therefore, is capitalism. For Wainwright, this means critical scholars must grapple with the problematic of capitalism qua development rather than reject it altogether: “Rejecting ‘development’—the hegemonic denomination for our responsibility—is neither morally possible nor desirable. . . . Development marks the site of a fundamental doubt that must be struggled through in order to produce stronger positions and concepts” (p. 11). Wainwright ultimately suggests that we should strive “to break capitalism’s attachment to development” (p. 286).  My approach to researching recent changes to Canadian ODA takes much inspiration from the insights of the development scholars detailed above, but I also eschew some aspects that don’t do much practical analytical work for me. I recognize the historical, colonial antecedents to modern development, but I refer to development—regardless of capitalizations—specifically as the post-war incarnation, which would be Hart’s “big-D” Development. I borrow from Escobar’s and Ferguson’s analyses of development discourse in order to make a particular intervention in chapter 2, but I do not simply reject outright the notion of development, however problematic it is. I understand the Canadian development apparatus through Gidwani’s and Wainwright’s frameworks, although I refer to development throughout this thesis not as a machine or as capitalism but in the largely depoliticized and unqualified form that it is most commonly used. This warrants explanation because if development is a thoroughly ambiguous term with countless potential definitions, I want to be clear about what I mean when I invoke it. Key here is my intended audience. Aside from critical geographers, I want to speak to Canadian civil society   9 leaders, many of them working in non-government organizations (NGOs) and advocacy groups, and Canadian development scholars, many of whom work in the fields of political science and international relations. These are groups and individuals who frequently participate in public debates in Canadian media and abroad, and they have been especially vocal throughout the recent changes to Canadian ODA. A lot of them are policy-oriented and thus pointedly direct their messages to policy-makers and bureaucrats. In these public and policy forums, “development” does not attract the scare quotes that I argue are rather appropriate. Development is not invoked in a deliberately theoretical framework that aims to reconstitute its significance (imagine for a moment a news article or a board table surrounded by government officials in which capitalism qua development and development as a machine were liberally cited. . .). In these forums, it is invoked as development, impure and over-simple. I follow suit, referring to development in its basic and common form as either the process or outcome of improvement—not to diminish the analytical component of my research but so that the analytical component is present in the critique while the format in which that critique is delivered is relevant and relatable to this intended audience. I emphasize this because the issue of intended audience is neither trivial nor tangential to my research: it is of utmost importance to what I want to accomplish here. Many among that audience are exceptionally committed to reconstructing Canadian international development efforts in a more just way. Concentrating that commitment in a strategic way is core to my research approach, to which I now turn.  1.2 Conjuncture It’s tricky to account for major changes while they’re happening. I am reminded of this while watching an episode of The Daily Show in which Jon Stewart relentlessly mocks CNN’s   10 live news coverage for being painfully oblivious as to what’s happening. Reporters awkwardly scramble to capture mundane occurrences while newscasters and pundits offer endless and erroneous speculation on the significance of the events being covered. Stewart’s verdict: It is incompetent and irresponsible to report and analyze without knowing the whole story. Hegel, less humorously, comes to similar conclusions about philosophy. His metaphorical owl of Minerva, which takes flight only after nightfall, instructs that a philosophical account is necessarily based on hindsight. It does not strive to shape ongoing affairs—it arrives on the scene only after reality has played out. Hegel’s verdict: philosophy is not prescriptive, rather it seeks to understand retrospectively.  These injunctions seemingly pose a challenge. The changes to Canadian ODA that I study here have already been decided and set in motion, although they have yet fully to take shape. CIDA and DFAIT will definitely merge, but it is still unclear what the final amalgamation will look like. An internal document leaked in late 2013 indicated what form its bureaucratic structure will take, but this has not been officially recognized, let alone operationalized. Development efforts have yet to be carried out by a fully integrated DFATD. ODA-funded private sector partnerships with Canadian mining companies have been underway, but only through three isolated pilot projects. As they are pilot projects, they are likely to expand and proliferate. However, few details have emerged regarding how these projects have played out. Final evaluations and reports have not yet been issued, and little research has been done on any of these sites. In light of the uncertainty surrounding my research topic, it might appear to risk CNN’s folly or may seem like a perilous daytime flight attempt instead of waiting for nightfall.  Geographers, however, have adopted a concept that analytically embraces such a period of change and uncertainty: conjuncture. The conjuncture was an important concept in Gramsci’s   11 and Althusser’s theories, and it was later championed by cultural theorist Stuart Hall. Hall defines it: A conjuncture is a period in which the contradictions and problems and antagonisms, which are always present in different domains in a society, begin to come together. They begin to accumulate, they begin to fuse, to overlap with one another. The ideological becomes part of the economic problem and vice versa. Gramsci says that they fuse into a ruptural unity, and that’s the beginning of conjuncture. The aftermath of the fusion, how that fusion develops, its challenges to the existing historical project or social order, the efforts of the state and the people who run it, etcetera, to contain that, or the success of change and transformation—all of that arc constitutes conjuncture. So it’s the accumulation and condensation of different strands of contradiction and problems. (2013, p. 16, original emphasis) The current state of Canada’s ODA epitomizes Hall’s description of a conjuncture. It is the accumulation and coming together of long-gestating contradictions. In this thesis, I dedicate a chapter to each of three main contradictions that are converging: 1) that ODA is tendered as a contribution to the poor’s economic development and welfare but instead promotes the donor’s own interests, 2) that two federal agencies which have long held conflicting priorities are becoming amalgamated, and 3) that an industry with a reputation for harms and abuses worldwide is the new partner of choice for development projects. The beginning of the conjuncture has already transpired. These contradictions have fused together as pivotal features of Canadian ODA. The aftermath, however, is still playing out. Because the changes to Canadian ODA have yet to develop fully or resolve, because there are concerted efforts by the Conservative government who currently administers it to contain and allow it to develop normally, and because there is an acute opportunity for dissidents to effect change and   12 transformation by disrupting that normal development, a conjunctural analysis is imperative for grasping the complex state of affairs that is ongoing. My research, then, is a conjunctural analysis: it is an account of the conjuncture that is currently Canadian ODA, a ruptural unity of contradictions, uncertainties, and contestations that still have yet to fully settle or stabilize. Such an analysis, however, is not just a description of the conjuncture. It is not merely the delineation of an incomplete process of transformation, though that is an important component. Conjunctural analysis—and this is a crucial point—is a tool for intervening in that process itself. In contrast with Hegel’s rejection of a prescriptive philosophy, conjunctural analysis is expressly prescriptive. Jessop (2012) describes its prescriptive function: A full conjunctural analysis moves beyond a concern with the coincidence and/or succession of events and processes to analyse the uneven, differential strategic implications of this ‘con-junction’ or coming together of multiple processes, actions, and events. A key feature of such a strategic-relational approach is its concern with the strategic possibilities that a specific period gives for different actors, different identities, different interests, different coalition possibilities, different horizons of action, different strategies, and different tactics. (p. 13) As Jessop explains, conjunctural analysis goes beyond an account of a ruptural unity and proceeds to analyze what gains can be won by actors who seek to configure a more just state of affairs. It seeks to delineate strategic courses of action for advancing a progressive politics through a united—hegemonic—front.4 As Gidwani argues, while scholarly analysis may not be                                                 4 Hegemony is another key concept most often associated with Gramsci. It is a complex concept that has been interpreted in many ways. The way I invoke it, which is sufficiently faithful to the way he conceptualized it, is as a concord of diverse actors and interest groups in support of common political goals or arrangement. Hegemony is practiced by the ruling class and by those who seek to undermine the ruling class. A successful hegemonic project is one in which unity and consent is achieved and political goals are attained that alter the greater political arrangement in society.   13 suited for effecting change in and of itself, it should strive to illuminate the openings and dead ends for effecting change in order for political leaders (broad conceived) and other actors to converge on a successful hegemonic project: . . . it is the task of leftist intellectuals to elucidate the challenges and opportunities for political change and the task of political leadership to achieve the necessary unity—an alliance between different factions of the working classes and with other marginalized groups—through strategic actions. This, pure and simple, is hegemony. . . . In short, political action must recognize and respond to the ‘conjuncture.’ (p. xii-xiii) The purpose of my research, accordingly, is to illuminate the challenges and opportunities for political change available to those actors who seek to revolt against recent changes to Canadian ODA (I emphatically do not mean a mere reversal of those changes—I return to this point later on). It is an important opportunity for effecting political change in particular, because, as Jessop counsels, “the pursuit of politics as ‘the art of the possible’ depends heavily on correct conjunctural analysis and is practised by most successful political forces” (2012, p. 9).  As it is but one analytical tool among many, however, conjunctural analysis cannot ‘do everything.’ Geographers Watts & Bohle (1993), for example, distinguish it from ‘structural analysis.’ In their view, structural analysis is preferable for analyzing long-term and macro-level historical processes of transformation, and it is particularly effective for identifying causal mechanisms. Conjunctural analysis, on the other hand, is better suited for analyzing rapid and acute transformations that are of the moment, and its strength is in identifying the challenges and opportunities for political action within that conjuncture. A structural analysis of recent changes to Canadian ODA might situate them within Canada’s history as an imperialist country, as Gordon (2010) documents; the recent changes could be convincingly understood as a new   14 extension of Canada’s colonial energies. A structural analysis might also frame these changes as part of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s broader foreign policy, as examined by Engler (2012), which could itself be contextualized within a global pattern of mounting neoconservatism. Another example of a structural analysis is Essex’s (2013) history of CIDA/DFATD’s American counterpart, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He examines the “tensions between coeval but competing geostrategic understandings of the world, and how they are integral to the making and remaking of USAID’s institutional structure, strategic decision making, and political and economic position” (p. 6-7). The geostrategic understandings of the world on which Essex focuses—geopolitics and geoeconomics—are certainly present as important determinants of Canadian ODA’s recent changes.  I draw on the research done by these and other authors who concentrate on structural analyses relevant to my research topic, because such analytical context is indispensable for evaluating the broader causes and historical undercurrents of an object of analysis such as Canadian ODA.  If this were another time in the history of Canadian ODA, a structural analysis could be the right tool for the job of dissecting Canada’s development assistance in order to determine its position among global patterns and the paradigms that underpin it. My study, however, is not even centred on Canadian ODA as such, because at the moment Canadian ODA is decidedly indeterminate and in flux. My research is on the conjuncture that is currently Canadian ODA, for which structural analyses are somewhat inadequate. The latter are well suited for investigating a social formation as a unity of contradictions, but they are not attuned to ruptural unities. They are not, in other words, effective for delineating the challenges to and opportunities for political change. Essex’s analysis is a case in point. After a substantial   15 historical and structural analysis, he brings up the “dreaded so what?”—the question of what should follow from his analysis—describing it as a “question that routinely dogs such analyses” (2013, p. 126). Instead of answering it, he defers to another question—how could it have been different?—to which he responds that it probably couldn’t have been any different. Not only does he avoid the question of political challenges and opportunities, he suggests that there was never much of a political opportunity at all. This conclusion is a far cry from conjunctural analysis’ pursuit of politics as the art of the possible.  Another limit to my approach is that I focus on one single conjuncture. In their study on the spatiality of neoliberalism, Peck and Theodore (2012) argue that isolating a single conjuncture is inadequate. They propose instead to focus on theorizing across, rather than within, conjunctures: “Indeed, we maintain that such forms of cross-case theorisation are essential to any adequate understanding of neoliberalisation as an historical process, the contradictory and uneven character of which is deeply constitutive rather than merely contingent” (p. 180). My research, however, does not seek to leverage the analysis of Canada’s ODA in order to explain a broader historical process. The contrary is more accurate—I make use of other research on broader historical patterns in order to add to an understanding of the current conjuncture of Canadian ODA. This does not foreclose, however, some sort of subsequent cross-conjunctural analysis that examines global restructurings of ODA, which my research could inform. Such a study would be illuminating. But that does not mean that it is necessarily superior, from a conjunctural point of view, simply because it is larger-scale than a single conjuncture. That would depend on the strategic challenges and possibilities for political action. Moreover, it is worth noting that the concept of neoliberalism, as it is known today, derived from an assortment of individual conjunctural analyses. One of these came from Hall, who unleashed arguments   16 about Thatcherism through an analysis of political shifts specifically in the UK. His arguments would prove significant to overall efforts later to construct a theory of neoliberalism. Massey explains the importance of Hall’s conjunctural analysis: In the 1970s and 1980s when the turn towards neoliberalism happened, we had really good people trying to do conjunctural analysis. That is where the arguments of Stuart Hall about Thatcherism . . . came from, really nuanced readings of Gramsci, really thought-through readings of Althusser in order to look at the specificities of this political moment in terms of the semi-autonomous instances that were knotted together in a ruptural moment. Of course we didn’t ‘win’ then but it gave us a handle on the situation. And I think we need that now. And that might enable us to reconfigure this not only as an economic crisis, but also as a political crisis. (Massey et al., 2009, p. 418) Hall’s limited conjunctural analysis didn’t give an account of the global situation of economic restructuring, but it did, as Massey suggests, give a handle on the unique situation he was concerned with. I would submit then that more important than the scale or relationality of a conjunctural analysis is how effective it is at dissecting a conjuncture and providing a set of insights that can be further taken up elsewhere. This effectivity is what I aspire to in my research. I now turn to how I will do this, which, according to Hart (2009), is the crucial question: “how one writes a history of the present—or of the present conjuncture—carries significant political stakes” (p. 119, original emphasis).  1.3 Procedure My research was conducted using a wide variety of written sources. This includes government discourse, such as departmental documents, financial statements, internal and   17 external evaluations, policy reports, official statements from government officials, and public speeches by ministers; news media, such as Canadian and international newspapers, news websites, and official blogs; NGO-sponsored research, such as policy papers, empirical studies, and government evaluations; and social science research—especially in the fields of geography and development studies—such as journal articles, single-authored books, edited collections, graduate theses, and interviews with prominent academics. While interviews with politicians and bureaucrats in Ottawa might have been interesting in some respects, the statements by the relevant figures are, fortunately, already well-documented. And although fieldwork, for example, at the site of one of the three pilot projects with mining companies could have been illuminating, it is but one part of my research overall, not to mention other constraints on conducting such partial fieldwork. The literature available on recent changes to Canadian ODA and the context in which it has emerged is scattered, but it is extensive and sufficient for carrying out my research project.  In the second chapter I give a brief history of Canadian ODA. This history serves two purposes. First, in order to delineate the continuities and discontinuities that characterize the current conjuncture, it is necessary to juxtapose it with historical patterns and changes within Canadian ODA. Second, I set out to dispel a specious trope that is prevalent among accounts of Canadian ODA: the ‘pendulum swing.’ The trope is used to describe the vicissitudes of Canadian development policy, which supposedly moves back and forth variably between serving virtuous humanitarianism and selfish national interest. I challenge this analogy by arguing that commercial interests and foreign policy interests have always been prevailing throughout the history of Canadian ODA. The pendulum, I conclude, is not balanced and does not swing evenly—it is rigged. I demonstrate this by chronologically pointing out the ever-present and   18 ever-growing foreign policy and commercial interests in Canadian ODA, beginning with Canada’s foreign aid prior to CIDA’s establishment in 1968, through CIDA’s first two decades, and finally on to more recent development strategies in the 1990s and 2000s. My conjuncturally strategic goal in this chapter is to banish the false hope that policy makers will sometime in the future simply swing the ODA pendulum back to enlightened humanitarian interests. There can be no simple return to CIDA’s ‘glory days’ because they never really existed.   The third chapter is an investigation of the politics surrounding the merger of CIDA and DFAIT and, especially, an inquiry into the merger’s principal justification: “policy coherence.” I proceed in two parts. In the first half, I look at the way policy coherence is concretely mobilized—that is, how it’s presented as a justification now, how it has been previously deployed in the context of CIDA and DFAIT, and how it has been used in other national contexts (and to what effect). I provide a background of other attempts since the 1990s to merge effectively the departments, showing how the merger’s seeds were sown well before the current conjuncture. I then give a brief comparative analysis of donor governance structures—different bureaucratic layouts and administrative organizations of aid agencies—in order to explain what is at stake with Canada’s reorganization of its donor governance structure and to relate it to other national donors, particularly Norway and the UK. The latter two have gone in opposite directions with their donor governance structures, and the consequences of their divergent trajectories illustrate what policy coherence looks like when concretely mobilized. Next, I provide an overview of the public debate that followed DFATD’s announcement, among which I identify four trends: 1) robust support, 2) vehement opposition, 3) cautious optimism, and 4) brash optimism. The latter two are optimistic in the sense of holding out hope that the merger’s pursuit of policy coherence might advance development priorities rather than foreign policy or   19 commercial interests. I argue that this optimism is misguided, and I demonstrate by pointing out various clues within the government’s discourse which indicate that the merger will undoubtedly advance foreign policy and commercial interests rather than development priorities. Those who are optimistic, I suggest, are addled by the government’s policy coherence justification. I spend the last half of this chapter scrutinizing the concept of policy coherence. I argue that the concept, far from being as straightforward as it seems, is itself profoundly incoherent. I give an account of its genesis in development discourse, where it has become a somewhat trendy concept, and explain some of its manifold and contradictory meanings. I then critique the concept’s function by drawing on Ferguson, Cornwall and Laclau, determining that policy coherence is an essentially contested concept and an empty signifier that serves to legitimate a particular restructuring of development. My conjuncturally strategic goal is to convince the optimists that their optimism is unfounded in order to rally those who would oppose the instrumentalization of Canadian ODA around a common standpoint, and elucidating the function of policy coherence is key to contesting that optimism.  Chapter 4 focuses on the new private sector partnerships with mining companies that have been introduced into Canadian ODA. This account seeks to mediate definitively the subsidy debate—the arguments over whether these partnerships amount to a subsidization of Canadian mining companies. In the first section I detail the three pilot projects with Canadian mining companies that were announced by CIDA in late 2011; these projects in Peru, Ghana and Burkina Faso involve CIDA funds, mining company funds, and NGO implementation in the areas in which these companies work. Next, I summarize the disputants’ arguments in the subsidy debate. The critics of the pilot projects claim that these projects subsidize companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, while the proponents insist that no money is   20 given directly to mining firms and that positive development outcomes are the real goal of the pilot projects. The remainder of the paper is devoted to mediating that debate and providing a larger context of Canada’s extractive industries. I ultimately side with the critics of the new pilot projects, but I insist on showing how the funding of CSR programs constitutes a subsidy. Such an account has been missing from the debate thus far. The second section illustrates some of the important ways that the Canadian government has historically provided support to extractive industries. Though the nature of its support has varied over time, the logic of that support has been consistent. Drawing on the work of Tsing, I argue that the ambitions of both the Canadian state and the extractive industries are bound up in the frontier, an abstract spatial formulation that provisions the expansion of nationhood and resource extraction. I detail the making of the national frontier beginning in the mid-19th century and the international frontier in the late 20th century, demonstrating that the support given by the Canadian government transformed barriers into opportunities for the extractive industries, helping them navigate those frontiers. The third and last section argues that the same logic applies to the current conjuncture: the pilot projects aid the extractive industries in navigating what I call the socioethical frontier. After detailing the public relations quagmire faced by mining companies following numerous documented abuses worldwide, and after explaining their quest to reclaim the “social license to operate” through CSR initiatives, I conclude that such initiatives are integral to those companies’ operations, without which they risk a substantial erosion of profits. The development partnerships, therefore, are subsidies through and through. My conjuncturally strategic goal here is to iron out some of the misconceptions in the subsidy debate in order to advance a cogent argument against the inappropriate subsidization of mining companies’ CSR initiatives.   21  If chapters 2, 3 and 4 seek to achieve specific and focused conjunctural goals, chapter 5 pursues a broader conjunctural strategy. I begin by highlighting a commentary made by Nydia Dauphin (2013), a Montreal-based activist, following the announcement of CIDA and DFAIT’s merger, whose remarks are both insightful and an appropriate starting place for a conjunctural analysis that seeks a broader audience. She argues that recent changes to Canadian ODA effectively abandon the pretense of development—that it is altruistic—and reveal it for what it has really been all along: a means to promote national interest. Most interestingly for me, she argues this in such a way that is parallel with the Marxist theory of ideology. I take up Dauphin’s core point in order to argue that, if the conjuncture that is currently Canadian ODA is a ruptural unity, then it is an ideological rupture. Further if it is an ideological rupture, then it is a hegemonic opportunity. As Massey calls for in the quote above, I make this argument through readings of Althusser and Gramsci that are useful for determining the character of the ruptural moment. I use Althusser’s theory to examine the ideological function of development, determining that this function is in crisis due to recent changes to Canadian ODA. I then use Gramsci’s theory to demonstrate that this ideological crisis is a hegemonic opportunity in that there is an opening for political efforts to achieve certain goals. Finally, I suggest which political strategies are capable of achieving those goals and which ones are not.      22 Chapter 2: Anti-Pendulum  2.1 Introduction Amid the flurry of recent changes to Canadian ODA—the merger of CIDA and DFAIT and the new private sector partnerships—those interested have sought to contextualize them and to assess their significance. Across the public discussion, one of the disagreements that persists is whether the changes are novel or derivative, i.e. whether they represent a new and unique approach to international aid or simply amount to old wine in new bottles. One columnist put it thusly: “We can view the [changes] from two different angles. Either this is about rearranging the chairs on the Titanic, gaining a few administrative efficiencies, but ultimately not changing our country's approach to global development. Or this is about taking a fundamentally new approach” (Haga, 2013).5 There is much disagreement over this, even among those who share the same ‘for’ or ‘against’ position towards the changes. Ghanem (2013) and Hanly (2013) are both ‘against’ CIDA’s merger, but the former understands it as the sudden death of a “well-respected and effective agency,” while the latter maintains that “the promotion of Canadian national interest abroad has always been a significant part of CIDA's role.” Among those who are ‘for’ CIDA’s merger, Gilmore (2013) views it as a “significant change,” whereas Fantino (2013) and Robertson (2013) insist that it is not a radical shift at all. Over the course of this thesis, I make the case that both views contain some truth: that there are aspects both new and old involved in the current conjuncture of Canadian ODA. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on what is new. This chapter focuses on what is longstanding, namely the                                                 5 Also see Lang & Morse (2013)   23 overarching commercial and foreign policy interests that have persistently guided Canada’s ODA. As I argue here, the primary critique levelled at the recent changes—viz. that Canadian ODA is being put into the service of Canada’s national interests, specifically by dint of commercial interests and foreign policy interests—applies to the entire history of Canadian ODA. I make this argument in order to refute a common trope in historical interpretations of Canadian ODA: the ‘pendulum swing.’ According to this interpretation, ODA policy customarily fluctuates or ‘swings’ back and forth between two overriding determinants: national self-interest and international humanitarianism. I insist that this trope is false and that national self-interest has interminably been the overriding determinant of Canada’s ODA. After some prefatory remarks on the pendulum trope, I examine the progression of Canada’s aid policy more or less chronologically, highlighting the influence of commercial interests and foreign policy interests. I begin with an explanation of Canadian ODA prior to the establishment of CIDA. The I review CIDA’s first two decades that focuses on its investment programs, and finally I move on to CIDA’s more contemporary and varied approaches to private sector development and the securitization of aid since the 1990s. My account is not comprehensive. My hope, however, is that the inevitably abridged history I present here demonstrates the persistence of national self-interest in Canadian ODA.  2.2 An Anti-Pendulum Overture The vicissitudes of public policy in international aid have spawned a recurring trope among development scholars: the ‘pendulum swing.’ It is invoked as a metaphor for the fluctuating attitudes and approaches to development: a back and forth movement between selfless humanitarianism and national self-interest as the primary motive behind providing   24 development assistance.6 On one hand, the trope encapsulates the capriciousness of international development policy, which is highly prone to frequent and sudden shifts depending on the ruling government administration. On the other, it is meant to capture the push and pull of competing interests over ODA. Sometimes a donor’s national interests are the main determinant of development policy, but with enough momentum in the other direction, the pendulum eventually swings back towards enlightened humanitarian interests as the donor’s national interests recede. Back and forth, back and forth—such is the historical interpretation of development policy. David Morrison, whose eminent history of CIDA (1998) I frequently rely on in this chapter, is no stranger to this trope: “All public policy domains exhibit fads, fashions, and pendulum swings, and foreign aid, far from being an exception, has been especially prone to frequent twists and turns” (p. 18). His research, a testament to the swinging pendulum at CIDA, identifies a sequence of shifting emphases at the agency over the years: Like other donors, but with more alacrity than most, CIDA has associated itself with new fashions and policy thrusts: physical infrastructure, food and commodity aid, and technical assistance in the early years; agriculture and social development in the late 1960s; the poorest countries and basic human needs in the 1970s; human resource development, poverty alleviation, structural adjustment, women and development, and the environment in the 1980s; and sustainability, private-sector development, human rights/democracy/good governance, and peace-building in the 1990s. (p. 19) Ever mutable and volatile up to its retirement last year, CIDA has similarly been likened by agency insiders to “an overburdened Christmas tree” (Schmitz, as cited in Morrison, 1998, p.                                                 6 For examples of the pendulum trope, see de Haas, 2012; Degnbol-Martinussen & Engberg-Pedersen, 2003; Kellett, 2013; King & McGrath, 2004; Schacter, 2000; Small, 2007.   25 451). This alternative metaphor captures a consistency that the pendulum fails to account for. Morrison concludes his examination of CIDA with some crucial remarks on this metaphor: …if there has been a consistent tendency amid all the twists and turns of aid policy-making, it has been that the Canadian ODA Christmas tree has been weighed down with more and more ornaments of quite different sizes and shapes, often hung with the best of human intentions. The jumble of policies, projects, and priorities that have decorated the tree through the second half of the century reflect the interests and concerns of a mixed variety of actors— Ottawa mandarins and politicians, lobbyists for business and nongovernmental Canadian interests, the international aid community, and CIDA officers in particular. The needs and aspirations of the world's poor are reflected much more faintly. (p. 451-2) Not unlike Linus, unaffected by Christmas tree pageantry and appealing to his peers to consider the real meaning of Christmas, Morrison emphasizes here that CIDA’s capriciousness, which he painstakingly documents throughout his book, is largely confined to fashions, while the core structure and functions of the agency have remained inadequate for delivering real development. This point, I think, is rather important for informing an appropriate analytical orientation to the history of Canadian ODA. If Morrison’s history is one that charts the particular people and institutions that have trimmed the CIDA tree by hanging new ornaments every decade or so, I try to read past the decorations depicted in his history and look for the common features that best define the structure on which the ornaments are hung.  So in contrast with an emphasis on the pendulum’s oscillations—the back and forth movement of development policy between national interest and humanitarianism—I argue that the pendulum is rigged: that its pivot is not in a neutral in-between space but is clearly located and thoroughly embedded in a development orthodoxy that rarely compromises self-interest. If   26 the pendulum swings toward humanitarianism, it is a minor victory in a larger context of defeat; even amid the minor victories, as I demonstrate here, self-interest is ever-present in Canada’s development policies in the form of commercial interests and foreign policy interests.  2.3 Before CIDA There is a general consensus among scholars that geopolitical interests incited the creation of the Canadian foreign aid program. Morrison contends that “it was the link between security and the Commonwealth that put foreign aid on Canada's public policy agenda” (1998, p. 27), and C. Pratt specifies that, “at its inception, Canadian development assistance was very much a product of Cold War alliance politics” (2003, p. 88). Both are referring to Canada’s role in post-World War II efforts to consolidate a Western alliance and quell the threat of communism internationally. Canada’s first major participation in this effort was joining the Colombo Plan for Co-operative Economic Development in South and Southeast Asia—a bilateral aid arrangement among Western and Asian Commonwealth states—which overtly served as an instrument of foreign policy intended to thwart the rise of communism in the region (Oakman, 2004). In 1950, Lester Pearson, then-secretary of state and future prime minister, sought to convince the Canadian government of the merits of the program after first meeting with other Commonwealth representatives in Colombo, Ceylon. If the South and Southeast Asian states could not address their “economic and social problems,” argued Pearson, they would risk susceptibility to communist influences (Price, 2011, p. 200). The Government of Canada, skeptical both of foreign aid’s ability to fulfill its intended purpose and of the value of such an investment, reluctantly conceded $400,000 for technical assistance in the first year of the bilateral program; the following year, however, Parliament approved a much higher sum of $25   27 million for capital assistance through the Colombo Plan (Morrison, 1998, p. 29-30). Canada continued to contribute millions, largely because it came to believe that “Commonwealth aid is a unique fraternal obligation” (Spicer, 1966, p. 55). Thus C. Pratt concludes that geopolitical interests compelled Canada to venture into foreign aid: “Canadian aid began, timidly and somewhat begrudgingly, as an obligation arising from our major alliances. . . . It did not in any significant measure issue from the ethical values of Canadian society” (C. Pratt, 2003, p. 115).7  What began as a primarily geopolitical undertaking didn’t take long to accommodate commercial interests. By the end of the 1950s food aid made up about half of Canada’s budget for the Colombo Plan, the vast majority of which had to be purchased from Canadian wheat growers—this despite the fact that the Indian government argued food aid was not the Colombo Plan’s prerogative, while the government of Canada itself had difficulty rationalizing how food aid was developmental (Morrison, 1998, p. 36). This was the beginning of Canadian ‘tied aid,’ whereby the government is required to spend a minimum portion of its aid budget—historically around 80-90%—on procuring food and other commodities exclusively from Canadian industries to later distribute in developing countries. Far more than merely serving commercial interests, tied aid has historically been supplemental8 to Canadian commerce: “Food aid was quite                                                 7 While I generally agree with the geopolitical interpretation of why Canada forayed into foreign aid, assigning a single definitive origin is tricky. Canada’s interests in the Marshall Plan, for example, also played an influential part. Canada rode “on the coat-tails of Marshall” (Whitaker & Marcuse, 1994, p. 129), scoring an improbably lucrative procurement deal with the United States that temporarily satisfied Canada’s agricultural surplus as it simultaneously rebuilt an export market in Europe. By the time Canada signed on to the Colombo Plan, it had already discovered and savoured the fortunes produced by foreign aid. 8 My use of the word “supplemental” owes to Wainwright’s (2008) appropriation of Derrida’s concept: “development is a supplement to capitalism – it is a historical-geographical process taken to be outside of capitalism, and yet something always already included, to make it whole, to allow capital to assume a sense of historical purpose and directionality” (p. 12). The Canadian aid program’s pivotal role in relieving agricultural over-supply is particularly illustrative of development’s supplemental role; more than a process that simply does capitalism’s bidding, development has historically amended capitalism in distinctive and substantial ways. In this case, aid provided a fix for an economic problem that capitalist production created but was otherwise unable to   28 explicitly seen and defended as a mechanism for stimulating an ailing agricultural economy and disposing of mounting domestic surpluses, especially in the 1950s and 1960s” (Morrison, 1998, p. 15). Morrison goes so far as to charge that “a dogged determination to keep the program firmly tied to the purchase of Canadian goods and services” (1998, p. 35) has been one of the defining qualities of Canadian aid. The External Aid Office (EAO), Canada’s first aid institution and CIDA’s predecessor, was created in 1960 and was attached to and overseen by the Department of External Affairs. In one sense, then, the recent amalgamation of CIDA and DFAIT is more of a return to the roots of Canadian aid than it is a grand departure. Canada’s aid program, now managed by the EAO, ballooned in the first half of the 1960s in scale and scope. By 1966 its budget grew to $122 million, and it had expanded operations from four Asian countries to more than fifty worldwide (Morrison, 1998, p. 56). Nonetheless, Morrison contends that its structural subjugation by more influential government departments prevented the EAO from pushing an ambitious humanitarian agenda: “Foreign aid was still a novel, relatively marginal government activity, and the three senior departments dominating the program—External Affairs, Finance, and Industry, Trade and Commerce—had ingrained traditions and objectives” (Morrison, 1998, p. 56). In fact, the story of CIDA’s creation (which was really a series of various structural, administrative and policy changes—the name change just one among them—rather than a single transformation) is one in which Maurice Strong, who became CIDA’s first president in 1968, reformed those departmental relations and managed to gain a more independent mandate. If the founding of CIDA left a legacy, argues Morrison, it was this independence:                                                                                                                                                        correct on its own. I expand on the significance of this supplemental role and explain its particular function within the current conjuncture in chapter 5.   29 With the formation of CIDA as a distinct entity in 1968 came the desire to play a lead role in shaping not only aid policy, but also other aspects of Canada’s relations with developing countries…while the Agency lost repeated skirmishes to extend its influence beyond the realm of ODA, and has always had to accommodate pressures from elsewhere in government, it did achieve considerable relative autonomy over programs within its own operating sphere. (Morrison, 1998, p. 7) The autonomy achieved through the establishment of CIDA, which Morrison accords with much of CIDA’s humanitarian successes over the years, would however gradually erode. A former CIDA executive submitted that the agency’s history was one where an initially independent mandate and capability “was driven out, subordinated, homogenized in with” External Affairs and Industry, Trade and Commerce (Morrison, 1998, p. 143). Uttered long before the creation of the new DFATD, the executive’s statement is more incisive now than ever.  2.4 CIDA’s Beginning CIDA’s first two decades were marked more by the influence of trade and commercial priorities than by foreign policy interests. The latter didn’t recede entirely, but commercial interests steadily came to bear more heavily on ODA in this period. In 1969, just one year after CIDA was established, the Business and Industry program was set up as a new initiative under CIDA that would assist and encourage Canadian firms to invest overseas. It provided businesses with funds for feasibility studies and informational materials on investment opportunities (Morrison, 1998, p. 71). At the time of its introduction, CIDA was striving to enlarge its political constituency and to promote public participation in development assistance by enrolling non-governmental actors such as the private sector in development initiatives (Morrison, 1998, p. 70).   30 Despite these ambitions, Canadian enterprises at this time were more interested in treating CIDA as a customer rather than business partner: “There was growing business interest in development assistance, to be sure, but it was overwhelmingly confined to sales opportunities arising from bilateral aid tied to the procurement of Canadian goods and services” (Morrison, 1998, p. 71). It was therefore a relatively insignificant program in terms of its ability to spur Canadian FDI and in terms of its proportion of aid expenditure. Its budget hovered for a decade around a yearly $100,000 or less than 0.03 per cent of Canada’s development budget (Morrison, 1998, p. 453). In retrospect, however, the Business and Industry program was an important harbinger of later, more aggressive commercial pursuits for a couple of reasons. First, it set a precedent for CIDA’s outreach to the private enterprise, which would prove to be of considerable value to the Canadian private sector. Before the creation of the Business and Industry program, the “promotion of Canadian foreign investment, in the strict sense, was not evident in government policy” (Adams, 1980, p. 133). There were informational services provided by various federal departments in order to facilitate FDI, however, as Adams explains, CIDA’s effort through its Business and Industry program “is unique in that it seeks to actively stimulate and assist the Canadian private sector to invest abroad in developing countries” (1980, p. 133). Though the program was not very effective in this regard, it proved to be ahead of its time, as the Canadian economy has since become “strongly oriented towards foreign direct investment” (Holden, 2008).9 Moreover, the Business and Industry program was successful in naturalizing the idea that promoting Canadian FDI in particular—and working with the Canadian private sector in general—is an appropriate development strategy.                                                 9 International FDI has swelled in general, of course, but Canada has invested internationally more than most. Expressed as a percentage of GDP, Canadian outward FDI was nearly double the G7 average in 1990 and 2000, and it was still well above the average in 2006 (Holden, 2008).   31 This strategy was invigorated when in 1978 the Business and Industry program was replaced by the CIDA Industrial Cooperation Program (CIDA-INC). Its operations remained largely unchanged—it was to provide financial support to Canadian businesses looking to extend their activities into developing countries. The real transformation, far from being a mere rebranding, was one of magnitude rather than mandate: industrial cooperation was CIDA’s fastest-growing sector by far over the next decade. CIDA-INC was introduced with a “more comprehensive and strengthened mandate” (Adams, 1980, p. 133) for investment promotion than its predecessor, exemplified by its increased funding and expanded eligibility for Canadian businesses to carry out feasibility studies (Carty & Smith, 1981, p. 37). As Morrison details, CIDA-INC’s increase in funding was swift and substantial, as were its efforts to lure the private sector both internally and externally: Personnel with trade commissioner and private-sector experience were hired to oversee INC, and the program was launched with considerable fanfare and media exposure, especially in the business press. Spending rose rapidly, from $250,000 in the last year of the old [Business and Industry] program, to $460,000 in 1978-79, $3.95 million in 1979-80 and $7.21 million in 1980-81. (1998, p. 172) The following year, spending nearly doubled again to reach $14.16 million; by 1988-89, CIDA-INC’s funding reached $60.55 million, a more than one hundred-fold increase over its funding just ten years prior (Morrison, 1998, p. 453-454). While CIDA-INC’s share of the overall budget by the end of its first decade was still a scant 2%, the rate of increase of its funding over the same period was 50 times greater than that of the overall aid budget. Evidently, industrial cooperation was becoming a much higher priority. By 2005, CIDA-INC had disbursed more than $1.1 billion to support Canadian private sector initiatives in the developing world (CIDA, 2007).   32 If the time was not right for the original Business and Industry program, the opposite was the case for CIDA-INC. Stagflation during the 1970s led the government, with business support, to put increased pressure on CIDA to deliver commercial returns (Morrison, 1998, p. 15). Even though “a desire to have foreign aid serve domestic economic interests was long-standing,” the period around CIDA-INC’s establishment saw a new “hard-nosed approach” in this direction due to, among other things, the interests and influence of External Affairs and pressure from similar trends among other international aid bodies such as those of Britain, France and Japan (Morrison, 1998, p. 156). Aid spending became another resource that many Western countries would leverage in order to secure domestic economic benefits in the face of high inflation and unemployment in the late 1970s (Morrison, 1998, p. 145). In Canada, this was championed by Michel Dupuy, who became president of CIDA in 1977. Dupuy’s public texts and speeches also “revealed an apparently untroubled advocate of the proposition that there was no inherent conflict between Canada’s economic interests and developmental priorities in the Third World” (Morrison, 1998, p. 155). He also held frankly—at least among middle and senior managers—that “external aid should serve Canada’s foreign policy objectives, and that a principal concern was economic survival in the face of tough global competition from newly industrializing countries and established industrial powers” (Morrison, 1998, p. 153). Dupuy could also walk the walk. When he assumed office of the president of CIDA, he “had marching orders to integrate CIDA within the foreign policy apparatus, a process implying programming as well as organizational changes that were unwelcome to many insiders, and to NGOs and members of the broader development constituency” (Morrison, 1998, p. 144). This was mainly carried out through various restructurings of the bureaucratic process rather than, as today, a formal institutional overhaul. Among the reasons given for the restructuring was the   33 need to remedy interdepartmental conflict—that is, disagreements over issues regarding Canada’s North-South relations. Hardly a compromise, Dupuy established that “development assistance would be tied into and made responsive to overall governmental and foreign policy objectives” (cited in Morrison, 1998, p. 150). While Canadian firms may have shown low levels of interest in CIDA’s programs that were designed specifically for them during most of the 1970s, some business leaders would become more assertive by the end of the decade about what CIDA ought to offer in the interests of the private sector. Carty and Smith (1981) point out the 1979 Hatch Report as representative of those interests: Several recent reports and briefs to government by corporate executives and their business associations detail what the private sector wants out of foreign policy and the aid program in the eighties. Representative of their position is the 1979 report of the Export Promotion Review Committee (the Hatch Report), a grouping of senior business leaders set up by the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce to recommend changes in government export promotion and support services. Arguing that state subsidies and supports are now ‘an integral element of export financing’, and chiding CIDA for taking an ‘overly philanthropic giveaway approach to aid’, the report says ‘aid policy should be more closely integrated with Canada’s trade strategy.’ (p. 109) In more plainspoken terms, Morrison submits that the Hatch Report “made a case for converting the aid program largely into an instrument for trade promotion” (1998, p. 156). So despite Dupuy’s and CIDA’s hard-nosed approach to having aid serving commercial ends, CIDA’s agenda was deemed still too philanthropic and insufficiently market-oriented for the major players in Canada’s business community. Indeed, the corporate sector, as Morrison demonstrates, was a tough crowd to win over: “A Financial Post poll of top corporate executives   34 during the 1979-80 election campaign found that 78 per cent of respondents opposed any further increase in the foreign aid budget” (1998, p. 174). This is somewhat surprising, given that CIDA had just (very publicly) introduced a reinvigorated investment support program in CIDA-INC and given Dupuy’s outspoken advocacy of Canadian business interests in development. Canada’s private sector wanted a higher stake in ODA or else it didn’t want it all.  The lack of corporate sector support did not prevent CIDA from continuing its courtship of the business community. On the contrary, “by the mid-1980s the government was placing new attention on the private sector as the primary and even pivotal agent for the economic and social recovery of the developing countries” (Tomlinson, 1991, p. 54). Championing this approach was Monique Landry, Minister of External Relations between 1986-93. According to Morrison, Landry “was especially enthusiastic about expanding business involvement” and was “committed ideologically to delivering more of Canada’s ODA through the private sector” (1998, p. 249). She was also unabashed concerning who was to benefit from private sector development: CIDA’s Industrial Cooperation Program—or INC—has been instrumental in getting the private sector more involved and in forging stronger partnerships between Canadian and Third World private sectors…These linkages bring direct benefits to both developing countries and Canada. (Landry, as cited in CIDA, 1989, p. 1-2) Neither of these would be casual beneficiaries. In order to be eligible for CIDA-INC funding, a business’s project proposal was required to outline the social, economic and industrial benefits for the developing world and Canada (CIDA, 1989, p. 15). The principle of mutual interest, according to which donors and recipients alike would accrue benefits from aid and development, became more prominent at CIDA in accordance with CIDA-INC’s growth in importance. In   35 reference to CIDA-INC, Adams notes in 1980 that “the concept upon which it is premised, namely, that of ‘mutual interest,’ is increasingly promoted as one of CIDA’s guiding principles” (1980, p. 134). His was a rather early observation that would prove enduringly accurate.  At the heart of this principle is the assumed mutualism of two sectors: aid, development, or growth, on one hand, and commerce, business, or the private sector, on the other (the terms within these sets are often used interchangeably). With aid in the service of business and vice versa, both sectors accomplish more than had they pursued their objectives separately—such is the presupposition. This is a necessary clarification, because those who claim that the intentionality behind mutual interest is a simple matter of national or self-interest—given that benefits observably accrue unevenly, to donors more than recipients—fail to account for the very real (and completely misguided) belief that business actually and automatically contributes to development, a belief which undergirds the private sector approach to development. While self-interest may accurately explain the uneven outcome of the pairing of these two sectors, then, it neglects the complex intentions behind it. So when Morrison remarks that CIDA-INC has been “condemned as a thinly disguised vehicle for promoting Canadian commercial advantage that has little to do with development in recipient countries” (1998, p. 22), I would submit that it is less a deliberate disguise than a necessary self-delusion. In other words, the notion that business contributes to positive development is not a rhetorical cloak but a sincerely espoused assumption that is necessary to—and constitutive of—the existence of private sector development on the aid agenda. Acknowledging this constitutive assumption, Lavergne points out that the growth of CIDA-INC in the mid-1980s indeed “explicitly reflects a desire to use aid for commercial purposes…but it also reflects a shift in development ideology among donor agencies favouring greater support for the private sector as an agent of growth” (1989, p. 56). Since this belief is   36 also behind Canada’s current approach to private-sector partnerships for development, a productive analysis of Canadian ODA’s alignment with the private sector today will therefore need to account not only for the instrumentalization of aid for commercial gains (in the national interest) but also the inverse: the intents behind the instrumentalization of the private sector for development outcomes. I will take this up in greater detail in chapter 3.  2.5 1990s Onwards CIDA's spending on private sector programming grew substantially in the early 1990s. Private sector development made up 10.2% of CIDA's overall disbursements at the start of the decade. Five years later, its share of the funding doubled to 20.4% (CIDA, 2002a, p. 4). That data comes from CIDA’s own evaluation of its approach to private sector development throughout the 1990s. At times the evaluation offers critical comments, determining, for example, that some “programs were taken on because CIDA had the funds, despite the fact that the interests may have reflected broader, non-developmental, Canadian Government interests” (CIDA, 2002a, p. 14). At other times it plays down principled concerns over private sector development within the agency as if they were mere technical misunderstandings: One of the major findings of the PSD Review was that there is a need for a clearer conceptual framework within CIDA to guide PSD programming. Private sector development, in fact, has been plagued by a lack of clarity in concepts and definitions. Many of the debates regarding CIDA's PSD programming have focused on issues that place principles at odds with each other without ever resolving fundamental objectives. Should the focus of programming be aid or trade? Should the overriding objectives be commercial or developmental? The character of these debates has left many CIDA staff   37 with a certain residual cynicism concerning the PSD priority. Often, PSD is felt to be a code word for ‘Canadian private sector interests’. In fact, PSD priority activities have little to do with the Canadian private sector per se. (CIDA, 2002a, p. 11) The evaluation makes the latter claim—that the Canadian private sector “per se” is not implicated in the majority of private sector development programming—based on its own categorization of CIDA’s private sector development projects as shown in figure 1. Because “Canadian-driven commercial pursuits” only represent 12% of all disbursements for private sector development, it argues, Canadian private sector interests are insignificant. Intended or not, this argument—as well as the categorization it’s based on—is an obfuscation. It relies on a subdivision of the interests in and the rationale for private sector development which contradicts the latter’s two principal doctrines: that commerce is developmental and that mutual interests should define development assistance. So the subdivision in figure 1 is actually inconsistent with the basic tenets of private sector development. Overriding Rationale Developmental SME Development Enabling Environment Technology Transfer (20%) MFD/MED MBA Programs & Education Inst. CESO LOCs & Food Aid (64%) Commercial Economic Integration Enterprise Linkage  (4%) CIDA INC REE  (12%)   Recipient Country Canadian Driven   Primary Interests Figure 1: Grid of Motivation for CIDA’s Private Sector Development Projects. The percentages indicate each quadrant’s share of private sector development disbursements. Source: CIDA (2002a, p. 11). (This reproduction is a copy of an official work published by the Government of Canada and has not been reproduced with its endorsement or affiliation.)   38 These four categories are categories of convenience. Differentiating between two overriding rationales enables the evaluators to conclude, for example, that the projects listed in the upper-right quadrant, which make up a large majority of private sector development disbursements, “are not commercial per se but broader” (CIDA, 2002a, p. 12). This instance of “per se” is as casuistic as the last, and it misleads from the palpable commercial interests embedded in the programming areas listed in that quadrant. Let me demonstrate. I’ve already discussed the important commercial interests in providing food aid, listed in the upper-right quadrant, which was still substantial as of 2000, the final year of evaluation: “Ninety percent of CIDA’s food aid program is tied to the purchase of Canadian commodities and services” (CIDA, 2000, p. 11). Also listed in that quadrant is “MBA Programs & Education Inst.,” a program whereby Canadian management schools were given funding (a hefty $236 million over the ten year review period) to expand their operations internationally and offer MBA programs in developing countries. The project was far from being non-commercial. A separate evaluation admits that management education “has itself become a business” (Anderson, Cooney & Langevin, 2000, n.p.), with management schools having “been successful at privatizing some programs and offer[ing] them in a highly profitable way” (Universalia, n.d., n.p.).10 Meanwhile, the upper left quadrant, which would presumably be the most altruistic of the four, is itself replete with indirect benefits to the Canadian business community. “Enabling Environment” refers to projects intended to establish “the conditions necessary for the development of the private sector” (IIDL, n.d., n.p.), mostly by means of influencing policies in developing                                                 10 The same evaluation suggests that the project also provided indirect benefits to the Canadian private sector: “There are also instances where universities, through their experience and prestige in a foreign country, have helped Canadian businesses to enter new markets and secure contracts” (Universalia, n.d., n.p.) CIDA proceeded with this project despite the fact that even the World Bank considers it an “elitist” approach to development (Anderson, Cooney & Langevin, 2000, n.p.)   39 countries. In the final year of evaluation, the largest contribution in this area was what it euphemistically refers to as “Support to strengthening sector policies (e.g., energy and mining policies)” (CIDA, 2002a, p. 6). Blackwood and Stewart (2012) observe that this typically involves creating favourable conditions for investment capital (such as lower government royalties), and Canada’s FDI-oriented energy and mining industries have had much to profit from such conditions. Lastly, “Technology Transfer” entails Canadian expertise in the service of the private sector in developing countries. As explained in a separate evaluation, the Canadian private sector stands to gain here as well: “The goal of each project is to create sustainable linkages between the country and Canada, with the long-term beneficiary being the private sector (in both countries)” (Strategic Visions Inc., n.d., n.p.). It is puzzling, then, that the evaluation still concludes that “the only form of Canadian interests [implicated in the upper left quadrant] was usually the fact that the projects used Canadian executing agencies which were contracted through tendering processes” (CIDA, 2002a, p. 12). Even such contracts offer advantages to Canadian firms, as explained in the pamphlet Your Guide to Working with CIDA: “The 2,000 Canadian businesses receiving aid-related contracts are making connections with some of the world’s fastest-growing markets” (CIDA, 2000, p. 1). There is patently a host of direct and indirect benefits to Canada’s business community involved even in what is purported to be the most altruistic of CIDA’s private sector development programming.  Not much changed regarding interdepartmental conflict in the 1990s. More than ever, CIDA and Foreign Affairs were butting heads, as C. Pratt details: The years since 1994 have been marked by a sustained estrangement between Foreign Affairs and CIDA. This was in significant part an inter-institutional struggle for control between the two. However, it did assist the efforts of those within CIDA who continued   40 to champion a humane internationalist view of the agency's responsibilities. CIDA, operating from a weak and relatively uninfluential position within government, struggled to resist efforts from within Foreign Affairs to bring CIDA much more closely under its policy control. (2003, p. 91-92) It seemed for a while, then, that this conflict played into CIDA’s favour—it was able to push its agenda without significant meddling from Foreign Affairs. But this was less a respite than an obviously unsustainable grudge. The stalemate would not last, as foreign policy interests began to stake a new claim on the aid agenda in the 2000s through the ‘securitization’ of aid, defined as “the direct linkage of development assistance to the promotion of the donor’s military or security objectives” (Baranyi & Paducel, 2012, p. 127n3).  On the recent securitization of aid, Swiss (2012) emphasizes a shift in the magnitude of aid dollars towards states that are seen as security concerns: In recent years Canadian official development assistance (ODA) has shifted to include a greater focus on countries in conflict or post-conflict situations. The fact that in 2007-08 three of the top four recipient states of Canadian bilateral ODA fell into this category, and the top recipient (Afghanistan) received more than 6 per cent of Canada’s bilateral aid, provides stark evidence of this shift. Only a decade earlier, just one of the top four recipients of Canadian aid fit these criteria (p. 136) The shift, however, was not limited to the redirecting of funds—the purpose of development projects changed as well. In Afghanistan, “much of Canadian aid directly or indirectly served the military-led counter-insurgency strategy,” often with the intent “to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Afghans” (Baranyi & Paducel, 2012, p. 114). This sort of development accords with the ‘3-D approach’—an integrated strategy premised on the synergy of defence, diplomacy and development. This approach was enthusiastically adopted in Canada in the last decade, though it   41 was soon “rebaptized” as the ‘whole-of-government approach’ which also incorporated commercial concerns (Brown, 2012b, p. 93). This approach is not exclusive to places where Canada is conducting military operations. Baranyi and Paducel (2012) show that it is also a key strategy, for example, in Sudan and Haiti.11 The purpose of the whole-of-government approach, Swiss argues, is to ensure that development projects “yield complementary benefits to Canada’s security objectives” (2012, p. 147). The securitization of aid beginning in the early 2000s leads him to conclude that “the last decade has seen a resurgence of national interest in aid motivation” (Swiss, 2012, p. 138).  Is it really tenable, though, to view it as a resurgence rather than an escalation? Swiss reiterates this assessment, this time invoking the shopworn pendulum: …securitization can be seen as a direct outcome of the closer relationship that Canadian aid now has with foreign policy and security concerns. In this respect, the securitization of aid can be viewed as part of a larger trend of instrumentalization of Canadian aid. It is indicative of a pendulum swing in the motivations for providing aid, a swing toward self-interest and away from humanitarianism. (2012, p. 153) Swiss is right in detecting a larger trend of aid instrumentality, but the implication that the pendulum ever had counter-momentum—or that this new instrumentality follows a period of dominant humanitarianism—is misguided. National interest, as I have shown here, never disappeared. It never capitulated to humanitarian interests. For every minor victory in which CIDA seemed to have gained some autonomy back from commercial or foreign policy interests, the latter crept back in with new methods and greater influence. I admit that there is an optimistic appeal to the pendulum metaphor, as one could then anticipate that the pendulum will eventually                                                 11 They also outline some of the various critiques levelled at the whole-of-government approach (see Baranyi & Paducel, 2012, p. 109).   42 swing back towards more noble development goals. It also thereby offers a strategic course of action, which would build momentum for a more humanitarian determination of aid policy through “incremental progress” based on “realistic expectations,” as Chapnick advocates (2012, p. 307). The history of Canadian ODA, however, demonstrates that achieving significant and permanent change by method of such incremental progress is a resolutely unrealistic expectation. For that, we will need to reconsider our methods entirely.  2.6 Conclusion In his history of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Jamey Essex (2013) also charts the vicissitudes of aid policy throughout the decades, yet he does so in a decidedly different tenor. If there were an explicit pendulum in his book (there is not), it would oscillate primarily between the ‘geostrategic logics’ of geopolitics and geoeconomics, which correlate to the two main descriptors I use in this chapter: foreign policy interests and commercial interests. His work focuses on the tensions between these two “coeval but competing geostrategic understandings of the world, and how they are integral to the making and remaking of USAID’s institutional structure, strategic decision making, and political and economic position” (Essex, 2013, p. 7). I have sought to do much the same as Essex: to chronicle the influence of commercial interests and foreign policy interests in structuring much of Canada’s aid program throughout its history. Their influence has been considerable, ubiquitous, and enduring. This is not to say that Canadian ODA has been static. The ways in which these two components of national interest have shaped development programming have adapted to new historical contexts and have expanded and intensified over time. Now, with the creation of DFATD and its new private sector   43 partnerships, they are at their apogee. If to some extent these recent changes really do amount to old wine in new bottles, then it has been fortified through years of fermentation, and it now imparts a distinctly sour flavour.   44 Chapter 3: DFATD and the Incoherence of ‘Policy Coherence’  3.1 Introduction In the previous chapter I give a brief history showing that Canada’s development policies have always advanced commercial interests and foreign policy interests. This chapter and the one that follows argue that even though this has always been the case, recent changes to Canadian official development assistance (ODA) constitute a new and novel mobilization of commercial and foreign policy interests. While the next chapter deals with the renewed emphasis on private sector partnerships in Canadian ODA, in this chapter I analyze the major implications of the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) merger with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT)12 to create the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and International Development (DFATD).  The government says that it is merging departments for the purpose of “policy coherence.” The basic rationale provided is that carrying out the merger will foster greater policy coherence, which will enable more effective programming and improved outcomes. This reasoning, of course, is exceedingly vague: What is policy coherence? Effective programming by what standards? Improved outcomes for whom? The purpose of this chapter is to get to the bottom of “policy coherence.” I pursue this in two distinct ways—first concretely, then conceptually. In the first section, I consider policy coherence at face value and look at its concrete mobilizations through the merger. In the last section, I scrutinize the concept of policy coherence and dig beneath its face value.                                                 12 The department responsible for Canada’s foreign policy has been renamed and/or reconfigured many times over the years. I refer to it variably as DFAIT, Foreign Affairs, and External Affairs where appropriate throughout this chapter.   45 Policy coherence has been mobilized by the government simply as the goal of reconciliation among divergent policy priorities. As I set out in chapter 1, CIDA and DFAIT have long been at loggerheads over their conflicting priorities; the merger of the two institutions, then, is cast as the concrete means with which to realize policy coherence, i.e. to achieve the goal of reconciling their divergent policy priorities. The ideal of policy coherence, however, says nothing about what policies will cohere around; that is, if CIDA’s and DFAIT’s once-divergent priorities are to cohere, will they compromise and meet in the middle, or will one of the institutions bring the other into its fold? In the first section of this chapter I argue that it is certain to be the latter. The traditional priorities of DFAIT—advancing Canada’s geopolitical and trade interests—will come to bear even more heavily on Canadian ODA as a result of the merger. I build this argument through three main inquiries. First, I document some of the merger’s precursors. Although it was announced to much controversy and surprise, the merger was foreshadowed by several “takeover bids” of CIDA in the two preceding decades. Subsequent analyses of these precursors demonstrate that their goal was always to instrumentalize Canadian ODA for Canada’s commercial and foreign policy interests. Second, I assess some comparisons of different donor governance structures, by which I mean the way that aid agencies are institutionally organized. I detail two comparative analyses of the aid agencies of the UK (DFID) and Norway (NORAD) that are particularly illuminating, as they have gone in opposite directions. While DFID gained greater independence, NORAD was integrated into foreign affairs and has since become more of a conduit for Norway’s trade and diplomacy efforts. Third, I summarize the public debate that has surrounded the merger of CIDA and DFAIT, identifying four trends: 1) robust support, 2) vehement opposition, 3) cautious optimism, and 4) brash optimism. My analysis ultimately   46 supports the critics of the merger, who fear that it will entail the prioritization of Canada’s own economic and diplomatic priorities over the interests of the poor. I confirm their fears with evidence from several government statements that betray that, indeed, the intent behind the merger is to further instrumentalize Canadian ODA for Canada’s own benefit. In the final section, I give an in-depth analysis of the concept of policy coherence. I explain the genesis of the term in the early 1990s mainly through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). I proceed to account for its myriad definitions and modifiers in the literature on policy coherence over the following two decades. Taken as a whole, this literature is shambolic, and consequently the concept of policy coherence that it portrays is highly ambiguous. As I demonstrate in my critique, this ambiguity is constitutive of the concept. Policy coherence is itself thoroughly incoherent—it is defined as so many different things yet it means nothing necessarily in particular. By drawing on the insights of Ferguson, Cornwall, and Laclau, I argue that policy coherence is an empty signifier that is marshalled to legitimate the government’s prefigured objective: merging CIDA and DFAIT in order to further instrumentalize Canada’s foreign aid program for Canada’s own interests.  3.2 Becoming DFATD The revelation that CIDA) would be merged with DFAIT came during the delivery of the federal budget on March 21, 2013. It wasn’t even mentioned during the budget speech despite being the most high-profile story that came out of the budget delivery. As MacCharles (2013) notes, this was perhaps out of concern for political fallout from the decision to merge the departments. The announcement was buried in the 433-page budget. The details are found at the   47 end of a chapter titled “Supporting Families and Communities,” squeezed between unrelated sections regarding asbestos-producing communities and another that boasts about sports funding. Here is an excerpt from the section in concern, titled “Maximizing opportunities for international synergies”: In 2006, the Government re-merged its foreign affairs and international trade functions, helping to foster natural synergies between the two portfolios that have resulted in improved outcomes for Canadians. This enhanced policy coherence across our foreign and trade objectives has helped Canada to increase economic opportunities through our international engagements. There are similar opportunities for synergies with our development assistance. In order to maximize this opportunity, the Government will amalgamate the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and CIDA. In addition to maintaining a separate ministerial position, this Government will, for the first time, enshrine in law the important roles and responsibilities of the Minister for development and humanitarian assistance. This enhanced alignment of our foreign, development, trade and commercial policies and programs will allow the Government to have greater policy coherence on priority issues and will result in greater overall impact of our efforts. . . . The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will leverage the synergies resulting from the amalgamation to maximize the effectiveness of the resources available to deliver development and humanitarian assistance. (Canada, 2013a, p. 240-241) There are three important things to note in this announcement. First, the creation of DFATD is compared to the previous merger of the trade and foreign affairs ministries; whereas that merger enabled foreign affairs functions to increase economic opportunities, it states, the merger of CIDA and DFAIT will yield similar opportunities. It therefore suggests that development   48 assistance functions will be used to increase economic opportunities. The second concerns the announcement’s rationalization: it mentions “policy coherence” twice and “synergies” four times. These notions, left undefined in the announcement, are provided as the explicit justification for the merger, and they are reiterated as justifications in government statements and the public debate that follows the announcement. Importantly, policy coherence and synergies are framed as “opportunities” that are given, latent, and already present, while the merger is framed as “leveraging” or “maximizing” those latent opportunities. I will show what is achieved by this particular framing in this chapter’s final section. Third, the announcement is cushioned by rhetoric that emphasizes the priority accorded to Canadian international development assistance by the Conservative government (see Canada, 2013a, p. 240-241). One form this takes is the touting of the new “enshrinement in law” of the role of the minister responsible for international development. While this is presented as if it were an invigoration of the minister’s authority, and therefore a greater prioritization of Canada’s foreign aid mandate,13 it has been argued that the move will in fact give greater control to the Prime Minister’s Office by replacing CIDA’s relative executive independence with a minister who answers to the Prime Minister (Mackrael, 2013a).   3.2.1 Precursors Although the merger caught many by surprise—including the general public and the staff at both CIDA and DFAIT (Lavardière, 2013)— in retrospect its seeds were sown well before                                                 13 Fantino (2013b) reiterates in a letter to the editor that this so-called “enshrinement” is for the purpose of strengthening Canada’s foreign aid mandate: “The Harper Government believes in the noble mandate of poverty alleviation in the developing world. That is why we are enshrining this important mandate in law and maintaining a significant budget for development.”   49 2013. In the previous chapter I detailed how foreign aid has long been instrumentalized for foreign policy purposes, especially as a result of frequent efforts by Canada’s Foreign Affairs department to gain authority over CIDA. One early example of this was the initiative taken by Michel Dupuy, CIDA’s president in the late 1970s, to exact international political advantages from CIDA’s operations. From then on, argues C. Pratt, “there was a gradual erosion of CIDA’s policy autonomy” (1999, p. 84). C. Pratt documents several cases in the 1990s where Canada’s Foreign Affairs department pursued a series of “takeover bids” of CIDA (see also Black & Tiessen, 2007). In 1993, for example, the new Minister for External Affairs, Barbara McDougall, was “extremely hostile” to a renewed push for an autonomous CIDA (C. Pratt, 1994b, p. 359) and tried to establish “a clear subordination of CIDA to External Affairs” (C. Pratt, 1994a, p. 20) in order to gain control over where CIDA’s programming would focus. This eventually resulted in the creation of a joint CIDA-Foreign Affairs policy coordinating committee which effected certain structural changes among the two departments in the interests of Foreign Affairs (Pearson, 1999). By 1997, there was a new push supported by then-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, to reduce CIDA to a policy-neutral agency that would deliver aid according to policies set by Foreign Affairs (C. Pratt, 1998). C. Pratt stresses that among all these takeover bids, never once was the intent for development concerns to gain greater influence nor even to achieve a neutral alignment among aid, trade and foreign policy priorities. According to C. Pratt, the goal was rather to instrumentalize foreign aid to promote Canadian interests: The greater policy coherence that Foreign Affairs had sought through a fuller subordination of CIDA to it was not in any way intended by those advocating it, to make Canadian foreign policy more responsive to the development needs of the poorest   50 countries. On the contrary, it was intended to ensure that CIDA policies and programmes would more fully serve Canadian trade and international political interests. It is small wonder then that most commentators see the failure of this effort in increasing the coherence of Canadian foreign policy as beneficial to the quality of Canadian aid policies. (1999, p. 90) Critics of the merger of CIDA and DFAIT are therefore justified in their skepticism regarding the reputed benefits of the merger for development interests; the precedent for integration that was set in the 1990s indicates that development priorities would surely be diminished as a result. The plan to amalgamate CIDA and DFAIT had been held by the Conservative government for a long time. The idea was brought up in the earliest stages of the current Conservative administration, which has remained in power in Canada since 2006. That year, when Stephen Harper was first elected as Prime Minister, his transition team was headed by Derek Burney. Burney sought to merge CIDA and Foreign Affairs from the outset of that transition, but he backed down after being rebuked by the Privy Council Office (Blanchfield, 2013).14   In 2007, just one year after Burney’s proposal fell through, the prospect of combining the two departments emerged in a much more public way. It was brought up in a document produced by the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade that disparaged Canada’s track record in providing aid to Africa:15 . . . the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade deplored CIDA’s “40 years of failure” in Africa and raised the possibility that the agency be                                                 14 Burney didn’t specify any reasons for the backlash, but he did compare the hostile response he received for suggesting that CIDA and DFAIT combine to the absurdist bureaucracy in the British television satire Yes Minister. 15 While the document was written specifically regarding CIDA’s programming in Africa, the suggestions it put forward applied to CIDA’s programming in general.   51 abolished and its functions taken over by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). The media seized upon the mooted possibility of abolishing CIDA, which was actually not the Senate committee’s first preference. (Brown, 2012b, p. 85) Despite the fact that the document also proposed that CIDA be given a strong statutory mandate (Canada, 2007, p. 97), it was the possibility of its abolition that sparked controversy. Barr (2007), critical of the proposal, insisted that the “recommendation to shift all of Canada's aid spending to the Department of Foreign Affairs is a mistake. When development has to compete with trade, security and geo-politics, it's the poor who lose out.” A Globe and Mail editorial (Globe and Mail, 2007), on the other hand, mocked the uproar over the suggested abolition of CIDA: “In Ottawa, that teacup-rattling prescription is heresy.” Little wonder, then, that DFATD’s announcement six years later was strategically subdued.  In retrospect, the document produced by the Standing Senate Committee is significant not just for setting off a public debate over the possibility of a departmental merger but also for the way it framed the prospective merger. Three aspects of the committee’s recommendation are analogous with how the merger has played out. First, it recommended establishing a “newly designated Minister for International Development who should be given full status in the federal Cabinet” (Canada, 2007, p. 98). The 2013 announcement established just that, as mentioned above. In fact, the act that later legislated the creation of DFATD renamed the position to “Minister for International Development,” as was suggested in 2007 by the Senate Standing Committee (the title had been “Minister for International Cooperation” since 1996). Second, the Standing Senate Committee suggested that the prospective merger should establish an “Africa Office”: “If Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) personnel are to be shifted to   52 the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), an Africa Office with a strong mandate should be formed” (Canada, 2007, p. 98). The idea was to move away from sector-specific departments (i.e. CIDA, DFAIT) responsible for multiple geographical areas (CIDA then had operations in 150 countries) and instead have a geographically-specific office responsible for multiple sectors (i.e. an “Africa Office” responsible for all of trade, development and foreign affairs). In early 2014, it was revealed that DFATD would be structured with precisely this type of geographically-specific offices in a document leaked to an Australian development blog (“DFATD Organizational Chart,” 2013). The document listed four geographic offices—Africa, Europe & Middle East, Americas, and Asia Pacific—and referred to the personnel in charge of them as “Geographic Assistant Deputy Ministers.”  Third, the Standing Senate Committee’s rationale for all of this—the proposed merger, the ministerial upgrade, and the geographic offices—is that it would make Canada’s policy more coherent: The organization of Canada’s federal government departments and agencies that deal with Africa has been unable to develop and implement a coherent foreign policy in Africa. Therefore, the Committee believes that the only option that will best ensure this international policy coherence, increase our profile and engagement in Africa, and maximize our effectiveness in terms of commercial, diplomatic, trade, and development relations with African countries involves reorganizing the machinery of our government. (Canada, 2007, p. 94) Policy coherence is brought up frequently in the document, and this excerpt in particular demonstrates how the policy coherence problematic is used as a justification for merging the federal departments: the latter is the only solution to the problem of incoherence, according to   53 the committee. This is the same justification ubiquitously given today by the Conservative government for its decision to merge CIDA and DFAIT.  3.2.2 Comparisons Because DFATD has yet to reveal a policy framework, let alone execute its functions as a fully integrated department, any assessment of the merger must be an assessment of donor governance structure.16 As MacCharles (2013) notes, the merger is being framed as a formal rather than a substantive reorganization: “the government is pitching the move as merely a tinkering with the machinery of government.” However, within Canada and around the world, what constitutes the optimal governance structure for donors’ aid agencies has been heavily debated; this debate recognizes that different donor governance structures also entail important substantive differences in the delivery of aid (Carin & Smith, 2010).17 Apart from the integration of federal departments, as with the new DFATD, the alternative donor governance structures that have been most commonly advanced in Canada are those that would enable an independent and autonomous development agency. This is mainly proposed in two forms. One recommendation is for a strengthened CIDA which would have greater freedom in crafting its own policies and autonomy in carrying out its operations. The other suggestion is to convert CIDA into something like an independent crown corporation, removed from the vacillations that result from changing government administrations with different priorities.                                                  16 Gulrajani (2012) defines donor governance structures as “formal institutional arrangements that unite actors who either manage aid resources or are involved in development policy” (p. 53-54) 17 Gulrajani (2012) argues the same: “The ongoing debate in Canada over which governance structures are most appropriate for coaxing higher donor performance suggests that the organization and management of donors themselves may be an important variable in improving aid outcomes” (p. 56)   54  Recently, up until the decision to merge CIDA and DFAIT, the crown corporation proposal had been gaining popularity (see Brown, 2011; Brown & Jackson, 2009; Bülles & Kindornay, 2013; Carin & Smith, 2010; CIC, 2010; Johnston, 2010). Carin and Smith (2010) argued that this would “empower” CIDA to deliver effective development assistance without being overburdened by red tape. This was also the early ambition of Maurice Strong, the first president of CIDA in 1968: “he had originally favoured converting EAO [the External Aid Office, CIDA’s predecessor] into ‘something like a crown corporation’ with a legislative mandate to give it more autonomy and greater operational flexibility than a normal government department” (Morrison, 1998, p. 62). However, as Strong reflected later, “It became clear after I became more familiar [with government] that the price that operating independence brings is you don’t have a policy role” (Strong, as cited in Morrison, 1998, p. 63). The Canadian International Council (CIC) advocated the crown cooperation model in explicit contradistinction to the strengthened-CIDA model, arguing that the latter is based on an overly romantic view of CIDA’s British equivalent: . . . we are perplexed by those who rhyme off these well-known shortcomings of our current development machinery and conclude that the answer is to replace CIDA with a Super CIDA—one that would have a full minister, a powerful one at that, and the legislative trappings of a full department. This vision of CIDA is based on the model of DFID, Britain’s Department for International Development, which has been all the rage in recent years. . . . But is DFID really a model, or is it the product of the right set of circumstances at the right time? Can it be replicated, or even sustained? . . . We have our doubts that the DFID model addresses CIDA’s most basic problems: rapidly changing agendas and the risk-averting demands of the auditor general.” (CIC, 2010, p. 82)   55 Despite the doubts of CIC, which are never elaborated by any significant measure, Britain’s DFID is still held in high regard among development scholars and is often referenced as a superior model for donors’ governance structure (McDougall, 2013). DFID and Norway’s aid agency, NORAD, are frequently brought up for the sake of contrast. While the UK increased DFID’s independence in 1997, Norway merged NORAD with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2004. Since the two agencies each took opposite paths, they make optimal points of comparison for assessing donor governance structures. Gulrajani (2012) offers one such analysis. In her comparison of the aid agencies of Canada, Britain and Norway that was conducted before the merger was announced, she concludes that differences between donor governance structures don’t matter all that much: “There is also little evidence to suggest that a separate development ministry exhibits any significant comparative advantage in its performance over an aid program amalgamated into a ministry of foreign affairs” (Gulrajani, 2012, p. 69). Gulrajani comes to this conclusion, however, by assessing the performance of Canada’s, Britain’s and Norway’s agencies according to criteria of ‘aid effectiveness’18 and ‘donor effectiveness,’ including financial inputs, tied aid, fragmentation, decentralization, and employee satisfaction. An explanation of these criteria is irrelevant aside from one crucial point: not a single one is capable of assessing governance structure. The effects of different governance structures are never once assessed directly or discretely. Rather, Gulrajani assumes a correlation between the metrics of aid/donor effectiveness and governance structure, a correlation that is neither proven nor justified. Moreover, none of the criteria of aid/donor effectiveness used in Gulrajani’s assessment are                                                 18 ‘Aid effectiveness’ is a framework for assessing the quality of foreign aid that has been increasingly bandied about since the early 2000s. For a critique of the concept of aid effectiveness in the context of Canada, see Essex (2012).   56 capable of measuring the degree to which commercial and geopolitical interests determine aid policy or provision. This, of course, is central to the concern about whose interests are served and who benefits from international aid. Upon critical reflection, Gulrajani’s assessment reveals less about the consequences of different governance structures than it does about the shortcomings of aid effectiveness criteria in evaluating those consequences. Carment, Calleja and Samy (2013) offer another comparison of DFID and NORAD in a policy paper for the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, and they come to markedly different conclusions than Gulrajani. In the case of DFID, they determine that prior to its increased independence, the aid agency was largely a conduit for commercial and foreign policy interests: Prior to the formation of DFID, British aid policies were channeled through the Overseas Development Administration. As an arm of the Foreign Office, it was highly susceptible to political interference, resulting in a history of aid and development programs that were largely tied to geopolitical and commercial interests. (Carment, Calleja and Samy, 2013, p. 9) They later add that, as a result of its eventual structural independence and autonomy, DFID was able to concentrate on poverty reduction and resist co-optation by commercial and foreign policy interests: . . . the government, through an independent DFID, made poverty reduction an overarching and meaningful policy priority, one that required broader government coordination, but that fundamentally needed policy independence and institutional space from commercially and strategically focused government branches. (Carment, Calleja and Samy, 2013, p. 10)   57 NORAD was quite the opposite. It was relegated to mostly menial bureaucratic tasks, while Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) took over responsibility for policy and administration: In 2004, NORAD was formally integrated into the MFA, relocating control of bilateral funding firmly within the MFAs mandate. As a result, the new administrative structure served to reduce NORADs formal responsibilities to technical advisory work, evaluation, and quality assurance—all of which were aimed at supplementing the policy and administrative processes executed by the MFA and the embassies—while the embassies became responsible for implementing and managing country-led development programs. (Carment, Calleja and Samy, 2013, p. 10) This rearrangement of tasks would be fine, of course, if the MFA had also championed NORAD’s mandate of poverty reduction. However, as Carment, Calleja and Samy argue, “the new relationship between NORAD and the MFA has subordinated development policy concerns to broader foreign policy initiatives. Indeed, the 2009 Government While Paper cited an explicit desire to move towards pursuing a more partisan and politicized development policy” (2009, p. 11).19 Some commentators have pointed out that despite its merger a decade ago, NORAD is still among the highest-regarded donors worldwide (Schwartz, 2013; Westhead, 2013b). However, this is due to honouring its commitment to increase substantially development spending as a proportion of gross national income (Carment, Calleja & Samy, 2013; Gulrajani, 2010).20 That is, NORAD’s esteem is based on the quantity of its development spending and not on the quality                                                 19 Brown (2012b) notes that this subordination of development policy concerns is evidenced in more cases than just Norway’s: “[E]vidence from other donor countries suggests that policy integration leads to the subordination of development objectives to donors’ foreign policy and defence priorities, not the other way around” (p. 93) 20 Canada, on the other hand, proportionally spends just one third of what Norway does, and its spending is expected to decrease further (Leahy, 2013).   58 of its development efforts, i.e. where the money is going, what the goals of its programming are, how successful it is, etc. Despite NORAD’s prestige for a high proportion of spending on international aid, it is the quality of that aid, argue Calleja et al., that has suffered after its merger with Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: it has become further instrumentalized for Norway’s own national interests. DFID, on the other hand, has become less instrumentalized by the UK’s commercial and geopolitical interests through the establishment of its independence from other political bodies. This comparison indicates that a donor governance structure that preserves independence and autonomy is more likely to support focused and unfettered aid policies than a governance structure that pursues integration and coherence among once-separate departments. The latter are more likely to bring about the instrumentalization of foreign aid for national interests, as was clear from above with the case of Norway.  3.2.3 Debate When CIDA and DFAIT’s merger was announced, the public debate that ensued was swift, vigorous, and polarized. Numerous op-eds and letters to editors were published in Canadian news outlets, and reporters interviewed dozens of stakeholders, including NGO leaders, party representatives, academics, retired government officials, among others. Much of the public responses to the merger were either 1) celebratory or 2) indignant. Aside from those polarized camps, two other notable trends emerged in the debate: 3) some offered a cautiously optimistic supplication for international development to remain a priority after the merger, and 4) others espoused a brashly optimistic perspective that it could foment international development priorities if CIDA were absorbed into DFAIT in the manner of a Trojan Horse.   59  I begin with some familiar faces. Both Barbara McDougall (2013) and Lloyd Axworthy (2013), the two Ministers for Foreign Affairs that spearheaded takeover bids of CIDA in the 1990s as mentioned above, unsurprisingly offered their support. Axworthy admitted that this was his goal all along, and he candidly asserted that the move would bolster foreign policy, specifically. McDougall, appropriating the terms used by her critics against her, submitted that the merger was “more like a takeover” and that Minister for Foreign Affairs John Baird “has been gunning for CIDA for a long time.”  On the critical end, Maurice Strong (2013), CIDA’s first president in 1968, stated that he was “deeply concerned with the fundamental and largely negative effects of the changes recently announced by the government to Canada’s development assistance program.” He beseeched Canada’s news media to foster a critical and informed dialogue in light of the merger. Researcher Nilima Gulrajani (2013), who previously asserted that differences between donor governance structures are insignificant, changed her tune and argued that the “merger of CIDA and DFAIT is bound to dilute Canadian development commitments so that it serves the interests of private constituencies rather than the poor.” In further contradiction of her earlier research, she insisted that “evidence points to the value of empowering independent development ministries to achieve real development results.”21  Canadian political scientist Janice Gross Stein (2013) also commented in support of the merger. Her perspective is particularly important, as she was later revealed to be part of the                                                 21 It is likely that Gulrajani’s 2012 study, which argued that donor governance structure is an insignificant determinant of aid effectiveness, was simply part of an ill-advised strategy to dissuade government officials from considering a departmental merger. Some of her comments suggest as much: “Evidence suggests it would be hasty and short-sighted for Canada to conclude that a simple reform to governance structures will remedy the woes that currently afflict CIDA and Canadian development cooperation more generally” (Gulrajani, 2012, p. 55).   60 external advisory committee that was to design the new organization of DFATD.22 She gave strong support, emphasizing that it would increase policy coherence between the once-divided departments: One of the problems that has plagued Ottawa as it has engaged with the world is the silos among its departments. For years, Defence did not talk to Foreign Affairs and CIDA barely talked to either. Successive prime ministers have had to bang heads to bust the silos, with only limited success. In one fell swoop, this government has forced the integration of two of Canada’s principal agencies. (Stein, 2013) Stein framed the greater policy coherence resulting from the merger as though it were a miracle solution to an obvious problem that has long been sought after by all prime ministers. She went on to express her support in a decidedly fanciful manner: Think for a moment how this will play out on the ground. In our embassies around the world, Canada will no longer be running two separate programs – one led by our ambassador and the other by the senior CIDA official working out of the embassy. Ambassadors will have overall responsibility for an aid program that is integrated within the broader context of our relationship with foreign governments. That cannot but improve the coherence of our policy and increase our influence and impact. Our representatives will be singing from the same songbook. (Stein, 2013) The statement “singing from the same songbook” implies and anticipates a harmonious integration, but it reveals nothing about what tune will be written in the songbook—it ignores the issue of whose interests will take priority at the new DFATD, or what the once-divergent policies will cohere around. Chapin (2013) also weighed in with a similar reverie, urging everyone to                                                 22 Stein was one of five people appointed to the external advisory committee, which also included the CEO of Canadian mining giant Rio Tinto Alcan (Payne, 2013b).   61 “imagine what a focused foreign policy, a far-sighted international trade policy, and a clear-eyed aid policy could achieve together.” Not all of the merger’s supporters delighted in the harmony it would hypothetically achieve. Some were more frank about the benefits that would likely accrue to Canada’s foreign policy as a result. Daryl Copeland (2013), a former diplomat who was employed at DFAIT, was encouraged by the possibility for a more robust international security agenda: “integrating long-term, human-centred and sustainable development objectives more centrally into the diplomatic agenda could both improve policy coherence and pay important international security dividends” (p. 113-114). It was Derek Burney (as cited in Blanchfield, 2013), however, who gave the most candid comment among the merger’s supporters: “It’s a coherent decision that’s going to make our assistance program more relevant to our foreign policy. . . . That’s what it should be. We’re not saving the world here.”  Others took on a cautiously optimistic tone.23 Representative of this response is a report issued by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC), an NGO coalition, which officially endorses the merger but conveyed some polite skepticism: The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) supports the government’s goal of giving equal weight to trade, diplomacy and development policy objectives with the aim of promoting policy coherence for development. The new DFATD offers a unique opportunity to achieve greater coherence in Canada’s policies toward developing countries and to enhance the effectiveness of Canada’s contribution to poverty reduction and humanitarian response. However, we believe that the risk of increased policy in-coherence, and the further subordination of the development                                                 23 I don’t feature their comments here, but for more examples of cautious responses, see Haga (2013), Savard-Shaw (2013), and Schwartz (2013).   62 objective to those of trade and diplomacy, is very real in the context of this amalgamation. (CCIC, 2013) CCIC reiterates the government’s platitudes concerning the “unique opportunity” for policy coherence and the “enhanced effectiveness” it will allow. At the same time, it expresses some concern that development objectives will become subordinate to commercial and foreign policy interests. The document humbly proceeds to suggest certain measures that will ensure Canada’s development mandate is not lost in the reshuffling; it is a hopeful gesture that is noble in intent, but it overestimates the opportunity to change the course already set by the Conservative government.  There was also a brashly optimistic perspective offered by the commentators who made the ‘Trojan horse’ argument.24 This argument holds that incorporating CIDA personnel and aid-related legislation into DFAIT’s orbit may allow development concerns to influence trade and foreign policy rather than vice versa. Barder’s comments demonstrate this argument: “Wouldn’t it be great if development people within DFAIT . . . could help shape trade policy and bring down the high Canadian agricultural tariffs?” (as cited in Westhead, 2013b). Carin and Smith (2010, p. 40n131) reject the Trojan horse theory outright. Maybe this argument could be entertained if CIDA were ‘gunning for’ control over DFAIT for decades, but it has patently been the other way around, as I explained through the precursors to the merger. And, as explained in the comparison with NORAD’s merger in Norway, the priorities of diplomacy and trade tend to take precedence over development priorities. CIDA will not be a Trojan horse within the new                                                 24 For more examples of the ‘Trojan horse’ argument, see Bülles & Kindornay (2013), Ingram and Bhushan (2013), and Pratt (1999).   63 DFATD. Its personnel and its operations will be carefully absorbed rather than taking over the new department.  A large number of published responses to the merger were indignant about the restructuring and skeptical of its supposed advantages. Smillie (2013), in smarmy fashion, put the merger into historical context by invoking previous takeover bids: “At long last, the dream of the current and past ministers of foreign affairs has come true: CIDA will be ‘merged’ with the Department of Foreign Affairs.” Swiss (2013) gauges the overall public response to the merger by allegorically framing onlookers as witnesses to a “forced marriage” between CIDA and DFAIT: As witnesses to this wedding, the Canadian development community, taxpayers, and the public at large have been asked to accept the union of the two departments for the sake of greater coherence, efficiency, and support for Canadian values and interests. Some former diplomats and foreign affairs experts have responded optimistically to the union, cheering on the new couple because it means that Canada's aid can finally walk in lockstep with our trade and diplomatic interests. Others, mostly from Canada's community of development practitioners and experts, have reacted more like Benjamin Braddock, banging loudly on the glass at the back of the church in the penultimate scene of The Graduate. Much to their dismay, it seems there is no stopping this wedding. (Swiss, 2013) Dave Toycen, the president and CEO of World Vision Canada (one of Canada’s largest NGOs), was among those “banging on the glass.” In a statement that has since been deleted from World   64 Vision Canada’s webpage,25 he voiced serious concern over the new direction of Canada’s aid program:  We are extremely concerned that this new direction for CIDA means that development assistance will be used to advance Canada’s prosperity and security, rather than focusing solely on the needs and aspirations of the poor. It speaks of linkages between Canada’s development and trade objectives growing at an equal pace, rather than valuing development objectives and the needs of the poor in their own right. There are so many voices in the world today speaking out for the needs of business and the powerful and we’re concerned that those few voices that prioritize the poor risk being lost. It is somewhat surprising that NGO representatives like Toycen came out in firm opposition to the merger (also see Swan, 2013). As Engler (2013) suggests, “their jobs depend on keeping quiet.” World Vision Canada would soon prove Engler’s point. In a dramatic reversal of their initial disapproval, the organization issued another much more positive statement one month later, which is still accessible online: “World Vision welcomes this promised legislation that merges CIDA and DFAIT because it reaffirms Canada’s commitment to poverty reduction” (Vandenberg, 2013).  Most of the skeptics, like Toycen, expressed concern that the merger would entrench commercial and foreign policy interests in development efforts (e.g. Scoggins, as cited in CBC, 2013; Hanly, 2013 Mackrael, 2013b; Matthews, 2013; Payne, 2013a, 2013c; Culpeper, as cited in Schwartz, 2013). Some defended this position by highlighting how commercial and foreign policy interests have always trumped development priorities throughout the history of Canadian                                                 25 The statement, having been taken down off the website, is no longer available to cite; however, excerpts can be found in Berthiaume (2013).   65 ODA (the topic of the previous chapter), thus making it likely that this pattern will continue. Others pointed to CIDA’s recent emphasis on private-sector partnerships (the topic of the next chapter) as proof that Canadian ODA will continue to prioritize commercial interests. The skeptics are generally concerned that the merger will enhance the instrumentalization of aid for trade and foreign policy outcomes and will therefore provide more benefits for Canada and Canadian businesses at the expense of developing countries. Further evidence of the instrumentalization of aid comes directly from the government itself. While the government maintains that the merger will strengthen Canada’s international development commitments, it has never outright denied that its changes to Canadian ODA are intended to serve Canada and the Canadian private sector—indeed, they seem to have confirmed it on several occasions. These admissions are typically delivered in the guise of ‘mutual interest,’ the notion that both Canada and its beneficiaries will derive benefits from foreign aid, making it a ‘win-win’ effort. One example of this is the Global Markets Action Plan, a “blueprint” for the government’s international trade policies that was announced in late 2013 after the merger. It was introduced by Ed Fast, Minister for International Trade, at a forum held by the Economic Club of Canada. He invokes both the mutual interest canard and the policy coherence premise while explaining the new plan: This new focus represents a sea change in the way Canada’s diplomatic assets are deployed around the world. We are committed to better aligning Canada’s development and trade interests to ensure that the investments we make abroad deliver maximum value to both our development partners and our Canadian investors and traders. (Fast, 2013)   66 Fast makes it clear that the integration of the two departments will support the Canadian private sector. He also insists that this will increase Canada’s development impact, but this is merely assumed, as if it would follow naturally from advantageous trade conditions for Canadian industries. Moreover, Fast emphasizes that the government’s biggest priority is the “vigorous” promotion of commercial success in the Canadian private sector: “In short, the plan will play to our strengths and ensure that all diplomatic assets of the government of Canada are harnessed to support the pursuit of commercial success by Canadian companies and investors.” The Global Markets Action Plan document itself reiterates Fast’s statements in much bolder terms: “Under the plan, all diplomatic assets of the Government of Canada will be marshalled on behalf of the private sector” (Canada, 2013b, p. 11). It goes on to state that the government will “leverage development programming to advance Canada’s trade interests” (Canada, 2013b, p. 14). No other comments related to international development are given in the document.  Christian Paradis (2013), the current Minister for International Development, gave his own speech two weeks later in which he proclaimed that the Global Markets Action Plan would “unlock the economic potential of the developing world by building future markets for Canadian trade and investment.” He also advocated the plan in terms of mutual interest but, like Fast, this is based on the (still unsupported) assumption that benefits to developing countries would result from the success of Canadian trade interests: “Our objective is clear: create shared prosperity for developing countries and for Canada. This plan will focus on government services and resources in order to maximize the success of Canadian trade interests in key foreign markets.” In another frank comment, Paradis explains how international development will be used to bolster Canadian industries: “The vast majority of the targeted markets above are located in developing countries.   67 Therefore, development is an essential part of this plan. It's what will lead us to tomorrow's markets.” Julian Fantino (2012), who preceded Paradis as minister, was even more direct about what development could achieve for Canada’s trade interests at a speech given in late 2012: “CIDA can help develop the capacity to negotiate with other countries, implement international commercial agreements with Canada and other trading partners, and help firms benefit from these agreements. We will be doing more of this in the future.” His most explicit comments, however, came a few days after that speech during an interview with CBC News: We [CIDA] are a part of Canadian foreign policy. . . . We have a duty and a responsibility to ensure that Canadian interests are promoted. . . . I find it very strange that people would not expect Canadian investments to also promote Canadian values, Canadian business, the Canadian economy, benefits for Canada. . . . This is Canadian money. . . . And Canadians are entitled to derive a benefit. (Fantino, as cited in Mackrael, 2012) He then adds, as though it were an afterthought, “at the very same time . . . we’re helping elevate these countries out of poverty.” Mutual interest is invoked here too, but Fantino’s candour demonstrates that while Canada’s national interests are top priority, the interests of developing countries are present only as an afterthought.  With so much evidence that the government’s intent is to promote Canada’s national interests by further instrumentalizing foreign aid, it is difficult to imagine how some can maintain that the merger will improve the development outcomes of Canada’s aid program, but this is indeed what some are arguing. A major cause of this optimism is the government’s policy coherence justification. By rationalizing the merger as an issue of policy coherence, the   68 Conservative government has framed the debate with a concept that is distracting, cryptic, and all too easily misunderstood. I scrutinize this concept for the remainder of the chapter.  3.3 The Incoherence of ‘Policy Coherence’ coherence, n. 3a. Logical connection or relation; congruity, consistency. 4a. ‘Consistency in reasoning, or relating, so that one part of the discourse does not destroy or contradict the rest’; . . . harmonious connection of the several parts, so that the whole ‘hangs together’. (“Coherence,” 2014)   Based on the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition, the notion of coherence among policies seems straightforward. Policy coherence would be achieved when different policies are congruous, consistent with each other, and connect in a logical way. In order to have policy coherence, different policies should not contradict each other, and they should ‘hang together’ to achieve common objectives. This is indeed the core principle of policy coherence, as Brown recognizes: “The basic principle of policy coherence is a sound one: that a government’s departments should not work at cross-purposes but rather coordinate and cooperate toward common policy goals” (Brown, 2012a, p. 9). Policy coherence sounds like a laudable objective. As a concept, one of its strengths is that it is intuitively simple and desirable—why would anyone ever prefer policy incoherence? Who would want to be represented by a government with illogical and inconsistent policies? In usage and practice, however, the notion of policy coherence is far from straightforward. Policy coherence is a sphinx. Its definitions, motivations and applications are multiple. Among them, there is little congruity or consistency. They don’t connect logically, and they certainly don’t ‘hang together’ to form a unified concept. The irony is unmistakeable: policy coherence is a profoundly incoherent concept. This is not a weakness, but another one of its   69 strengths: because its meanings are many, it is impossible to know just what is being suggested by vague invocations of policy coherence. Its abstract, intuitive desirability and its practical ambiguity combine, I will argue, to make it an effective tool of development discourse for legitimating problematic development schemes. First I will explain the genesis of the concept of policy coherence, which emerged in the early 1990s out of a mainly market-based logic in two different contexts: the Uruguay round of trade negotiations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Next, I parse the muddle of definitions that have been offered for policy coherence. This account is intended to give some sense of the literature on policy coherence. The point is not for the reader to comprehend and retain all of its countless definitions and modifiers; on the contrary, the point is to demonstrate just how inscrutable the concept is. Finally, I give a critique of policy coherence through an analysis of development discourse.  3.3.1 Genesis The concept of policy coherence first appeared in the early 1990s (likely 1992-1993), but there is no consensus regarding what context it originally emerged from—it seems to have sprung up in a couple of different places, and there are few clues as to whether the concept travelled between them. According to Weston & Pierre-Antoine, policy coherence entered the development lexicon during an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) workshop in 1993. A paper that was presented there by Fukasaku and Erocal argued that “policy coherence was one of the main issues confronting donors in the 1990s” (Weston & Pierre-Antoine, 2003, p. 17). Yet Fukasaku (1999) himself points to the 1992 report of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) as the first time the issue was brought to   70 the attention of donor countries.26 The reason why policy coherence was brought up is ambiguously argued by Fukasaku. On one hand, private capital flows to the least developed countries were too slight to promote development, and the demand for aid was expected to increase while its supply was expected to decrease due to donors’ budgetary constraints, therefore it was necessary to make aid more effective in order to make up the difference. On the other hand, because of developing countries’ increased integration into the world market, donor countries’ economic policies would have a growing impact on development outcomes and are therefore just as relevant as aid policies (Fukasaku, 1999, p. 390). So we are told that too little market activity and ample market activity both compel a focus on policy coherence. At any rate, a market-based logic underpins the emergence of policy coherence at the OECD.  Grabel (2007), following Powell (2003), instead traces the emergence of the concept of policy coherence back to the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations conducted by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). In the resulting agreement that established the World Trade Organization (WTO), a declaration was adopted that specifically addressed the need for policy coherence between it and the Bretton Woods Institutions: The interlinkages between the different aspects of economic policy require that the international institutions with responsibilities in each of these areas follow consistent and mutually supportive policies. The World Trade Organization should therefore pursue and develop cooperation with the international organizations responsible for monetary and financial matters. . . . Ministers further invite the Director-General of the WTO to review with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and the President of the World Bank, the implications of the WTO’s responsibilities for its                                                 26 Neither the 1992 DAC report nor Fukasaku and Erocal’s paper were available for consultation.   71 cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as the forms such cooperation might take, with a view to achieving greater coherence in global economic policymaking. (WTO, 1994) While the WTO’s emphasis on policy coherence was originally unilateral, it didn’t take long for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to get on board. In 1996, they each signed agreements to coordinate with the WTO, and in 1999 the three multilateral organizations issued a “Joint Declaration on Coherence” (Grabel, 2007, p. 337). The most interesting aspect of this move towards policy coherence is that, according to Grabel, the World Bank and the IMF “intensified their promotion of an expansive view of trade liberalization by formalizing a policy of cooperation with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)” (2007, p. 336). A market-based logic may not have been the reason given for the push for policy coherence in the case of the multilaterals, but an entrenchment of market-based logic was the outcome. Furthermore, it demonstrates a case where policy coherence entailed a shift towards one of the cohering parties’ priorities rather than a harmonious integration of all priorities. As Tan (2002) notes, the multilaterals’ policy coherence “appears to mean the streamlining of World Bank and IMF policies on trade to reflect provisions in WTO agreements.”  3.3.2 Definition(s) Drawing on the dictionary to come up with a definition for policy coherence is practically necessary. Others have felt the need to do the same (e.g. Caspary, 2009; Dunn & Mondesire, 2002; Hoebink, 1999b), citing as a reason that there is no consensus about the definition. In their sizable edited collection of perspectives on policy coherence, Forster and Stokke (1999) remark several times that there “is no set definition of policy coherence” (p. 19). They stress the need to   72 “specify a number of parameters in order to make the concept operative” (p. 20), but by the end of the volume, a grotesque assortment of definitions emerge. In a rather critical review of the book, Olsen (2000) laments that “each of the book’s 15 chapters produce their own definition” of policy coherence (p. 1051). Different types or ‘levels’ of policy coherence are presented in fours with uncanny frequency. Morrissey (1999) draws out four approaches to coherence between aid and trade policies. He asserts that, while they are not “inherently inconsistent . . . they do not have a common starting point” (p. 374). He proposes a fifth “general framework” as a solution, but it is even more convoluted than the others. Weiss, Spanger and van Meurs (2009, p. 17) identify four different areas in need of policy coordination—that is, the different levels of governance at which policy coherence should be fostered—as part of a ‘3Ds approach.’ Forster and Stokke (1999, p. 20-23) suggest four of their own “systemic frameworks” of policy coherence. The latter, for their part, admit that even when policy coherence is strengthened within any of these four levels, there still may not be coherence between the levels, effectively introducing a whole new layer of levels on top. Forster and Stokke ‘layer up,’ but there’s also a layer down. A similar discrepancy concerns not levels of policy but policies themselves. This discrepancy turns on whether policy coherence applies to coherence between two or more policies—“external” coherence—or whether it should mean coherence within a policy—“internal” coherence (Hoebink, 1999a). Those focused on external coherence are concerned with whether the objectives and outcomes of multiple policies are consistent with each other (Ashoff, 1999; Ashoff, 2005; Nilsson et al., 2012). Those focused on internal coherence are concerned with whether the intentions behind a particular policy are coherent with its outcomes (Ademola, 2007; Hoebink, 1999b; Robinson,   73 1999; Weston & Pierre Antoine, 2003). Both sides call their object of analysis “policy coherence,” but they are each talking about two separate things altogether. This is just the beginning of the confusing mess that is policy coherence. There is another distinction between ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ policy coherence. The horizontal variety refers to coherence between the policies of different bureaucracies or government ministries (Allwood, 2013; Nilsson et al., 2012) (this corresponds to the reasons for merging CIDA and DFAIT). The vertical sort is even murkier. Hoebink (1999a; 1999b) states that it entails diverse “echelons” in decision making and is not hierarchical; yet Stokke’s (1999) reference to vertical coherence is in an unambiguously hierarchical register. The latter also differentiates between “negative” and “positive” understandings of policy coherence. “Negative” refers to situations where policies don’t conflict with each other’s goals, and “positive” refers to situations where different policies actively support each other’s goals (also see Weston & Pierre-Antoine, 2003). Ashoff (2005) ups the confusion by suggesting that the former should be called policy consistency while the latter should retain the name policy coherence.  Stokke (1999) also notes that the negative understanding is outcome-oriented while the positive understanding is process-oriented (p. 215). Whether policy coherence is a process or an outcome is another point of cleavage. Virtually nobody actively supports the outcome-oriented position—rather, those who champion the process-oriented definition of policy coherence claim that the outcome-based definition is often held as an assumption (Di Francesco, 2001; Furness, 2012; Keijzer, 2010; Nilsson et al., 2012). Chandler (2007), on the other hand, argues that basically all appeals for policy coherence are based on outcomes, and unrealistic ones at that. He holds that statements regarding policy coherence read more like “rhetorical wish lists than seriously considered policy options” (p. 368).   74  Other variants of policy coherence abound. Di Francesco (2001) argues that it is both a political and economic imperative, but Hugon (1999) admits that it’s a utopian concept, and Carbone (2008) calls it a “mission impossible.” Carbone even makes the distinction between two types of policy incoherence: “unnecessary incoherence” as resulting from the denial of possible win-win solutions and “necessary incoherence” as resulting from legitimate conflicting interests. Koulaïmah-Gabriel (1999) insists that while coherence is important, we should not disregard “co-ordination” and “complementarity,” which are also important; however, the reader is never given an explanation of the differences between these “three Cs.”  One could go on, but let me end with what I think is the most crucial—though no less ambiguous—qualifier of policy coherence in the literature: whether or not it is “for development.” Some in the literature refer strictly to “policy coherence,” while others specifically refer to “policy coherence for development.” It seems that the latter emerged as a scrupulous alternative to the former’s slipperiness; whereas general policy coherence does not specify to which priorities or to what goals coherent policies ought to align to, the qualifier—for development—is intended to ensure that development outcomes are the overarching priority and goal of policy coherence measures. This is seen among those who champion a strong development program as an ideal objective, as Brown (2012a) 27 indicates: “At its best, policy coherence for development recognizes that more than just aid is required for development, including reforms to the global trading system” (p. 9, original emphasis).  The ambiguity of the policy coherence literature, however, caught up with this push for clarity. Many began to use for development by name only, devoid of its development-prioritizing content (see Adelle & Jordan, 2014; Larsen & Powell, 2013). This essentially nulled its                                                 27 Also see Ashoff (2005).   75 qualifying function and made it synonymous with general policy coherence. For example, Thede (2013) analyzes the use of the concept by the OECD, which has long promoted policy coherence for development by name, and concludes that its version of policy coherence entails the subordination rather than the prioritization of development concerns. This poses a problem when scholars then encounter invocations of policy coherence for development by the likes of the OECD and wrongly assume that they refer to its original qualifying definition (e.g. Barry, King & Matthews, 2010). In short, the concept of policy coherence for development has become bastardized. It is now frequently used in contexts completely dissociated from the original intent behind it. This is not to say that its original objective isn’t valuable, but it does suggest that advocating this qualifier as such will not meet those objectives.   3.3.3 Critique My critique of policy coherence is a critique of development discourse. The critique of development discourse is most commonly associated with the post-development school, which fell out of vogue at the turn of the millennium following its popularity in the 1990s. A torrent of criticism was leveled against the school (e.g. Blaikie, 2000; Li, 1999; Pieterse, 2000), much of it having to do with its specific focus on the discourse of development. Yet being critical of the post-development school does not preclude taking discourse seriously as a powerful practice of meaning-making (Hart, 2003, p. 293; Lawson, 2007). Like Hart and Lawson, I maintain that there is much insight to be drawn from post-development analyses of development discourse. Moreover, those who have espoused (or have been pigeonholed into) the post-development school don’t adhere to any one system of thought; development discourse is scrutinized in different ways by different scholars. My take on development discourse in this chapter is not in   76 the same vein as Escobar (2012), who focuses on how it constitutes an “anatomy of the Third World” (p. 42). Nor is it in the same vein as Mitchell (2002), who analyzes development discourse as a form of self-deception that presents itself “as a detached center of rationality and intelligence” (p. 242). My approach here is informed by Ferguson’s (1994) orientation towards development discourse: “What is needed is not so much a correction or setting straight of the discourse of the ‘development’ industry . . . as a way of accounting for it, and of showing what it does” (p. 28). Likewise, I do not seek to set straight the concept of policy coherence or to rescue it from its ironic incoherence. I aim to demonstrate what it does. What the concept of policy coherence does is the crucial question, because as Ferguson argues, those concepts and analyses that become fundamental to a development agency’s credo manage to do so because they enable a particular sort of development: The analysis that is most helpful to a ‘development’ agency, then—and the one that will naturally rise to the top of authoritative ‘development’ discourse—is the one that ‘moves the money,’ the one that . . . serves as a charter to justify and legitimate the sort of programs that the bureaucratic establishment is there to execute. (1994, p. 70)28 Ferguson’s core point is that development agencies already have a prefigured goal or solution, and development discourse sets up a certain problematic that requires precisely that goal or solution. In the context of his study, this involves representing the object of development, Lesotho, as a generic “less-developed country” and thus an ideal recipient for the type of development that CIDA has to offer, thereby legitimating CIDA’s development scheme.                                                 28 Cornwall and Brock (2005) echo Ferguson’s analysis: “The fine-sounding words that are used in development policies do more than provide a sense of direction: they lend the legitimacy that development actors need to justify their interventions. Paying attention to the ways in which particular development buzzwords have come to be used, then, sheds interesting light on the normative project that is development.” (p. 1044)   77 In my research, it involves not the object of development but the state machinery of development. The deployment of the concept of policy coherence sets up the problematic that DFAIT’s and CIDA’s policies are inconsistent with each other as separate government bodies. This problem is solvable, intuitively, by adjusting the state machinery and amalgamating them. But the amalgamation is not an end in itself; rather, it is a means for further instrumentalizing Canada’s development program for Canada’s national interest. Policy coherence, then, is the ubiquitous justification for the creation of DFATD because it introduces a problematic which demands and legitimates the goal that the Conservative government already has prefigured: further embedding Canada’s commercial and foreign policy interests into its international development program by merging CIDA and DFAIT. Policy coherence is exceptionally useful in this regard. That is what policy coherence does; how it serves to legitimate a particular form of development intervention deserves closer attention. Much has been said about devspeak—a reference to the profuse jargon or buzzwords endemic to development discourse. Hacker calls devspeak “the normalising language of development” (2007, p. 72), and Escobar argues that it relies “on a relatively undifferentiated and context-independent body of knowledge and expertise” (2012, p. 146). In The Development Dictionary, Sachs et al. sternly critique the lexis of devspeak, explaining its terms and exposing them for “their perceptual bias, their historical inadequacy, and their imaginative sterility” (Sachs, 2010, p. xvi). As an example of such a critique, Cornwall and Brock (2005) scrutinize three devspeak buzzwords that gained considerable purchase in the 2000s—“participation,” “empowerment” and “poverty reduction”—  78 and demonstrate how they are not simply benign argot but serve to legitimate particular types of development interventions.29   Development buzzwords, policy coherence being one among them, manage to do this because they have a particular discursive function. Cornwall (2007), drawing on Gallie, describes this function by labelling development buzzwords as “essentially contested concepts,” which she defines as terms that combine general agreement on the abstract notion that they represent with endless disagreement about what they might mean in practice. . . . Development’s buzzwords gain their purchase and power through their vague and euphemistic qualities, their capacity to embrace a multitude of possible meanings, and their normative resonance. The work that these words do for development is to place the sanctity of its goals beyond reproach. (p. 472) As Cornwall explains, an essentially contested concept is one that abstractly presents itself as an unequivocal good, yet its practical meaning is multiple, vague, and contested. The function of the essentially contested concept is to make its goals seem natural, desirable, and unimpeachable. It thereby legitimates the practices that are carried out to achieve those goals. Policy coherence fits all these criteria. As I described at the beginning of this section, one of its strengths is that it is intuitively desirable: in the abstract, policy coherence is obviously preferable to policy incoherence. This simplicity, this obviousness, functions to render policy coherence as an unequivocal good. Yet another strength of policy coherence is its incoherence, its multiple                                                 29 In what amounts to a contemporary version of The Development Dictionary, Volume 17(4-5) of the journal Development in Practice (2007) features nearly 30 articles that focus on popular development buzzwords of the time, and most of them are still frequently used in development circles today. Among them: social capital, partnership, sustainability, human rights, civil society, capacity building, harmonisation, country ownership, best practices, transparency, corruption, good governance, fragile states, knowledge management, and many more.   79 meanings and the inconsistency between them—in practice, policy coherence can entail so many different things. This enables the Canadian government, through its invocations of policy coherence, to present its maneuver as an unequivocal good while advancing a particular type of policy coherence that is anything but. Put another way, policy coherence is an empty signifier. As Laclau (2007) argues, an empty signifier has no content, because it only exists in the various forms in which it is actually realized . . . [it] is present as that which is absent; it becomes an empty signifier, as the signifier of that absence. In this sense, various political forces can compete in their efforts to present their particular objectives as those which carry out the filling of that lack. To hegemonize something is exactly to carry out this filling function. (p. 44) This is exactly what Forster and Stokke (1999) convey when they observe that, “when operationalised in concrete contexts, it [policy coherence] differs from one system to another and from one level of a complex system to another” (p. 33); policy coherence, as an empty signifier, only exists in the various forms in which it is actually realized. The same critique is put in different terms by Grabel: “The criterion of policy coherence is, practically speaking, devoid of independent content; that is, coherence does not in and of itself entail any particular kind of policy regime” (2007, p. 339).30 This is attested to by the considerable lack of clarity in the                                                 30 Grabel goes on to explain that while policy coherence may be open ended theoretically, it is almost always used in practice to justify neoliberal expansion: “[I]f the concept is intrinsically open ended, in practice it has come to be employed in a way that biases policy prescription in a very particular direction. Given the development of the concept by the IMF-WB-WTO, it is hardly surprising that policy coherence has been taken to imply little more than policy conformance around neoliberalism. (Grabel, 2007, p. 339)   80 definition of policy coherence, as previously described. Because policy coherence could mean so many different and unrelated things, it means nothing in particular on its own.31 Laclau, however, does not argue that the empty signifier means nothing. He rather claims that, because of its emptiness or hollowness, that which is signified is a lack or an absence, something that eventually needs to be filled in and given contextual, practical meaning. Policy coherence, then, simply signifies its own absence. In a state of incoherence—or a state that is said to be incoherent, such as silos among federal departments—policy coherence is present as that which is absent. This is evinced by the government’s framing of the merger as a “leveraging” of latent “synergies,” as mentioned previously. Policy coherence is formulated as a latency: it is present as that which is absent. Identifying this latency as such provides the justification to “leverage” it and thus rationalizes the merger. When deployed, policy coherence, as a lack, demands to be filled accordingly. This is where Laclau problematically invokes hegemony. According to him, to hegemonize something is to exercise the filling function, to assert that with which the lack is to be filled. In our case, this means asserting which type of policy coherence ought to be realized. No doubt this opportunity to “hegemonize” was sensed by the optimists described above who hopefully insisted that the government’s push for policy coherence should promote or at the very least should not undermine development priorities. The underlying assumption is that if they insist enough, they                                                 31 Powell (2003) observed as much over a decade ago: “‘Harmonisation’ and ‘coherence’ have become the motherhood and apple pie of development-speak. But any action can be coherent with another – the term says nothing about its value or who will benefit. Similarly, harmonisation can describe manipulation as easily as it can cooperation for the greater good. Added to the lack of clarity over the value of these terms is confusion over how and where they are to be applied. Should they relate to both policies and procedures? Do they refer to the organizational, the national or the international levels? Can they bridge the gulfs between the development, trade, finance and security communities?”   81 might fill in the lack with policy coherence for development rather than a version of policy coherence that undermines development. The notion of such a hegemonic opportunity is misguided for reasons that I have already established. The bastardization of policy coherence for development means that the pro-development agenda that established it is no longer integral or attached to the concept. It is now itself an empty signifier just as much as general policy coherence, which means that it too signifies a lack. Moreover, as the analysis of Ferguson, Cornwall and Brock demonstrates, concepts such as policy coherence are used by development agencies to introduce a problematic that requires and justifies a goal or solution that is already prefigured. The prefigured goal of the Canadian government in this case is to merge CIDA and DFAIT in order to further instrumentalize development for Canada’s national interests. The filling function, therefore, is not up for grabs: it is already pre-established. Stressing the need for policy coherence for development will not change the fact that the merger has already established policy coherence for something else entirely. Hegemonic efforts cannot simply fill in the empty signifier of policy coherence to promote development interests, because it is already occupied. If there can be any successful hegemonic efforts that counter the government’s prefigured goal—efforts which seek political change through coordinated and strategic action (Gidwani, 2008, p. xii)—they will need to be directed elsewhere. I will argue in favour of alternative hegemonic opportunities to the one proposed by Laclau in chapter 5.  3.4 Conclusion Grabel (2007) points out that few academics have given attention to the concept of policy coherence, and Thede (2013) reaffirms this. I can understand why, and I can’t exactly   82 recommend others to pursue its analysis—it is a muddle. Policy coherence is, however, becoming more and more prevalent as a justification for similar maneuvers; just a few months after Canada, Australia’s development agency was merged with its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the merger was based on the same rationale (Davies, 2013). It is therefore important to understand the function of policy coherence for its future invocations. The merger of CIDA and DFAIT will continue to have supporters and detractors. Some supporters honestly believe that foreign aid ought to serve Canada’s national interests. That is another debate altogether. What I have demonstrated, though, is that this is precisely what will be achieved by the merger. I entreat those who maintain that they will cautiously observe the outcome rather than jump to conclusions, and those who hold out hope that development concerns will invade DFATD like a Trojan horse, to consider the evidence presented here. Policy coherence is a distraction from the assured subordination of development interests as a result of the merger. More than a distraction, it is a deception: policy coherence presents itself as intuitively desirable while being practically indeterminate. It is therefore an effective but untenable justification for the creation of DFATD. The merger is not a departure from Canadian ODA’s history of bolstering Canadian foreign policy and commercial interests: it is a redoubling of that effort. Mackrael (2013a) calls it “a bold and symbolic final step after years of efforts to more closely align the agency’s priorities with other government objectives.” The merger, however, is in lockstep with another major recent change to Canadian ODA that is also part of this redoubled effort: a renewed approach to private sector partnerships in delivering development assistance. This is taken up in the following chapter.   83 Chapter 4: Frontiers: Mining, Development, and the Subsidy Debate in Canada  4.1 Introduction The departmental merger that created DFATD was in fact the second of two major changes to Canadian ODA that turned heads. The first was the introduction of three new “pilot projects” that were intended to “help developing countries in Africa and South America manage their natural resources” (CIDA, 2011). Innocuous as that may sound, the rub came in the revelation that the projects would bring together multiple sectors: the public sector, through CIDA; the non-profit sector, through NGOs; and the private sector, through Canadian mining companies. While CIDA’s funding of the non-profit sector has long been par for the course, the mining industry had not ever been directly involved with Canadian development projects before. What’s more, the pilot projects were declared part of the Canadian government’s new Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. For many critics, this made the purpose of the new projects crystal clear: they were, in effect, a way of subsidizing the mining industry through corporate social responsibility initiatives. Many others insisted, on the other hand, that this type of multi-sector partnership was becoming de rigueur in international development policy and was desirable for the unique way in which it would enroll new stakeholders and leverage additional resources.  In this chapter I seek to intervene in this principal public debate that has surrounded the pilot projects, which has turned on whether they constitute a subsidy for the mining industry. Critics of the pilot projects claim that they are a type of subsidy since the government is   84 effectively funding the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that the company would otherwise be carrying out themselves. The projects’ proponents maintain that no subsidization occurs because all funding goes exclusively towards development projects rather than any firm. I ultimately side with those arguing that the development partnerships amount to a de facto subsidy, but I arrive at this conclusion differently from the critics. That is, I agree that the pilot projects are a subsidy, but I insist that it must be shown how they are a subsidy. To understand how the partnerships constitute a subsidy requires an account of the unique conjuncture of the contemporary mining industry—an account which has been absent from the debate thus far. Just as CIDA has always supported Canadian commercial interests, as described in chapter 2, the Canadian government writ large has always acted in support of Canada’s mining industry, from its early ventures up to today. The logic of that support has remained consistent, but the nature of that support and the mechanisms through which it is provided have varied with the changing historical context and corresponding needs of the mining industry. I draw on Tsing’s notion of the frontier to make this point. The Canadian mining industry and the Canadian government have long shared an interest in access to, knowledge of, and dominion over the frontier, which in Tsing’s formulation is a sort of imaginative geography that reflects both the desires of the nation and the impulse for extraction. As an imaginative geography, however, the frontier has shifted over time. In this chapter, I focus on three pivotal historical contexts of the Canadian mining industry in which, in each case, support from the Canadian government was crucial. The first section provides an introduction to the three pilot projects and a basic outline of the subsidy debate. The second section details two notable historical contexts of the Canadian mining industry: the importance of geophysical knowledge production within Canada in the   85 second half of the 19th century, and the role of deregulation and trade liberalization in the neoliberal era at the end of the 20th century. In each case, the Canadian government buttressed the interests of the mining industry in a shared effort to suffuse a new frontier—the national and international frontiers, respectively. The final section brings the first two together by elucidating the new frontier that gets set around the turn of the 21st century: what I call the socioethical frontier. The socioethical frontier refers to the efforts of today’s mining industry to acquire the so-called “social license to operate”—that is, to gain the consent of individuals and communities to pursue mining activities. The principle means employed in this effort is “corporate social responsibility” (CSR), and it is precisely through it that the Canadian government is subsidizing its mining industry. By using official development assistance for CSR projects, the Canadian government is subsidizing mining companies through projects that, by definition, are indeed the prerogative of the mining industry; in the process, it is helping the mining industry to navigate the socioethical frontier.  4.2 The Pilot Projects CIDA has interacted with the mining industry before, as we will see, but never to the degree and never in the manner as at present. Nor has there ever been media coverage of their confluence to the extent that there is now. This all began on September 29, 2011, when then-minister Bev Oda made an important announcement during her keynote address at the Devonshire Initiative CEO Summit in Toronto—an annual meeting for the organization which, fittingly, promotes development collaborations between NGOs and the mining industry. Her speech included the announcement that CIDA would begin funding 3 new pilot projects that would include mining companies as partners. Oda declared:   86 As more and more developing countries see foreign investment as the means to economic growth and our Canadian extractive sector represents a major part in that growth, CIDA can play an important role to help countries achieve their aspirations. Encouraging partnership with the private sector and civil society organizations provides an opportunity for our government to help companies fulfill their corporate social responsibilities and benefit those in need. (as cited in CIDA, 2011) Canadian official development assistance would, she revealed, fulfill the corporate social responsibility requirements of the mining companies that were to become new partners. If Oda’s announcement signalled clearly that the extractive sector would become newly involved with Canada’s development efforts, labelling them as “pilot” projects indicated that this strategy would continue and expand.32 In Peru, World Vision Canada would partner with Barrick Gold, the largest gold mining company in the world, to support small-scale agricultural activities. Barrick Gold had already been collaborating with World Vision Canada near their Lagunas Norte mine in north-central Peru since 2007. That year they began a five year partnership project that was very similar to the one announced by Minister Oda in 2011. This original project came about without CIDA’s assistance; Barrick would provide World Vision with more than $1 million over the five years for promoting entrepreneurial activities in the community. That project’s announcement followed “a special Memorandum of Understanding” that was signed by Barrick and World Vision which formalized an arrangement between the two to collaboratively carry out future                                                 32 Brown concurs that these types of projects are sure to endure and multiply: “Though ODA grants to date for CIDA–NGO–mining company partnerships are relatively small, they are likely a harbinger of things to come, as the Canadian government has reiterated on several occasions its intent to expand the three ‘pilot projects’” (2014, p. 286)   87 CSR programs and activities in communities near Barrick’s mining operations across the globe (see Barrick Gold, 2007). In Ghana, the NGO World University Service of Canada (WUSC) would partner with mining giant Rio Tinto Alcan to offer various services with goals ranging from improving education quality to diversifying the local economy. Rio Tinto Alcan and WUSC signed their own memorandum of understanding in early 2010, and the two began their partnership project in Ghana shortly after. WUSC would carry out the development project—a district-wide job training program—and Rio Tinto Alcan would provide $300,000 in funds. Their collaboration was already initiated by the time CIDA announced its CSR pilot projects in 2011—at that time, CIDA contributed an additional $500,000 to the already-ongoing project. Shortly after the three-year project was agreed upon, Rio Tinto Alcan sold its shares in the only mine it was operating in Ghana. Its assets were sold off well before CIDA announced additional funding for the project. Proponents of the pilot projects have been quick to point out that there is no way Rio Tinto Alcan could benefit from the public funds, having left the country entirely. The Ghanaian project has thus been invoked as a vindication of the pilot projects in general. In Burkina Faso, Plan Canada would partner with IAMGOLD in order to provide youth as young as 13 with job skills training to fill labour market needs in the mining sector. Plan International and IAMGOLD also signed a memorandum of understanding in 2009 (IAMGOLD, 2010), well before the pilot projects were announced. IAMGOLD’s presence in Burkina Faso is substantial—its Essakane mine is the largest private employer in the country (York, 2012). This pilot project received the most funding from CIDA—while the latter provided 50% of the funding for the other two projects, the project in Burkina Faso received 75% of its funding from CIDA.    88 While the first two projects listed had a budget of around $1 million for 3 years, the latter’s budget amounted to $7.6 million over 5.5 years. In the grand scheme of things, these pilot projects are minor in terms of funding; in the same forum at which they were announced, Oda introduced a CIDA-run Andean Regional Initiative that vaguely claimed to enable sustainable development in mining communities, and its budget was more than double the pilot projects combined. The budgets for the four projects amount to less than 1% of CIDA’s overall budget. But they are not notable for their magnitude, rather for their portent. Christian Paradis, the current Minister of International Development, has very recently announced that these development “projects that involve Canadian mining companies and non-governmental organizations have shown enough promise that the idea should be refined and then scaled up” (Mackrael, 2015). It would therefore seem that these three pilot projects are just the beginning of a new norm for Canadian official development assistance.  4.2.1 The Subsidy Debate The primary argument of most critics of the partnerships is that the government is subsidizing mining companies through their corporate social responsibility projects (e.g. Brown, 2014; Coumans, 2012a & 2012b; Esau, 2012; Leblanc, 2012; Mackrael, 2013c; Payne, 2012a; Solyom, 2012, 2013; White, 2013). They argue that if corporate social responsibility is specifically corporations’ responsibility—as the glaring redundancy would suggest—then government funding for CSR initiatives must be seen as a subsidy given that corporations would otherwise have to come up with these funds themselves. With the exception of Brown’s (2014) take on the subsidy debate, this is basically the extent of the critics’ standpoint. This is what I hope to correct by the end of this chapter. It cannot simply be asserted that the pilot projects   89 subsidize the CSR programs of the mining industry—it must be shown how this subsidization occurs. A notable forum for the subsidy debate occurred during hearings for the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. Dozens of individuals were consulted as witnesses in preparation of the committee’s report to parliament, Driving Inclusive Economic Growth: The Role of the Private Sector in Development (Canada, 2012c). The critics’ argument was brought up during the hearings in the context of the pilot projects with Canadian mining firms, as the report explains: These three pilot projects were the subject of debate during the Committee’s hearings. While the benefits of the projects were not often disputed, a number of witnesses argued that these arrangements did not reflect the best possible use of public development funding, either because they risked further blurring the lines of responsibility between the public and private sectors, or because they effectively subsidized CSR work the companies should have paid for themselves. (Canada, 2012c, p. 84) While the report acknowledged critics’ concerns, it predominately featured counterarguments. Carlo Dade, for example, asserted that “there's this cross-fertilization, not subsidization. It's a complete misunderstanding of the situation to think of this as subsidy. I can tell you that everyone who works on the issue would agree on that point” (Dade, as cited in Canada, 2012b). Pierre Gratton, the CEO of the Mining Association of Canada and a vocal supporter of the pilot program, defended the projects as partnerships originally developed independently of the Canadian government’s assistance: The debate that's taken place here in recent weeks around this has given these three projects more notoriety than they deserve, in the sense that these projects very much   90 developed bottom-up. This was not a question of companies going to CIDA and lobbying for money and then finding a partner. These were projects that were identified by the NGOs in question on the ground in these countries. They were looking for partners. The companies identified themselves as potential partners. . . . Once they developed a project, CIDA expressed an interest in it. (Gratton, as cited in Canada, 2012a) In light of the agreements between NGOs and mining companies outlined earlier, then, and since these projects were already established and would have gone ahead without the support of CIDA, Gratton considers them to be more of a grassroots style of development partnership, in which CIDA simply tagged along. Gratton also invokes the project in Ghana in defense of the pilot program, in which the project continued even after Rio Tinto Alcan sold off its assets and departed from the country: Another important point is that these have been characterized as subsidies, but it's important to point out that. . . . In the case of Rio Tinto Alcan in Ghana, it doesn't operate there. It did at one time, but this is a project it's doing with WUSC several years after it stopped operating in the country. I don't know how one could characterize that as a subsidy. . . . I see this not as CIDA subsidizing mining. I see it as mining subsidizing CIDA and helping extend CIDA's reach and the reach of these NGOs to do development assistance in these countries. (Gratton, as cited in Canada, 2012a) Certainly, he is correct that Rio Tinto Alcan could not have benefited much from this CSR project in absentia. However, as explained earlier, the project was already signed into agreement and they had signed a memorandum of understanding before Rio Tinto Alcan decided to withdraw. As Brown puts it: “That Rio Tinto Alcan ceased operating in Ghana after the project   91 with WUSC was initiated does not obviate the fact that they would have similarly benefited had it stayed” (Brown, 2014, p. 291). Stephen Brown points out in his assessment of the subsidy debate (2014) that proponents of the pilot projects insist that the government simply isn’t providing any development funds directly to mining companies. Minister Paradis stresses as much: “This is a myth here that we seriously have to correct… We will [provide] money in terms of leveraging for development, but not [for] investing in the private sector” (as cited in Mackrael, 2014a). Gratton also advances this argument, emphasizing that the government funding in no way impacts mineral production: “Partnerships between CIDA, NGOs and Canadian mining companies are not corporate subsidies. . . . These investments, to which the companies contribute significant dollars, do nothing to lower production costs or make it easier to extract minerals.” Brown counters that, while this is technically accurate, it sidesteps the fact that the CSR programs of these companies are being subsidized, if not the companies themselves directly. While I agree with Brown’s conclusion, he still fails to show how CSR benefits the mining companies that implement it. The subsidy debate ultimately comes down to ‘who’s using whom.’ Brown’s concern is to identify the ultimate beneficiary; he asks, “when various Canadian public institutions promote extractive activities in a developing country, is the fundamental purpose to create growth and employment in the recipient country or is it primarily aimed at promoting the profit making of Canadian mining companies?” (Brown, 2012a, p. 10). In other words, is development in the service of the mining industry, or vice versa? Critics of the pilot projects, including Brown, argue that they instrumentalize development programmes to support the extractive sector. Proponents of the pilot projects argue inversely that that they work to leverage the extractive sector to   92 support development outcomes. This view is represented in the remarks of former Minister of International Development Julian Fantino: I will take this opportunity to clarify a misconception about these projects that has been perpetuated by the media and some organizations here in Canada: that CIDA is subsidizing mining companies. This simply isn't true. CIDA does not subsidize Canadian companies. We do not subsidize NGOs for that matter. We are an outcomes driven agency. We use any and all legitimate vehicles, including the private sector, available to us to meet our stated objectives. (2012) Fantino stresses that CIDA is “using” the private sector, in the form of the mining industry in this case, as a “legitimate vehicle” through which to meet its development objectives. Minister Paradis echoes this viewpoint: “What we're trying to do here is to have leverage with the extractive sector to invest in development projects… The idea is not to finance the private sector or the extractive sector, the idea is to put money in investments that will have tangible results in terms of development” (as cited in Mackrael, 2014a). The notion of ‘leverage,’ often repeated by the projects’ proponents, implies that the Canadian government is marshalling additional resources for development projects—those of the mining sector. However, as we will see, the mining industry already invests considerable resources into CSR projects without any leveraging by the government. Of course, this is apparent only upon a closer inspection of CSR and its role in the current conjuncture of the Canadian mining industry. Such an interrogation is largely absent from the subsidy debate, even among the critics who specifically point to CSR as the key to exposing the pilot projects as a government subsidy. It is such an interrogation that I set out to offer here. First, however, I turn to a brief historical analysis of the Canadian government’s support for the mining industry,   93 which will tease out the logic of that support and set the stage for explaining how the pilot projects constitute a subsidy.  4.3 Frontiers The history of the Canadian mining industry—and, more to the point of this chapter, the history of the Canadian government’s support for it—can be sketched as a history of shifting frontiers. The way I use the notion of ‘frontier’ is not far off from its traditional understanding in the story of North American colonial expansion. The frontier was the frontline of settlement and economic development, of nation and resource extraction. European settlers advanced into new areas of the continent, setting up camps, creating infrastructure, and extracting natural resources. These turbulent areas, known as frontier zones, were areas of rapid transformation and lucrative enterprise. The classic view on the frontier is that of Frederick Jackson Turner, whose “frontier thesis” argues that American democracy was forged in the development and expansion of the frontier. Anna Tsing’s view on the frontier is much less adulatory than Turner’s, but she is just as cognisant of the frontier’s profoundly transformative impact. For Tsing, a frontier is not “a place or even a process but an imaginative project capable of molding both places and processes” (2005, p. 32). It is an imaginative geography, an invented terrain with a particular codified spatiality and logic that enables and enacts a certain opportunity for extraction. It is paradoxically a zone of geographical indeterminacy that shapes geographical experience in a calculated way: Frontiers are not just edges; they are particular kinds of edges where the expansive nature of extraction comes into its own. . . . A frontier is an edge of space and time: a   94 zone of not yet-not yet mapped, not yet regulated. It is a zone of unmapping: even in its planning, a frontier is imagined as unplanned. Frontiers . . . are projects in making geographical and temporal experience. (Tsing, 2005, p. 27-29) Following Tsing’s formulation, it would be wrong to conceive of the frontier as a sort of absolute territorial boundary, such as the border of a nation-state; it is instead an abstract edge that produces a particular type of place. This abstract edge encompasses the traditional imaginary of the frontier zone: settlement and economic development, nation and resource extraction.  The frontier has been integral to the ambitions of both the Canadian mining industry and the Canadian government; it is a terrain where their ambitions intersect. By the same token, it is the terrain towards which a large part of the Canadian government’s support for the mining industry has been directed. In this section, I detail two such frontiers—the national frontier, appearing by the mid-19th century, and the international frontier, arising around 1980—in order to tease out the logic of the frontier and the way it elicits the convergence of the mining industry and the government.  4.3.1 The National Frontier Widespread mineral development in colonial Canada started to burgeon by the middle of the 19th century, before there existed a federal government.33 Mining laws – the basic few that existed at that time, anyway – were under the purview of the provinces. Even upon the confederation of Canada in 1867, the provinces maintained legislative authority over their natural resources. As a result, the federal government had relatively less sway with mining than it did with other industries. As Braun puts it, “while the optimization of Canada’s mineral                                                 33 Mineral discoveries by early colonists, however, began in the 17th century.   95 resources was an understandable concern of the federal government the latter had very little control over land and resource development in the provinces” (2000, p. 31-32). Although a minor player in terms of legislative authority over mining activities, the federal government still played a substantial role in the development of Canadian extractive industries. It is well known, for example, that federal subsidies for infrastructure, especially in the extension of roads and railways into industrial mining regions, greatly facilitated the flow of mineral products (Keeling & Sandlos, 2009; Mouat, 1995; Wallace, 1996). This was beneficial to the mining industry for obvious reasons—it reduced transportation costs for mineral products and enabled the diffusion of mining activities into previously inaccessible areas.34 Equally, this infrastructural development was recognized as beneficial to the Canadian government. The unique ambitions of both the mining industry and the government were bound up in the common ambition of permeating remote Canadian territories. As was famously said by former Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, “if some countries have too much history, we have too much geography.” He was expressing the difficulty of nation-building in a young state with such an expansive landmass. The colonial problematic of knowing, accessing, and governing Canada’s ‘excessive’ geography, as it were, found its answer in the diffusion of mining activity. This is evinced perhaps nowhere better than in the history of Canadian mining provided by the Department of Natural Resources Canada (NRC):                                                 34 It bears mentioning that the staples theory of Canada’s economic development, as elaborated by Harold Innis, also explains this type of support from the Canadian government. Large and indivisible costs are required prior to staples production (such as for extensive transportation infrastructure), and only the state and large corporations are positioned to make these essential expenditures. The staples state is therefore fundamentally enrolled in supporting staples production, including mineral production. Canada is perhaps the staples state par excellence; Innis developed his staples theory, after all, as an ‘indigenous’ (non-European-metropolitan) theory for understanding Canada’s economy.   96 Major developments occurred with respect to the exploration and settlement of remote areas: wealth was created, knowledge of the country was extended, transportation infrastructure was developed, the role of government was expanded, new technology was developed, and sovereignty was established. The mining industry, through the creation of settlements, helped forge the nation. (NRC, 2013) National ambitions of broadening the scope of Canada’s colonial project were realized in part by the proliferation of mining activity and its consequent settlements, and the national frontier was forged in the combined fantasies of nationalism and extraction. Infrastructural development was important, to be sure. Yet it was also patchy. Rails for mineral development were only laid into particular areas with a high concentration of mining activity, and road-building couldn’t provide uniform access to potential mining sites across early colonial Canada with its vast territory. Roads and railways provided crucial access to some remote areas, but it alone was not responsible for producing Canada as a frontier. The geographically limited project of infrastructure development was complemented by a comparatively much more far-reaching colonial technology: what Braun calls the “geologizing” of Canada, or the rendering of its territory as geologically legible. This project was spearheaded by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), which was established in the mid-19th century but became a federal body upon confederation. The GSC had no less a lofty mission than “extending the reach of geology’s visual order to the furthest corners of the Dominion, making of the nation a single geological specimen that could be understood as a legible and logical whole” (Braun, 2000, p. 22). The geologizing of Canada created a new and consistent legibility of its expansive territory.   97 That which stood to profit most from the geological surveys, not surprisingly, was the mining industry: “Perhaps the most obvious consequence of the geologizing of Canada’s territory was that it enabled such places as Canada’s west coast to be drawn into global circuits of extractive capital” (Braun, 2000, p. 24). The GSC not only produced Canada’s geological legibility, it also sought an international audience of investors in order to attract capital for mining in Canada. Braun explains how this audience was enticed through geological discourse, a notable example being the GSC’s publication of the influential Geology of Canada: The mammoth Geology of Canada and its accompanying maps, published by the GSC in 1863, won praise both nationally and internationally as ‘reliable guides to mining enterprise’ and were instrumental in the reinvention of Canada as a ‘mineral nation’. In the following decades, one of the important tasks of the GSC was the collection and organization of exhibits that travelled the globe, presenting the ‘geological’ nation as a field for investment. (Braun, 2000, p. 25) Invaluable to the growth of the mining industry, the GSC went much further than ascertaining and promoting a selection of lucrative mineral sites. Its objective and function was no less than to recast Canada’s national identity as a “mineral nation,” in which the fantasies of nationalism and extraction were indissoluble.  The geologizing of Canada activated a widespread and generic vision of its territory. It made Canada a frontier, a new and unignorable opportunity for extractive capital: “[I]n the development and extension of geological discourse in the late 1800s, the ‘substratum’ of the earth in Canada became a new ‘frontier’ for capital, as the relentless search for profit seized upon the nation’s newly intelligible domains” (Braun, 2000, p. 25). This was a result of the production of vertical territory, as Braun puts it. When understood merely horizontally, Canada’s geography   98 could be imagined as somehow ‘excessive’; territories are valued only as surfaces, so the rugged landscapes of the Canadian Shield, for example, are relatively unserviceable. Geology allowed landscapes to be vertically legible, whereby the multiple layers of earth under the surface came to be counted as part of territoriality. Regions such as the Canadian Shield, once considered inutile by capital and the colonial state alike, became bonanzas. Geology produced the verticality of territory, which transformed unserviceable regions into lucrative territory as a result of mining opportunities. ‘Excessive’ geography metamorphosed to a national frontier. The making of the national frontier was also integral to Canada’s nation-building efforts. This had more to do with miners’ incursion into new areas than it did with government revenues from their yields; laws were passed that were extremely favourable to miners, in some cases repealing all taxes, duties and royalties on metallic ores (Nelles, 2005). If the conjuring35 of the frontier facilitated the diffusion of the mining industry, the latter generated settlements and expanded territorial development, which was essential to Canadian colonial desires. Mining activity abetted Canada’s colonial enterprise through the accumulation of geographical knowledge and the symbolic extension of sovereignty: This phase, from a government perspective, was due to the need to demonstrate sovereignty over the landmass, to acquire more knowledge of the landmass and resources, and to build a nation. . . . Both governmental and industry goals were similar in the need to find and exploit resources to ensure a future for the country. (NRC, 2013)  The mining industry, therefore, was a major constituent of colonization in Canada through the settlement of remote areas, the geographical knowledge it produced and the extension of                                                 35 Tsing insists that the frontier conjures its own geography in order to stress its imaginative quality and to denaturalize the territorial impositions it sanctions: “Frontier culture is a conjuring act because it creates the wild and spreading regionality of its imagination. It conjures a self-conscious translocalism, committed to the obliteration of local places. . . . This is a conjuring of scale, and frontier resource extraction relies on it” (Tsing, 2005, p. 68).   99 sovereignty it signified. And the benefits that accrued to colonial Canada on behalf of the mining industry were reciprocated by means of low regulation, infrastructural development, and geological knowledge production. The interests of both were interlocked in the quest to develop the national frontier.  4.3.2 The International Frontier The second frontier is more recent, dating from around 1980 when the Washington Consensus came into effect and neoliberalism emerged as the globally dominant political and economic logic. Blackwood and Stewart (2012) explain that prior to this point, the mining sector throughout much of the global South was characterized by relatively high levels of state control and the restriction of inward FDI. With the unrolling of structural adjustment programs and conditional lending to developing countries, however, state control was replaced by privatization, and state regulations were loosened to enable a favourable climate for investors. This was just the beginning of a protracted process of deregulation and international investment. The global South became the newest unignorable opportunity for extractive capital; through the engineering of the Washington Consensus, it became a renewed frontier for mining. Since then, a wave of FDI for extractive projects has flooded into many developing countries. Clark and North (2006) identify this period as the most recent of three historical “booms” of mining activity in Latin America. Canadian extractive firms rode this wave into Latin America; by the end of the 20th century, Canadian exploration expenditures were greater in Latin America than anywhere else in the world, and by 2007, the majority of all exploration throughout the region was carried out by Canadian companies (ECLAC, 2008). Latin America’s mining boom was Canada’s mining boon. Though not quite as extensive as in Latin America, a significant amount of FDI by Canadian   100 mining companies also entered into large parts of Africa. As of 2011, Canadian mining assets in Latin America and Africa totalled $81 billion, trumping the $69.1 billion worth of assets in Canada (MAC, 2014, p. 72)  This second frontier, then, is an international frontier characterized less by mining in Canada than by Canadian mining companies operating abroad. Nonetheless, there is an important continuity between these two historical backgrounds. Whereas the conjuring of the national frontier sought to reinvent Canada as a “mineral nation”—a country with mining built into its national identity—that legacy carried forward, albeit with a new geography: The mining industry has been historically important to Canada’s economy and identity. By the 1980s, its locus had shifted from mining in Canada to mining for Canada. It represented opportunity, initiative, and the potential prosperity in national character. . . . As much as for profits Canadians invested for reasons of national pride. (Tsing, 2005, p. 73) So the combined fantasies of nationalism and extraction that characterized the national frontier still informed the conjuring of the international frontier. Moreover, Deneault and Sacher argue that, ever since the ascendancy of neoliberalism, the conditions which vitalized the Canadian mining industry throughout its early colonial period are being exported abroad: What is specifically Canadian is the fact that practices related to the development of the mining industry, which took shape under colonial conditions in Canada, have been exported abroad. This systemic approach has provided Canada’s mining companies with a clear advantage at the highest level of international competition. Now they claim for themselves, wherever they go—in Africa, Asia, Latin America, or elsewhere—the same extralegal status from which they profited so outrageously in their original domestic colonial environment. (Deneault & Sacher, 2012, p. 10)   101 “Extralegal status,” as they put it—in other words, the loosening of state regulations—is just one of the favourable conditions for the mining industry being exported abroad. And while such conditions are promoted by the industry itself, it is the Canadian government that has taken the lead in exporting those conditions to other countries. In line with the view that neoliberal globalization involves not the straightforward rollback of the state but the redeployment of state capacities (see Peck, 2004), Canada’s extractive industries have proliferated internationally not in spite of but thanks to the interventions of the Canadian government: “Along with failure to regulate adequately its overseas extractive industries, the Canadian government makes a concerted effort to facilitate their penetration into these markets” (Blackwood & Stewart, 2012, p. 227). Kuyek (2006) summarizes some of the ways that Canadian mining companies benefit from an interventionist—or what he calls an “activist”—government:  Mining companies staunchly defend an activist government in a variety of instances: when the government is assisting companies and their investors to secure market access through trade negotiations, and when it is ‘fronting’ companies in deals with governments that want to negotiate on a government to government basis; when it provides subsidies, export credits, risk insurance, loans and equity to exporters and their customers; when it provides training, research and development, and infrastructure support for private-sector projects overseas; when it provides special tax treatment; when it advocates for Canadian business interests at the World Trade Organization and other such associations; and when it presents the case for Canadian businesses at international financial institutions and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. (p. 214)   102 The Canadian government has employed all of these tactics in support of its mining industry’s international expansion (for an extensive chronicle of examples, see CNCA, 2007). Most notably, it has used CIDA’s programming to accomplish some of this, long before the advent of the new pilot projects.  The most commonly cited example of CIDA’s promotion of Canadian mining is its influence on mining laws abroad. Emblematic is a project in Colombia between 1997 and 2002 that helped to create a new mining code for the country, which was already host to many Canadian mining companies.36 The project, a collaboration between CIDA and the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), was billed as an effort to “strengthen [Colombia’s] institutional capacity in both the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of the Environment and the regulatory agencies these agencies worked with” (CIDA official, as cited in Arsenault, 2006). Gordon (2010), on the other hand, insists that “strengthening ‘institutional capacity’ in Colombia is a euphemism for neoliberal reform” (p. 168). Indeed, the new mining code reduced the royalty rate imposed on mining firms from 15% to 4% (Gordon, 2010). Ramírez (2006) adds that the new mining code abolished income tax for foreign mining companies and offered a 30-year tax exemption on certain extractive exports. Furthermore, the CIDA/CERI project claimed that it would consult with indigenous communities impacted by mining activity, which never happened. Since the mining code was adopted, there has been, predictably, a rapid expansion of foreign investment into Colombia’s mining sector (Randall, 2010), and Canada continues to have a “significant presence in the Colombian mining industry” (CTCS, 2014).                                                 36 Similar projects led by CIDA relating to the rewriting of mining legislation have impacted Peru (Gordon, 2010; Gordon & Webber, 2008) and Honduras (Moore, 2012).   103  Another less-cited contribution that CIDA has previously made to the mining industry is the production of geographical knowledge. One such case was a development project in Zimbabwe that conducted aeromagnetic surveys—a sort of geophysical land survey—in order to improve the information available to investors in Zimbabwe’s mining sector; as Campbell states, “the benefits are now being enjoyed by junior Canadian mining companies” (1998, p. 30). Blackwood and Stewart (2012) also point out a project in Tunisia, in which CIDA contributed funding for the collection of the country’s digital geographical data for similar purposes.  Whether through the overhaul of mining codes or the production of geographical knowledge, CIDA has been instrumental in exporting abroad the conditions that bolstered the mining industry in Canada. This is the hallmark of Canada’s international frontier: the imposition of the frontier’s qualities on foreign territory rather than national territory. The broader, supranational process of neoliberalisation certainly catalyzed the structural reforms worldwide that attracted Canadian extractive capital, yet the Canadian government played no small role in capitalizing on these reforms and foisting the logic of the frontier upon other regions. The result was the explosion of Canadian mining activity internationally to the point where the industry’s presence outside of Canada is larger than within Canadian territory. The international frontier transformed Canada from a ‘mineral nation,’ a territory rich in mineral resources, into a ‘mining nation,’ a deterritorialized entity prolific in mining activity.   The Canadian mining industry, then, has received a substantial amount of support from the Canadian government. In the burgeoning years of the industry, infrastructural development and geological surveys were pivotal forms of support. Since the global expansion of neoliberalism, the Canadian government has sought to loosen regulations and taxes elsewhere for   104 the benefit of its own mining industry. The culmination of all this is Canada’s status as the largest state actor in the global mining industry (Blackwood & Stewart, 2012); it is host to more than 75% of all mining and exploration companies worldwide and accounts for almost half of global exploration expenditures (DFAIT, 2009). It is difficult to imagine this ascendancy without the government’s assistance in conjuring and navigating frontiers.  4.4 The Socioethical Frontier While the last few decades of neoliberal restructuring has spelled significant benefits for the global mining industry, the industry has also faced a mounting problem during this time. It has gained a tarnished reputation for environmental and social harm as a consequence of its international operations: “Mining stakeholders around the world have grown increasingly wary of conventional approaches to mineral development, which at their worst have been associated with adverse environmental impacts, social and cultural disruption, and local economic instability” (Prno & Slocombe, 2012, p. 246). While the mining industry’s profits have gone through the roof, its reputation has gone down the drain. Canada, as the largest state actor in the global mining industry, is no exception; the international reputation of its extractive industries has plummeted due to the numerous abuses committed by mining companies. A study commissioned by a Canadian prospectors’ association (that was subsequently withheld from publication, only to be leaked to the media a few years later) concluded that Canadian mining companies “far and away” commit the worst abuses in the industry globally (Whittington, 2010). Indeed, in just the past few years, Canadian mining firms and their employees have been   105 frequently accused (and sometimes convicted) of bribery,37 forced labour,38 polluting water supplies,39 raping women in nearby communities,40 and murdering anti-mining activists,41 to name just a few cases.42  The mining industry’s sullied reputation isn’t just a matter of image; it is also a significant financial risk for Canada’s extractive industries in two important ways. First, shareholders may divest from a company if it seen as having a risky or subpar reputation. Second, people who live nearby mining operations have become increasingly mobilized to disrupt mining activity through protests, whether in response to abuses committed or in order to win concessions from the mining company. This may take the form of roadblocks, shutdowns, strikes, or other interferences with mining equipment or resources. Such protests bring attention to and make claims about a company’s reputation, but they can also put pressure on companies by bringing costly delays to mining operations. In Welker’s (2014) study of Newmont Mining Corporation’s Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia, for example, she explains that a single day of work stoppage was estimated to cost the company $1 million USD. Since reputational risk is also a significant financial risk for today’s mining industry, it has made a concerted effort in recent years to win back the so-called “social license to operate.” This has been defined by a mining employee as “the acceptance and belief by society, and specifically, our local communities [where we operate], in the value creation of our activities, such that we are allowed to access and extract mineral resources” (Murdy, as cited in Welker,                                                 37 See McArthur, 2011; Seglins, 2013; Tait, 2013 38 See Koven, 2013 39 See Carroll, 2009; Earthworks, 2012 40 See Albin-Lackey, 2011; Maurino, 2013; G. Pratt, 2012 41 See Hoffman & Clark, 2009; Mittelstaedt, 2010 42 These same firms have furthermore poured considerable energies into disputing allegations and appealing sanctions over their abuses (Sosa, 2011; Webb, 2011).   106 2014, p. 56). In other words, it refers to the permission granted by society at large, to a lesser extent, and communities nearby mining operations, especially, for mining companies to conduct their operations free from resistance. The need to acquire the social license to operate stems directly from the ability of people living near mining operations to disrupt mining activity: “Companies negotiate the social license with communities that hold the greatest political power to interrupt operations or threaten investor confidence for new projects” (Heisler & Markey, 2014, p. 462). A former chairman of mining giant Anglo American put it a bit differently; in his view, acquiring the social license to operate means to command consent: “Any major company will seek to command the consent of the people who live in the vicinity of a new mine since the price to pay reputationally and through delays and disruption, for riding rough shod over local opinion is a high one” (as cited in Moody-Stuart, 2006, p. 24). If obtaining the social license to operate is the industry’s goal, the primary means through which the mining industry seeks to obtain it is corporate social responsibility (CSR). Designating it an “industry” itself, Welker provides a further explanation of what CSR entails: The contemporary CSR industry, heterogeneous as it is, has two fairly striking and consistent features. First, its proponents are generally invested in developing voluntary regulatory principles and practices that tend to serve as surrogates for state regulations. Second, they justify CSR interventions as being in the interest of the corporate bottom line. According to the ‘business case’ for CSR, the costs of behaving responsibly toward workers, downstream communities, consumers, and the environment will pay in the end by enhancing the corporation’s reputation, providing new opportunities, and mitigating risk and its associated costs. (2014, p. 13)   107 Welker calls CSR an industry itself because, as she demonstrates, it is a means for maximizing profits by reducing the various potential costs associated with having a tarnished reputation. CSR is also discretionary:43 it is deployed by corporations themselves rather than imposed on them by the state or any other regulatory body—what its proponents pejoratively call “the dead hand of state regulation” (Rajak, 2011, p. 51). Since it is discretionary, CSR initiatives can vary substantially; the pilot projects that are the subject of this chapter, however, indicate the sorts of projects that CSR encompasses. CSR projects, then, are not so different from traditional state-sponsored international development initiatives; they are, effectively, corporate-led international development initiatives. This partly explains how the Canadian government can rationalize funding CSR initiatives with official development assistance—aside from the pronounced involvement of the private sector, the types of projects it is funding do not seem all that different. This involvement of the private sector, however, is absolutely pivotal. As CSR has mushroomed ever since the mining industry’s reputational crisis, it “has become a platform from which corporations can take an increasingly active role in setting, as well as implementing, the development agenda at a global level” (Rajak, 2011, p. 8). Indeed, the private sector—and, in particular, the mining industry—has sought to reinvent itself as a new protagonist of international development through CSR. In the process, it has attracted the attention of and resources from traditional development donors: “CSR enables corporations to tap into a wealth of social expertise, political agency and even financial resources, as multilateral development                                                 43 I say discretionary rather than “voluntary” because, while they both capture that regulatory principles are chosen by the mining companies themselves rather than imposed on them, “voluntary” suggests that CSR is simply optional. CSR, in fact, is not optional if a mining company wishes to remain competitive. It has become, in many respects, a necessary technology, albeit one that is deployed at the discretion of mining companies.   108 agencies and state governments look to corporations as conduits of development assistance” (Rajak, 2011, p. 13). Such is the case with the new pilot projects. CSR, as the means with which to acquire the social license to operate, has in fact become a highly profitable opportunity for extractive capital. This might seem unintuitive; CSR is typically portrayed as either sheer benevolence by its proponents or as nothing but a grand deception by its critics—either way, it remains unclear how CSR could be an ‘opportunity’ for capital. What Rajak’s (2011) analysis shows, however, is that CSR is rather an expansionary means of the contemporary extractive corporation: Neither an ethical counterweight to the pursuit of profit, nor a simple veil to the business of profit-making, CSR, I argue, plays a much more fundamental role in sustaining corporate capitalism. Not because it provides corporations with ethics, but because it provides them with a moral mechanism through which their authority is extended over the social order. (p. 12-13) This demands further explanation. Rajak’s object of analysis is corporate agency, which in her formulation refers to the “capacity of corporations to colonise greenfield territory, discipline subjects and compel consent in virtually every corner of the world” (p. 17), echoing the remarks of the Anglo American chairman cited above. This is too often assumed, she says, as part and parcel of the contemporary transnational mining company—at least by its critics, it is taken for granted as simply the effect of the insatiable logic of capital—when in fact that agency is asserted through mechanisms that must themselves be interrogated. Rajak’s interrogation illustrates that the emergence of CSR as a central concern of the mining industry is the emergence of a new mechanism, in the form of a new ethical normativity, through which corporate agency can be asserted: “CSR offers a novel framework through which the agency of   109 the company is asserted, by imbuing relations of power with a moral purpose” (p. 17). Its emergence was vital to the mining industry because corporate agency was in crisis when widespread resistance arose as a result of the mining industry’s abuses around the world; communities were refusing to consent to mining operations, and the ability of mining companies to colonize greenfield territory was therefore in jeopardy. It is the proliferation of CSR discourse and practice, Rajak argues, that served to reanimate and recondition corporate agency: it is a renewed corporate agency in which corporate power “works through a moral economy of care and coercion, benevolence and paternalism” (p. 18).  I claim that this new era of corporate social responsibility in the mining industry, too, constitutes another frontier: what I would call the socioethical frontier, which I think captures what is at stake in the current conjuncture. It is an ethical frontier in that the goal of the mining industry is to be recognized as sufficiently ethical (upon which the “social license to operate” is conferred) and because the means to that end is the construction of a new ethical normativity (CSR). Both of these ethical reasons, however, are simultaneously social. Ethical recognition is sought differentially in stakeholders from specific social groups: communities nearby mining sites, investors, the general public, etc. And because the form of CSR is malleable, the new ethical normativity it encompasses is always socially negotiated with these stakeholders. So the socioethical frontier is substantially different from the national and international varieties, but the frontier is a “traveling theory,” an adaptive concept: “The frontier, then, is not a natural or indigenous category. It is a traveling theory, a foreign form requiring translation. It arrived with many layers of previous associations” (Tsing, 2005, p. 31). The key, then, is to bring out how the form of the frontier has been translated into the current socioethical conjuncture.   110 If the frontier is a terrain of transformation or becoming, then the socioethical frontier describes a terrain of the transformation of socioethical relations. This is most apparent in the transformation of community relations with the mining industry. As previously established, the frontier is an imaginative project that molds both places and processes according to its particular codified spatiality and logic. The notion of the ‘community’ has long been an element of this project: “The identification . . . of ‘the community’ has been undertaken since western capitalism spread through the ‘frontier’ zones. Requesting permission to mine from ‘the chief’ or other traditional authority has always been the first step in identifying ‘the community’” (Kapelus, as cited in Rajak, 2011, p. 47). In the context of the socioethical frontier, the spatiality and logic of the ‘community’ becomes not just part of but fundamental to the production and expansion of the mining industry’s authority and legitimacy:  The identification and discursive construction of ‘community’ performs a vital role in pursuit of the so-called ‘moral’ or ‘social’ license to mine; providing companies with a constituency of at least tacit support. . . . [T]he identification and demarcation of a target community is instrumental in providing moral legitimation to corporate authority, while delimiting responsibility. (Rajak, 2011, p. 47) The ‘community’ is, in short, the site of the socioethical frontier. It is an abstraction, but one that is actualized wherever mining companies operate. The community is conjured with a particular spatiality and logic that enables the expansion of corporate agency through the deployment of CSR initiatives. Whereas Canada’s remote areas became the national frontier and territories in the global South became the international frontier, the community has become the socioethical frontier.   111  The means with which the socioethical frontier is traversed is equally translatable to the current conjuncture. The last section detailed two frontiers in which a barrier to extractive capital became an opportunity through the deployment of a new form of technical knowledge. Canada’s ‘excessive geography’ became a bonanza for extractive industries due to what Braun calls the geologization of Canada. The restriction of inward FDI and relatively high levels of state control that existed in much of the global South were supplanted by the deregulation and FDI-friendly policies that accompanied neoliberalization, after which Canadian mining companies proliferated internationally. Now, the abysmal reputation of the Canadian mining industry and the opposition it faces as a result is the target of a new means of transformation: CSR. CSR doesn’t merely remove a barrier to extractive capital by quelling the resistance of those who oppose mining projects, it transforms that barrier into an opportunity. This transformational capacity of CSR is indicated in a report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on the competitiveness of Canada’s mining industry: Ensuring community buy-in for mining projects around the world has emerged as a critical factor in the success of the industry. There is increasing pressure for governments to regulate firm activity that occurs outside of their borders. With the right support in place, Canadian firms are well-positioned to transform this potential liability into a competitive advantage. (CCC, 2013, p. 8) The report also makes clear, however, that the transformation of this barrier into an opportunity requires the right kind of support. It is, of course, the Canadian government that has stepped up to provide this support. Perhaps the fundamental feature of the frontier is that it is where the ambitions of both the mining industry and the government intersect. Indeed, the Canadian government has a stake   112 in the reputation of Canada’s mining industry for its own sake. As mining companies have increasingly come to represent Canada on the international stage, Canada’s reputation has plummeted along with the mining industry. This has been widely reported on (see Czikk, 2015; Dean, 2013; Hill, 2014; Mendes, 2013; Economist, 2014) and has been likewise recognized by government officials, as the Report of the Standing Committee referred to earlier makes clear: “As the extractive sector comes under increasing scrutiny, both companies and even countries such as Canada face ‘reputational risk’ if they do not ensure that the highest social, environmental, human rights and other standards are followed in operations around the world” (Canada, 2012c, p. 74).  As the reputation of the mining industry therefore implicates Canada itself, the Canadian government has supported the mining industry’s efforts to fend off the mounting criticism. I’ll get into one example here. In a particularly rigorous investigative report for Canadian Business magazine, McClearn (2014) documents allegations of Canadian mining company Nevsun’s use of slave labour at an Eritrean mine. While he determines that there is no conclusive evidence that Nevsun sought to benefit from forced labour—as concurs the NGO Human Rights Watch—he is outraged by the Canadian government’s actions and attitudes in response to the allegations. Through access to information requests with the federal government, McClearn learned that officials at DFAIT knew of the slave labour allegations earlier than most; that, when allegations first went public, “DFAIT’s media relations team was given a series of stock responses to deliver” in response to reporters’ questions that avoided the allegations and celebrated the social responsibility of the Canadian mining industry; and that government officials expressed more concern, publicly and privately, for the company’s and the industry’s reputation than for the issue of forced labour. Government officials who met with Nevsun’s CEO were advised to warn   113 him of the “reputational risk” of the allegations, and media relations officers sought to protect the industry’s reputation when, as instructed, they responded to reporters’ questions with the same refrain: that Canada “leads the world in responsible mining practices.” McClearn’s research shows that the government of Canada addressed the case of forced labour at Nevsun’s mine primarily as an issue of reputational risk to its mining industry rather than an issue of human beings’ slavery. It shows the Canadian government actively concerned more for the success of its mining industry than the human costs of that success.  The Canadian government’s interest in the mining industry’s image reflects a growing concern not just for the industry’s reputation in and of itself but for how this reputation affects companies’ bottom line. McClearn (2014) details one heavily redacted government memo in which the Canadian trade commissioner, then stationed in Oslo, warned that Amnesty International had admonished the Norwegian pension fund for owning shares in Nevsun. The commissioner stressed that the pension fund is an important investor in Canada’s mining industry with around $10 billion in shares overall. The Trade Commissioner suggested that “reputational fallout from Nevsun might put those investments in jeopardy.” His concern was not unwarranted; the Nevsun episode follows Norway’s decision in 2009 to divest from Canadian mining firm Barrick Gold for its “severe environmental damage” in Papua New Guinea (Allen, Letourneau & Hebb, 2012).44 In this case, McClearn’s research shows that government officials sought to mitigate the financial risk associated with the “reputational fallout” of the Canadian mining industry.                                                 44 Norway’s pension fund, which is the largest sovereign wealth fund worldwide, also recently divested from Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources due to concerns over human rights abuses around its mine in Escobal, Guatemala.   114  The Canadian government has also taken more active measures to support the mining industry’s efforts to bolster its reputation. The government has announced two corporate social responsibility policies: one in 2009, and another in 2014. The first policy, frankly touting its purpose as a strategy to strengthen the Canadian mining industry’s competitive advantage through CSR, was entitled Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector. The second policy is less candid, but still makes clear the government of Canada’s commitment to supporting mining companies in their CSR initiatives. Furthermore, Canada’s own ambitions are bound up in this support, as the integrity of Canada’s national brand is “a huge part” of the new policy’s design (Bauer, as cited in Economist, 2014). It may seem paradoxical for the federal government to be promoting the CSR activities of the extractive industries—after all, these are purportedly voluntary initiatives that are supposed to be the responsibility of the corporation—however, this is precisely and explicitly what it is doing in its new private sector partnerships. This brings us back, finally, to the issue of the new pilot projects funded through Canadian ODA and whether they constitute a subsidy of mining companies. As should be clear at this point, they could hardly be seen as anything but a subsidy. They were explicitly announced and carried out as projects in corporate social responsibility, which I have argued is now vital in the success of the Canadian mining industry in an era when both its reputation and corporate agency are precarious. Of course, the mining companies would have otherwise carried out CSR projects of their own had CIDA not stepped up in 2011—the pilot projects were themselves based on prior and independent arrangements between companies and NGOs. But that’s precisely the point: CSR projects are in the industry’s interest—they would have occurred anyway, bankrolled by companies themselves—and yet the Canadian government is providing   115 the majority of funding for these pilot projects in the name of development. If the deployment of CSR initiatives shores up the profits of the mining industry and is fundamental to its success, then government funding for those initiatives unambiguously constitutes a subsidy. CSR’s profit-boosting function has even been admitted to by those who dissemblingly insist that the pilot projects are not a subsidy, such as former minister Fantino: “Canadian companies have shown themselves to be socially responsible. You invest in the communities in which you operate. You act in a transparent and accountable way with local governments. And most importantly: This has contributed to your bottom line” (Fantino, 2012). The projects were furthermore part of the Canadian government’s first CSR policy, which explicitly cited strengthening the mining industry’s competitive advantage as its purpose.45 The indications are abundant: Canada’s mining industry has much to benefit from the new pilot projects. What I really want to emphasize here, however, is that while these pilot projects do constitute a subsidy, the crux is in fact how they constitute a subsidy. The pilot projects are not just a subsidy: they are the right kind of subsidy. Canada’s mining industry has not always been equally satisfied with all of the Canadian government’s support for its endeavours. A 1985 report from the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), for example, expresses concern with an early form of CIDA’s support to the industry: Canadian International Development Agency has given assistance for mineral exploration and infrastructure connected with mineral investment projects. Industry executives are concerned that such assistance distorts investment decisions and encourages uneconomic mineral production. If so, this works against Canada’s interest                                                 45 Fantino also admitted that bolstering the mining industry’s competitive advantage was a central purpose of the pilot projects: “We're not funding mining companies. We're not funding the mining industry. But we're certainly supporting the industry to ensure they have at least an equal playing field with other competing countries . . . in the extractive industry” (as cited in Blanchfield, 2012).   116 and against the restoration of properly-functioning mineral markets. . . . New projects are too often assessed in reference to the needs of a national economy, without adequate consideration of world commodity markets. (MAC, 1985, p. 80) The MAC report may have been opposed to this particular support from CIDA, but it wasn’t rejecting assistance from it altogether. They recommended instead a joint private-sector/government board with a mandate to “assess the economic and social tradeoffs of Canadian support of mineral projects abroad, with particular reference to CIDA” (MAC, 1985, p. 82). The mining industry, therefore, doesn’t just want money thrown at them; where that money specifically goes is of vital importance.   The pilot projects are the right kind of subsidy because they are a factor in a much broader and more substantial mode of support for the Canadian mining industry: the navigation of the socioethical frontier. In the current conjuncture of the mining industry, in which reputational risk is also a significant financial risk, CSR and its ability to assert corporate agency and command the consent of potentially disruptive communities is indispensable. Through the new pilot projects, the Canadian government is supplying the mining industry with this vital means of commanding consent. Its support seeks to transform the barrier of reputational risk into an opportunity for the mining industry to gain a competitive advantage. Moreover, the interests of both the Canadian government and the mining industry are bound up in traversing this frontier; while the Canadian government subsidizes the mining industry through CSR initiatives, it serves to salvage its own reputation too.    117 4.5 Conclusion My intervention in the subsidy debate is straightforward: any insistence that the new pilot projects constitute a subsidy of mining companies—and this should indeed be insisted upon—must be clear about the role that CSR plays in the contemporary mining industry. I have shown here how CSR is crucial to the success of the mining industry in the current conjuncture. This explanation points to multiple benefits that accrue to the extractive industries through the deployment of CSR—shoring up profits, boosting competitive advantage, minimizing risk, and reinvigorating corporate agency. Ultimately, this is not just a subsidy in the sense of a generic form of financial support: it is the right kind of subsidy that provides a form of support that is critical for advancing the interests of the mining industry. That the current minister has announced the continuation and scaling-up of these types of development partnerships indicates that this analysis will be applicable far beyond these three pilot projects. Canadian official development assistance, it seems, is destined to accommodate commercial interests in ever new and increasing ways.     118 Chapter 5: Conclusion: Ruptures and Sutures  5.1 Introduction In the three previous chapters I pursued specific and focused conjunctural goals: advancing strategic arguments in order to intervene in some of the public debates that emerged following recent changes to Canadian official development assistance (ODA). Chapter 2 introduced the disagreement over whether these changes are substantial transformations or simply more of the same. I argued that both views hold—the recent changes are significant, yet the commercial and foreign policy interests that impel them have unremittingly shaped Canada’s ODA throughout its history. This argument serves to refute the “pendulum” trope and its false promise that there could be a simple reversal of the recent changes. In chapter 3 I discussed the merger of CIDA and DFAIT and interrogate its principal justification: “policy coherence.” I demonstrated the concept’s ironic incoherence and intervene in the merger’s debate by dissuading the optimists of their optimism, arguing that the type of “policy coherence” effected by the merger will inexorably consolidate commercial and foreign policy interests in ODA. The subsidy debate was the subject of chapter 4; I argued that the new pilot projects in corporate social responsibility with mining firms introduced by CIDA indeed constitute a subsidy to the mining industry. The Canadian government has long supported the mining industry in navigating new frontiers of profit and expansion, and the pilot projects are the newest manifestation of this support. After having scrutinized these particular conjunctures on their own, I now turn to the implications of their coming together—that is, how they have combined as defining features of the conjuncture of Canadian ODA writ large. In this chapter, then, I set out a broader theoretical   119 argument about the recent changes as a whole. My argument is expressly aimed at indicating potential areas for directing political action in response to these changes. This is the most vital aspect of any conjunctural analysis. As Gidwani contends, “it is the task of leftist intellectuals to elucidate the challenges and opportunities for political change” (2008, p. xii). Thus far, I have indicated more challenges than opportunities, whether by pointing out the fraudulence of the “pendulum” trope or the futility of hope in the promise of “policy coherence.” I have insisted that commercial and foreign policy interests have always been constant determinants of Canadian ODA policy, and I have signalled that they are becoming even further entrenched. The picture I have given up to now is bleak. Here, however, I focus more on the opportunities at hand. Such political opportunities are not certainties but potentially fruitful avenues for political action revealed by theoretical analysis. Gidwani goes on to claim that “politics is the willingness to risk, to wager. What theoretical practice—a labor like any other—can elucidate is where to wager” (2008, p. xiii, original emphasis). This chapter is itself a wager on the political opportunities opened up by a crisis, or rupture, in development ideology in Canada. I take inspiration from a commentary by Canadian activist Nydia Dauphin in the days following CIDA and DFAIT’s merger. Cheekily applauding the merger, Dauphin suggested that it was a move towards blunt honesty—that the merger, in effect, exposed ODA as not at all about aid (nor the altruism that implies) but rather investment (and the profit-seeking that implies). Interestingly, the logic of her argument, which I draw out in the first section, is analogous to Marx’s formulation of ideology. The rest of the chapter is an elaboration on Dauphin’s claims via what Althusser calls the “very important but very equivocal” notion of ideology (1976, p. 119). I address its equivocality in the next section, and then I proceed to build a concept of development ideology through the work of Althusser. The final two sections are the most crucial:   120 in parallel with Dauphin, I claim that development ideology in Canada is ruptured as a result of recent changes to Canadian ODA, but I also argue that the task of suturing that rupture is up for grabs. By rupture I mean that the ideological configuration and function of development is in crisis—there is a gap in its consistency, a break that interrupts its normal operations. By suture I mean the effort that must follow such a rupture—the attempts to repair or reconfigure development in its ruptured state. I especially draw from Gramsci in these last two sections but also from the works of Spivak and Žižek in order theorize the ruptures and potential sutures of Canadian ODA. This is the culmination of my conjunctural analysis, an inquiry into the political opportunities resulting from recent changes to Canadian ODA.  5.2 A Different Perspective I have previously detailed many of the public responses to the recent changes to Canadian ODA through the debates that ensued in the Canadian media. Sentiments varied, of course, but the vast majority of responses could be filed under either ‘condemnation’ or ‘celebration.’ It was while scouring the news in the days after CIDA’s merger was announced, however, that I came across a commentary unique in content and in character. Nydia Dauphin (2013), a Montreal-based activist, observed that “this recent announcement marks a considerable shift. No longer will Canadian ‘aid’ be tainted with government-professed altruistic pretences. At last, self-interested politics will unabashedly reign free and no longer need to hide behind contrived notions of international solidarity.” Instead of condemning the government’s decision to merge CIDA, as was the case with most other leftist reactions, Dauphin applauded the announcement. She continues: “I commend the government for having taken a step in the right direction by deciding to put an end to the deceitfulness of conventional notions of ‘aid.’ I hope that Harper's   121 Tories will…go a step further by dropping the word ‘aid’ altogether, and simply call it what it is: investment.” Dauphin’s incisiveness lies in the fact that she completely shifts the terms of the debate, reframing the issue as one of exposure of the old rather than establishment of the new. Taken merely as a new development, the merger could only be celebrated or condemned (or received with feckless optimism, as we saw in chapter 3) for the concrete changes to ODA that would result. Dauphin, however, situates the merger on a continuum with the national self-interest that has always dominated Canadian ODA. This is nothing qualitatively new, she offers, aside from the exposure of what has already been longstanding. While Dauphin is undoubtedly cheeky in the way she challenges the supposed ‘newness’ of self-interest in development assistance, her comments should not be mistaken as ironic—she in fact suggests that there are potential political advantages resulting from the conjuncture. Is Dauphin right? Is Canada’s aid program now exposed as the engine for national self-interest it is? The short answer is no, or at least not that simply. I showed in chapter 3, for example, how a number of people were rather hopeful about the merger and underestimated its entrenchment of Canada’s own national interests in determining aid policy. However, this chapter can be considered the long answer, by the end of which I will endorse Dauphin’s claims and argue that what she is gesturing towards—a rupture in the ideology of development—is indeed where politics should wager in reaction to recent changes to Canadian ODA. It was one of Dauphin’s lines in particular that prompted me to analyze these changes in terms of ideology: “For once (and hopefully for all), Canadian ‘aid’ will fully shed itself of its cumbersome rhetorical shell and reveal its naked core: the promotion of national interest. Full stop.” Dauphin’s language here is redolent of Marx’s famous metaphor of the ‘rational kernel’ within the ‘mystical shell.’ It is a metaphor Marx originally uses to recuperate the dialectic from   122 Hegelian idealism, but it is also the general descriptive form—basically, the delineation of essence and phenomenon—that he uses as a tool of differentiation throughout his work. Althusser lists some examples of the variations that Marx employs: “appearance and essence, outside and inside, inner essence of things, real and apparent movement, etc.” (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 41). In every case there is a duality that consists of a real essence (rational kernel) and a deceptive phenomenon (mystical shell). In Volume 3 of Capital, Marx goes so far as to say this distinction is a precondition of his scientific method in his claim that “all science would be superfluous if the outward appearance and the essence of things directly coincided” (1974, p. 816). The function of science is to uncover the rational kernel behind the mystical shell and to not mistake the phenomenon for the essence—that is, to find truth behind the misleading façade. Crucially, the obverse of science is, for Marx, ideology.46 The function of ideology is posed as the direct opposite of science:47 to obfuscate the rational kernel via the mystical shell so as to mistake the phenomenon for the essence—that is, to mislead through the façade. Marx’s science, then, is as much a disclosure of ideology as it is an inquiry into real essences.  By evoking the rational kernel and mystical shell in the context of Canadian development assistance, Dauphin offers in her own pithy way a disclosure of ideology—the ideology of development, in this case. Her much bolder claim, however, is that the transformation of Canadian ODA can be seen as a positive change as it entails a shedding of the mystical shell and                                                 46 Althusser argues that Marx couldn’t have really become ‘Marx’ (the critic of capitalism par excellence) without having founded this “philosophy of the historical distinction between ideology and science” (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 17). Althusser takes issue, however, with the essence/phenomenon descriptive form, as I will later explain. 47 Ideology as a type of ‘inversion’ also emerges in The German Ideology: “If in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura, this phenomenon arises just as much from their historical life-process as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life-process.” (Marx & Engels, 1970, p. 47, original emphasis)   123 hence an exposure of development ideology. I will expand on both of her key points, beginning with an examination of the theory of ideology in general.  5.3 Why Ideology? The concept of ‘ideology’ has been bent in so many directions and twisted into so many shapes throughout the history of its use. So why not abandon it altogether? This is precisely what Pierre Bourdieu suggests during an interview with Terry Eagleton: “the concept of ideology has been so used and abused that it does not work any more. We no longer believe in it; and it is important, for example in political uses, to have concepts that are efficient and effective” (Bourdieu & Eagleton, 2012, p. 266). Bourdieu is justified in his reluctance. Whenever I come across any utterance of ‘ideology’ I need to closely inspect its given context in order to determine what exactly is meant by the utterer. It is inconvenient at best and confounding at worst. The most persistent inconsistency occurs between common usage, which pejoratively depicts ideology as any set of rigid beliefs, and Marxist theorists, who study ideology as a superstructural configuration.48 In fact, this inconsistency has beset the usage of ‘ideology’ for at least since Gramsci’s time, as he laments here: One of the factors that, in my view, contributes to error when considering the value of ideologies derives from the fact (which is not casual, either) that the term ‘ideology’ is applied both to the necessary superstructure of a particular structure and to the arbitrary elucubrations of particular                                                 48 Bourdieu’s main issue with continuing to use ‘ideology’ is this very inconsistency: “It seems to convey a sort of discredit. To describe a statement as ideological is very often an insult, so that this ascription itself becomes an instrument of symbolic domination” (Bourdieu & Eagleton, 2012, p. 266).   124 individuals. The pejorative sense of the term has become widespread, and this in turn has modified and perverted the theoretical analysis of the concept of ideology. (2011c, p. 171) While Gramsci’s concern demonstrates just how deep-rooted this confusion is, it also proves, in a way, the resiliency of the theoretical analysis of the concept of ideology in spite of the “perversions” that dog it. Gramsci helped to revolutionize the way Marxist theorists conceptualize ideology, and his insight on ideology is still influential today. Subsequent interpretations by Althusser, Žižek, Spivak, Eagleton, and Bourdieu himself, to name a few, have been highly instrumental contributions to the concept of ideology; that they are productively taken up here is testament to their import. So while it is true that persistent explanatory discrepancies have complicated its use, the fecundity of the concept of ideology has nevertheless proven equally persistent.  The issue remains however that if the main confusion over ‘ideology’ is a semantic matter (it is), then why not opt for a less confusing term? Here I take my cue from Gidwani, who faces a similar situation as me but takes the opposite course: “my use of the ‘cultural’ has affinity to Louis Althusser’s concept of ‘ideology.’ … So why not simply use the term ‘ideological’ instead of ‘cultural’? The short answer is that the concept of ‘cultural’ does more analytical work for me” (2008, p. 143). In my case, the concept of ‘ideology’ does more analytical work for me. The theoretical material that informs my intervention throughout this paper is directly and explicitly concerned with ideology, and my use of it here enables me to elaborate my argument in the same terms. Moreover, the common alternatives to using ‘ideology’ could be just as (if not more) confusing; ‘development culture’ tends to imply a bureaucratic culture, while ‘development discourse’ evokes the work of and the work inspired by Arturo Escobar (2012). I mean neither of these when I talk about development ideology.   125 Finally, for my purposes, confusion over what is meant by ‘ideology’ is constructive in that it forecloses any simple references to it and requires clarification of the form of ‘ideology’ I mean to invoke. The clarification I offer is gradually elaborated throughout the remainder of this paper rather than emerging in any pure and fully-developed form at the beginning. This approach is sympathetic toward Eagleton’s notion of ideology as a ‘text’ in which a variety of meanings, theories and concepts contribute to its formulation: …the term 'ideology' has a whole range of useful meanings, not all of which are compatible with each other. To try to compress this wealth of meaning into a single comprehensive definition would thus be unhelpful even if it were possible. The word 'ideology', one might say, is a text, woven of a whole tissue of different conceptual strands; it is traced through by divergent histories, and it is probably more important to assess what is valuable or can be discarded in each of these lineages than to merge them forcibly into some Grand Global Theory. (1991, p. 1) Following Eagleton, my use of and contribution to the concept of ideology does not feign completeness or strive for closure as though it were some sort of master-concept. My intention is to parse certain valuable conceptual strands on ideology in order to broaden an understanding of recent changes to Canadian development assistance, while also contributing another passage to the “text” that is ideology.  5.4 The Ideology of Development Returning now to Dauphin and Marx, it is clear that there is considerable resemblance between Dauphin’s rhetorical shell/naked core and Marx’s mystical shell/rational kernel, and it is also clear that these metaphors gesture towards some sort of ideological function. Marx’s notion of commodity fetishism will help draw this out, as it is the quintessential illustration of ideology   126 elaborated in Capital. I will discuss how Marx presents the idea of commodity fetishism then proceed to Dauphin’s arguments with Marx’s elaboration in mind. Marx (1990) explains that while any given commodity “appears at first sight an extremely obvious, trivial thing,” it is in fact “a very strange thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties” (p. 163). Here he is ‘setting up’ his argument about ideology by pointing out the obviousness49 of the commodity in all its triviality followed by the hint that there is more to this obviousness than meets the eye.50 Next, Marx unravels the mystery: “the commodity reflects the social characteristics of men’s own labour as objective characteristics of the products of labour themselves” (1990, p. 164-165). He thus determines that the enigma is a result of a dual character of the commodity. First, it is a “social relation of the producers to the sum total of labour” (Marx, 1990, p. 165), a conclusion he reaches through his scientific method (inquiry into the real; determination of the essence). Second, it appears “as a social relation between objects, a relation which exists apart from and outside the producers” (Marx, 1990, p. 165), which is not only erroneous according to Marx, but deceptively erroneous because it conceals the real constitution of the commodity. This deception is the consequence of the operation of ideology. Dauphin (2013), on the other hand, sets up her argument about development ideology with a perceptiveness to its context. Whereas the vast majority of leftist commentaries published on CIDA’s merger were skeptical (if not outraged), Dauphin opens her commentary (published in a far-left news outlet) in an unexpected way: “Let us remember this day as the day the                                                 49 Obviousness, for Althusser, is an imposition by ideology: “It is indeed a peculiarity of ideology that it imposes (without appearing to do so, since these are ‘obviousnesses’) obviousnesses as obviousnesses, which we cannot fail to recognize and before which we have the inevitable and natural reaction of crying out (aloud or in the ‘still, small voice of conscience’): ‘That’s obvious! That’s right! That’s true!’” (2001, p. 116, original emphasis) 50 ‘More than meets the eye’ is meant here in a very literal sense: Marx’s argument is that commodities are “sensuous things which are at the same time supra-sensible or social” (1990, p. 165).   127 Conservative government set ‘aid’ free!” She thus hints to her readers that there is more than meets the eye despite the obviousness of the merger’s threat to international development. This is revealed in the dual character of development aid: “‘aid,’ my friends, is not at all about charity, but serves first and foremost the aim of bolstering the interests of the donor country.” First, development is a self-interested project. This is the reality of its effects or its ‘essence,’ formulated by Dauphin as “investment” and evidenced by there being no “positive correlation between the amount of ‘aid’ received and considerable improvement of socio-economic indices.” Second, development appears as a selfless project, a deception it manages by being “tainted with government-professed altruistic pretences” and “contrived notions of international solidarity.” So while a commodity appears as a social relation between objects, it actually is a social relation of producers. Development, posed by Dauphin in the same logic as Marx, appears as aid (the selfless provision of capital for charity), buy it actually is investment (the selfish provision of capital for returns). This form, I would offer, is the basic ideological form of development.51 Dauphin challenges the assumption of development as a self-evident whole by formulating this obviousness as a function of its “rhetorical shell” and proceeding to indicate the nucleus or “naked core” hidden behind the façade. The metaphor of the ‘rational kernel’ within the ‘mystical shell’ embodies a logic of essence/phenomenon that has proved enduringly cogent, as evidenced in its analogous use by Dauphin. However, it has not evaded scrutiny by Marxist theorists of ideology. Althusser in particular takes issue with the traditional interpretation of commodity fetishism, which he argues                                                 51 This form could be formulated in a number of different ways: selflessness/selfishness, altruism/self-interest, etc. Other formulations would have their uses, but none of them are perfect. I settle on aid/investment because Dauphin’s use of this formulation is particularly evocative.   128 gets wrapped up in the ‘classical’ and ‘ambiguous’ essence/phenomenon distinction that ostensibly underpins it. In theorizing fetishism, Althusser suggests, Marx often slipped into the really almost inevitable use of the classical opposition between essence and phenomenon, adopting its ambiguities by force rather than merit, and transposing the epistemological difference between the knowledge of reality and that reality itself into reality in the form of the ‘inside and the outside’, of the real, of the ‘real movement and the apparent movement’ of the ‘intimate essence’ and its concrete, phenomenal determinations, perceived and manipulated by subjects. (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 211, original emphasis).  The crux of Althusser’s contention is based around his insistence on the “epistemological difference between the knowledge of reality and that reality itself.” This difference is irreconcilable with the empiricist conception of the process of knowledge, which holds that the operation of knowledge is an abstraction—extraction—of the real essence of an object by an active subject. 52 Marx’s apparent ‘slip’ into the same ignorance in his interpretation of fetishism therefore has the consequence of presenting fetishism as a subjective matter, an issue of knowledge; its ideological effects only apply to those who ‘don’t know any better’ or, to use the infamous insult, have a ‘false consciousness.’ By the same token, as Spivak points out, there remains only the “positive task of acquiring the rational x-ray vision that would cut through the fetish-character of the commodity” (1999, p. 75). That is, the active subject can evade the ideological effects of fetishism by simply executing the empiricist operation of knowledge and discovering the rational kernel within the mystical shell.                                                 52 Althusser provides an excellent analogy that helps to explain this empiricist process of knowledge: “Just as gold, before its abstraction, exists as gold unseparated from its dross in the dross itself, so the essence of the real exists as a real essence in the real which contains it. Knowledge is an abstraction, in the strict sense, i.e., an extraction of the essence from the real which contains it, a separation of the essence from the real which contains it and keeps it in hiding” (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 38, original emphasis).   129 Althusser resolutely dismisses the traditional interpretation of fetishism grounded in empiricism: “fetishism is not a subjective phenomenon related either to the illusions or to the perceptions of the agents of the economic process, [and] it cannot be reduced therefore to the subjective effects produced in the economic subjects by their place in the process” (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 211). However, far from rejecting the theory of fetishism on this basis, as some have suggested he did (cf. Cangiani, 2013; Sotiris, 2013), Althusser goes to great length in recuperating a notion of fetishism—and ideology—as objective rather than subjective.53 He settles on the following definition of fetishism: “a distance and an internal dislocation in the real, inscribed in its structure, a distance and a dislocation such as to make their own effects themselves illegible, and the illusion of an immediate reading of them the ultimate apex of their effects” (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 17). In his glossary for Reading Capital, Brewster clarifies that it is a dislocation between ideological practice, on one hand, and political and economic practice on the other.  What exactly does Althusser’s amendment to fetishism mean for the ideology of development? First and foremost, it would suggest that it is not a purely subjective matter—it’s not simply that people have a false consciousness and ‘don’t know any better’ that development feigns one thing and actually does another. It is not because the masses haven’t developed the rational x-ray vision to see past the obviousness, as the ‘truth’ of development doesn’t exist in any essential form ‘out there’ in the real. Development ideology is effective because the very structure of development is built around the real dislocation between its ideological practices that                                                 53 In one of his frequent and elaborate attempts to attribute his own interpretations to Marx himself, Althusser cites an excerpt concerning the rate of profit as proof that Marx considers the illusions of fetishism as “objective through and through, the ‘illusion’ of the ‘consciousness’ and perceptions being itself secondary, and dislocated by the structure of this primary, purely objective ‘illusion’!” (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 211)   130 signify ‘aid’ and its economic and political practices that enact investment. The subjective illusion of development as ‘aid’ is secondary to the objective illusion: the strict obviousness that development is aid.54 As Althusser advises in order to avoid the empiricist pitfall that Marx slips into, my intention here is to construct the concept of development ideology. Development ideology was not simply ‘out there’ to begin with, a layer of the real waiting to be discovered and masking an essence or truth that was always already there. It is a concept, ontologically distinct from the reality it implicates yet epistemologically indispensable for understanding historically contradictory processes such as development.  5.5 The Development (Ideological State) Apparatus Althusser offers his formulation of fetishism mainly to steer Marxism away from the empiricist reliance on essence and phenomenon, but his insistence on its objectivity also dovetails with his contention that ideology in all its forms has a material existence rather than an ideal (or ideational) existence. This materiality exists at every level of ideology, of which Althusser specifies several: ideas, beliefs, actions, practices, rituals, and apparatuses. His most concise description of the interface of these different levels is outlined in the following system: “ideology existing in a material ideological apparatus, prescribing material practices governed by a material ritual, which practices exist in the material actions of a subject acting in all consciousness according to his belief” (2001, p. 115). While his explanation of this interface                                                 54 Althusser himself emphasizes the objective importance of obviousness: “Despite the massive ‘obviousness’ of the economic ‘given’ in the capitalist mode of production, and precisely because of the ‘massive’ character of this fetishized ‘obviousness’, the only way to the essence of the economic is to construct its concept” (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 198)   131 indicates a host of intricacies and relationalities, his key point is basic and ontological: there is no non-material or purely ideational form of existence in which ideology operates or from which ideology derives. This elaboration of the materiality of ideology emerges in Althusser’s best known essay, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus (Notes Towards an Investigation)” (2001). The eponymous formulation refers to “a certain number of realities, which present themselves to the immediate observer in the form of distinct and specialized institutions” (2001, p. 96). Decidedly vague in designation, the ideological State apparatuses (ISAs) consist of such institutions as religion, education, the family, the law, etc. I propose that the ‘development apparatus,’ as it has frequently been described with no connection to Althusser’s formulation of ideology, be included among these other ISAs. Although not just any arbitrary apparatus necessarily complies with Althusser’s configuration of the ISAs, the inclusion of a development ISA fits the bill, as I intend to demonstrate. In elaborating the purpose of the ISAs, Althusser argues that all “ideological State apparatuses, whatever they are, contribute to the same result: the reproduction of the relations of production, i.e. of capitalist relations of exploitation” (Althusser, 2001, p. 104). Despite the apparent narrowness of this designation—it is self-evident that the ISAs also do much more than solely reproduce the relations of production—Althusser is concerned here solely with identifying that function55 which the ISAs as such, in all their variety, have in common. As many critical                                                 55 The classis critique of Althusser’s essay on the ISAs is that he offers a functionalist explanation of ideology: he identifies apparatuses by their ideological functions alone, which operate organically and seamlessly in society, with no apparent room given for human agency, resistance, or class struggle. I have no intention of rehashing this critique, but I bring it up because I explicitly discuss here the function of the ISAs. As will be abundantly clear by the end of the chapter, I am not reproducing a functionalist understanding of ideology. When I later refer to ideological rupture, I expressly refer to the malfunction of ideology. Moreover, resistance and political struggle is at the very core of my purpose for theorizing development ideology.   132 development geographers would have it, the development apparatus unequivocally meets this criterion. Wainwright, for example, contends that development “is a historical-geographical process taken to be outside of capitalism, and yet something always already included, to make it whole, to allow capital to assume a sense of historical purpose and directionality” (2008, p. 12, original emphasis).56 This does not necessarily require that the agents of development serve to reproduce capitalist relations of production as a product of their will; Silvey & Rankin point out that “the potentially transformative impulses behind a lot of justice-oriented Development intervention are delimited, co-opted, and redirected in their encounters with hegemonic developmentalism, state institutions, and professional agendas, all of which are forged within the global capitalist political economy” (2010, 701-702). The next part of my elaboration of development ideology is pivotal. Whereas the preceding account serves to support the thesis that development does, in fact, have an ideological existence and function, I will now seek to explain how development ideology functions distinctly—that is, what makes it an ideology of development and not simply part of a broader ideological formation. This will first require explaining Althusser’s thesis on how ideology functions generally. The central thesis of Althusser’s essay revolves around his notion of ‘interpellation.’ Whereas the rest of his essay borrows extensively from Gramsci’s theorizations (Althusser cites Gramsci twice in his essay yet still understates Gramsci’s influence on his formulations), the                                                 56 It must also be acknowledged, however, that in critiquing Escobar’s project Wainwright argues “that if we aim to decolonize development, we must treat ‘development’ as something other than an all-pervasive and undifferentiated ideology” (2008, p. 154). His concern is valid, and that is why I hold that the development ISA also does much more than solely reproduce the relations of production (though it emphatically does this). Further, and contrary to his object of critique, I consider the ideology of development to function precisely by geographical differentiation.   133 notion of interpellation draws on Lacanian psychoanalysis to theorize the nexus between ideology and the subject. For Althusser, there is no outside to this nexus: …the category of the subject is constitutive of all ideology, but at the same time and immediately I add that the category of the subject is only constitutive of all ideology insofar as all ideology has the function (which defines it) of ‘constituting’ concrete individuals as subjects. In the interaction of this double constitution exists the functioning of all ideology, ideology being nothing but its functioning in the material forms of existence of that functioning. (2001, p. 116, original emphasis) Ideology and the subject must therefore be thought together in order to analyze the functioning of ideology since it only functions in this nexus, and the operation through which to think them together, the operation that is this nexus, is interpellation:  …ideology ‘acts’ or ‘functions’ in such a way that it ‘recruits’ subjects among the individuals (it recruits them all), or ‘transforms’ the individuals into subjects (it transforms them all) by that very precise operation which I have called interpellation or hailing, and which can be imagined along the lines of the most commonplace everyday police (or other) hailing: ‘Hey, you there!’ … The existence of ideology and the hailing or interpellation of individuals as subjects are one and the same thing.” (Althusser, 2001, p. 118, original emphasis) Interpellation, or ‘hailing,’ thus refers to any sort of address towards an individual which, providing they recognize that it is them being addressed, ideologically constitutes them as a subject. Althusser’s ‘Hey, you there!’ is one of a few rudimentary examples of interpellation that he provides, its apparent purpose being to emphasize the simplicity of the recognition function (‘It really is me!’); another set of interpellations, their ideological weight much more transparent, emerges in his example of the ‘Christian religious ideology.’ In this example, the Christian ideology interpellates subjects qualitatively and unambiguously, telling them: “this is who you   134 are…This is your origin…This is your place in the world! This is what you must do!” (Althusser, 2001, p. 120).  The ideology of development also functions by means of interpellation, but it does so in a unique way. Althusser’s interpretation of the Christian religious ideology makes it clear that its interpellative scope is universal; any individual worldwide is always already capable of becoming a Christian subject according to Christian ideology, hence the evangelism that exemplifies its ideological expansionism. The same universal scope applies to Western legal ideology insofar as it is universally applied within its compass, epitomized in the maxim ‘no one is above the law.’ Development ideology strives for the same universality, but it does so in a geographically differentiated manner. The fundamental differentiation (forgive the truism) occurs between the developed, who provide development (through tax dollars, charitable donations, etc.), and the underdeveloped, who receive development, where both the developed and the developing are geographically defined and differentiated; in terms of international development, we do not define the rich and the poor, the privileged and the disadvantaged, at the scale of the nation-state or the region, but rather at a global scale. These two basic sets of geographically differentiated development subjects are interpellated relationally: they are alternately one another’s subjects. Individuals in the developing world become developing subjects through such interpellations as these: ‘This is who you are: you are underdeveloped. This is your place in the world: you are poor. This is what you must do: if you undergo development in the way we stipulate, you will no longer be poor.’57 Individuals in the developed world, in a rather complementary way, become developed subjects                                                 57 This last interpellation is parallel to the final one that Althusser zealously provides in his elaboration of the Christian religious ideology: “By these means, if you observe the ‘law of love’ you will be saved, you, Peter, and will become part of the Glorious Body of Christ!” (Althusser, 2001, p. 120)   135 through such parallel interpellations: ‘This is who you are: you are developed. This is your place in the world: you bear responsibility. This is what you must do: if you contribute to development in the way we stipulate, you will fulfill your responsibility.’58 I submit this as a (very) basic range of interpellations that differentially constitute development subjects. The full range of interpellation is of course much more complex and perhaps even contradictory—the operation I describe here is crude and mechanistic—but I think this basic range captures the standard modus operandi of development ideology. The means through which these interpellations occur are manifold, and I cannot elaborate them in adequate detail here. It should suffice to say that despite the geographically differentiated quality of interpellation in development, all development subjects are interpellated according to the same ideology of development: that it is ‘aid’ rather than investment. Althusser’s final contribution to this theory of interpellation is the ‘Subject,’ which is God in his example of the Christian religious ideology: “the interpellation of individuals as subjects presupposes the ‘existence’ of a Unique and central Other Subject, in whose Name the religious ideology interpellates all individuals as subjects” (2001, p. 121). The Subject is formulated as a sort of ideological ‘centre’ that “interpellates around it the infinity of individuals into subjects…such that it subjects the subjects to the Subject, while giving them in the Subject in which each subject can contemplate its own image (present and future) the guarantee that this really concerns them and Him” (Althusser, 2001, p. 122, original emphasis). This last point is                                                 58 I base this interpellation on ‘responsibility’ following Spivak: “We must recall that Development is the dominant global denomination of responsibility: The story is that the rich nations collectively hear the call of the ethical and collect to help the poor nations by giving skill and money. There are, therefore, elaborate and visible structures of public consultation in place.” (1994, p. 52)   136 crucial: the Subject embodies the guarantee that, providing the subjects properly recognize themselves in the ways they are interpellated, they will be recognized in return by the Subject. If development subjects are alternately one another’s subjects, then they are also and at the same time one another’s Subjects. The notion of the Subject derives from Lacan’s notion of ‘big Other,’ which describes a radical alterity—more other than other, an otherness that is in some way beyond the subject’s capacity to identify with. It is indeed such a radical alterity that separates developed and developing subjectivities. As in Althusser’s example, development’s geographically differentiated subjects see in each Other the guarantee that development really does concern them, that they really do occupy the place in which they are interpellated. It is the existence of the Subject (or Other) that enables the subject to identify as such; in other words, the Subject ensures that interpellation will successfully constitute and transform subjects. For example, if a developed subject were having doubts about their subject position—‘Am I developed? Do I really bear responsibility?’—it is the figure of the developing Subject, the Other in need, that reassures them of their responsibility—‘Yes, this really does concern me.’   5.6 An Ideological Rupture Up to now I have been advancing a theory of development ideology. I consider it to be valuable itself, as I think it is faithful to Marxian theories of ideology and accurate in describing the ways in which development operates. More than accurate, it is revealing: an attention to the ideology of development brings into focus the extent of its operations in the so-called developed world in that it must recognize that people there are also development subjects; far too often, it is only those in the global South, the supposed ‘recipients’ of development, that are assumed to be development subjects. It furthermore emphasizes the complexity of the development apparatus in   137 pointing towards the unique ways in which it recruits and transforms subjects. It is not, however, unqualified in its application. The theory I have elaborated is admittedly quite general, and that is its strength and weakness. It cannot explain all the nuances and contradictions endemic to development programs—indeed it would likely serve to overlook some of them. It is therefore not universally applicable. It is, however, particularly useful in assessing Dauphin’s more radical argument: that the current conjuncture of Canadian official development assistance may amount to a dramatic ideological rupture: a crisis in the normal functioning of development ideology. I take seriously the prospect of an ideological rupture, but this necessarily entails a degree of prudence, as there is a risk of inflating the prospect. Žižek’s position on ideology cautions against any simple or hasty conjecture of ideological interruption by complicating the reality-illusion interface. For him, reality and illusion only exist as interface. You can’t have one without the other, so there is no pure reality unfettered by the effects of ideology. This is because ideology doesn’t simply exist ‘out there’—ideology is always already internalized: In vain do we try to break out of the ideological dream by 'opening our eyes and trying to see reality as it is', by throwing away the ideological spectacles: as the subjects of such a post-ideological, objective, sober look, free of so-called ideological prejudices, as the subjects of a look which views the facts as they are, we remain throughout 'the consciousness of our ideological dream'. The only way to break the power of our ideological dream is to confront the Real of our desire which announces itself in this dream.” (Žižek, 2008, p. 48) This means that, assuming Dauphin or you or I were already aware of the deception that structures development ideology (‘as the subjects of a look which views the facts as they are’), we are no less embedded in the material coordinates of this deception—we are material coordinates of ideology-at-work. For Žižek, the cynicism engendered by subjects ‘that know   138 better’ serves to “blind ourselves to the structuring power of ideological fantasy: even if we do not take things seriously, even if we keep an ironical distance, we are still doing them.” (2008, p. 30, original emphasis). Reading this claim against Althusser’s material levels of ideology, we could say that, in spite of the rejection of ideology at the conscious levels of ideas and beliefs, it still manages to permate into actions, practices, rituals and apparatuses (‘we are still doing them’). The crucial point made here is that there is a certain inevitability to being interpellated by ideology, rational x-ray vision be damned: The point is not just that we must unmask the structural mechanism which is producing the effect of subject as ideological misrecognition, but that we must at the same time fully acknowledge this misrecognition as unavoidable - that is, we must accept a certain delusion as a condition of our historical activity, of assuming a role as agent of the historical process. (Žižek, 2008, p. xxv) Despite the inevitability of ideological misrecognition, it does not follow that there is nothing we can do or accomplish on the terrain of ideology. Spivak’s position is similar to Žižek’s, but she formulates the problematic while considering what would constitute responsible action: “One cannot of course ‘choose’ to step out of ideology. The most responsible ‘choice’ seems to be to know it as best one can, recognize it as best one can, and, through one's necessarily inadequate interpretation, to work to change it” (Spivak, 1982, p. 263). The key here is that we must traverse this terrain with full awareness of our irrevocable embeddedness in ideology.  In light of Žižek’s and Spivak’s claims, it is necessary to consider ideological rupture as distinct from ideological suspension. Suspension implies that an ideology is no longer functioning and has no effect—that an ideological formation has collapsed. This, I think, imprudently situates us outside of ideology and into a presumably pure, unfettered analytical realm. A rupture, on the other hand, suggests an ideological malfunction: a break in an   139 established ideological configuration, yet one that can all too easily be sutured. It does not entail any dramatic disintegration of order but rather a dislocation within a structure that reveals a gap in its consistency. And it is precisely this type of rupture that I believe characterizes development ideology in the context of recent changes to Canadian ODA.  This rupture involves the two changes that are the subject of this thesis: the direct partnership with extractive industries in development projects and the merger of CIDA with foreign affairs and international trade to become the new DFTAD. These two changes cause a rupture in that they reveal an inconsistency that contradicts the ideology of development—that development is aid (the selfless provision of capital for charity) rather than investment (the self-serving provision of capital for returns). For starters, the rhetoric surrounding the merger (as explained in chapter 3) has contradicted Canada’s supposed goodwill by emphasizing that development will promote Canada’s interests. In a statement released on the day of the merger’s announcement, then-minister of international cooperation Julian Fantino declared that the merger’s intent was to “enhance coordination of international assistance with broader Canadian values and objectives” (Fantino, 2013a). Indeed, it has become increasingly common that officials’ statements on development emphasize that international aid policy ought to advance Canada’s own interests (Mackrael, 2013b). This message, in no uncertain terms, makes it clear that Canada’s international development spending is not purely intended to benefit others. And there is reason to believe that this message would contradict the public’s expectations of what development is supposed to be; a national survey published in 2004 (the most recent of its kind) concluded that no more than 1% of Canadians believed that the government’s international aid programs should be intended to support Canada and Canadians (Environics, 2004). The message that international development assistance will serve the interests of Canadians thus contradicts   140 the way developed subjects are interpellated (‘if you contribute to development in the way we stipulate, you will fulfill your responsibility to the Other’). More contradictions abound with regards to DFATD’s new private sector partnerships. Numerous public commentaries across the political spectrum have remarked that partnering with the Canadian private sector appears to be a diversion away from poverty reduction and towards commercial interests.59 Though there have been no polls conducted as of yet that gauge public opinion on the issue, and while not all Canadians would necessarily agree, it is fair to say that many Canadians would come to the same conclusion as these commentators: that the coordination of development activities with Canadian companies is in the commercial interests of those companies. Developing subjects, on the other hand, would likely encounter the contradiction in terms of their historical experience with Canadian extractive industries. In Latin America, where Canadian mining activities are widespread, public support for open pit mining has been steadily decaying; for example, the latest national poll in Guatemala concludes that 66% of the population opposes mining activities across the board (Barretto, 2013),60 while another poll suggests over 85% of Costa Ricans are in opposition to a proposed Canadian mining site (MiningWatch Canada, 2013). Suspicion towards Canadian extractive industries is becoming so prevalent throughout Latin America and elsewhere that any development project that touts its relationship with active mining operations would doubtless put into question that project’s                                                 59 Maurice Strong, who was a central figure in the establishment of CIDA in the 1960s, notes that it has “always been true that development assistance contributes in varying ways to Canada’s own economic interest. But making commercial interests the main purpose of our program will undermine its effectiveness – quite apart from its damage to our credibility and influence.” (2013) 60 As a personal anecdote, I encountered such concern while living in Guatemala in 2011. A local friend and I were heading out on a long hike when we encountered a man who told us that, for our own safety, we would need to turn around and ask for permission from the community’s mayor (elder, chief). The mayor allowed us to continue, but he explained to us that foreign exploration companies had been assessing the rural area in recent months without permission and that the community was being extra vigilant—especially with the presence of young, white men like myself.   141 integrity. Due to this lack of trust, the partnership with extractive industries is bound to contradict the way developing subjects are interpellated (‘if you undergo development in the way we stipulate, you will no longer be poor’).  5.7 Suturing the Rupture The contradictions between the long-established ideology of development and recent changes to Canadian official development assistance thus constitute and expose a rupture. But if ideology has an intrinsically historical character of being useful to a particular class (Gramsci, 2011b, p. 162), then it is necessary to consider the extant efforts being made by that class to obfuscate the gap in consistency and suture the ideological rupture. Yet more importantly, it is necessary for other, radical groups to suture differently. If there is a rupture or dislocation that undermines the cohesion of development ideology, then there is also an opportunity to sabotage the suturing efforts of the ruling class while endeavouring to reconstitute the fragments in a different, radical way—in short, to hegemonize the current conjuncture of development.  The fact that there are now apparent contradictions to development ideology is indeed an opportunity to destabilize that ideology, but it won’t happen on its own accord. As Žižek argues, an “ideology really succeeds when even the facts which at first sight contradict it start to function as arguments in its favour” (2008, p. 50). Consider the development subject who is concerned that trade and diplomacy priorities will dominate and influence development priorities under DFATD, yet he determines that being close to the other two high-profile portfolios will give the development portfolio a new opportunity, a powerful position which it could leverage to promote its magnanimity (e.g. Westhead, 2013b; this is the Trojan horse theory of chapter 3). This is but one example of the misdirected optimism that, despite an attentiveness to political opportunities,   142 is burdened with an attachment to an ideology that ultimately undermines the political goals sought.  What is it, then, that specifically renders manifest to subjects that such contradictions constitute a rupture in ideology? I argue that it has to do with ideological ‘movement’ or the manner in which ideological formations change. Gidwani claims that, despite Althusser’s astute observations on ideology’s functions, he “has far less to say about sources of change in ideological formations and their regional content and character” (2008, p. 143). While he is largely correct, Althusser does advance a postulate on ideological change in which ideology bends to the interests of the times, but without any apparent movement, being content to reflect the historical changes which it is its mission to assimilate and master by some imperceptible modification of its peculiar internal relations… Ideology changes therefore, but imperceptibly, conserving its ideological form; it moves but with an immobile motion which maintains it where it is, in its place and its ideological role.” (Althusser & Balibar, 2009, p. 157, original emphasis) For Althusser, ideology does adapt to historical change, but it manages to do so subtly, without making its own movements known. His claim is certainly accurate for the typical and day-to-day historical movement of development ideology in Canada. The basic ideological form of development remained intact throughout the different policy eras outlined in chapter 2; the principal deception remained the same, hence the development ideology moved with an ‘immobile motion.’ To put this in Spivak’s terms, such a policy adjustment is merely a dynamic of the foreground, while the ideological surroundings remain taken for granted as an ahistorical backdrop: Ideology in action is what a group takes to be natural and self-evident, that of which the group, as a group, must deny any historical sedimentation. It is both the condition and the effect of the   143 constitution of the subject (of ideology) as freely willing and consciously choosing in a world that is seen as background. (1982, p. 259) The notion of ideology as a natural and self-evident background is useful for distinguishing the quality of the changes I am looking at. While a shift in the foreground leaves the background unbothered, one cannot fail to notice a major movement in the background. The contradictions to development ideology manifest just this kind of tectonic shift; those contradictions may then be marshalled in a distinctly ideological way, as Žižek points out, but one cannot fail to notice the movement in the first place. No wonder there have been efforts to characterize CIDA’s merger as a natural and subtle progression rather than a fundamental reorganization of the development landscape; just a few days after the merger was announced, and in the wake of copious public commentaries that depicted the merger as a radical shift (whether good or bad), Fantino published his own commentary that sought to deflate the intensity of the public debate: Like our approach to maximizing Canadians development investments by leveraging private sector dollars and expertise, the announcement that CIDA will amalgamate with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013 is not the signal of a revolution; it is part of a natural evolution. (2013; my emphasis) What epitomizes the notion of ‘immobile motion’ more than evolution? Fantino’s intervention is patently intended to suture the ideological rupture that became apparent upon the announcement of CIDA’s merger. By reframing it as a natural evolution, he is attempting to conceal the inconsistency exposed by the announcement, since changes to an ideological formation are most effective when those changes are imperceptible. Contrary to Althusser’s argument that ideology merely reflects historical changes, Gramsci emphasizes that formulations which posit ideological and political shifts as mere   144 reflections of structural change disregard the role of error in contributing to superstructural fluctuations: The assumption (put forward as an essential postulate of historical materialism) that one can present and explain every political and ideological fluctuation as a direct expression of the structure must be combated on the theoretical level as a primitive infantilism… Mechanical historical materialism does not take the possibility of error into account; it assumes that every political act is determined directly by the structure and is therefore the reflection of a real and permanent (in the sense of secured) modification of the structure. The principle of ‘error’ is complex: it could consist in an individual impulse stemming from a mistaken calculation, or it could also be the manifestation of the attempts (which may fail) of specific groups or cliques to attain hegemony within the leading group. (2011c, p. 173-174) In Gramsci’s account of error, he gives two examples of how a modification in the superstructure induces a rupture that is not necessarily a reflection of the course of the structure: miscalculation and an internal struggle for hegemony. It is possible that the recent changes to Canadian official development assistance amount to an ideological error resulting from a miscalculation; this would likely involve the underestimation of the effects of the ideological rupture. It is more likely, however, that in the case of the new pilot projects, such an error involves a reorientation of hegemony in the interests of Canadian extractive industries. Once again, Gramsci provides the grounds for this conclusion: Despite the fact that the state essentially operates on economic forces, reorganizes and develops the apparatus of economic production, and innovates the structure, it does not follow that the elements of the superstructure are left alone to develop spontaneously through some kind of aleatory and sporadic germination. In this field, too, the state is a ‘rationalization,’ an instrument   145 of acceleration and Taylorization; it operates according to a plan, pushing, encouraging, stimulating, etc. (2011c, p. 272) What Gramsci suggests is that while the political actions of the state are meant to reproduce the economic structure in various ways, it is not merely an instrument of that structure but rather an agent in that structure. And as a vigorous Taylorizing agent, the Canadian state appears to be dispatching its development branch to address the greatest inefficiency that Canadian extractive industries currently face: their struggle to command consent and maintain hegemony abroad. As elaborated in chapter 4, the prevalence of abuses committed by Canadian mining companies has considerably diminished their reputation, and it is therefore increasingly difficult for these industries to gain consent from the communities in which they seek to operate. Moreover, many Canadian mining sites abroad are plagued by the ‘inconvenience’ of growing public protests, which often leads to bad press and demands higher spending on additional security. The time, effort and costs of legal battles over allegations of abuse further disrupt mining companies in their efforts to gain profits. In short, the hegemony of extractive industries is in crisis. It would appear, then, that the development ideological state apparatus is being exploited for the purposes of efficiently winning back the hegemony lost by mining companies. In other words, the ideology of development is no longer intended just for itself but rather for the hegemony of extractive industries.  It is therefore likely that if there are efforts to suture the ideological rupture, this suture will occur not only in development ideology itself but also between development ideology and the ruptured hegemony of extractive industries. And while the ruling class has its hands full with this complex recuperative task, as it were, there is an opportunity to suture differently. For instance, development ideology will not be effective at winning hegemony for extractive   146 industries if the consistency of development ideology itself is in question. Many writers and activists have been pointing out that very inconsistency by juxtaposing Canada’s ostensible development mandate (poverty reduction) with the historical rapaciousness of the mining industry. It is vital to bring attention to such contradictions. However, this should not lead us to advocate a simple return to development-as-usual. This would merely amount to a return to the same old development ideology that obfuscates contradictory and problematic development practices. And, ultimately, it is the latter which are at stake.  5.8 Conclusion There is still a lot of uncertainty about what Canadian official development assistance will look like under the management of DFATD. The bureaucratic organization of the department is still in the process of being charted out. Diplomacy and trade policy are certain to impact development programs, but in what way and to what extent remains unclear. Pilot partnerships with three different Canadian mining companies have been underway in Peru, Burkina Faso and Ghana, but official results and evaluations have still yet to be presented and there have been few reports detailing the dynamics of the partnerships. Much of what can be said now about DFATD and its new programs amounts to guesswork.  If that makes this thesis speculative as well to some degree, I am convinced that it is productively speculative. While I have little doubt that development programs under DFATD will undergo a further entrenchment of foreign policy and commercial interests, simply vilifying this entrenchment leads to nothing but the closure of political action. I am of the same view as Gidwani, who asserts that heaping condemnation “suffers from lack of intellectual and political imagination” (2008, p. x). 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