The Other Side
One of my docents told me that he had been invited by the Army to present his view about the conflict in Mali. Suddenly, he moved from being an outsider to an insider. The question is not only about being critical but also about being strategical and at the same time, to conserve the idealism. He mentioned that there were many consultancies that were already involved in giving advice for the Ministry but most of them did not know the real situation. So Ferguson (1990) and Mosse (2004) all over again. Wrong approach because of wrong assumptions and consultancy agency talked in the language of the clients (on efficiency in military operation) and not about the real situation in Mali. Different epistemic tradition, where he had to talk to man in uniform with different openness and also a shift in strategy from critical to strategic.
The discussion related with our earlier discussion about identity and struggle. Identity is always being contested in different situations. There is evil in good things and there is good things in evil. As one of my favorites proverb says 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.' Being an insider creates an opportunity for greater change but probably it may also change one into a different person via all the negotiations and bureaucratic details.