Et rigtigt partnerskab: En systemteroretisk analyse af DCA's konstuktion af det ufærdige som eftertragtelsesværdigt

Amalie Lind

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The focal point of this thesis is the partnership between DanChurchAid and the incomplete organization Grassroots Jerusalem. DCA’s revised partnership strategy pronounces an essential need for activists and grassroots – without organisational structure. DCA’s goal is to assist the incomplete organisations in their transformation into professional change agents who can transform the social and political possibilities for the most fragile target groups. DCA has chosen the incomplete partner GJ, because they possess a perfect combination of incompleteness and a lust for DCA’s structure, says DCA. DCA has initiated the project and has convinced the EU to support the partner with one million EUR tied to a three year contract agreement, with DCA as the development partner for GJ. The thesis examines DCA’s strategic communication that makes up a paradoxical structure enabled by GJs emptiness. The emptiness is therefore a strategic choice that enables DCA’s decisions. When founded in the incomplete, these appear rational and legitimate for DCA. The theoretical framework of the thesis is based on Luhmann's system theory, including his concept of meaning and meaning dimensions and Luhmann's theory of trust. The conclusions of the thesis are founded in three sub-­‐analyses. The first analysis shows how DCA’s communication about the incomplete forms a rationality chain that allows them to legitimize their efforts through the construction of the incomplete as attractive. The second sub-­‐analysis operates at an organizational level; here I examine what happens when the specific cooperation with the incomplete partner is initiated. It turns out that DCA’s development strategy for the change agent is difficult to implement in practice and ends up challenging DCA itself. The third sub-­‐analysis examines how DCA is trying to handle dilemmas connected to their incomplete partner through mechanisms of trust and distrust. Through interviews with DCA and GJ, I observe how DCA communicates and thereby creates the partner GJ as a paradoxical empty construction, which they can use strategically when they want to legitimize their decisions. In this particular partnership, the paradoxical partner figure becomes problematic for DCA as they try to complete the incomplete and make it into something that they can work with. DCA proclaim that they create real partnerships with independent partners. This thesis concludes that in this case they build their own structure into the empty partner, thus making the partner dependent on their means.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2015
Number of pages109