The Affective Politics of the Sustainable Development Goals: Partnership, Capacity-Building, and Big Data
MetadataShow full item record
In this article, we argue that whilst international studies broadly construed has benefitted in recent years from a turn to theories of affect, a notable absentee in this regard has been critical accounts of international development. We suggest that theories of affect have much to contribute to an understanding of a set of international policies and practices that seek to remake individual and collective capacities to act in the pursuit of ‘development’. The article therefore sets out to briefly establish a genealogy of affect written through post-Second World War international development policies, before laying out three areas where contemporary international development policy, in the form of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, manifests most notably. These three areas are (i) Partnership; (ii) Capacity-Building, and (iii) Big Data. We provide evidence to illustrate how affect works to create embodied resonances and intensities that circulate socially between and through bodies and create new intimate connections, imaginations, and certain kinds of citizens, and in so doing creates not only political enclosures, but also opportunities to produce ‘counter-affects’ and other-form ways of being and living.